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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:26 AM   #26
cocacolakid
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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
How that website can tell people not to buy the fusion drive based off their own experience of a DIY fusion not working properly is beyond me.

Maybe the real fusion drive isn't worth it, but that website hasn't used one to know.

Anandtech has and says they do move files around and give it a good review.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 02:57 AM   #27
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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.
According to the technical reviews I've seen Fusion Drive works at the block level, not the file level. This means it will make much more efficient use of the SSD disk space than file level tiering, whether it were manual or automatic.

For example I have several virtual machines running in virtual box. With a manual SSD setup I'd have to up both VM disk images on the SSD to get the performance boost. With fusion drive the bulk of each disk image file will stay on the hard disk and only the subset of blocks that are actualy required for regular use will be stored on the SSD for quick access.

I also have a 200 GB iPhoto library. To get fast access to any of it I'd have to put the whole library on an SSD even though I only access the stuff in the albums regularly, probably less than 5% of its contents. With Fusion drive the photos and videos we do access occasionally will end up on the SSD and the rest will be on the hard disk. There would be no practical way to do that with manual disk management. The same goes for my music collection in iTunes.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:24 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by cocacolakid View Post
How that website can tell people not to buy the fusion drive based off their own experience of a DIY fusion not working properly is beyond me.

Maybe the real fusion drive isn't worth it, but that website hasn't used one to know.

Anandtech has and says they do move files around and give it a good review.
I haven't found a performance review of a "real" FD. The Anandtech Understanding Apple's Fusion Drive article was more about how it should work.

Putting the OS, apps, and other key files on an SSD may be just as good, or even better and more predictable.

Most other file access is quick enough with an HD. I have two 2009 Macs, a Mini with an HD, and a MBP 13 with an SSD. Opening a 96 MB TIFF is just about as fast on both. I guess if you are dealing with really huge, multi-GB files, having them on the SSD would help, assuming that FD puts them there, which is not a sure thing.

I do hope that the FD turns out to work well, because it is a simple solution that works in the background. However, it might be better to pay $50 more for the 256 GB SSD and put data files on an external USB 3.0 HD. That's assuming that you don't want to open the case and install a Samsung 500 GB 840, which is selling for $380 at Newegg.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:23 AM   #29
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I do hope that the FD turns out to work well, because it is a simple solution that works in the background. However, it might be better to pay $50 more for the 256 GB SSD and put data files on an external USB 3.0 HD. That's assuming that you don't want to open the case and install a Samsung 500 GB 840, which is selling for $380 at Newegg.

Jeff
I completely agree, if 256 GB is enough, then a pure SSD solution is definitely the way to go, and even at 512 GB it's worth considering on a price/performance basis.

However I'm running out of space on a 500 GB internal drive, the minimum I need going forward is 756 GB which is price prohibitive for SSD and even that might not be enough to last the lifetime of a new machine so 1 TB+ is really the only way to go for me.

If I do end up using much more than 500 GB of the new drive, I might want to be able to upgrade to more flash for the fusion drive, but I don't know if that will be possible. Macworld did a teardown of a fusion drive equipped Mini and the flash was in a separate little black box beside the HDD but I don't know if that's a standard SSD module form factor or what kind of connector it uses.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:52 AM   #30
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According to the technical reviews I've seen Fusion Drive works at the block level, not the file level. This means it will make much more efficient use of the SSD disk space than file level tiering, whether it were manual or automatic.

For example I have several virtual machines running in virtual box. With a manual SSD setup I'd have to up both VM disk images on the SSD to get the performance boost. With fusion drive the bulk of each disk image file will stay on the hard disk and only the subset of blocks that are actualy required for regular use will be stored on the SSD for quick access.

I also have a 200 GB iPhoto library. To get fast access to any of it I'd have to put the whole library on an SSD even though I only access the stuff in the albums regularly, probably less than 5% of its contents. With Fusion drive the photos and videos we do access occasionally will end up on the SSD and the rest will be on the hard disk. There would be no practical way to do that with manual disk management. The same goes for my music collection in iTunes.

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You missed my point. That's exactly what I don't want. I don't want my files to be treated that way. It's up to me if I wanna have all my iPhoto library in the SSD or not. If I want some photos to be in a regular HDD, I'll create a second library in the other drive.

As I said, this is sure very useless for some, but not for me. I want/need/expect to be able to control where all my files are. (Not talking route, I mean what physical drive they're in).

