Fusion Drive vs Better Processor

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JMacPro, Sep 1, 2015.


Which is better (assuming all other specs are the same)?

  1. Intel Core i5 with Fusion Drive

    30 vote(s)
  2. Intel Core i7 with Traditional HDD

    4 vote(s)
  1. JMacPro macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2009
    I am looking into purchasing a refurbished iMac. There are 2 realistic options. They are the same price and the only difference is that 1 has an Intel Core i7 processor with a traditional 1TB HDD, and 2 has an Intel Core i5 processor with a 1TB Fusion Drive.

    Is it worth it to give up the better processor for the fusion drive, or should I go with the better processor with a traditional HDD?
  2. kazibole macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2015
    Unless you have the most demanding of applications to crunch the CPU, choose the fusion drive every time.
  3. Sciuriware macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2014
    You will only gain speed from a CPU with a double speed or more.
    Well, there isn't any available.
    A Fusion drive is the right choice.
    And you can even speed up you things by frequently reading your favourite files to force them into the SSD part.
    Try some automator or cron script.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Unless you arte using apps that leverage the hyperthreading of the i7 then it will make little difference which CPU you get, the fusion drive however will make everything snappier and nicer to use. If you can find one with a 256 SSD instead that will be even better and you can just use external storage for media files etc.
  5. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I'd choose the i5 with the fusion drive over the i7 with a regular HDD. The fusion drive will make booting, loading apps and browsing the internet faster.
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    HDD always is going to be the bottleneck. Go Fusion or preferably pure SSD. You'd only max out the i5 if you're running something like 20+ resource-intensive plugins in Logic X simultaneously.
  7. gelie macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2010
    How do you force those files into the SSD?
  8. mbosse macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2015
    Vienna, Austria
    Those files are on the SSD part of the FD by definition, the OS does that for you.
  9. JMacPro thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Thanks, everyone! The main use that I would use it for is for video editing with Adobe Premiere and After Effects, and sometimes some graphic work in Illustrator or Photoshop. I don't have much experience with fusion drives, and I'm not knowledgable enough about the nitty-gritty of how processors and all that stuff works, so I appreciate the input!
  10. steve23094 macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2013
    If they're your only choices go for the Fusion Drive. It will make a bigger difference in your day to day tasks.

    Technically you can split out the SSD portion of the drive but don't bother. OS X intelligently places your most commonly accessed files (including the operating system if appropriate) on the SSD automatically.
  11. Dreadnought macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Almere, The Netherlands
    Doing a lot of video encoding/decoding does make a difference with a i7. It's a tough call. You would probably want both! Look at your curent work if you saturate all cores of your CPU in your processes for a long period of time, if so, an i7 will definitely be a help.

    Another option is to connect an external SSD in the future through TB. Then you can also make your own fusion drive.
  12. warrenl macrumors member


    Jun 23, 2015
    As you stated, you are going to use it for video editing. Get the i7 and use an external TB drive as boot and storage as stated above.
  13. JMacPro thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Both machines also have more RAM than my current machine. Would that make a difference?
  14. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
  15. JMacPro thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2009
    thanks for the unnecessary contribution!
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It can do again it depends purely on what you are doing, but if you are checking your your CPU use then it won't make any difference for a comparisson, Adobe will use as much RAM as you throw at it but the 27 inch can be upgraded by the user very easily with third party RAM quite cheaply.

    You really are a case where it's everyday snappiness and fluidity of use that will make the fusion a bonus. But the i7 is a big bonus for rendering times etc. In short if you can find one with both you'll be golden.

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