24GB SSD enough for casual use?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KeyMs92, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. KeyMs92 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm thinking of buying a low-end 21.5" iMac. The only element I will upgrade is (of course) the storage option. But I can't really decide between a 1TB and 2TB fusion drive. So how much flash do you actually need for casual use? To give you an idea, here's some apps I'll probably be using:

    - Chrome browser (by far no. 1)
    - 1Password
    - Dropbox
    - Plex Media Player
    - VLC
    - Microsoft Office
    - Goodsync

    I've only ever used Windows, so perhaps there are some new apps I wil use, but I think this gives you some idea of what I'll do with it. No photo/audio/video software, but mostly browsing, office work and media playback.
     
  2. alexxk macrumors 6502

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  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    I disagree, the 24GB will imo only be large enough to hold the OS and most everything else will be on the slow hard drive.
     
  4. alexxk macrumors 6502

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    #4
    LoL I'm just tired.

    I read 24GB Ram

    Yes, just 24 GB ram is not enough.
     
  5. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

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    #5
    No....

    Despite what some might suggest 24GB SSD is not nearly adequate.
    Only marginally better than a total spinner.
     
  6. KeyMs92 thread starter macrumors regular

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  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    I know there are a bunch of threads with people outraged over the 1TB Fusion setup only having 24GB of flash storage, but have we seen any real world tests yet?

    In theory the Fusion drive moves the most used files to the flash storage. So in OP's case, that would mean only parts of the OS and the apps he listed (below) would get moved to the flash section and operate at full speed. I'm guessing for his very light usage everything would mostly run of the flash area and work pretty well.

     
  8. KeyMs92, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015

    KeyMs92 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Not topic-related per se, but just wanted to let know that I've changed my mind. I'm going all in for the 27" iMac.

    I've never owned a Mac before, and I currently use a scrappy old Dell desktop. If I decide to buy, it's going to be insane :O. BUT... I'll give it another week before I decide.

    But I'll still go for the 2TB fusion drive. It means I only need an external drive as backup drive and I have nice margin of free space.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    I haven't seen any but I'm just using my flawed common sense where the OS takes close to 18GB (if not more) that leaves precious little space for user files. When you consider apps and data it appears to me to be woefully inadequate but you're right some real world comparisons (old vs new) is needed
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    I know an OS install would use around 18GB like you said, but the way Fusion works is that whole 18GB would not end up stored on the flash portion of the Fusion drive (at least as I understand how it works). Maybe only a small part of it would be there since many of the files would not be frequently used. Fusion is block based and not file based, so it would have very fine grain control over what is on the flash portion. It would be interesting to do some testing on one of these to see exactly what is on the flash portion and what is not.
     
  11. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

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    #11
    If you want to tell the OP that 24GB flash would be adequate, go ahead.

    I would never recommend such a measly SSD to anyone under any circumstances.
    Even though it may be fine for some light usage it leaves zero room for expansion or future <larger> OS upgrades.

    I don't think most buyers spending the kind of money for an iMac intend to use it for a year and sell......future proofing is almost always part of the equation.
    IMHO, Stay away from the 1TB Fusion with only 24GB flash under all circumstances.
     
  12. mrnoglue, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015

    mrnoglue macrumors member

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    #12
    I just purchased the 21.5 inch iMac w/o Retina display and with the 1tb fusion -- the iris pro mid-tier model.

    So far, I have been unable to tell the difference between the fusion drive and the ssd in my MacBook Pro.

    I use the computer for Word, iTunes. Outlook, Safari, and Microsoft Remote Desktop. I don't code, edit video, or play computer games.

    The mid-tier model with the base fusion drive flies for basic to medium use.

    My rationale for holding off on the Retina display is the lack of target display mode. If in the future I purchase an additional iMac, I would like to be able to use my 2015 iMac as an extra monitor -- that is currently impossible with any retina iMac model. Next year or the year after, when target display mode is available, the iMac w/ retina will be a much smarter buy.

    As for future proofing concerns -- max specs are always better.

