Fusion drive or unfuse it for better use? Truth please

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 2bcool2, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. 2bcool2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #1
    hi
    getting my replacement imac soon.
    i was just wondering if some one who actually knows for sure, what is better, wouldnt it be better to un fuse the drive so you can choose what data etc goes on the SSD rather than have the hard drive run constantly (would it ?) swapping data etc ...

    does the fusion fill up the SSD first then start pssing stuff onto the HD or does it store stuff on the hd that you dont use much even though the SSD is not full ?

    some people say yes, some say no.. id like the real truthful answer please if you know for sure .. :)

    ideally i would only use the SSD with apps and current hd movie files with FCP ... i would store the older hd files on the HD ... but because the stuff on the HD drive isnt used much, i wouldnt want to have the HD drive running unless i needed to access whats on it ...

    so basically i want to cut down on noise, so not haveing the HD spinning would in my mind give a silent (apart from fan noise) imac :)

    your views please ... from a real technical perspective not in your opinion guessing if you see what i mean ? thanks :)
     
  2. seble macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    #2
    from my perspective (which isn't all that technical on this whole fusion thing) I find fusion to be great for me, having had my imac for a couple of weeks now, it knows what I use most frequently and all of the system stuff is a permanent SSD addition, this means opening itunes, and aperture for me are super silky smooth.

    If you want to get slightly technical, well if split it and your HDD breaks down and keep the SSD, you would still be able to use your computer to some extent, but personally I might be into tech, and be the 'tech guy' solving all of my friend and families computer troubles etc, but frankly I don't wanna be sitting there orgnaising my files and which goes where. Heck you should see how badly organised my mac is, files strewn everywhere (hundreds of them too) I have about 3 different documents folders for example, so splitting it between 2 drives just seems like extra work to me!

    I don't think the hard drive will be running constantly as think about it, who actually access over 100GB of different material all the time? I don't even think my HD spins up much at all now. I'd have to double check that, but apart from when doing large scale aperture imports or installs, it runs on SSD.

    Oh and it will fill up the SSD first before using the HDD.
     
  3. 2bcool2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #3
    thanks for your view,
    i have a macbook air with 128gb SSD, and i use external usb drive to store files i dont need on .. works great for me ... i still have 50gb free on my SSD .... its no hassle to keep 2v drives ...

    i just am not too happy to think theres a physical drive spinning when i could just use the SSD and only occasionally have to spin up the HD ..

    after living with the dead silent macbook air, i just want to keep that silence with the imac ...

    are you sure it fills up the SSD full before using the HD drive ? some people on here swear it does and some swear it doesnt .. id like to know 100% for sure :)

    cheers
     
  4. Jeantro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    #4
    I can give my opinion
    video editing is my hobby and I use final cut pro X
    for video editing I always used an external drive, never used the same drive as the system is installed with the new imac you have the usb3 and thunderbolt ideal for video editing and a preference for the last

    get you fusion drive and work with an external disk or you break the fusion to get a small SSD for your system and 1TB for storage you video footage but it's better to work with an external disk with raid 0 or thunderbolt SDD
     
  5. Arman, Dec 30, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012

    Arman macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2008
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    SoCal
    #5
    I would only unfuse if you had a situation where there was a mission critical program that you need to run as fast as possible but use very infrequently. You have to realize, your SSD drive would have to fill up with 128GB of program/data storage before it defaults to the HHD.

    So do you see yourself accessing 128GB of data in that time span before your mission critical program needs to run. In 99% of the scenarios you gain no advantage in unfusing and probably end up hurting your performance if you have over 128GB of data on your computer and have to start manually managing where that data goes. Its not worth the hassle to save a few seconds.

    Also, not sure but I read somewhere that fusion drive might work of blocks of data and not necessarily files itself. For example, I have a 120GB Aperture Library but I don't routinely access 90% of the pictures. That doesn't mean that all 120GB of the library data hogs the SSD drive every time I open aperture. Rather, it dumps the 10% of the frequently accessed data onto my SSD. I can attest to this as I have seen no difference in speed performance before and after I loaded my Aperture library. Don't quote me on this but could have swore I read it somewhere.

    ----------

    The hard drive portion of the fusion drive makes virtually no noise what so ever to begin with. I hardly if ever hear the fan either. These new iMacs are wonder in the sense of cooling capacity and efficiency. They are virtually silent.

