SSD vs Fusion Drive

wardie

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2008
386
130
Quite - also with USB3/Thunderbolt the connections for external drives are so fast now that if you need a big capacity HDD you just plug an external one in.
 

alenguav

macrumors newbie
Dec 14, 2017
3
0
I currently have a Late 2012 Mac Mini with an almost full 512GB SSD so I am thinking of moving over to a Fusion Drive, however my main question is what is the minimum recommendable SSD drive for this combo 128GB? I am planning to buy a 1TB or 2 TB HDD for this experiment.

My 2015 iMac (middle tier with 1tb fusion drive) was slower than my 2014 iMac (Base tier with 1 tb fusion drive)

The fusion drives with 32 or less SSD are jokes. My 2014 iMac reads 1.1GB/S black magic disk test where my 2015 (with NOTHING on it) reads around 135MB/S....

Needless to say that I just started the return process! IF you get a fusion drive it needs to be 2tb or higher...Id rather have a 512gb SSD....
 

Glockworkorange

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2015
2,466
4,120
Chicago, Illinois
I currently have a Late 2012 Mac Mini with an almost full 512GB SSD so I am thinking of moving over to a Fusion Drive, however my main question is what is the minimum recommendable SSD drive for this combo 128GB? I am planning to buy a 1TB or 2 TB HDD for this experiment.
128. I think you'll be shortchanging yourself with anything lower.
 

Glockworkorange

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2015
2,466
4,120
Chicago, Illinois
Thanks for taking time to reply my message
I have an unused 128GB SSD however I am thinking of buying a 2 TB HDD to build the Fusion Drive
as I can't afford a 512GB+ SSD :(
My old iMac had a 128 SSD and a 1TB HD. It was plenty of space for me. In two or three years, I can't remember the machine slowing down to access the hard disc.
 

MjWoNeR

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2010
324
214
Sweden
I have the 3TB fusion on my late ‘12 iMac. I could have gone with an SSD and an external drive but I liked having everything built in.
 

alien3dx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2017
865
183
Western digital portable my passport ssd 256 GB . I will install high siera here..
https://www.wdc.com/products/portable-storage/my-passport-ssd.html
Platform : Imac 2017 base line 8 GB RAM 1 TB hardisk

Installation take 2 hours..

1. I click at upgrade at finder.
2 I choose external hardisk and format as extended journal.
3. I just copy basic document .. no application at all..
4 Now updating to 10.3.2
5. Memory usage seem a bit high .. and i really wanted a service like linux or windows so we can manage.. :( disappointed on this area.
** will be continue
6. Pretty weird when i click old drive see standard old folder menu.. application,document and so on..
7. Some old application like Xcode,Android Studio can run from old 1 TB hardisk.. At first i thought , application are suppose in main hardisk only.. Quite good.

8. Memory usage round 5.76 / 8 GB.. and still pretty for me i would said..
9. SSD a bit hot, so i put fan to reduce the heat.
10. My Current usage is 132 GB / 255 GB
11. My Thunderbolt is full
-> for second monitor
-> External Hardisk My Passport SSD. (Startup Disk)
12. Hard disk -> Mac Os Extended (journal)
13. Improvement wise on my work job, nothing seem particular..
** i'm a web developer , app developer.
 

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Glockworkorange

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2015
2,466
4,120
Chicago, Illinois
Western digital my passport ssd 256 GB speed.. I will install high sieera here..

Platform : Imac 2017 base line 8 GB RAM 1 TB hardisk

Installation take 2 hours..

1. I just copy basic document .. no application at all..
2 Now updating to 10.3.2
3. Memory usage seem a bit high .. and i really wanted a service like linux or windows so we can manage.. :( disappointed on this area.
** will be continue
4. Pretty weird when i click old drive see standard old folder menu.. application,document and so on..
5. Some old application like Xcode,Android Studio can run from old 1 TB hardisk.. At first i thought , application are suppose in main hardisk only.. Quite good.

6. Memory usage round 5.76 / 8 GB.. and still pretty for me i would said..
7. SSD a bit hot, so i put fan to reduce the heat
It's my understanding fusion drives are really, really hard to benchmark.
 

alien3dx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2017
865
183
insta
It's my understanding fusion drives are really, really hard to benchmark.
just alternative because high siera seem a lot of complain upon platter hardisk..

Anyway.. in future i might upgrade the ram after warranty and put 16 GB and test m.2 speed via usb 3.1 gen 2..
 

scuba99

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2016
4
1
OK, In reading thru this thread, just bought a iMac 27 w/ 512 SSD for my wife. This is to replace her mid-2010 iMac that needs a refresh plus the graphics board has been failing (green/pink/purple squares). Will upgrade Memory since I just bought the 8MB.

