I'm nearly there but undecided on 768GB SSD

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
645
255
Australia
Hi Guys,
I'm sure this type of question is boring at times but I have to ask

The plan, a maxed out iMac
I'm into serious image editing and have always wanted a quick machine

Failing anymore unforeseen financial surprises I most probably could get myself into a Maxed out 27" iMac with the 1 TB Fusion at the end of June

To get into the above with a 768GB SSD would take me about another 3 months or so, another $780 basically

Questions,
Should I wait that little bit longer for the 768GB SSD?
Is the Fusion drive a proven reliable drive?
Is the SSD less prone to failure due to no moving parts?
Can I change the Fusion Drive for a SSD at a later date?
Regards,
Gary
 

Mac32

Suspended
Nov 20, 2010
1,263
440
Do you game or use Windows/Bootcamp? Get 768GB SSD.
If not, then the fusion drive might be a good alternative. Yes the Fusion drive is a great comprimise, but SSDs make no noise, runs cooler, no slow spinups, SSD is more reliable than HD, and SSD is always fast. SSD is definately the future, but a Fusion drive works very well (though it depends on the usage).

I have not tried a Fusion drive myself, but I'm very familiar with hard drives, which have their limitations. The SSD part of the fusion drive is only 128gb, however your programs and OS will be on the SSD, so most of the time a Fusion iMac will be very fast. Working with very large image files should be faster on an SSD than a hard drive.

You can buy Fusion now, and use an external SSD as the system drive through thunderbolt at a later point. I'm not sure what kind of speed difference (esp. IO/s) you get with thunderbolt vs internal SSD though, but a thunderbolt SSD will work very well.
 
Last edited:

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
645
255
Australia
Thank you for your reply,

Very informative,
No gaming, and no bootcamp or parallels if I can,
Have been Windows in the past, trying to just go Apple,
Going to try Aperture and Nik Software plug-ins but I suspect Adobe will still be an editing option, at least Lightroom with the new tricks i see in beta 5

I have a Nikon 12mp D700 now which can be quite large files, especially tiff files I use with other programs
I intend to get a Nikon D800 in the new year for my landscape work which has a 36mp sensor, I can envisage raw image files being 100MB each and reaching 3 times that size

My friends are indicating at least 16GB ram and 32GB preferred

Is the SSD part of the fusion drive still only 128GB in the 3TB Fusion drive as well?
Regards,
Gary
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
My friends are indicating at least 16GB ram and 32GB preferred

Is the SSD part of the fusion drive still only 128GB in the 3TB Fusion drive as well?
Regards,
Gary
Yes, 128 for both options

I use Lightroom and Photoshop CS6 together quite a bit. 16 will drive the apps, but 32 gives photoshop lots of room. You can still get 32 of Crutial for 210.

I chose the 512 option. If I need big space, I get it from externals. The flash option is well worth the expense. The machine runs silent and cool.

Good luck
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,585
I take it you are after a fast scratch disk?

You would be better leaving your mac sealed and putting a 256 or 512 Samsung sad in an external thunderbolt enclosure.
 

Mac32

Suspended
Nov 20, 2010
1,263
440
With the fusion drive does the windows partition go onto the regular hdd part of the drive in it's entirety then?
Yes, with fusion the entire bootcamp partition will be placed solely on the HD. In other words an SSD will be MUCH faster in bootcamp.
 

zarzonis

macrumors member
May 3, 2013
58
0
Greece
My opinion. Buy it with the stock 1Tb drive and 8GB Ram. Anything else maxed out. Buy an 512GB SSD and put it in by yourself. Very easy task and you will get way faster results from the Fusion Drive and also the flash drive Apple offers. Also is cheaperYou can also buy the maxupgrades blade SSD adapter so you can put 2 SSDs and use them in Raid Mode to get about 1GB/s write and read speeds. Then just upgrade yourself the RAM with Corsair Vengeance laptop edition from amazon. Better and way cheaper than the one Apple offers. Ram and flash drive that Apple offers is a little it rip off. Very expensive...
 

AppleNewton

macrumors 68000
Apr 3, 2007
1,697
83
1 Finite Place
An all SSD iMac would be ideal. I went with one purely for less mechanical parts, heat and super fast operation. find a decent Thunderbolt drive and you're set-up is good to go.

