3TB Fusion Drive died, go with 768 SSD instead?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pete78, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. pete78 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #1
    So, the 3TB Fusion Drive (Seagate) died in my brand new 27' 2012 iMac.

    I am in the process of getting a replacement machine, and still have time to switch to the 768SSD if I want. This option is more feasible since the price drop was announced (from $1300 to $900). So, the difference between the 3TB and 768SSD is now "only" $450.

    I'm thinking, even though my situation was perhaps an anomaly, the fact is that the brand new 3TB Fusion Drive crapped out within 2 weeks. Beyond the speed benefit, could I expect more reliability/longevity from the 768SSD compared to the 3TB Fusion? If so, I am tempted. Of course, the draw back is less space, but perhaps that could be handled with an external SSD at a later point.

    I plan to use Lightroom quite a lot, but beyond that, don't expect any special usage.

    Any input is appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. trustever macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    #2
    Congratulation to the Seagate HHD, 2 weeks and is dead...

    With regards to the SSD they are in general more reliable compared to a standard HDD but to make sure not to have problem safest way is to have a good back up up to date.
     
  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #3
    It is too bad the hard drive isn't easily replaceable on the new iMacs. It would be nice to open a door like the old Powermac G3 towers. I recommend you go with the SSD only.
     
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #4
    It's not his problem. The machine was two weeks old. It's the problem of whoever at Apple is going to replace the drive. Most likely the iMac gets replaced, and his iMac is shipped to Apple where they have one guy who does nothing but opening iMacs, having the right tools and everything to open one within ten seconds.

    768 GB SSD is very expensive and very small compared to Fusion with 3TB HD.
     
  5. Woyzeck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    #5
    The problem with the Fusion drive's reliability is that it's only 50% as reliable as a single SSD or HDD due to the coupling between these components.

    And the fact that it can't be replaced by the user is a major design flaw.
     
  6. hummer28 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #6
    I'm facing the same dilemma. The difference is that my issue is the video card. I'm thinking of getting the 768GB SSD, but currently my 3TB Fusion has about 1.7TB of space left on it. Obviously the 768GB SSD drive would pose some storage limitation issues. I got a great suggestion to add an external from another forum member, but I'm worried about the performance of iTunes and iPhoto as my pictures and music would have to be read off of an external drive. I also use Airplay a ton so the thought makes me very nervous. I also don't know how viable an option adding the external drive is for me. It would seem as if I'm adding more fail points. I have to make up my mind by Sunday so we'll see!
     
  7. pete78 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #7
    Yea, that's one thing that concerns me. Would it be slower to read pictures off an external drive than reading them off the internal Fusion? Perhaps if the external is an SSD then there would be no performance reduction, and perhaps even an increase in performance compared to reading off the internal Fusion? I just don't know either, but have to decide soon as well! Let me know what you end up doing.
     
  8. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #8

    If you use a TB external enclosure, your storage performance concerns will be moot and easy to replace and backup.
     
  9. luminouslight macrumors 6502

    luminouslight

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    #9
    Strange.. my 1 TB Fusion Drive died about 2 weeks ago too. Still waiting on a replacement. Why would a week and a half old hard drive just hit the crapper?:confused:
     
  10. jaimejaime macrumors newbie

    jaimejaime

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    #10
    As others have stated, if you're using externals then your space issues will be non-existent.

    Overall it probably depends how/what you use the machine for. For me, performance would be more important than storage, as I work with a lot of big files on a daily basis and have to use externals for storage anyways.

    I would say that if it's in your budget, it'd be worthwhile going the full SSD route.
     
  11. rcook55 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #11
    I did a homebrew fusion drive on my MacBook and it failed, thankfully CCC had no problems backing up a fusion drive so I didn't loose anything. I went back to my pre-fusion setup which was an SSD for OS/Apps and a spinning HDD for data, then I just symlinked the Music/Movies/Photos folders and it's all seamless.

    Fusion is an interesting piece of tech which does work as advertised but it's too failure prone.
     
  12. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Mathematically... that is incorrect. You are correct that reliability decreases.

