Yet another 'should I fuse drives' question...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by marcosscriven, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. marcosscriven macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2006
    I was lucky enough to find a late-2012 Mac Mini server second hand for a good-but-not-stolen price.

    It has two 1TB HDDs, the 'lower' one of which (e.g the easily accessible one) I replaced last night with a 256GB Samsung SSD. However, just this morning Amazon had a lighting deal for a 960GB SanDisk Ultra II SSD for £140, which isn't bad for UK (~$200), and couldn't resist.

    So now the options are:
    • Sell the 256GB SSD and put the new one in the lower slot
    • Go for the more complex route of replacing the upper 1TB HDD (which seems to involve taking out the whole thing, and unplugging delicate cables, which I managed to avoid doing with the lower slot)
    If I go for the former option, I'm left with a 1TB SSD and a 1TB HDD, but can't find any consistent guidance on how that would perform fused.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    How much total data do you plan to have?

    I have never seen a test with a 1GB flash on a Fusion, but the way Fusion works it will put the most frequently access data in the flash portion... so I would think having 1GB available for that would make for a very fast Fusion setup.
  3. marcosscriven thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2006
  4. davekro macrumors regular


    Mar 31, 2011
    No. Calif.
    I am certainly not a techie like many here. But when I was deciding to fuse or not the 512SSD and 1 TB HDD on my new to me 2012 Mini, I chose unfused because 512 is more than double my current and forseen data storage need. I now use the 1TB internal HDD as a time machine back up instead of sending that task to my 3TB external HDD as before. Now I use one partition on the 3TB HDD to do a nightly incremental Carbon Copy clone of my main booted SSD. For me a 1.5 TB fusion drive was an unimaginable waste of space to commit to the daily driver, so to speak.
    Just my non techie 2 sheckels.:)
  5. Adz76 macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Dagobah System

    Agree with the above, your backup plan should be the most important consideration. If you go fusion then more so as you have 1 volume extended across 2 drives which effectively doubles the points of failure.

    Also what is the most important thing to you, is it performance , failover etc... ? I'd start from there and work backwards to the solution.

    There is less configuration to do if you go with the Fusion setup, I run the stock spinner and a 256 SSD and I have to effectively put all media and backups on the 2nd drive which takes some work . Fusion I believe will just be one bonded Volume that everything goes on so quicker to recover and setup I guess?

  6. KrisLord macrumors 65816

    Sep 12, 2008
    Northumberland, UK
    I bought the exact same drive from eBuyer on Black Friday, for £150 so that Amazon deal is great.

    I've paired it with the stock 1TB (so had to dismantle the whole mini!)

    I decided not to go with a fusion drive, as a 2TB single volume is just too big. There'd be a lot of wasted space.

    Note that disk utility may try to force a fusion drive on you, but you can use the terminal version of disk utility to partition the drives without ending up with a fusion disk.
  7. Daisy81 Suspended


    Dec 29, 2015
    I fused a Intel 250GB SSD with the 1TB drive my 2012 2.3GHz i7 Mac Mini. It somehow got corrupted and wouldn't let me install OSX 10.11.

    After some research I found that even in restore mode disk utility can't fix it.

    However in restore mode terminal commands where able to unfuse the drives. This nuked everything on the drives. Then in restore mode disk utility the drives are marked in red. This means, from what I gathered, that you can't install OSX on these drives. However disk utility will ask if you want to restore the fusion link. Once done you can use the restore OSX tool.

    The larger the SSD the less you have to use the spinning drive. I haven't tried a fusion drive with such a large SSD. Please let us know how it works out of you pull the trigger on it.
  8. Accord3 macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2012
    Hampshire, UK
    I nearly pulled the trigger on this same deal on Amazon. My plan was to use the SSD with the HDD to create the same fusion. Then i thought it may be a waste of time and would see no benefit from this upgrade. I am now thinking of installing 2x 1TB SSD to my late 2012 mini and use as separate drives. I will keep my eye on the lightening deals on Amazon and decide from there when i see the price of the drives.

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