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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:32 AM   #1
MrMister111
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Opinions from anyone that has a fusion drive

I'm going to upgrade my iMac (eventually), to a new one when released, and am deciding whether to get a Fusion or not, a 1Tb option.

In general what's it like? Do you notice speed increase?

What happens when your system/HDD gets full wth apps and data? eg I'm going to put iPhoto and iTunes libraries on there, how fast with those?

Are you glad you paid (the expensive), extra for the fusion over standard HDD?

Any negatives?

Cheers
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:02 AM   #2
Oujmik
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Im happy with mine so far. Only had it a day though. It boots up so fast it's ready to use before my monitor has woken up from sleep. I will be transferring my 120GB aperture library to the Fusion Drive shortly so will report back then on performance. I suspect that the Fusion software is clever enough that it will break out the parts of the library you use most and store them on the SSD. I think it's the apps and system files being on the SSD that will make the big difference though, even for photo editing unless you are batch processing.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 06:59 AM   #3
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Fusion is useful for transferring, reading and writing huge files.

Applications launch very fast. I import lots of photos and videos, so those are amazingly fast with the USB and SDcard slots, but I'm not sure if it's because the ports are fast or if Fusion is fast.

For iPhoto or iTunes, I don't think you'll see the advantage of the Fusion.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:10 AM   #4
MrMister111
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Originally Posted by teohyc View Post
Fusion is useful for transferring, reading and writing huge files.

Applications launch very fast. I import lots of photos and videos, so those are amazingly fast with the USB and SDcard slots, but I'm not sure if it's because the ports are fast or if Fusion is fast.

For iPhoto or iTunes, I don't think you'll see the advantage of the Fusion.
That's what I'm trying to justify the big cost increase for, if it's worth it for me. The upgrade from having to upgrade from the base iMac with no fusion option to top end with a Fusion is UK 343 approx.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:35 AM   #5
willieva
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I'm quite happy with the fusion drive in my mini. It takes less than 20 seconds from pressing the power button to googling something. My 2 year old mbp with regular drive now feels like a dinosaur. Last time I checked it took over 100 seconds.

Only 250gig on it now, so don't know what will happen when it's full. Filling the 128gig ssd doesn't seem to have made a difference in speed.

The new 21.5" imac will only have a 5400 rpm drive in it. Definitely worth getting the fusion drive in that case, it will make a huge difference.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:57 AM   #6
Oujmik
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Originally Posted by MrMister111 View Post
That's what I'm trying to justify the big cost increase for, if it's worth it for me. The upgrade from having to upgrade from the base iMac with no fusion option to top end with a Fusion is UK 343 approx.
I had exactly the same dilemma. In the end I rationalised thusly:

If you want a perfectly capable and great value machine that ticks all the boxes without breaking the bank, you can't go wrong with a 499 mini.

If you've been waiting for years to upgrade and want to treat yourself to something that you can really get excited about, then go for the mid with fusion. Remember you get a much faster processor in this model as well which will probably speed up photo work.

In the end, I think you'll be happy either way. It all comes down to whether the money or the mac are more important to you right now. My initial reaction is that SSDs / Fusion are the biggest improvement in everyday computing for years. Everything is just so much more responsive.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:58 AM   #7
majkom
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Fussion is joke.. apple is asking 250 USD for 128 GB SSD disk.. shame.. I will probably go for imac but no way I will pay for Fussion - for the same price I am able to buy refurb Lacie little big disk and SSd drive - booting from lacie - and if you are willing to invest more, you can get whole system with a lot of data on external SSD
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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Whatever you do, if you're buying in the UK from Apple. Take a few seconds to register with topcashback.co.uk and then click through to Apple from there. I got 25 back for the few seconds of effort and I've since discovered I can save on loads of other sites. No connection, just a happy customer.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Oujmik View Post
I had exactly the same dilemma. In the end I rationalised thusly:

If you've been waiting for years to upgrade and want to treat yourself to something that you can really get excited about, then go for the mid with fusion. Remember you get a much faster processor in this model as well which will probably speed up photo work.

In the end, I think you'll be happy either way. It all comes down to whether the money or the mac are more important to you right now. My initial reaction is that SSDs / Fusion are the biggest improvement in everyday computing for years. Everything is just so much more responsive.
Agree with your points exactly, I was just wondering what you "mini's" were doing.

My 2007 iMac is still running fine, maybe a few beach balls, but it's 5 years old now, so was thinking of an upgrade, and it's a sort of special birthday pressy to myself, along with a little money from relatives towards cost.

The CPU isn't a massive upgrade though is it? From a 2.5 to a 2.7 is it really? Also not bothered on graphics card upgrade, as no games just iLife, surfing, iTunes, office etc really.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:10 AM   #10
Lance-AR
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The CPU increases from dual to quad cores. Faster and double cores.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:14 AM   #11
MrMister111
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The CPU increases from dual to quad cores. Faster and double cores.
? The base and top both have quad core i5 CPUs
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:19 AM   #12
kcramer
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Originally Posted by MrMister111 View Post
? The base and top both have quad core i5 CPUs
Only the base has the i5, the others have the i7. The i5 is just a dual core. The i7 is the quad core.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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Ahhh, yes. The iMacs are quad core. The minis are varied.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:12 PM   #14
hugodrax
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Fusion is fast! I have run a Virtual machine, Aperture etc.. stuff just pops quickly. Everything is real fast even browsing due to SSD caching of temp internet files.

