fusion vs ssd

Discussion in 'iMac' started by super spud, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. super spud macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    #1
    Hello all. Ive decided to go down the imac route now and have gone for 21.5" with i7, 16gb ram. The final decision to make is regarding the hard drive. Do I go for fusion or 256ssd? The 256 will get taken up fairly quickly I feel but want to future proof the mac. I have an external hdd drive already or I can always purchase more ssd space and connect via usb at a later date. Which do you recommend and if I went with fusion could I 'fuse' the external ssd to the internal fusion drive?

    Any help is much appreciated.
     
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #2
    I'd go with Fusion. It sounds like you don't know what Fusion is or how it works. The basic idea is that the SSD part of Fusion drive is used first, acting like a cache. Mac OS X will automatically put your frequently used files, apps, whatever on the SSD first. Once it runs out of room, your data will spill over to the HDD. If you go with just a SSD (256GB in your OP), you'd still have the problem of where to store your extra data once the SSD is filled up. Fusion drive is actually two separate drives, one SSD and one HDD. There isn't much significant performance gain from using just a SSD.

    I highly recommend against setting up a Fusion drive with an external drive. Both parts of Fusion drive need to be connected to the computer in order for the computer to boot. You could do it, but it's just more complicated and doesn't give much benefit.
     
  3. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a

    LeandrodaFL

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    Apr 6, 2011
    #3
    I sugest you Fuse the internal drives.

    Fusing the extenrla drive is possible, but it requires a complicated hacking, complete fresh OS X reinstall and after complete, it will not be a stable logical drive, as external drives may disconnect occasionally and then you Mac goes crazy and may not be able to recover, you gonna have to start from scratch again.
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #4
    I have the Fusion Drive and would highly recommend it. Those that say it's not as good as an SSD haven't really tried it IMHO. It's a really good idea and gives you a decent size HD at a fraction of the cost.
     
  5. IA64 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #5
    Go for the SSD if you bootcamp a lot ( run Windows ).

    You will not get the benefits of a Fusion drive under bootcamp.
     
  6. stjames70 macrumors member

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    Jul 5, 2009
    #6
    Go SSD

    Unless you have a really good daily backup, Fusion which is a SSD and a HD provides two points of failure instead of one. If either SSD or HD fail, you will lose the data on both devices. Also, a 1TB SSD drive is pretty cheap (well, a lot cheaper than a few years ago) and will give you plenty of storage. I store all my media files (photos, movies, etc) on a Promise Raid Thunderbolt enclosure filled with 6 HDs. The HDs are cheap to replace in case they fail, and as the RAID array is a 1+0, I seriously doubt that you will not be able to recover from a failed drive in the array.
     
  7. IA64 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #7
    I wouldn't really call a $1000 1TB SSD cheap. It's half of your machine cost if anything.

    But then again, that's just me.
     
  8. Bear macrumors G3

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    #8
    You're right that for most people it won't make a difference, however, for some people going pure SSD will be noticeable.

    As for me, I'm trying to decide between:
    • 1 (or 3) TB Fusion Drive with an external 256GB SSD
    • 512GB SSD with an external 2TB Hard Drive.
     
  9. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #9
    Choice #2 sounds darn good from here ;)
     
  10. Tjosansa macrumors regular

    Tjosansa

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    Jul 27, 2013
    #10
    I went Fushion 1 GB since i need the space.
    256 GB ssd wouldnt be enough for me.
    I use Bootcamp alot.
     
  11. Mark Booth macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #11
    I recently purchased the latest 27" iMac to replace my 7-year-old Mac Pro. Because of how I use my Mac, I had no trouble deciding between Fusion Drive or all Flash Drive (SSD).

    One of my most frequently used apps is Aperture (I'm a photographer). I have nearly 50,000 images in Aperture. Of those, very few of the master images were imported into the Aperture Library file. I store the master images on a secondary hard drive. But even with only about 5% of the master images getting imported into the Aperture Library file, said Library file has swollen to nearly 95GB in size.

