Fusion drive or go all SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 212rikanmofo, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. 212rikanmofo macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I have made an order for a new 27" iMac and chose the 1TB fusion drive. Should I have gone with an SSD instead? I will be using my machine mostly for graphic design work like Adobe apps, and stuff.

    Also wouldn't writing and deleting constantly to a flash SSD drive make it die quicker? I thought this was the case as I have been reading about them.

    I was planning on waiting for prices to drop on SSD and replace it later but it looks as though it's close to impossible to take the iMac apart as there are no screws. I heard the screen is attached to the case via sticky tape (yikes). Doesn't seem like a very user friendly way to go about taking it apart to switch out the HDD/SSD to swap. So I'd like to make the right choice from the very beginning.
     
  2. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502

    ioannis2005gr

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    #2
    Generally speaking, 1TB Fusion Drive is very recommended! Fast, enough storage...test results are much better...cost is not bad...choose fusion drive, don't miss it!

    PS: PCIe SSD + HDD fusion drive is the next upgrade in iMacs (late 2013 or early 2014).
     
  3. automan98 macrumors member

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    Apr 25, 2005
    #3
    Based on the benchmarks that barefeats ran, the Fusion drive should be fine for what you're doing. The Fusion drive has an SSD component so you're writing to SSD no matter what so don't worry about the drive .
     
  4. 212rikanmofo thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Can I choose what to put on the SSD part of the Fusion Drive? For example, I use adobe apps most of the time, can I have those installed on the SSD part and remain there, or does the system automatically detect and puts whatever it thinks I use often onto the SSD?
     
  5. lssmit02 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    No, the fusion drive dynamically moves data between the SSD and HDD depending on usage. Here is a good read about it.
     
  6. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #6
    You can't do it yourself, as the last posted linked, but if you're using Adobe apps most of the time those will be shifted to the SSD portion.

    I got a Mini with the Fusion drive a few months ago and I'm very happy with it.
     
  7. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #7
    Fusion drive is a good choice. I do graphic & web design and the fusion has been real good to work with. I have had mine for close to a year now and no problems with it. Also allows for plenty of storage. Just have a good backup plan. You should be happy with your decision.
     
  8. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #9
    It's an affordability thing. I have both and the ssd is obviously noticeably faster. Just way more expensive.
     
  9. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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  10. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

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    #11
    The fusion drive in this update doesn't seem to be PCIe based, its still like the same Fusion drive. Or is it not?
     
  11. jdblas69 macrumors regular

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    #12
    Apple's website states the new fusion drive is now 50% faster than previous version. It is not PCIe flash combined with the HDD as far as I can tell. I guess the performance increase is based on an improvement with the fusion technology??
     
  12. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816

    jmgregory1

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    #13
    If it's a matter of $ per gb of storage, while also wanting the effective speed of an all ssd system, Fusion is the way to go. You get great storage capacity based upon dollars spent, and the speed benefit of ssd. I've had it in my wife's iMac since January (I use it occasionally) and it's no slower than my mba's ssd system.

    Things will eventually move to all ssd storage, but until prices come down on ssd, Fusion gives you the best of both worlds.
     
  13. cschmelz macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Doubt it. Makes sense if they moved SSD drive to PCIe that they moved the flash portion of the Fusion drive to PCIe as well right?
     
  14. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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  15. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #16
    If the SSD was anywhere close to the same price for similar space, I'd totally do it. But it's not, it's 100 bucks more for a gig less space.

    Unless you like saving out to an external all the time the Fusion drive is just the easiest way to go, and the speed difference will rarely if ever be noticed.
     
  16. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #17
    I was going to go Fusion, but instead bought a Synology DS413 for external storage and ordered the 256GD SSD for my 2013 iMac as that is what is in my 2011 iMac and that's been plenty of local storage.
     
  17. Takuro, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013

    Takuro macrumors 6502

    Takuro

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    #18
    I'd say get a Fusion drive for now, or opt for a small SSD and limit how many files you place on it. This machine has 4 USB 3.0 ports. It's a nice fat data pipeline to offload files to external storage, so who cares about the size of the internal disk?

