Custom Fusion Drive isn't reaching NVME (Blade SSD) speeds...

DaSal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
223
7
The Netherlands
EDIT: Solution in post #10

So my iMac 5K had a standard 2TB Fusion drive (2TB HDD + 120gb NVME/Blade). It functioned allright when running off the NVME but would slow down to a crawl when working with files or editing files that were on the spinny disk.

However, when running a Black Magic Disk Speed Test the fusion drive did get read write results around like 2000 MB read, 1500 Mb write - something like that. It would reach NVME speeds because the Fusion Drives incoming writes to the NVME part of the fusion drive. Edit: NVME speeds for this model are 750 MB writing and 2500 MB reading speeds.

Now I upgraded the spinny disk to a 1TB SDD so that performance wouldn't suffer when not using the NVME - and I refused them into a fusion drive. (So 1TB SSD + NVME). This seems to have worked properly - I do see the correct fused file size.

However, now in speed test I get around 70 Mb writing and 500 MB read. Which is weird because... Well it should be able to write a lot faster. The odd thing is that the read speeds are correct. It also looks like it's prioritising the SSD for writes and reads instead of the NVME.
EDIT:I enabled Trim for the SSD and am now getting around 450/500 MB, so that's resolved. However it should still be reaching the NVME speeds instead of the SSD speeds.

Anybody have an idea how to fix it? Can I set which drive the fusion drive should use as the cache disk somehow?

Thanks! Diskutil list:

/dev/disk0 (internal):

#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER

0: GUID_partition_scheme 121.3 GB disk0

1: EFI EFI 314.6 MB disk0s1

2: Apple_APFS Container disk2 121.0 GB disk0s2


/dev/disk1 (internal, physical):

#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER

0: GUID_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk1

1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1

2: Apple_APFS Container disk2 1000.0 GB disk1s2


/dev/disk2 (synthesized):

#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER

0: APFS Container Scheme - +1.1 TB disk2

Physical Stores disk0s2, disk1s2

1: APFS Volume Hyperfusion 196.8 GB disk2s1

2: APFS Volume Preboot 49.1 MB disk2s2

3: APFS Volume Recovery 517.0 MB disk2s3

4: APFS Volume VM 2.1 GB disk2s4
 
Last edited:

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
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Now I upgraded the spinny disk to a 1TB SDD so that performance wouldn't suffer when not using the NVME - and I refused them into a fusion drive...
I don't know the answer to your specific question, but want to point out that the reason for using a fusion drive is solely because spinning disks are slow. Since you've replaced the hard disk with an SSD there is no reason to create a fusion drive. You should simply use the SSD as a second drive. If you must combine the space on the two devices, then use RAID, not fusion. Follow the instructions from Apple to create a concatenated (JBOD) set.

https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/create-a-disk-set-dskua23150fd/mac
 

DaSal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
223
7
The Netherlands
I don't know the answer to your specific question, but want to point out that the reason for using a fusion drive is solely because spinning disks are slow. Since you've replaced the hard disk with an SSD there is no reason to create a fusion drive. You should simply use the SSD as a second drive. If you must combine the space on the two devices, then use RAID, not fusion. Follow the instructions from Apple to create a concatenated (JBOD) set.

https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/create-a-disk-set-dskua23150fd/mac
I've seen this advice in a lot of places - however it's a bit short sighted. The blade ssd in the iMac is still about 5x faster than the SATA SSD. Which means that relatively speaking, the SSD is still slow compared the NVME.

Actually, the performance difference between the SATA SSD and the built-in NVME is bigger than the difference between a spinny disk and a sata SSD.

Which means that the fusion disk should still be able to speed up the system. (Roughly 2000 write and 2300 read compared to 450 write and 500 read. That's 4x faster) Edit: NVME speeds for this model are 750 MB writing and 2500 MB reading speeds.
 
