Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

Bleeny

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2015
3
0
Hi Everyone,

I have two related questions - I'm torn between getting the 512GB SSD drive and the 2TB Fusion Drive. I think I would prefer the SSD drive but I'm worried about how small it is. I hope to learn how to edit video in Final Cut Pro, and I'm not sure if a faster hard drive is better than a larger one. I can easily add an external drive if I need to. I can't ask a more detailed question in that I don't do any video editing (yet). I guess I wouldn't be starting out with a three-hour movie :)

Related to my impending purchase is that my current 1TB drive is pretty full. I realize I can use external drives (I already do for other things) but I'm a little confused as to how to do data migration. Will I be doing everything manually? That seems HORRIBLE
smile.png


Thanks in advance!

Robert
 

cwanja

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
742
436
Texas
SSD. Hands down. Would not suggest a spinning drive. What machine are you purchasing? More than likely, if it is a current machine, you will have Thunderbolt ports. And just purchase a large external drive for additional storage.

You could script the migration of the data and then it would not be manually. You could also clone it, use Carbon Copy. Lots of options.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bleeny

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,539
8,874
I doubt too many people would suggest a Fusion Drive over an SSD.

I have a Fusion Drive in my Late 2012 iMac, and I wished I would have just spent the extra $ and gone full SSD.

And from everything I have read about and experienced on Mac OS 10.13, it runs horrible on spinning disks, so even more reason not to get a SSD.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bleeny

Bleeny

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2015
3
0
SSD. Hands down. Would not suggest a spinning drive. What machine are you purchasing? More than likely, if it is a current machine, you will have Thunderbolt ports. And just purchase a large external drive for additional storage.

You could script the migration of the data and then it would not be manually. You could also clone it, use Carbon Copy. Lots of options.


Hi - Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. En-route is a 2015 27" iMac, 3.3 i5 with the 512 SSD. I'm coming from a mid-2010 27" iMac; 2.93 i7 with a 1TB drive (this was before Fusion drives came out). I was initially happy with my purchase but started to worry about the size of the HD for a couple of reasons - I hope to learn video editing. I know that can take up a lot of room (and I know I'll be using external drives) but I don't know if having a faster drive or a bigger drive is better. I can't offer more info about the editing I'll be doing because I don't know enough about it yet, though I don't expect to be dealing with 3 hour Hollywood epics off the bat :)

My current concern is data migration - I called Apple today, talked to 3 different people and got three different answers. In my mind I was thinking that I would keep the OS and apps on the SSD and my data files on external drives. I would clone each data drive using CarbonCopyCloner (I love it) every night, and do the same with the SSD. Using Time Machine would be a problem if it needed to back up the SSD and the external drives I would use to store data, but I'll survive.

I haven't been able to get a clear answer as to how to migrate the info from one to the other, especially if I separate the OS and apps on the SSD from the data files on the external drives. How for instance, would I get the Photos app (on the SSD) to see the data files on the external drive? Would I do this manually? Do I have to do this for everything? Seems daunting :|

Sorry so long! Thanks again for your initial reply.

Robert
[doublepost=1536380130][/doublepost]
I doubt too many people would suggest a Fusion Drive over an SSD.

I have a Fusion Drive in my Late 2012 iMac, and I wished I would have just spent the extra $ and gone full SSD.

And from everything I have read about and experienced on Mac OS 10.13, it runs horrible on spinning disks, so even more reason not to get a SSD.


Thanks for your reply - I guess my main concern is getting my 1TB of info on my current mac to my 512 SSD drive without needing therapy when I'm done :)
 

theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
7,678
7,838
How for instance, would I get the Photos app (on the SSD) to see the data files on the external drive? Would I do this manually?

Its a slight pity that Apple have been so busy adding bells and whistles to Mac OS that they haven't provided a single, consistent, drag-n-drool method of achieving this, but its really not too much trouble.