    /Jim

    ----------

    You have a choice of what data you move external... and you also have a choice (economics notwithstanding) of the performance of your external drive.

    There is essentially no performance degradation by keeping your iTunes media (audio or video) external. iTunes only deals with streaming media... which is just fine on a traditional HDD.

    If you decide at some point that you need faster bulk storage... you can always choose to purchase a larger external SSD... or an external array that gives you spectacular performance.

    Despite the bitching... ThunderBolt is a fantastic capability of our machines... that provides much more flexibility than the masses understand. It allows you to upgrade at a future date nearly irrespective of how your needs change.

    /Jim
     
  13. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #13
    No...not slower at all. The new iMacs have USB3 and T/B options for your external storage. If you use an external SSD, you'll be able to closely mirror the speed of your 'internal' SSD. I did the same with my rMBP. Bought the 768SSD. I've got a 1TB audio collection (iTunes) and over 4 TB of photos...our video drives are in excess of 10TB. It's not really feasible for us to use internal storage, even in the MacPro. I have NO issues using external drives, especially with USB3 and T/B these days! I'm thankful to see F/W800 in the rear view mirror...as it seems like it was always an extra C Note for a drive WITH F/W option for I/O. The new Belkin hub is also available for pre-order...so you'll have plenty of options for connectivity. The new price drop on that SSD makes it an easier decision, for sure. As far as being expensive...so are any other options in SSD/Blade form over 500GB. As jaimejaime mentioned...if you can swing it, the internal SSD option is excellent. Always fast!!

    J
     
  14. kidwei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #14
    Was it a Seagate drive, too?

    I ended up with a WD drive on my 1 TB fusion, which is sadly much slower than the Seagate. But I'm now wondering if the reliability tradeoff might be worth the slower performance.
     
  15. luminouslight macrumors 6502

    luminouslight

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    #15
    Yes it was a seagate drive. I've never had problems before with hard drives before so it was surprising to me that a brand new one would just die like that.
     
  16. kidwei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #16
    The consensus I gather on this board is that Seagate is quite a bit faster but less reliable than WD for desktop drives. Then again, I have I think the same Seagate drive on an external drive, and it's been working fine for 2 years. Not sure what I'd prefer, but I guess I'll have to be content with my WD.
     
  17. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #17
    I've got a 2010 and 2011 21.5" iMacs. Both have been recalled to have their Seagate drives replaced. I'm kinda wondering why Apple went with them again?

    J
     
  18. kidwei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #18
    Should I be then strangely glad that I have the slower WD drive? Please tell me yes ;)
     
  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #19
    Except that having a Fusion drive reduces wear and tear on both components. So unless you have extensive statistics to back this up, it's just your assumption.
     
  20. Dan-- macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #20
    I used to like Seagate, and always thought Maxtor drives had the worst reliability. Then Seagate merged with Maxtor. Sigh.

    Would the speed difference really be noticeable?? I think you are better off.
     
  21. thehustleman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    #21
    Wow, Seagate must have taken a huge nose dive in quality because I have old Seagate drives on my non apple pc from years ago still going strong. I guess I can hope for wd
     
  22. Mac32 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #22
    Get the 768gb SSD. I can't recommend an all-SSD setup enough. Yes, Fusion drives is a nice compromise, but SSD is always fast, totally silent, don't have slow spinups, and is a lot more reliable than HDs in my experience (not a single issue here after 4 years with several SSDs).
     
  23. hestroy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    #23
    SSD probably better solution

    Don't forget that the fusion drive has double possibility to fail (two disks).
     
  24. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    #24
    I understand that reliability is reduced somewhat on a logical volume due to a single failure on one drive device causes a failure of the volume. But, isn't there also more writing back and forth between the two drives in this fusion setup than there might be with a single drive/volume?
     
  25. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    #25
    Given that he paid for the 3TB drive initially, and they dropped the price on the SSD, it really is a shame they aren't easier to open up. I'd love to have the 768 GB SSD, then slap a 3TB drive into the empty slot. Not an option direct from Apple. Even if it was, you'd pay the stiff Apple Tax for that option.
     

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