Last edited:

DaSal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
223
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The Netherlands
The answer:

DON'T "fuse" the two SSDs together.
DE-fuse them, and run them each as "standalone" drives.
I predict that if you do this, things will go better.
That's literally just giving up - not a solution or answer to my question at all.

I understand a lot of people find this 'pointless' - however the fact remains that an NVME is 4x as fast as the built in SSD - and fusing them should improve performance (HDD+NVME results in 2000/2500 MB speeds - SSD+NVME should be the same). Edit: NVME speeds for this model are 750 MB writing and 2500 MB reading speeds.

I'm just looking for a solution on how to get the Fusion Drive to actually use the NVME's speed (like it did with the HDD+NVME Fusion Drive).
 
Last edited:

meson

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2014
160
56
I've seen this advice in a lot of places - however it's a bit short sighted. The blade ssd in the iMac is still about 5x faster than the SATA SSD. Which means that relatively speaking, the SSD is still slow compared the NVME.

Actually, the performance difference between the SATA SSD and the built-in NVME is bigger than the difference between a spinny disk and a sata SSD.

Which means that the fusion disk should still be able to speed up the system. (Roughly 2000 write and 2300 read compared to 450 write and 500 read. That's 4x faster)
Sure if you just average the read/write speeds, however the fusion process does not treat the drives equally, and likely will spend more time writing to the SATA drive. The OS will dynamically shift files back and forth between the drives based on how often certain things are used.

Also keep in mind, if one disk fails in the fusion set, then the data on the set becomes bunked up. Whereas, if you keep the two separate or as a RAID array, you are in a better position if things fail.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
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chabig wrote:
"That will never happen because the NVME only holds a little less than 10% of the capacity."

Chabig is completely correct.

The OP wrote (regarding my advice to split the fusion drive into separate components):
"That's literally just giving up - not a solution or answer to my question at all."

No, sir.
YOU are wrong here.
If you want "nvme speeds" from the nvme drive, THE LAST THING you want to is to "shackle it" to a SATA drive, which is much slower.

The solution I provided is the correct one.
 

DaSal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
223
7
The Netherlands
chabig wrote:
"That will never happen because the NVME only holds a little less than 10% of the capacity."

Chabig is completely correct.

The OP wrote (regarding my advice to split the fusion drive into separate components):
"That's literally just giving up - not a solution or answer to my question at all."

No, sir.
YOU are wrong here.
If you want "nvme speeds" from the nvme drive, THE LAST THING you want to is to "shackle it" to a SATA drive, which is much slower.

The solution I provided is the correct one.
Both are incorrect. When using a Fusion Drive the intended/expected behavior is for incoming writes to prioritize to the fast drive and for the most often used files to stay on the fastest drive.

Just boot up any iMac with an official fusion drive with a spinny disk + NVME and run a speed test and you will see that you will get NVME speeds as the result. (I’ve tried this myself - and it works)

So to summarize, when it was HDD + NVME I got 2000/2500 MB in speed tests. (Because those are incoming writes and are thus always written to the NVME, not the spinny disk) Edit: NVME speeds for this model are 750 MB writing and 2500 MB reading speeds.

Now with the SDD + NVME fusion drive I’m getting about 500/500. So actually 4x slower. Now I know this is not an official solution so it might be possible that it won’t end up working - but it’s also not the intended/expected result. I should still get the 2000/2500 MB results in incoming writes; just as before.

EDIT: here’s a blog post demonstrating someone that did the same thing on a Mac Mini, and it does work as intended. He made a NVME + SSD Fusion drive and gets the expected results: NVME speeds. https://macintoshhowto.com/advanced/fusion-drive-on-osx-with-two-ssd-drives.html (I realise that it also turned out to be unstable -- it isn't for me, it's rock solid. But I'm not getting the speeds like he is. Either way - using the correct methods it should be possible to get both - stable and fast)

Just not sure why it’s not working for me since it’s set up in the same way.