You may even consider choosing a 256 or 512 SSD as Thunderbolt storage is easily expandable.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
After trying both... I prefer the full SSD. I have the 768GB option which holds all user files including my Aperture library.

I have excluded my iTunes and FCPX media from SSD, and instead keep them on a 8TB Pegasus Thunderbolt array (configured as 4TB RAID10). Plenty fast for the iTunes and video streaming media.

/Jim
 

haddy

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2012
283
70
NZ
An all SSD iMac would be ideal. I went with one purely for less mechanical parts, heat and super fast operation. find a decent Thunderbolt drive and you're set-up is good to go.

You may even consider choosing a 256 or 512 SSD as Thunderbolt storage is easily expandable.
Same here.......very fast and cold and very quiet. Great machine.
 

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
645
255
Australia
Wow! Thank you so much for the time and effort,

Much appreciated,
I now have a better handle on which direction to go,
I have decided to go the 768GB SSD, may have to wait a little longer but after sifting through the feedback here, the SSD would be the best option for me
Regards,
Gary
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
After trying both... I prefer the full SSD. I have the 768GB option which holds all user files including my Aperture library.

I have excluded my iTunes and FCPX media from SSD, and instead keep them on a 8TB Pegasus Thunderbolt array (configured as 4TB RAID10). Plenty fast for the iTunes and video streaming media.

/Jim
Quoting my own post here.

While I prefer the full SSD... the FD is really quite good. We all have different thresholds of "worth" and "affordability". There is no way (0%) that I would have put in less than a FD... so from that standpoint, I would compare the cost/features/benefits vs a FD.

Back when I was a student (a long time ago)... there is no way I would have paid the premium... I just couldn't afford it. I just want to be sure that my post is not pushing you into something that you cannot afford. Both FD and full SSD are good solutions (but I still personally like full-SSD better).

/Jim
 

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
645
255
Australia
Quoting my own post here.

While I prefer the full SSD... the FD is really quite good. We all have different thresholds of "worth" and "affordability". There is no way (0%) that I would have put in less than a FD... so from that standpoint, I would compare the cost/features/benefits vs a FD.

Back when I was a student (a long time ago)... there is no way I would have paid the premium... I just couldn't afford it. I just want to be sure that my post is not pushing you into something that you cannot afford. Both FD and full SSD are good solutions (but I still personally like full-SSD better).

/Jim
Thank you Jim
Your right, the SSD is stretching the budget and I'm starting to get my backlog of image management out of control

looking at the Apple store, I noticed that Apple are now offering the 512 SSD also, this may get me over the line

I'm thinking that with 95% of images sitting on portable drives, the 512 SSD would handle Photoshop software plus 1/2 dozen other programs with ease

I maybe wrong but that is the way I'm seeing it
Regards,
Gary
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
Quoting my own post here.

While I prefer the full SSD... the FD is really quite good. We all have different thresholds of "worth" and "affordability". There is no way (0%) that I would have put in less than a FD... so from that standpoint, I would compare the cost/features/benefits vs a FD.

Back when I was a student (a long time ago)... there is no way I would have paid the premium... I just couldn't afford it. I just want to be sure that my post is not pushing you into something that you cannot afford. Both FD and full SSD are good solutions (but I still personally like full-SSD better).

/Jim
Installed a version with a fusion drive. Had some time on it and it was not bad. The client has 20TB of fast external storage, but stuck on the idea of having at least a 1TB in the computer. Old habits die hard and so will Apple's "Fusion"
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
Thank you Jim
Your right, the SSD is stretching the budget and I'm starting to get my backlog of image management out of control

looking at the Apple store, I noticed that Apple are now offering the 512 SSD also, this may get me over the line

I'm thinking that with 95% of images sitting on portable drives, the 512 SSD would handle Photoshop software plus 1/2 dozen other programs with ease

I maybe wrong but that is the way I'm seeing it
Regards,
Gary
Gary,

I'll assume that you are going to use to be using either Lightroom (LR) or Aperture 3 (A3). Both of them allow physical separation of the database and the masters (originals). I'll reply from the Aperture perspective (my tool of choice) but similar principles apply to both A3 & LR.