Two questions, Which memory? Corvair is it? Any links for the procedure to install the memory? guess i can google it.

Second, I have a USB 3 TM drive, but need to add a drive for files, media, etc. I want a 4TB drive. What do you recommend? I'm thinking the G-Tech 4TB USB-C. Does that work? Other rec's?

Thanks for the help.

Scubad
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,042
329
Try datamemorysystems.com or crucial.com for RAM as well as owc.

IMHO disk drives are much of a muchness these days. WD or HGST drive in any competent USB enclosure should do. Make sure the enclosure supports UASP. Check out the backblaze.com blog for some statistics on disk drives.
 

TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,083
640
Just out of curiosity, how much usable free space is available on a virgin 512GB SSD configuration, considering the space the OS, recovery partition, etc. consume?
 

CaptainPrice01

macrumors newbie
Aug 22, 2012
21
52
Here is my experience with almost 6 years. I got my iMac late 2012 27" with all upgrades including a 3TB fusion when they were new (December 2012). when the fusion drive was new. I used it throughout my computing university study which I did a lot of creative content including making a game in Unity3D, Blender and Audacity for audio editing, developing applications using Xcode, Android Studio, iMovie, ect. I also use it for a lot of other things like Garageband as well as storing all my photos, videos, music and documents. At that time, there were no SSDs large enough that could store any of that stuff without having a mechanical HDD to store it weather it be external or internal so a FD made sense. This also includes playing games steam, blizzard, ect.

So how well does it work in the real world? Surprisingly, speed wasn't my problem. The FD software side handles things really well. macOS and all the applications you mostly use sits on the SSD portion so that side of usage is really snappy. The slow down only happens when the system accesses data stored on the mechanical hard drive portion. Even then, since the OS and applications are running off the SSD, you don't experience the same slow down with the system and applications when the mechanical hard drive is processing data, its still snappy to use other applications when you are say rendering a movie for example. If you're happy to wait a few extra minutes while process large data, then it is no issue.

However what I have had an issue with is the mechanical HDD dying, twice during the time I had it. First time, the hard drive died it was still under AppleCare Protection warranty so I was able to get it done for free, the second time only recently after the warranty expired. I however was able to put a new 3TB HDD 7200rpm in myself (not the most elegant adhesive work, but considering the age of the computer, I'm not caring too much). I did some research on the original hard drive that was replaced and found that particular Seagate HDD had a high failure rate so that most likely contributed to that.

My biggest gripe of the FD is that Apple hasn't increased the 128GB portion to 256GB, which would make the FD a more viable option. If you want to go pure SSD, then to get any decent storage, you would be paying through the teeth, even then, you may need to get external HDD for more storage space. For some, this may not be a problem, but if you want a mac is decent internal storage space, then either expect to pay an exorbitant amount, or get an FD.

The other thing to mention is that Bootcamp does not work on the SSD portion of the FD, this is understandable though considering that macOS is the main OS for the computer. Although you can install Windows on an external HD with some effort. For the most part, I still think the FD is still the most bang for buck option, I am still keeping my eye on prices to see if that changes. Apple charge a large amount for their SSD upgrades, I can get SSD cheaper from other sources at almost half of what apple's is set, so it's disappointing to see Apple charging large amounts. As I mentioned, hopefully that will change.
 
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unixguru

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2020
1
0
Screenshot 2020-01-22 at 20.00.14.png

3TB Fusion Drive on my Late 2015 27" iMac QuadCore i7 4.0GHz 6700K (Skylake) seriously outperforms my 2TB Crucial SSD (with OWC adapter) in my 2011 27" iMac Mid-2011 QuadCore i5 2.7GHz I5-2500S (Sandy Bridge)

Now this is only 5GB files being written, so under extremes you might find it otherwise.

(This could partly be due to the interface types on the two machines being different, but the fusion drive is no slouch)
 

Hexley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
983
66
It's 2020 already... you should be on at least 512GB SSD.

Just wish Apple offered an all SSD Fusion Drive in the 2019 iMac as not everyone needs more than 500MB/s read/writes for all their data.

An all SSD Fusion Drive would be 256GB PCIe SSD (~2.5GB/s read/write) + 1-8TB SATA SSD (~500MB/s read/write).

I can't wait for Macs with PCIe 4.0 to come out in the future. This would allow for 7GB/s for sequential reads, more or less saturating the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. Sequential writes will be a bit slower at around 6GB/s
 
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