Fusion Drive vs SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Rob.G, May 24, 2016.

  1. Rob.G macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    #1
    I'm going to order an iMac in the next couple of weeks... wondering between the 2TB Fusion drive and the 512 gig SSD. I've had nothing but SSDs in my Macs for years, so I'm a little hesitant about going to the Fusion Drive, but the Refurbs I'm looking at that have what I want have that instead of a decent-sized SSD. I can add a Samsung 850 Pro 1 TB SSD for $300, which makes it more cost-effective to replace the Fusion Drive with one than to spring for the version with the 512 SSD already in it.

    BUT... if the Fusion drive performs decently, I'd just keep it.

    Thoughts?
    --- Post Merged, May 24, 2016 ---
    And so after I posted this, the Similar Threads showed me a thread just like mine, so I read it... question pretty much answered now. :)

    I'll get the Fusion drive and plan to replace it with the 1 TB SSD. I have a 4TB ext USB3 drive for less frequently accessed stuff.
     
  2. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #2
    I happy with the performance of my 2TB fusion drive. If you have the cash a SSD is always better. For me the decision was based on cost and space. My last computer has a 512SSD and I was always accessing my photo library off my server. Now I can have my library stored locally on the iMac.
     
  3. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Seriously, if you can afford it, get the largest SSD built in, that you can. I wish I could.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    I'm happy with my 2TB Fusion drive, but if the SSD options fit my needs and budget, I would have configured my iMac with it. The 512GB was too small for my needs and budget wise, I couldn't justify the 1TB SSD.

    The Fusion drive is nice, don't get me wrong, but you will notice some things being slower on that vs. the SSD.
     
  5. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    Agreed! I learned this the hard way. I had a 1TB SATA drive (not the Fusion). Much slower than my MacBook Pro Retina. Quickly returned it and bought an iMac 1TB Fusion drive.

    We live and learn ;)

     
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    Having always had an rMBP with SSD, when I move to iMac I will definitely stick to SSD. But I will only order a 512K SSD. That provides me plenty of room for boot, OS, apps, and basic data like email and my Lightroom catalog. But I have over 4TB of data in my movies, photos, documents...etc. that would never fit on any internal drive. So they will always sit on an external RAID set connected via TB, the same any my Time Machine backup drive which is 6TB. Can't wait to see what will change on 2016 iMacs. I assume the ports will move to USB-C with high speed USB-3.1 and TB3 supported. I guess we may know more at WWDC.
     
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    SSD is best, fusion drive is a great compromise on speed disk size and price.
     
  8. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #8
    You cannot wait until later to see the next update for the imacs? Maybe they will come standard with ssd or if not maybe a lower price
     
  9. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    That's a very good point. I should think of the same thing, I'm still within my return period...

     
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #10
    It is unlikely to be any time before October!!!
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    Apple's upgrade cycle for iMacs has been the September/October time frame. Add on the fact that the 27" iMac is on Sklylake already, I don't see Apple refreshing the line before then

    The 1TB SSD is not all that great because Apple is only using a 24GB flash drive, older models used 128GB of flash for the Fusion drive. The 2TB still has 128GB and I'd recommend that, or better yet if your budget will allow an SSD
     
  12. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #12
    ...yes, this seems to come up more and more (side of the SSD drive in Fusion), and I'm a little disappointed and almost frustrated with it. If ONLY Apple would give one the option to replace the hard drive 'easily', like they do with the memory. :(

     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Unfortunately that's not the apple way. These computers are virtually sealed and its really hard to open them up. As time goes by, they seem to be moving even more in to preventing "unauthorized" access with placing substances on the screws to see if someone opened up a MacBook. I expect similar moves on the iMac in time.
     
  14. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #14
    I wish Apple would give us the BTO choice to select the SSD and hard disk sizes independently, and then we can choose whether to join them in a Fusion drive or not, or to partition them as desired with/without Fusion join for selected partitions.
     
  15. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    On 21st May, I purchased an iMac, with 1TB Fusion drive from Best Buy.
    I just configured the same unit on Apple website, but, with a 512GB SSD. Seriously thinking about ordering that one, and returning my Best Buy one.

    Just not sure if I can be bothered with boxing it, taking it in, etc. And, having to wait for delivery of the Apple order.
    Albeit, a 512GB SSD, pre-installed, sounds all rather appealing.

    Thoughts?
     
  16. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #16
    The current SSDs are BS fast.

    Like... much faster than any 300 dollar aftermarket SSD you will get.

    I'd get the biggest proper SSD you can, and if you want more storage plug in an external spinner for archive data or run it off a NAS over the network.
     
  17. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #17
    Some reports say running a NAS on an iMac, doesn't work well. Unless you also have an AirPort, etc.

     
  18. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #18
    You might check out B&H PhotoVideo for in-stock BTO iMac products if you are in the US. They ship quickly and possibly no tax depending on where you live. This is also a great place to purchase AppleCare with or without computer purchase at the same time.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=iMac+27&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&Top+Nav-Search=

    You can easily velcro-mount a bus-powered USB 3.0 portable hard disk on the back of the iMac stand to add storage to a SSD-only iMac. I have a 4TB RAID-0 Seagate Backup Fast on my 5K iMac with internal 1TB SSD. It is partitioned as a 1TB daily SSD-Clone and 3TB archive storage.

    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Porta...282624&sr=8-1&keywords=seagate+backup+fast+4t


    IMG_1278 - 2016-04-13 at 12-58-52.jpg
     
  19. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #19
    This is true, but I don't think most users will notice the difference between 500 MB/s and 1500 MB/s. Benchmarking is one thing. A user's perception and real-word use are another. PCiE SSDs are faster, but the applicable question is, will the user notice a difference for their particular use?
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #20
    I've never had problems with my NAS and I don't have an AirPort. As long as there's nothing wrong in the settings, things should work just fine.
     
  21. ignatius345 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    #21
    I have a 27" 5K iMac with I think a 1TB Fusion drive where I believe 128GB is flash and the rest is HDD. It's quite fast. At the price I could afford, it was this or a pretty small pure SSD. For my uses, it made more sense to go with the Fusion drive.

    If you do go with Fusion, do a little research -- they've apparently cheaped out on some of the lower-end Fusion drives and given them only like a 24GB SSD portion. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I remember people being pretty appalled when that came out.
     
  22. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #22
    Yes, the 24GB SSD is the current iMac that I have. Thus I was thinking of going all out and buying one with a 512GB SSD, versus the Fusion Drive...

     
  23. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    #23
    I don't know how the iMac is configured, but for a while the only way to install two drives into a Mac Mini was if you'd ordered the Fusion drive arrangement. I had a few headless devices and I wanted to put the backup drive in the same enclosure as the boot drive. With the fusion drive, Apple installed a second drive port, but without it they didn't.

    You might want to poke around OWC to see their upgrade information to find out what your options are.
     
  24. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #24
    Yes. The user will easily notice. That particular difference is extremely obvious in all uses.

    I don't know why anyone hasn't said it yet.

    You're comparing a stupid fast SSD to what is essentially a spinner. You don't get SSD benefit from the 1 tb Fusion. End of story. You don't.

    You absolutely should return that one to Best Buy and get the 512 SSD. The difference in user experience will be immense.
     
  25. rbart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Location:
    France
    #25
    I have a 1Tb/24Gb Fusion drive, and it's really fast.
    It's hard to believe, but it works very well, and for 90% of my usages, I don't notice I also have a spinner in my iMac.
    Most people that criticize the 1Tb/24Gb Fusion drive have never used one.
     

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