Fusion drive vs. i7 for general speed performance?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by deja-vu, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I am sorry if this has been covered before, but i cant seem to find it.

    I am about to order an 21.5 iMac and was wondering what upgrade (fusiondrive og I7 cpu) will give the best overall speed perfomance upgrade (and by overall im thinking websurfing, gaming, media editing etc.) ?

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Martin
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Probably the fusion drive, since the storage device is nowadays the slowest component in a computer, which SSDs can remedy partly.

    Also know, that for video editing, if that is what "media editing" means for you, an external scratch drive is recommended.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    fusion drive will give you short reaction times and faster booting and app launching etc. this is a no brainer imo if you want to upgrade. this will make your imac run much faster

    i7 will give you better performance doing heavy tasks like photo or video editing and rendering etc. but it won't give you better gaming performance
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #4
    Fusion drive of course. The i7 will only be noticeable if you do some computationally heavy workloads (like video encoding) all the time.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #5
    Fusion drive by a county mile. For example my 2011 MBA with SSD is more snappy and feels quicker in most tasks then our HDD driven Mac Pros at work.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Razorhog

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #6
    Fusion. Hands down.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Miguel Cunha

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Braga, Portugal
    #7
    Regarding Video Editing

    Hello!

    I'm considering to buy the iMac 27" for the company I work in video editing.
    I just didn't figure out how does Fusion Drive works.
    I use of course, an external drive for media files.
    The question lies when I export to file.

    with an SSD I have the writing speed issue covered, but I'm not so sure in the case of the Fusion Drive.
    Will the exported file be written in the SSD or in the HDD?
    If it's written in the HDD the time to export or convert video files will be increased which is undesirable.

    Bottom line: What's Fusion Drive's behavior whenever you write a new video file (or any type of file)? SSD or HDD?

    Thank you.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    i don't really know this but i guess it will put saved files/ downloads on the HDD part just because there is no real benefit playing these from the SSD. the fusion drive will most likely put apps and such stuff that benefit from the SSD speed on the SSD part
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #9
    It always writes to the SSD first from what I've read. If the data is not frequently accessed afterwards, it gets moved to the HDD.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Miguel Cunha

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Braga, Portugal
    #10
    So, that being true, there is no loss in speed, compared to SSD.

    I've read something about 4GB minimum space on the SSD FD.
    What if the video file is bigger?
     
  11. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #11
    It is a 128 GB SSD plus a 1 TB or 3 TB HDD, not like the Momentus XT from Seagate with its 4 or 8 GB of flash storage.

    Thus writing files bigger than 4 GB is allowed, but then again, an external USB 3.0 HDD will suffice, as the CPU is hardly that fast to get you write speeds of more than 50 MB/s during export.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #12
    Well, if your SSD is full (which is highly unlikely), it will most likely write to the HDD.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Miguel Cunha

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Braga, Portugal
    #13
    Thank you leman and simsaladimbamba, for your valuable insight.

    From what you said, I think that Fusion Drive is good enough for me, without the SSD price tag.

    Best regards.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #14
    Thx for all the reply guys. You have convinced me to order the fusiondrive upgrade :)
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #15
    Damn, i just called Apple to ask a question about financing (i am not gonna use that btw with those interests the offer here in Denmark) - the guy i talked to asked me what i was gonna use it for and when i told him he said that the fusion drive would make it boot and load faster etc. but in gaming it wouldnt make any diffrence. He adviced me to upgrade the cpu instead if gaming perfomance should improve.

    I am gonna use it for gaming as well, but i still guess that the fusiondrive would be best for me. Would the I7 perfomance gain in gaming be noticable you think?
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Location:
    Austria
    #16
    does anyone know if the fusion drive hdd of the 27" imac is 5400 or 7200 rpm
     
  17. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #17

    Well, what games do you play? Its very unlikely that i7 will have much effect.

    For instance, have a look at some benchmarks: http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Intel-Core-i53470-QuadCore-CPU-Review/?page=5

    Here, the i5 (3470) is slightly slower than the i7 (3770), but keep in mind that in these tests the GPU influence is minimised because of the low resolution. In most of the games, especially when we are talking about 27" native resolution, the GPU will be the limiting factor. Overall, anything which is playable with the i7 will also be playable with the i5.

    P.S. The Fusion Drive won't affect Bootcamp - Windows installation will be the HHD only!
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #18
    ...
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    slffl

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    Without a doubt the Fusion drive will.
     

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