iMac without fusion drive - how slow is it really?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kis, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. kis macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #1
    I need a new computer. I wanted to buy a 27" iMac with a fusion drive. However, these aren't available anywhere in Switzerland for immediate purchase. If I order it from Apple, it takes 8 business days to manufacture and another 14 business days for it to get here, meaning I'll wait about a month for it.

    So from those who bought one without the fusion drive: just how slow is it? I primarily do office work and heavy-duty photo editing with Lightroom + Photoshop. Very light video editing, no gaming, no coding. I'm used to working with a fully loaded rMBP but don't want to carry it to work anymore everyday - I'm planning on leaving it in the office and getting a new computer at home.
     
  2. NeoCracer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #2
    If you're used to work with a rMBP, then you will most definitely notice the slowness of a standard hard drive. I don't understand why Apple still ships the standard models with HDD's. Fusion should be the minimum. HDD's are the bottleneck of modern computers.
     
  3. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 10, 2007
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    #3
    Apparently, they're having problems keeping up with the fusion drive orders. All other configurations are readily available, but not the FD :-/ I don't really want to wait a month for the thing
     
  4. NeoCracer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #4
    It won't be a month. It will be like 2 weeks. Maximum 3 weeks.
    You should decide what's most important, wait a few weeks now. Or have a slower computer for years...
     
  5. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #5
    I wouldn't go back to a HDD only setup. But only you can decide whether waiting a few extra weeks is worth the daily saved time, happiness, etc that you'd get in return from the fusion drive.

    Another option would be to get the standard iMac and an ssd separately, swap the drive so that you're all SSD inside the machine, and use external enclosures to get the mass storage you need.
     
  6. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    well, it can't be that slow - there surely is someone here who can tell me from his or her own experience?
     
  7. KOTULCN macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #7
    It's painfully slow!

    Internal 1tb hdd base 27" 2013 iMac:

    [​IMG]


    Here is booting OSX off external Samsung 830 in OWC USB 3 enclosure:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #8
    We have a 2011 and 2012 iMac with standard 1tb hard drive and it runs fine. When it becomes necessary to upgrade the machine, i'll do an external boot to SSD via Thunderbolt.
     
  9. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #9
    I'd wait to get the Fusion drive.

    I had put an SSD in my 2009 iMac. It died and I had to put the original drive back in while I get it replaced. The difference is dramatic in day-to-day usage.

    (I know a fusion drive isn't necessarily as fast as an SSD, but you get much of the benefit of one.)
     
  10. propower macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #11
    All depends what you are doing! If its all about disc access and read write speeds than big difference. If not - then not.

    From another thread I wrote...
    I just tested the 2013 i5 3.4 7200rpm 1TB vs i7 3.5 512 PCIe in imovie --

    i5 /// i7
    Import 12 minute video: 2:50 /// 2:30 (SSD vs Spinning drive)
    Export as "Large" : 5:35 /// 5:35 (imovie uses all cores but no HT)

    Boot time i5 ~ 25sec
    Boot time i7 SSD less than 15 sec
     
  11. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #12
    after experiencing a dead ssd in my macbook air im glad i didnt get fusion in my imac. the only time i notice "slow" is while booting. since the imac is in sleep mode 99% of the time i dont notice it at all. even my apps open quickly.
     
  12. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #13
    I upgraded my 2008 iMac to an SSD then created my own FD after having the SSD for a while. I will NEVER go back to a HDD for a boot drive...
     
  13. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 10, 2007
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    Switzerland
    #14
    That's what I'm thinking, too - the thing will never be turned off and most stuff is cached. Even if I have to wait one minute for boot-up - I really don't care. The rMBP is my first SSD-equipped device. Yes, it's lightning fast, but I'm not sure you really notice that much of a difference once the most frequent apps have been cached. Yes, if you look at benchmarks and leave out the cache, it surely looks as though it's considerably faster.

    Anyway - I've been able to track down a 21.5" iMac with a fusion drive - but I want /need a 27" :-/
     
  14. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    Andover, UK
    #15
    I've got a samsung 830 256gb SSD in a Startech USB3 enclosure with UASP support and I get just over 300 write and just over 400 read.
     
  15. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #16
    My previous two Imacs had 1TB physical HDD's in them. This new one has the 3TB Fusion unit and there is a marked difference in application load times as well as general all round performance.

    The real speed demon is my 13"rMBP which has the 500GB SSD in it. It's very fast indeed.

    I wouldn't discount buying an Imac with an HDD in it, but if the budget allows, I'd go with the SSD option. I'm hoping that when my upgrade time rolls around that Apple will have SSD options in the 2TB range. Then I would remove the physical HDD completely from the equation. I went for the 3TB FD purely for space...768 was the largest option when I bought this one, and that just isn't enough space for my needs.
     
  16. trustever macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    #17
    @ MrGimper, do you use this enclosure as a boot driver? Did you have any probelm after the computer has gone to sleep or anything else at all?

    As I am seriously considering getting an external caddy to add a SSD as boot drive to my Imac but want to be sure to get the right one from start.
    Thanks for your support
     
  17. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    Andover, UK
    #18
    This drive has not been used as a boot drive. It's now being used to boot windows on my iMac for games.

    However I bought a Lacie rugged thunderbolt drive, and I plan to crack this open, add an SSD, and use that as a OS X boot drive.

    Before I had this UASP enclosure I was getting ~200 read/write in another USB3 (non UASP) enclosure
     
  18. KaraH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    DC
    #19
    Maybe because some of us look at Apple's price/GB of SSDs, laugh, and know we can get better quality ones elsewhere?

    Sort of like the mantra "never buy memory from Apple".

    ----------

    Actually, I am waiting on apple for my HDD-only machine. OWC already shipped me my 480 GB SSD last week and I ordered them both the morning of October 1.
     
  19. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 10, 2007
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    Switzerland
    #20
    I ended up ordering one with a 3tb fusion drive - I hope it's worth the (insanely long) 5-6 week wait :-/

    SSD-only was never an option for me as I need lots of storage for my image library. I like to keep my desk tidy. I'm not a fan of external drives and use them for backup-purposes only.
     
  20. jclardy macrumors 68040

    jclardy

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    #21
    And your SSD speeds are even slower compared to the new PCIe drives in the 2013 models. Basically once you go SSD there is no turning back - it changes the way you use the machine.

    The first time you open Photoshop in 3 seconds nothing else is acceptable. My friends 2010 15" MBP takes comparatively forever to open anything, even Chrome/Safari. Just considering application launch times I save minutes per day where I would normally be waiting on Xcode, photoshop, illustrator, etc.

    I really don't understand why Apple even kept the normal HDD option on the base 27". I can understand the 21.5", but the difference to the end user is astounding.
     
  21. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 10, 2007
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    Switzerland
    #22
    I don't understand that, either - I actually asked the apple online store rep when I ordered the phone and he said he didn't get it, either :)
     
  22. KOTULCN macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #23
    How are you able to boot windows of an external drive?
     
  23. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    Andover, UK
    #24
    I followed this:
    http://bleeptobleep.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/mac-install-windows-7-or-8-on-external.html?m=1

    No boot camp partition, windows purely on external drive.
     
  24. KOTULCN macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #25
    I'll try this method out but I wonder if I can use iPartition to install both OSX & Windows 7 on external SSD. From what I've read and experimented with, you can't have a Windows installation on the same external drive as OSX if your internal Mac drive has a bootcamp partition.
     

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