512Gb / 1Tb SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by acculess, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. acculess macrumors newbie

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    Oct 18, 2014
    #1
    After trying to work out the relative merits of Fusion v SSD I've decided to go with the SSD option. Now trying to work out whether to go with the 512Gb or 1Tb version.

    The price difference between the two is £375 for BTO. I currently already use around 700Gb on my iMac (and have already moved my movies on to an external drive) - however, I could easily also move my music, photos, iMove projects and documents to an external drive too to get my usage requirements down to around 200-300Gb.

    However, other than just going for a straight external USB HDD what are my best options for external storage. Is this effectively only going to cost me around the same amount as upgrading the internal SSD in the first place?

    Thanks

    John.
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #2
    Best options are Thunderbolt 2 enclosures with SSD inside and IMHO USB 3 enclosure with SSD inside for second best solution. There are a number of each available, you just have find one that best suits your needs. However if all you are going to do is move your movie library off to an external drive I'd go with a OWC Mercury Elite Pro HD that supports USB 3 and you should be fine.
     
  3. bjmoose macrumors member

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  4. acculess thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 18, 2014
    #4
    It may well be a good drive but at $1,200 its significantly more expensive than just upgrading the internal SSD on the BTO...
     
  5. scottomfg macrumors member

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    Oct 21, 2014
    #5
    Something like this would serve you well (USB3, 4TB for $310): http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MED3FH7T4.0/

    The drives are RAID 0 Striped, so they will be almost twice as fast as a normal spinning HDD (note: if you use RAID 0 set-up always make sure the drive is being backed up hourly by TimeMachine, which you should already be doing anyway). That isn't SSD speed by any means, but it sounds like you don't need blazing speed for these files. Your music and photos will load plenty fast.

    This option gives you 8 times more storage vs the 1TB upgrade price (.5TB vs 4TB) and saves you about $200. And at a better speed than just a vanilla HDD.

    The key is just to have good drive management where you keep the things you are actively working on on the internal SSD and then move them to external once they move onto the archive/occasional use part of their existence.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #6
    That's because the internal SSD cannot be purchased anywhere else besides Apple, because it's a blazing-fast, proprietary non-M.2 PCIe SSD.
     
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    #7
    I use two rMBPs here in my home office, a mid-2012 8/512GB and a late-2013 16/1TB - the latter of which I bought because I wanted more space for my stuff.

    If I had to buy a rMBP now and I was in the same situation you are in now and I was in earlier this year, I'd buy the 16/512GB AND a mid-range Mac Mini with attached DAS to store/serve my movies/music/files - for about the same cash one gets the best of both worlds.

    My newer rMBP sure has a zippy SSD, tho'... :)
     
  8. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    Dec 24, 2007
    #8
    I had 768Gb on my rMBP, and had various video and most music and stuff externally. Bit of a pain in the neck, to be honest. It's good to get everything back on to the internal drive with a 1Tb drive and have plenty of space for video work. This was a NZ$6500 machine, but if I'd spent NZ$800 less to have 512Gb it would have been far too much money for far too little computer.
     
  9. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #9
    Honestly, I have regrets for getting the Fusion Drive on my 2012 iMac, even though it's a good value. I say if you have the money, get the 1TB SSD and don't look back, especially if you're thinking keeping the machine for at least a good 3-5 years. I've maxed out my 1TB Fusion drive but to think of having the entire drive with SSD performance would have been sublime.
     
  10. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #10
    Whats your read write speeds with a max out Fusion drive?
     
  11. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

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    #11
    acculess,

    Rather than upgrade to Apple's 1 TB SSD, you could invest that money towards a robust RAID 5 solution such as the OWC Thunderbay 4 RAID 5 edition. Or, if you need to keep costs low, then just the OWC Thunderbay 4 without the RAID 5.

    RAID 5 will give you high performance, a lot more storage (if needed), and great fault-tolerance/redundancy.

    Bryan
     
  12. dagamer34 macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

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    #12
    I'm trying to figure out what needs require more than 512GB but less than 1TB of fast storage on a single drive. 256GB is too small for most people long term and storage is relatively non-upgradeable, which i why I eliminated that option. The only thing that takes up huge chunks of storage space is photos and video, and since that will eventually escalate past 1TB, it will eventually need to be stored elsewhere. Unless you have a more complicated system where you limit your active set and archive older data elsewhere, you're going to eventually need to get a RAID system to store your data on more than a single drive while maintaining SSD-like transfer speeds.
     
  13. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

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    Apr 4, 2009
    #13
    Ebay.com is the place to search for these drives. If one can go without Bluetooth and Wifi, an Apple/Samsung SSD should fit in any '14 mac mini's PCIe slot. The price fluctuates and usually drops to $600 for the Apple/Samsung 1tb.
     