Google (or use your less-evil search engine of choice) :
"mac move photo library to external drive"
"mac move itunes library to external drive"
"mac move iMovie library to external drive"
"mac move FCPX library to external drive"​

...and for everything else, just drag the files/folder there and then create a shortcut on your desktop, dock or finder sidebar for convenience.

Odds are, though, you'll only need to do this for one or two bulky categories like video and uncompressed audio. I shelled out for the 1TB SSD but its still less than half full... the big space-sucker is Parallels virtual machines (which do benefit from being on the SSD).

Also, Time Machine is great for general documents and stuff, but may not be the best option for backing up video files, virtual machines etc. anyway - either they don't change or, if they change regularly, storing a complete "history" will eat storage space on your backup drive.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,717
SSD, I have a 2TB fusion and its good, but if I had to do it over again, I would have opted for the SSD
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,716
12,832
OP wrote:
"I'm torn between getting the 512GB SSD drive and the 2TB Fusion Drive."

This "decision" is as easy as it gets:
Get the SSD.

A 512gb SSD will be fine for video editing. Actually, BETTER THAN a larger fusion drive, because of "the speed factor".

If you need "more space", get an EXTERNAL USB3 drive.
You could get a platter-based hard drive.
Or... you could get an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD (much cheaper than paying Apple's high price for internal SSD space).

It's child's play to "manage two drives" like this.

Keep essential stuff (OS, apps, basic accounts) on the fast SSD.
Keep the stuff you don't access often on external drives.

Again -- once you have the SSD, you will NEVER regret having bought it.
 

cwanja

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
742
436
Texas
My current concern is data migration - I called Apple today, talked to 3 different people and got three different answers. In my mind I was thinking that I would keep the OS and apps on the SSD and my data files on external drives. I would clone each data drive using CarbonCopyCloner (I love it) every night, and do the same with the SSD. Using Time Machine would be a problem if it needed to back up the SSD and the external drives I would use to store data, but I'll survive.

I haven't been able to get a clear answer as to how to migrate the info from one to the other, especially if I separate the OS and apps on the SSD from the data files on the external drives. How for instance, would I get the Photos app (on the SSD) to see the data files on the external drive? Would I do this manually? Do I have to do this for everything? Seems daunting :|
Honestly, to me, it sounds like you are complicating things a bit too much. But I am not going to tell you how to use your personal computer at all. My suggestion would be to use the internal drive as an OS and data, buy a large external drive and partition it - use one partition for TimeMachine and backup your internal drive and then use the other for data backup. You will want your video files not only stored in a single location (whether that be your internal SSD or external). It will be best to have those backed up multiple places.

You can store the library files of iTunes, Photos, etc. on an external drive and tell the application to point to them. As @theluggage points out, there is a wealth of instructions online on how to do that.
 

russiaak47

Suspended
Sep 15, 2018
21
2
Hi Everyone,

I have two related questions - I'm torn between getting the 512GB SSD drive and the 2TB Fusion Drive. I think I would prefer the SSD drive but I'm worried about how small it is. I hope to learn how to edit video in Final Cut Pro, and I'm not sure if a faster hard drive is better than a larger one. I can easily add an external drive if I need to. I can't ask a more detailed question in that I don't do any video editing (yet). I guess I wouldn't be starting out with a three-hour movie :)

Related to my impending purchase is that my current 1TB drive is pretty full. I realize I can use external drives (I already do for other things) but I'm a little confused as to how to do data migration. Will I be doing everything manually? That seems HORRIBLE
smile.png


Thanks in advance!

Robert

What do you finally get? Apple installs for you or you need to manually do everything?
 

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,645
I doubt too many people would suggest a Fusion Drive over an SSD.

I have a Fusion Drive in my Late 2012 iMac, and I wished I would have just spent the extra $ and gone full SSD.

