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Kent Beeson
regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 8:55:01 pm

May get an new iMac 27" - should I go for 1TB regular or 1TB Fusion drive, what are potential pitfalls for the fusion drive?

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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Michael Hancock
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:01:39 pm

The Fusion drive is an SSD and a regular drive. The OS monitors what programs and files you use most and keeps the on the SSD, speeding up the opening of programs, the read/write response of said programs, and should give you a snappier, faster, more responsive machine.

The 1TB is just a regular hard drive.

I'd go for the fusion drive to get that SSD goodness.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:05:44 pm

true...but since it's gen 1, I wonder if anyone is reporting issues yet with a fusion drive. But yes, it's faster - might get that, but just wondered if generation 1 may be an issue since they're just experimenting in essence with this technology.

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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Dave Gage
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:08:27 pm

[Michael Hancock] "The Fusion drive is an SSD and a regular drive. The OS monitors what programs and files you use most and keeps the on the SSD, speeding up the opening of programs, the read/write response of said programs, and should give you a snappier, faster, more responsive machine."

I don't know if the Fusion drive is precisely the same as the Seagate Hybrid HDD (I assume so), but I have had excellent results with it in my Early 2011, i7 MBP 17" with 16GB of RAM. Here's the one I got-
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/834410-REG/Seagate_ST750LX003_750GB_M...

I bought it specifically to be able to edit away from home and not have to drag my external 2-drive RAID with me. I removed the MBP Optical drive and then moved my boot drive to it's spot and then put the Hybrid drive in the original boot drive slot to take advantage of the 6GBs connection.

It's worked out so well for me that I don't use the external RAID any more. Based on what Michael said, I don't believe as an edit drive, it's taking full advantage of the SSD portion, but it still benchmarks and feels fast (at least fast enough for what I do).
--

Here's some benchmarks:
(I used QuickBench 4.0, Large file test (2-10 MB), 5 cycle run, with the "Allow Cache Effects" box checked and 5ms set for the Read and Write Delays)

Seagate Hybrid 750GB in Voyager drive dock:
eSata: Write-92 MB/s, Read- 106 MB/s.

Seagate Hybrid 750GB internal MBP main slot- 6GB connection:
Write-273 MB/s, Read- 118 MB/s.
--

Internal 750GB 5400 Drive (in original main drive slot):
Write- 57 MB/s, Read- 57 MB/s

Internal 750GB 5400 Drive (moved to optical drive slot 12/23/12 -- I don't know why this drive benchmarks faster and feels "snappier" in the new slot, but it does.):
Write-90 MB/s, Read- 90 MB/s.
--

eSATA OWC Elite-AL Pro 2-Drive (1 TB) RAID 1:
eSATA 3GB: Write- 97 MB/s, Read- 99 MB/s.

Dave


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:13:28 pm

thanks for the time and info

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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Chris Kenny
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:04:06 pm

[Kent Beeson] "May get an new iMac 27" - should I go for 1TB regular or 1TB Fusion drive, what are potential pitfalls for the fusion drive?
"


The potential downside of Fusion Drive is that it makes performance somewhat unpredictable. You might read a file once and see one level of performance, then read it another time and see a completely different level of performance. That said, in theory performance should always be better than with a regular drive, so there's no downside here, really; it's just something to be aware of, particularly if you're e.g. testing whether your system can handle a certain format.

Fusion Drive is just clever software, though. You can 'break apart' the HDD and SSD, if you want to, and just use the SSD for boot and applications and the HDD for bulk storage. That's a nice way to set up a system in general. So even if the Fusion Drive functionality does cause some problem, you're still fine with this as a fallback position.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a new computer that didn't have an SSD these days, and the way to get an SSD in a new iMac is to order it with Fusion Drive. So for me there wouldn't be much question.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:07:14 pm

Sounds good thanks for replies - will get fusion

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:16:02 pm

Just so you're aware, while the 1TB Fusion Drive can work with Bootcamp, currently the 3TB Fusion Drive can not. I do hope Apple tackles this.



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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:30:31 pm

I love the fusion drive. I feels like in real world use it performs better than our SSD's. I don't know why. Maybe it's because it works well with a tricked out iMac.

Happy buyer here.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:31:48 pm

And really, if you're worried, get Apple Care. We always get that with macs now.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:43:55 pm

I agree about mac care - so John would you recommend the maxed out iMac 2013 over say my Mac Pro early 2008 3.0 quad core 12GB RAM? The new iMac is totally up to all FCP X and MOTION 5 tasks? Plus adobe cloud apps? And is 16GB RAM good enough in iMac 27" with i7?