    I wouldn't break it up if I were you. Little/no gain for potentially much more effort.
     
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #6
    You use a computer to do boring, repetitive tasks much faster and much better than you could do. So do you want your computer to move files that are used a lot to the fast SSD drive and other files to the hard drive, which is a boring, repetitive task that it can do much faster, and much better than you do, or do you want to do it yourself?

    And yes, Fusion can do this _much better_ than you can, because it has no problems picking three files out of hundred files in a folder that are used a lot where you might not have a clue which ones are used at all, it can move only those parts of an app to the SSD that you actually use (tell me how you would put the English version of iTunes on the SSD drive, and leave all the other languages on the HD drive), and it does all that without taking any of your time.

    I have no idea why one would even _think_ about splitting up a Fusion drive.
     
  7. 2bcool2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #7
    hi
    i was planning to just keep current video footage for the latest project FCP on the SSD ... shouldnt that be ok, like no need to have an external drive to run the hd footage from ? ...

    also im just switching to fc X so dont know how it stores files, maybe it stores all the projects when you are in FCP X ?

    ----------

    to be honest i think its down to the user, because what i plan to use my imac for is easy for me to decide where i want my files ..
    i.e. if i download stuff, it will go to the hard drive, all new video footage will go to the SSD, then when i have finished the project its not hard to drag across to the HD ... same with logic pro music projects ...
    id rather have control where my data is stored and when i want the HD to wake up for use.

    as for iTunes, i would do what i do with my macbook air and external usb HD ... itunes is on SSD , my music is on the HD .. works fine.

    with all the apps i own, and its all the ain creative ones ... it only takes up 20gb of SSD space ... the rest of the space is used for current projects in use ... i dont know what the noise is like when the fusion drive is copying from drive to drive and how long it takes each time, my 2012 imac came DOA witha noisey HD and fan ..
    but hard drives to make noise when they spin, and why cant i achieve a dead silent imac through un fusing ? ... and only having the hd spin when i need it rather than it spin away when it wants to .. ?
     
  8. iLondoner macrumors 6502

    iLondoner

    #8
    I love love it the way people think they can outsmart clever systems software... :eek:
     
  9. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #9
    +1. I dont see the advantage of moving these files around on your own at all. If the OS, Apple apps and files you use most often are stored on the SSD, the hard drive is only going to spin up when you're accessing files/apps you don't use very often.

    You can set your hard drive to spin down in System Preferences > Energy Saver when not in use
     
  10. 2bcool2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #10
    are the computer systems running our lives now ? so i cant keep all the apps on the SSD if I want to ? ... i cant tell the "system" to let me keep what "I" want on the SSD ?

    the OS tells you whats good for you, and ignores what you want . sounds to me like computers taking over humans ....

    I DONT LIKE THAT IDEA AT ALL !!!!!!!!!

    ----------

    love the way people think its ok for computers to tell them how to live life ... sad
     
  11. turtlez macrumors 6502a

    turtlez

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #11
    you sound a bit silly. you know you can always unplug the computer from the wall if it tries to kill you. Does your life revolve around your computer 24/7? Computers were originally designed to help us out and they continue to do that. Why is it such a problem to advance in technology? Are you against human evolution as well and miss your tail?

    People like you are dangerous. YOU DON'T LIKE THAT IDEA AT ALL. so all of a sudden no one can do it because you don't think it is right. That is what a dictator does. If you really really want to manually store your files you can either Unfuse it or don't opt for the fusion drive. It is not really rocket science and you shouldn't get all high and mighty over something that is a good thing. You will realise one day that acting negative in any situation to gain attention is not that healthy. If you want attention, draw it to yourself in a more positive way and not be the person who everyone talks about "had the ********* customer today, hope they die and burn". Wouldn't want people thinking that about you right?
     
  12. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    Having used a fusion setup since i got my new iMac on the 17th with over 2TB of data copied over i can confidently say Fusion does a much better job then i thought it would. I was going to replace the regular HDD with another 512GB SSD but im not even going to bother now. I have split the fusion drive and benchmarked the HDD alone and it hits 175MB/s, so it is one of the quicker HDD's available which helps the fusion drive out alot.

