256gb SSD or 1TB fusion drive in new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macmee, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. macmee Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Assuming I buy the new 5k iMac, is there a big difference between a 256GB SSD or a fusion drive in performance?

    I have a 2010 iMac now with a HDD. Whilst the 2010 iMac is crazy fast, the HDD makes it painfully slow.

    This turns me off of getting a fusion drive. Would the 256gb SSD be much faster? I could just get an external HD if I need storage.
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
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    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    Unless you do heavy I/O operations (video editing, rendering, etc), I don't think you'd see much of a difference.

    In raw performance, the 256GB SSD is much faster (especially the Samsung variant).

    Fusion:
    300-400MB/s write, 700MB/s read.

    Samsung SM0256F SSD:
    650-680MB/s write, 720MB/s read.

    SanDisk SD0256F SSD:
    550MB/s write, 700MB/s read.

    It's a lottery between the SD and SM variants if you go for a 256GB SSD. I got lucky on my 21.5" iMac and got a Samsung. IRL, I doubt you'd be able to see much of a performance difference.

    512GB and 1TB are Samsung-only.
     
  3. OurDarkness macrumors member

    OurDarkness

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    Oct 11, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    #3
    Is this a fact for riMacs too?

    Also, are the Samsung 512GB and 1024GB SSDs connected with 4 pins instead of 2? (I am not sure they are actually *pins*)
     
  4. DerekS macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #4
    I went Fusion in my 2012 iMac. Never again. Pure SSD all the way.
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #5
    Yes, it's true for all PCIe SSDs across the entire Mac range, except for the Mac Pro, where it's all Samsung XP941-based ones.

    Only 1TBs have a 4-lane channel (in the rMBPs, at least). The nMPs have 4-lanes regardless of capacity.
     
  6. OurDarkness macrumors member

    OurDarkness

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    #6
    Thank you!
     
  7. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a

    Wahlstrm

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #7
    Never ever ever never ever put a spinning disk in an iMac.
    It´s right infront of your face spinning at the same height as your ears.
    Horrible, just horrible spinning noise.
    And it will die. :)
     
  8. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #8
    Really? I have an HDD in my MBP (granted, not at ear-level), and I've never heard it. The fans are far louder.

    Speaking of which, is an iMac quieter than an MBP?
     
  9. Antipode2012 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #9
    This is very interesting. Do you have read/write speeds for the 1TB SSD. Any reason other than cost not to go for the 1TB option?

     
  10. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a

    Wahlstrm

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #10
    MBP usually has 5400rpm 2,5" drives that are small, slow and silent.
    iMacs usually has 7200rpm 3,5" drives that are big, faster and a lot more noisy.

    And the placement, high up and in front of you, just makes it worse.

    If you never had a computer with all flash storage then you might not notice it that much but once you go all flash you can never go back.

    I have two Macs right now (Air and Mini) and for 90% of the time they don´t make more noise than my iPad does = zero :)

    I had an 2009 27" iMac for a while and the HDD was horrible, spinning up and down, up and down.. Even in sleep mode it would start spinning every now and then. And when they die, its a real pain to open up he imac and change it.. :)
     
  11. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #11
    Thanks for the info. The HDD in my MBP is actually 7200 RPM, but yes it's 2.5". I didn't realize 3.5" desktop drives were louder. A practically silent computer sounds amazing (pun intended). I do audio recording, and have had more than my fair share of audio takes maimed by my MBP fans lol
     
  12. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    Seattle
    #12
    The iMac hard drives are so quiet anyway, you'd have to really strain to hear them. And if you have any ambient sound, they're for all intents and purposes silent. An external disk (e.g. my 3TB Thunderbolt Seagate drive) is much, much louder.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #13
    On my 15" rMBP, the 1TB SSD goes around 1000 MB/s in both reads and writes.

    On my 13" rMBP and both my 27" iMacs (non-retina and retina), the 512GB SSD goes around 720-750 MB/s in both reads and writes.

    However, I don't notice any difference between them when doing work.
     
  14. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #14
    So you are disagreeing with Wahlstrm, right? You feel the iMac is pretty much silent, even with an HDD.
     
  15. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #15
    Yes, absolutely. When the hard drive spins up, it's occasionally audible, and then after it spins up its tone blends in with the fan in the system. I've had the best of both worlds, since I have a the 1TB Fusion disk, and my OS installed on an external Thunderbolt SSD. So the fusion disk hard disk portion is not spinning most of the time. I do notice when it spins up if it's deathly quiet in the room, but otherwise not.
     
  16. Effusion01 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #16
    I got the Retina iMac today and went with the fusion drive, debated between fusion or ssd, after spending hours trying to restore backup from time machine, started having some partition issues with fusion and in the end just returned it by evening as found the iMac to be slow copying files and at the same time there was sound from the drives running, just went ahead and put an order in for 1tb ssd. My worry was that after spending so much on an iMac would have always doubted speed, specially when paying so much for the iMac, I think going the ssd way is better.
     
  17. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #17
    Precisely. SSD's all the way, hybrid is/was a cheap marketing thing to save $$$. Fusion drives suck.

    Next week, I will try to express myself more concisely :)
     
  18. hyune83 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #18
    Does the fusion drive really get 700mbs read speeds?
     
  19. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    Dec 24, 2007
    #19
    Only when you're reading something you just wrote, like when doing a benchmark.
     

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