Should I get the 768GB SSD if I can afford it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Pngwyn, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    So I'm wondering if the SSD/flash storage is actually worth it? Since the HDs aren't upgradeable, I just want to make sure I'm making the best choice for an HD regardless of money. The fusion drives are really tempting when they boast SSD similar speeds and have whopping HD space, so is the extra cost justified for the SSD/flash storage that Apple offers?
  2. macrumors 68030


    Nov 3, 2011
    Depends on your use. Fusion is great for some - while others need all there storage to be on a SSD.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    So what are the advantages of one and the other?

    SSD is faster with smaller space
    Fusion is slower with bigger space

    Should I be at all worried about random failures in the Fusion drive considering the new technology or have they been proven to be reliable?
  4. macrumors 68030

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    IMHO no.

    Unless you have >128gb of hot data (and i very much doubt 99% of people do), the Fusion drive will be just as fast for the vast majority of what you do.

    drives fail, whether they are fusion, ssd or HD.

    Some just are more likely to fail than others, but i've had drives fail either DOA or within a few months before. Keep backups, whatever storage you go for. Even if in theory you have a more reliable drive, you could be unlucky...
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    Thanks for the advice.

    That's what I was thinking.. if the SSD doesn't give significantly noticeable faster speeds, then the price simply isn't worth it so long as the new fusion technology has a consistently low failure rate.

    Although, 3TB is just HUGE... unnecessarily huge for me. 768GB is plenty for me.. though more space can never hurt, I suppose.
  6. macrumors 68000


    Apr 6, 2009
    You could always just get a 1tb fusion then if 3tb is too big. I really wanted all flash storage but decided to go with a 3tb fusion even though I am kind of kicking myself for not going flash. I swore that my last imac would the last time I had a mechanical hdd in a computer.
  7. macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2006
    Yes. Go for it. I wanted fast storage, all internal on prove tech so I went ssd. If you can afford it, who the hell cares? You'll be happy.
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    Right.. forgot about the 1TB option. Why do you regret not going for a flash storage?

    And I was thinking the same too snugja.. but is the extra speed noticeable? How significant is it over the fusion drive? Also don't SSDs have a higher failure rate than regular HDs?
  9. macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    Personally I would wait for the teardown of the model you are interested in. To see if you could replace the drive with an SSD for less or keep it and add a SSD yourself for less or use a larger one. Then you could possibly keep the SSD and hard drive separate rather and choose what files are sped up rather than letting the OS handle it automatically which I would find preferable.

    You could replace the hard drive with a large SSD for a lot less than Apple.

    All I have seen of a teardown is the base 21.5". Which lacks the second SATA connector. The higher end 21.5" and the 27" may have the second connector even without ordering a fusion drive. It is unknown to me whether they omit the second connector on those ordered without the fusion drive.

    You can pick up a 512GB SATA III SSD for less than $400. Sure it isn't 768GB but for less than 1/3rd the price it certainly is the better deal.

    This is all assuming the teardown and testing shows you can replace the stock drive with a third party drive or add a second drive.
  10. snugja, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2006
    I'd also rather not void my warranty, cause damage, or run into any other issues. Worth getting it built right, I think.
  11. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Some SSDs have a higher failure rate:

    The Samsung 830 Series is the best SSD:
    (they wrote over 6 Petabyte to this SSD)

    And btw, you need the large SSD only if you use your Mac as a file server or if you use large databases.
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
  13. macrumors 68030


    Nov 3, 2011
  14. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Even if the money really isn't a problem, I'd say get a third party SSD, unless you definitely need more than 512 GB of storage. If you're comfortable with doing it yourself, great; if not, you can likely find a Mac store that will happily install the drive for a modest fee. Either way you'll save a chunk of money (the best SSDs these days are going for $1/GB or less, nothing close to the nearly $2/GB Apple's charging). Even if you run into warranty issues down the road (which is unlikely, especially if you have a good independent Mac shop), you'll likely come out even, given that you'll be saving $800 (or more if you get a 256 GB drive).

    The other advantage to a third party drive is being able to select exactly what you want. If Apple uses the same SSD controllers as it has for the past year or two (and so far that appears likely), you'll get either a Samsung or Toshiba controller. The Samsung is pretty good, it's the same controller they use in their 830 line of SSDs, which was one of the best over the past year or so, but has since been supplanted. The Toshiba controller isn't bad, but it's definitely not great. There are now better SSDs to be had, the best right now is the Samsung 840 Pro (the non-Pro is cheaper, but also worth a look).
  15. macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2012
    ^is the SSD changeable in the iMac? If it does, doesnt it void Apple's Warranty?
  16. macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    Of course you should get the flash. It will of course have a lower fail rate than the fusion. And it will be faster at all times. I doubt anyone ordering a fusion drive wouldn't change to a 768 flash drive if they could change at no cost.