    Like others have said it works on a block level, this means, for example OSX is 8GB, of that 8GB fusion only keep the parts of those files that it actually uses!! This means it may only keep 2GB on the SSD out of the 8GB. This effectively makes the 128GB SSD 4x bigger then it would be if it were used in a non fusion system. This is just an example and the figures are not correct but it gives you an idea of how efficient fusion can be.
     
  13. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #13
    You dont like software telling you whats best for you, but dude, you're buying Apple products?......... ;)

    Well i'm sure there's a way to unlink the two drives but really, why would you not want the system to put the stuff you use most often on the faster storage? and the stuff you use least often on the slower part? This entire "magical" process is entirely transparent to the user. The hard drive will only spin up when you're using something you rarely use and even then, on my last iMac the fan even at normal levels was louder than the hard drive when in use. If the computer is smart enough to know how to do that for you without being noticed then why make more work for yourself? :confused:
     
  14. drambuie macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #14
    During the keynote it was stated that OS X is fixed to the SSD. I guess fusion is programmed to prevent moving of any parts of system files to the HDD.
     
  15. Arman macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2008
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    SoCal
    #15
    That may be true but realistically speaking how much space does that take, maybe 20-30GB. That leaves about 100GB to play with and working on a block level is a paradigm shift in my view in data management efficiency.
     
  16. torana355 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 8, 2009
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    Sydney, Australia
    #16
    Exactly, for all intents and purposes the SSD space is actually closer to 256GB as working on a block level increases efficiency.
     
  17. iLondoner macrumors 6502

    iLondoner

    #17
    No, not hard coded.

    My guess is that the keynote mention was an oversimplification of what happens. The core part of OS X (not including bundled utilities and applications) is fairly small and is either in memory all the time or used so frequently that the Fusion algorithms will automatically keep those components on the SSD.

    Where other 'OS' bundled stuff like iLife and so on gets placed will depend how often you use it. My system uses Time Machine every hour or so, and it will be on the SSD whereas another user who doesn't have TM switched on would find it is stored on the HDD (assuming the SSD was full).
     
  18. Arman macrumors regular

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    #18


    So you want the truth? You know what, I think YOU CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! :D
     
  19. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    If you want the illusion of control, then unfuse the disks and set aside a little time each day or week to find the files you haven't touched and move them over to the regular hard disk. What you won't be able to do is a better job than that since, the smallest thing you can move is a file.

    If you leave Fusion to do its thing, then the most frequently accessed and 4gb of the most recently loaded blocks will be on the SSD and the rest will be accessed from the hard drive when it's needed. When the system is idle, the hard disk might spin up in order for the fusion to work out its housekeeping. But, it's no big deal, those things were designed to spin.

    The choice is yours, you can spend more time doing not as good a job as your computer can do or you can get on with useful stuff that you actually use your computer for.
     
  20. palmerc2 macrumors 65816

    palmerc2

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    Feb 29, 2008
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    Los Angeles
    #20
    Would the "commonly used files" include music in my iTunes library? Or is fusion smart enough to know not to do that? Because that seems way overkill. I rip all my music in Apple Lossless, so my library is quite large in GB.

    Thanks to this thread, I was originally planning on getting an external Thunderbolt SSD to run all my core programs + system files when I upgrade to the new 27" iMac but now I'm considering Fusion (again) as I work with large video files a lot, and that Fusion drive would get full in a matter of a week. Now I'm considering just buying an external HDD specifically for those purposes. Seagate has an external 3TB USB3.0 HDD for something like $120, perfect for that use!
     
  21. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2012
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #21
    I love the way how computers are designed to make things easier, wether it's about creating spreadsheets or modeling 3D-objects.

    Fusion Drive saves time in a manner that you never will be able to manage by your self. I really don't see why you want your computer to be slower.
     
  22. benwiggy macrumors 68020

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    Jun 15, 2012
    #22
    No, computers aren't running OUR lives -- they are managing THEMSELVES. The computer already does a whole load of things by itself -- launches processes, manages memory, runs fans when it gets too hot, etc, etc. If you would rather control all the input and output that your computer monitors, then I can sell you some 1970s hardware.
    Some people want to get on with their own lives, and let the computer sort itself out.
     
  23. Arman macrumors regular

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    SoCal
    #23
    +1
     

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