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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:52 AM   #1
eroxx
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Surely this applies to someone! 2012 iMac vs 2010/11 ...

Did anyone upgrade from a 2010 (or 2011) iMac WITH SDD? And if that upgrade contains the fusion drive, I'd love to know your thoughts on how it compares??
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by eroxx View Post
Did anyone upgrade from a 2010 (or 2011) iMac WITH SDD? And if that upgrade contains the fusion drive, I'd love to know your thoughts on how it compares??
I upgraded from a 2011 i7 3.4 iMac with 256GB SSD (apple BTO), 2TB HD, 2GB GPU and 12GB ram to the iMac in my sig. My impression is that the fusion drive seems much faster, I think this may be a combination of faster SATA speeds (III vs II) as I noticed the fusion drives negotiate at the full sata speed compared to half that for the 2011 iMac and faster hard drives used in the 2012 iMac (the seagate drive is one of the fastest). Add to that a better Gfx card and it was a no brainier for me to upgrade.

People going for refurbs might want to consider the above sata speeds before buying
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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Thanks so much. I've been a touch hesitant bc I have 2010 with 256ssd, but it seems that fusion 128 with 3tb is faster, ESP with processor upgrade.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 03:18 AM   #4
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Thanks so much. I've been a touch hesitant bc I have 2010 with 256ssd, but it seems that fusion 128 with 3tb is faster, ESP with processor upgrade.
no problem, having usb3 ports is also a bonus if you want to add external storage for timemachine/expansion etc.....a lot more cost effective than thunderbolt storage.....
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 05:15 AM   #5
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Thanks so much. I've been a touch hesitant bc I have 2010 with 256ssd, but it seems that fusion 128 with 3tb is faster, ESP with processor upgrade.
http://fortysomethinggeek.blogspot.s...st-usb-30.html

I doubt the Fusion comes up to those speeds. On top of that, this external solution will be cheaper, easier to upgrade if you so wish, and if you need to send your iMac on repairs, the OS X and all your applications will be on the external SSD which you, of course, leave at home - thus making it possible to return to where you left off immediately when you get the iMac back, regardless if they have rebooted your iMac or not.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 05:58 AM   #6
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http://fortysomethinggeek.blogspot.s...st-usb-30.html

I doubt the Fusion comes up to those speeds.
Well, I wouldn't want to run an OS through a USB interface. And those benchmarks are sequential write/read. What do the benchmarks look like with random write/read, where SSD's really shine?
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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Well, I wouldn't want to run an OS through a USB interface. And those benchmarks are sequential write/read. What do the benchmarks look like with random write/read, where SSD's really shine?
And why wouldn't you want to do that? I ran my MBP OS via external HDD-chassi when the internal SATA-cable was broken and I was waiting for a replacement. It went fine and I had no troubles at all with it, except for the absurd slowness due to being USB2 and only a 5400rpm HDD.

I don't know what the random benchmarks are, I wasn't the one who made that blogpost. But considering USB3 has 5GB/s limit and that has a USB3 SuperSpeed on it, I'm sure you will be able to get almost identical speeds as if the SSD would have been installed internally in the iMac.

But feel free to link to someplace where they test it. I'm thinking of using the solution listed in that blogpost for my possible iMac purchase and I'd love to read up some more before I make the purchase.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 06:53 AM   #8
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And why wouldn't you want to do that?
Because I believe that random write/read with USB3 is pretty slow compared to SATA interface. Thunderbolt is most likely a much better option although according to other threads even Thunderbolt seems to be a bottleneck sometime.

An internal SATA connection is always going to give you the best random read and write speeds, wish is the most important thing when it comes to speeding up the OS.

It's possible to hit 500MB/s sequential read/write with a couple of HDDs in a raid-array too but your OS would still run slow on it.

Comparing speed with Black Magic Disk Speed Test is somewhat like the Mega-pixel race in digital cameras.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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Because I believe that random write/read with USB3 is pretty slow compared to SATA interface. Thunderbolt is most likely a much better option although according to other threads even Thunderbolt seems to be a bottleneck sometime.

