Can a late 2013 mac run tropy without overheating?

Hi there,

I’m new to using tropy and as a historian in the archives i’m loving the format (even while I’m still trying to understand how to create my own templates) but it seems like my laptop is incapable of running this program without the fans powering on to avoid overheating and the battery draining at a rapid pace. I wondered if this was a storage problem for my photos and added storage; i also thought that it was a battery issue alone and while my laptop could use a new battery just do to age, this is the only program that seems to push its limits.

I am contemplating a new laptop because it’s that time but before making such a large investment I’ve been looking for answers to how tropy works best. At my current disposal is a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 and 4 GB of Memory. I feel like the culprit is memory but I figured some feedback from you guys would be rather helpful. Thank you

Can you send us your tropy.log file? Maybe there is an issue that causes the high CPU activity.

In general terms, Tropy’s performance will benefit if your project file is stored on a fast drive (preferably a SSD); if your photos are located on a slow drive this will have less of an impact.

Tropy currently loads the full-size photos into memory (and into the GPU) very aggressively. This is something we hope to optimize in the future.

While you are in ‘item view’, viewing the full-size photo, Tropy will render the photo in a WebGL canvas. This is sort of like rendering a scene in a computer game or animation and ensures that all the animations and filters look good while working with the photo. However, this causes high CPU / GPU activity. Currently, direct rendering is ‘on’ whenever you’re active in item view. If you notice that the fans spin up while you’re in item view, but go back down when you are in project view for some time or when you just let Tropy idle for a while, then the direct rendering is most certainly the cause for the issue.

The log file is too large to upload here so is there somewhere else I can share that?

The current tropy file is stored on the 128 flash drive on my MBP and the photos are stored in a Transcend SD card that I used to expand the storage space for this project. I originally had the photos stored in box and was using box sync but realized quickly that I needed a different way to store the photos.

Thanks for your quick reply by the way.

If you close Tropy (Cmd+Q) and start it again you should get a new log file which you should be able to upload here. Otherwise you can also send it to me at

tropy.log (4.7 KB)

Got it!


Do the fans spin up when you start Tropy? What about if you start Tropy, but then just let it sit idle for a few minutes? If the fans are on full continuously, do they spin down soon after you close Tropy again? Or, if they do settle down with Tropy still open, do they spin up as soon as you do any work in it, specifically in the item view? Any answers to these questions might help us track down what’s going on.

I’ve done a little exploring this morning and I think the problem (or the challenge) is “item view”. The fans spin up when I’m zooming in and out of an image to read the document. I seem to be able to input information into metadata from project view without the fan going on overhaul. If I understand correctly from your previous comment the challenge for my laptop is in direct rendering and a more powerful graphics card? I guess my major concern is going too deep into this project and finding that tropy is ultimately going to crash and stop working on this laptop.

Yes, you’re right, this pretty much means that the direct rendering in is causing the fans to spin up. This happens because Tropy is using the GPU there rather aggressively in order to have smooth pan, zoom and other image operations, filters etc.

The encouraging aspect of this is that we have not optimized this part of Tropy for lower-end hardware at all, so there is definitely a lot of potential there. It is something we want to do, primarily with battery consumption in mind, i.e., switch to a lower performance profile when on batter power). Making it possible to make that profile the default might improve the situation for you. But we don’t currently have a definitive roadmap for this.