Go Fusion drive of all SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kevs1, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. kevs1 macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2016
    I 'm poised to buy a new 27" (my old one is 6 years old). In the Apple store today the rep said the Fusion drives only have 24 SSD on them and the rest it old style platter -- about.. 40 to 1 ratio!. Yet online Apple says it this type of magic drive knows what you have been using and opens it up with SSD. I was leaning toward just getting a 500GB SSD which cost more, but want to ask how fusion works first, he could not explain that well.

    Also, he kept saying the OS is only 4GB. But on my macbook air (60GB Mac HD) it keeps running out of space (will be replacing soon), and all I have on that is 10GB of apps and 5 GB of imap mail. That's it!
    The rest is Library, system, and other hidden obtuse system things like Private folders which I have no idea what is in there. So to me there the OS is taking 40GB for all intents and purposes.

    Finally, the consensus seems to be 16 GB Ram is enough? And don't buy Apples, save $ and go crucial?


    sorry title should be go fusion or all ssd, but no way to edit the title only text..?
  2. iceman42 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    all it does is move the apps you use the most to the ssd and they will load quicker than from the hhd.i think the os is on the ssd so it will load it quicker.and the apps you don't use that much they will be on the hhd.
  3. kevs1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2016
    So Data never goes there? photos etc?
  4. sartrekid macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2014
    Yes, your photos and files are saved on the hdd.

    If in doubt, you can go with a bigger fusion drive. I bought the 5k Retina Mac with 2TB. This configuration has 128GB SSD rather than 24GB. And I can tell you that this machine is blazingly fast and capable.

    There's one thing you need to keep in mind, however. If you intend to dual boot via bootcamp, Windows will run on the HDD rather than the SSD. It's noticeably slower. Just a heads-up.
  5. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    SSD all the way. You will never regret it. Ever.
  6. kevs1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2016
    Thanks Sart and DAve:
    Dave please send the specs that say a 2TB fusion has 128 GB not 24GB, I cannot find any published specs on Apple, and at store, they just say verbally.

    But anyway, someone has told me that with Fusion the Fusion only touches OS--app part and does not speed up with opening images. For that you need pure SSD. Was that clear?

    I have no interest in Bootcamp, but my 1st question again: does not the OS itself take up a huge space? And apps...? My 60GB laptop seems to be almost full with OS system stuff and apps alone.
  7. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    When you configure a iMac find the storage selection and click the blue link How much storage is right for you? Near the bottom of the popup you will find:
    OSX keeps track of all files and how often they are used to decide what to put on the SSD. Obviously they make OSX the priority, but there is no reason why they cannot fill up the rest of the space with your files, and they mention this in the quote above.
    Open Finder and click Go > Computer from the top menu. Click your hard drive (Usually labeled Macintosh HD) and you should see 4 folders: Applications, Library, System, and Users. If you check how big Library and System are, you should find that it is under 20 GB for both of them together. The rest of the space is taken up with Applications and Users, and aside from 1 GB of preinstalled apps, stuff you added since you bought the machine.
  8. kevs1, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016

    kevs1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2016
    Thank Cruisin: YEs I analyzed the macbook air many times, and i'ts full to 45 GB of OS and apps. Mostly OS, baffling.

    I'm getting nowhwere on my fusion questions so I'm leaning towards full SSD. I mean how can a drive ... takes data off the non fusion and copies it over?
  9. Starfia macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2011
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If your data needs are such, that you can fit everything in the 256GB, then the SSD is a better choice. If your budget is such that you can swing the 512GB SSD and your data needs will fit in there, then again the SSD is a nice upgrade.

    The Fusion drive, particularly the 2TB model with 128GB of flash, is a really nice storage option. I'm happy with my 2 TB Fusion drive.
  11. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    But what does that mean

    Just consider external drives are an embarrassment. Alright. They're inconvenient.

    The 2tb fusion allows you to 'keep it on the internal' and the only speed decreases are seen when something isn't on the SSD portion, but when you use it, it's moved onto the SSD portion.
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    DON'T buy the 1tb fusion drive version (because of the measly 24gb SSD).

    DO buy the 2tb fusion drive version (comes with a 120gb SSD -and- a 2tb HDD).

    The slight cost upgrade will be WORTH IT measured against the increase in performance.
  13. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If you have a Fusion drive, the OS takes the most frequently accessed blocks and moves them to the flash storage portion of the Fusion drive. Those blocks can be apps, documents, photos... whatever data you have. A Fusion setup takes the two internal physical drives and makes them appear as one, large "logical volume" to the system. So to you, it looks and works like one drive. There is a good article here that has a good explanation of how this works.
  14. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Not understanding how Fusion drives work is no reason not to buy it. It works and works very well. I've been using Fusion drives for over 3years now, all perform as advertised with far better performance than just a plain old hard drive.