I appreciate the attempt at helping but just spreading misinformation based on a misunderstanding of what a fusion drive is supposed to do and how it is supposed to function is not exactly helpful.
 
Last edited:

DaSal

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Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
223
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Correction earlier post: The NVME speeds mentioned earlier weren't quite accurate for this machine. The NVME gets around 750MB writing speed and 2500 MB reading on the stock fusion drive setup (HDD + NVME). (Also see:
)


Update: I resolved it. Now getting the expected NVME reading and writing speeds on my SSD + Fusion drive setup. (755MB Writing and 2480 MB reading in my last test)

Here's a write-up on how it works.

How to make an APFS fusion drive (SSD + NVME)

Boot into internet recovery > option CMD R.

Open diskutilty and unmount your drives.

Make sure the drives are ‘fresh’ (not already APFS partitioned, otherwise it will fail), by creating a new HSF filesystem on the drives. (Workaround, but it works, quick and easy.)

diskutil list

Note the disk numbers of the drives you want to use (primary drive (fast drive) and secondary (slow drive). Example: disk0 (fast) and disk1 (slow). Replace examples with your own disk numbers.

diskutil cs create Fusion disk0 disk2

Now that they’re HSF again we can make them into an APFS Fusion drive. Use the commands -main and -secondary to assign which drive will be the fast drive (-main) and which drive the slow drive (-secondary).

For the APFS container we’ll need not just the disk numbers, but the actual partition which contains the bulk of the storage. If you run diskutil list you will see that for instance, disk0s2 might be the actual storage capacity on disk0. Use this in the following commands.

diskutil apfs createContainer -main disk0s2 -secondary -disk2s2

It’ll create an empty APFS container now. (I don’t quite understand how this works so don’t ask me.)

At this point you should be able to add the volumes to the container using addVolume in the terminal, but this didn’t work for me.

Close the terminal and open Disk Utility. Click partition and choose add volume. Create a new APFS volume and give it a nice name.

Go back to the terminal and run diskutil apfs list. Now you should get a list of your new volume — for your fast drive (disk0) it should say Main and for your slower disk it should say (aux).

Now install MacOS as usual.

If you’re using a non-Apple SSD after installing MacOS run - sudo forcetrim enable - in the terminal and restart.

Download BlackMagic Disk Speed Test from the App Store (Free) to test if you’re getting the expected speeds.

Enjoy!

 
Last edited:

StanageEdge

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2010
2
0
Great work DaSal.

I just bought a new 2017 iMac 27 with 1TB Fusion drive (i.e. 1TB spinny + 32GB NVME). It was cheap. I knew the 1.032GB Fusion has a reputation for being slow (back to spinning speeds) once you've got anything like a working set of apps going. I was planning to just boot off an external USB 3.1 1TB SSD via the Thunderbolt port and lose the NVME burst speeds but still have a much faster (400 - 500 MB/s) system than the spinning disk ones I'm used to.

Then I saw your post. I'd like to do same as you with a 1TB SATA/USB 3.1 SSD. A couple of questions:
1. You say you upgraded your spinny - did you do this by cracking open the case or just by adding an external USB 3.1/Thunderbolt unit? If I understand correctly there's no speed advantage to fitting to internal SATA.
2. If it all goes wrong what are your thoughts on restoring a system back to factory?
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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Bla bla bla... yak yak yak... Ohhhh charts and graphics ... how shiny!

Fisherman is on the right track. Divorce the NVMe from the SSD for max performance. None of your tests, graphs and charts will change this. That, by itself will not eke out the max performance from a 2017 iMac i7 — for that, you need to do a bit more.

Replace the blade with a 2TB 970 EVO but wait a couple of months when the 2TB 970 EVO Plus is released (the 250G – 1TB are already shipping and they are faster).

Install a SATA III SSD on the other bus if you want internal storage—or don’t. Do not tie it to the blade. Max performance for external storage will be an NVMe 3x4 blade over TB3 such as the Samsung X5. You can get the same speed with the right RAID array over TB3.