By using A3's "referenced master" feature... you can keep your masters on an external drive while keeping the database (along with previews, thumbnails) on the FD or SSD. Since the library will now be MUCH smaller in size than a library with integrated masters "managed masters"... it will fit on a much smaller SSD... hence a 256GB or 512GB model is likely to be sufficient.

You are interested in image editing. Independent of which program that you use as an editor (PS, Pixelmator, Nik Software, etc)... you would typically be working on just one master at a time... so the implication of masters being on a HDD are minimal performance impact. Even if you are manipulating multiple images at once (ex: 3/5/7 master HDR)... the difference in performance is minimal.

The big performance benefit would be in image organization, scrolling, sorting, rating, smart collections, etc in your database... which would all be on the 256GB or 512GB SSD.

I'm just suggesting that you consider your entire workflow and buy accordingly. You might not need 768GB.

/Jim
 

Mercmanman

macrumors member
Nov 24, 2012
32
0
Canada
Very informative,
No gaming, and no bootcamp or parallels if I can,
Have been Windows in the past, trying to just go Apple,
Going to try Aperture and Nik Software plug-ins but I suspect Adobe will still be an editing option, at least Lightroom with the new tricks i see in beta 5

I have a Nikon 12mp D700 now which can be quite large files, especially tiff files I use with other programs
I intend to get a Nikon D800 in the new year for my landscape work which has a 36mp sensor, I can envisage raw image files being 100MB each and reaching 3 times that size

My friends are indicating at least 16GB ram and 32GB preferred

Is the SSD part of the fusion drive still only 128GB in the 3TB Fusion drive as well?
Regards,
Gary
I just bought the loaded retail version with i7 and 1 TB Fusion. I added 16 GB RAM for a total of 24 using aftermarket ram from a local store (it turned out to be G.link RAM for Mac.

I shoot a Canon 5DIII and have 54000 photos on a single aperture library. I was nervous about fusion but it has surprised me. The 400 GB aperture library opens in about one second and scrolling through thousands of photos is seamless. I rebuilt the library and previews and thumbnails over night when I first got the new Mac and things are great.

I also have a 3 TB media library hanging on an external drive for iTunes and movies.

So far, pleasantly surprised and happy with the choice.

One day I may swap out for the SSD, but for now, it is running as fast as an SSD would for aperture.

BTW it scores 12900 on geek bench !
 

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
645
255
Australia
Installed a version with a fusion drive. Had some time on it and it was not bad. The client has 20TB of fast external storage, but stuck on the idea of having at least a 1TB in the computer. Old habits die hard and so will Apple's "Fusion"
i see a message in there! :)
512 SSD is looking better
Regards,
Gary

----------

Gary,

I'll assume that you are going to use to be using either Lightroom (LR) or Aperture 3 (A3). Both of them allow physical separation of the database and the masters (originals). I'll reply from the Aperture perspective (my tool of choice) but similar principles apply to both A3 & LR.

By using A3's "referenced master" feature... you can keep your masters on an external drive while keeping the database (along with previews, thumbnails) on the FD or SSD. Since the library will now be MUCH smaller in size than a library with integrated masters "managed masters"... it will fit on a much smaller SSD... hence a 256GB or 512GB model is likely to be sufficient.

You are interested in image editing. Independent of which program that you use as an editor (PS, Pixelmator, Nik Software, etc)... you would typically be working on just one master at a time... so the implication of masters being on a HDD are minimal performance impact. Even if you are manipulating multiple images at once (ex: 3/5/7 master HDR)... the difference in performance is minimal.

The big performance benefit would be in image organization, scrolling, sorting, rating, smart collections, etc in your database... which would all be on the 256GB or 512GB SSD.

I'm just suggesting that you consider your entire workflow and buy accordingly. You might not need 768GB.

/Jim
Thank you Jim,
Starting to sound like even a 1TB fusion would handle the workload as well
Just a matter of budget I guess
Regards,
Gary
 

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
645
255
Australia
I just bought the loaded retail version with i7 and 1 TB Fusion. I added 16 GB RAM for a total of 24 using aftermarket ram from a local store (it turned out to be G.link RAM for Mac.

I shoot a Canon 5DIII and have 54000 photos on a single aperture library. I was nervous about fusion but it has surprised me. The 400 GB aperture library opens in about one second and scrolling through thousands of photos is seamless. I rebuilt the library and previews and thumbnails over night when I first got the new Mac and things are great.

