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Old Dec 21, 2012, 03:12 PM   #51
blanka
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
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?
No, it is even better. Especially when you use more than one computer. With all working files on a separate volume, you can use 2 or 3-way syncing between computer 1, backup 1 and computer 2, or 1 computer and 2 backups. Even with Windows or Linux. Synkron is a great free tool for multi-direction incremental backups/syncing.
It makes all backup/clone volumes with your working files identical and you can use them all to work on. With Time Machine you it is just restoring of day X of your main volume, and not much else. If you edit a file on a Time Machine backup from a Windows machine, it goes nuts. Time Machine is fun for dad who does not need to think about his backup strategy, but if you use your computer professionally, please stay away from it and have a separate physical data volume.

Keep the SSD just for applications, settings and the OS, and make a TimeMachine backup of just that for situations where the OS disk goes wacko.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:22 PM   #52
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Is the non-SSD part of Fusion 7200 or 5400 rpm? Does it matter?

(Edit-- Macworld says it's 5400 )

Last edited by DisMyMac; Dec 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 04:47 AM   #53
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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?
I finally went for the 256GB SSD and have two 1TB USB 3.0 drives permanently connected to the Mini. This way I can have my SSD with lots of free space and I can move my data around in case I want thank to the two USB drives.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 05:48 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
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?
The more automatic my computer is at the tasks it needs to do to maintain itself, the better. Memory management, process launching, network connections -- these are things the computer worries about, not me.
That leaves me free to concentrate on the higher order tasks that are the reason I have a computer in the first place -- like looking at GIFs of cats, maintaining databases, creating content, writing scripts for more automation, etc, etc.

Fusion is for people who don't want to spend time moving their files from one disk to another, but rather want to use their files instead. That is Apple's target audience.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 08:55 AM   #55
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The more automatic my computer is at the tasks it needs to do to maintain itself, the better.
You are the type of person that likes a 200Gb single file iPhoto library. Thank you, but this truly harms me concentrating on creating content instead of helping me.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 09:34 AM   #56
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You are the type of person that likes a 200Gb single file iPhoto library. Thank you, but this truly harms me concentrating on creating content instead of helping me.
Funny how it sounds like that's an insult.

Actually, I'm the kind of person who doesn't care how iPhoto stores my images, as long as I can organize and access my photos in iPhoto. I have no reason to access the iPhoto library in the Finder, and doing so will probably cause problems. I couldn't tell you how big my iPhoto library is without checking. And of course, it's not a file, but a package. And Fusion drives operate on the sub-file level, so there's no problem there.

However, if I did feel strongly that iPhoto's library was a problem in some way, then there's always Lightroom or Aperture, or other app. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. Yes, some people will care about such things, and they can choose other things. Fusion drives are not compulsory. Nor is iPhoto.
Some people do want to manage the little details -- (Hell, lots of posts here have people wanting to do OS X's memory management by hand ). And that's ok too.
But lots of people who are Apple's target market don't care. And that's why Apple produces things that work in that way.

But I'm intrigued. Is it the size or the singularity that stops you concentrating on creating content?

(OK, I do care that the images are stored using a standard image file format, should I decide to move to another platform or if iPhoto stops working and becomes unsupported. Which they are inside the package. )

Last edited by benwiggy; Dec 22, 2012 at 09:40 AM.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 10:52 AM   #57
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The more automatic my computer is at the tasks it needs to do to maintain itself, the better. Memory management, process launching, network connections -- these are things the computer worries about, not me.
That leaves me free to concentrate on the higher order tasks that are the reason I have a computer in the first place -- like looking at GIFs of cats, maintaining databases, creating content, writing scripts for more automation, etc, etc.

Fusion is for people who don't want to spend time moving their files from one disk to another, but rather want to use their files instead. That is Apple's target audience.

