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Apple's Fusion Drive now available on new entry-level 21.5" iMac orders - Page 2

post #41 of 123
I actually did it in my late 2009 iMac 27 inch. I used the iFixit hard drive tray and replaced my optical drive with a 1 TB drive and replaced the hard drive with 160 gig Intel SSD. Then I used the CoreStorage commands to create a logical volume which allows you to create the Fusion drive. All in, about $150 (I already had a spare SSD).

http://www.macworld.com/article/2014011/how-to-make-your-own-fusion-drive.html

And to clarify, it doesn't work at the file level. It works at the block level.
post #42 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic 
Fine, however it's still just another approach to the same goal. It's a gimmick, the price for SSD's have gone down significantly.

I wouldn't say it's entirely a gimmick. The Apple Fusion drive uses 4GB as a cache, which massively helps with random writes. Random write speeds are usually a small fraction of normal hard drive speeds. This is the main thing the current Seagate has in common - it uses 4-8GB of SLC memory for this purpose:

http://www.seagate.com/files/staticfiles/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/momentus-xt-data-sheet-ds1704-4-1209-us.pdf

However 4-8GB is nowhere near enough to use as both a write cache and fast storage nor is it fast because it's not an SSD as such and it shows in tests:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/momentus-xt-750gb-review,3223-3.html

The SSD that Apple uses has multiple NAND chips in RAID so you get very fast speeds. You can see the speed in the following test:



That's 300MB/s write and 400MB/s read - at least 3x faster than the Seagate. The Fusion drive is more like having an SSD - it's just the OS is making the decisions about what files will benefit most being on it.

I would go with the standalone SSD as you would but this is a good way of getting people to adopt SSDs and keep the prices dropping.

This technology does exit on Windows as you pointed out with Intel's SRT but Seagate has only just started using it:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/storage/display/20120911205703_Seagate_Optimizes_Next_Generation_Hybrid_Hard_Drive_for_Intel_s_Smart_Response_Technology.html

I'm not sure if those drives are out yet or what the spec is. I assume they won't stick with 4-8GB so the price will go up a bit. I'd guess they'll go with 64GB.

Intel's SRT also doesn't Just Work™ when it's used on standard drives:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/248828/how_to_setup_intel_smart_response_ssd_caching_technology.html

The benefits of Fusion are:

- you get full SSD performance for a significant amount of files unlike current hybrid drives, Fusion is 3x faster
- average users don't have to think about two separate drives unlike the separated SSD + HDD setup
- there's no difficult configuration like Intel's SRT
- users don't have to make a decision about what SSD to buy - they aren't all equal and while Apple is charging more for their SSD, they offer that convenience

I think Intel wants to get in on the hybrid drive market because Samsung and Crucial are most likely massively outselling them and their SRT is difficult to setup. However, if they go with 64GB, the price will likely go up $50-100. It's already $129.

Apple was the first to bring this technology to the mass-market. Upcoming hybrid drives will do the same and likely cost similar amounts. For the most part, SSDs alone are getting cheap enough:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-sata_6_0_gb-2-5-Inch-MZ-7TD500BW/dp/B009NHAF3I

I don't see multi-TB SSDs being cheap though so the Fusion drive will have that advantage for a while.
post #43 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtj333 View Post

BTW - Originally I didn't think you could get the fusion drive on the base model 27 inch iMac. It looks like you can order the fusion drive on the base model 27 inch now too. My question is, when will they offer a 3 TB fusion drive on the 21 inch? It seems I should be able to get a drive of that size on a 21 inch model. I understand there's less space on the back of a 21 inch iMac, but I think you should be able to find a drive like that without too much trouble.

I believe the 21.5" iMac only has room for a 2.5" drive (not sure of the maximum height allowed) but the 27" iMac has room for a 3.5" HDD which is why it can get the 3TB option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

yes I believe Fusion Drive is a trademarked name owned by Apple.
But the tech isn't totally Apple. It's a hybrid drive with much much smarter software. Anyone could have that kind of system if they wanted. Might take some rewriting and perhaps licensing a patent or two but it is possible.

