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Old Nov 19, 2012, 01:33 PM   #51
Jeff Charles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrag View Post
Can anyone confirm that with Fusion you can't (must not) partition? (otherwise the partition won't benefit from the SSD).

For me that is one of the deal breakers, I have partitions for things that may need to be restored later (OS, etc) and without partitioning that can't be done in an easy/quick way.
My understanding is that you can create one additional partition on the HD, but not on the SSD. However, it will not be part of the Fusion Drive volume.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 02:29 PM   #52
hfg
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Originally Posted by madrag View Post
Can anyone confirm that with Fusion you can't (must not) partition? (otherwise the partition won't benefit from the SSD).

For me that is one of the deal breakers, I have partitions for things that may need to be restored later (OS, etc) and without partitioning that can't be done in an easy/quick way.
Apple documentation specifies that one partition can be created on the hard disk which would normally be used for BootCamp Windows. However you can use it for anything you want ... it is just a normal partition. That is with Fusion already installed and running prior to creating the partition.

However ...

I have a 2011 Mac Mini which I had already equipped with a large SSD and hard disk and already had a Windows partition on the SSD drive. I decided I wanted to experiment with the Fusion functionality so I created a "Fusion" drive using the SSD OS X "partition-ID" and the hard disk "disk-ID" and it works fine (I also left the recovery partition in place). I have not tried building a Fusion drive with additional partitions beyond that.

-howard
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:29 PM   #53
DitteVilladsen
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The Fusion Drive is transparent to use. No decisions to make. I recommend it.

If you're saving huge Photoshop files like the guy in the article, you could have a Fusion Drive and an external USB 3 SSD drive as Photoshop's (and Final Cut's) scratch disk--if you are really so impatient that you can't wait for that one type of save. I wouldn't drop the convenience of the Fusion Drive just for that one use case.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:55 PM   #54
SuperRob
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Originally Posted by Errz View Post
http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/...n-MacMini.html

Update on Apple 'Fusion': Writes are Fast, No Smart Migration
The most valuable thing I learned in college: Consider the source.

It's worth noting that this author is a paid shill for OWC products. Fusion easily doesn't fit into what they sell, so he's predictably shooting it down as valueless. It does have value, but perhaps not for his specific workflow.

Also, just because he hasn't been able to see any movement of files from the HD to the SSD or vice versa, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Either his implementation is bugged (at one point, he tested a PCIe implementation, which is known to not work [you must have the SSD on the internal SATA bus]), or his testing methodology is, but there are plenty of other examples from non-biased sites where this works as expected.

Regardless, Fusion is a valuable technology when you want to speed access to a limited set of files (system files, frequently read files), but still want to have a large, unified storage pool for media or other data that does not need regular, fast access. This is not a scenario that MPG considers useful for high-end photographers.

He also claims that there is some special version of Disk Utility necessary, something I have yet to see in any other write-up. (http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/...ry-so-far.html) This strikes me as FUD. If there is a special version of Disk Utility in the new Mac Mini that tries to unify two drives, it's likely trying to create a Fusion drive, and he insists on trying to block that. Again, he doesn't seem to understand the point of the technology. He wants more control over where the data goes. That's fine, but defeating the purpose. Regardless, all of the write-ups on how to build your own Fusion Drive use the command line tools, so the Disk Utility issue is moot.

In short, a biased source gives a biased opinion of a technology that it's not clear he fully understands. Constrast this with Ars Technica, who wrote up a detailed explanation of how it works and how to implement it, and sourced Apple's technical information. http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/11...-fusion-drive/

Fusion is useful for people who plan to use their Mac the way it expects to be used, with a single drive. Using two drives successfully with a Mac usually takes some learning, since moving your User folder is not recommended, and many apps don't want to be installed anywhere but the main drive. The other author has a workflow that relies heavily on having two distinct, separate drives. Clearly, Fusion isn't going to work well for him in that case.

Last edited by SuperRob; Nov 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:30 AM   #55
Solos79
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Hello,

I'll be buying Mac Mini (Late 2012) in a few days. It'll be my first Mac ever. I'm planning to use it about 5 years, that's why I'm going to go with the strongest version - i7 2.6GHz. I'll upgrade RAM to 16GB myself - this is easy and does not void warranty.