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:51:27 pm

The imac 2013 is faster than the mac pro current generation in many tasks. That tutorial I made was done on a 2011 iMac. Just think about that, I was recording video off the screen at 2500x1900 (or whatever the specific dimensions are), editing with Prores over gigE, and it was pretty much just going with the flow. There were 2 crashes because I think editing, recording, and recording scratch VO all at the same time was pushing it a little.

And I got 32 gigs of RAM from OWC because it was cheaper. Got everything else fully loaded. I use all the apps you're discussing. It'll blow the 2008 mac pro away.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:59:21 pm

Danke much - so how can I order 0 GB RAM from Apple, then order 24 or 32 from OWC? When I buy on apple website, it makes you have to get at least 8GB RAM - how to not?

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:15:47 pm

Alas, you have to get the 8 minimum. Throw the default RAM in a ziploc bag and maybe you can use it one day to help out a friend or salvage an older computer.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Mark Dobson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 11:32:40 am

Hi John

Sure you've told us all before but apart from the 1TB fusion drive which graphic card did you go for?

And again I'm presuming you went for the 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 processor.

I'm getting a bit twitchy and starting to add up the cost of all the peripheral thunderbolt accessories I'll need.

And, whilst these seem to be an inevitable investment, I fear these will cost more than an iMac.


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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:45:16 pm

I got the 675 and the fastest processor, too. It ended up being about 3k but with the USB3 and reduced glare I wish all our systems were the new iMac. 50% chance we end up getting another one in a few months. My system doesn't connect to the tape room so I grabbed one of those blackmagic mini monitors with HDMI/SDI out. Pretty solid. I also really like the Promise Pegasus. Looks like they have larger capacities now than when I bought (I have 12tb I think).

Considering how much we paid for the 2010 mac pro maxed out 2 years ago (10k) I feel like we got off easy on this one :).

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kevin Patrick
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:12:22 pm

Here's a link you might find useful.

It deals with partitioning a fusion drive. Personally, I like having the ability to put the OS/Apps on one drive and most of my data (especially non-speed sensitive data) on another drive/partition.

Partitioning the fusion drive will make it possible to have some control over what files will be kept on the SSD portion of the drive. You can keep FCPX Projects that you are actively working on on the SSD partition, leaving non-active projects elsewhere.

It appears that Apple approves of partitioning the fusion drive, since he is using Apple's Disk Utility to do it.

http://macperformanceguide.com/Fusion-partitioning.html


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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:16:47 pm

I would recommend a USB 3 drive in RAID for media, or even better thunderbolt, before using the fusion drive to edit media. It's 5400rpm and big files will eat that up.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:29:46 pm

Woah, the fusion drive is only 5400rpm? Not 7200? Wonder why and is that an issue in anyway? I wouldn't be placing raw footage on it just running apps. Then using external drives as you say for raw footage, etc.

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:33:30 pm

Yeah, it's ssd mixed with a 5400 rpm drive. It's good though, don't stress the specs so much as how it works in real world use. It keeps all frequently used apps in the SSD. It's really good.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:34:20 pm

Very good - thanks for everyone's help.

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 5:29:59 pm

Hey John

Slightly piggy backing on my original question, but I've been reading about how some or many of the 2013 iMac's are having problems with yellow screens, getting too hot after 4 or 5 hours of editing work, etc...do you find this with your 2013 iMacs?

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:26:58 pm

Mine is pretty great. It does get a little warm in the back but nothing to write home about. Colors are excellent, etc.

Every release of every product will have a significant number of bad performers. If you have a local apple store they'll fix it - usually pretty fast. I had an iMac 2011 specced out and the screen started flickering worse and worse - I took it to the apple store and the had it fixed by the next morning about 3 months ago.

Two weeks later, the seagate HD in a 2009 iMac my wife used got a recall and the Apple store swapped that out as well. We had never even gotten Applecare for that one.

Point is, they'll take care of ya. The reason why I push the fusion is that it's working great for me and in 3 years when you give it to Grandma or your kid, the internal storage will be relatively large enough for all their music and pictures and movies and i-crap, with no cables or wires needed to complicate their lives.

I should probably just do a quickie blog post with video of apps launching like crazy fast, huh?

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kent Beeson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:29:15 pm

thanks for info re: your new iMac - hope it stays healthy and works great.

Thanks

K
http://www.effective-video.com


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Dave Gage
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:41:01 pm

[Kent Beeson] "Woah, the fusion drive is only 5400rpm?"

The Hybrid drive I mentioned in my last post is 7200rpm. I knew going in it likely wouldn't be advantageous for editing, but for the price it was a good choice. Down the road when SSDs come down in price, I'll move this Hybrid drive over as the boot drive and make the SSD the media drive.

Dave


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Kevin Patrick
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:06:18 pm

[Kent Beeson] "Woah, the fusion drive is only 5400rpm? Not 7200?"