There is no way for a fusion array to not suck at some level. The current low prices for silicon make fusion arrays obsolete.
 

DaSal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
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The Netherlands
Great work DaSal.

I just bought a new 2017 iMac 27 with 1TB Fusion drive (i.e. 1TB spinny + 32GB NVME). It was cheap. I knew the 1.032GB Fusion has a reputation for being slow (back to spinning speeds) once you've got anything like a working set of apps going. I was planning to just boot off an external USB 3.1 1TB SSD via the Thunderbolt port and lose the NVME burst speeds but still have a much faster (400 - 500 MB/s) system than the spinning disk ones I'm used to.

Then I saw your post. I'd like to do same as you with a 1TB SATA/USB 3.1 SSD. A couple of questions:
1. You say you upgraded your spinny - did you do this by cracking open the case or just by adding an external USB 3.1/Thunderbolt unit? If I understand correctly there's no speed advantage to fitting to internal SATA.
2. If it all goes wrong what are your thoughts on restoring a system back to factory?
Cool! You'll definitely see a big improvement going to a full-solid state solution. The Fusion Drive is ok but it still slows the system down when accessing files that aren't stored on the NVME portion of the Fusion.

About the USB 3.1 external SSD - a word of caution. I tried this before, and it didn't work for me. (Samsung T5). The MacOS installer just wouldn't see the drive as an option for installing. I didn't look much more into it - it might be possible to clone a MacOS installation onto it - but the installer wouldn't detect the drive automatically. I *think* it's only supposed to work that way when you have an actual Thunderbolt 3 drive (not USB Type-C).

To answer your questions:

1. I opened the case. However I did not remove the original spinny disk since that's a much more involved procedure. I simple used it's cable and stuck the SSD to the inside. This is the guide I used https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/How+to+Add+An+SSD+To+The+27-Inch+iMac+(Late+2015)/67309

Keep in mind that it's still a tricky installation and doing it was honestly quite nerve wrecking. If you use this guide be careful with the pencils because they can slip. Keep in mind that you'll need a thermal sensor to get the fans to work again (if you don't add this then the fans will always run on full blast). Also you'll need new glue, this kit works: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIDIMACHDD12/

There's not necessarily a benefit over doing it externally however if you're going external I'd recommend getting an actual Thunderbolt 3 drive (not USB Type-C) and you'll want to avoid making a fusion drive. The reason is because if the external drive ever gets disconnected while the machine is on or sleeping the Fusion Drive will probably break/corrupt. Also not sure how the Fusion Drive will like running over a thunderbolt port. Might not even work.

2. You can simply boot back into internet recovery and reformat the drives to a traditional setup and reinstall.

There is no way for a fusion array to not suck at some level. The current low prices for silicon make fusion arrays obsolete.
What are your - factual - reasons for saying a 'fusion array' will always suck on 'some level'. What level? Be specific. Include shiny charts and graphs and benchmarks to back up your claims. I provided them - if you wanna claim I'm wrong you're going to have to prove that I am.

The comparisons to RAID arrays are moot - they serve completely different purposes and have different strengths and weaknesses.
 
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timme

macrumors newbie
Aug 13, 2014
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Could you please help me how to undo this. I created a fusion partition like you explained here how to do. But I can’t undo it. If I type “diskutil cs list” it says there is no core storage to be found. Please help.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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. I opened the case. However I did not remove the original spinny disk since that's a much more involved procedure.
Actually, it's quite easy to pop it out but, if you don't know the trick, it can be involved. Next time I go into one, I'll have to make a video.

If it's a 3.5" drive, you need either of these adapters to replace the spinner. The other types get in the way.
https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/ADPSAS2535B/

https://www.amazon.com/Fenlink-Inte...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=HGVRK5ZF2VH311Q38QZR:

The adapter will increase cooling efficiency but disconnecting the HDD is the most important thing. I wouldn't go back in just to do that.