Definitely worth it.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 01:44 AM   #15
Oujmik
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Originally Posted by MrMister111 View Post
Agree with your points exactly, I was just wondering what you "mini's" were doing.

The CPU isn't a massive upgrade though is it? From a 2.5 to a 2.7 is it really? Also not bothered on graphics card upgrade, as no games just iLife, surfing, iTunes, office etc really.
Sorry, I misread your post and thought you were replacing the iMac with a mini. I think you're right that the processors are not so different across the iMac range. I'd still recommend fusion regardless unless a very cheap pure SSD option was available.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:11 AM   #16
sunandsurf
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not a big deal and i don't want to start a new thread but i've noticed that my mini starts up really fast but when i shut down, it takes longer than expected. when i shut down my airbook, it's off really quickly.

typical?
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 04:36 AM   #17
Oujmik
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Yes, mine is also fast to boot and slow to shutdown. Perhaps it's related to the fusion drive tidying up before shutdown.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:13 AM   #18
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Have you ever used an SSD? Well, you'll feel the same with your apps and OS, as well as with files you most use. Then you got 1TB to keep stuff.

I went for the SSD as I already got external drives and I prefer to know where I locate every file (I don't want the OS to that for me) but a Fusion Drive is a very nice option for someone who doesn't care about that.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:01 AM   #19
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I'm really tempted to go for the fusion now, I'll be keeping the iMac for at least 5 years (hopefully!) so as time goes on it should still be nippy, as I believe HDD are the bottleneck if computers at this stage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasx View Post

I went for the SSD as I already got external drives and I prefer to know where I locate every file (I don't want the OS to that for me) but a Fusion Drive is a very nice option for someone who doesn't care about that.
Why do you need to know this out of interest? Who cares where the OS is keeping files as long as it is fast ?
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:30 AM   #20
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I went for the fusion drive in my new mini. I'm an old guy. I didn't want to deal with installing and getting everything running with a 2nd party SSD and I didn't really want to deal with file management. I use a Time Machine backup and copy critical files to a 3rd portable drive that I keep in a separate location. My guess is that a dedicated SSD for operating system, applications, and often used files would be a little faster. The fusion feels fast to me. Boot times are certainly rapid and programs seems to load fast. I have no timings or hard numbers to compare, but I'd be comparing to a dated iMac. It is a substantial additional cost. And since it's new I'm a bit concerned about long term reliability. But that's kind of true with any new product.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:27 PM   #21
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Why do you need to know this out of interest? Who cares where the OS is keeping files as long as it is fast ?
Because. I want to know which files are located where.

As I said this might seem useless for some therefore Fusion Drive is useful for those. Not for me. Just as I don't like automatic cars. No thanks.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 04:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMister111 View Post
I'm going to upgrade my iMac (eventually), to a new one when released, and am deciding whether to get a Fusion or not, a 1Tb option.

In general what's it like? Do you notice speed increase?

What happens when your system/HDD gets full wth apps and data? eg I'm going to put iPhoto and iTunes libraries on there, how fast with those?

Are you glad you paid (the expensive), extra for the fusion over standard HDD?

Any negatives?

Cheers
First of all, an SSD (and thus Fusion drive included) will give you a HUGE performance increase, especially when booting and launching apps. For example, on my computer, launching XCode took around 7-8 "bounces" but with an SSD it takes 2. Other improvements will be less dramatic but still, many things will be somewhat faster. Even web browsing will be slightly (but noticeably) faster since it involves downloading and accessing many small files.

Second, if you are comfortable managing your own files (e.g., moving pictures/songs/videos between drives) then you can very easily just buy a 3rd party SSD for less than half the price of the Fusion upgrade, throw it in an external USB3 enclosure, and boot off of that. That's what I intend to do. Even easier than installing an SSD internally, and more or less as fast. Just use the internal drive for storing large files, especially media files, that wouldn't benefit from the SSD's faster speed.

Otherwise I guess it's up to you if it's worth the money. It will be much faster but then again, these machines are perfectly usable with regular hard drives too.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:58 PM   #23
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Fusion drive is only worth it if you really don't want to manage stuff yourself (which is trivial). All these "fusion drive is so fast" and "fusion drive is great because my computer boots up so fast" posts don't really have anything to do with fusion drive. They're just saying that having an SSD is so much faster than a regular HD and you can get just an SSD for a lot less.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:35 PM   #24
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Fusion drive is only worth it if you really don't want to manage stuff yourself (which is trivial). All these "fusion drive is so fast" and "fusion drive is great because my computer boots up so fast" posts don't really have anything to do with fusion drive. They're just saying that having an SSD is so much faster than a regular HD and you can get just an SSD for a lot less.
Trivial how? Managing symlinks, trying to manually optimize stuff by hand etc.. Only if your time is worthless.

And fusion is granular to the block level. Managing stuff yourself is is to the file level.
For I have a 14gb virtual drive image for a virtual xp machine, 4 of the gb on that image gets accessed, the rest sit idle.

If you did it your way, you waste 10gb of space on the ssd since you had to move the entire monolithic 14gb file over to ssd, while fusion only moves 4gb and the other 10gb sits on the hd.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:36 PM   #25
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http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/...n-MacMini.html

Update on Apple 'Fusion': Writes are Fast, No Smart Migration
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