I get your point and it's completely legit, it just doesn't fit me.

And as I said before in this thread, I understand the fact that the Fusion Drive is gonna be ideal for the most.

My ideal option would be a 1TB SSD. Problem is they don't exist and even if they would I would've need to sell a kidney in order to get one.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:19 AM   #31
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I get your point and it's completely legit, it just doesn't fit me.
Fair enough.

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My ideal option would be a 1TB SSD. Problem is they don't exist and even if they would I would've need to sell a kidney in order to get one.
Me too, but they're already a lot cheaper than they were just a few years ago. I fully expect this to be the last computer I buy with a spinning disk in it.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:42 AM   #32
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Me too, but they're already a lot cheaper than they were just a few years ago. I fully expect this to be the last computer I buy with a spinning disk in it.
When I bought my dead 2010 13" MBP (accidentally spilled coffee on its side and burned part of the logic board) the only change I made was the 128GB SSD. It was the first time I tried one and I couldn't believe how fast it was. I can't wait for them to become mainstream in general computers and prices to go down.

My father had an old Dell and he felt it so slow. Bought a simple Intel SSD and installed it without saying anything. When he turned it on he thought I had upgraded the whole insides. lol
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:55 AM   #33
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You missed my point. That's exactly what I don't want. I don't want my files to be treated that way. It's up to me if I wanna have all my iPhoto library in the SSD or not. If I want some photos to be in a regular HDD, I'll create a second library in the other drive.

As I said, this is sure very useless for some, but not for me. I want/need/expect to be able to control where all my files are. (Not talking route, I mean what physical drive they're in).
You are thinking of these two drives as two drives. The point is the OS sees it as one drive. Fusion essentially behaves exactly like what you asked for in your last paragraph, a >1TB SSD drive. This is a 2012 solution to avoid spending huge bucks on TBs of SSDs.

The problem I see is this is tiny, so far. 1TB is hardly anything. I've got more storage than that right now, and it doesn't feel like I have that much stuff. (movies, audio, etc)
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:59 AM   #34
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You are thinking of these two drives as two drives. The point is the OS sees it as one drive. Fusion essentially behaves exactly like what you asked for in your last paragraph, a >1TB SSD drive. This is a 2012 solution to avoid spending huge bucks on TBs of SSDs.
Not really. Simple example:
I save a Final Cut X project which weights 12GB. I don't use it for 6 months and then open it. What if I knew I was gonna need it again and wanted it to be in the SSD? The OS will probably have it located at the HDD therefore slow use.

I could think of some more examples but I guess you know what I mean. Of course it's useful, but I just think it's kind of a patch until SSDs become cheaper and we all can enjoy 3TB SSDs for $120. lol
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:14 PM   #35
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I could think of some more examples but I guess you know what I mean. Of course it's useful, but I just think it's kind of a patch until SSDs become cheaper and we all can enjoy 3TB SSDs for $120. lol
Well yeah.... Just like a couple of years ago (heck even a year ago) those Seagate Momentus XP drives were all the rage because anything more than 120GB SSD were out of sight for the average user. Now you can get 480GB SSD's starting at about $300 which even the most basic of SSD will blow a Momentus XP drive out of the water.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:16 PM   #36
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I could think of some more examples but I guess you know what I mean. Of course it's useful, but I just think it's kind of a patch until SSDs become cheaper and we all can enjoy 3TB SSDs for $120. lol
Absolutely. But, the question is how fast would it be. This thread asked for actual user reports, and it's too early for there to have been answers, apparently.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:17 PM   #37
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Does it really matter if the first time you run it in over 6 months it takes a few seconds to load?

Your project, now active again, will be moved over to the SSD and subsequent accesses will be at SSD speeds until you let it go dormant again.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:27 PM   #38
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Well yeah.... Just like a couple of years ago (heck even a year ago) those Seagate Momentus XP drives were all the rage because anything more than 120GB SSD were out of sight for the average user. Now you can get 480GB SSD's starting at about $300 which even the most basic of SSD will blow a Momentus XP drive out of the water.
Yeah… We just gotta wait for it. My only fear is SSDs stay as what they are right now: Only for those who really know what it is. Or high end machines.