I get the argument but there is a problem with that. I don't want to sit here either and move data from one drive to the next - but I want to be able to store (and automatically back up) crucial data in a specific location. My music files and photo and video files I clearly do NOT want on the SSD. There is no room for it and the speed of the SSD has no benefit for those really. I know it insults people if newcomers like us want to manage certain tasks themselves and don't leave it to the Jobian philosophy of what's right, good and simple (and pretty). Yes, I could use an external drive for that and think of the fusion drive as one big internal drive and call it a day. But then again I don't need a system drive that big and the SSD alone with 256 should be just right. And I want to be able to have data files and the system files backed up separately. I don't think that's micromanaging; it's just wanting to set up things differently and THEN forget about and let it do its thing.

Speaking of maintaining databases. Can you recommend a database program that works on a Mac? Probably won't need much of that on my "creative desktop" that is going to be my first Mac. But if I make the total switch I will eventually need a replacement for MS Access which I believe is not supported and not part of Office for Mac, right? Same with MS Project by the way.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 11:02 AM   #58
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[...]
However, if I did feel strongly that iPhoto's library was a problem in some way, then there's always Lightroom or Aperture, or other app. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. Yes, some people will care about such things, and they can choose other things. Fusion drives are not compulsory. Nor is iPhoto.
Some people do want to manage the little details -- (Hell, lots of posts here have people wanting to do OS X's memory management by hand ). And that's ok too.
But lots of people who are Apple's target market don't care. And that's why Apple produces things that work in that way.

But I'm intrigued. Is it the size or the singularity that stops you concentrating on creating content?

(OK, I do care that the images are stored using a standard image file format, should I decide to move to another platform or if iPhoto stops working and becomes unsupported. Which they are inside the package. )

I totally get what you are saying here as well. For most folks this will be just fine. Hey, my dad just recently went Mac and I couldn't be happiert - because those 11pm emergency phone calls completely stopped.

But then there are also people that may be next in line to make the switch and Apple should think abut giving them a few more options if they want to continue growing their market share. I don't want to micromanage (tried that with Linux and hated it) but there are certain needs once you rely on these tools to make some income. It's nice that OS X can manage my photos for me and the consumer doesn't even know where they are and there can be a backup with Apple's obviously very solid time machine tools etc.
But I need to be able to grab a catalog (Lightroom in my case) and move it to a different machine via the network. Or grab a client's folder and publish it to my web site or cloud storage without hunting around. I'm sure this is all possible but you get what I'm getting at. I know (and hope!) that it's different than in the Windows world. That's fine. But the system making assumptions on the importance and priority of my stuff to find the best physical location for it still makes me a bit uneasy. And fusing two drives in my estimation simply doubles the chances of a fatal data loss.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 11:36 AM   #59
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Apple has always been "computers for the rest of us". Don't get me wrong: I was digitally weened on 8-bit micros in the 80s, and did CS modules at Uni. But I'm happy to let the computer do the heavy lifting when I don't need to.
But if you're saying "this is no good solution on my company network with my client's data", then yes: I absolutely agree, and you need to look at a different approach from the bundled Apple stuff. You've got a certified Unix computer there, and it's time to get dirty, if you want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7enderbender View Post
Speaking of maintaining databases. Can you recommend a database program that works on a Mac? Probably won't need much of that on my "creative desktop" that is going to be my first Mac. But if I make the total switch I will eventually need a replacement for MS Access which I believe is not supported and not part of Office for Mac, right? Same with MS Project by the way.
If you need serious database, then FileMaker Pro is the way, but it comes with a professional price.
OpenOffice and NeoOffice (the Mac-ified OO) have Access-a-like components, though they are limited. Otherwise, Bento is a cheap "home-user" database. There are others on the App Store for little money.

For MS Project, use OmniPlan. Also look at the other great organizational software from OmniGroup.

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Originally Posted by 7enderbender View Post
And fusing two drives in my estimation simply doubles the chances of a fatal data loss.
The same as any RAID 0 setup. But this is why we backup.