Later iMacs with a 2.5" drive don't need the bracket, of course.
 
Last edited:

ondert

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Aug 11, 2017
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I have also 2017 5K iMac with 2TB Fusion drive (2TB HDD + 120gb NVME/Blade) and want to replace the hdd with a sata ssd. Does it really worth replacing it? I had a late 2016 mbp before and miss that ssd speed now. I found an apple reseller and they are going to replace the internal hdd with a sata ssd I'm going to buy. If it really helps for the latest iMac to run quite faster then I'll do the replacement. Do you have also any ssd model to recommend?
 

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
6,775
3,987
Could you please help me how to undo this. I created a fusion partition like you explained here how to do. But I can’t undo it. If I type “diskutil cs list” it says there is no core storage to be found. Please help.
Core Storage is only used for HFS+ disks, not APFS. If you followed the instructions in post #10, you have an APFS fusion drive. To undo that, use the apfs verb of diskutil in Terminal. Start by reading the manual (man diskutil). Concentrate on the command I've identified below, and see the examples at the end.

CAUTION: I have not done this, but it should look something like:

Find the Container Reference for your fusion drive: diskutil apfs list

Note - The Container Reference is specifically identified by name, such as "disk1". In post #10, you can see it at the top of the terminal picture. It says, "APFS Container Reference: disk2 (Fusion)"

Then destroy the fusion drive: diskutil apfs [Container Reference]
 

naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
138
25
Southern NH
Correction earlier post: The NVME speeds mentioned earlier weren't quite accurate for this machine. The NVME gets around 750MB writing speed and 2500 MB reading on the stock fusion drive setup (HDD + NVME). (Also see:
)


Update: I resolved it. Now getting the expected NVME reading and writing speeds on my SSD + Fusion drive setup. (755MB Writing and 2480 MB reading in my last test)

Here's a write-up on how it works.

How to make an APFS fusion drive (SSD + NVME)

Boot into internet recovery > option CMD R.

Open diskutilty and unmount your drives.

Make sure the drives are ‘fresh’ (not already APFS partitioned, otherwise it will fail), by creating a new HSF filesystem on the drives. (Workaround, but it works, quick and easy.)

diskutil list

Note the disk numbers of the drives you want to use (primary drive (fast drive) and secondary (slow drive). Example: disk0 (fast) and disk1 (slow). Replace examples with your own disk numbers.

diskutil cs create Fusion disk0 disk2

Now that they’re HSF again we can make them into an APFS Fusion drive. Use the commands -main and -secondary to assign which drive will be the fast drive (-main) and which drive the slow drive (-secondary).

For the APFS container we’ll need not just the disk numbers, but the actual partition which contains the bulk of the storage. If you run diskutil list you will see that for instance, disk0s2 might be the actual storage capacity on disk0. Use this in the following commands.

diskutil apfs createContainer -main disk0s2 -secondary -disk2s2

It’ll create an empty APFS container now. (I don’t quite understand how this works so don’t ask me.)

At this point you should be able to add the volumes to the container using addVolume in the terminal, but this didn’t work for me.

Close the terminal and open Disk Utility. Click partition and choose add volume. Create a new APFS volume and give it a nice name.

Go back to the terminal and run diskutil apfs list. Now you should get a list of your new volume — for your fast drive (disk0) it should say Main and for your slower disk it should say (aux).

Now install MacOS as usual.

If you’re using a non-Apple SSD after installing MacOS run - sudo forcetrim enable - in the terminal and restart.

Download BlackMagic Disk Speed Test from the App Store (Free) to test if you’re getting the expected speeds.

Enjoy!

