New iMac 27" 5K 1TB Fusion not a great deal

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macmyworld, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. macmyworld macrumors regular

    macmyworld

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    #1
    I had remember reading about Apple switching the SSD in the Fusion drive to 24GB for the new 27" iMac 5K 1 TB. Well at least I remembered after I bought it and was cussing at it for being so slow.

    I was spoiled by my MacBook Pro Retina with a 256GB SSD, but was really surprised at how slow the 24GB Fusion really is. I only had 130 GB on the machine - but over half of that was apps. Microsoft Word and Excel were brutal to start (Word was usually 10+ seconds).

    Once I realized the Fusion issue, I saw that Best Buy was clearing out the late 2014 model for $350 off. Bought that instead with its 128 GB Fusion SSD and it made a huge difference. The i5 in the old machine is slightly faster, so the machine is a decent deal. I also like the old keyboard better.

    Anyway, really lousy of Apple to make this change. I really can't recommend the 24GB Fusion since most of the space goes to the OS. The late 2014 machines are a decent deal while they are still out there.
     
  2. iemcj macrumors 6502

    iemcj

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    #2
    Some people don't really need that speed. Honestly 10 seconds to start up word isn't really a problem, you have more than enough memory to keep it open so it's not like you're opening and closing the app multiple times a day (and if you are, you're doing computing wrong). Not to sound all old timey but that's crazy fast compared to the computers I had up until like 2 years ago, when you open an app it's going to take a few seconds, that's just the way it was so no one had a problem with it.

    I certainly agree that something like an ssd is nice to have, apps open quick and it's nice. But I'd hardly call it "brutal." Adding a 10 seconds to an app opening at most 3-4 times a day? Minor inconvenience at best, brutal is a waaaaaay over reaction. ;)
     
  3. macmyworld thread starter macrumors regular

    macmyworld

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    #3
    Fair enough on my use of "brutal". Overall the machine was sluggish compared to the old 128GB Fusion SSD. In these days of SSD popping up everywhere, it made no sense to me that Apple reduced the size of the Fusion drive to save a couple of bucks. I just didn't see enough value to buy the Fusion drive on the 1TB machine. I'm used to popping apps as I need them and since I'm running s VM at the same time, I watch memory usage a little.

    But again, your point is fair.
     
  4. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #4
    I think it's kinda redundant on Apple's part to reduce the size of the SSD in the Fusion drive. Look, I get it, cost savings, just meant for the OS, etc. Still, all of Apple's laptops come with at least 128GB of SSD space. The MacBook Air starts at $899 with a 128GB SSD (regardless of the other specs, I understand the Retina iMac has a more expensive display, GPU, processor, more RAM everything). I don't know, just seems kinda cheap on Apple's part.

    Case in point: the $150 Apple TV has more solid-state storage then the OP's first iMac.
     
  5. iemcj macrumors 6502

    iemcj

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    #5
    It's the same as the iphone, apples strategy is simple, make the low end option significantly worse so that most users are going to default in the middle. On the iphone, the entry level iphone is still a paltry 8 gigs... 8 gigs! In 2015! Any semi intelegent person knows they're going to fill that up in a few days so they pay the extra 100 bucks to get the mid level model (either 32 gigs or 64, I don't really remember off hand).

    Since some users are going to be just fine with the slower drive, to them it's logical to leave it as an option. They know anyone who does more than ten minutes of research is going to opt to pay the extra money for the larger/faster storage system and their profit margins are higher up there. As a business owner, I can understand and respect this, it's smart. As a tech literate guy with relatives who are tech morons, it makes me wince knowing that many people will be buying without really realizing that for a couple percent more they can get a better performing product. I understand both sides.

    I grew up with dial up internet where we had to pay long distance charges for every minute we were online, if I wanted to go on cheatcc.com and get some cheat codes for Goldeneye, I had to save my allowance for a few days so my parents would let me connect. So when I see someone complain about having to wait ten seconds for a program to load it is laughably entitled. I'm sure you understand. ;)
     
  6. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #6
    I get the point you're trying to drive home here, and I agree for the most part, but I want to explain a few things. First, the entry level model iPhone (read: free on a contract) is 16GB with the 5s. The 32GB option is still around for $50 extra. Now, the iPhone 6s (the latest model) does start at 16GB and is $100 extra to go to 64GB.

    Second, for some, 16GB is enough. It's a small crowd, but I personally know 2 people who currently have 16GB iPhones and get along with them just fine. While they are both tech guys like me, they don't fill up their phones with pictures, music, videos, and large apps and games. They have a handful of apps (primarily social media), stream music, and don't take a lot of photos and videos. Personally, this year I went 128GB with my 6s Plus. Why? 4K video. Everyome has their own reason for getting what they get.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #7
    Its a bad move all around, driven only by the almighty dollar. Apple wanting to protect their profit margins cut the corners so much that its adversely affecting the performance of the computer. I'm probably going to get an iMac, but I'm eyeing the 2TB Fusion drive, only from the perspective of the much larger flash storage.