Therefore… always expensive. (We'd need to get completely rid of regular drives in order to get good prices in SSDs)

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Absolutely. But, the question is how fast would it be. This thread asked for actual user reports, and it's too early for there to have been answers, apparently.
Well, there are a couple of threads with BlackMagic Speedtest ran on Fusion Drives. Speeds are the same as they are in a 128GB drive in any MBA or 2010/2011 MBP. (Toshiba ones, no sandforce controller. This means it only achieves 250MB/s for write, while the Samsung SSD in the Minis achieves 410MB/s).

I guess that means any new file is put into the SSD until the OS decides wether to put it in the HDD or leave it in the SSD.

----------

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Does it really matter if the first time you run it in over 6 months it takes a few seconds to load?

Your project, now active again, will be moved over to the SSD and subsequent accesses will be at SSD speeds until you let it go dormant again.
It does matter. And some projects in certain softwares can take 20 minutes when loading from regular drives.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:59 PM   #39
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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.
I guess I'm curious about what data you guys have and what you're doing that managing an SSD is so labor intensive, and that another poster "needs" a 500GB SSD, etc.

I have a 128GB SSD as my boot drive, where I keep my OS, apps, and current projects, and it's only half full. And I don't think I have an especially small amount of data. I have XCode and Photoshop installed, and my projects can take up a few gigabytes. I haven't had to do anything with symlinks to manage my storage--the most complicated thing I've done is relocate my iTunes folder to my hard drive, which is just a preference in iTunes and took about 15 seconds to do.

Otherwise I just drag and drop any songs, videos, photos, etc. to my hard drive every few days (if I didn't do so immediately) and everything works great. It really is extremely low maintenance.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:56 PM   #40
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I guess I'm curious about what data you guys have and what you're doing that managing an SSD is so labor intensive, and that another poster "needs" a 500GB SSD, etc.
for me, I have two kinds age 9 and 10 and every holiday I max out an 8 or 16 GB SDHC card with photos and video. Every year or so I do a compilation video in iMovie with one or two smaller projects I between and those iMovie projects are real space hogs. Plus I have a couple of 20 GB virtual machine instances for windows and Linux. Then there's my music, podcast and audiobook collections in iTunes. I also ripped all my DVDs a while back. Some of this stuff is on an external hard drive but it'll be nice to be able tout it all on the fusion drive and not have to worry about optimisation or space management on multiple smaller disks anymore.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:23 PM   #41
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for me, I have two kinds age 9 and 10 and every holiday I max out an 8 or 16 GB SDHC card with photos and video. Every year or so I do a compilation video in iMovie with one or two smaller projects I between and those iMovie projects are real space hogs. Plus I have a couple of 20 GB virtual machine instances for windows and Linux. Then there's my music, podcast and audiobook collections in iTunes. I also ripped all my DVDs a while back. Some of this stuff is on an external hard drive but it'll be nice to be able tout it all on the fusion drive and not have to worry about optimisation or space management on multiple smaller disks anymore.

Simon Hibbs
I agree that the idea of one logical volume is nice but I don't think it'd be much of a pain to organize your stuff onto two disks. One SSD for OS and apps, then one big hard drive for everything else. No need to worry about multiple small disks--you can get a 3TB external USB3 drive for around $130 these days. Instead of ripping your DVDs and copying your SDHC cards to your home directory (or wherever), you can just copy them to the big hard drive. Hardly any extra work or thought required.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 12:34 PM   #42
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Simple example:
I save a Final Cut X project which weights 12GB. I don't use it for 6 months and then open it. What if I knew I was gonna need it again and wanted it to be in the SSD? The OS will probably have it located at the HDD therefore slow use.
On fusion, I guess you would open the file, save it, and it's on the ssd.

Moving files around sounds like the go for control freaks with too much time on their hands.#

I do agree that it's a patch until cheaper SSDs are here.

Awesome to here that one can config your own fusion drive.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 02:47 PM   #43
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On fusion, I guess you would open the file, save it, and it's on the ssd.
If the file was opened from the HD, it will probably be saved to the HD. FD may do housekeeping later to move it to the SSD, depending on its algorithm. However, we do not yet have a complete understanding of the FD algorithm, so we do not actually know what it will do.

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Moving files around sounds like the go for control freaks with too much time on their hands.#
How much file moving is really needed? Put the OS, apps, and some key files on a non-FD SSD and it's done. In my case, "key files" would be the Lightroom catalog, Lightroom previews, and the ACR cache. Could I count on FD putting those key files on the SSD? I don't think it's being a control freak to want to be sure of that.