Mac will be used at home for regular home usage - internet, movies, photos, streaming to TV etc. Currently I have PC with SSD, so I don't want to have pure HDD in Mac. It's not possible after having SSD if You know what I mean

I'm struggling between three options regarding storage:
1. Fusion Drive
2. 256 GB SSD Drive from Apple
3. Basic configuration from Apple regarding HDD (1TB 5400RPM) and adding SSD drive myself as a second drive (voids warranty unfortunately).

Ad.1. First option is the easiest and safest one. However I've read different opinions on forums from users using it. Moreover 128GB SSD doesn't seem to be enough. Currently I have 128GB SSD in my PC and I've got only 12GB free space (no unnecessary data on this drive).

Ad.2. Second option is ok for daily used data and seems to be big enough for the nearest future. However I lack big internal storage for data like photos, movies etc. I know I can take external USB 3.0 drive and have it there, but I wouldn't feel safe having all my photos just on one drive. In case of HDD fail, I loose all "memories". So I'd have to connect two external drives to have essential data on two disks. If I had internal HDD, the data would be there and I'd need to connect just one external HDD for backup.

Ad.3. Third option is the most preferable one except one thing - it voids warranty. I'd have to spend just a little more money than in option 2 (256GB SSD from Apple) and I could have twice as big SSD drive and 1TB Apple internal HDD. That's great value for money, but great disadvantage would be buying new computer and practically putting warranty to trash.

Moreover, SuperRob wrote:
Quote:
Fusion is useful for people who plan to use their Mac the way it expects to be used, with a single drive. Using two drives successfully with a Mac usually takes some learning, since moving your User folder is not recommended, and many apps don't want to be installed anywhere but the main drive.
As this will be my first Mac, maybe it would be best to buy Fusion Drive to learn and after guarantee - in two years, replace Fusion Drive with big SSD and internal HDD?

Please advice what You'd choose? I waited long time for this moment (buying a Mac) and since I'll probably won't change it in 5 years I'd like to go with the best option.

Best regards,
Solos
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Last edited by Solos79; Feb 6, 2013 at 12:54 AM.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:55 AM   #56
donlab
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Originally Posted by dasx View Post
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.
FUD - CoreStorage moves data at block level not file level. So you'll have little 4K blocks moving between tiers.

Bottom line, get a fusion drive its a fantastic upgrade. If block level intelligent tiering of data for performance boost is good enough for the enterprise (EMC's VMAX, VNX) or IBMs (SVC, DS8000, V7000) then you can benefit from it too. All those disk arrays listed have some form of intelligent tiering. EMC calls it FAST VP, IBM calls it Auto Tier. The algorithms vary from platform to platform. For example, Auto Tier only analyses the last 24hours of hot blocks of data and promotesto SSD. Fast VP is smarter And reacts to changing workloads in as little as 10 min. Apples's Fusion moves frequently used blocks around whenever the system is idle. More or less its all the same thing and its awesw to have this tech in the hands of the consumer. Just make sure to backup and backup often.

Last edited by donlab; Feb 6, 2013 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Add stuff
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 09:46 AM   #57
Fishrrman
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"3. Basic configuration from Apple regarding HDD (1TB 5400RPM) and adding SSD drive myself as a second drive (voids warranty unfortunately)."

You forgot option #4 -- buy your own SSD, buy an external USB3 enclosure, and use the SSD as your "external booter".

It won't be quite as fast as fusion or an internal SSD, but it will be "close enough" that you probably wouldn't notice the difference in day-to-day usage.

I use a plugable.com "lay-flat" USB3/SATA dock, and get read speeds of 410mbps and write speeds of 247+mbps.

An external dock or enclosure can be had for $30. Just set it in an out-of-the-way location on your desk, and you can enjoy SSD speeds withOUT opening the case and voiding your warranty.

My recommendations for USB3/SATA enclosures and docks:
http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/U32-M.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00APP6694?...SIN=B00APP6694

http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-Docki...SIN=B003UI62AG
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 10:28 AM   #58
motrek
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Originally Posted by Solos79 View Post
Hello,
... I'm struggling between three options regarding storage:
1. Fusion Drive
2. 256 GB SSD Drive from Apple
3. Basic configuration from Apple regarding HDD (1TB 5400RPM) and adding SSD drive myself as a second drive (voids warranty unfortunately).
...
Let's go option-by-option.

