27 inch iMac: base or with Fusion?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by djstrike, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. djstrike macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    At first it took my some time to decide for which imac i should go (21 or 27).
    Based on the posts on this site and the various reviews i've decided i should go for the 27 inch model.

    The 27 has a better monitor panel (higher screen resolution), faster harddisk, memory can be upgraded. The 21 (except the base model) are too expensive in my opinion. The 21 and 27 arevboth more expensive than the 2011 model.
    I am an average user (internet/mail/ms office/photo edit/video edit). This will be my first mac and i want it to last at least 5 years. My current pc is getting slower and slower, will this happen to the mac also without a fusion drive?

    Thanks in advance for your reply!
  2. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    If you want it to last 5 years getting an iMac without the fusion or the pure ssd option is a bad idea. An SSD is the single best upgrade you can do for a systems overall speed.
  3. djstrike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2012
    I tfhought the base model was best value for money? So i would regret it if i don't go for the fusion model? It costs a large amount extra. I thought that for the 21 it's necessary because of the slow harddrive, but the 27 model harddisk is faster so you could go for the base (even if it should last at least 5 years?)

    Has anyone tested both models?

    Thanks again
  4. czeluff macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    Just received the iMac that's in my sig.

    If you'll be under OS X all of the time, then the Fusion Drive is what you want. Speed, storage, etc. Getting the large SSD doesn't make much sense, because all of the writes are performed on the SSD, and the OS will stay on the SSD as well. There's only going to be a few times where you'll see slower-than-ssd speeds.

    However, if you plan on being under Windows a good portion, and you want the same SSD speeds there, then consider the full-size SSD, since BootCamp won't use the SSD at all for Windows. Even still, I couldn't justify the price.
  5. herbapou macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2011
    The stores keep the 27" models with the i7, fusion and the gtx 680. This is what i will get, and i wont need to order online.

    Imo fusion is worth it
  6. darkanddivine macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    If you are going for the 27, I think any option is a possibility, but it all depends on your budget and needs. I chose the 21 because of the desk size I use and a couple other peripherals that generally suit that screen resolution. That did lock me in somewhat to the Fusion drive because I believe the performance of the regular 5200rpm HD isn't that great and is in some cases slightly slower than the 2011 model. You are right in that sense that this option becomes expensive and I seriously considered the 27".

    If I hadn't needed to go with a smaller model, I would have stuck with the base 27. A regular hard drive might last 5 years, it might not. You can look at it many ways, but even then there are no guarantees of life in any electrical device like that, whether it's Fusion, Standard HD or full SSD, that is just the nature of Disc based storage. Of course you can buy Applecare which covers you for 3 years in case something truly goes west in your hard drive system.

    In terms of performance, in the 21, you probably have to look at Fusion which pushes the price up, but for the 27.... you might decide if you are a casual user it is a "nice to have" rather than a must have. By the end of that computer's life, the whole SSD thing will probably have sorted itself out, it will probably be the standard and they will be cheaper. The theory could well be, if you've never had a fusion drive, you don't know what it's like so you won't miss it not being there.

    Here's some benchmarks for your options, and you should decide if you really need that extra speed. If it were me as a casual user I'd say no to Fusion, unless I had the extra money lying around to play with. The machine even without it will perform well, however with Fusion you do get an undeniable speed boost for working with file transfers, loading apps etc. It's your call as to whether you prefer to save money now for your next one, or gamble on the new technology.
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I think you could flip a coin and get the same response as around here. Personally, I'm not sold on Fusion yet. Too new, too little real use data.

    Buy why do you want it to last 5 years? It's more cost effective to sell at two years and buy the newest model with proceeds. At two years you'll still get at least 60% of what you paid. At 5 years maybe $200 for parts.
  8. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Fusion FTW sooo much faster that alone is worth it. This was my first Mac as well and so glad I went that route, everything else base model 27" aside from Fusion its worth the 250$.
  9. czeluff macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    I've been using my machine under OS X all day; the Fusion drive has been working so well. The speeds are identical to my 15" MBP that has a 256gb SSD.