I think it's entirely Apple. It's just the low level OS determining where to place files that are used more often and/or can benefit from being on the SSD. SSDs aren't better for all types of data or at least not significantly better in all cases which makes having this dual set a way to get high performance and great capacity.

I've been using this on my MBP since 2010 but without setting it up as a Fusion Drive. Once that was announced and it was shown that you can merely set up an SSD and HDD as a logical volume and it will automatically work as a Fusion Drive I gave it a shot. It's been working great ever since.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

This tech has been around for awhile, I personally prefer an all SSD solution but each to his own.

http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/laptop-hard-drives/momentus-xt-hybrid/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Actually the Seagate is identical to the Fusion drive. The tech is from Intel -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Response_Technology

How many times do you need to be told it is not some bit of NAND on an HDD that is solely controlled by the HDD without any understanding of the OS? This is you claiming Apple uses regular glass on their devices all over again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Fine. Mea culpa.

It's two drives. Not one drive. Not the Seagate. Seagate uses the SSD to cache the spinning disk. Apple actually uses the space on the SSD for storage. NOT the Seagate!

It's not one of the 7 RAID types but it functions like an intelligent version of RAID 0 but instead of doing half the data on each drive to balance a load and therefore increase performance without adding any redundancy Fusion Drive will intelligently determine which files will go where and when, hence the 4GB temp storage on the SSD since it's faster to write there in most cases). This makes comparing it to RAID 0 in functionality considerably more apt than simply calling it a hybrid drive. It's clearly two independent drives.

It can't be RAID 0 because RAIDs aren't intelligent and know or care about the type of data used by the user. They move the files for the fastest balance across the drives. A consumer drive likely isn't being written in a way that it becomes bottleneck, but the accessing of data quickly on an HDD is an issue just as the ability to store a lot of data cheaply on SSDs, hence the need for Fusion Drive as a great solution that pairs two drive types together.

It's certainly not RAID 1 which is called mirroring. RAID 1 is redundant. If one drive dies al the data is on the other drive. You swap in a new drive and it copies over.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/5/13 at 11:39am

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post #44 of 123
Oh boy fusion drive is gaining more avaibility.
post #45 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think Intel wants to get in on the hybrid drive market because Samsung and Crucial are most likely massively outselling them and their SRT is difficult to setup. However, if they go with 64GB, the price will likely go up $50-100. It's already $129.

I'm not sure if 64GB will be enough Windows users but I have been using an 80GB SSD as my boot and app drive for years and have never gone past 40GB. I think they could make it work but I don't see how the performance would be as good as Apple's Fusion Drive if it was just a hybrid-drive. They will need a service running on the OS to take full advantage or what files go on each storage type. Finally, they would have the issue of all data going through a single controller which could be a bottleneck. Fusion is writing to two separate drives, not two type of storage types on a single drive.

The best option seems to be for MS to make their own solution. I don't see anything that would prevent them from dong so as you can already create a logical drive with Windows and the specific implementation would be different due to the different goals of the OSes.

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post #46 of 123

It's a floor wax!

 

It's a dessert topping!

 

Here I thought the tech world had thoroughly explained how Fusion Drive works a month ago. Oh well.

 

PhilBoogie View Post
[Microsoft] always seem late to the party, like EFI and such. Why is that? Surely there must be very talented people within the company. Are they being held back by managers who don't see the point?

Depends on the tech. EFI was slow to be implemented due to Microsoft's hardware partners, most of whom obsess about shipping the cheapest possible hardware, and generally preferred to stick with the 20+ year old BIOS mobos. Then again, Microsoft is not always beholden to their hardware partners (see PlaysForSure, Surface).

Sometimes it really is due to inter-departmental bickering and power struggles, because Microsoft is run like a country of fiefdoms competing for limited resources, and detrimentally competing within themselves due to stack ranking.

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post #47 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Yep, it is fun to think Apple was first though. Not sure who would want these drives but I guess it's nice to have options.