All I can say is that you should listen to the regulars on this forum. It's obvious to me that Apple has pulled the wool over your BlackMagic speed test results. I would get rid of the fusion drive right away regardless of whether the big drive is an SSD or an old spindle drive. First of all 120GB is enough for a boot drives and I used that size for nearly the last decade, as long as you don't use it for data. I have a 2009 Mac Pro, and I get 2700MB/s reads and 2400MB/s writes with a 790 EVO. Just use the internal spindle drive for data only. For most people, this is the best solution for best speeds for booting and OS swap files, so they are always on the fast NVME SSD.
BTW, you are also wrong with what you said about RAIDs.
"The comparisons to RAID arrays are moot - they serve completely different purposes and have different strengths and weaknesses"
Obviously, both RAID and Fusion systems are to speed up slow drives, just a different technology. Most RAIDs will work with any type of drives and increase the speeds significantly, and in some cases offer redundancy. It looks like if either drive in a Fusion system fails, you loose all your data! A two drive striped RAID has the same problem. I could stripe my two NVMe blades and get read speeds of over 5,000MB/s, but there are other considerations that BlackMagic speed tester doesn't consider.
In any case, if you already have the SSD inside, just break up the Fusion drive for much better performance (and half of the failure rate), despite what the B/M tester says. Use the blade SSD as the boot, but put any software caches or swap files on the SATA SSD, so your scratch disks don't work against each other.
 

Hexley

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2009
1,017
102
Thank you for this.

Do you notice the response time difference between a traditional Fusion Drive (SATA HDD + NVMe SSD) to an all SSD Fusion Drive (SATA SSD + NVMe SSD).

When the 2019 iMac came out I was thinking that the all SSD Fusion Drive would have made an ideal evolutionary step for Fusion Drive if Apple wanted to target the low end and yet phase out HDDs all together.

Correction earlier post: The NVME speeds mentioned earlier weren't quite accurate for this machine. The NVME gets around 750MB writing speed and 2500 MB reading on the stock fusion drive setup (HDD + NVME). (Also see:
)


Update: I resolved it. Now getting the expected NVME reading and writing speeds on my SSD + Fusion drive setup. (755MB Writing and 2480 MB reading in my last test)

Here's a write-up on how it works.

How to make an APFS fusion drive (SSD + NVME)

Boot into internet recovery > option CMD R.

Open diskutilty and unmount your drives.

Make sure the drives are ‘fresh’ (not already APFS partitioned, otherwise it will fail), by creating a new HSF filesystem on the drives. (Workaround, but it works, quick and easy.)

diskutil list

Note the disk numbers of the drives you want to use (primary drive (fast drive) and secondary (slow drive). Example: disk0 (fast) and disk1 (slow). Replace examples with your own disk numbers.

diskutil cs create Fusion disk0 disk2

Now that they’re HSF again we can make them into an APFS Fusion drive. Use the commands -main and -secondary to assign which drive will be the fast drive (-main) and which drive the slow drive (-secondary).

For the APFS container we’ll need not just the disk numbers, but the actual partition which contains the bulk of the storage. If you run diskutil list you will see that for instance, disk0s2 might be the actual storage capacity on disk0. Use this in the following commands.

diskutil apfs createContainer -main disk0s2 -secondary -disk2s2

It’ll create an empty APFS container now. (I don’t quite understand how this works so don’t ask me.)

At this point you should be able to add the volumes to the container using addVolume in the terminal, but this didn’t work for me.

Close the terminal and open Disk Utility. Click partition and choose add volume. Create a new APFS volume and give it a nice name.

Go back to the terminal and run diskutil apfs list. Now you should get a list of your new volume — for your fast drive (disk0) it should say Main and for your slower disk it should say (aux).

Now install MacOS as usual.

If you’re using a non-Apple SSD after installing MacOS run - sudo forcetrim enable - in the terminal and restart.

Download BlackMagic Disk Speed Test from the App Store (Free) to test if you’re getting the expected speeds.

Enjoy!

