I'm nearly there but undecided on 768GB SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MiniD3, May 27, 2013.

  1. MiniD3 macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    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
     
  2. Mac32, May 27, 2013
    Last edited: May 27, 2013

    Mac32 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #2
    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.
     
  3. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    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
     
  4. tann macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Nottingham, England
    #4
    With the fusion drive does the windows partition go onto the regular hdd part of the drive in it's entirety then?
     
  5. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    #5
    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
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #6
    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.
     
  7. Mac32 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #7
    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.
     
  8. zarzonis macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Location:
    Greece
    #8
    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...
     
  9. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

    Joined:
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    #9
    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.
     
  10. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    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
     
  11. haddy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    #11
    Same here.......very fast and cold and very quiet. Great machine.
     
  12. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    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
     
  13. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    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
     
  14. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    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
     
  15. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    #15
    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"
     
  16. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    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
     
  17. Mercmanman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    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 !
     
  18. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #18
    i see a message in there! :)
    512 SSD is looking better
    Regards,
    Gary

    ----------

    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
     
  19. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #19
    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
     
  20. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    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
     
  21. AtomicGrog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #21
    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.
     
  22. tkwolf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    #22
    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?
     
  23. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    Thank you Jim
    My confusion during the research and changes
    Regards,
    Gary
     
  24. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    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.

    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
     
  25. PJM82 macrumors member

    PJM82

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #25
    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.
     

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