If you really don't know what you are talking about you shouldn't comment, it makes you look foolish. What Apple did with Fusion is significant because it brings enterprise level storage tiering to the desktop. I've used the hybrid drives & they're crap, the onboard SSD is way to small to be of much use at all. Because the SSD in Fusion can be whatever size you want you simply get an SSD that is big enough for your workload. You should only loose a little bit of SSD drive performance where old files get transitioned off for long term storage. This is why using a 5400rpm drive isn't a big deal, it's just your data dump. The hybrid in contrast is a fixed small SSD barely big enough to handle even your daily data needs. If you do something like video editing it can actually cause performance issues. All data on the SSD is also simultaneously written to the primary drive to save time when data needs to be archived to make room on the SSD. This causes excessive drive activity so battery life and heat can be an issue. For video editing with HD hybrids are not necessarily any faster & may in fact become slow as data is constantly moved around. A hybrid drive will see minimal performance gains over a standard drive in normal use seeing its best performance in situations with mostly reads of the same data such as 3D game play. In contrast fusion achieves near SSD speeds across the board in all applications.
post #48 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That'd require a physical retooling though. The Mac Mini uses 2.5" drives and you'd have to have a 3.5" for that.

Oh my fault, I didn't look to see if it was offered on the server.
post #49 of 123
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
Oh my fault, I didn't look to see if it was offered on the server.

 

I just mean for the size you're wanting. A 1TB Fusion Drive would be possible in the Mac Mini without change, since Apple uses 1TB 2.5" drives already.

Originally Posted by helia

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post #50 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Actually the Seagate is identical to the Fusion drive. The tech is from Intel -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Response_Technology

Ahhh... No.

 

They are similar in some aspects but differ radically in implementation.  The Intel SRT is a much lower level implementation working at the LBA level where the Fusion drive operates at a logically higher level with knowledge of applications and files.  Likewise, SRT maxes out with a 64GB cache where the Fusion Drive is a 128 GB supplement.  So in the Intel case, the 64GB SDD does not augment your total storage (hence the name cache) where the Fusion drive does.

 

There are advantage to each but the Apple solution is a bit more elegant and has more potential for improved performance especially on write.

 

Both are fundamentally software solution where one is OS level (Fusion Drive) and the other BIOS level (SRT. Yes BIOS is still software).

post #51 of 123

This argument over Fusion vs the various hybrid drives was thoroughly hashed over, several months ago.  Fusion is NOT the same as a hybrid drive which uses a small amount of onboard FLASH NAND to cache read/writes to the rotating portion of the drive.  Fusion is not the same as the INTEL SRT.  Fusion is NOT RAID.  

 

Fusion is a systems level tiered storage subsystem (again, this is NOT what any of the mentioned technologies implement). Apple's Core Storage (ie what actually allows a Fusion drive to be implemented) abstracts storage system interactions away from direct interaction with the hardware (ie all read/writes travel thru Core Storage which in turn interacts with underlying hardware).  Tiered storage technology is from the enterprise side of computing where it has been used for many years.  All writes (Core Storage Blocks) initially go against a 4GB cache maintained on the SSD, but then either get written to the SSD or to the HDD depending on conditions. Later, Core Storage blocks that were initially written to either SSD or HDD may be moved by Core Storage to the other.  Fusion (actually Core Storage) monitors what is stored where, how often it is updated/requested and moves Core Storage "blocks" around to ensure that the things that require speed (OS for instance) reside on the SSD along with other "Core Storage identified blocks" that also require speed.  It works at the block level as defined by Apple's Core Storage, NOT TO BE CONFUSED with block level on a rotating storage device.  When a device, whether it is made part of a Fusion Drive or NOT is added to Core Storage, its behavior is mediated by Core Storage (File Vault uses Core Storage as well).  Core Storage breaks data into its own block format and totally controls the interaction with the storage device.  With Fusion, a file may very well be divided between the SSD and the rotating drive if portions of it are routinely updated while others are static.  This is far more efficient than writing an entire file everytime some portion of it is updated.  Yes, this is putting a lot of faith in Apple's Core Storage technology to handle all this properly and as with ANY storage device technology, BACKUPS, preferably multiples using different technologies (such as Time Machine and Super Duper) should be in place.  