 
Last edited:

naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
138
25
Southern NH
I can't believe you guys are still talking Fusion. No one hates them more than Apple as they can't seem to get them to take APFS which is essential for booting Catalina and beyond. Why would you pair a SATA SSD which maxes out at 600MB/s when you can just use a bigger NVMe blade where speeds are around 3,000MB/s. The price difference is a small portion of the performance difference, and don't forget about doubling your risk of failure. Use spinners for data, not boot drives. If you have a lot of spinners, make a RAID5. I have five 4TB drives in my drive bays, plus one in the optical bay where its only SATA2 (300MB/s max). These drives, like most, only get about 150MB/s even with SATA3. In a RAID 5, I only get 16TB of space, but in return, it gives me the ability to have a drive failure, keep on working as if nothing has happened, and then just replace the drive and let the RAID reconstruct itself. Also, instead of 150, I now get 450MB/s reads, making it faster than an SSD in the same (SATA2) drive bay. BTW, I have a 960 and a 970 EVO. I get around 2500MB/s writes and 2800B/s reads with the later and about 20% slower with the older blade when they were nearly double the price. BTW, don't get the EVO plus unless you want to do a firmware upgrade first, as it will never work properly without it. I think the newest ones all have the latest firmware by now, but check! I had to bring mine back for their last regular 970 EVO as the new firmware wasn't out. Fusion leads to delusion...
 
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Hexley

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2009
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I'm talking about an all SSD take on the Fusion Drive.

Current Fusion Drives are NVMe SSD + SATA HDD. What I'd want is an all SSD Fusion drive with NVMe SSD + SATA SSD.

I'd like the throughput and response time of a NVMe SSD for system, apps and frequently accessed data. Now with a SATA SSD instead of HDD we get near NVMe response time at nearly 600MB/s instead of 1/4th the speed.

4TB SATA SSD are ~$400 while 2x2TB NVMe are ~$900
 

naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
138
25
Southern NH
Why do you keep pushing your "Fusion Drive".
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANYMORE OF YOUR TRASH TO MY PERSONAL EMAIL ADRESS.
It would be one thing if you had something to add, but your thesis about a SATA/NVMe Fusion drive is totally without merit. REPEATING YOUR POSTS DON'T HELP YOUR ARGUMENT!
Ask anyone, would you want to have a legacy fusion drive with great reads, but minimal SATA SSD speeds with twice the failure rate, or a single NVMe blade that gives you 3,000MB/s for reads and only slightly slower for writes. What are you thinking, or not?
 
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Jonesies

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2020
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Why do you keep pushing your "Fusion Drive".
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANYMORE OF YOUR TRASH TO MY PERSONAL EMAIL ADRESS.
It would be one thing if you had something to add, but your thesis about a SATA/NVMe Fusion drive is totally without merit. REPEATING YOUR POSTS DON'T HELP YOUR ARGUMENT!
Ask anyone, would you want to have a legacy fusion drive with great reads, but minimal SATA SSD speeds with twice the failure rate, or a single NVMe blade that gives you 3,000MB/s for reads and only slightly slower for writes. What are you thinking, or not?
Ahh... this made me so happy lol. I’ve spent the last month researching my options for my 5k late 2015 iMac with a fusion drive. I’ve upgraded ram to 48gb and needed more for video editing. So I went all in with an external thunderbolt 3 nvme enclosure with the Apple adapter and then hit a wall. Just wasn’t as reliable as I wanted and kind of bottle necked around 450 r/w speeds. So, then I bailed on that as there’s very little TB2 support these days. I’m now going to open this thing, leave the 1tb spinning drive, and go straight to the 24gb Apple flash. Upgrading that to a 1tb m.2 nvme with the $16 converter for proper fit. I’ll disable the fusion and crush performance with massive blade speeds. Then, I’ll have the spinner as internal backup for larger files and my 8tb seagate external for larger backups and clones. Now, if this sounds wrong to anyone, speak up please. But from my understanding, this is close to the best performance possible. Of course, upgrading the i5 to the i7 6700k 4.0ghz would probably be the only other value move to make. Anyway, thanks for all the good info in this thread!
 
