1Tb Fusion vs 256g SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dbUMS, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. dbUMS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    #1
    I'm mostly finished configuring my new riMac but I'm trying to figure out the best storage option for my usage. I'm primarily going to be using it to edit photos (I shoot with a 36mp camera so raw files can be huge, FWIW), and probably some light gaming.

    My question is, does it make more sense to go with the Fusion drive and keep everything on board, or get the SSD, and keep all of my photos (and music and video files) on a 2TB usb drive? I'm okay bumping my budget slightly but I don't think I could really justify the cost of the 1TB SSD, and I'm going to need at least that in total storage.
     
  2. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #2
    Those are both TERRIBLE choices. The 256SSD is just too small. It will kill you rapidly. The 1TB fusion has only 24GB of flash. So your best choices are the 512GB SSD or the 2TB Fusion (which has the full 128GB flash SSD)
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    2tb fusion is the best choice.

    You will get a 128gb PCIe-based SSD (VERY fast), AND a 2tb HDD.

    You can either keep the two drives "fused", or.... split them apart into two standalone drives.

    I'm going to -guess- that the latest crop of PCIe "blade drive SSD's" yield speeds that are so fast, that the differences between running the SSD "fused" vis-a-vis running it "standalone" are probably negligible to the user (at least in most cases)...
     
  4. alexxk macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2010
    #4
    Is the 128GB SSD in the 2TB fusion as fast as the pure 512GB SSD option?
     
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #5
    Likely a bit slower, but you are really comparing apples and orange, due to the Fusion setup vs. pure SSD.
     
  6. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #6
    256GB is plenty for software. There's no way in hell that I would buy an iMac with any internal HD with moving parts. The iMac already generates a lot of heat, so why add to that with HD heat? And it will be very costly to fix if it dies out of warranty.
     
  7. alexxk macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2010
    #7
    Good point..

    I think to stay safe 512GB is good. Lightroom Catalog gets bigger overtime and if we can put all our media on USB storage HD or TB2 we are good to go. I think this will be my option..
     
  8. EnesM macrumors 6502

    EnesM

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    May 7, 2015
    #8
    If I were to get the 1TB SSD now, would it be possible in the future to install a 2TB SSD in the new iMac?
     
  9. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #9
  10. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

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    Mar 21, 2007
    #10
    It wouldn't be so bad if the SSD connector were not on the back of the motherboard, necessitating you not just removing the screen, but disassembling all the internals. Just replacing the hard drive is not all that bad though as you just have to remove the screen. You could always just replace that with a standard SSD. That interface has already been eclipsed in speed, but those types of SSDs will always be the cheapest per GB...
     
  11. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #11
    While there are some benefits to 256Gb SSD vs Fusion Drive if you can manage the size - heat is not one of them. The SSD is actually hotter than the HDD in an iMac. I have tested this on several configurations. Also, HDD and SSD are rarely used simultaniously so the temperature is almost identical to a pure SSD iMac.

    I would go for a 2Tb Fusion Drive myself, but - as I said - the 256Gb SSD is a fine choice and I think it's quite enough for most things other than media storage. So go for that. Just don't think FD adds to heat - it doesn't. Fusion Drive is, actually, quite a nice piece of technology!
     
  12. BMWguy206 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    I'm going to be doing the same stuff you're doing...photo editing with LR and I shoot a 24MP camera. I ended up ordering a 512GB SSD because I no longer want a spinning disk. I'm going to keep my photos and videos on an external HD hooked up via Thunderbolt.
     
  13. gelie macrumors regular

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    Mar 7, 2010
    #13
    Hey i'm going with the same configuration as you. Going to put all my music(~500gb and growing ) on a HD. Which on are you looking at? Thx
     
  14. fa8362, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

    fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #14
    That is simply not true. I've tested plenty of them myself, and I've never had an SSD that became more than slightly warm. Unlike a HD, SSDs hardly use any power and have no moving parts. There's nothing there to get hot.
     
  15. deany, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

    deany macrumors 68020

    deany

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    #15
    Dont forget you cant upgrade the RAM, my understanding is apple have soldered the RAM to the motherboard on the r iMac 21.5" version.

    So if you're looking at a 5 year investment 16 GB may be the way forward but I'm no expert.

    Is it the 21.5'' you are referring to?
     
  16. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #16
    Look at it this way: is 1-2TB going to be all the storage you'll ever need? If you're doing wordprocessing, email, snapshots and cat videos from your iPhone then, probably, yes, and an iMac with 1TB inside will do you proud (even the 24GB 'Fusion' will probably be enough to give you fast boot and application loaded goodness).

    If you're doing serious amateur photography, video that lasts longer than it takes to say "meow!" or build up a substantial movie library then heck, no, you're going to burn through 1TB in a year or less: you're going to need some sort of additional storage, whatever happens.

    If you think about it, would you rather have a fixed, limited amount of storage inside your machine, or be able to flexibly mix and match external and network storage as the need arose? Sure, having storage built in to the machine means that all your photos and movies go where your machine goes... unfortunately that includes going with your machine if it has to be repaired. It also means that you have to take your machine anywhere you want to take your data... as opposed to simply grabbing a tiny external HD. Or, if you have several computers in the house, you could also look at a NAS.