And from everything I have read about and experienced on Mac OS 10.13, it runs horrible on spinning disks, so even more reason not to get a SSD.
My 2010 Mac Pro, with its 1TB spinning disk, runs macOS 10.13 just fine.
[doublepost=1537043042][/doublepost]
Thanks for your reply - I guess my main concern is getting my 1TB of info on my current mac to my 512 SSD drive without needing therapy when I'm done :)
1TB of will not fit on a 512GB drive. I mention this because your OP stated the 1TB is "pretty full" (which I'll interpret as greater than half of the space is used).

I'll be the odd man out and not immediately recommend the SSD. Are you OK with utilizing external storage? If so then installing an SSD internally and using your current 1TB drive in an external enclosure might be the right solution for you. If not then I say it sounds as if higher capacity is the driving factor. SSDs offer an improved experience but if you need space you need space. A 2TB SSD will set you back roughly $400 whereas a 2TB spinner will cost roughly $80. If the cost of the SSD isn't a problem then by all means go for it. If so then you're probably better off with either an internal SSD and external drive or the fusion / spinner only internal drive.
 

RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,157
442
.. London ..
SSD prices are going down quite rapidly at the moment. Get 512 at the moment, use the old 1tb HDD as an external, then at some point later you can get a large internal or external SSD, 2 TB or whatever.

Replacing the SSD in the iMac isn't too hard if you're used to fiddling about inside computers, but it is a bit of a tricky job, so if you've never opened a computer, you might be better off paying a shop to do the replacement. Apple shops won't do it (also some authorised third party repair shops won't either I think), but independent shops will.
 

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,224
410
Brooklyn, NY
Agreed. As you have seen, I think at this point in time you'll have trouble finding anyone on this forum who won't recommend getting an SSD at the outset, unless the only concern is to get the absolute cheapest Mac.
 

294307

Cancelled
Mar 19, 2009
567
315
If you want maximum performance, get an SSD. If you want maximum storage capacity, get a Fusion Drive. However, you can also opt for a small SSD or a standard Fusion Drive configuration and use an external SSD connected via the Thunderbolt 3 port and use that as the boot drive. As others have rightly mentioned, the Fusion Drives are perfectly fine for a lot of people but you will get maximum I/O performance from an SSD only system. Is it noticeable over a Fusion Drive? For sustained I/O tasks, yes. For regular workflows, not so much. I have a MacBook Pro at work so I am able to speak from experience. As a software engineer, my workflow does not usually involve heavy I/O tasks and I don't notice much of a performance difference between Fusion Drive and SSD only systems when it comes to boot, wake and app launch times.

Unless you are really going to hammer the system with heavy I/O tasks, you should make your decision based on what your priorities are and what your budget is. If you don't want an SSD plugged into your iMac and storage capacity is of utmost importance, then get a Fusion Drive system. Otherwise, I would concur with others by recommending that you configure an iMac with a small SSD and use an external SSD as the boot drive, or spend the extra money and configure an iMac with a larger SSD. I'd probably opt for the latter so I don't need to have an SSD permanently attached to my iMac, but choose whichever option is best for you.

Unfortunately AppleCare and Apple Sales Support have gone really downhill in recent years and it's a lottery as to whether you get through to someone knowledgeable that can actually answer your question. I've had mixed experience with them as well to such a degree that I just don't bother contacting them unless I have a hardware fault that requires service. In the future, I'd suggest raising your question here first as one of us is bound to know the answer for you.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: pl1984

drewaz

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2012
495
264
Phoenix
I have a late 2015 2TB fusion drive that was almost totally full with pictures and SLOW
I off loaded all of the images to an external HD with Lr
Now the OS and apps occupy the SSD part of the fusion drive and I hardly could believe the difference.
The HD is USB3 and the images stored there load in seconds.
When the new iMacs are out I'll get an SSD only and continue to use an external HD
 

JustMartin

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2012
787
271
UK
...
And from everything I have read about and experienced on Mac OS 10.13, it runs horrible on spinning disks, so even more reason not to get a SSD.

I'm running 10.13 on 2012 Fusion iMac and it is going very well - no beachballs, lots of apps open and it's very responsive
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.