Fusion Drive: Worth it?

Rob.G

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2010
473
57
Arizona
I'm looking to order a new Retina 27" iMac this Fall after the new ones come out... or maybe grab a refurb of the 2014 model, I dunno. In any case, I'm wondering... is the 3TB Fusion drive worth it, or should I just go ahead and get a 512 gb SSD? I've been using nothing but SSD's for the last few years, but with an external larger hard drive for storing music, photos, etc. So I'm not sure about the Fusion drive. Since it's a PITA to replace the hard drive in an iMac, I want to make the right decision the first time. :)

Thanks!

Rob
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,601
2,848
I'm wondering... is the 3TB Fusion drive worth it, or should I just go ahead and get a 512 gb SSD? I've been using nothing but SSD's for the last few years, but with an external larger hard drive for storing music, photos, etc. So I'm not sure about the Fusion drive.
Take a look at Bare Feat's Shootout: iMac Retina 5K Flash Storage versus Fusion Drive. For typical reads, Fusion drive is indeed fast, but write performance is closer to disk-only counterpart.

Since iMac will be desk bound, I frankly would shell out more for flash storage and attach external disk if needed.
 

Buerkletucson

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
477
265
Thank you! That's exactly what I need to know. I'll go with the SSD.
Great move....
I got all SSD and its sweet......fusion drive is fine but total SSD is so much better for almost everything you do in the iMac.

Good luck with your purchase.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
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Comes down to your usage. How much storage do you need? Is external storage out of the question? Do you plan on using Windows?

SSD is the way to go if possible. It will provide the most noticeable improvement to performance for every day task. However the Fusion drive is a very good compromise between cost, storage and speed.

Personally I don't think you can go wrong either way and comes down to usage and your priorities. Personally I can't quite justify Apples price tag on 1tb SSD however I need more then 512gb. So in my case the Fusion has be covered, however YMMV.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
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Thank you! That's exactly what I need to know. I'll go with the SSD.
You might also want to wait a week or two for rumored 21.5" retina iMac. It may be a long shot, but who knows? 27" iMac maybe revised, too and/or receive a slight price drop.
 

fathergll

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2014
1,480
896
I've been using nothing but SSD's for the last few years, but with an external larger hard drive for storing music, photos, etc. So I'm not sure about the Fusion drive. Since it's a PITA to replace the hard drive in an iMac, I want to make the right decision the first time. :)

Thanks!

Rob

The simple answer is "Are you ok with using an external drive with your iMac"?

If you are then get the SSD.

If you are not then get the fusion drive.
 

Rob.G

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2010
473
57
Arizona
I've been using an external 4tb drive on my Mini for years.. I see no difference in using it with an iMac. USB 3 makes external drives just as good as internal ones, so yeah, SSD for the most-used stuff, and the big ext for everything else.

Now, if the iMac had room for a second drive, I'd go out of my way to install one just to keep things more compact.
 

Novus John

macrumors regular
Sep 27, 2015
125
223
Get an SSD. If you need external storage get a NAS device, they're fairly cheap, and that thing will serve you for many years. Or get an external drive, but they have a habit of failing just when you really need them.

The whole Fusion tech seems very provisional to me. SSD is obviously the way forward.
 
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