    /edited.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    It sounds like you have never used one and you have not provided any test links backing up what you are saying. If you think about the way a Fusion drive works with OP's described usage, just about everything would be running off the flash portion and should work quite well.

    Like I said, it would be interesting to see some real world comparison of these so we know for sure.
     
  14. Buerkletucson, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015

    Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

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    #14

    Have you provided any test links backing up your comments? :rolleyes:
    Did you even read my post?

    Comparing a 512SSD and 1TB Fusion (other HW identical) at the Apple store was enough for me......give it a try once it might open your closed eye view.
    Boot, multiple App launches, file transfers, etc.

    I've used about 15 iMacs with Fusion drives.....how about you?

    Now go read my prior post again.....o_O
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    Yes I did read your post and you have not answered my question. Have you used the new 1TB 24GB flash Fusion drive or seen any tests to support what you have said?

    I clearly said I have not used that model and I was interested in seeing some testing. I have used the previous gen. Fusion drive.

    I am basing my comment on my understanding of how a Fusion drive works and the OP very light work loads.

    You seem oddly worked up over this, so I'll leave you alone and just agree to disagree. :)
     
  16. idyll macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Is it possible to "disconnect" or "split" the Fusion and use the 128GB or 24GB SSD separate from the 1TB / 2TB HDD?
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #17
    Yes... this page explains the steps.
     
  18. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

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    #18
    Read my previous post.....that was a 1TB/24GB Fusion
     
  19. dogslobber macrumors 68020

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    #19
    My /Applications folder is 2.4GB and if the OS is about 18GB then you might make it. But it's been shaven down to the bone IMO which means if you could end up with access to the spinner and this is a poxy 5400rpm laptop drive from yester-decade. Really, what were Apple thinking to cripple the 1TB Fusion drive? They should be ashamed of themselves.
     
  20. blueeggs macrumors member

    blueeggs

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    #20
    Plus the page file will try to save what's in your system ram to the ssd when you put your Mac to sleep. If you think you will upgrade the ram past 8 gb you will definitely want to get the 2 tb fusion drive. Apple actually recommends you to if you are going to have more ram installed. If there isn't enough space on the ssd portion the os will copy the data from the ram to the spinning drive which will make your wake from sleep alot slower.
     
  21. Cape Dave macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Plus, a fully filled SSD is asking for trouble.
     
  22. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #22
    I don't think this applies to the ssd part in fusion drives.
     
  23. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    #23
    I swear that this argument comes up far too often and the same sides are thrown back and forth. But the understanding on how the fusion works is still lacking.

    Think of the fusion SSD as a big flash ram disk that can be used to increase the performance of a hard drive. From the Mac OS side, it might make sense to have some of it stored permanently there where it's the fastest to access. But in drive access and OS programming technology, there is something called pre-buffering. So the computer starts to load something, but cannot deal with everything all at once, so it reads and starts to process what it just read. Meanwhile, the remainder of what is needed can be pre-buffered into faster SSD storage to be read later when it is needed. This does not need to be stored permanently on the SSD but sits there until it is needed, then flagged to be overwritten.

    Fusion works the same way when writing a file. It sees the free space on the SSD and writes to that but flags it as non critical so that the OS when it has background time can move this from the SSD to the slower hard drive. Thus you get the fast speed of SSD and the large storage capacity of Hard Drives at the lower price.


    Where fusion breaks down is where too much random access where the files are not in SSD and it swamps the pre-buffer ability to get it as it doesn't know what is next. or, the amount of space available on the SSD it too small to properly cashe the files (both read and write issue). As well, if too many tasks are happening at once that the background tasks stall the foreground.

    The bigger the SSD, there is more breathing room for the system to do lazy writes. There is more room to permanently store more high access files without needing to pre-buffer. But just because you might have more files than space does not mean it stops working. It just doesn't work as efficiently.
     
  24. flashy-cat macrumors regular

    flashy-cat

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    #24
    Personally, I'd go for the biggest SSD only option you can afford, and use a Synology NAS for your large media collection (if you have one) or files.
     
  25. dogslobber macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Where is the recovery partition on a 1tb fusion drive? SSD part or on the spinner?
     

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