Use SSD as boot or combine for Fusion drive?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Tinmania, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #1
    I have a 2012 mini and a 256GB Sandisk Ultra Plus SSD coming today (plus an OWC data doubler kit).

    Is it still possible to make your own Fusion drive under Yosemite? If so does anyone recommend that rather than just using the SSD as boot and OEM for data?



    Michael
     
  2. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    #2
    Both options are there in 10.10

    I prefer SSD boot. Use a 250 (Evo) and OEM. I try to keep the SSD at less than 60-70% full. Works well.

    Enjoy your new setup ;)
     
  3. Tinmania thread starter macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #3
    Thanks!

    I think I will go as two separate drives.

    Looks like Apple uses a 128gb ssd for their fusion drive so maybe 256 is a bit overkill not to mention loss of space. (Well, I am assuming the size of the hard disk determines the size of the fusion drive.)


    Mike
     
  4. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    #4
    If you read the more advanced guides you can specify the amount of the mechanical drive that is used in your fusion setup. So say use you could have a 1TB fusion (250 SSD and 750 mechanical) with the remainder of the mechanical drive as a separate partition.

    Personally I like the idea of not managing what goes on what drive, and that some of my regularly accessed media files will benefit from being on the SSD. (In a split setup normally media is on the mechanical drive)
     
  5. Tinmania thread starter macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #5
    Interesting. I thought whatever the HD size was, even if using a smaller partition, would be the size of the fusion drive (so that a 1TB HD plus 256GB SSD would result in 1TB fusion drive).



    Michael
     
  6. willrun4fun macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2013
    #6
    I prefer keeping them separate.

    I can put all my movies, iTunes library, and dropbox storage on the spindle disk.
     
  7. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    #7

    Fusion drives are always the sum of their parts. Apple isn't clear with this in their marketing material but that's because they over simplify it, calling it 1TB when really it's 1TB + 128GB.

    It's not a simple cache system (ie files are on either the SSD or the mechanical drive, whereas with a caching system everything is on the slow drive, but some files are on both drives)
     
  8. Tinmania thread starter macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #8
    Ah, that is exactly what gave me the idea that it was the spinner's size that became the fusion drive's size.

    Maybe I will just add a portion of the HD, like 128GB, so the SSD-turned-fusion will seem like a 384GB SSD and (hopefully?) feel like one.



    Mike
     
  9. Tinmania thread starter macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #9
    To follow up I did end up setting them up as two separate drives. The OWC data doubler kit and instructions, worked perfectly--including the part about not letting Disk Utility in Recovery "fixi" the two drives, making a Fusion drive out of them.

    One thing, however, is I thought things would be faster. I fresh-installed Yosemite on the SSD and boot time is good but not great. I still get that progress bar when booting up that takes a little while to complete. I don't get the amazing boot times others seem to get. (I wiped the original HD and it is not booting from that.)



    Michael
     
  10. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #10
    i don't like fusion drives. If they offload the important stuff like applications and OS to the SSD portion then you'll get fast times but if the logic doesn't do that then it's essentially the same as having a hard drive. Having two separate partitions lets me manage my data more precisely.
     
  11. Tinmania thread starter macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #11
    Yes that was my thinking as well--and a reason why I went with two separate drives. I figured I would be always wondering if it was reading from SSD or HD.

    As a follow-up I enabled trim on my SSD using Trim Enabler and my SSD speed has increased dramatically. It had tested about 250/250 read/write in Blackmagic before enabling and 475/454 after.

    Oh and booting is indeed faster!



    Mike
     
  12. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Personally I'd combine them. There are loads of files related to the OS and my apps that rarely get used. So having all my OS and Apps on the SSD is a waste.

    Similarly some of my data files are used regularly, some aren't. But I don't want to manually split them simply based on usage frequency.
     
  13. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #13
    except when you boot up

    Most user data barely benefits from the fast access speeds of an SSD.

    SSD is best used for:

    A. OS because ain't no one got time for boot-up
    B. Big Applications like Photoshop.
    C. 'Swap" space e.g. You want to store your 4K videos on the HDD because of space but while working on editing it the speed of an SSD allows you to jump around the content or render faster.
     

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