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Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:10 PM   #26
Dornblaser
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The video was informative. I am interesting to seeing a comparison of the 768 SSD vs. 3TB Fusion drive as I think that will be my decision point.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:11 PM   #27
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The biggest unknown right now is how hard it will be to get at the 2012 iMac internals. I was squeamish against diving into a 2007, and decided against it. The 2012 only looks harder.
Thanks for clarifying that. I am in the same situation as you at the moment, as I am apposed to opening up the machine, especially with it being brand new. If those are the only drive options then at least Fusion gives you a good basis to start on. The only flash option is super expensive and does away with the additional storage.

Opening up the cases of any of the old iMacs straight away you are right in to problems with getting dust behind the screen. Just something that is not worth risking permanent damage for. Just a finger mark on the LCD will be very hard to remove.

At least with the dual drives Fusion is a good basis to return to if opening the new macs is problematic minor upgrade wise. I don't want to wait around to find out months after the release that an upgrade would be possible.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:11 PM   #28
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very nice video....really shows the difference between a regular HD and SSD!
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:22 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Dornblaser View Post
The video was informative. I am interesting to seeing a comparison of the 768 SSD vs. 3TB Fusion drive as I think that will be my decision point.
I think they'll be comparable in speed, at least a lot closer than the comparison between fusion vs regular hdd. The kicker is the moving parts in the fusion. Do those parts make it more prone to failure than a SSD? Probably.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:27 PM   #30
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At least with the dual drives Fusion is a good basis to return to if opening the new macs is problematic minor upgrade wise. I don't want to wait around to find out months after the release that an upgrade would be possible.
It won't be months. iFixit will have their teardown within a day or two of the release. It'll be longer than that to get step-by-step guides, but you'll have a general idea very quickly.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:15 PM   #31
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I think they'll be comparable in speed, at least a lot closer than the comparison between fusion vs regular hdd. The kicker is the moving parts in the fusion. Do those parts make it more prone to failure than a SSD? Probably.
Speed vs. reliability vs. price. I run most of my pro work off of externals now. It would be really cool if the 786 SSD wasn't stupidly expensive on the 27" iMac. And, third party folks started producing high-capacity T-Bolt/USB3.0 external Fusion Drives to compete with the spinning platter options currently available.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:23 PM   #32
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can someone explain why hasn't SSD become cheaper and higher capacity after so long? why do we have to have fusion
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 10:23 PM   #33
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can someone explain why hasn't SSD become cheaper and higher capacity after so long? why do we have to have fusion
There is a worldwide shortage of NAND Flash memory. I have heard public estimates anywhere from 3 to 12 fabs short. At several billion dollars each... and several years to build them... it will take a while until the manufacturing supply meets demand.

Furthermore... NAND flash will be largely replaced in the next 1/2 decade or so by new media technology that is MUCH faster (100X or more), and better than NAND flash. That is an inhibitor to companies investing billions in NAND flash infrastructure/capacity... anticipating it's imminent demise.

Consumers tend to make technology comparisons based on the absolute worse criteria. It is very often that folks here talk about SSD performance in MB/s. There is no worse metric to use... this one is a remnant of the HDD industry. A much better metric is IO operations per second (IOPS)... and when you do so... you quickly understand that SSDs are an absolute bargain at today's prices.

/Jim
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:20 AM   #34
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can someone explain why hasn't SSD become cheaper and higher capacity after so long? why do we have to have fusion
They have. Drastically. It's just nobody told Apple's customers.

Four or five years ago SSDs were about 10+ a GB. Around two years ago I bought a small ssd at 2.50/GB, recently I paid about 50p/GB for a much faster one with 8 times the capacity. Both drives went in a mac. At the time I bought the first drive, apple were charging double for a bto upgrade. At the time I bought the second, apple were charging nearly five times the price!

Even if they continued to fall in price at the same rate, it would still be a few years to catch up with the price-per-gigabyte of hard drives, which have a few decades of manufacturing behind them. It seems the price fall of SSDs are beginning to stabalise now as flynz4 talks about. Personally, I don't feel like I do need a fusion drive with today's (non-apple) prices. As I said in my post on page one, I'm perfectly happy with a 512GB ssd which doesn't need to do any background tasks with a mechanical drive constantly chugging away. However, as SSD is a long way off from providing multiple terribytes of affordable storage like HDDs can, the fusion technology is a useful option for those who want more working space than me.

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Old Nov 10, 2012, 01:15 PM   #35
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They have. Drastically. It's just nobody told Apple's customers.

Four or five years ago SSDs were about 10+ a GB. Around two years ago I bought a small ssd at 2.50/GB, recently I paid about 50p/GB for a much faster one with 8 times the capacity. Both drives went in a mac. At the time I bought the first drive, apple were charging double for a bto upgrade. At the time I bought the second, apple were charging nearly five times the price!

Even if they continued to fall in price at the same rate, it would still be a few years to catch up with the price-per-gigabyte of hard drives, which have a few decades of manufacturing behind them. It seems the price fall of SSDs are beginning to stabalise now as flynz4 talks about. Personally, I don't feel like I do need a fusion drive with today's (non-apple) prices. As I said in my post on page one, I'm perfectly happy with a 512GB ssd which doesn't need to do any background tasks with a mechanical drive constantly chugging away. However, as SSD is a long way off from providing multiple terribytes of affordable storage like HDDs can, the fusion technology is a useful option for those who want more working space than me.
Re: Bolded section above. Projections indicate that SSD's will "never" (on the foreseeable horizon) be cheaper than HDDs... because HDDs continue to offer more capacity at constant cost. In other words... $/GB is improving at about the same rate for both SSDs and HDDs... hence SSDs will never catch up.

The real question is when does the $/GB of SSDs improve enough so that you can afford the capacity you need (or capacity you want). That is coming fairly quickly... maybe a few (2-5) years for most people.

/Jim
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 02:58 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Tri-stan View Post
Opening up the cases of any of the old iMacs straight away you are right in to problems with getting dust behind the screen. Just something that is not worth risking permanent damage for. Just a finger mark on the LCD will be very hard to remove.
Won't have to worry about dust and fingerprints with the new iMac since the front glass and LCD are 1 piece. This iMac could possibly be easier to work on if they still use magnets to hold the glass/display in place.
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