An internal SATA connection is always going to give you the best random read and write speeds, wish is the most important thing when it comes to speeding up the OS.

It's possible to hit 500MB/s sequential read/write with a couple of HDDs in a raid-array too but your OS would still run slow on it.

Comparing speed with Black Magic Disk Speed Test is somewhat like the Mega-pixel race in digital cameras.
I see.
Well I knew that internal SATA interface is, of course, to prefer. But considering the fact that Apple only gives you the option of a 700+GB of SSD which costs a fortune, and the fact that the Fusion Drive only gives you a 120GB SSD, I believe that it would still be worth it considering it is far cheaper, gives you more SSD storage, provides far more upgradability-options and extremely good speeds. An external TB SSD is also extremely expensive considering to what I'm proposing.

But the random read/writes would be interesting to see some numbers on.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by zarf2007 View Post
I upgraded from a 2011 i7 3.4 iMac with 256GB SSD (apple BTO), 2TB HD, 2GB GPU and 12GB ram to the iMac in my sig. My impression is that the fusion drive seems much faster, I think this may be a combination of faster SATA speeds (III vs II) as I noticed the fusion drives negotiate at the full sata speed compared to half that for the 2011 iMac and faster hard drives used in the 2012 iMac (the seagate drive is one of the fastest). Add to that a better Gfx card and it was a no brainier for me to upgrade.

People going for refurbs might want to consider the above sata speeds before buying
The 2011 imac is SATA III not II. I have just installed a 512 Vertex 4 in my 2011 imac and I'm getting 400MB/s write and 460MB/s read speeds using the Blackmagic disk speed test.

Would you be able to run the BM speed test on your 2012 imac for comparison.

Thanks

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Old Jan 3, 2013, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanax View Post
http://fortysomethinggeek.blogspot.s...st-usb-30.html

I doubt the Fusion comes up to those speeds. On top of that, this external solution will be cheaper, easier to upgrade if you so wish, and if you need to send your iMac on repairs, the OS X and all your applications will be on the external SSD which you, of course, leave at home - thus making it possible to return to where you left off immediately when you get the iMac back, regardless if they have rebooted your iMac or not.
That looks great but unfortunately only the 2012 iMac has USB 3.0

I am sort of in the same boat as the OP: which is to either get a refurbished 2011, and get an external SSD or new 2012 with Fusion. Seems like new with Fusion is the best option right now, but we'll see...
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 12:58 AM   #12
zarf2007
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Originally Posted by inscrewtable View Post
The 2011 imac is SATA III not II. I have just installed a 512 Vertex 4 in my 2011 imac and I'm getting 400MB/s write and 460MB/s read speeds using the Blackmagic disk speed test.

Would you be able to run the BM speed test on your 2012 imac for comparison.

Thanks

Image

while the 2011 iMac may have a sata III interface, a BTO/refurb 2011 iMac is supplied with a SATAII SSD drive from apple and therefore negotiates and runs at SATAII speeds. Sure you can add a third party SATA III SSD like yours but unless you get an apple authorised dealer to do it (additional cost) you blow your warranty/applecare.....

someone has tested the 3TB fusion speed here already:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1519472

Write: 249 and Read: 382

while the results are lower than yours, they represent a SSD + 3TB HD combined giving the advantage of both speed and storage space.....I think if just the SSD were tested it would equal or better your results....someone else will have to do this however as I have no intention of splitting my fusion drive just to do some speed tests.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarf2007 View Post
while the 2011 iMac may have a sata III interface, a BTO/refurb 2011 iMac is supplied with a SATAII SSD drive from apple and therefore negotiates and runs at SATAII speeds. Sure you can add a third party SATA III SSD like yours but unless you get an apple authorised dealer to do it (additional cost) you blow your warranty/applecare.....
Wow, that is astounding and to think the 512 bto SSD would have cost $1300, now I'm even more chuffed than I was earlier. The raw speeds don't really tell a lot because some drives are better in tougher conditions, but might be slower moving smaller blocks.