    The AVERAGE user will barely notice the difference between fusion and standalone SSD most of the time. But I agree on the comments regarding the 24GB SSD of the 1TB Fusion, that's pathetic and will not hold all your OS and apps, you want a Fusion drive with at least 128GB SSD drive to be a good experience.

    If you are really needing to house large amounts of user data and your preference is to not rely on external drives, go fusion. Otherwise if the 500GB SSD is within your budget and can house all you data with room to spare, go standalone SSD.
  15. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The most commonly used data is stored on SSD. It's better than a hard drive but it's not a replacement for an SSD. If you want properly fast, go SSD. If you want a lot of space and can't afford to get enough SSD, go fusion.

    I'd personally go all SSD and get a NAS or external drive to store less commonly used data on.
  16. kevs1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2016
    Thanks guys great info.

    Ok thanks, I'm down to this, 27" with as Mac HD pure 500SSD or 3 TB fusion, which has 128 GB SSD. The are about the same price, within $100. The fusion is cool as it's one less external to buy. I've heard good things about Fusion, but I don't know what to choose: I'd have to live with both for awhile and see if there is a big speed difference and that will never happen, since I'll never guy both to compare, hence how to decide?

    I've always stored most data on externals, so the Fustion 3TB would eliminate an external being my main data point. The externals then would only be for backup. So that would be a new benefit. And for the first time ever my date (which is mostly excel files and Photoshop files would reside in the MacHD, not an external). But I'm open to suggestion between these two choice.

    Oh, and I may buy new external, (5 years old now), and just keep about 1TB of images I hardly ever look at into the closet in the "old" which now current externals. I could have 3 copies of that -- hope they wont disappear on the little used "archive" externals over the years...
  17. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    On my 5K iMac, I have the 1TB internal SSD which suites my needs. I then added an external Seagate "Fast" portable RAID-0 4TB bus-powered USB 3.0 drive which is simply velcro'd to the back of the iMac stand where it is out of sight and out of mind. I manually manage the data and keep my libraries and archive stuff on the external drive, as well as a daily CCC clone of the internal SSD. The drive is very fast and unobtrusive. I also Time-Machine it all over the network to a remote MacMini server with RAID-5 storage add-on for whole-house backup of all the computers.
  18. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Personally, I'd go 500G SSD + externals (and consider networked storage). Unless you're doing space-guzzling pro graphics or video, 500G is more than enough for the OS, Apps and your current live projects. If you are doing space-guzzling video, you'll probably end up needing more than 3TB anyway...

    Thing is, do you want your 3TB of data trapped inside a sealed unit (esp. if you're unlucky and the iMac dies on you), or do you want to access it from other computers (without your iMac being on 24/7)? You'll need externals for backup anyway.

    A laptop - where you want enough space to be able to take everything with you - is a different matter.

    As for space usage: - yah, 4GB for System is a joke. OS X will create a swapfile (for virtual memory), a sleep image (for restore after the computer hibernates) and all manner of cache and temporary files. Some of these "system cleaners" give the impression of freeing up disc space by deleting such files, but they'll be back and OS X does a fair job of managing them itself.

    Tools like Disk Inventory X and DaisyDisk are handy for visualising your free space (I prefer the former, because I find the visualisation completely obvious, but I hope it runs on the latest OS X because it appears to be abandoned - there's a bug that misreports the free space on the 'choose drive' screen, but that doesn't really matter).
  19. kevs1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2016
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2016 ---
    Thanks Luggage

    I don't do any video so, the fusion is cool as it's one less external to buy. I've heard good things about Fusion, but I don't know what to choose: I'd have to live with both for awhile and see if there is a big speed difference and that will never happen, since I'll never guy both to compare, hence how to decide?

    No issue with all that being on the Mac, as I back it up everyday on an external, right? I currently don't access on other computers but may one day... Probably better it's on that Mac for that no?

    With a 3 tb fusion, I never have to decide what to put on the Mac HD, it does it for you, but I don't know the speed loss on that, how could I?
  20. sartrekid macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2014
    Have a look at this: http://barefeats.com/imac5k12.html
  21. kevs1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2016
    I decided for the macbook air to buy from OCW, a kit of 128 SSD. The video was real good, and I got a great tech guy on the phone.

    But as I was unscrewing the last screw on the plate, it would not come out. This screw did not have the 5 ridges the others had. It was a perfect circle. The computer has never been serviced. So we could not get it out. So he recommended I take it into the Apple store to show them that. Which I may do.

    50 min of the workday, on the phone getting the plate almost off, then putting it back, as I lost a couple of the little screws, but found them, and I'm back to where I was.

Share This Page