    In a way, having lots of internal storage is more of an issue for a laptop (which you'll want to carry around) than for a desktop (where having your data transportable by sneakernet is an advantage - never underestimate the bandwidth of a briefcase full of hard drives).

    USB 2 and Firewire used to be the bottleneck there - the only way to get really fast transfer was to use an internal drive and hook up via a parallel cable. Now we have USB3 and Thunderbolt - both faster than any single mechanical hard drive. Even Ethernet is now gigabit, and WiFi is far faster than it was, so networked mass storage is feasible for anything short of large video projects.

    So, I think with an iMac I'd keep it spinning-rust free and go for a 256 or 512GB SSD - enough for the system, your software and your 'work in progress' projects, and supplement it with external storage as needed. Of course, you'll need an external drive for backup anyhow (ideally 2: one Time Machine backup for accidental deletions, one complete disc image for disaster recovery).
     
  17. BMWguy206 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2015
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    It's still up in the air but "might" go with a 4TB RAID 5 to store videos and pictures and a 3TB external hard drive as a Time Machine backup for both the 512HD SSD and RAID5 array. Or might just buy a 6TB external HD and split it in half between backup and storage.
     
  18. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #18
    This is a years long argument that just never stops. Look, if want to keep everything in one place, the 2TB Fusion is the way to go. It's fast and will last many years. If you would rather place almost everything external, then get the 512 SSD and call it a day. It's really as simple as that and a personal preference. The heat issues, moving parts, etc etc etc arguments are really non arguments because you will have a new iMac before any of these parts wear out. I would purchase AppleCare just to be on the safe side however.
     
  19. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #19
    Actually, the 3TB fusion would be the right choice. It's not much more expensive. But I agree. If you're likely to need external storage anyway, go for the 512 Flash and then work out what you need externally.
     
  20. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #20
    Aevan is probably correct -- SSDs consume considerable power. Anantech tested a 1TB Samsung EVO 840 at over 4 watts: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8747/samsung-ssd-850-evo-review/10

    By contrast any USB bus-powered rotating drive -- including 7200 rpm units such as the HGST Touro S -- consume less than 4 watts because that's about the USB limit.

    There are even 3.5" desktop hard drives which consume less than 4 watts (WD spec sheet): http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-800026.pdf
     
  21. Coldmode macrumors regular

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    Mar 10, 2010
    #21
    Maybe in theory, but opening an iMac is really hard, and you'd have to somehow source a 2TB PCIe SSD that fits.
     
  22. fa8362, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

    fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #22
    You might as well try to argue that the moon is made of green cheese. Have you ever seen a single SSD that needs a case or fan for cooling?? Case closed. And why would you try to argue using a 1 TB SSD? Virtually no one buys that. And the idea that a moving platter device doesn't generate lots of heat is silly.
     
  23. aevan, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

    aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    Serbia
    #23
    Well, that's not the case with my iMac and the iMacs at work. I don't know, I never touch them myself to say if they are hot or warm, but this (see image) is the current heat of my iMac's disks according to iStat. HDD NEVER goes above SSD. And there is a LOT of things on an SSD to get hot. By your logic, CPUs and GPUs wouldn't get hot either :) No moving parts! BTW, every SSD, basically, has a small CPU built into it.

    And sure, there are HDDs that do get hot, but HDD tech has also improved over the years, and Apple uses really good ones that are fast, silent and don't get too warm.

    Either way, the temperature difference of the things that can throttle (CPU and GPU) between an SSD iMac and a Fusion Drive iMac is non-existent, and - while I don't like subjective testing - I can tell you they are also very similar when you touch their backs (I honestly can't tell the difference). I speak from experience.

    Obviously, you're not a physics major :D Sorry, had to say it :))
     

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  24. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    If you want to compare, you should be comparing an iMac with no SSD to an iMac with SSD only. Any other comparison is silly.

    I use bare 5400 RPM drives and SSDs (256-512GB) in a USB 3 dock. Do I really need to tell you which drives get hotter? And that's 5400 RPM, not 7200 RPM as in the iMac.
     
  25. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    Serbia
    #25
    Why would I? The topic here is Fusion Drive vs SDD, and your argument is that a FD is hotter. No, it's not. I'm not talking about pure HDD iMacs, I have no experience with them (though I doubt they are hotter, to be honest).


    Again. We're not talking some USB drive you are using - I have no idea what you have. Maybe your external drive is just hot. I'm talking about Apple Fusion Drives and Apple SSDs in iMacs, based on the temperature internal sensors report and based on my subjective feeling by touching their backs. The FD iMacs are not hotter than the SSD iMacs (same model, 1Tb FD in one, 256Gb SSD in other, 2013 gen, drive is the only difference, measuring the CPU and GPU after 30 mins of video encoding - I was curious because this topic did come up a while ago, so I wanted to check). I'm sorry, but I really don't care how hot your USB 3 drives are, and neither should the people choosing between Apple options. I'm just trying to provide objective, first hand experience and help someone make a choice.

    As I said - there are reasons to get a pure SSD, but heat is not one of them.
     

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