Question for Fusion Drives owners who had previously had an SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dasx, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. dasx macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #1
    Hey all!
    After all these months I bet you guys will be able to provide me with a conclusion.

    Do you see any differences in performance between an SSD and a Fusion Drive? Yes, I know there has to be some differences due to the fact that the FD has a regular drive too, but, at the end of the day, I wouldn't mind losing a 5 or 10% performance in exchange for a larger drive at similar price.

    I'm asking this mainly because when configuring a new iMac, adding a 1TB SSD is €1000 and a 3TB FD is just €350.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    You are going to notice that the Fusion Drive is slightly slower depending on usage but it is worlds better than a hard drive and plenty fast!
     
  3. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #3
    I am using an SSD in my MBP and have a Fusion Drive in my 27" iMac. Yes there is a difference, but it is not significant enough that I would want to spend the difference you are talking about to go just SSD.

    If you have the money and can afford it, then go for it. But in all honesty, the Fusion Drive will not disappoint you. Plus it will leave a fair bit of money in your pocket.
     
  4. Sciuriware macrumors regular

    Sciuriware

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Location:
    Gelderland
    #4
    Fusion drive characteristics

    Hi,
    while an SSD has an equal access time to any files on it,
    I found that there surely is a difference in behaviour:
    I got the 3Tb version which is now filled up for 30%.
    That means that some 750Gb can't sit on the SDD part.
    The files I frequently use seem very fast, the larger seldom accessed files
    are remarkably slower but still the speed of a real disk.
    My solution: just read or copy to /dev/null the files you want to be fast
    before use or on a regular basis.
    Result: most of them then reside in cache or on the SSD part.
    Btw.: 32Gb memory on an iMac is a good investment.
    ;JOOP!
     
  5. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I got my Late 2012 iMac with Fusion Drive back in January 2013.

    Has I’ve never owned a purely SSD system I cannot comment on if there are any performance differences between SSD and the Fusion Drive.

    I have read that a purely SSD system will be a little faster than a Fusion Drive system. But with the Fusion Drive you are getting the best of both worlds, i.e. a similar performance to a purely SSD system but with the storage of a larger drive (hard drive) and with not a large price increase as a pure SSD system would be.

    I’m hoping that when I get a new iMac in around 4 to 5 years time or so, that purely SSD iMac’s are either common place or are much cheaper than what they are now.
     
  6. dasx thread starter macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #6
    Thanks guys.

    Thing is, I don't have €1000 to spend on a 1TB SSD. I might save it, but won't happen. My current Mini has a 256GB SSD and a custom installed 1TB regular drive. I like it because I get to choose what's where, so I for instance have my FCPX Library in the SSD and doesn't matter if I don't work on it for 1 month, it'll always be in the SSD.

    I do prefer a SSD, but I'd go for a 256GB one, MAYBE 512GB as the price step isn't THAT huge, but I'd never spend €1000 on a 1TB one.
    Problem is, hard drive seems pretty difficult to change in this iMac according to iFixit's guide, I'm not sure I'd like to get involved in that. I've completely disassembled my 2012 Mini with no problem whatsoever, but that iMac seems like a pain in the ass...

    So that's why I'm considering the 3TB Fusion Drive, but if overall performance was gonna kill me, I'd just go for the SSD and get a big external. (I'd rather not, as I don't like having externals).

    Well, RAM is something I do not wanna buy from Apple. Buying it off Amazon and custom installing it does make you save A LOT of money.

    Hadn't thought the /null way. I'm guessing you just pre-allocate the file in the SSD partition, but in the end, isn't it just as opening it? I'm assuming when you run cp -R WhateverFolder /dev/null will take the same time as if it was being copied from the HD to the SSD, right?

    I know you have both worlds, but not exactly. I'd rather have an SSD + a regular hard drive, but that's not an option with the iMac. Opening it up to work on the internals is horrible it seems, except for the RAM of course.

    My current setup, 1TB drive + 256GB separated SSD is wonderful.
     
  7. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #7
    I have a Fusion Drive in my iMac. The OS & apps and all my data sits on the SSD portion of the drive as this equels less than 128GB.

    Things like my VM's sit on the mechanical portion of the drive and performance is still excellent.

    I would strongly recommend the Fusion Drive as it's a perfect balance of performance & cost.
     
  8. omvs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #8
    If you can't afford a huge SSD, I'd go for the fusion setup. I've been running them shortly after a while now, and have been pretty happy - while some like to manually manage which data is on which drive, I've found the OS does decent job.

    You could 'preload' files as suggested below. But all your doing is a fake-read to convince the OS to copy it over - in my mind you might as well just access the files normally, and let the OS migrate itself based on usage. Its all personal preference though -- as I'm getting older, I prefer to spend less time micro-tweaking on a daily basis. :)

    All that said, my fusion setup is using a 256G SSD, so my cache is larger. I assume apple is still using a 128G SSD in their stock setup, though not sure.

    Have you considered getting a big SSD and running it via USB3 or thunderbolt? That'd probably be a lot cheaper than the internal 1TB - though not sure prices in your area. It would require more screwing around on your side though.

    You could also fuse an internal drive with an external, though I wouldn't recommend it. I *believe* the machine just freezes up if the external drive vanishes, and you plug in and force a hard reboot -- but its not something I've tried a lot.
     
  9. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #9

    Hey, the Fusion is still a great option. The Fusion in my iMac has been great performance wise. I only said get the SSD if you can afford. I have pure SSD in my MBP and only notice a slight difference to my iMac.

    Your overall performance is not going to suffer. I do all my design work on my iMac. And it can do it just as quickly as on my MBP with SSD. Where I notice any difference, be it only slight, is starting up a program. Otherwise my Fusion is pretty quick.
     
  10. Sciuriware macrumors regular

    Sciuriware

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Location:
    Gelderland
    #10
    Bigger SSD's

    Do not worry about the (actual) price of a big SSD.
    By the time you'll buy your next iMac all measures will have doubled
    and the prices inflated.
    Just for fun: my first PC was 512Kb with a disk of 10Mb and a screen of 640x480
    I just can't believe that I did my professional development on that dwarf.
    Oh, and it costed about 7000 1980-dollars. Enjoy the future!
    ;JOOP!
     
  11. dasx thread starter macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #11
    Thanks for all your replies. When the time comes, if price/size ratio is still the same, I'll probably go for the FD.

    Well, yes, but that also applies to regular drives. Maybe in 2 years a 1TB SSD is just €200, but an 8TB mechanical drive is the same price...

    I don't know. I guess I'll wait and see.

    Again, thanks to all.
     

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