#1 (Fusion drive) You may think you use ~110GB of space on your PC's SSD but I can almost guarantee that you only use half or even just a quarter of that in a way that benefits from SSD speed. For example, do you have any music or video files on your SSD? I even keep all my photos on my hard drive since I don't notice that much of a difference. Also, operating systems and software tend to be full of files/data that you might never use, like translations into other languages. Basically I would expect a Fusion drive's 128GB of SSD to be enough for virtually anybody. Another factor is that Windows tends to take up much more space than OS X. My HTPC runs Windows 7 and even with minimal software installed it's somehow using 160GB for non-user files. Meanwhile I'm only using 45GB of space on my Mac's SSD and that's with several large software packages installed and all of my recent files for work.

#2 (Apple SSD) Nothing wrong with this except that it's overpriced. If you're worried about keeping your photos on one single [external] drive, I don't see how that problem only applies to this setup. If you have a Fusion drive, your photos will still end up on one drive that's susceptible to hardware failure. Basically you should do regular backups regardless of which storage option you choose. Just buy a small external drive (< $100) and plug it in once a week and let Time Machine (or SuperDuper!, etc.) do its thing.

#3 (Adding an SSD yourself) I will echo what another poster already said. If you are worried about voiding the warranty then just use an external USB 3 enclosure. I'm currently using a $15 enclosure and it works perfectly. Unless you buy an SSD that's big enough to store all your data, you will have to learn how to manage your files so the SSD doesn't get full. (This applies to option #2 also.) It isn't too hard but it's obviously more straightforward to have just one drive.

Basically my advice is to get the Fusion drive. It will be fast and you won't have to worry about managing your files. If you are more of a do-it-yourself type though, you can save some money by buying your own SSD and USB 3 enclosure and using that. (There is even a way to get OS X to create a Fusion drive using the internal HD and external SSD, but personally it's too "hacky" for my taste. I don't need the potential headache of an unsupported storage configuration.)
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 05:36 AM   #59
benwiggy
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It's funny how some people still don't "get" Fusion drives.

CoreStorage moves file BLOCKS between the disks -- while keeping the same file and folder structure.
So if you have some data that needs to be in a particular location and folder structure (like the iPhoto Library), but you only use some of that data regularly, then the sub-file blocks can be moved to the SSD or HDD as appropriate.

In short: you can store your files as you want, and the Fusion drive will optimize which physical device they are on FAR BETTER than you ever can. It's nothing to do with "not having control of where I put my files". And you don't have to faff about with sym links.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 06:19 AM   #60
Mike in Kansas
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FusionDrive is to a file system like Aperture is to image management. In Aperture, you set up your Library organized the way you want it to look, and then Aperture manages where the master images and versions are actually stored. You don't go mucking around in the file system trying to find them - you just access them through the interface. If you want to separate you master images out from your Library, Aperture can do that but to you, everything looks exactly like it did before, and you still get to those images the same way.

In FusionDrive, you set up your file system the way you want, and FusionDrive manages the physical location of the blocks of data that make up your OS, programs, music, pictures, caches, etc. It then continually moves those blocks around to reflect what programs, documents, music, images, etc. that you use the most, so you get an SSD-like experience the majority of the time. No need to keep some files on your SSD and others on the HDD; FusionDrive manages that.

On various photography forums I frequent, there is a segment of the population that just can't relinquish "control of their images" to a program like Aperture; they must be able to access masters AND versions from the Finder at all times. THEY decide the directory structure of where everything goes. I imagine that there is a segment of the population that will not relinquish control of where their apps, documents, caches, etc. are stored on the block level. FusionDrive is not for them.

