SSD / fusion query (PC user)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mattdanielc, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. mattdanielc, Feb 20, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015

    mattdanielc macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2015
    Hi guys,

    I was thinking of buying a mini:

    But now getting a 21.5" 2.7 ghz mac. But I'm struggling to decide between a fusion or SSD...

    So...3 questions

    1) if I choose the 256GB SSD, how much is taken up by the OS / pre installed crap?

    I will only install office / photoshop and dreamweaver - so just wondered how much free space I would have after.

    2) If I went with the fusion - I presume it doesn't boot up as quickly? Is the OS on the faster bit?

    3) is the fusion drive 'noisy' compared to the SSD?

    I have a NAS and an external drive for all of files.

    Thanks for any advice :)
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Howdy howdy.

    iMac is a seemingly better choice, in my opinion.

    The OS and installed apps generally take about <15-20GB or so. It depends if you install Final Cut Pro and all of that - which uses a lot for the media. It will also depend on how much memory you get to a certain extent if you're being that conscious of how much free space you have. Personally, 256GB isn't really that much space.

    Fusion drives will boot up very quickly, wouldn't be worried about that.

    You really won't hear a difference between an SSD and a fusion drive. The mechanical hard disks these days are pretty darn quiet.

    If i'm honest, if you have an NAS with ample storage, I would probably just get the SSD for OS/Apps and store all my documents/files on the NAS directly. That's just me though.
  3. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    You will get varied opinions about this but basically, if you store most of your stuff externally, the SSD option is your best choice. If you like to keep things internal to the iMac, the fusion drive is the good option.

    OSX does not use much room at all. After installation, you should have well over 200GB left on your SSD. OSX is not like Windows. It doesn't store a lot of "pre-installed crap". It's a very clean OS.
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Yup you're right. For reference, my rMBP uses roughly 11GB right now (for the OS files). This is a good 10 months after purchasing it, with a lot of junk and old files there.
  5. mattdanielc thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2015
    thanks guys. If I did plump for the fusion drive - is there a way to know it's "working" ? e.g. using the SSD bit and not just the HDD

    Although I don't keep my files on my PC (soon to be mac!) I do install a few games etc. I don't intend to play many games on my mac (maybe just starcraft) but a bit worried that 256 might start to look a bit low if I do install games or other programmes (apps!)
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Well to be perfectly honest storing games on a mechanical hard drive isn't so bad. It's only the load times and not so much the performance (FPS) at that stage.

    If you're super concerned that 256GB isn't enough then most certainly go for the Fusion. There are ways to tell where the data is stored, etc. They're a bit advanced though.
  7. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    The previous version of iStat Menus (4.x) showed both SSD and HDD elements of Fusion Drive. In the latest version 5, they inexplicably removed this feature.

    I contacted them about this and they said they're getting lots of requests to restore that feature. The obvious question is why did they remove it in the first place.

    I think you can still get the previous version which mostly has all the features of ver 5:

    It's $16, and a very good product.
  8. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    If you are concerned about space then consider the 512GB SSD option.

    Honestly the Fusion drive is great for most people. Overall speed is comparable to a full SSD system. All of the OS and the most frequently used applications are stored on the SSD. It's when you get into photographs, video and other stuff that you will see a slight slowdown because of the iMac accessing the mechanical drive.

    I have a full SSD MacBook Pro and a Fusion drive iMac and they are both very fast when opening applications and exactly the same on how long they take to boot (about 15 seconds).

    You will get arguments about reliability between the two systems but I wouldn't worry too much about that unless you are a power user.

    In your case however, a larger SSD is in order but a Fusion drive is not completely off the table since that will give you plenty of space for games and large applications without sacrificing too much overall system speed.
  9. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    Well, you will know it work because...well your Mac will up in 15 seconds and Photoshop will open in a snap.

    Basically, if you are anything below the 128Gb of storage usage, everything will be on the SSD, it's only when the SSD gets filled that the system start moving stuff to the HDD (and dynamically choosing what goes where based on your usage.) I have been using a Fusion Drive for more than a year, and everything is completely seamless and transparent. You never feel like a "file" is getting moved, or that something is working in the background.

    About speed, the read time are the same than if you had a 128SSD. There a little loss in writing speed though, but it is still very fast (Fusion Drive keep a 4Gb of empty space for downloads and files that you just create.

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