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Old Dec 3, 2012, 12:12 PM   #1
iLondoner
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Why Fusion pricing is actually a good deal

Some people seem to think that all Apple had to do to implement Fusion Drive in the iMac and Mac mini was to go out and buy some 128GB SSD. They then compare the cost of SSD components available on the open market with the $250/200 that Apple charges for the Fusion Drive upgrade, and complain that Apple is ripping people off.

But the Fusion Drive is quite unlike any of the other disk cache products out there, and someone had to sit down and write the OS code to support this. Some far-seeking systems-architecture-type guy had the original bright idea, then once the project was given the green light, thought had to be given as to how it would be supported, and a team of guys put onto the project to write the low-level code. I don't know how many guys were involved and how much they are paid at Apple but let's suppose they earn $80,000 pa. Once recruitment, training, technical equipment costs, office space, overheads, management and so forth are added this probably turns into $200,000 pa. How many were there, how long did it take... Might be looking at several millions of dollars.

That's money that Apple needs to recoup through charging punters a premium over and above the open market cost of SSDs. And then Apple isn't a charity; the whole reason for innovation is to be able to charge more for your product because it's better than the competitors'.

What's interesting is that some enterprising individuals have worked out that it's possible to create a DIY version of Fusion using externally mounted SSDs. Maybe they ought to keep schtum about this otherwise Apple might well tighten up the supporting code in future releases of the OS to only support their own implementation of the technology.

Fusion Drive was the "WOW" moment for me when I watched the iMac introduction. If it wasn't for Fusion I might very well have bought a refurb iMac.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 12:41 PM   #2
mac jones
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Oh I see, we pay for the R&D. Expensive stuff this R&D.

So i'm paying probably about $150 for R&D for the fushion drive.

I've got to admit this fusion drive tech is a huge breakthrough. I'm more than happy to pay this.

Rejoice
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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I heard Apple nearly went broke with the R&D costs for the fusion drive..





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Old Dec 3, 2012, 12:55 PM   #4
Shivetya
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Its not magic, the idea being used in the Fusion drive is not exactly original. It is overpriced and it is undersized. It is also under featured, as in unless you can set preferences to what is and not cached your system will be busy doing a shuffle it does not need to do.

Need a scratch pad for some intensive work, well hope you didn't fill that SSD up as the priority of when it moves data in/out isn't clear defined.

It certainly is not a hard idea to implement, even time machine knows data it should ignore and so should Fusion
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:09 PM   #5
Arman
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I opted for the 1TB fusion drive. I originally wanted to drop in an aftermarket SSD drive as either a single or dual drive setup but hedged by bets given at the time of ordering it was unclear how easy this would be. By the looks of ifixit and other teardowns, there could be some major hurdles.

For me the fusion drive gives me an SSD like experience but doesn't compromise on storage needs. I would have to drop over $700 to match same storage with an all SSD setup (two 512GB drives), open my iMac and possibly void my warranty. For my needs its good enough.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shivetya View Post
Its not magic, the idea being used in the Fusion drive is not exactly original. It is overpriced and it is undersized. It is also under featured, as in unless you can set preferences to what is and not cached your system will be busy doing a shuffle it does not need to do.
Oh really, can you send me a link to an aftermarket Fusion drive without having to mess with Terminal settings. I would love drop one into my wife's MBP.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:13 PM   #6
ctdonath
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They also have to fit both the SSD and HDD (I assume, correct if wrong) into the space of a standard 3.5" or 2.5" storage unit.

There's not much available volume in that bump. Sure not enough for both a standard cheap slap-in 128GB SSD and a standard near-1TB HDD.

If it were so easy & cheap as so many seem to advocate, surely it would be the industry standard already. rarely innovates beyond the commodity PC market, right naysayers?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:18 PM   #7
MeFromHere
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Originally Posted by mac jones View Post
Oh I see, we pay for the R&D. Expensive stuff this R&D.

So i'm paying probably about $150 for R&D for the fushion drive.

I've got to admit this fusion drive tech is a huge breakthrough. I'm more than happy to pay this.

Rejoice
R & D of this type and quality IS exceedingly expensive, and pretty risky as well.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:20 PM   #8
burninggarlic
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I agree fusion drive is a better solution than hybrid dirve, maybe even the best one yet.

But it is still overpriced.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:22 PM   #9
MeFromHere
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Originally Posted by ctdonath View Post
They also have to fit both the SSD and HDD (I assume, correct if wrong) into the space of a standard 3.5" or 2.5" storage unit.

There's not much available volume in that bump. Sure not enough for both a standard cheap slap-in 128GB SSD and a standard near-1TB HDD.

If it were so easy & cheap as so many seem to advocate, surely it would be the industry standard already. rarely innovates beyond the commodity PC market, right naysayers?
Actually, the SSD is a small add-on board attached to the motherboard. The HDD is a conventional one. That's confirmed by teardowns on the 21.5" model, and widely expected for the 27".