And there are others who truly will not benefit from FusionDrive as much as the majority of the computing population. Those that work with massive files or do large imports routinely; although I bet they could still benefit from a FD "boot drive" with additional TB or USB drives for their transfer and storage concerns. But I don't have enough first-hand experience in their types of usage to firmly take that position. There ARE good reasons to NOT use FD; however most of the reasons given are NOT good.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 11:17 AM   #61
motrek
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
...
In FusionDrive, you set up your file system the way you want, and FusionDrive manages the physical location of the blocks of data that make up your OS, programs, music, pictures, caches, etc. It then continually moves those blocks around to reflect what programs, documents, music, images, etc. that you use the most, so you get an SSD-like experience the majority of the time. No need to keep some files on your SSD and others on the HDD; FusionDrive manages that. ...
From my posts you can obviously tell that I'm in favor of Fusion drive as a worthwhile upgrade for almost everybody and I would probably have got it myself if it cost closer to $100 than $250. As is, I already had an SSD from my last computer so I saved the $250 and just threw the SSD in an external enclosure. But it would be nice to just have one giant logical volume and not have to manage files. If nothing else it would make backing up my computer simpler.

But I do wonder sometimes why Apple decided to go with tiered storage instead of just using the SSD as a cache. The difference in space between 1GB and 1.1GB isn't that significant. And if the SSD was used as a simple cache you'd basically never run into these situations where you write 4+ GB of data to the drive and then further writes are limited to HD speed for the next half hour or whatever. 4GB is the size of a single-sided DVD. I can think of several very real-world situations where I write much more than that to my drive at a time. Also, you'd avoid the situation where you have to access infrequently used files 2-3 times before they're promoted to the SSD... I do occasionally access old coding projects for work. I admit that I access them from my hard drive right now and it works fine, but if I did have a merged HD+SSD setup that was being managed by the OS, I would like for the project to be loaded onto the SSD as soon as I started accessing it.

Eh, my theory is that Apple went with tiering only because it's somewhat different than what PCs/Intel are doing with SSD caching in firmware.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 11:40 AM   #62
philipma1957
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
From my posts you can obviously tell that I'm in favor of Fusion drive as a worthwhile upgrade for almost everybody and I would probably have got it myself if it cost closer to $100 than $250. As is, I already had an SSD from my last computer so I saved the $250 and just threw the SSD in an external enclosure. But it would be nice to just have one giant logical volume and not have to manage files. If nothing else it would make backing up my computer simpler.

But I do wonder sometimes why Apple decided to go with tiered storage instead of just using the SSD as a cache. The difference in space between 1GB and 1.1GB isn't that significant. And if the SSD was used as a simple cache you'd basically never run into these situations where you write 4+ GB of data to the drive and then further writes are limited to HD speed for the next half hour or whatever. 4GB is the size of a single-sided DVD. I can think of several very real-world situations where I write much more than that to my drive at a time. Also, you'd avoid the situation where you have to access infrequently used files 2-3 times before they're promoted to the SSD... I do occasionally access old coding projects for work. I admit that I access them from my hard drive right now and it works fine, but if I did have a merged HD+SSD setup that was being managed by the OS, I would like for the project to be loaded onto the SSD as soon as I started accessing it.

Eh, my theory is that Apple went with tiering only because it's somewhat different than what PCs/Intel are doing with SSD caching in firmware.
APPLE'S SYSTEM of fusion is better then windows cache setups. I bog down on the small ssd size. I can buy a samsung 256gb ssd for 150 on a sale. I can get a 128gb for 80 on a sale. Apple can get a far better price. Why not skip the 128gb option and go right to 256gb.

I know pc/mac sellers must have planned obsolescence and the 128gb ssd in fusion will cause it to happen quickly. It really does come down to that. If apple offered a 256gb ssd with a 500gb in the base model and a 512gb with a 1tb in the mid model the machine would last 1 to 2 years longer. Pc/mac seller's do not want owners to hold a machine for 3 to 5 years.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 12:04 PM   #63
motrek
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Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
APPLE'S SYSTEM of fusion is better then windows cache setups. ...
The only advantage of Fusion drive over an SSD cache is that you can use the combined drive space to store data. But with Apple's current Fusion drive sizes (1TB + 128GB) I don't see that as a meaningful advantage. I'd much rather have a cache drive system.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:15 PM   #64
Mike in Kansas
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Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
APPLE'S SYSTEM of fusion is better then windows cache setups. I bog down on the small ssd size.
I think a lot of it is getting your head around what is actually stored on the SSD. If you think traditionally, you think of things such as programs, files, libraries. You can easily see how fast a 128GB SSD can get filled up with those things. However, if you look at it more granularly, I think you can get a lot more often-used blocks of data on an SSD than most realize.