I believe the non-fusion drive in the 21.5" iMac is 5200 rpm. While the fusion drive in the 27" iMac is 7200 rpm.

http://www.apple.com/imac/specs/


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John Davidson
the iMac 27" fusion drive is 7200rpm
on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:40:54 pm

Just wanted to change the subject for future searchers.

If the post in the middle of this page is correct

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499206&page=2

The fusion does contain a 7200rpm. The mini and 21 use 5400rpm I think.

Thanks for straightening me out Kevin :).

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kevin Patrick
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:02:41 pm

[John Davidson] "I would recommend a USB 3 drive in RAID for media"

Sorry if it appeared I was implying using the Fusion drive for media. I was suggesting using the SSD portion of the fusion drive for your projects, along with FCPX and the OS. Files small enough to take advantage of the SSD speed.


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Gary Huff
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:49:26 am

Considering that the iMac's RAM is the only upgradeable component at the moment, I'd just bite the bullet and go for the pricey 768GB SSD option over the Fusion drive.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 18, 2013 at 9:24:27 pm

That's the way I'm leaning too... just max it out via Apple BTO and not worry about it. The thought of opening the case later to try and install my own memory or drives is just too scary - plus everything is covered by Applecare...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:29:05 pm

Here, I made a little test between SSD and Fusion.

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/12352/fusion-vs-ssd-fight

PS, the 27" lets you change your own RAM out. It's easier than ever to do now.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Howie Young
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Aug 27, 2013 at 12:11:17 am

Hi John,

I'm researching new iMacs and not sure which internal hard drive would be the best choice. I came across Kent's original post and found some of your responses insightful and helpful. I realize this thread was started in January and was wondering if you and anyone else who posted would be able to answer some of my questions.

Since this initial post have you experienced any problems with your iMac and fusion drive when editing with FCP X?

I thought Apple originally stated the fusion drives should not be used for editing?

Why did you select the 3 TB over the 1 TB fusion drive?

What kind of projects do you edit?

If RAM is added to the computer later does this affect or void the AppleCare Warranty?

What brand hard drives do you recommend for media - stand alone and RAID?

Thanks!



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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Aug 27, 2013 at 12:26:06 am

Hey Howie,
I'm still happy with the Fusion drive. It gets around 200-300 MB/s on avg depending on file size. I don't use it to store media other than iTunes and photo libraries. For everything else we use a Server with 10GbE connections via Thunderlink. If you're using it as a standalone I'd recommend a Promise Pegasus RAID via Thunderbolt.

I got 32 Gigs of Ram from OWC. It does not void applecare warranties.

Now, with this said, I also picked up a Macbook Air 3 or 4 weeks ago. Let me tell you - that SSD 512 is something else. It's getting about 700 MB/s. Obviously, it's too small to edit with, but wow is it fast.

With all of this in mind, I don't think now would be the best time for you to buy an iMac if you can hold off. It's very close to refresh time (2-3 months) for iMacs, plus we have Mac Pros coming out in that time frame as well.

We edit short form commercials and on air promotions. We work with full-res media in 30-60 minute ProRes quick times. The drives in our 16 drive array are Hitachi 4TB Enterprise striped in RAID5 with an ATTO R680. I would suggest an Areca 1882x instead of an R680, but if you get a Thunderbolt array, you won't need this at all. We also have a Promise Pegasus 8 drive and it's been flawless.

I selected the Fusion over standard 1TB drive because it's got a larger storage capacity and a built in SSD that lets it get faster speeds on heavily used applications and media. Also, you can't upgrade the internal drive easily, so a 3TB drive made sense for my future media needs (photos/iTunes).

That help?

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Howie Young
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Aug 27, 2013 at 12:50:07 am

Hi John,

Thanks for responding so quickly. Yes, your answers do help.

I'm planning on editing web videos, shorts and docs. I'm developing a few web projects. The segments will range in length from 3-7 minutes.

You mentioned holding off on purchasing the iMac because the new MacPros will be released along with a refreshed iMac. What updates could be made to the iMacs?

How difficult is it to install the RAM?



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John Davidson
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Aug 27, 2013 at 12:56:08 am

Installing the RAM is the easiest thing on earth to do - and a great way to save $200. OWC even makes videos for how to do it. It takes no more than 5 minutes.

No one really knows what is coming, but the new iMacs could have Retina screens for pixel to pixel resolution = or that could be part of a new Mac Pro / Thunderbolt Cinema Display 4k. They could feature Thunderbolt 2.0 for faster speeds. They could be Matte instead of Glossy. I always suggest holding fast when we're this close to new releases.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Howie Young
Re: regular or fusion drive?
on Aug 27, 2013 at 12:29:31 am

Hi Lance,

Which fusion drive did you get with your iMac?

Have you experienced any problems with the drive when editing with FCP X?

Thanks.



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