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Old Nov 7, 2012, 12:56 AM   #26
cocacolakid
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Originally Posted by StevenT42 View Post
Yes, I saw a teardown that showed the 128 gig SSD in a 2.5-inch form factor. Then there will also be the 1TB drive.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/11...-fusion-drive/
That is an awesome link. Thank you. The Xbench results of the Fusion Drive are very impressive, about the exact same as my Samsung 830 128 GB in my 2011 mini, so there is no drop off in performance. I'm definitely going to do the Fusion Drive mod on both my 2011 mini and my 2012 MBP.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 03:42 AM   #27
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Target disk and fusion drive

Booting a new 2.6 mini with fusion drive into target disk mode has been causing me a few problems.

I've tried this in four different ways. With thunderbolt or fw800 cable direct or via a TB Display. At the other end a 2011 mbp with the latest version of 10.8.2.

The first time (tb via tbd) everything seemed to be okay and I used Superduper to take a backup. This backup image weighed in at 12gb which is about double what it normally uses but at least it took only 7 minutes to create.

Subsequent target disk boots all had this same result: The drive wouldn't mount and activity monitor's floating cpu window would immediately show one thread maxing out although in the activity window no processes could be seen using much cpu. Nothing would stop this short of a reboot. When a reboot or a shutdown was started the mbp would hang. Only through terminal-diskutil would I be able to 'see' the drive was really there when connected.

I then nuked and paved the mbp to see if I could recreate the good first attempt but exactly the same problem came up from the off.

I then updated osx on the mini using the new supplemental update specifically for the 2012 mini without any noticeable change to behaviour.

I restored the initial backup to an external drive, connected it to the mini and used it as a boot disk. A bit slower but it worked fine. Until Apple releases a new version of osx on the appstore I'm a bit reluctant to test restoring the backup to the fusion drive for fear of a dead end.

I heard that an Apple engineer stated they had done some firmware tricks which may or may not affect DIY (con)fusion drive setups. Most people seem to be saying this works at the block level but I can't help wondering if they wouldn't have had more reasons to go for a file level solution. If anyone can expand on these points or share their experiences with target disk mode it would certainly be great to know more.

I find that Apple has hardly any in depth information, either on fusion drive or on coreStorage in their developer documentation, which is disappointing even if par for the course these days.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:51 AM   #28
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Just received mine today, quad 2.6, 4GB RAM and Fusion Drive.

Boot in 10s onto the desktop.

That's faster than my Mac Pro 2006 with Crucial M4 SSD.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 07:20 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Columbian View Post
The most helpful article I've read so far. Yet, questions remain. Do backup programs other than TM work well with the FD? How about Parallels? (E.g., what happens if Core Storage decides to move chunks of the virtual machine? Is that transparent to the VM's OS? This may be a stupid question; I assume the VM lives inside the OS X and interacts with it rather than directly with the drive, but I don't know that and would like a definitive answer.) Does the system move the free 4GB block around to equalize the number of writes?
Like Filevault2, this is completely invisible to any software running on your Mac, including Parallels. Bootcamp is different, because that is a whole separate operating system.

It is not quite clear at the moment whether Fusion will optimise Parallels virtual hard drives as well; there is a good chance that it might. One thing to remember is that Fusion will decide which files _actually_ give the greatest speed advantage by being on the SSD drive; it doesn't care what the user _believes_ or _wants_. So you might _want_ a virtual machine file on your SSD just in case you ever use it in the next two years; Fusion however will decide whether that gains you anything or actually just wastes space.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 07:28 AM   #30
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Read the articles on Ars Technica. They're going into the Fusion Drive in great detail in a series of posts. I have one and it's something you don't have to think about. I was worried about having to figure out what to put on the SSD, but with Fusion the computer does it for you.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 07:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by madmin View Post
I heard that an Apple engineer stated they had done some firmware tricks which may or may not affect DIY (con)fusion drive setups. Most people seem to be saying this works at the block level but I can't help wondering if they wouldn't have had more reasons to go for a file level solution. If anyone can expand on these points or share their experiences with target disk mode it would certainly be great to know more.
A file level solution is actually not possible without major changes in the operating system.

Let's say you have a file containing 1000 blocks of data. The operating system obviously records where the file is, say "block 13,487,934 to 13,488,933". That would be the easiest case, where the file is stored in consecutive blocks. But most of the time that doesn't happen, so the operating system might now that the file is at "600 blocks 13,487,934 to 13,488,533, plus 400 blocks 9,123,492 to 9,123,891". A lower level then knows about the partitions of your hard drive. If that whole filesystem is on the second partition of your hard drive, for example, that lower level knows the partition starts at block 300,000,000 and adds 300,000,000 to any block number that it is told to read or write for that partition.

