Fusion Drive/Timecapsule or 512GB SSD? late 2013 iMac.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gizmo84, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. gizmo84 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #1
    Fusion Drive/timecapsule or 512GB SSD? this is for a late 2013 iMac 21.5".

    This is for my mother who will be editing some videos (nothing crazy),pictures and word documents on it. right now she has a laptop with 128GB SSD in it and that isnt filled up yet. so What do you all think? Im on the fence. Im trying to avoid mechanical hard drives for reliability purposes. but if I have a time capsule then ill be backing up the fusion drive. the upgrade to 512GB cost about the same as a timecapsule. Also her router is the crappy wireless G router that verizon give out. just looking for opinions from people who have fusion drives...
     
  2. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
    You should have a backup device (Time Capsule is fine) no matter which internal drive you select. SSDs can fail too! She can also backup the laptop to the Time Capsule using "TimeMachine" software on both computers.

    The Fusion drive works well, is transparent to the user, and gives more capacity while maintaining SSD speeds most of the time. Of course, full SSD is always preferred, but that is costly, especially if dealing with large video files where a large capacity drive is needed.

    Given the choices you are listing ... I would recommend the Fusion drive with Time Capsule purchase. That would make a very nice system with full backup.


    -howard
     
  3. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    Mill Creek, WA
    #3
    This really shouldn't be an OR question. You should have a some sort of backup solution no matter what your computer configuration. This can be a Time Capsule but it doesn't have to be. Time Machine will work with most external storage including a HDD, SSD, whatever. You will probably save some money by using a non-Time Capsule storage device as well.

    You say your mother isn't even using up her 128GB SSD. Would an iMac with a 256GB SSD work? It would certainly be less expensive than the 512GB SSD. If you go that route you can probably afford the Time Capsule as well.
     
  4. jrlcopy macrumors 6502

    jrlcopy

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    Jun 20, 2007
    #4
    Is the Fusion Drive basically a 128GB SSD + Normal Hard Drive with some fancy software?

    Can we still separate the SSD from the Normal Hard Drive?
     
  5. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #5
    Yes, it is two standard and distinct drives which are logically joined by the CoreStorage functionality of OS X.

    Yes, you can break the Fusion join and treat them as individual drives, but I wouldn't recommend doing that unless you have specific reasons for doing so.

    The Fusion drive is a fairly good compromise between having the speed of an all SSD system, and having the large capacity of a hard disk system. The Fusion algorithms manage your data to keep the most frequently accessed data blocks on the SSD for speedy access with a granularity you couldn't manually duplicate yourself.

    For more information on Fusion you might read this:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6679/a-month-with-apples-fusion-drive
     
  6. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

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    Dec 29, 2013
    #6
    Late to the game here but here is my take as I'm battling the same question give or take. If your doing a time capsule or other external harddrive then 256 ssd would probably do 99% of the time. But what if it doesn't? Then your sol. So you'd basically be getting the 512 ssd for piece of mind. That's why I'm getting it. Don't discount piece of mind. For some, it's the sole reason for many decisions. With every other option on the iMac if it becomes dated the machine will just run slower but will continue to function. If you run out of memory your done. So I'd say if you are going to bite the bullet with one option it has to be memory. The fusion is nice and all but I require more control than that. I don't want to be left wondering if X program is loading from here or there and wishing it instead loaded from there. If going with fusion or default hard drive it can and would in many circumstances be the bottle neck in your machine. If you go with the ssd memory it will not be. Anyways that's how I came to my decision.
     
  7. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816

    jmgregory1

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    #7
    If you're worried about wondering where a program is loading from...you've got too much time on your hands already. And if it's a program, or photo or music or file, etc, that you use more than once in a blue moon, the Fusion Drive will automatically keep it loaded on the ssd. That's the beauty of FD - you don't have to think about where things are saved. I never think about it - it acts as fast as the ssd in my MacBook Air, but offers the mass storage I wish my mba had.
     
  8. bushman4 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 22, 2011
    #8
    SSD faster and better than Fusion. Besides if HDD part of Fusion goes SSD has to be replaced also since they are one unit.
     
  9. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816

    jmgregory1

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    #9
    One unit? Where did you hear the hdd and ssd were a single unit? Apple isn't buying the common off the shelf hdd with a small flash module.

    And although spinning disk hard drives have more potential failure points, it's not like all of a sudden hard drives are failing when we have lived with them for years. Yes, it will be a pain if the hdd portion of a FD fails, but it will be a pain if an ssd on an ssd only iMac fails too.
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    It's even better than that. Most of the time, you don't load the whole program. For example, iTunes supports 20 different languages, and you never use 19 of them. iTunes also has pictures of every iPod / iPhone / iPad ever made so when you plug in your device, it can show the right picture. You never use 95% of these. With Fusion Drive, only those parts that you actually _used_ are on the SSD drive. The rest is on the slow hard drive. So iTunes doesn't use up 250 MB of your valuable SSD space, but much less.
     
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #11
    Wrong.

    SSD isn't "faster and better". SSD is a tradeoff where you spend lots of money on a fast but small drive. Fusion is a different tradeoff where you spend less money on a drive that is bug, but fast most of the time. Hard drive is a different trade off again, where you spend little money on a drive that is big and slow. Fusion drive is a lot, lot better if you need more space than SSD provides.

    And they don't need to be replaced separately. You only replace what's broken, then restore from your backup.
     
  12. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Also feel that you should remember that backups are not just for failures. If your mother accidentally deletes something or changes her mind on an edit after a couple of days, you can easily get a version back from time capsule.

    And echo all the good stuff that has been said about fusion.
     
  13. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816

    jmgregory1

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    Chicago and a few other places around the world
    #13
    Yep - I was trying to not be so technical about how it works because most people don't really understand. They think FD works at the file level, not realizing that it works at the bit level. I always cringe at people who say they want to be able to save their "x" file where they want it - not understanding how FD works.

    Frankly, I'm surprised Apple isn't touting FD more - but I suppose they realize that it is just a temporary solution to the current high price of ssd storage ($/gb). Once production exceeds demand, as all the traditional spinning disk makers move over to ssd, the price will drop and we won't think about spinning disks, other than as a step in the path to fully solid state storage.
     

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