$200 Fusion Drive upgrade worth it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pnutx007, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. pnutx007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #1
    I'm trying to pull funds together to get my wife a 27" iMac for christmas and am debating on the $200 Fusion Drive upgrade.

    She currently has a 2009 13" MacBook Pro that she has been using since '09. I installed an SSD about 6-8 months ago to get some more performance out of it. That upgrade was well worth it. I also upgraded it to 8GB RAM about a year and a half ago and that was also worth it.

    I'm wondering if I should spend the extra $200 on the Fusion Drive upgrade for the new iMac or just rock the ATA drive that it comes with. This machine is going to be used for photo editing for her photography business.

    Thanks in advance for the advice. Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    You'll miss the performance of the SSD, so I'd either opt for the SSD or the fusion drive
     
  3. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #3
    Since she's used to the speed of a SSD, it might be a step backwards in speed having to deal with the slower ata drive in terms of how long it'll take to startup/shutdown and launch apps.

    If the $200 isn't a major hardship I'd say def go for the Fusion drive!
     
  4. pnutx007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #4
    That's what I was thinking. I don't want to spend all that money and her not have the hard drive performance that she has on a 4 year old laptop.

    So here's the next question...

    1TB Fusion or 256 SSD? Same price..

    Right now she has a 256 SSD in that 09 MacBook Pro. We have external options for backup...Plus I'm planning on buying more external storage for backup.

    If the performance would be close I might opt for the 1TB Fusion just so she doesn't have to move files around as often. What do you think?
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    From what I've read with a Fusion drive, all writes (like when she's copying new photos to the iMac) will go to the SSD. When the SSD gets low on free space, the Mac will automatically move not-frequently-used files over to the ATA drive, freeing up more space on the SSD.

    If that's really how it works (no first hand experience here), it sounds like only her older photos will go over to the ATA drive.

    If she gets the 256GB SSD drive, it sounds like that same process will apply, it'll just take longer to fill up the SSD drive. When the SSD gets full, files will have to be moved to an external drive. That would be a manual process, though. I'm not sure what program she uses to organize her photos, but Aperture makes relocating files easy (without screwing up anything within Aperture). Not sure how easy it is to do with the Adobe products.

    With the Fusion drive, it seems like you'd just need one big external drive (for Time Machine backups). With the SSD drive, it seems like you'd need two external drives -- one for additional storage, when the SSD fills up, and then another big one to be the Time Machine back for both the Fusion drive and the "additional storage" external. That makes not going with the SSD drive a little more expensive, and you'll have an extra external drive on the desk (if that matters).
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    There's a little more too the heuristics. Apple has set it up where it monitors the usage patterns and keeps the highly accessed files/folders on the SSD and the lesser accessed data on the hard drive.
     
  7. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #7
    Yes get the fusion drive, it's a really good combo of speed and capacity. A fast external raid would be a nice add-on for photo backups. Since it's her business, I'd recommend a dedicated external raid for a 2nd copy of photos (assuming the primary is internal), and a cloud-based "off site" backup just in case of disasters. Shuffling a hard drive on/off site works too, but most people don't have the time/discipline for that. Use time machine for everything else (apps, etc).

    Good luck!
     
  8. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #8
    There's a little more too the it than that! It keeps the most accessed parts of files on the SSD - which makes it even more efficient.

    I have 1TB Fusion and have exceeded the space provided by the SSD to spill onto the HDD - everything feels just as snappy as before and I don't here the HDD spinning up all the time (which is something that some people worry about)
     
  9. pnutx007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #9
    Well thanks for all the comments. I think I've made up my mind. 1TB Fusion it is. With a Time Machine backup.

    Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Now to find $2000+ in the next month :)
     
  10. djc6, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013

    djc6 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #10
    I wanted to buy a 21.5" entry level iMac + Fusion drive… Because of today's black friday deals on the 21.5" iMac, the Fusion drive is an extra $313.07 - $421.07 for me - is it still worth it?

    Lowest price I could find for 21.5" iMac + Fusion is at MacMall for $1499.99 out the door (tax/ship/etc).

    The base model iMac without fusion drive is 1186.92 at best buy online (again, out the door) or 1078.92 at Micro Center if I want to get up early and go to the store. So the Fusion drive is $313.07 - $421.07 more.
     
  11. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #11
    It's subjective. Personally, having had a SSD in my last few Macs, I'd find a Mac without a SSD annoyingly slow. But vs the money saved, that may be an OK trade off for some.
     
  12. trans-olsx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    #12
    Please define "its" in your last paragraph and could you provide the link for the 1186.92 price?
     
  13. djc6 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #13
    I've updated my post. The iMac without fusion drive is $1099 at best buy + 8% sales tax where I live is 1186.92

    You posted the deal in this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1678505

    Or, if I want to get up early… $999 at Micro Center without fusion (I have one nearby) +8% sales tax is $1078.92
     
  14. trans-olsx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013

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