    Now that I have this speed on my desktop, I could never go back to a non-SSD machine, Fusion or not.
  10. biggd macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2008
  11. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
    What I don't understand is why apple charges $250 for a 128GB SSD which doesn't come close to the performance of other SSDs.
  12. Jeantro macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    for my experience

    I received my new imac with 7200/tr HDD and I am very happy with it

    it has very good performance and If I want more I get an external thunderlolt case wuth SSD but for the moment I'm very I'm very satisfied

    this is the bench of my hard disk I find it correct for a 7200/tr

  13. sukanih macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2012
    And this is mine for the experience, I received my Imac few days a go with Fusion Drive. I'm more than happy I choose Fusion drive it's really fast.. :)

    Attached Files:

  14. iLondoner macrumors 6502


    Data storage is always going to the bottleneck on any computer so anything that can be done to speed things up is going to make a huge difference to any task.

    I am extremely happy with the performance of the 3TB Fusion Drive. As I started to load up the iMac initially everything was presumably on the 128GB SSD component and really fast. I've now got about 350GB on the machine, and as I was loading up 50GB chunks at a time I noticed it slowing, but now its back to being ultra fast again.

    I deleted the iTunes cache and it rebuilt it again (620MB) as fast as I could scroll through the 500+ albums in album view.

    As a comparison, my write times on Blackmagic are up to 312MB/s and read times up to 420 MB/s. Machine is an otherwise base 27".
  15. Jeantro macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    I Will get the same result or more later with an external case thunderbolt with Samsung 840 ssd
  16. sukanih macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2012
    How about to start or boot the Imac ? will be the same result ? :eek:
  17. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I don't think anyone who wants to do a fair comparison would compare the Fusion Drive with a single regular HDD. What's better to compare is; Is it worth it to

    1. Get the Fusion Drive(considering you get 1TB of HDD and 128GB of SSD in it)
    2. Stick with the regular 1TB HDD and buy an external 256GB SSD, install the OS on the external and boot from that instead

    Going with option 1 is obviously going to get your SSD+HDD "system" all in one which is nice but it is more expensive and you get a smaller SSD.

    Going with option 2 will bring a bit more clutter to your desk(although you can find some really nice looking external SSD's nowadays) but will be cheaper(or roughly the same) and you get a larger SSD(and faster too depending on which SSD you pick).
  18. Jeantro macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    you can boot to mountain lion directly to an SSD on external case with thunderbolt or usb 3 a friend do it with the last imac 2012 and get a little better performance van fusion drive


    very good summarize
  19. rbetchel macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2012
    Imac with External Lacie 256 GB SSD as Boot Drive

    It was my decision to opt for a 256 GB external SSD Thunderbolt (LACIE) and the plain 1 TB 7200 internal. My reason was that I valued having the SSD be twice the size of what is on the Fusion Drive. That being said- there is a bit of a trade off in speed.

    Using the Blackmagicdesign Disk Speed Test I am seeing 251.2 MB/s writes and 386 MB/s reads. The system feels blazing fast with start up occurring in under ten seconds. I will use the 1 TB internal to store media and archived photos. All apps and working files will be on the external SSD. It is amazing to have major apps such as Aperture launch in just a second or two.

    Attached Files:

  20. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    The 5400rpm at Best Buy was awful. It gave spinning beach balls every time I clicked on anything.
  21. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    So how much slower is that? And is it because of being external that it is slower or is the LaCie SSD simply slower?
  22. richard371 macrumors 68020

    Feb 1, 2008
    I have to admit the 7200 HD in the new iMac is pretty fast. I get about 180mb/s
  23. drewaz macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    I'm coming from a 2007 iMac and just received my new 27" 3TB fusion machine ... man, it boots in seconds and every program I have opens in a few seconds ....
  24. Jeantro macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    where do you see is that slower :D

    if you want best performance you put in the lacie TB a samsung 840 pro and you get the best data rate you can ger with an SSD drive in this moment ;)

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