Think of it this way - you have a glass and you want to fill it. It you try filling it with large rocks (i.e. files and programs) you will still have a lot of unused space left in it due to the discrete size of the blocks but you won't be able to get any more rocks into it. However, if you fill it with sand (blocks), you'll get a lot more mass in there as the sand particles are smaller, even though they have the same density as rocks.

That's how I see FusionDrive. I know that when I was using my SSD in a traditional self-managed SSD/HDD set-up, I had to put my entire Applications, Developer, Library & System FOLDERS on there. We're talking FOLDERS, not even files. I knew that I had quite a few applications that I used maybe once a year, but all of its associated files, preferences, libraries, etc. all had to be on my SSD all of the time. I have Adobe Creative Suite CS5 with all its programs and libraries taking up gigs and gigs of space, yet I only use 10% of its capability routinely. I have a 100GB Aperture Library on my SSD, yet only use less than 5% of it routinely. But I need to keep the entire Library on the SSD to ensure SSD speed, and I don't like having Applications anywhere else but the Applications folder.

Once you get out of the paradigm of thinking of storage in terms of applications or files, and begin thinking about it in terms of blocks, 128GB is a LOT larger!

You've built these systems yourself - have you compared the real-world performance of a 128BG SSD paired with your 500GB HDD, and your 256GB SSD paired with your 500GB HDD? Or did you just go for the 256/500 combo? I know Anandtech's recent article spoke a lot about SSD to HDD ratio, and some of his tests were quite aggressive. I was wondering if the performance difference is noticed in practice.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:31 PM   #65
motrek
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
I think a lot of it is getting your head around what is actually stored on the SSD. If you think traditionally, you think of things such as programs, files, libraries. You can easily see how fast a 128GB SSD can get filled up with those things. However, if you look at it more granularly, I think you can get a lot more often-used blocks of data on an SSD than most realize.
...
+1

I use an application called "Disk Inventory X" that shows me how much space files and directories are taking up so I can better manage my SSD space. It would probably shock most people to know how many files they rarely use, or literally never use. I have gigabytes of documentation files that I've literally never looked at once. Likewise with Photoshop clip art and sample files, files for speech synthesis in OS X, a firmware update for my iPhone that I've already installed but iTunes is saving on my SSD anyway for some unknown reason, etc.

I bet if you swapped my 128GB SSD for a 32GB SSD that acted as a cache drive, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:43 PM   #66
Mike in Kansas
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
+1

I use an application called "Disk Inventory X" that shows me how much space files and directories are taking up so I can better manage my SSD space.
I have used that as well for the same purpose. I have just started using DaisyDisk. It costs $10 while Disk Inventory X is free, but what I like about DaisyDisk is that you can go down into folders level by level, and at each level the visual contents of the folder are expanded. With Disk Inventory X, ALL the visual contents of your disk is all on 1 level, and although you can dive down into the directory structure on the sidebar, looking at some of the detail can get difficult (unless I am missing a feature), especially if you have a large disk.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 04:36 PM   #67
philipma1957
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
I think a lot of it is getting your head around what is actually stored on the SSD. If you think traditionally, you think of things such as programs, files, libraries. You can easily see how fast a 128GB SSD can get filled up with those things. However, if you look at it more granularly, I think you can get a lot more often-used blocks of data on an SSD than most realize.

Think of it this way - you have a glass and you want to fill it. It you try filling it with large rocks (i.e. files and programs) you will still have a lot of unused space left in it due to the discrete size of the blocks but you won't be able to get any more rocks into it. However, if you fill it with sand (blocks), you'll get a lot more mass in there as the sand particles are smaller, even though they have the same density as rocks.

