Alternative to Fusion Drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jacamar, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    #1
    Hi,

    Just signed up to MacRumours so this is my first post here.

    I'm about to buy a 27" iMac which I'll use mainly for photo editing. This will be my first Apple machine as I look to move away from Windows. I was interested in the speed gain from having the fusion drive (FD) option but have also read the pros and cons with this Apple option such as the use of different terminals so that any replacement will have to be done through Apple. The other downside with going for the FD is that any upgrade options chosen means you have to order online. Apparently the iMac is sourced in Holland, sent to Ireland to have the upgrades done and then dispatched to my home in the UK taking 3 to 4 weeks!

    So I was wondering about using a Thunderbolt external SSD (probably 128Gb, same as FD) to intall my regular programs on such as Photoshop, Topaz and the like and also store the large RAW photo files that I work with. I don't feel confident about installing the whole OS on the SSD but surely the iMac comes with a reasonable sized memory cache so working on my photos should be almost the same as having the fusion drive with lightning read and write speeds?

    Does this sound plausible?

    I know the standard iMac will take a whole minute to boot up instead of 20 seconds with the FD but starting up the machine once a day I can sacrifice 40 seconds! By using an external SSD instead of the FD I can go into my local Apple store today and buy a standard iMac without having to wait a month. The FD option costs £200 ($320) in the UK so I can save money buying my SSD from Amazon too.

    Would be interested in anybody's views on my suggestion.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #2
    A 120GB SSD Thunderbolt drive is also going to cost you around £200 so I'm not sure how you are saving money? :confused:
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    #3
    You may be right Olly that I might not save any, but probably won't cost me any more either. BTW I have seen one for £144 on the net (BUFFALO MiniStation Thunderbolt 128 GB External SSD) and I would still avoid the 4 week delay for my iMac.

    However, my main ask here is on the technical front. Is my suggestion valid that using Photoshop installed on a SSD with the data files also residing there, this would function as quick as with the Apple fusion drive?

    Thanks
     
  4. Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #4
    That is cheap.

    Sorry I can't help with the technical question as I'm running a fusion drive in my new mini. :D
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Can't see any reason why that wouldn't work. You will spend some time transferring photos from SSD to hard disk and the other way, but if your work pattern is to process and 'forget', then it won't be too onerous.
     
  6. harlex, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #6
    Jacamar,
    Your source of information remains some what misguided. 3 - 4 weeks is about right remember this is counted as working days not weekends, I ordered a 27 inch iMac with Fusuion and this is now waiting for delivery by UPS. IT does not go anywhere for the built to order fittings, It is made in China and delivered to wherever you ordered it from.

    I have tracked the iMac from China through to the UK. You will spend a lot of money on the iMac BTO and why not incorporate the best you can afford, you can add a thunderbolt hdd later for backing up your pictures.
    Anyway you always should backup on Time Machine and in this case I use the Western Digital. When I said I use it this was when I had my previous iMac.
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    WizardHunt

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    #7
    if you get this to work successfully please reply here exactly how you did it and set it up as I may want to do the same thing.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    sam3020

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    #8
    Please tell me where you found this for £144. I want one :)
     

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