what would you rather get? 2TB Fusion/395 or 256SSD/390?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by squaredeux, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. squaredeux macrumors newbie


    Oct 14, 2015
    Here's my price breakdown with no tax/fees associated:

    256SSD/395 - 1637
    2TB Fusion/395 - 1578
    256SSD/390 - 1551
    256SSD/380 - 1465

    Needs: Basic/light gaming (blizzard games). Longevity. No crazy need for space. I have a 120GB SSD on my PC that is only 70 GB full. Everything else is on a server. Minimal fan noise and minimal heat.
  2. antman2x2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    New YAWK

    Don't bother with a fusion drive, you're just asking for typical hard drive trouble down the line. The 395 should also kick ass at a few light blizzard games.
  3. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Eh, do you really need 395 for basic/light gaming? Shouldn't a 390 will be more than enough, even if you're keeping it for a few years? Heck, even the 380 should be capable of light gaming. Of course, no gaming benchmarks has been posted as far as I know but still.
  4. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    tHere's something satisfying about taking the games from your old computer, and playing them at 1440p (or even 2880P) with ultra settings. As your computer ages, and you acquire new, more graphically demanding games, you can dial down the settings, but to start compromising from the very beginning?

    can the m395 run world of warcraft at 60fps and 1440p? Yes
    can the m390 run world of warcraft at 60fps and 1440p? Possibly.
    can the m380 do the same? possibly not.
  5. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Without any real world benchmark testing of these games, everything we say here is pure speculation, of course.
    But I think the M380 will be able to run games as well, even at 1440p. Maybe not doing hardcore raids in WoW but casual gaming for sure like Rocket League and Cities Skylines being two examples.

    Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 shouldn't be any problems either. Maybe not with all settings at the max but I'd be surprised if it couldn't handle between medium and high settings smoothly at 1440p. FPS games however, with high level of details, or any games in 4K-5K resolutions are obviously a no-go but I don't think anyone that buys an iMac has any delusions of playing games at native resolution.

    My point is that I think the M380 will handle light gaming with excellence. M390 should be able to handle light-medium gaming whereas the M395 and M395X should be able to handle quite a high level of gaming. None of these will handle 4K or 5K gaming well though.

    And future proofing? Obviously the M395X will outlive all the others, but will you actually need that much performance? And more importantly, is it worth the extra money? The M390 or maybe even the M380 will be viable for YOUR gaming needs for 5-6 years. People will argue that the M395X will have better resale value, as always, but looking at current ads for older gens iMacs, the specifications doesn't seem to matter that much. The most important thing is how well it's been kept, are there any noticeable dings or scratches, etc. So while you might get a bit more money for the M395X, I don't think you'll get the 550$ back compared to the M390, or even the the 750$ compared to the M380.

    No doubt, there will be people that actually NEEDS the performance of the M395X but people that recommends the top of the line model "just because it's better" seems like a waste of money. If you have the money and don't care, sure, go ahead.. but if you don't mind saving a few hundred bucks, make sure what your graphical needs are before purchasing.
  6. randalf72 macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2014
    I'm not a big fan of the Fusion drives, too many of the negatives and not enough of the positives.

    However going back to the OP question about the 2tb Fusion/395 against the 256gb SSD/390 I think the 2tb Fusion may be the best option.

    Many people seem to make the assumption that if they have a limited requirement for storage then that will remain the case on a new computer.

    That you have a 5k screen will, in all likelihood mean that you start getting 5k media which will have additional memory and storage requirements. If you won't it does raise the question as to why are you buying a screen that is capable of displaying media you have no interest in storing on the computer?

    I think that due to the 24gb of SSD storage on the 1tb Fusion then any SSD or other Fusion (with 128gb of SSD) is a far superior choice.

    As you are talking about the 2tb Fusion then things get a bit closer. If you are quite correct in that you won't need more than about 70gb storage then the 256SSD seems ample, however if you are wrong then that will seem restrictive extremely quickly.

    The fusion would appear to give you the most flexibility although I would recommend the 512 SSD ahead of the 2tb Fusion.