  14. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #14
    Hi, I'm a Blackmagic Speed Test noob, but the highest numbers I saw on the right hand side of the app were 303 write /505 read.
     
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #15
    I went for a pure SSD configuration (512GB) in my retina iMac and it's way faster :D
     

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  16. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #16
    I am absolutely envious! Awesome speeds. That's exactly why I wish I had gotten pure SSD.
     
  17. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    Dec 24, 2007
    #17
    Note that these are really misleading for the actual speeds you'll see. When doing a speed test the fusion drive can mostly service it from SSD (as it's reading what it's just written, and it'll write to SSD first and transfer it over at leisure later). In real life fusion is way slower than these figures might lead you to believe, as much of the time you will be accessing the HDD.
     
  18. tillsbury, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I'm sure it's possible to stay on 512Gb, but with 1Tb you don't end up having to make any compromises or think about where you put things.

    Now I've moved most things I want on to my new iMac, the space required is:

    125Gb in "documents" (normal files)
    55Gb in "applications"
    115Gb in "pictures" (Aperture library)
    87Gb in "movies" (FCPX current stuff)
    16Gb in "sites" (various websites I run)
    85Gb in "music" (includes MP3, Logic files, midi stuff)
    80Gb in two main virtual machines (XP for accounts and some stuff, and Win10)
    22Gb in "library" (application support, mostly)
    82Gb in thunderbird database (email)

    Total just short of 700Gb including some other bits and bobs.

    I'll probably end up putting a 50Gb Bootcamp partition on one day soon.

    I used to just get this into 768Gb on my rMBP, but it was a bit of a pain sometimes. With 1Tb it's easy, and allows me to use 1-200+Gb for FCPX projects without thinking about it (they go on the NAS once they're completed).

    Yes, if you use a lot of photos and videos, they will go past 1Tb without a doubt. But they're obviously going to be stored externally. You still need a little local storage for it.

    These figures haven't changed a great deal. My 2011 PC had a 512Gb SSD as its primary drive (but also spinning discs that held music and some pictures, and I didn't need virtual machines then). The previous one had 256Gb, and very little could be held on the system drive (apps and email and some documents, mainly). The previous one to that had 128Gb SSD, which contained pretty much the OS and apps.

    Getting nearly everything on to the primary SSD and still having a bit of space left over has thus taken about 5-6 years, but it's been worth it.
     
  19. odedia macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Lacie 5big Thunderbolt 1 gives you 10tb of storage with SSD-like speeds of around 750mb/s. It costs 1000$. I'm still considering myself what is better, 1tb SSD or 512gb+Lacie 5big.
     
  20. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #20
    If you're currently using 700GB, 1TB SSD isn't enough long term, you'll quickly have to move data to an external drive.

    You're best choice is getting a 512GB SSD iMac and a good external HDD. For the price difference between 512GB and 1TB SSD, you can get a 4TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt interface: http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-raid-thunderbolt-mac-and-pc

    There are many options; I just mention that for example.
     
  21. Penman61 macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #21
    Noob question: In use, how do these drives appear to the end-user on the iMac? They're not just extra storage, right, but actual extra drives, so how does the iMac know which drive to access?
     
  22. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #22
    They appear as a mounted volume with a name, typically one you supply. Unlike Windows that calls them C:, D:, etc, in OS X they have a familiar name. You copy files there or import files from your camera, iPhone, etc. When you move or copy files you have the option of where they go. You just put them on the external drive which appears in Finder or the file/open dialog box.

    In the case of a database-oriented app like iTunes, Lightroom, etc, you tell the app the first time where your files and library are. Afterwards it knows what drive volume and folder they are in. If you don't tell the app, it will usually by default use your main "Macintosh HD".

    Using the appropriate procedure your files/folders can later be moved from your Mac HD to an external drive. For database/library-oriented apps like Lightroom, iTunes, etc. you normally don't want to move these within Finder, but use the app itself to move them, else next time the app runs it won't be able to find them.
     
  23. touchUpInside, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    touchUpInside macrumors member

    touchUpInside

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    #23
    I believe this is only the case if it has two drives raid 0 striped, otherwise USB 3 is fast enough.
     
  24. Penman61 macrumors member

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    #24
    VERY helpful. Thank you. :)
     
  25. dagamer34 macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

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    #25
    Yep, 1TB is small enough that you are doing some kind of contortion to fit into that limit. 87GB of video sounds like a working set, not all video that you currently have and ever hope to shoot in the lifetime of the Mac (unless you are a hobbyist).
     

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