Last edited by benwiggy; Dec 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 11:38 AM   #60
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I finally went for the 256GB SSD and have two 1TB USB 3.0 drives permanently connected to the Mini. This way I can have my SSD with lots of free space and I can move my data around in case I want thank to the two USB drives.
Did you order the mini with apples 256GB SSD or is it your own DIY installed?
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:50 AM   #61
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Did you order the mini with apples 256GB SSD or is it your own DIY installed?
Apple's. 300 - 12% off = 264.
A Samsung 830 + installing kit = 248. Not worth the trouble of installation + not having Apple's custom firmware for just saving 16.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 01:52 PM   #62
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I have the Fusion drive. It works fantastically. Performance is great. I do hear the SATA drive chugging along moving things around when i'm not using the computer and I'm ok with that. You just have to trust it. And have backups as you increase your chances of losing your data in a Fusion drive setup as your data is spread over two drives instead of one. But you should always have backups either way.

I am an IT guy by profession, so I think it would be really cool if there was a utility that showed you what data was on the SSD and what was on the traditional disk. It would also be cool if you could override the fusion and mark files or folders as SSD or SATA only. But that sort of defeats the point of the Fusion setup so I'd doubt we'd ever see that.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 11:51 AM   #63
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I have a question about the fusion drive. I've one in my iMac, but I'm still not home from the Christmas vacation so I haven't been able to try by my self.

Suppose I start to watch a movie, and after 30 minutes I turn it off. Later I restart it, watch another hour - then I turn it off. And a bit later I start the movie again and watch it till the end. Will that movie then be moved to the SSD part of my FD? Or is FD clever enough to not put movies/music (i.e. files that aren't in need of fast reading) on the SSD?

Thank you in advance.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 02:10 PM   #64
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blocks

core storage executes moves at the block level not at the file level.

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Originally Posted by sergiobaschi View Post
I have a question about the fusion drive. I've one in my iMac, but I'm still not home from the Christmas vacation so I haven't been able to try by my self.

Suppose I start to watch a movie, and after 30 minutes I turn it off. Later I restart it, watch another hour - then I turn it off. And a bit later I start the movie again and watch it till the end. Will that movie then be moved to the SSD part of my FD? Or is FD clever enough to not put movies/music (i.e. files that aren't in need of fast reading) on the SSD?

Thank you in advance.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 02:25 PM   #65
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core storage executes moves at the block level not at the file level.
Thanks.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 12:14 AM   #66
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Apple's. 300 - 12% off = 264.
A Samsung 830 + installing kit = 248. Not worth the trouble of installation + not having Apple's custom firmware for just saving 16.
I'm considering two 512Gb 840 Pros, which means wasting a stock Apple drive. It comes out to roughly the price of an iMac.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 04:59 AM   #67
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I'm considering two 512Gb 840 Pros, which means wasting a stock Apple drive. It comes out to roughly the price of an iMac.
Two 512GB 840 Pros? Well. If you have the money and wanna spend it on that... Then go ahead. A RAID0 of those can be amazing.

I don't think it's necessary though. What do you usually do with your computer?
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 08:29 AM   #68
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Two 512GB 840 Pros? Well. If you have the money and wanna spend it on that... Then go ahead. A RAID0 of those can be amazing.

I don't think it's necessary though. What do you usually do with your computer?
I don't game or 3-D render... Everything else, I do a little bit of.

The SSDs are $575 each (Newegg) + $900 for the 2.6 mini. An iMac has a better processor and a real GPU for that price.

It's all because I don't trust Fusion, and the 768 iMac price is too high (for only the 830 model).
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 12:50 PM   #69
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I don't game or 3-D render... Everything else, I do a little bit of.

The SSDs are $575 each (Newegg) + $900 for the 2.6 mini. An iMac has a better processor and a real GPU for that price.

It's all because I don't trust Fusion, and the 768 iMac price is too high (for only the 830 model).
Why not a simple 256GB 830 and then a 2TB drive. Or even an external one.