    That you get the higher GPU if you go with the fusion would appear to be the icing on the cake.
  7. Enrico macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2007
    Milano / Roma
    I did not want a spinning (and heating) mechanical drive inside a 'Late 2015' computer, so I went with 256SSD/390, for a Mac that will be mostly used with Lightroom and occasional iMovie/GoPro 4K editing.

    I have already ordered a fast 5TB 7200rpm external USB3, and I can always get a Samsung SSD should the need arise.
  8. Laai macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Honestly, get the SSD. If you don't need the space just go with the SSD and don't look back. Traditional HDDs have only 1 advantage over SSDs today: price per GB. If you have your GB in a server, you eliminated the only thing HDDs have as a upside today.

    Get the SSD.
  9. randalf72 macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2014
    I still find it rather amusing that many people posting on this board seem extremely concerned about potential heat issues with the iMac yet at the same time are openly looking at installing memory that has a higher speed rating that will generate more heat.

    Enrico you're quite correct that any spinning disk will generate more noise and heat than an SSD.

    There is also the fact that any fusion drive will be less reliable than either an SSD or a HDD is a concern to me.

    Ignoring the GPU for a moment if the OP was deciding between a 1tb Fusion and 256gb SSD then it is an absolute no brainer; SSD all the way or a 3tb Fusion against a 256gb SSD then you are getting the obvious benefit of a lot of storage that no SSD can come anywhere near at the moment.

    But the 2tb Fusion with the 128gb SSD against the 256gb SSD; it's a close run thing that in my opinion is marginally won by the Fusion drive and if the OP really never uses more than 70gb then everything will be installed on the SSD portion effectively making it a 128gb SSD drive.
  10. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    Get the SSD, you will use external storage any way so one more won't hurt as much as a failed HDD inside the machine will down the line :)
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I like this option the best and if I can swing the numbers the right way, I may take the plunge and get this configuration myself.

    It won't occur until 2016 though - I have to take care of my daughter's needs first, i.e., Christmas and birthdays :)
  12. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    I vote for the fusion as the smaller flash drive will just be frustrating. And getting a more powerful GPU for games makes the most sense.
  13. hifimacianer macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2015
    I have a 128GB SSD in my 2008 iMac, and it isn't frustrating at all.
    If you start your folder structure from scratch on external drives, it's all good.

    Things start to get frustrating if you start with the SSD, and try to reorganize your workflow if the SSD starts to be too small.

    And it is even more frustrating, if the old shool spinning HD starts to get noisy and slow over the time.
  14. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    It will be equally frustrating when in 1-2 years the HDD portion of the Fusion Drive will already be noticeably slower. Not to mention if it fails completely, God forbid. Why is 256 GB not enough? If you're using your iMac for work-related things, I can understand you but for a home-computer, 256 GB is plenty enough if you have a NAS for all your media-files.

    And again, you don't require the more powerful GPU just because you want to game. It all depends on what games and what kind of gaming-level you expect. Gaming regular games (even modern titles) at 1440p should be OK even on the bottom-end GPU. Maybe not at high settings but still. The mid tier GPU should be viable for the same games at high settings. 395 if you're playing more advanced games and/or more GPU-taxing games (mostly FPS games) at medium settings and 395X if you want to play those games at high settings.

    As said, it all depends on what types of games and your gaming-level expectations.
  15. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    But there's currently no practical way of upgrading the GPU (maybe affordable external Thunderbolt GPUs in future if they don't all need TB 3 and if OS X adds support) whereas the storage can be easily expanded with external drives, NAS or the cloud.

    Remember, unless you're regularly transferring huge files (in which case 2TB might not be enough and Fusion won't help) the big speed-up from SSD comes from having your OS, Apps, temporary, virtual memory and library files on SSD.

    A 256GB SSD in your computer and a terabyte or three in a NAS for bulk storage and first-line backup (accessible by all your devices and, optionally, over the internet) is a good set up for general use. If that doesn't fit, you've got lots of options with Thunderbolt or USB3 externals ranging from bus-powered portables to RAID arrays.

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14 October 19, 2015