 

Is Fusion any less resilient and robust than a single rotating hard drive?  Statistically it is NOT as robust as there are more links in the chain as well as two (can be more) storage devices in the loop, but in practice, it certainly seems to be rock solid.  I have been running Fusion on several machines since it was discovered that it was possible to DYI and not ONE has had a single hiccup.  This is not to say that tomorrow every last one of them will crash as the result of a generic Core Storage bug, but there is NOTHING in Fusion that inherently makes it less robust than a symbolically linked SSD/HDD combo where file segregation is user controlled. Just because blocks of data are being moved around behind the scenes is not something to worry about as with any journaled file system, the transactions are first journaled, then written to new location, then verified, then deleted from old location.  One thing that I would advise is that using a cheap SSD as part of a Fusion drive would not be recommended as there is no question that Fusion works the SSD harder than might be typical, but again, Fusion was designed to understand SSD limitations and if a high end SSD is used, it should provide many years of service before its eventual end of life capacity degradation ensues (I use INTEL 180GB 520 series SSD drives).

 

FYI, Fusion is compatible with Alsoft's Disk Warrior, Super Duper sees it as ONE drive, Time Machine is happy as a lark with Fusion and Apple's Disk Utility included in 10.8.2 is Fusion aware.  Also, you can target mode a Fusion drive as long as the hosting machine is running 10.8 or later code base.  I ran sym-linked SSD/HDD combos for several years and Fusion is simply a better mouse trap for my time and money.  If you don't trust Apple to do this correct, then why are you even running in the Apple ecosystem in the first place. 

 

One last thing, I did physically partition my HDD drive into two partitions using Disk Utility before adding either SSD or HDD into Core Storage.  One partition of 50GB for swap and hibernation files and the remainder for use by Fusion.  You can partition within Core Storage, but I chose to partition the old fashioned way as I saw no advantage to having Core Storage involvement in either the swap or hibernation files.  This segregation of swap and hibernation into a separate partition may not be necessary.  Of course I had to make some changes in the dynamic pager plist file to point to the correct location and I used a sym-link to point the default hibernation file to the location on the dedicated HDD partition.  I then used SetFile to flag the dedicated swap/hibernation partition as hidden from finder as I can alway manually check it using the "Go To Folder" feature in finder


Edited by dtidmore - 1/5/13 at 2:47pm
post #52 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Actually it really is, instead of caching in hardware Apple does it in software using what they call CoreStorge. It's still a Hybrid, two drives. This isn't anything new nor is it something that should be sought after in my opinion. Buy a smaller SSD for the system and larger HDD for data.

 

 

That isn't the best system. Apple's solution takes both the files from the System and data which are used the most and puts them on the SSD drive. It does this based on usage and behind the scenes. That is a superior system if you can't afford a pure SSD drive because not all system files are used frequently. For instance, if there is a particular word file you are working on frequently, it will put that on the SSD (but only the part of the file being accessed frequently (not necessarily the whole file)). It will put the system files that are not used frequently on the HDD drive.

 

Moreover, typical hybrid drives, like the one offered by Seagate, have a very small SSD drive at 6 GBs. This means not a lot of data will be sitting on the SSD drive. Probably mostly system files. Apple's Fusion drive combines 128 SSD with 1 to 3 TB of HHD storage so much more data can sit on the SSD. 

post #53 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwhiteco View Post

I have a question about a Fusion Drive, almost a year ago I spilled lemon aid on my 2011 macbook pro 13" it still works with some problems but it only runs 3/4 the regular speed I used speed test to find this out, would my computer run faster if I installed a Fusion Drive in it?