    The SSD portion of a Fusion Drive is 128GB. The OS figures out which apps and data you use the most and moves that stuff from the spinning drive to the SSD. However, since parts of the OS also need to be on the SSD (for maximum performance), I'm sure the available space (on the Fusion SSD) for your data and apps is a fair bit less than 128GB.

    With a 95GB Aperture Library file, I was concerned that it was too big to fit on the SSD portion of a Fusion Drive. And it's a file that gets accessed a LOT when I'm using Aperture.

    Aperture had grown INCREDIBLY slow on my 7-year-old Mac Pro, despite the fact that (on that computer) I had the app and the Library file on a fairly fast RAID 0 drive. One of my primary goals in getting a new Mac was to speed up Aperture!

    The new iMac with 1TB SSD (Flash Drive) did the trick! Now, 100% of the app and 100% of the Library file are on fast SSD (700+ MBps). Aperture FLIES on the new iMac. Importing images and editing them is a JOY on the new Mac. Fast, fast, FAST!

    I am confident that Fusion Drive would have also been faster than my old Mac Pro. But I'm equally confident a Fusion Drive would NOT have been as fast as this full SSD machine!

    It came down to spending $600 extra (the difference between 1TB Fusion and 1TB SSD). In my case, it was $600 WELL spent!

    This sucker is FAST!!

    Mark
     
  12. hpucker99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    #12
    I will be ordering a 27" later this month with the 512 GB SSD option. The SSD reads and writes faster, the Fusion reads as fast but writes slower. I'll get an external HD for by data files (photos) along with another drive for for my Time Machine.
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #13
    To be honest either will be a great option. Would the external 256gb SSD option be used for back up or just an external drive? If so it's a bit small.
     
  14. super spud thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2013
    #14
    Top answer many thanks. I think im going to go for the 256 ssd drive and purchase an external ssd stick drive in due course. I know very well that the most accessed files will be on the ssd part of the fusion drive however as soon as I want something less accessed ive got to put up with 5400rpm speeds. Atleast with 256mb I have more flash storage so wont fill as quick and wont have to put up with 5400rpm speeds.

    my question is can I merge 256 internal flash with an external flash drive? My os will be on the internal portion so wont have boot failures.
    Is this feasible? I then have my spinny drive for back up.
     
  15. Bear macrumors G3

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    #15
    The 256GB SSD would be either USB 3 or Thunderbolt attached and be used for files that I want guaranteed quick access to.
     
  16. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    New Zealand
    #16
    Fusion Drive is block-based, not file-based, so the whole library file doesn't need to sit on the SSD; it'll leave your most frequently used photos on there and put the others on the HDD.

    While I appreciate that there are specific cases where a full SSD system is beneficial (of which Aperture may be one; I don't use it so don't know), for the majority of users Fusion will do the trick :)
     
  17. IA64 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #17
    I got a 512GB SSD and a 2TB Raid 0,1 Lacie external.

    On the external I got all my Video/Pictures and Music ( 1.3 TB ) - Transfer rate is around 200-230 MBps.

    SSD is equally divided ( OSx / Bootcamp ) and I still have plenty of space left after installing all my softwares ( Adobe CS6 master collection, games, FCP etc, Audio creation etc .. )
     
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #18
    So you will have another external for your back up?
     
  19. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #19
    512 with a few large externals. Very Nice ;)
     
  20. Bear macrumors G3

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    #20
    Actually 2 for backups like I have now.
     
  21. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #21
    All good then.
     
  22. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #22
    My concern is when it's time to format and clean install the os. ijustine has just found out that this will brick the fusion drive if one dose not know how to do so.
     
  23. frega macrumors member

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    Jul 28, 2010
    #23
    How does Fusion drive work under windows/bootcamp?

    I'm concerned it might be a hassle.
     
  24. Bear macrumors G3

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    #24
    Bootcamp just makes a Windows partition on the hard drive portion of ths SSD. There's no hassle.
     

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