Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > iMac

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Feb 2, 2013, 04:46 AM   #1
Jacamar
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Alternative to Fusion Drive

Hi,

Just signed up to MacRumours so this is my first post here.

I'm about to buy a 27" iMac which I'll use mainly for photo editing. This will be my first Apple machine as I look to move away from Windows. I was interested in the speed gain from having the fusion drive (FD) option but have also read the pros and cons with this Apple option such as the use of different terminals so that any replacement will have to be done through Apple. The other downside with going for the FD is that any upgrade options chosen means you have to order online. Apparently the iMac is sourced in Holland, sent to Ireland to have the upgrades done and then dispatched to my home in the UK taking 3 to 4 weeks!

So I was wondering about using a Thunderbolt external SSD (probably 128Gb, same as FD) to intall my regular programs on such as Photoshop, Topaz and the like and also store the large RAW photo files that I work with. I don't feel confident about installing the whole OS on the SSD but surely the iMac comes with a reasonable sized memory cache so working on my photos should be almost the same as having the fusion drive with lightning read and write speeds?

Does this sound plausible?

I know the standard iMac will take a whole minute to boot up instead of 20 seconds with the FD but starting up the machine once a day I can sacrifice 40 seconds! By using an external SSD instead of the FD I can go into my local Apple store today and buy a standard iMac without having to wait a month. The FD option costs 200 ($320) in the UK so I can save money buying my SSD from Amazon too.

Would be interested in anybody's views on my suggestion.

Thanks.
Jacamar is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 04:56 AM   #2
OllyW
Moderator
 
OllyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The Black Country, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacamar View Post
The FD option costs 200 ($320) in the UK so I can save money buying my SSD from Amazon too.
A 120GB SSD Thunderbolt drive is also going to cost you around 200 so I'm not sure how you are saving money?
__________________
Some Apple stuff
Some other stuff
https://soundcloud.com/disco-tramps
OllyW is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 05:07 AM   #3
Jacamar
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
You may be right Olly that I might not save any, but probably won't cost me any more either. BTW I have seen one for 144 on the net (BUFFALO MiniStation Thunderbolt 128 GB External SSD) and I would still avoid the 4 week delay for my iMac.

However, my main ask here is on the technical front. Is my suggestion valid that using Photoshop installed on a SSD with the data files also residing there, this would function as quick as with the Apple fusion drive?

Thanks
Jacamar is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 05:11 AM   #4
OllyW
Moderator
 
OllyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The Black Country, England
That is cheap.

Sorry I can't help with the technical question as I'm running a fusion drive in my new mini.
__________________
Some Apple stuff
Some other stuff
https://soundcloud.com/disco-tramps
OllyW is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 05:32 AM   #5
JustMartin
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: UK
Can't see any reason why that wouldn't work. You will spend some time transferring photos from SSD to hard disk and the other way, but if your work pattern is to process and 'forget', then it won't be too onerous.
JustMartin is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 05:48 AM   #6
harlex
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Jacamar,
Your source of information remains some what misguided. 3 - 4 weeks is about right remember this is counted as working days not weekends, I ordered a 27 inch iMac with Fusuion and this is now waiting for delivery by UPS. IT does not go anywhere for the built to order fittings, It is made in China and delivered to wherever you ordered it from.

I have tracked the iMac from China through to the UK. You will spend a lot of money on the iMac BTO and why not incorporate the best you can afford, you can add a thunderbolt hdd later for backing up your pictures.
Anyway you always should backup on Time Machine and in this case I use the Western Digital. When I said I use it this was when I had my previous iMac.

Last edited by harlex; Feb 2, 2013 at 07:41 AM.
harlex is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 11:01 AM   #7
WizardHunt
macrumors Demi-God
 
WizardHunt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacamar View Post
Hi,

Just signed up to MacRumours so this is my first post here.

I'm about to buy a 27" iMac which I'll use mainly for photo editing. This will be my first Apple machine as I look to move away from Windows. I was interested in the speed gain from having the fusion drive (FD) option but have also read the pros and cons with this Apple option such as the use of different terminals so that any replacement will have to be done through Apple. The other downside with going for the FD is that any upgrade options chosen means you have to order online. Apparently the iMac is sourced in Holland, sent to Ireland to have the upgrades done and then dispatched to my home in the UK taking 3 to 4 weeks!

So I was wondering about using a Thunderbolt external SSD (probably 128Gb, same as FD) to intall my regular programs on such as Photoshop, Topaz and the like and also store the large RAW photo files that I work with. I don't feel confident about installing the whole OS on the SSD but surely the iMac comes with a reasonable sized memory cache so working on my photos should be almost the same as having the fusion drive with lightning read and write speeds?

Does this sound plausible?

I know the standard iMac will take a whole minute to boot up instead of 20 seconds with the FD but starting up the machine once a day I can sacrifice 40 seconds! By using an external SSD instead of the FD I can go into my local Apple store today and buy a standard iMac without having to wait a month. The FD option costs 200 ($320) in the UK so I can save money buying my SSD from Amazon too.

Would be interested in anybody's views on my suggestion.

Thanks.
if you get this to work successfully please reply here exactly how you did it and set it up as I may want to do the same thing.
__________________
ordered iPhone 6 Plus 128GB Sep 12th: 2:14 am PST Gold w/Apple Care & iPhone 6 Plus Space Grey 128GB
WizardHunt is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 11:26 AM   #8
sam3020
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacamar View Post
You may be right Olly that I might not save any, but probably won't cost me any more either. BTW I have seen one for 144 on the net (BUFFALO MiniStation Thunderbolt 128 GB External SSD) and I would still avoid the 4 week delay for my iMac.

However, my main ask here is on the technical front. Is my suggestion valid that using Photoshop installed on a SSD with the data files also residing there, this would function as quick as with the Apple fusion drive?

Thanks
Please tell me where you found this for 144. I want one
__________________
Macbook Pro Retina, 2.4ghz, 256gb, 8gb ram
Apple iPhone 5s 32gb Gold
iPad Mini retina 32gb
sam3020 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > iMac

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WDBlack2 Fusion Drive Alternative? SpinalTap Mac mini 7 Mar 3, 2014 01:26 PM
Haswell iMac - Fusion drive or No Fusion drive? NbinHD iMac 14 Sep 24, 2013 02:00 PM
VMware Fusion 4 and Fusion Drive Kilamite Mac Applications and Mac App Store 0 Apr 24, 2013 04:54 AM
Going from a rig with 7200 drive, will the 5400 side of a Fusion drive annoy me? Whackintosh iMac 9 Feb 25, 2013 04:46 PM
27in 2011 iMac Fusion Drive & removing optical drive ZMacintosh iMac 1 Jan 21, 2013 11:24 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:01 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC