Fusion Drive Failed: Go dual SSD, larger Fusion Drive or something else?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Hexley, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    After 4+ years the 1TB HDD of the Fusion Drive of my 2012 27-inch iMac has failed.
    I knew my HDD was damaged as it clicks like mad and before I split the Fusion Drive I kept getting a Spinning Wait Cursor.

    When I split the logical drive into separate SSD and HDD I was able to install macOS on the SSD while the HD

    My working budget is restricted to $500

    Option 1

    - Replace Fusion Drive’s SSD & HDD with two 525GB Crucial MX300 with 3 year warranty
    - Reads and writes of 1,000MB/s respectively
    - Faster boot times and faster access to apps and data
    - Same storage size as my 1TB Fusion Drive but its really fast.
    - Chances of fan noise reduced to nil

    Option 2

    - Keep the original Fusion Drive’s 128GB SSD and replace broken HDD with a 10TB Seagate HDD with 5 year warranty for a 10TB Fusion Drive
    - Reads & writes of between 250-400MB/s
    - 10TB Fusion Drive will be slightly faster than the original 1TB Fusion Drive with 10x more storage space.

    Option 3

    - Do not open the iMac and keep the built-in 128GB SSD & buy an external HDD with Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3.
    - No more need to open things up and risk of damage.
    - Chance of fan noise reduced to nil

    I mostly use my iMac to edit 50MP images.

    If you were in my place which would you do?
  2. petsk macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2009
    Northern Europe
    Number one is not possible. The iMac has a custom blade ssd.
  3. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    For mine I would go with Option # 3. They are quite difficult these iMacs with the adhesive strip. Easy to smash the glued screen. A mate of mine is a large reseller in Sydney, Australia, and Nick does not allow his techs to crack them because of the number of screens broken.

    Packs 'em up and delivers to Apple for them to work on.
  4. Hexley thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I vote for option 3.
    Fastest, easiest, safest, perhaps cheapest.

    Run the internal 128gb flash as a standalone boot drive.
    Let the failed 1gb HDD be. Just "leave it there", broken.
    Add an external USB3 drive of your choosing.

    The internal flash drive will run FASTER for you, now that it's "freed from fusion".
    The external USB3 drive will be "fast enough for storage".
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I like the simplicity of option 3 as it doesn't require cracking open the iMac.
  7. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Yep, I'm another one for option 3. Easier and a cheap option.
  8. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    I opened up one of these iMacs last week to replace a broken spinning disk in there with an SSD. It was so easy. You'd quite frankly have to be a muppet to crack the display.

    As long as you have the pizza cutter and correct tools, it's super easy. Miles easier than the older Macs where you were fighting dust.
  9. mpe, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017

    mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    I like the idea of big fusion drive.

    In fact I am in the process of building monster fusion too. I plan to fuse 512GB SSD blade with 8TB SATA internal drive.

    On the other hand I wouldn't be considering fusing two SSD drives. This is not optimal configuration. FD works best when combining SSD and HDD. If you plan to use two SSD drives it is better to RAID them (if same size) or keep them separate.
  10. Hexley thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    My mistake. Was planning to RAID 0 two SSDs.

    Would've been awesome if the SSD blade was a 960 Pro. 1TB SSD and 10TB HDD
  11. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    I'd do option 4:

    Replace the 1TB HD with a 2TB Sata SSD (mx300).

    Then create a fusion drive between the blade SSD and the SATA SSD. 2.1 TB of if very fast data.

    Just throwing that out there...I can't go back to spinning disks...
  12. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    I think the general consensus is that you can't fuse two SSDs. There is a good thread on here which I can't find.
  13. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
  14. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
  15. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    The only real difference is that the Fusion will use the faster blade for most accessed files. My guess is you would only see a small increase in performance from ~500MB/s to maybe ~600MB/s. As far as fault tolerance there would be no difference between a JBOD and a Fusion.
  16. steve23094, Apr 7, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017

    steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Slightly worse fault tolerance on a Fusion I think. A single file can be split across both drives. You might be able to recover better from a JBOD failure. Not that I have any experience in either.
  17. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    That is probably true if you consider going down the recovery option. I just plan for that not being an option.
  18. patte macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2009
    2 SSD's. Fast and way easier to do backups for. If you need additional storage get a NAS or some cloud storage.

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