    I think in the long term, one viable option would be an aftermarket SSD drive (disclaimer: none currently exist, even for the Macbook Air which debuted this past Summer.) The reasoning behind this:

    1) Currently, Apple is way ahead of the game in adopting PCIe storage. I don't believe there are many vendors cranking these out in a 1TB capacity as Apple had managed, and as it stands, ~$1 / GB is actually a standard and fair price at the moment for this technology. Still, once the after market catches up, there should be considerable savings as time goes on.

    2) As iFixIt confirmed via a teardown, you already have the necessary PCIe connection on the motherboard for the install, regardless of what model of configuration of 2013 iMac you order.

    3) The fact that Apple is now tapping the PCIe bus directly for storage is a pretty big deal that opens the door to some very very high performing aftermarket upgrades. Currently, the SSDs that Apple offers top out at likely 750 Mbps (1.5x the previous 500 Mbps, also 750 Mbps is the benchmarked speed of the new Macbook Air.) The upcoming Mac Pro, which bear in mind also uses PCIe-based storage, is going to be rated for 1200+ Mbps based on Apple's spec sheet. I wouldn't be surprised if a company like OWC develops an aftermarket solution in the near future that can bring this level of performance to the iMac and Macbook Air.

    4) It's true that the 2012 and 2013 iMac are nearly impossible to open, but the solution is simple: Take this to an Apple-certified repair shop and pay out-of-pocket for the cost of installation.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  18. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

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    #19
    Does anyone know the brand of SSD Apple uses in their all SSD option?

    Would I be able to put (or get a Mac repair person to put) in a third party SSD?
     
  19. tanker5 macrumors member

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    #20
    It's most likely built by Samsung. Probably a special 840 series drive designed specifically for the iMac.

    You SHOULD be able to install a third party ssd. But I would wait until ifixit.com does their teardown to make sure there are no compatibility issues -- (In the 2011 iMac, Apple went with a unique hd temperature sensor that made the fans spin on high if a different drive was used inside the machine).
     
  20. Takuro, Sep 25, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013

    Takuro macrumors 6502

    Takuro

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    #21
    No. Again, this is mini PCIe-based storage. The 840 is an old SATA-type drive
     
  21. bstfn macrumors newbie

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    Sep 25, 2013
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    Hamburg
    #22
    I'm also not shure if i should spend all of my money on a SSD (max. 512gb) or go with a 1TB FD :/ Is there a difference between the FD's SSD and a pure SSD? And is it possible to replace the FD's HD by a second SSD (after 2years of warranty)?

    After several times of sending back a late 2012 iMac I'm looking forward to the 2013's Model (I had waited more than a half year for this). I'm doing graphic and motion design (most of adobe's tool) and would like to install bootcamp for some gaming in my freetime.

    My potential config for now is:
    27", 3.5 Ghz i7, 8 GB RAM, GTX 780M 4 GB and for storage a 1TB Fusion Drive or perhaps a 256 GB SSD (+ 1TB external Drive). What would you recommend? I think, as a work station 512 GB or even 256 GB seems to be enough but if I want to play new games (10gb+) and watch movies…

    So many questions from a new MacUser :D
     
  22. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #23
    The MacBook Air uses a Samsung PCIe SSD so I expect the iMac is the same.

    Unfortunately, iFixit's tear-down units only had HDDs.


    If the data is on the SSD part of the Fusion drive, no. If it is on the HDD part, access will be significantly slower.


    Yes, though if Apple is using the custom fan-control firmware on the HDDs like in the 2011 and 2012 models, you'll need to apply the fix (hardware or software).
     
  23. 212rikanmofo thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jan 31, 2003
    #24
    I read somewhere that using an ssd as your primary drive is not good. When data gets written and deleted to the ssd it will wear out much faster and can lead to failure. I've read this from a few different sources but it was on a windows machine. So not sure if this same principle applies to the Mac as well?
     
  24. Takuro macrumors 6502

    Takuro

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    #25
    That was an issue with older drives when SSDs first hit the market. Most how come with TRIM support which basically replicates some of the data at random positions of the drive, so if some data gets corrupt, the drive continues to operate normally. The lifetime of an SSD is now greater than or longer than a HDD,
     

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