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Splitting Fusion Drive for Production Machine

Richard Becker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2018
5
0
Hi, all:

My new iMac 5K is coming in the mails over the next week, and I've had a thought on the Fusion Drive. I will use this machine for theatrical projection design, which needs very high file read speeds to look good. I got the 2TB fusion drive, so there should be a 128GB SSD that would accomplish that pretty well.

Thoughts? I just figure that it would be nice to always know where the files are physically so I don't have to worry about what is where and when.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,953
3,927
I'm guessing you want sound cues to launch super fast? I'd upgrade the RAM as much as possible -- hopefully the software you're using takes advantage of that.

I work at a theater too -- been trying to convince the techs to try this out instead of running stuff off iTunes:
https://rogueamoeba.com/farrago/
 

Richard Becker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2018
5
0
I'm guessing you want sound cues to launch super fast? I'd upgrade the RAM as much as possible -- hopefully the software you're using takes advantage of that.

I work at a theater too -- been trying to convince the techs to try this out instead of running stuff off iTunes:
https://rogueamoeba.com/farrago/

Close! I'm a projection designer. It's a little more intense... for an upcoming show I need to run 3 1080p 30fps projectors, all displaying different video clips with effects applied. I've got the 32 GB ram model, so hopefully it will work well enough. But read speeds are a must!
 

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,140
330
Brooklyn, NY
32GB should be fine, but if read speeds are a must you should have gotten at least the 512GB SSD. Now it'll be a crap shoot as to which files are stored on the 128GB SSD part of the FD, and which reside on the spinning HD, determined by the operating system instead of you, depending on various factors such as file size, use frequency, etc.
 

Richard Becker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2018
5
0
32GB should be fine, but if read speeds are a must you should have gotten at least the 512GB SSD. Now it'll be a crap shoot as to which files are stored on the 128GB SSD part of the FD, and which reside on the spinning HD, determined by the operating system instead of you, depending on various factors such as file size, use frequency, etc.

That's where my question comes in-- the fusion drives are really just a core storage volume that can be split up into two separate drives, that will be independently controllable.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,953
3,927
Close! I'm a projection designer. It's a little more intense... for an upcoming show I need to run 3 1080p 30fps projectors, all displaying different video clips with effects applied. I've got the 32 GB ram model, so hopefully it will work well enough. But read speeds are a must!
Once the video files are actually opened (which I assume you'd do before the performance), I'd imagine they would be able to be started very quickly. Even with three streams going, 1080p @ 30 fps is actually not too bad considering that people are editing and playing in 4K and high frame rates these days.

That's where my question comes in-- the fusion drives are really just a core storage volume that can be split up into two separate drives, that will be independently controllable.

I'm not sure if this is possible, but it might also be worth trying an external SSD. I've seen people on these forums swearing they're fast enough to be boot drives.

Remember if you're buying from Apple and it doesn't suit your needs after testing, there's a penalty-free return window.
 
Last edited:

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,140
330
Brooklyn, NY
That's where my question comes in-- the fusion drives are really just a core storage volume that can be split up into two separate drives, that will be independently controllable.

Haha, well yes and no. Independently controllable, but by the operating system, not by the user. To the user it's a single drive, managed (hopefully) to make the most out of the SSD portion.
[doublepost=1526606107][/doublepost]
Wow, that does sound demanding. And I'm sure you need it all to start exactly at the right time too. Live theater is tough.

Remember if you're buying from Apple and it doesn't suit your needs after testing, there's a penalty-free return window.

It might also be worth trying an external SSD. Not sure if anyone here can speak to the response times on those USB-C models they have out now, but they should be very very fast.

I took a look at some of those. There's USB-C, and there's USB-C that take advantage of the full Thunderbolt 3 speeds. There aren't too many, they look to be extremely fast, and they're currently VERY expensive.
Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.13.02 PM.png
 
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Richard Becker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2018
5
0
Haha, well yes and no. Independently controllable, but by the operating system, not by the user. To the user it's a single drive, managed (hopefully) to make the most out of the SSD portion.
[doublepost=1526606107][/doublepost]

I took a look at some of those. There's USB-C, and there's USB-C that take advantage of the full Thunderbolt 3 speeds. There aren't too many, they look to be extremely fast, and they're currently VERY expensive.
View attachment 762153

Thank you for the suggestion! I'll take a look into external drives.
What I meant about the drive actually being a dynamic volume was that they really are two separate drives-- apple even has a page on what to do if they happen to split unintentionally. Here's an article describing the process of splitting them apart: https://www.macworld.com/article/2015664/storage-flash/how-to-split-up-a-fusion-drive.html
 

mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,140
330
Brooklyn, NY
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