5K iMac Drive options ...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Flynnstone, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #1
    I just bought a 5K iMac with 4G i7 & 512G SSD.
    I thought about buying the 3T fusion, but figure 3T is not big enough anyway.
    So if I bought the 3T fusion, I have a 128G internal SSD with a internal 3T spinner.
    I'd still need to add a external drive anyway.
    So I bought with the 512G internal SSD.

    So ... I could buy a 8T external spinner and either 2 "drives" or have an 8.5T "Fusion" drive.

    What are the pros & cons to these setups?
    Are there better ideas?
     
  2. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #2
    You can add another SSD or a hard drive to the internal of your iMac.

    Putting it inside your iMac improves the performance and minimizes the risk of accidentally disconnecting.
     
  3. Flynnstone thread starter macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #3
    I have a 2009 24" iMac now. I replaced the hard drive years ago (after warranty ). Not going to do that for a brand new iMac.
    But you bring up an interesting issue. What happens to a Fusion drive if a drive becomes disconnected. Does it get corrupted? Can I just plug it back in & it automagically fixes?
    I like the speed of SSD. I like the simplicity of a Fusion drive.
    How much slower is an external thunderbolt (or USB 3) drive versus internal? Any speed tests out there?
     
  4. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #4
    Well, if the external hard drive disconnects, your desktop will disappear. You'll need a reboot.

    I also want to mention that adding a hard drive or a solid state drive to your iMac does NOT void the warranty if the process is done correctly.
     
  5. Flynnstone thread starter macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #5
    Yes, but ...

    I design embedded systems/computers for a living. I like buying Macs because they "just work".
    I'm trying to keep simple. If Apple offered a 6T Fusion iMac, I probably would have bought it.
     
  6. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    1 Finite Place
    #6
    You can add a second internal HDD, SSD only iMacs I believe you need to get the brackets and data cable.
    I don't recommend an external drive fused with the internal. I don't know precisely if the disk identifier changes over time with external drives, but thats one i'd be fearful of, that and losing power to the external drive, etc. if a drive fails yeah both parts are useless until it is rebuilt.
     
  7. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #7
    Bracket is included. Hard drive cable can be purchased for $20.
     
  8. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #8
    I don't know if you bought something like a 4 bay Thunderbolt case if it would let you make a fusion drive by putting in an SSD and a Spinner HD. Never tried it so I don't know, but I can't see why not as they are part of the same case so they could never get out of sync. You would then have extra space for additional drives if you ever needed to add, or the more likely that SSD drive capacity and cost will come down enough over the next 2 years you can just add in a 8-10Tb SSD into the case and it will run at the spead of your Thunderbold.
     
  9. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #9
    Rather than trying to make a Fusion drive, I would just go with an external unit as a second volume. I have a 1TB Apple SSD and an external 16TB Drobo 5D as a separate volume/icon on my desktop.
     
  10. dimme macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #10
    I have a few external drives attached to my I mac. Some are SSD and the others are HDD. I have never had a problem with them disconnecting.
     
  11. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #11
    Yes, you can create Fusion drives in external multibay enclosures. I have a couple of LaCie "Little Big Disk" Thunderbolt enclosures with a 256GB SSD and a 2TB Hard Disk in them joined as a DIY Fusion drive.

    There was a period where I had a 4-disk Pegasus J4 (looks like a Mac Mini) with a SSD and 3 Hard Disks in a Fusion array. It worked great, but I outgrew it with the 2.5" disk size.
     
  12. Flynnstone thread starter macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #12
    Internal SSD and external hd fusion not recommended. I can see that.

    Interesting idea on external fusion drive.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Why not buy an external drive array, that runs RAID? You can opt for a NAS (if other computers will access the drive), or a DAS. You get the the benefits of Fusion (multiple drives logically joined to a single volume) but also the benefits of RAID where you have data duplication in various forms, depending on the type of RAID that comes with the system and how many bays it may have. Plus most are hot swappable so you can easily replace a drive without interruptions

    So I'd get an internal SSD for the performance, and then something like a 4 bay drive array.
     
  14. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #14
    As Mike suggested above, get a "ThunderBay 4 Raid Edition" from OWC, put 4 high speed 2TB disks in it, use the SoftRAID to create a 6TB RAID-5 array which will be much faster than a internal disk (fusion or not), and it will have single-disk redundancy in case of disk failure.

    As usual: if this is your only copy of the data, you still need to keep a backup of it. But a slow external USB3 8GB backup disk will work and not take up much space and will be fine for backup purposes.


    An alternate less-secure method: use the ThunderBay 4 with 3ea 2TB disk in RAID-0 and put a 8TB disk in the forth bay. Or use 3ea 3TB disk in RAID-5 for 6TB total with redundancy PLUS a 6 or 8 TB disk for backup. Your risk is catastrophic failure or theft of the enclosure takes both copies of your data.

    My backup solution, since I have many computers in the house, is a NAS hidden down in the basement which might be overlooked in the event of theft. I also have a NAS for "archive" storage accessible to all computers.
     
  15. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #15
    I wish the Apple BTO options included a 3TB SSD drive. I'd be all over that in a minute.
     
  16. IngerMan macrumors 65816

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #16
    This is not the storage size you are looking at but I am impressed with the speeds, and it bootable. They also have a 500GB for $700 that is thunderbolt 3, so for my current machine I would need an adapter TB3-TB2. Hopefully prices keep dropping for this type of unit.

    Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 12.22.58 PM.png
     

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