Tests show that even putting raw files on an SSD vs an HD does not make much difference for Lightroom. Other files, such as Word documents, will open just about as quickly from a HD or an SSD. I don't see the advantage of moving those types of files on and off the SSD based on usage.

We need more in-depth assessments of Fusion Drive. It is unclear, at least to me, exactly how it will work, and how well it will accomodate specific needs like mine.

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Old Nov 18, 2012, 02:55 PM   #44
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Moving files around sounds like the go for control freaks with too much time on their hands.#
Never talked about moving them around. What I want is to have the files where I want them to be. Nothing else.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:02 PM   #45
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Never talked about moving them around. What I want is to have the files where I want them to be. Nothing else.
Sorry, I misunderstood your point. It is also not clear to me how FD can do better than I can do placing the files where I want them. Still, I am waiting for more assessments.

With the FD, there's not much use thinking about which physical drive a file is stored on. It's a black box, not much different than not knowing, or being able to control, where a file is stored on a mechanical hard drive.

One advantage of FD, and of the SSD option, is that you don't have to open the case. I've done that on my 2009 Mini, but I'd like to avoid it with a new computer. So, I am stil considering an FD. If I do go with one, and drive-dependent aspects of LR performance are lame, I'll try storing the LR stuff on an external SSD in a USB 3.0 enclosure.

One other thing is that many of LR's performance issues are processor dependent, and the i7 will take care of those.

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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:31 PM   #46
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Sorry, I misunderstood your point. It is also not clear to me how FD can do better than I can do placing the files where I want them. Still, I am waiting for more assessments.


With the FD, there's not much use thinking about which physical drive a file is stored on. It's a black box, not much different than not knowing, or being able to control, where a file is stored on a mechanical hard drive.
Well, you just lose the ability to choose/know where the files are. As I've stated before doesn't really matter for -probably- the 99.999% of the users, but I'm one of the others who like to be able to control as much as possible my rig.


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One advantage of FD, and of the SSD option, is that you don't have to open the case. I've done that on my 2009 Mini, but I'd like to avoid it with a new computer. So, I am stil considering an FD. If I do go with one, and drive-dependent aspects of LR performance are lame, I'll try storing the LR stuff on an external SSD in a USB 3.0 enclosure.

One other thing is that many of LR's performance issues are processor dependent, and the i7 will take care of those.

Jeff
Sure about that. But I do never put a lot of files into my main drive. Even with my old 2010 Mini (500GB regular drive) I had over 65% free space. I like to have in the main drive only those files I usually use or the ones I know I'm gonna be needing eventually. That's why I always got two external FW drives connected to the mini. There's where I store everything that I know I'm not gonna be using regularly. This also helps me carrying them around if needed. Plus not having to backup 2TB+ before changing my 2010 Mini to my 2012 one.

I only have the 256GB SSD in this Mini. Free space? 202GB right now. If I work on a 20GB project, I leave it in the SSD until I know I'm done with it and can put it to rest into one of the external drives.

That's how I've always worked and that's how I like it.

Someday I'll work in lets say 4 projects of an average of 15GB each and my free space will drop to around 140GB, but as soon as I'm done I'll just transfer them to the FW drives and back to 202GB of free space.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:27 AM   #47
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Not really. Simple example:
I save a Final Cut X project which weights 12GB. I don't use it for 6 months and then open it. What if I knew I was gonna need it again and wanted it to be in the SSD? The OS will probably have it located at the HDD therefore slow use.

I could think of some more examples but I guess you know what I mean. Of course it's useful, but I just think it's kind of a patch until SSDs become cheaper and we all can enjoy 3TB SSDs for $120. lol
HDD is slower than SSD, but not that slow. You'll still be able to scrub the timeline and get instant visual feedback.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:38 AM   #48
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Technology is all about saving time.

I used to think like those guys who put frequently accessed files on SSD and data files on HDD.

Then, I bought a 512GB SSD for my Mac Pro.

Why? Because I don't want to waste the time and effort to determine which drive to save to.

So now, I went for the FD
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:13 PM   #49
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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.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 01:02 PM   #50
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HDD is slower than SSD, but not that slow. You'll still be able to scrub the timeline and get instant visual feedback.
A regular HDD is MUCH more slower than an SSD. Much more...
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