Fusion Drive Longevity?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by VideoBeagle, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    I will soon be replacing my PowerMac!! G5!! with likely a new iMac.

    I'm researching fusion drives. I've found some good articles on the technology behind them and their performance, but I've found none (nor forum comments) on my main concern:

    With all the writing/data moving that the Fusion Drive "magic" does, what kind of impact does this have on the longevity/lifetime, of the drive?

    Given the lack of comments/reviews I've seen about this...is this even a concern? Is it even a logic question to have?

    Anyone have any knowledge or links about this?
  2. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States

    An SSD naturally will lose its performance over time, so I don't see why this would be any different. I don't think it has been on the market long enough for anyone to draw any conclusions. But I would guess that over a few years that its performance would degrade like any SSD, and with heavy usage, much sooner.
  3. VideoBeagle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    See...I hadn't even been considering the SDD part of it, and was wondering about the constant writing to the hdd part.

    Has no one seen stress testing or something?

    (I'm also wondering about noise level...how load does it get with all the transferring)
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Well, SSDs haven't been around as long as hard drives, so there's no "real world" data of constant use for years.
    Having said that, modern SSDs are a lot more robust than their earlier counterparts, so the days of counting every precious write are over.

    Most importantly: you should expect any storage device -- mechanical hard drive, solid state disk, tape drive -- to fail, and be prepared to migrate to new hardware at some point in the future.

    Backup early, and backup often.
  5. gCloud macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    United Federation of Planets
    i dont know enough about this asuume a mechanical spinning disc will suffer before the ssd?
  6. joeholl1979 macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2013
    I totally agree with this statement. I have owned my iMac since January, and it's the quietest computer I've ever owned. As far as the longevity of the Fusion drive, only time will tell...but you should have a good backup plan no matter what. I use CrashPlan.
  7. FreemanW, Mar 15, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013

    FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    No matter the manufacturer, there is one type of hard drive made, the one that will fail.

    Here is what Google LLC has to say regarding hard disk drive longevity. You may also readily find data regarding life expectancy on SSD product.

    Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population

    The long and short of it is this, backup your data as all drives fail. It is hardware. It fails. You replace it and move on with life; then you fail. :D

    Another way to look at it, the Fusion is basically a RAID 0 drive. I tell individuals considering RAID 0 that they are out of their minds; yet, here I am using a computer, loving the experience, of what is basically a RAID 0 system.

    . . . . that is backing itself up on an hourly basis (TimeMachine) and having full clone imaging done on a somewhat regular manual basis via CCC.

    This Apple environment, it is a Zebra of a different stripe than Microsoft.
  8. Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    I agree Backup no mater what you choose...

    Fusion is untested but not more likely to fail than SSD or HDD. As for performance I guess in a couple of years if it does drop off noticeably then it might be advisable to replace the SSD and maybe upgrade the HDD while the screen is off. I do wonder about resale value though, with SSDs loosing performance over time would you get a used 2012 iMac in 3 years when the Applecare has ended?
  9. VideoBeagle, Mar 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2013

    VideoBeagle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    I'm asking if anyone knows or has seen stress tests, simulated life time tests on the fusion drive, NOT for what good computing practices is.

    As these things are SEALED inside iMacs, it would be good to have some idea if this new technology has an expected life time of 3 years or 3 months!

    Yes, all hard drives fail eventually...but that doesn't mean you just buy blindly and if it dies after 10 minutes of use you just say "well, all hard drives fail!"
  10. madsci954, Mar 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2013

    madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    Like SSD, they are too new for real world results.
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    If you can point me to where I can download some empirical data about HDD failures (or to a probabilistic model of the disk life expectancy) I can run some naive simulations on life expectancy of a system that consists of two disks :D
  12. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    I trust that Apple is convinced of Fusion durability & MTBF.
  13. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    There's also a saying that you should not waste your time worrying about things that might or might not happen. Like all things in life, prepare for outcomes (in this case - backup and purchase apple care), and then deal with it when if something happens.
  14. iSayuSay, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2013

    iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    If it fails after 10 minutes of use.. Call a Genius!
    If you're afraid of long term risks. Get the AppleCare, it will make sure your Mac taken care of any manufacturing defects for 3 years.

    Beyond that, a 4 or 5 years old computer is pretty much on its last legs. You wouldn't bother if it failed or degraded. Before that happens, back up! Yes I'm saying it again. Back up.

    It's that simple, or you're the kind of guy of keeping the same computer hardware for 10 years?
    Well it's a computer, not a housewife.
  15. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    I wouldn't say a 4 year old computer is on its last legs, depending on use, it may very well be fine. You can easily buy a 2009 iMac and use it for everyday email, web, photo management and office tasks without any issue what so ever.

    So long as you keep a good combination back up, such as time machine, cloned drive (weekly or monthly) and an online back up, you have little worry of lost data in the case of a failure.

    Most SSD's are predicted to last heavy writes for more than 10 years, much heavier than the average user. Honestly I think people are needlessly worrying about these things.
  16. gixxersixxer macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
  17. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    The same thing as happens when your single hard disk fails.

    You replace the faulty hardware, and restore from your backup.

    You do keep a backup, don't you? :eek:
  18. thedeske, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013

    thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Comments about backup are always good to repeat.
    I agree. Fusion is yet another in the world of compromise, young and not proven. It should be obvious that 128gb for 3 times the market price is another way to profit.

    A few friends joked that Apple was Fusing our wallets to their profit margins with a little software trick. I agree, but some would argue it's helping people along who don't want to be bothered with the details. Apple is counting on that little point.

    The so called "Longevity" is still down to one or the other drive failures. So what's changed? Software?

    The OP's question can only answered by Apple. Good Luck with that.


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