1TB or 3 TB Fusion Drive or 256GB Flash

Discussion in 'iMac' started by YummyIceCream, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. YummyIceCream macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2014
    Hello! I'm currently planning to buy the 5K iMac, but I can't decide what kind of storage I should get!

    Should I get 1TB or 256GB Flash? They're the same price, I know, but is the flash storage option any faster? If you need to know, I have only used around 150GB of storage in my PC, but I want this Mac to be future proofed. So, which should I get? 1TB or go full SSD?
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Full SSD all the way just for the sake of pure speed and reliability.

    When the HDD portion of the FD fails, the entire drive fails too.

    FD normally has 700 MB/s read and 300-400 MB/s write, while a 256GB SSD has 720MB/s read, 550MB/s write (SanDisk variant) or 650MB/s write (Samsung variant).

    It's a lottery between the SanDisk or Samsung variants.

    512GB and 1TB SSDs are Samsung-only.
  3. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    My vote is to get the SSD as well. And then add external storage now or later. (You'll have to eventually do this.)

  4. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    There is not future-proof iMac, unless your entire future runs only a few years.

    Yes, SSD is faster.
  5. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    While there is a theoretical difference in reliability, in actual practice this has not been a major problem. Any drive can fail, including SSD. Tom's Hardware did an extensive study of this and found SSD is more reliable than HDD, but SSD has significant failure rates. So it all must be backed up and you must prepare for a failure, regardless of drive type.


    OTOH there is another performance incentive for SSD, which is much less degradation as it fills up vs HDD or FD. A common recommendation for people doing high-intensity work (video editing, etc) is stay under 50% full on a HDD. I'm sure FD helps that some but it's still a factor.

    By contrast SSD maintains full performance until it's virtually full. From that standpoint, a 1TB FD which provides "best" performance only has 512GB capacity, which alters the comparison. Suddenly SSD doesn't look quite so expensive or small.
  6. mystikjoe macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    my new imac just shipped I opted for the ssd 256gb, i'll attach a nas for any of my other storage needs.
  7. JediFragger macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    Went for the 3TB version myself as I intend it to last me 3/4 years and I have a lot of media (have a pair of 2TB externals too, plenty of storage space now)
  8. Kjos macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2013
    I have the 3TB Fusion, I'm not 100% sure about fusion, I think you get 256gb of ssd and rest is a normal hard drive, but the nice thing is that your operating system and the programs you use the most are also saved on the SSD part of the fusion drive, so the important things like it only taking a few seconds to boot your computer on and things like that are on SSD.


    I'd get Fusion over just SSD, you're going to want more memory at the end of the day.
  9. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
  10. hyune83 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Fusion I believe is 128gb + 1tb vs 3tb, not 256gb
  11. 5iMacs macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2014
    Fusion does work great.

    The only reason I went with pure flash is that spinning HDs will eventually fail. At 4+ years it can be as bad as a 20-30% failure rate depending on the drive model. Of course some drive mechanisms just do much better somehow, but we don't know ahead of time.
  12. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    You might also consider the 3tb Fusion internal and an ssd Thunderbolt external as your boot drive. This is the way I will go next Mac. ssd's are just starting to come down in price and I prefer and easy install and free market prices for upgrades. It saves money on the initial purchase and on subsequent upgrades. From what I've read, there's absolutely no speed difference using an external Thunderbolt ssd and an internal ssd.

    I will not join them in a fusion setup. I like to decide what files I want on the ssd. Apple can do whatever it wants with the Fusion internal.

    Something to think about.
  13. Chazani macrumors newbie


    Oct 23, 2014
    I must be the lucky one who has never had a HDD fail on me yet.. In all the years I have had a windows PC (First pc had Windows 95), I have never had one regular hard drive fail on me. The last PC computer I put a 250gb SSD drive in while using the 2tb reg hdd as secondary drive to keep the pc booting up faster. The iMac I bought I decided to go for the 3tb fusion. I love it so far. Granted i have had this iMac for only 2 weeks as of tomorrow, and I have not added too much stuff other than lots of mp3 and pictures, I have 3 MMO games I play when I feel like it (WoW, Diablo 3, and Guild Wars 2). The Flash drive is a good one to have, but not for my personal use. I wanted more space for my budget :)

    Cheers :)

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