    If money isn't a issue flash is the way to go.

    Personally I got the flash and a 6tb LaCie 2big thunderbolt hdd. That means I have 768gb of flash and 6tb of hdd. Should be sufficient for me at least.
  17. macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2012
    New York, NY
    SSD is the future. If money is no object, I see no reason why you shouldn't... unless you want a bigger drive, like a 1tb ssd. But then you'd have to dismantle the computer to put it in, and most likely void your warranty... But if money is no object, I guess that shouldn't matter either lol... Hell you might as well pay someone to void your warranty and install it for you ;)
  18. macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    If you can afford it, absolutely.

    I had no option (but) to go with the 768 SSD since I require bootcamp, so Fusion was out of the question, and the 128GB flash would have been a downgrade in space by half from what I currently use in my 2011 iMac if I would have gone with fusion but separated the two after the fact. Plus, I just love the idea that everything is solid state. I am done with spinning drives forever :>
  19. apedance, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2012
    Why is the Fusion drive out of question when you want Bootcamp? Atm only the 3TB Fusion drive is unsupported by Bootcamp. But this will change as Apple is working on a fix for that.

    The 1TB Fusion drive will do well with windows.
    Only thing to mention is that when you create a Bootcamp partition it needs to be bigger than the SSD. 129GB ntfs partition will work fine as a Bootcamp drive.

    When you need the speed of an SSD for Windows i would go for a SSD only solution.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2007
    There's another lengthy thread on the topic, search for "ssd club etc.".

    Bottom line is, from a money perspective the Apple internal SSD makes no sense.

    With way less money you can go Fusion 1TB + 1TB SSD Thunderbolt external and get:
    1- More space (1TB SSD + the Fusion)
    2- Faster SSD
    3- More money in the pocket

    There's no "reasonable reason" (that is, for 99,999999% of the population) to get the internal full SSD option, if you don't like the Fusion you can even just leave the internal stock drive TOTALLY empty and boot and operate directly from the external. It will be faster, cost less money, give you more space. And if it fails you don't have to send the imac for repair, just the failed drive.

    If money is no object give the saved money to charity.
  21. macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2012
    I guess they are not changeable because they do not use normal SSD drives on the latest iMacs. Apple uses a custom SSD solution.

    If you open your iMac your warranty is gone, right? (for the 2012 iMacs)
    They only thing you can change without losing your warranty is the 27inch iMacs RAM as it can be accessed at the back of the iMac.

    open 2012 iMacs:
    As the display mount is glued and has no screws you can not open them without losing your warranty.
    reason: to close them again you need to renew this glue or use double sided tape.
  22. macrumors 68030

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The difference in speed betwen all flash and fusion will be fairly minimal, as the 128gb is more than enough for your hot data.

    Sure, if you're exceedingly rich by all means go all SSD.

    But even if that's the case, i'd rather spend the cost difference on beer. Or track days for my bike. Or a NAS to back up to.

    Or my next machine, or anything else... that will give me more benefit than e-peen size on forums or a speed improvement to data i access <5% of the time.

    i believe the boot camp issue is likely a windows problem with windows trying to boot from a partition on a drive beyond the 2tb mark
  23. iMcLovin, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012

    macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    I can come up with many reasons why you should get full flash SSD.

    -Hassle free 1 drive installed, instead of external ssd
    -Durability (no matter what people say, read around and you'll see SSD has a better durability ...backup should always be made anyway)
    -always the same speed all the way even when its filled up.
    -we don't know fusions performance once you have filled it up a lot
    -Fusion has 2 drives, meaning 2x chance of failure.
    -Flash ssd internally uses less heat and creates less noise.
    -personally I'd like the external storage to be dumped stuff, like less important files, backup etc... and keep the OS on the internal drive....its a better setup IMO
    -The cost for the SSD is ridiculous yes, but if you work professionally its all deductable.

    So for me, the answer is simple. Are you using the machine professionally, get the SSD.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2010
    If you can afford SSD, definately get it, although Apple should have their butt kicked for demanding such an outrageous price.
    Except for less GBs in storage, there are only advantages to SSD, huge advantages...
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the input. I am really leaning towards the SSD at this point. I only buy a new computer once every few years so there's no reason to cut corners here..

    Is there any chance that the Fusion would end up outperforming the SSD/flash storage for any reason? I would feel like a real sucker if that happened, but other than that I think my choice is made.

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