I also have a 3 TB media library hanging on an external drive for iTunes and movies.

So far, pleasantly surprised and happy with the choice.

One day I may swap out for the SSD, but for now, it is running as fast as an SSD would for aperture.

BTW it scores 12900 on geek bench !
Thank you for the heads-up,
I have been reassessing my software since Adobe has now got its "head in the creative clouds"
I will at least give A3 and Nik plug-ins a go but will still retain the Nikon Capture NX2, that may change at a later date but will depend how well i can set up the camera profile
With the "new tricks" in the LR beta 5, it is very tempting to get it also
Other programs would include,
Zerene Stacker, Autopano Pro, Photomatix Pro and possibly HDR Eflex pro
I may not load CS6 unless I have to
Sort of hoping a 512SSD would suffice,
Regards,
Gary
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
Thank you for the heads-up,
I have been reassessing my software since Adobe has now got its "head in the creative clouds"
I will at least give A3 and Nik plug-ins a go but will still retain the Nikon Capture NX2, that may change at a later date but will depend how well i can set up the camera profile
With the "new tricks" in the LR beta 5, it is very tempting to get it also
Other programs would include,
Zerene Stacker, Autopano Pro, Photomatix Pro and possibly HDR Eflex pro
I may not load CS6 unless I have to
Sort of hoping a 512SSD would suffice,
Regards,
Gary
Aperture + Nik is a great combination. You list HDR EFex Pro separately, but that is part of the Nik suite. Google bought Nik Software, and the entire suite is now only $150, which is a great deal.

/Jim
 

AtomicGrog

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2011
189
55
My opinion. Buy it with the stock 1Tb drive and 8GB Ram. Anything else maxed out. Buy an 512GB SSD and put it in by yourself. Very easy task and you will get way faster results from the Fusion Drive and also the flash drive Apple offers. Also is cheaperYou can also buy the maxupgrades blade SSD adapter so you can put 2 SSDs and use them in Raid Mode to get about 1GB/s write and read speeds. Then just upgrade yourself the RAM with Corsair Vengeance laptop edition from amazon. Better and way cheaper than the one Apple offers. Ram and flash drive that Apple offers is a little it rip off. Very expensive...
Would challenge the statement about adding the ssd as being an easy task. Adding/changing drives in an iMac requires someone with a decent amount of technical skills and tools the vast majority (yup that's me making my own challenge-able statement) of people wont have the appropriate skills or tools.
 

tkwolf

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2012
293
14
Just a teeny bit of question: Why doesn't Apple have a 1TB SSD instead? Is it impractical as of the moment or a strategy for future income for when they release a 1TB version in the future?
 

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
645
255
Australia
Aperture + Nik is a great combination. You list HDR EFex Pro separately, but that is part of the Nik suite. Google bought Nik Software, and the entire suite is now only $150, which is a great deal.

/Jim
Thank you Jim
My confusion during the research and changes
Regards,
Gary
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
Would challenge the statement about adding the ssd as being an easy task. Adding/changing drives in an iMac requires someone with a decent amount of technical skills and tools the vast majority (yup that's me making my own challenge-able statement) of people wont have the appropriate skills or tools.
Proof of this is the number of people here on MR who have ended up damaging their computers in the process. Personally, I have zero inclination to open and modify a new product potentially jeopardizing the warranty. I'd rather have the whole machine be covered under Applecare for the full 3 years.

Just a teeny bit of question: Why doesn't Apple have a 1TB SSD instead? Is it impractical as of the moment or a strategy for future income for when they release a 1TB version in the future?
1TB SSDs are still quite expensive. You can assume that SSD sizes will continue to increase year to year... or generation to generation. My new iMac has a 768GB SSD. When I upgrade in a few years, I'll speculate that 2TB SSDs will be available. Such is the way of technology.

/Jim
 

PJM82

macrumors member
Apr 28, 2013
74
0
United Kingdom
I went fusion and I completely regret it. In many cases its not that much faster than the regular drive. I'd go 512 gig ssd or better if I purchased again. Your other option is buy the fusion drive now and add an external USB 3.0 or thunderbolt ssd as your main boot drive. A number of people have done it on here for far less than the 768gig upgrade from Apple and there is no performance loss over it being external.