But while I was mesmerised by the possibility of creating a fusion drive simply because I could, I nevertheless began to be bothered by the complete lack of control. For example I want my 60GB of global scenery on the SSD, I don't want to have to keep loading the same piece enough times so that the SSD will deem it worthy of moving to the more salubrious accommodation of The SSD Hilton. Then do it all over again because the world is wide.

Bollox to that I say. I think having a paltry 128SSD fused, is a bit of a backward step. As it is now, I still have a spare 300GB of SSD ready to accept anything that takes my fancy in the future. Having a 4GB 'landing strip', just seems annoying, then there's all this chugging going on behind the scenes.

It seems like you might access a file a few times then once it's migrated over to the SSD you might not use it again. The more I thought about it the worse the whole concept seemed.

Considering the 2011 imac lower bto was a 256 SSD nearly two years ago, 128 seems a little bit sad. Unless you go for the expensive 768 and eschew a big HDD.

What you could do is you could make a bootable clone of your fusion drive then you could, if you wanted to unfuse it and reload the OS on the SSD then use the cool OWC method to point to your home folder. Then you could check it out and easily simply re-fuse the drives and clone the copy back over.

EDiT:

I think the iMacs should have 512 or minimum of 256GB SSD fusion drives and the 'landing strip' on the SSD should be 32GB not 4GB, then I could understand it.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 03:16 AM   #14
zarf2007
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Wow, that is astounding and to think the 512 bto SSD would have cost $1300, now I'm even more chuffed than I was earlier. The raw speeds don't really tell a lot because some drives are better in tougher conditions, but might be slower moving smaller blocks.

But while I was mesmerised by the possibility of creating a fusion drive simply because I could, I nevertheless began to be bothered by the complete lack of control. For example I want my 60GB of global scenery on the SSD, I don't want to have to keep loading the same piece enough times so that the SSD will deem it worthy of moving to the more salubrious accommodation of The SSD Hilton. Then do it all over again because the world is wide.

Bollox to that I say. I think having a paltry 128SSD fused, is a bit of a backward step. As it is now, I still have a spare 300GB of SSD ready to accept anything that takes my fancy in the future. Having a 4GB 'landing strip', just seems annoying, then there's all this chugging going on behind the scenes.

It seems like you might access a file a few times then once it's migrated over to the SSD you might not use it again. The more I thought about it the worse the whole concept seemed.

Considering the 2011 imac lower bto was a 256 SSD nearly two years ago, 128 seems a little bit sad. Unless you go for the expensive 768 and eschew a big HDD.

What you could do is you could make a bootable clone of your fusion drive then you could, if you wanted to unfuse it and reload the OS on the SSD then use the cool OWC method to point to your home folder. Then you could check it out and easily simply re-fuse the drives and clone the copy back over.

EDiT:

I think the iMacs should have 512 or minimum of 256GB SSD fusion drives and the 'landing strip' on the SSD should be 32GB not 4GB, then I could understand it.

while i hear what you say about files being moved from ssd in hd, in practice it is seamless and to me makes sense....why should i be bothered where my xGB collection of files is stored as long as the access times are fast enough (and with both ssd and hd running at sata3 it is instant). the HD is also 7200 and the fastest out there. I have moved from a 2011 iMac with sata2 SSD speed and have a macbook pro with samsung 830 SSD running at sata3 and the fusion drive matches or betters both easily.

Agree there should be more options on the SSD for the 2012 iMac but i guess its more hassle for apple to support even more SKUs..

and While I could split the fusion for testing I dont have the time sorry...
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 06:03 AM   #15
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That looks great but unfortunately only the 2012 iMac has USB 3.0

I am sort of in the same boat as the OP: which is to either get a refurbished 2011, and get an external SSD or new 2012 with Fusion. Seems like new with Fusion is the best option right now, but we'll see...
If you have the 2011 iMac, it has Thunderbolt so you can either get a TB external chassi for the SSD or get a TB->USB3 hub. Also, the external SSD is still an option if you opt for the 2012 iMac, you don't HAVE TO get the Apple Fusion Drive just because you're getting the 2012 iMac.
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