Fusion Drive worthwhile in new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AUS76K12, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. AUS76K12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    I'm gathering information before purchasing my next Mac. I have my heart set on the new 27" 3.5GHz QC i7,32GB RAM,GTX 780M - I am a little unsure as to which route to go down regarding the HDD.
    I service and repair these machines day in day out but am yet to have a proper play around with the new fusion drives. I understand the basic principles of the Fusion Tech and how it works but I was hoping for some input from owners of iMacs with the fusion drive installed. Is it a worthwhile invest and how is it performing for you ?
    I myself don't need a lot of storage space, however I will be looking at replacing it in 2-3 years so would like to choose an option to make the machine more saleable. Whether it be Fusion, SSD or just large ATA.
    Can anybody comment on their HDD config especially with Fusion and how they are finding it ?

    Cheers!
     
  2. IA64 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #3
    I went for the SSD option. Fusion doesn't work under bootcamp; you'll still have to deal with the rotational drive booting Win7/8.

    That was a deal breaker. Unless you don't care about that, the Fusion is still a great choice.
     
  3. kis macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #4
    SSD is always better but costs way too much. Mine has the 3tb Fusion Drive and it makes me insanely happy :)
     
  4. dmrowley macrumors 6502

    dmrowley

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Location:
    Dortches, NC
    #5
    Add me to the "insanely happy" crowd. I just upgraded from a 2010 21.5" i3 iMac to a 2013 27" i5 with the 3TB fusion drive.

    Bootup is less than 15 seconds. My main apps launch in a single bounce. It is well worth the $ if you cannot afford all SSD option.

    I am personally thrilled with my new iMac.......except for the intermittent wifi not working, but that's for another thread. :)
     
  5. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #6
    I have had my 1TB Fusion Drive for a year now and it preforms very well.
     
  6. TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #7
    But it still works under OS X if you have a bootcamp partition, right?
     
  7. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #8
    Yep!
     
  8. miles1234 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    #9
    fusion drive

    i have the new 27 imac with 1tb fusion drive ( since dec. '12 , and i never noticed it being faster than my 6 yr. old imac , plus I have bluetooth connection problems .
    I took it in yesterday to an apple tech man and he ran a test . it said bluetooth ok, BUT ,,, the HDD part of the fusion drive failed a test ( MRI ) , so I am not too happy with mine .
    I have apple care , so apple will pay for the fix , but still , not happy, not for the price I paid .
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #10
    Fusion Drive isn't worth your time. It's still slower than an SSD and cause Boot Camp issues.

    Go for a pure SSD setup.
     
  10. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #11
    It does not cause any Bootcamp issues. Bootcamp works just as it does otherwise: it just can't share the SSD too.

    Fusion drive strikes that nice balance between storage & speed. Pure SSD + external drive might be "equivalent" to some, provided you like to spend your time transferring files around and pointing applications to your external drive. Sometimes it's nice to just get work done.
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #12
    My bad, sorry. Heard that there were issues with the 3TB Fusion Drive and Boot Camp in the early days.

    That's what I do. Because I value speed, I use an SSD + a Promise Pegasus R6, keeping everything in sync.
     
  12. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #13
    That was an issue with 3TB drives and the BIOS emulation/GUID partition table issues. Or, in other words: unrelated to the actual Fusion implementation whatsoever :)

    Of course, but that's also significantly more expensive. A 512GB SSD + an R6 with a few 2TB drives is going to cost you > $2000 more than a 3TB Fusion drive. It'll also be faster for some tasks, but the difference between Fusion drive performance vs. pure SSD performance is in the realm of diminishing returns.

    Where possible, I think iMac buyers should always get the Fusion drive at a bare minimum. If they don't mind managing storage and/or have a lot of data they *explicitly want* on an SSD (i.e. big photo libraries, Bootcamp partitions, etc), then go for the SSD + external storage approach.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #14
    For me, $ isn't really a deal breaker, because speed is paramount. I don't trust Fusion drives because it's still slower when you do lots of 4K videos. Just my 2¢ worth.
     
  14. TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #15
    You keep your capture scratch for 4K projects on an internal SSD? Or do you just mean it's faster when all program components are on the SSD, which they might not be with fusion?
     
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #16
    Donations for terabyte SSD drives are gladly accepted :D

    And it doesn't "cause Boot Camp" issues. If it did, that would still be irrelevant for 90% of Mac users, but it doesn't (Bootcamp couldn't handle 3TB drives at some point, nothing to do with SSD).

    Something that is thousands cheaper than a 3TB drive and almost as fast is worth everyone's time.

    ----------

    Fusion drive works with VMWare or Parallels just fine.
     
  16. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #17
    When I'm working on a 4K project, I move all the footage into the SSD. Upon completion, I move the footage and final video into a Promise Pegasus R6 and then wipe them off my internal SSD.

    It's significantly faster when all program components are on the SSD. Some program components may be partially on the SSD and on the RPM drive if you have a Fusion setup (correct me if I'm wrong).

    ----------

    'Almost as fast'.

    That's a deal breaker for me to shun Fusion drives. Fusion drives have a read speed of 400MB/s and write speeds of 280MB/s. Which is significantly slower than the 750MB/s read speeds and 650MB/s write speeds of a pure SSD.

    So it's not 'almost as fast as SSD'. Fusion drives are noticeably slower than SSDs if you work on huge files like me (4K videos).
     
  17. AUS76K12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #18
    Hey guys thanks for all your responses.

    I'm going to order the iMac tomorrow with a 512gb SSD and I will use my 4TB Thunderbolt drive for external storage. I personally think SSD will be fine for me as I have the 4TB TB drive already for external storage.

    Cheers !
     
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #19
    Good choice mate, you'll reap the benefits of a pure SSD setup for the years to come :)
     
  19. TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #20
    Ah, that's a good workflow. I've yet to do any 4K work. I haven't even had a chance to know what editing using a HDD over Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 is like since my iMac was right before Thunderbolt came out.. and I guess 3.0 hadn't been implemented yet either. My new iMac gets here this week, but my latest 3TB HDD should hold me over for a while, so no Thunderbolt for me. For a while, at least.
     
  20. douglas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #21
    I'm leaning the same way for my upcoming iMac. I typically keep my macs for 4-5 years, so reliability is a big factor. The HD side of the Fusion would likely be the first component of the machine to fail, so I don't mind spending a little extra for a 512gb SSD. As I understand it, if the HD fails, the entire Fusion is dead. Has anyone had experience with Fusion failures?
     
  21. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #22
    I haven't heard of any yet, but if it happened, I'm sure they'll be pulling their hair out.
     
  22. Roykor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    #23
    I am thinking over too.. Maybe i go for a 256GB SSD, and a external SSD with Thunderbolt. No spinning hardrives anymore! Only.. reaching 2 TB will be expensive.. so …a 7200 HDD maybe… pfff, dilemma's
     
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #24
    A 256GB SSD should do you fine. On my 21.5", I have a 256GB SSD in it and store everything else externally.
     
  24. Maomaomao macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    #25
    I will have the same setup, do you have an external hard drive to recommend?
     

Share This Page