    That's ridiculous, for the money apple is charging for theses computers, its just plain silly to say for some folks a 5400 rpm drive coupled with a tiny flash storage is ok. They don't mind the really slow data access. Apple is promoting the Fusion drive as a faster then HD storage solution that is cheaper then a SSD. In this case, they're selling a drive that is insignificantly faster due to the smaller storage.
     
  8. makrom, Nov 25, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015

    makrom macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2015
    #8
    I consider this a common misconception of what Apple actually did. From a pricing point of view, the 2TB FD in 2015 is more or less where the 1TB FD was in 2014. What they did was introducing a middle ground between the 1TB HDD and what's now the 2TB FD. The upgrade from a 1TB HDD to a 1TB FD is now much cheaper than it was in 2014. If you want the value you got of a 2014 1TB FD, just get the 2TB FD. And you'll get 1 TB of HDD space as well as basically doubled SSD speed on top of that. I fail to fail apple for that.
     
  9. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #9
    I agree that the 1TB Fusion drive is a rip off. Not only do they only have 24GB SSD but they're using the 5400 rpm HD which is guaranteed to be much slower than the 7200 RPM HD. I'm still not sure who came up with the brilliant idea to pair up the 24GB SSD with the 5400 rpm HD and charge 100$ extra, but it's definitely a bit shady.

    Apple knows their customers extremely well. they know that price-conscious consumers want the prices to compete with the computers from Windows, i.e. if you go for the base model you'll get similar prices to the Windows all-in-ones. They also know that any customers who want upgrades, are already on the Apple train and are willing to shell out for them in order to get them.
     
  10. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

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    Sep 12, 2015
    #10

    Then why not be open about it and tell people?
    Not cover it up like its some sort of secret deception.

    It is what it is.....but don't take away something then not make it well known to potential customers.
    Bad.....:eek:
     
  11. makrom, Nov 25, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015

    makrom macrumors regular

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    #11
    I agree that Apple is at least partially at fault for the confusion. I didn't intend to put blame on anyone when calling it a common misconception. One could always argue that it's the consumers responsibility to inform themselves propperly before buying, but it would be much nicer if they wouldn't have to.
    They could have called it Fusion Drive Light or whatever. But Apple wouldn't be Apple if they would have clearly distinguishable descriptions. When I ordered my iPad Air 2 and received a box saying "iPad Air", I checked my invoice to make sure that I didn't order the wrong product and then confronted the vendor about it. He wasn't surprised at all, said he had these kind of inquiries all the time about the Air 2. A quick Google check confirmed that it was indeed the box of an Air 2. But I wouldn't have minded if they would at least have written something like 2014 model on the box, rather than having to look at what angle the cover photo was taken.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #12
    The 5400 RPM drive was disappointing, but I after using my 1TB Fusion drive for two weeks, I am satisfied. I do occasional design work in InDesign, Illustrator on my off hours...shoot photos as a hobby and use PS and ACR for that regularly. I use Premiere to render home videos of my son. The 1TB Fusion drive is sufficient for me to accomplish all of that.

    I use a 2010 iMac at work (printing industry), and by all that I can tell (Blackmagic speed testing on both), the 5400 RPM drives are almost two times faster than the 7200 RPM drives Apple was using five yeas ago. Looking at the spec sheet, a 7200 RPM drive should be standard, I agree, but these new drives are not SLOW. At least not slow as compared to all the other various computer systems I use throughout my day. Apple probably went with the 5400 drives to cut down on heat (the real killer of computer hardware). If that means means I can get ten years out of this machine as it runs now, I am fine with that design choice.
     
  13. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #13
    I think most of us on this forum are old enough to have been using computers when it wasn't unusual to have dial-up or even no internet. Things have changed a lot since those times, though; computers have become faster, and unless you were already a working adult back then who has since retired, your free time is probably greatly diminished. Waiting a few seconds for a program to load shouldn't technically be necessary anymore, and it is a waste of what is now precious and limited free time.

    If someone paid $200-300 for a modern-day computer and expected it to perform as well as the best that is currently sold, I might go along with the "entitled" label. When you spend ten times that amount, there's certainly nothing wrong with expecting a lot more. Solid state drives have come down by quite a bit in price over the past few years... Apple's decision to decrease the size of the SSD component in the Fusion setup may make sense financially from their end, but it's a pretty rotten thing to do to their customers. It's not that the iMac is a bad deal, but when you look at what you're paying, there's no entitlement about that: this is not a cheap machine. Worse yet, you can't easily go in and swap the part out, yourself.
     
  14. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

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    Dec 20, 2011
    #14
    I did the same when I bought mine secondhand lol I had to connect it up to be 100%
     
  15. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #15
    To be fair, Apple was trying to move away from putting model numbers on their boxes. The iPhone 6/6 Plus was released a month before the Air 2 and it just said "iPhone" on the box. They're moving away from this again however, the iPhone 6s/6s Plus has the model clearly printed on the side. The mini 4 however, still just says iPad mini on the side.
     
