Fusion vs flash for professional photographer wife

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shiften, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Shiften macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2013
    My wife's a professional photographer and we are upgrading her early or mid 2011 17" MBP (which I put a 500gb SSD in a while ago). It's primarily used for editing through Photoshop. She is considering a 15"MBP or i7 iMac.

    We are upgrading because it chugs somewhat hard when she dumps a card of raw files on it and is trying to sort through the pictures (in bridge?) to decide what to keep for editing. She needs pictures to pop up at full resolution as quickly as possible to sort out the ones with focus or other issues, etc.

    My fear with a fusion drive is that she dumps files on they'll go to the HDD and her read speeds when she pulls them up to edit later will be terrible.

    Is a fusion drive going to impede this so we should go full flash memory? Will the 16gb ram upgrade be worth it?

    Hopefully there are designers and photogs here who can chime in. Thank you so much for the help and guidance. I'm sure you all know the tedious process of the initial pass through a shoot, and anything to save time in that regard will be a huge deal and money well spent. Really, anything at all is appreciated with a purchase this large.

    Thank you!
  2. hans1972 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    About the RAM, if you go iMac, you should look into ordering the iMac with minimum RAM (8Gb I believe), and just buy additional RAM from a cheaper place. I did that and bought 16Gb (8Gb x 2) from another vendor and put those to memory sticks into the iMac for a total of 24Gb of RAM.

    Fusion drive will put the most used files (or file blocks) on the SSD part. There is no way to manually tell where a file will be located, since this is dynamic.
    Often used photos will be stored on the SSD.

    The nice thing is that with a Fusion drive you will get almost SSD speeds most of the time for the Gb price of a hard drive.

    Also if the Mac have lots of RAM, the excessive RAM will be used as a file cache.

    I would highly recommend getting a Fusion drive unless you can afford a SSD big enough to hold all the photos she need.
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Looks like with a Fusion drive, all writes go to the Flash drive, so importing photos should be quick.

    When the Flash drive fills up, the Mac will move less frequently used files over to the traditional hard drive.

    Going entirely Flash seems like it would guarantee the best performance in all situations, but you'd be paying a lot of money to get a 1TB drive.

    A Fusion drive would be very fast for the OS, opening apps, dumping pictures, etc. Pictures that get moved to the traditional drive aren't going to be any slower than they are on her MBP are today. Fusion drives have a 3TB option which might be of interest to a photographer.


    This has some under-cover details of how the Fusion drive works, if it helps any.

  4. trevm999 macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2013
    Assuming you go with the 27" iMac. The RAM is harder to upgrade in the 21.5" iMac. Or maybe it is just a given that you are looking at 27" iMacs since your wife is a photographer?

    Also, if you go for Fusion drive, the Hard drive in the 27" iMac is a 7200rpm drive, and the 21.5" is just a 5400rpm drive.

    I agree that SSD will be faster, but a fusion drive is a good compromise of speed while cheaper per GB of storage.
  5. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    As a photographer, has your wife considered Adobe Photoshop Lightroom instead of Adobe Bridge? Lightroom catalogs images, and creates previews upon import, after which browsing through the photos to quickly organise and purge the bad shots is lightning fast. The handling of previews, and database cataloguing of photos, is a lot more efficient than Bridge's stateless browsing of folders. This should alleviate much of the need of all your content being quickly accessible on SSD.

    Bridge is the right tool when working with a variety of file formats across a variety of Adobe software (e.g. Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop), while Lightroom is the more suitable tool for those working primarily with photos, bringing a wealth of photograph-specific functionality to the table. If needed, Lightroom can still work with Photoshop for pixel level editing.

    Here's a video of Terry White from Adobe explaining the difference between Bridge and Lightroom: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-eva...idge-cc-vs-lightroom-5-which-is-best-for-you/

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