Any help would be appreciated

 

 

Do like I did. Go get a SSD drive off Amazon. You can find 256 GB drives for less than $200.

post #54 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtidmore View Post

One last thing, I did physically partition my HDD drive into two partitions using Disk Utility before adding either SSD or HDD into Core Storage.  One partition of 50GB for swap and hibernation files and the remainder for use by Fusion.  You can partition within Core Storage, but I chose to partition the old fashioned way as I saw no advantage to having Core Storage involvement in either the swap or hibernation files.  This segregation of swap and hibernation into a separate partition may not be necessary.  Of course I had to make some changes in the dynamic pager plist file to point to the correct location and I used a sym-link to point the default hibernation file to the location on the dedicated HDD partition.  I then used SetFile to flag the dedicated swap/hibernation partition as hidden from finder as I can alway manually check it using the "Go To Folder" feature in finder

How did you achieve this? I have 8GB RAM in my MBP and my iMac will have 32GB of RAM. If I can keep that from being constantly written to on the SSD I'd like to do so, assuming the sleep image is kept on the SSD and not the HDD when using Fusion Drive.

Also, do you know how to completely disable it on ML on a new MBP that have Power Nap.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/5/13 at 3:32pm

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post #55 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I just mean for the size you're wanting. A 1TB Fusion Drive would be possible in the Mac Mini without change, since Apple uses 1TB 2.5" drives already.

To be honest, I prefer pure solid state even though the Fusion drive is very good. I would like to think that by the time the Haswell mini is released, the $799 option will offer a single 512 GB SSD.

Edit: Maybe even have the base mini offer the 256 GB. (nah that would make sense, heh).
post #56 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

To be honest, I prefer pure solid state even though the Fusion drive is very good. I would like to think that by the time the Haswell mini is released, the $799 option will offer a single 512 GB SSD.

Edit: Maybe even have the base mini offer the 256 GB. (nah that would make sense, heh).

Why does that make sense? It means the base Mac mini starts at over $300 more than the current starting price of $599. I don't think starting the Mac mini at over $900 and only going up from there make any sense at all.

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post #57 of 123
CoreStorage doesn't care at all what kind of drives you put in a logical volume. HDDs or SSDs in any combination and whatever size. While Apple is currently shipping configurations with 128GB SSDs plus the HDD, they can easily mix and match whatever sizes they want.

I suspect the Fusion Drive capabilities in CoreStorage even allow multiple SSDs and HDDs in the logical volume. It just knows there are SSDs within the set and uses those for whatever it flags for faster access.

While a 3GB SSD is technically superior to a Fusion based volume of the same size, the cost between the two is very different.
post #58 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

To be honest, I prefer pure solid state even though the Fusion drive is very good. I would like to think that by the time the Haswell mini is released, the $799 option will offer a single 512 GB SSD.
Edit: Maybe even have the base mini offer the 256 GB. (nah that would make sense, heh).

Don't hold your breath. A 512 GB SSD is $350-600 all by itself. I can't see how a Mini with 512 GB is going to sell for $799. Prices are dropping, but not that fast.

Fusion offers a nice balance. 64 GB of SSD is enough to have a huge impact on performance with only a modest cost increase.
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post #59 of 123

Power Nap ONLY applies to total SSD based Retina models.  I have a new ivy bridge 15" MBP and Power Nap does not even appear as an option. With 16GB of RAM in my new MBP, I really did not want that much SSD space taken by the hibernation file, thus the desire to move it to a dedicated HDD partition along with swap.  I know that putting swap onto the HDD does exact a small performance penalty when paging occurs, but with large installed RAM that is an infrequent event.  

 

First off, BEFORE you do anything related to Core Storage, make a bootable backup of your system, then boot off the backup and use the good old fashioned Disk Utility to physically partition the internal HDD into two partitions.  I chose 50GB as the first partition as I wanted the swap to be on the fastest part of the drive (I named the partition, swap).  The remainder (700GB) was given over to Core Storage.  I also partitioned the SSD into one large partition.  How you do this is to use the diskutil list command to get the partition identifiers and then use that information in the diskutil cs create command.  You want to make sure that you list the SSD as the 1ST drive in the diskutil cs create command.  Even though several partitions will show up under the SSD drive you can just use the overriding ID such as /dev/disk0, or whatever the SSD shows up as in diskutil list.  Then for the second drive you use the SPECIFIC partition ID that you intend for Fusion usage, such as /dev/disk1s3.  That way the partition that you created for swap and hibernation stays OUTSIDE of Core Storage.  The rest of the Fusion DYI is the standard diskutil cs createVolume command such as 

diskutil coreStorage createVolume 50B457C3-ADC6-4EDC-9ABA-FD8C6EEDE69A jhfs+ "Macintosh HD" 100%