That's how I see FusionDrive. I know that when I was using my SSD in a traditional self-managed SSD/HDD set-up, I had to put my entire Applications, Developer, Library & System FOLDERS on there. We're talking FOLDERS, not even files. I knew that I had quite a few applications that I used maybe once a year, but all of its associated files, preferences, libraries, etc. all had to be on my SSD all of the time. I have Adobe Creative Suite CS5 with all its programs and libraries taking up gigs and gigs of space, yet I only use 10% of its capability routinely. I have a 100GB Aperture Library on my SSD, yet only use less than 5% of it routinely. But I need to keep the entire Library on the SSD to ensure SSD speed, and I don't like having Applications anywhere else but the Applications folder.

Once you get out of the paradigm of thinking of storage in terms of applications or files, and begin thinking about it in terms of blocks, 128GB is a LOT larger!

You've built these systems yourself - have you compared the real-world performance of a 128BG SSD paired with your 500GB HDD, and your 256GB SSD paired with your 500GB HDD? Or did you just go for the 256/500 combo? I know Anandtech's recent article spoke a lot about SSD to HDD ratio, and some of his tests were quite aggressive. I was wondering if the performance difference is noticed in practice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by motrek View Post
+1

I use an application called "Disk Inventory X" that shows me how much space files and directories are taking up so I can better manage my SSD space. It would probably shock most people to know how many files they rarely use, or literally never use. I have gigabytes of documentation files that I've literally never looked at once. Likewise with Photoshop clip art and sample files, files for speech synthesis in OS X, a firmware update for my iPhone that I've already installed but iTunes is saving on my SSD anyway for some unknown reason, etc.

I bet if you swapped my 128GB SSD for a 32GB SSD that acted as a cache drive, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
I have used that as well for the same purpose. I have just started using DaisyDisk. It costs $10 while Disk Inventory X is free, but what I like about DaisyDisk is that you can go down into folders level by level, and at each level the visual contents of the folder are expanded. With Disk Inventory X, ALL the visual contents of your disk is all on 1 level, and although you can dive down into the directory structure on the sidebar, looking at some of the detail can get difficult (unless I am missing a feature), especially if you have a large disk.


It is simple enough if you do any large import to the 1tb + 128gb ssd = fusion while attempting other work you can clog the ssd part of the fusion.

The 256gb ssd and or the 512gb gives over head and allows for a more mindless file management.

I copied a 200gb itunes library and 360gb of eyetv while using the king sized fusion 500gb ssd + 1tb hdd as my booter to watch Weeds and b.s. on the net with 0 issues. No fuss no muss. do this with a 128gb ssd + 1tb fusion you will get beach balls.

Zero file maintenance has value to many users.


granted I still have to manage files due to the video I record each week. I do 30 hours of 1080i in eyetv comes to 270-300gb a week I need to off load it from the fusion drive every 2-3 weeks. but I just copy it all to a large raid one click and drag and i am done.

Last edited by philipma1957; Feb 12, 2013 at 07:00 AM.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 04:51 PM   #68
motrek
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Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
It is simple enough if you do any large import to the 1tb + 128gb ssd = fusion while attempting other work you can clog the ssd part of the fusion.
...
I copied a 200gb itunes library and 360gb of eyetv while using the king sized fusion 500gb ssd + 1tb hdd as my booter to watch Weeds and b.s. on the net with 0 issues. No fuss no muss. do this with a 128gb ssd + 1tb fusion you will get beach balls. ...
The Fusion drive software tries to keep 4GB free on the SSD at all times for writes. To my knowledge this amount doesn't change based on the size of the SSD, but let's say for the sake of argument that a 500GB SSD Fusion drive would keep 16GB free for writes.

Basically, if you write 200GB to a Fusion drive, it will get "clogged" regardless of how big your SSD is. (200GB is obviously so much bigger than either 4GB or 16GB that it doesn't make any practical difference.)

