How much of a difference does fusion drive make?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by yano729, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. yano729 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2011
    Hey, hows it going everybody. I recently purchased a new 21.5 iMac with the 2.7 ghz processor from best buy this past weekend. I got a great deal walking out the door with it for 1049 flat. I was very happy to get that price. However after using the machine for a couple of days, Im starting to wonder if the fusion drive would really make for a different user experience. I should note that I am running Yosemite beta currently. The machine freezes at some points and doesn't run as fast as I initially thought. Im thinking about returning it and ordering one with a fusion drive in it but then that will be an extra $350. I primarily am using this machine to store all my music (about 400 gigs), do some light photo and video editing, and some music production. Im not a professional in any of these and only do it as a hobby. I also plan to purchase a new 13 inch retina macbook when broadwell is released. Basically, I'm just trying to decide if its worth the extra money for the fusion drive. I am really happy about the price I paid for this machine so I jumped the gun. Thanks in advance for any advice or help.
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    The freezing is likely due to the beta software.

    As for the fusion drive, it would be a dramatic improvement over a standard hard drive. You get the boot and app launch speeds of an SSD, while also getting massive storage space of a hard drive.
  3. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    @yano729: I have a 3TB fusion drive in my iMac - it makes a huge difference. However, you say you're running the Yosemite beta. Did you experience the freezes and slowdowns before you installed it? Running a beta OS isn't going to be a fair test of how fast your iMac runs.
  4. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Columbia, SC
    Another for Fusion makes a huge difference in performance vs a spinning drive.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'm going to go against the grain, and suggest that a fusion drive may not be your best choice, insofar as audio production is concerned.

    Seems to me that when doing audio work (especially tracking), you want to keep your "media drive" "separate and apart" from your OS drive.

    For a media production Mac yes of course you want an SSD, but an "un-fused" SSD that contains your OS, apps, accounts. And use the spinning hard drive for media storage.

    What I would do in your position is to add an -external- SSD (connected via thunderbolt or USB3) to serve as your "external booter", and use the internal HDD for media recording/storage.

    This setup will be FASTER THAN a fusion drive, and probably easier to maintain and keep organized as well.

    Also, you can buy a bigger SSD for the money, than you would get from Apple, with a longer warranty.

    A small enclosure like this would serve you well:"+uasp&dpPl=1

    Again, my opinion only and I realize others will advise you differently....
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    The internal SSD will be faster as it is PCIe whereas the external will be limited to SATA III unless he gets a RAID enclosure. He could always partition the internal HDD and use the non-fusion partition as a media drive or keep his media drive external which to me makes the most sense as its likely to grow the most and need expansion first.

    Now having said that, an external SSD on TBolt will certainly "feel" as fast as a fusion drive. I also would not judge Yosemite on the beta release. While the Fusion drive is super fast, externals are FAR more flexible.
  7. Ender17 macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2005
    fusion drive would be a big speed increase over just hard drive
  8. Rud3Bwoy Suspended


    Oct 9, 2011
    it's around 300mb read and write speeds i was limited to those speeds on one of my older ssd drives on my windows rig and it was pretty fast,personally tho if you have the money go with the flash storage.
  9. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007

    These days the drive speed is almost more important than many of the other specs aside from maybe having enough ram.
  10. yano729 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2011
    Thanks for the advice guys. With the recent news that they will be releasing new iMacs soon I have decided to return the one that I have. Thanks for all the advice. I appreciate it.
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    What reports were those?

    According to this story from yesterday:

    The next iMac update will probably coincide with the release of the Broadwell processors sometime next year.
  12. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Fine thanks, a bit exhausted because of buying a new apartment that needs a bit of a handyman's touch, other than that pretty good. How are you ?

  13. Rud3Bwoy, Jul 31, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2014

    Rud3Bwoy Suspended


    Oct 9, 2011
    next year sometime don't expect anything but a minor spec bump .....personally i would of kept it

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