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naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
138
25
Southern NH
Ahh... this made me so happy lol. I’ve spent the last month researching my options for my 5k late 2015 iMac with a fusion drive. I’ve upgraded ram to 48gb and needed more for video editing. So I went all in with an external thunderbolt 3 nvme enclosure with the Apple adapter and then hit a wall. Just wasn’t as reliable as I wanted and kind of bottle necked around 450 r/w speeds. So, then I bailed on that as there’s very little TB2 support these days. I’m now going to open this thing, leave the 1tb spinning drive, and go straight to the 24gb Apple flash. Upgrading that to a 1tb m.2 nvme with the $16 converter for proper fit. I’ll disable the fusion and crush performance with massive blade speeds. Then, I’ll have the spinner as internal backup for larger files and my 8tb seagate external for larger backups and clones. Now, if this sounds wrong to anyone, speak up please. But from my understanding, this is close to the best performance possible. Of course, upgrading the i5 to the i7 6700k 4.0ghz would probably be the only other value move to make. Anyway, thanks for all the good info in this thread!
 

naerct

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2019
138
25
Southern NH
First I must apologize for my complaints about you sending me stuff, but after the next one came in, I realized it was MacRumors that was sending out the notices. Sorry I was so harsh.
I guess I was harsh on Apple as well, since it looks like they figured out a way to allow it to boot. I’m glad you brought it up again, as I have a client with a 2013 21” I5 for her office and a 2015 i7 with 4GB of VRAM for her studio. She insisted on an internal HDD, and decided on the 3TB which has a 128GB NVMe SSD. I did the research before I set it up by splitting the Fusion Into its parts. This is very important, since they warned trying to Do it differently could render both disks useless. I have no idea how I did it as it was 5 years ago, but I‘m sure the Googs machine can find the Apple directions. Since then, I have installed a OWC Thunderbay2, and have now added 2 7200 3.5” HDD for more connected storage, and two more SATA SSDs in the T Bay2 for more fast storage, and booting externally. The 128 GB internal is a clone, so that the iMac can be booted without the TB drives, just in case she has to use it in an emergency without the external multibay enclosure.
So, here’s why I didn’t go inside to replace the small SSD. I went through several installation videos and realized that the only way I would go into her i7 was in an emergency. I saw a step by step explanation of the procedure. I think it was 50 steps, but the first half of them were about how to remove the screen. It looked pretty tedious even for the practiced video guy to do it. They all commented on how easy it was to crack the screen, or at least mark it. Once you’re in, the SSD replacement isn’t too difficult. One other note is that when I looked for the adapter for the proprietary Apple M.2 connector, I saw the new Sintech adapter for $5.99 plus shipping. This was the one for the MBP, so maybe they’re different for the iMacs? From what I could tell there were many happy campers with these new Sintech adapters compared to what was on the market previously. I can’t take the chance of messing up a client‘s $3000 iMac, too much money. You might want to call the repair shops and see what they would charge. I believe going to an Apple authorized repair place may mean you have to pay through the nose for the Apple NVMe SSD which isn’t said to be as good as a 970. Otherwise, I agree with your plan. You might want to go the external TB boot drive, so you have the ability to change your boot drive. You could also use a single NVMe in a NVMe enclosure with TB. That should be nearly as fast as internal. TB2 maxes at 2GB/s, so that should be fine for a blade that maxes at 3GB/s. No RAIDs for booting Mojave or Catalina, I’ve tried. I used a Samsung 960 in a PCI 2.0 MacPro, and it cut the speed in half, down to about 1.2Gb/s. That‘s still 4X the speed of my drive bays (SATA2) with a SATA SSD. I was still impressed by the new speed. I now use a bifurcation card that allows me to get the full PCI 3 speeds, clocking 2.8GB/s reads with the 970 and 2.4GB/s with the 960. That card allows me to use 2 blades on one PCI slot. Any interest in buying my cMP 4-core which can use NVMe boot drives as well, but not beyond Mojave...at least for now.
 
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