How does Fusion hold up?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dlewis23, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    I'm going to be getting a new iMac very shortly. Going with the Base 27" and I will upgrade the ram to 32GB.

    I'm debating getting the 1TB Fusion drive or the 256GB SSD. My concern is that the Fusion drive won't hold up overtime, will end up getting filled and it will feel like being back on a regular HDD.

    I don't use many programs or keep a lot of files on my iMac now. I keep everything on my remote HDD. Except the project that I'm currently working on.

    Normally I have Xcode, Transmit, Textmate, Titanium, and Photoshop always open. Photoshop usually has a lot of PSD's or a very big (4GB +) file open.

    So I was wondering for people who use the same or similar programs that I always have open like the fusion drive option? Do you ever notice it really slow down where the SSD is filled and its going back to the HDD?
  2. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Since you already keep your project data on an external drive, I would get the SSD only version of the iMac. I really don't like spinning hard disks sealed up in my iMac with the heat, noise, and failure potential.

    While I have created several DIY Fusion drives in other Mac computers, and they have generally worked well for me, I always use a larger SSD (256-512GB) than Apple uses in the oem Fusion systems (only 128GB). If your normal "active environment" fits within the size of the SSD portion of the Fusion drive to minimize churning between the disks, you should be quite satisfied with the performance of the Fusion drive, and enjoy the occasional benefits of faster access for less active bits of programs and data. But, if you can swing it, a full SSD system is the way to go (IMHO).

    Enjoy your new iMac ... :)
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    You have misunderstood how fusion works.

    They don't just fill up the SSD first and then the HD so it gets slower over time as more stuff is on HD.

    It actively monitors which files and indeed portions of files are active and moves those to SSD. Since you will be unlikely to have 1Tb of active files, but instead a few tens of Gb for the most part, those will always be on the SSD. If you stop using those files and start using others, they will get swapped around.

    So it should never slow down on that account. With your working practices with most files on external and moving current files to internal mean that you will be doing your own manual version of fusion so if you are happy with that, continue but usually automated processes are better at that than people.

    Having said that, I went for an SSD rather than fusion as I don't have that much stuff so could very comfortably fit it in 512 SSD and then got the benefit of no moving parts so it's quieter and cooler. In your position with much more data I think I'd be minded to go fusion unless you fancy the idea of no moving parts (apart from fans and even those on mine don't seem to start up much either)
  4. dlewis23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    I know how it works and I know that, but it does seem possible to fill up the 128GB SSD with your work flow.

    I will go a month or two sometimes more with out a reboot on a project and my workflow will be well more then 128GB and some of my tasks might be bigger then the 4GB buffer also. So I'm looking to see how it holds up overtime like a month or two on a project or something if there ends up being a real difference.

    The more I read up about the more I'm learning towards the SSD only.
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    How often is anyone going to do something like that? The guy deliberately chose an extreme edge case. If course if your most frequent workload conducts of writing out massive files then a 256 gb SSD won't do either.

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