My point being, a 1TB RAID0 of SSDs isn't really that necessary. I'd save all that money for something else!
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 05:15 PM   #70
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So now that we are several months into the use of fusion drives, what is the consensus? I see part of the benefit of having the fusion and not having to worry about moving files around, however I also see the benefit of having the OSX and apps only on the SSD and then strictly keeping media files and other documents on the 1TB drive. That way a song that you use often or a movie you watch often isn't placed on the SSD and take up space.

So what is the consensus? I am hearing of more and more members "un-fusioning" their fusion drives. That way they can manually manage their files and setup the computer the way you want it.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 05:38 PM   #71
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Having built a 500gb ssd with an oem 1tb hdd it is a great fusion setup.

Apple took a great idea and removed a testicle i.e. fusion really needs 2x the size of the ssd that apple put into it.

I am using my fusion setup with a pegasus r6 it has 3x 3tb hdds and 2x 4th hdds and 1 2tb hdds. I finally have all the storage I need with good backup.

I can understand why people would split a 128gb ssd from a 1tb hdd as the 1 to 8 ratio of ssd to hdd is not good enough .

We really should have the option of a bigger ssd. One thing I have to say is 3 weeks in no issues.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 06:27 PM   #72
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I'm very happy with my current setup: 680GB internal DIY "Fusion Drive" using an add-on 180GB Intel SSD and the stock 500GB HDD. I have a 1TB external drive in a USB 3.0 dock that I use as working space as well. I have my home movies, iTunes, and Downloads folder on the external drive with symlinks from the normal spots on the Fusion boot volume. I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds. I can micromanage the music and video and downloads, but with less clearcut cases, I can let the OS manage it. (I have a 1.5TB external backup drive as well, but it's not a "working" drive.)

John
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 06:49 PM   #73
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I'm very happy with my current setup: 680GB internal DIY "Fusion Drive" using an add-on 180GB Intel SSD and the stock 500GB HDD. I have a 1TB external drive in a USB 3.0 dock that I use as working space as well. I have my home movies, iTunes, and Downloads folder on the external drive with symlinks from the normal spots on the Fusion boot volume. I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds. I can micromanage the music and video and downloads, but with less clearcut cases, I can let the OS manage it. (I have a 1.5TB external backup drive as well, but it's not a "working" drive.)

John
yeah and you have a good ration of 1.8 to 5 or 1 to 2.7777 that ration is very important as you use more of the setup.

in the iMac a 128gb ssd to 3tb is silly
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:22 PM   #74
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So now that we are several months into the use of fusion drives, what is the consensus? I see part of the benefit of having the fusion and not having to worry about moving files around, however I also see the benefit of having the OSX and apps only on the SSD and then strictly keeping media files and other documents on the 1TB drive. That way a song that you use often or a movie you watch often isn't placed on the SSD and take up space.

So what is the consensus? I am hearing of more and more members "un-fusioning" their fusion drives. That way they can manually manage their files and setup the computer the way you want it.
Here's Anandtech's take on Apples true Fusion. Frankly, once my new mini is up and running with an SSD I'm going DIY Fusion. Granted, mine will be with a 240GB SSD.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:26 PM   #75
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Hi all - I am in the process of ordering a mid-level Mac mini and am debating between the Fusion Drive and the 256gb SSD. I believe I've read through all the relevant threads here (and I've searched elsewhere) and I still haven't reached any conclusions.

Now that people have had both types of machines for a few days, are there any clear deficiencies to the Fusion Drive? In terms of real world experience, is the 256gb SSD faster/better? If so, is it material? I've seen very competitive benchmarks for the Fusion Drive, but as a casual user I'm not sure if that is the most relevant metric.

So, I guess I'm really wondering what the consensus is now - does Fusion Drive make more sense if you aren't sure you need the 256gb SSD? Advice is appreciated - I would love to finalize my order today. Thanks to all.
I am satisfied with my fusion drive, however I never have really tapped into the standard drive though I don't think. I keep minimal files on my HD and most of my stuff is on an external, so both with my MBA and iMac I only keep what I need on the computers themselves.
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