Fusion vs pure SSD for iMac

imac275

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2013
75
2
I recently bought and returned a late-2012 iMac due to several problems that could not be resolved. After much deliberation, I have decided to try again as I liked the machine itself very much.

The original iMac was fitted with a 3TB Fusion drive and I was impressed with that in terms of it's general speed when doing tasks. However, I did think that the general responsiveness of the machine was actually slightly worse than my old 2008 iMac that I had running from a 128GB Samsung SSD after the original SSD failed.

Now that the 256/512 SSD options are available, is there any advantage in looking at these over the Fusion drive? A lot of the comments on here seem to suggest that the Fusion is 'as fast', 'almost as fast' or 'much slower than 100% SSD.

Would SSD make the machine 'snappier' than Fusion and would there be any other real differences?
 

Michaelgtrusa

macrumors 604
Oct 13, 2008
7,901
1,811
I recently bought and returned a late-2012 iMac due to several problems that could not be resolved. After much deliberation, I have decided to try again as I liked the machine itself very much.

The original iMac was fitted with a 3TB Fusion drive and I was impressed with that in terms of it's general speed when doing tasks. However, I did think that the general responsiveness of the machine was actually slightly worse than my old 2008 iMac that I had running from a 128GB Samsung SSD after the original SSD failed.

Now that the 256/512 SSD options are available, is there any advantage in looking at these over the Fusion drive? A lot of the comments on here seem to suggest that the Fusion is 'as fast', 'almost as fast' or 'much slower than 100% SSD.

Would SSD make the machine 'snappier' than Fusion and would there be any other real differences?
Yes indeed a ssd would much faster than a fusion drive. The advantage would be speed and reliability.
 

TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
2,682
1,513
From my reading of all the tests people have run the Fusion reviews show only being a little behind the SSD for noticeable speed improvements but massively better than pure HD. From what i've read, Fusion vs SSD isn't noticeable for day to day use
 

imac275

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2013
75
2
From my reading of all the tests people have run the Fusion reviews show only being a little behind the SSD for noticeable speed improvements but massively better than pure HD. From what i've read, Fusion vs SSD isn't noticeable for day to day use
That is what I had read as well, and I did find it fast when I was using it. It was just the things like bringing the machine out of sleep that did not seem quite as instant.

For my own use, a 256GB SSD would be big enough with all data held externally, but I have one eye on resale in 2 years time as well. Will people think that a powerful desktop like the iMac is woefully under capacity with only 256GB storage or are they more likely to think a Fusion-equipped one is out of date because it has an 'old-fashioned' HDD in it at all.

Decisions, decisions....
 

TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
2,682
1,513
I'd take the space over a few seconds for coming out of sleep

Also, I think fusion takes a while to re-organise your files based on your use. Maybe your iMac wasn't in use enough?
 

Ice-Cube

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2006
699
91
Somewhere over the rainbow
Maybe it depends on how much you value that few seconds. I'm using my iMac to do daily surfing, emails, videos etc and the fusion drive is almost instant in any task I assign it to do. I wouldn't pay more just to have it react a few seconds faster.
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
920
i have an imac 1t fusion drive and macbook air 13" mid 2012 with 128 ssd. No big difference. But as you know, the most durable ssd are the little ones like 64 or 128 and i think 256.. bigger it is less durable the ssd will be over time. So yes 1T fusion is the best choice if you want to last over time
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
Perhaps a better way to approach is to consider external storage. If hard drive days are numbered, why not use them outside the box until you can replace with larger SSDs that are on the way.
Keep the iMac lean and mean ;)
 

passey

macrumors member
Mar 28, 2013
89
0
i would go pure ssd not for the speed for the actual size.

Fusion is only 100GB SSD which is rather small

I have a 250GB SSD which is fine for my os and all my apps.
 

12dylan34

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2009
877
6
I have a fusion and it boots up in 12-15 seconds, all of my programs open more or less instantly, and I've never found myself wishing that my computer would go faster at transferring files or anything of the sort. It also fits all of my apps, which includes the entire creative suite, a few 3D programs, and all of the other normal consumer stuff.

I would say that the cheaper price and larger storage of fusion is well worth it over the SSD alone.