Now comes fusion: It combines two volumes into one partition at the lower level. So when that lower software level is told to read or write data by block number, it checks where that block is, and reads/writes either the SSD or the hard drive. To the upper levels of the file system, this is entirely invisible. The upper level of the file system doesn't know and need not know about this for everything to work correctly. Now if you have a file that uses more than one range of blocks, some of these can be on the SSD, some on the HD, and it doesn't matter at all. It is actually possible that one range of blocks is split half between SSD and HD, and even that works just fine.

The other thing that fusion does is that it decides what kind of blocks are better for a file or for part of a file. So it says "I've been reading the first ten blocks of this file quite a lot, so these blocks should be on the SSD drive" and then moves them, and records where they were moved.

Doing this on the file level only would be difficult. Let's say I have a few big files on the SSD. Then I add more data to each of them until the SSD is absolutely full. Then I add some more data. With fusion, no problem. There is plenty of free space on the HD, so that data goes to the HD (Fusion may rearrange things later, but at the moment it is fine on the HD). If Fusion worked exclusively on a file level, then this wouldn't be possible. This might be a 10 GB file, you add a block, and Fusion would have to copy the whole 10 GB to the hard drive right then. Instead, it just puts a few blocks into a different place, which is something the OS has been doing just fine for the last twenty+ years.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by cocacolakid View Post
That is an awesome link. Thank you. The Xbench results of the Fusion Drive are very impressive, about the exact same as my Samsung 830 128 GB in my 2011 mini, so there is no drop off in performance. I'm definitely going to do the Fusion Drive mod on both my 2011 mini and my 2012 MBP.
Just saying: Benchmarks for this kind of thing are really, really difficult to do properly. Benchmarks usually repeat the same test all over, and then of course Fusion will look very good (but then users often do the same things all over, so Fusion works well for them). Or the benchmark writer notices this and says "well, the benchmark looked good, but that was because I read and wrote 10 GB of data only, so I do the same thing with 200 GB". The benchmark slows down, but maybe because it is doing things that _you_ don't do.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 03:50 PM   #32
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I have been reading dozens upon dozens of articles/posts/etc re: fusion drive. Here's what I want to know, in terms of real world performance:

How does the 3TB fusion drive perform compared to a 256 GB SSD + internal 7200 2TB HDD?
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:09 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by teohyc View Post
Just received mine today, quad 2.6, 4GB RAM and Fusion Drive.

Boot in 10s onto the desktop.

That's faster than my Mac Pro 2006 with Crucial M4 SSD.
Mine arrived today as well. Same config as you. Ram arrives on Tuesday. Heading home to set it up.

Last edited by Macclone; Dec 14, 2012 at 05:20 PM.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:38 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by lamerica80 View Post
Good point, i agree the fusion drive is the best option for all women out there since they wont have to think in order to use it and it would free up time for us.
With that attitude I imagine that you don't have to put up with women bothering you...
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:41 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
If it's a question of choices between:
1. Fusion drive (1tb HDD + 128gb SSD), or…
2. 256gb SSD + 1tb internal (assuming you would get this combo)…

Choice #2 wins, hands down.

Is it really that much of a problem to keep one extra drive icon on your desktop, and to manage files between the two volumes?

Another thought:
The word is that future versions of Disk Utility will give the user the power to "fuse" two separate drives into one. If you're willing to use the command line of Terminal, you can do this now. So, if you order choice #2, you can create your own "fusion drive" that will be larger and faster than Apple's factory configuration...

Exactly. #2 wins hands down.

Apple charges $250 for their 1TB fusion drive (128GB SSD/1TB disk drive).

You could create your own for much less. Just some prices from Amazon.

Samsung 840 120 GB= $98
Samsung 840 250 GB= $150
Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB= $142
Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB= $268

If you used the stock drive, you could have a fusion drive for ~$100 instead of $250. If you didn't want to use the stock 1TB drive, you could by another for $80.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:45 PM   #36
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But a 128SSD + 1TB HDD

IS different than a

128 Fusion + 1TB HDD

From things I've read (don't remember if it was the Ars Tech. article or not), the fusion always tries to keep 4GB free, so that if you're doing anything that's 4GB or less (I imagine an aperture import, for example), you'll get SSD-like speeds .... Whereas with a 128 SSD drive, or 256, or frankly 512, when it's filled, it's filled.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 05:21 PM   #37
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New Mini with Fusion is freaking awesome. FAST!
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 05:22 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eroxx View Post
But a 128SSD + 1TB HDD

IS different than a

128 Fusion + 1TB HDD

From things I've read (don't remember if it was the Ars Tech. article or not), the fusion always tries to keep 4GB free, so that if you're doing anything that's 4GB or less (I imagine an aperture import, for example), you'll get SSD-like speeds .... Whereas with a 128 SSD drive, or 256, or frankly 512, when it's filled, it's filled.
You can fuse them when you do the disk management and install OSX to the SSD. At least that is what I have read. Can do the Fusion in terminal. "Fusion" is just a OS thing. That is what I have read.

