Fusion or SSD + HDD for creative work?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by r6mile, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    Hi all,

    I'm just about to sell my 3,1 Mac Pro to a friend who does creative work (photo and video). The computer has a 7200rpm WD drive, and a 250GB 850 EVO drive through a OWC accelsior S Pcie card. Is it worth setting up the hard drives as a single fusion drive for that type of usage?

  2. BillyBobBongo, Jan 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016

    BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2007
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    Leave it as it is. The SSD is large enough to run the OS and any programs required. I'd probably replace that old school spinning drive with an SSD down the road though. I hate when those things start clicking.
  3. Bytehoven macrumors regular


    Dec 1, 2015
    Up Shellpot Creek
    I have about 250GB of OS X and APPs on a Crucial 512GB SSD (internal cMP lower optical bay) and it's been awesome. I have been toying with switching to a Samsung EVO 850 500GB SSD.

    I'm sure a (1x) SSD on a fast PCIe host card would be a benefit. Not sure about (2x) SSDs on the same controller, but I have not tested that. But I would stick to a SSD size that leaves more than 50% of the SSD un used, in my case 500GB works great, but I only have the OS and APPs on the SSD... no data.

    I have experimented with running (4x) SSDs in RAID0 hosted from an ATTO R680 (1700MB/s) as the OS X boot volume, and I found at some point the speed of the host volume out paces the ability of the computer to launch programs, and it appears to be over kill as far as running APPs is concerned. I found the sweet spot was somewhere between 3G and 6G SATA buss speeds. so, while I could observe the benefit and difference between my single Crucial SSD running externally on the R680 @ 450MB/s and internally @ 250MB/s, I did not observe a difference launching apps on the (4x) SSD RAID0 host volume over the (1x) SSD running on the R680. I even tried a (8x) SSD RAID0 running at 2600+MB/s. Now, that might be because of the overhead of the ATTO hard RAID controller and how it affects smaller files versus larger files. I have never tried the PCIe SSD RAIDs mentioned here.
  4. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    This whole notion of just putting apps and the OS on SSD is kinda counterproductive.

    If you're dealing with large data sets you want them ideally on SSD, or at least capable of being cached on SSD.

    My preference would be
    SSD for everything (well, HDD for back up / archive only).
    SSD + HDD (for "data")

    Why? Because if you're dealing with SSD+HDD you're relying on spending YOUR time to move files around as appropriate to the right storage location for best performance and you might not even know what those files should be.

    With Fusion the OS will cache blocks (doesn't even have to be complete files).

    If you have your "work" on HDD (and only OS / apps on SSD) then every single time you open some of your data you're waiting on the spinning disk.
  5. haralds macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2014
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I used to run a configuration with a Fusion drive consisting of a 1TB SSD and 4TB HD. Over a period of a year I had two random HFS+ corruptions that I had never experienced before. I switched back to running them separately. No more problems since.
    I suspect, those kinds of sizes for Fusion have not been well tested.

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