SSD + HDD - or - fusion drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by johnlove, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. johnlove macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    #1
    Crunch time -- should I buy iMac with the new Fusion Drive OR the combined SSD + HDD?

    1) I assume that Migration Assistant knows what files to put where using EITHER choice ???

    2) I am inclined toward the SSD/HDD combo because of Boot Camp/Windows

    3) Same inclination because of cloning software -- SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner.

    I absolutely do NOT know IF I am being paranoid about the Fusion Drive. However, I would welcome all definitive feedback.
     
  2. Lancer, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    Lancer macrumors 68020

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    As with any drive always backup.

    I would not be worried about Fusion any more than HDD or SSD. With the new iMac you'll need to order it with Fusion as there is no room for a SSD to be added. The Fusion SSD is a blade type and frankly its not worth the hassle to rip apart your new iMac to mess with it.

    If you really want to run the 2 drives separate they can be separated using software, but I really don't see the point for most users.

    With Fusion the OS X stays on the SSD, along with all the programs/files you use frequently. If you habits change OS X will move what you use most to the SSD. And until you hit 124Gb all you files live on the SSD.

    When migrating it will start off faster as it's using the SSD, depending how much you have it will slow when it hits the HDD, but no more than usual for HDD.

    As for CCC and other backups you don't need anything special. I used Time Machine to do backups 24/7 and a 2nd HDD for CCC which I do periodically.
     
  3. johnlove thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    #3
    Crunch time -- should I buy iMac with the new Fusion Drive OR the combined SSD + HDD?

    1) I assume that Migration Assistant knows what files to put where using EITHER choice ???

    2) I am inclined toward the SSD/HDD combo because of Boot Camp/Windows

    3) Fusion Drive -- otherwise I would have to clone TWO DRIVES with SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

    4) I really do NOT like Time Machine because it really consumes gobs of space -- it does NOT just overwrite what files have changed, it re-writes everything AGAIN.

    I absolutely do NOT know IF I am being paranoid about the Fusion Drive. However, I would welcome all definitive feedback.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    SSD/HDD combo does not work on BootCamp. BootCamp will always default to the HDD.

    If price isn't an issue, always go with SSD. However the speeds on Fusion Drive are near SSD speeds but only on OS X - remember BootCamp uses HDD.

    Hope this helped! :)
     
  5. johnlove, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    johnlove thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    #5
    Sometimes, I swear I'm not thinking ...

    I "thought" the Apple Store iMac presented 1 TB HDD with SSD ... John, learn to read will you?

    choice 1 = 1 TB HDD
    choice 2 = Fusion Drive
    choice 3 = SSD by itself

    So, there is NO HDD + SSD combo that is not a Fusion Drive.

    So ??? that means ??? Boot Camp will not work with choice 3 ???
     
  6. KaraH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    DC
    #6
    I plan on ordering the 2013 iMac with a HDD. The HDD is a mature technology and the SSD is not. I am then going to add an external SSD: not only can I get a faster and less expensive one but when better ones are on the market in a few years I can upgrade (and/or replace when it eventually fails).

    So the only question is fusion or HDD/SSD. I prefer the latter. Not only because I like controlling what is where but because if one drive fails I can use the other for everything (I will install a system on the HDD as well) until my latest backup gets restored. That would be something I could not do with fusion ... worse because BOTH drives would be corrupted.
     
  7. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    1 Finite Place
    #7
    The current iMac offers only 3 types of storage options, internally. You cannot officially get a SSD + HDD dual drive set-up unless you install a SSD drive yourself with the HDD only option...or use a Fused drive.

    1- Hard Drive only 1TB or 3TB

    2- Fusion Drive 128GB SSD + 1TB or 3TB drive (you may be able to "break" the fusion but could cause issues with your system)

    3- SSD only 256, 512, or 768.


    With USB 3 and Thunderbolt I'd highly recommend SSD Only.
     
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Kara, I have seen multiple of your posts describing your direction... primarily because of the immaturity of SSD technology. While I will acknowledge that their can be several advantages to your approach... I personally think your distrust of SSDs is somewhat over-paranoid. I am very involved in SSD (and beyond-SSD development)... and the consensus, is that they are generally more reliable than the HDD technology they replace. I am not trying to change your mind or your direction... but rather offer the contrasting view for others reading this post.

    Option 3 is my favorite as well. It does come with the added complexity of managing your data across multiple drives.

    My specific recommendation is to buy a large enough SSD to contain OSX (and also bootcamp partition if desired), and also large enough for 100% of your primary data except for streaming media (video and music). Photos are a grey area.

    I think that streaming media gets very little value from being on an SSD, and typically, streaming media is one of the largest consumers of storage capacity. Hence, it is perfect (from a $/GB standpoint) for streaming media. Additionally, keeping streaming media libraries (iTunes, iMovie, FCPX, etc) are trivial to keep on an external drive.

    Photos are more complex. Light users of photography can probably just keep them on either an SSD or HDD. Pro users probably need large external arrays which today are primarily HDD based. In between "prosumers" like myself (400GB Aperture library)... need to make a choice of HDD or a pretty expensive SSD upgrade.

    Personally, I went with the 768GB... but I could have also gone to a 512 with my library on my Pegasus TB array. Part of my rationale was than within 2 years or so, this will be my wife's primary machine, and I know that 768GB will be enough for her to be 100% SSD.

    /Jim
     
  9. Lancer macrumors 68020

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    I've had issues on my iMac where the external USB HDDs have been dropped at times, so I'd not recommend using an external SSD as a boot drive for OSX or to make a Fusion drive.

    Bootcamp aside I have no issue with Fusion but yes is you need faster bootcamp then get a decent sized SSD, but it will cost more.
     
  10. KaraH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    DC
    #10
    Immaturity has several results. People will debating if SSDs or HDDs will fail first forever so leave that one aside for the moment.

    There is not much debating the fact that SSDs cost more than HDDs but, like any storage medium, the price is trending downward eventually. Any SSD drive I buy today would be faster and cheaper in the future. Not to mention more reliable (whether or not that is a current issue). All of those point to it still not a mature technology but one that is ramping up.

    I buy computers to last so I do need to look at future upgrade paths on my machines. I get concerned when I hear *any* part has an expected life of less than 5-10 years then develop contingencies for its failure. Would I want to use my eMac from a decade ago if I could help it? Hardly. What if I my current machine died though?
     
  11. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #11
    Boot camp works on all of those choices.

    In choice 1 & choice 2, your Windows partition will be on HDD. In choice 3, your Windows partition will be on SSD. Your choice needs to be driven not by whether or not bootcamp will work at all (it will) but how important it is for your Windows to run on the SSD.
     

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