That done, restore your OS to the newly minted Fusion drive.  I chose to do a clean ML install followed by a restore from other drive option (choosing my bootable backup as the source).  That way I was sure that the OS installed as a clean Fusion environment unadulterated by my previous installation.  Then you have to go back to the command line and do a bit more work.  I used Lingon to edit my plist file, but use your favorite plist editor.

 

 

To move the swapfile, changes are made to /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist 

 

Here is the file as originally written by Apple.

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs$

<plist version="1.0">

<dict>

    <key>EnableTransactions</key>

    <true/>

    <key>HopefullyExitsLast</key>

    <true/>

    <key>Label</key>

    <string>com.apple.dynamic_pager</string>

    <key>OnDemand</key>

    <false/>

    <key>ProgramArguments</key>

    <array>

        <string>/sbin/dynamic_pager</string>

        <string>-F</string>

        <string>/private/var/vm/swapfile</string>

    </array>

</dict>

</plist>

 

Here is the file as modified.

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs$

<plist version="1.0">

<dict>

    <key>EnableTransactions</key>

    <true/>

    <key>HopefullyExitsLast</key>

    <true/>

    <key>Label</key>

    <string>com.apple.dynamic_pager</string>

    <key>OnDemand</key>

    <false/>

    <key>ProgramArguments</key>

<array>

    <string>/bin/bash</string>

    <string>-c</string>

    <string>/bin/wait4path /Volumes/swap/ &amp;&amp;

/sbin/dynamic_pager -F /Volumes/swap/swapfile</string>

</array>

 

</dict>

</plist>

 

These changes do two things.  The first is the wait4path shell command that holds off attempting to mount the swapfile until the path is valid.  This is necessary as the SSD boot drive is incredibly fast and as such on booting, the rotating drive containing the swapfile needs to be given time to come online.  The second part of the changes points OSX to the NEW location of the swapfile, /Volumes/swap

 

Then you can delete the swap file completely from the default /private/var/vm directory.  Reboot and verify that a new swapfile was NOT rewritten to the old default location but rather to /Volumes/swap.  

 

To get hibernation moved to the dedicated HDD partition, just copy the existing hibernation file in /private/var/vm over to the dedicated swap partition then delete it from /private/var/vm.  Then use the following to create the sym-link between the default location and the dedicated HDD partition.

 

 

sudo ln -s /Volumes/swap/sleepimage /private/var/vm

 

Finally, you may want to hide the swap partition so that it does not appear in finder.  To do this you will need the developer command line package that comes with XCode.  This does NOT install automatically with XCode, you have to do it once XCode is installed from within XCode itself.

 

 

sudo SetFile -a V /Volumes/swap  Then reboot.

post #60 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why does that make sense? It means the base Mac mini starts at over $300 more than the current starting price of $599. I don't think starting the Mac mini at over $900 and only going up from there make any sense at all.

I mean have the $599 Mac mini and at least offer either the 1 TB Fusion Drive as with the base model iMac or the 256 GB SSD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Don't hold your breath. A 512 GB SSD is $350-600 all by itself. I can't see how a Mini with 512 GB is going to sell for $799. Prices are dropping, but not that fast.
Fusion offers a nice balance. 64 GB of SSD is enough to have a huge impact on performance with only a modest cost increase.

I mean have the option of a 512 GB for whatever Apple chooses to sell it for.

Maybe Apple doesn't believes in very limited choices for the customer. I believe in having many options.
post #61 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why does that make sense? It means the base Mac mini starts at over $300 more than the current starting price of $599. I don't think starting the Mac mini at over $900 and only going up from there make any sense at all.