  16. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #16
    "Principles" aside, I still have to see a real benchmark show me a performance difference between the "old" 1Tb Fusion Drive and the new one with a 24 Gb SSD section ...
    We actually don't know if Apple collected data saying that 128 Gb was just "overkill" and settled for 24 Gb on a 1 Tb drive. On forums like this people like to call Apple greedy without real data supporting it (sometimes they really are, like in the use of a 5400 rpm spinner on a 2015 iMac !).
    I'd like to see a real benchmark (if anyone has one, please share it).
     
  17. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Arizona
    #17
    Who cares about benchmarks? I've got a whole spreadsheet of Geekbench 3 scores for all of my Macs and PCs. I do one after every major update. Benchmarks are nice but I do it for fun.

    As a user what I really care about is how do the apps I use work on my machines when I am doing the things that I normally do. My Macs really need lots of solid state storage due to the size of my Photos, iTunes and Aperture libraries. For me Fusion just would not cut it.
     
  18. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #18
    On principles I don't care about benchmarks, but in some specific cases, and this is one of those, benchmarks are the only way to know if the "24 Gb SSD drama" has a real impact on performances or not... I've yet to see a comparison.
     
  19. zhaoxin macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2015
    #19
    You should know that, comparing to last year when iMac 5K was first introduced, its starting price drops a lot. So there must be some tradeoff or Apple will lose its profit.

    Therefore, anyone who wants an equal performance like last year, should start with one with 256GB SSD.
     
  20. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #20
    Again .... I've yet to see a real comparison saying me the new 24 Gb Fusion Drive performs poorly than last year 128 Gb model.
    A lot of complains and no one tested it ?
     
  21. makrom macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2015
    #21
    This would be quite difficult to test with hard numbers unless you know exactly how FD works. Otherwise, there might be many factors that influenced FD behaviour on each machine. When you just install one single program on each machine, it will be very different than when having installed and frequently used 20.
    Let alone the effort of actually having exactly those 2 machines at your disposal in order to set up such tests. I can't imagine that many people bought a 2014 and a 2015 iMac with a 1TB FD.

    A simple way to test it: Both computers with fresh install, upgrade 2014 to EC, then install non CPU heavy applications with a total of 100GB of segmented startup relevant data. Now start each program sequentially for like 10 iterations, then do another cycle that will be measured.
    I'm willing to bet that the 128GB SSD will hugely outperform the 24GB one, even though the latter has about twice as fast I/O speeds.

    Another point would be how relevant such benchmark results would be. And to answer that one would need to know what the actual use case would be.
     
  22. macmyworld thread starter macrumors regular

    macmyworld

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    #22
    I started this thread. I saw a huge difference in machine setup time and application launching (at least 300%). Using the machine the 128GB is noticeably faster. I'm comparing the 2014 27" 5K 1TB fusion to the 2015.

    Another person commented the 2TB is the better 2015 replacement. I agree, just wish Apple showed that in the specs.

    Bottom line, the 2TB upgrade is worth every penny, wish Apple stocked it in stores without the video card upgrade.
     
  23. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #23
    well, I was speaking about a website review, not a single user amateurish test.

    I'm sorry but I just don't believe that "300%" difference ...
    I'm looking for a serious comparison and it is strange enough there are none so far....
     
  24. macmyworld thread starter macrumors regular

    macmyworld

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    #24
    For disk related activity, 300% is low when comparing SSD to spinning HD. My real numbers were on application launches. For Microsoft Office apps I measured it at 3 seconds For 128 GB versus 11 seconds for 24 GB. All other office apps were the same. For initial machine setup from another computer transfer rates were 11-45 MB sec on the 24GB and 50 - 100 on the 128. On transfer you could tell when the 24GB was full.

    I work with storage arrays and disk technology every day. Benchmarks are nice, but do not always provide real world performance numbers. Example, we just moved a decent sized Oracle database from SAN HD arrays to local PCI-based flash (huge flash cards). Read performance is showing a 400-500% increase and write performance is 300-400% improved. For the first time we are seeing CPU bottlenecks since I/O is so fast.

    Another example, as we refreshed out PCs we moved to PCI SSDs versus HDs. Performance gains again measured 300-500% in real world activities. These are run of the mill Dell Optiplez machines which sell for $900 each.

    Granted, if an application does little I/O you only pay for the application launch times and any swapping that may occur.

    SSD is for real and only getting faster. I didn't understand how much it offered until I started buying it and using it for my company. Our sys admins and DBAs are stunned at the performance.

    Back to my original point. 24 GB of SSD is pretty useless with a 1 TB drove behind it. It may just as well be called a 1 TB drive at that point if you have a decent number of apps. I get its Apple and they like their margins, I just found having two different Fusion drive SSD sizes to be dishonest and frankly cheap on their part.
     
  25. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #25
    again, show me an independent review showing a huge difference between the 24 Gb and the 128 Gb version of Fusion Drive and I will agree with you ....
     

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