http://apple.stackexchange.com/quest...e-volume-group
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 05:33 PM   #39
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Yeah .. I'm one of those people that just doesn't want to mess around in terminal.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 07:18 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by eroxx View Post
Yeah .. I'm one of those people that just doesn't want to mess around in terminal.
I created my own fusion drive on my mac mini using this:

http://www.macworld.com/article/2014...ion-drive.html

It couldn't have been easier. I tried to do it through disk utility but I just couldn't get it to see my ssd & hdd as 'broken' and trust me... I tried.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:07 PM   #41
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My Mini Late 2012, has the Apple Fusion drive set up, very happy as I'm only a casual user for now, I'm not interested where the files go, and as long as the Time machine back up works to my NAS,
very impressed with the speeds so far, (it's my 1st Mac) so I can't really be a judge.

if you really want to manually move files around go for option 2.

BUT remember that some of the Fusion drives came with only 34 GB of storage showing up!!! I had to do a back up then erase the Hard disc, then restore from back up to get the 1 TB capacity, I wonder if that has been fixed with the later release?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...7#post16298377
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 01:48 PM   #42
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Let me ask a bit of a different question:

How does the speed of an EXTERNAL SSD (usb 3 or thunderbolt) compare with an internal SSD
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 02:07 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by xlii View Post
I created my own fusion drive on my mac mini using this:

http://www.macworld.com/article/2014...ion-drive.html

It couldn't have been easier. I tried to do it through disk utility but I just couldn't get it to see my ssd & hdd as 'broken' and trust me... I tried.
What write speed's are you experiencing using this method?
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 02:36 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by eroxx View Post
Let me ask a bit of a different question:

How does the speed of an EXTERNAL SSD (usb 3 or thunderbolt) compare with an internal SSD
Check out this thread:http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1483374
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 02:38 PM   #45
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If you work on more than one location, two seperate volumes is preferred.
I have the SSD contain all OSX and application stuff.
The 1Tb contains all my professional work files, AND a Time-Machine backup of the SSD. So if there goes anything wrong, I just can restore the boot drive directly.
The work-files HD volume is synced to a external HD with Synkron, and synced again at home against my home computer (PC in my case). This allows all machines to work on the files, and Synkron makes sure everyone has all latest files all the time. This is impossible with Timemachine (it does not work on more than one machine, it does not work cross platform).
Next to the SSD, i also run a 4Gb RAM drive for even faster access speed to some apps (photoshop f.e.).
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 01:40 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Mojo1 View Post
With that attitude I imagine that you don't have to put up with women bothering you...

My answer was a sarcastic remark to a previous poster who was annoyed with having to teach his wife how to transfer data all the time.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:11 PM   #47
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If anyone is curious, I went Fusion drive and have been very happy with it. Booting time is insanely fast and performance never seems to have a hiccup. I'm glad I went with it - ease and minimizing time invested were important to me as well.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:11 AM   #48
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Fusion upgrade well worth it

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If anyone is curious, I went Fusion drive and have been very happy with it. Booting time is insanely fast and performance never seems to have a hiccup. I'm glad I went with it - ease and minimizing time invested were important to me as well.
Did mine last night with a Samsung 840 256GB SSD and stock 500GB and it was painless. With a fresh install and a Time Machine backup, I was back in business in about 3 hours. mini really moves right now (as it is used as Media PC, feeding the AppleTV's and Roku's in the house.

Well worth it if you are up to it.

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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:38 PM   #49
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I'd go for either 1 or 2:
1. Get the regular drive and put an SSD into it.
2. Get the SSD and put an internal into it (maybe 3TB, maybe a 7200rpm 768GB disk) or even an external.

Why? Because this way you can choose what you put in your SSD and what in your HDD and Apple doesn't decide for you.
I'm thinking along the same lines. Still haven't ordered mine but will do so over the next few weeks (once the stock market is back to where I hope it will go..)

I'm also leaning towards a DIY SSD/HD option. Any thoughts on what the largest mechanical drive is that I could combine with the SSD in the late 2012 Mini? Is it the 3TB you mention - and 768 for the 7200rpm? I also want to keep separated and not use it as a "fusion" drive.

And how does the speed of the secondary internal drive (smaller 7200 or large 5200 rpm) compare to an external USB3 drive?
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:56 PM   #50
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The largest SDD & HDD setup you can put in a mini is SSD = 768 GB and the HDD = 1 TB.

There are no 2.5" HDDs larger than 1 TB that will fit in a package that is 9.5mm or less in thickness.

Internal HDD vs external HDD in a USB3 enclosure... should end up being about the same speed as the HDD is the bottleneck and not the interface. An external USB3 enclosure with an SSD in it is faster than an internal HDD.
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