I mean have the $599 Mac mini and at least offer either the 1 TB Fusion Drive as with the base model iMac or the 256 GB SSD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Don't hold your breath. A 512 GB SSD is $350-600 all by itself. I can't see how a Mini with 512 GB is going to sell for $799. Prices are dropping, but not that fast.
Fusion offers a nice balance. 64 GB of SSD is enough to have a huge impact on performance with only a modest cost increase.

I mean have the option of a 512 GB for whatever Apple chooses to sell it for.
post #62 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I mean have the $599 Mac mini and at least offer either the 1 TB Fusion Drive as with the base model iMac or the 256 GB SSD.

Then what would you remove from the Mac mini to keep the price the same? Don't say Apple has enough money so they can sell it just above cost.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/5/13 at 6:00pm

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post #63 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Then what would you remove from the Mac mini to keep the price the same? Don't say Apple has enough money so they can sell it just above cost.

My fault, I mean as a BTO not standard. It would be asking too much to have Apple replace the 500 GB HDD with a 1 TB HDD or 1 TB Fusion and still sell it for $599.

Here is what I mean.

Looking at it now, you have the base mini at $599.

There should at least be options for a 1 TB hard drive for another $100 and the 1 TB Fusion for $250 or SSD for $300. Or offer a 128 GB SSD only for $150.

Hopefully I didn't leave anything out.
post #64 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

My fault, I mean as a BTO not standard. It would be asking too much to have Apple replace the 500 GB HDD with a 1 TB HDD or 1 TB Fusion and still sell it for $599.
Here is what I mean.

Looking at it now, you have the base mini at $599.

There should at least be options for a 1 TB hard drive for another $100 and the 1 TB Fusion for $250 or SSD for $300. Or offer a 128 GB SSD only for $150.
Hopefully I didn't leave anything out.

Ah, yeah it would be nice to get more BTO options on the lower end but that's how all the vendors get you to upgrade to a better machine. Sometimes it's because of limited resources so they put these desired components with the higher-end first, which is what I think has happened recently, but most of the time it's just designed to maximize profits. I can't say I'd not do that if I were in the same position. I'm just glad I'll be able to get a 27" iMac with a 3Tb Fusion Drive but with only 8GB RAM.

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post #65 of 123
If that's the case then they just need to improve the BTO options across the board. There was a 750 GB HDD option on the last base model of the Mac mini, they should have that or 1 TB. I think trying to get people to upgrade for minimal improvements actually hurts them in the long run.
post #66 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

 

No. Files get moved ALL of the time. In fact, on Windows, people routinely run defrag programs that move things all around. As users, we shouldn't have to be concerned with the location of bits. The OS handles that for us. On a single hard drive, a file is often split over multiple sectors and it's not a problem. In a fusion drive, bit can reside on multiple devices, just like they do on RAID systems (although without any redundancy). It just works. Of course, a fusion drive will lose data if a drive fails, but that's true of any drive failure unless measures are taken to protect the data. Fusion is not a substitute for backups.

 

 

 

No. See above.

 


 

Every time a file is moved there is a chance, albeit a very small one, that something will go wrong.

 

Hard drive manufacturers publish unrecoverable error rates for their devices along the lines of "fewer than one in 10^14". That's extremely low, but my iTunes library contains roughly 2x10^12 bits. If I copy it to from one device with with an unrecoverable error rate of 10^14 to a second one with the same error rate then  ignoring everything else that could go wrong (power failure, Finder becomes unresponsive, error in RAM, network connection drops, etc.) there's a 4% chance of corruption during that copy. That's not an insignificant risk.

 

Even worse is the fact that OS X file handling takes all sorts of unacceptable risks with your data. Most significantly source files are deleted BEFORE the destination files are verified. If anything goes wrong with permissions, duplicate filename handling or some signal glitch on the USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt bus or network connection, you lose BOTH copies of the file. Apple really needs some Unix gurus to fix the low level file system and mark the code off-limits to everyone else especially the Finder team.