From the pictures, I think you're correct that there's no room for a conventional HDD-sized SSD. But Apple doesn't ever use HDD-sized SSDs except for the old Mac Pro family.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:13 PM   #10
mapleleafer
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Originally Posted by iLondoner View Post
... the $250/200 that Apple charges for the Fusion Drive upgrade ...
If your needs are met by the basic model but want the fusion drive, it'll cost you $450 to get one.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:36 PM   #11
iLondoner
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Originally Posted by mapleleafer View Post
If your needs are met by the basic model but want the fusion drive, it'll cost you $450 to get one.
That's only the case with the 21-in system, you can have Fusion with the base 27-in model. Presumably low-end 21-in buyers are cash-strapped, so all you can do is increase the RAM, no way to tweak anything else.

It's highly likely that Apple makes less margin on the bottom-end 21-in system so it makes sense not to make it too desirable. Bit like Ford many years ago fitting less-theft-proof door locks on the low end models.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by iLondoner View Post
Fusion Drive was the "WOW" moment for me when I watched the iMac introduction. If it wasn't for Fusion I might very well have bought a refurb iMac.
i loled at this, you must get wowed all day long then.

but i do agree with you $250 for the upgrade is reasonable unlike their $600 memory and $1300 ssd.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 03:05 PM   #13
mapleleafer
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That's only the case with the 21-in system
And an SSD will cost you $1800. Yikes. I've bought cars for less than that.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 03:14 PM   #14
bflowers
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Originally Posted by mac jones View Post
Oh I see, we pay for the R&D. Expensive stuff this R&D.

So i'm paying probably about $150 for R&D for the fushion drive.

I've got to admit this fusion drive tech is a huge breakthrough. I'm more than happy to pay this.

Rejoice
Snarky! Do you not believe that R&D is a large expense? When was the last time you bought almost anything? Cars, medications, a movie on Blu-Ray? I'm not saying that the amount they charge isn't excessive, but companies do spend a lot on R&D, and For-Profit companies have to make that back, and make a profit!

Companies like Apple, who outsource most if not all of production, are simply R&D companies at heart. If you don't like the price, no one is forcing you to buy it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 03:15 PM   #15
BaldiMac
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Why is it a good deal? Because you get 1+ TB of storage with performance close to an SSD for a fraction of the price.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 03:32 PM   #16
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I don't think the Fusion Drive is a good deal based on today's SSD pricing but I don't think it's a bad deal either.

I've recommended it to anyone who's looking at a 2012 iMac. Once you have a SSD in your system you're simply not going to go back to a non SSD system IMO.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 04:40 PM   #17
burninggarlic
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Originally Posted by mapleleafer View Post
If your needs are met by the basic model but want the fusion drive, it'll cost you $450 to get one.
If your needs are met by a cheap PC but want the fusion drive, it'll cost you more than $800 to get one.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:06 PM   #18
iLondoner
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You need a new calculator. High-end 21-in plus Fusion is $1749 which is $450 more than the base 21-in system. $200 uplift over the base model to get the faster processor and expansion capability, $250 for the Fusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gagaliya View Post
i loled at this, you must get wowed all day long then.
Because I recognised that the way it has been implemented is something that's not available elsewhere and it is a true innovation. As BaldiMac commented, "Because you get 1+ TB of storage with performance close to an SSD for a fraction of the price."

If you disagree, feel free to provide links to any systems from other manufacturers that have this technology.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:21 PM   #19
torana355
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I would have preferred the SSD and HDD to be separate but there is not even an option for that so i went the 3TB Fusion. Like a few people have said, if you have files that you really want to work off the SSD with you don't have a choice if Fusion decides it should go on the HDD. It would be good if Apple made a folder where you could put stuff and it would always go onto the SSD.

Also managing the OS and media files is not that hard, you install the OS on the SSD along with your apps and just use the HDD for your videos, photos and music.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:29 PM   #20
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Torana: If you really feel that you can manage your file placements better than the system algorithms, there's nothing stopping you creating a (say) 2TB partition on the HDD and you would then see your storage as a 1.1TB Fusion and a 2TB normal hard drive.

You could play about and even make the partition something like 2.8TB leaving almost no HDD space within the Fusion element. So long as there's space on the SSD any files on the Fusion should (I would have thought) then automatically be stored on the SSD.

All of this is theory, of course, until we get our iMacs.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:32 PM   #21
torana355
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If you really feel that you can manage your file placements better than the system algorithms, there's nothing stopping you creating a (say) 2TB partition on the HDD and you would then see your storage as a 1.1TB Fusion and a 2TB normal hard drive.
True but that brings up the next issue, No choice for a 256 or 512GB ssd...
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:40 PM   #22
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True but that brings up the next issue, No choice for a 256 or 512GB ssd...
Is this the first time you are buying Apple products?

If they've given you these options, what are they gonna do with the next gen iMac?

Just kidding.

I think they also assume most pros will go for external. So just throw a $1300 option to the Chinese gov.
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