Need help Choosing between HDD and Fusion Drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2013
    I'm interested in buying 27" iMac. I am a casual photographer (not too much editing, mostly in iPhoto but hope to learn aperture). I have a library of close to 30,000 pictures and growing. I'd like to spend between $2,000-2,300 so was thinking about the 2.9GHz with upgraded 3TB Fusion drive to add speed and storage. Any opinions? Will that size library even fit on the flash portion of the storage to make the fusion useful? I know the computer automatically picks what goes to flash storage. Does anyone know if it looks as iPhoto and the library as one big file or could just certain libraries be on the flash part that are more frequently used. Also, has anyone had problems with the fusion drive? seems like some reviews indicated it isn't proven technology yet and people are worried it could fail.
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Definitely do not get the HDD option.

    iPhoto/Aperture libraries are NOT one big file... they are just made to look that way. They are a "package"... and if you right click on the library and select "show package contents"... you can see the entire file structure below.

    Regardless... FD does not operate at the file level. It works as the block level. Typically files would span multiple blocks. So... only the most used blocks are moved to the SSD.

    FD will be (and feel) much faster than a HDD.

    If your photography increases to the point that you want more performance... it is trivial to move your entire library to an external SSD in the future.

    I personally went for the 768GB SSD... because I wanted my Aperture library on the SSD... but that is more expensive so you need to make your own decision on its value.

  3. abercrombie macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2008
    Parent's Basement
    Fusion will not NOT make much of a difference as a data drive for all of your photos. Fusion learns your usage and puts lots of the OS & your most commonly used applications and files on that 128k ssd portion.

    I have similar on my Windows 7 box, a Seagate Momentus with 32gb SSD attached to a 750gb hard drive. Brought to life my aging Core 2 Duo. Boot times are faster, opening applications is faster, but retrieving pictures to edit in CS6 is just about out the same.
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    For iPhoto and Aperture, part of the photo library is the catalog portion. The catalog will tend towards being on the SSD part of the Fusion Drive. This will affect a lot of the operations in those programs. The only thing it won't affect is reading in individual photos (unless it was read enough to get pegged to the SSD) and exporting photos.

    There is a thread in the Photography forum here that showed the improvement in Aperture operations using an SSD for the Catalog and a HD for the photos in Aperture. So a Fusion Drive should help as well.

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