But it being "clogged" doesn't necessarily mean you will start seeing beach balls. Certainly writing new files will be at hard drive speeds, but reads and writes to existing files will stay at the same speeds as usual.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:49 AM   #69
Mike in Kansas
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Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
granted I stillhave to manage files due to the video I record each week. I do 30 hours of 1080i in eyetv comes to 270-300gb a week I need to off load it from the fusion drive every 2-3 weeks. but I just copy it all to a large raid one click and drag and i am done.
So you are doing over a TB a month. How many months do you keep around? How bid is your RAID??
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:52 PM   #70
aptasia
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I've been using a 4 year old mac laptop and need to upgrade. I want to buy the imac but can't afford both the fusion drive and the 16gb memory upgrade. If I primarily use photoshop for photo editing, some other graphic design software, and music editing software which would be most beneficial?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:16 PM   #71
CyAnMan
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I gambled and ordered the 1Tb fusion with my Quad i7 (2.6Ghz) Macmini in late November 2012. The gamble has paid off, as it still runs snappy and photoshop CS6 launches in 1.5 secs flat.

iPhoto is still slow to load (although not as slow as my previous system), but that's because my library is nearly 300GB in size. Other then that, copying files, launching apps, etc, are very quick. The fusion drive approach is a good deal for me to bridge the gap between cheap HD's and expensive higher capacity SSD's.

I think this stop-gap measure that Apple has provided has been a viable solution for my needs.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:53 AM   #72
mim
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Will post here for anyone still considering Fusion or not.

Summary:
- have an old 1,1 macpro with older internal 7,200rpm drives
- now have MacBook Air that does most tasks day to day
- needed a 'home server' for photos/video/music/email archive ... basically everything that is too big to carry on the Air all the time (nas isn't suitable).

- I bought the mini Server, which comes with 2 x 1TB 4,200rpm drives. I put 16Gb ram in.

- loading big photo and music libraries was painful. I have had a series of MacBooks/etc so though I knew what to expect with the smaller slower drives. For big libraries it just won't cut it.

- returned it for a Fusion drive version, even though is more expensive for less storage. Couldn't be happier. The difference is night and day.

- will deal with the limited storage, and wait for TB enclosures price drops, and create large external Fusion drive in a year or two.

- a few months without beer and pub will make up the expense and help me lose some weight.

- it's the right choice, do it.

Mim

edit: sorry, the point of mentioning the Mac Pro was to point out that it's served as a great workstation for 6 years now. The non-fusion drive mac mini isn't up to par with this old beast, and there's no way I could have imagined it being useful for as much time as the Pro has been, without the headaches of moving the system, boot drive, and main storage over to a fast external drive - which is just a damn hassle.

Last edited by mim; Feb 12, 2013 at 02:51 AM.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:06 AM   #73
philipma1957
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
So you are doing over a TB a month. How many months do you keep around? How bid is your RAID??
I have a promise pegasus r6 it has

a 3x 3tb raid0 = 9tb I go to 6tb or so . I do delete recordings once a month or so. before I copy to the 8tb raid0

a 2x 4tb raid0 = 8tb I copy the 6tb from above to this

the 6th drive is a 4tb time machine.

I pull out the tm once a week and clone the 1.5 tb fusion to spare tray with a 2tb hdd.

I have 2 of these that I flip flop.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:51 AM   #74
yegon
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I couldn't be bothered creating my own fusion drive equivalent so bought the 1tb Fusion with my 2012 mini. Very pleased with it, extremely fast operation of everything, much like my mba which is purely ssd. Bunged 16gb of Crucial ram in there for peanuts, and it's a beast. Have a PC for games so the lack of gpu umph doesn't concern me in the slightest. An excellent buy, I just wish Apple would get on with and release the next TB Display!
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 05:21 PM   #75
motrek
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Originally Posted by aptasia View Post
I've been using a 4 year old mac laptop and need to upgrade. I want to buy the imac but can't afford both the fusion drive and the 16gb memory upgrade. If I primarily use photoshop for photo editing, some other graphic design software, and music editing software which would be most beneficial?
Definitely get the Fusion drive, no question about it. If a computer runs out of RAM it will use part of the hard drive as "virtual memory." This is often unacceptably slow with a normal hard drive because they are terrible at accessing random data, but with an SSD (or Fusion drive) it isn't that bad at all. So you can think of the Fusion drive as a poor man's RAM upgrade in addition to giving you SSD-level disk access speeds.

But frankly, even the base model iMac's 8GB of RAM sounds like it will probably be enough for you. Most people who need more memory than that are keenly aware of their memory requirements. I know everybody is excited about 16GB of RAM these days because it costs less than $100 but it's still a huge and usually unnecessary amount of memory. Remember that 8GB is basically still the standard amount of RAM in a *MAC PRO*.
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