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Old Dec 21, 2012, 03:47 PM   #1
dukee101
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Question Fusion Drive performance: 1 TB vs 3 TB

To those who are so lucky as to have their brand-new 2012 iMacs already delivered to them:

Can you help us compare the performance of 1 TB vs 3 TB Fusion Drives?

Obviously, odds are you have one iMac with only one of these configurations. So just contribute your feedback about your particular config (either 1 TB or 3 TB) and we'll compare it amongst those with the other config.

I'm shopping around for the new iMac and although I don't have a need for 3 TB of capacity, I know that the 3 TB drives have 3 x 1 TB platters, which perform better than the 1 TB drives with 3 x 333 GB per platter. (The more capacity per platter, the faster the hard drive can access data).

Performance benchmarks for regular (non-Fusion) 1 TB vs 3 TB drives clearly put 3 TB drives ahead by about 20%. So this normally would make a difference, but I'm curious to see how the spread is affected when you throw an SSD in the mix as part of a Fusion setup.

And since storage I/O is such a critical way to "feel" the performance of a system (it's today's bottleneck), I'm willing to get the 3 TB Fusion Drive for the increased speed alone, IF IT'S DEMONSTRABLY THERE.

So please, let us know

Last edited by dukee101; Dec 21, 2012 at 04:51 PM.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 06:57 PM   #2
Metal Dice
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Hmm interesting, according to the article I linked below smaller drives might be faster. However, I might be missing something.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/WD_Red
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 07:25 PM   #3
Slow Programmer
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Why couldn't the 1tb drive have only a single platter?
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:03 PM   #4
dukee101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Programmer View Post
Why couldn't the 1tb drive have only a single platter?
That's a good question, and there's no doubt that most mainstream 1TB drives will move in this direction in the coming year. But at the moment, it's most economical to mass-produce 1TB drives in the 3 x 333 density or 2 x 500 density.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal Dice
according to the article I linked below smaller drives might be faster
That silentpc review of the WD Red drive isn't as definitive on 3TB performance as this one:

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...leashed-4.html

On their tests, the Seagate Barracuda 3TB does 155.8 MB/s read while the fastest 1TB does 115.8 MB/s read, a 38% increase!

I just wanted to know how that would affect Fusion Drive performance. It would be interesting to see whether the 128GB SSD mitigates the 3TB's speed advantages.

Last edited by dukee101; Dec 21, 2012 at 10:12 PM.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 05:53 PM   #5
Metal Dice
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What about this then:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1512580
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 03:11 AM   #6
dukee101
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Originally Posted by Metal Dice View Post
As I said on that thread as well (since you brought it to my attention), any claim about higher platter densities making drives slower is simply untrue.

Higher areal densities mean there's more data crammed into the same amount of space, which means that once the read-write head scans any given block, it will read/write more in a given moment than if the density were lower.

Increased areal density therefore leads to increased speeds. The more gigabytes you can pack onto a platter, the faster your hard disk drive should become.

Assuming 3 TB drives are made with platters with greater areal densities, they will in almost all cases be faster than 1 TB equivalents.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 07:44 PM   #7
atteligibility
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal Dice View Post
Hmm interesting, according to the article I linked below smaller drives might be faster. However, I might be missing something.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/WD_Red
Maybe you're missing most of the article you're referring to, such as the conclusion?

Quote:
Performance-wise the 1TB model is nothing to write home about, more or less equivalent in speed to your typical 5,400 RPM desktop drive. The 3TB variant however, is much faster, outclassing older 7200 RPM models like the 2TB WD Caviar Black and Seagate Barracuda XT in our real world application tests.
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