 

The laws of probability say a system with 2 independent drives will, on average, fail in half the time of a 1 drive system. Add all the extra wear and tear on both the SSD and hard drive caused by moving files back and forth all the time and I would be surprised to see Fusion systems last 20% as long as traditional single drive storage. Combine that with Apple file system APIs doing the actual moving and you've got a disaster waiting to happen.

post #67 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post
The laws of probability say a system with 2 independent drives will, on average, fail in half the time of a 1 drive system. Add all the extra wear and tear on both the SSD and hard drive caused by moving files back and forth all the time and I would be surprised to see Fusion systems last 20% as long as traditional single drive storage. Combine that with Apple file system APIs doing the actual moving and you've got a disaster waiting to happen.

I just place an order for 27"  iMac with 3TB fusion drive. It's good to hear the fusion drive will last longer than traditional single drive. But why is this a disaster waiting to happen? Are you saying the fusion drive will crash?

post #68 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtidmore View Post

(post #59 here)

Excellent post! Clear instructions and all. I personally don't need it as I installed OSX, including my home directory on my 256GB PCIe SSD but I certainly expect a lot of people using your precise instructions to configure their Mac this way. Props to you sir.
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post #69 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Every time a file is moved there is a chance, albeit a very small one, that something will go wrong.

Most significantly source files are deleted BEFORE the destination files are verified.


See now that is where my concerns with this fusion drive lie. And not much at all has been written about this. "All hail the mighty imac and everything that comes from the land if the Apple".

Yes I am still planning to buy a 27" imac (5400 rpm seems like it would result on the last of my hairs being pulled out from the top of my head) so going to the 27" options I'm going the extra $200 for the 1g vram and letting others experience the thrill of fusion drive - i'll read all reports over the next 12 months and when I'm probably buying a pc/imac again, I'm hoping it won't be needed for another 5 years, that's when I can probably ssd it all at better pricing - who knows?

I'm in a great position of never using ssd at home or work. IGNORANCE IS BLISS. In fact using my 6/7 year old pc takes me back to the feeling of using dial up Internet. With an amazing 1gb ram (NOT VRAM) and integrated graphics

So the speed of the 7200rpm and 3.2 ghz cpu and 8 gb ram is going to be, let's say, a slight upgrade to what I have at the moment

Thanks for feedback and views on the fusion from all sides of the fence
Edited by iquestiony - 1/6/13 at 3:20am
post #70 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX 
I'm not sure if 64GB will be enough Windows users but I have been using an 80GB SSD as my boot and app drive for years and have never gone past 40GB. I think they could make it work but I don't see how the performance would be as good as Apple's Fusion Drive if it was just a hybrid-drive. They will need a service running on the OS to take full advantage or what files go on each storage type.

From now on, the (2013?) Seagate hybrid drive will use Intel's SRT technology, which is the same as Fusion. It says that it works independently of the OS so it will be a firmware-level implementation. The drive itself will determine which files are accessed most frequently and adjust the locations of the data internally.

That's actually a better way to do it in some repsects because it would work like a normal drive so you wouldn't have compatibility problems with Disk utility or Bootcamp like Fusion does and it probably wouldn't have a partition limit. It will work in external enclosures too so Seagate could come out with a USB 3 or Thunderbolt bus-powered drive that is 1.5-2TB and performs like an SSD for certain tasks like copying folders of images or cloned backups.

I thought Seagate and WD might be dead in the water but this is a really good way forward for them. If you can get by with a 256-500GB of storage, an SSD will be a better option but for laptop users who want the fast boot times and fast random writes as well as lots of storage in a single drive, it will be a good option.
post #71 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


From now on, the (2013?) Seagate hybrid drive will use Intel's SRT technology, which is the same as Fusion. 

Ok, One More Time....SRT is NOT the same as Fusion.  Yes, there are some similarities but Fusion is actually part of the larger Apple Core Storage platform in OSX.  Core Storage is a logical pooled volume manager subsystem where physical devices are abstracted/consolidated into a pool of storage that can be sliced/diced as desired. All storage I/O passes thru the uniform Core Storage subsystem for logical devices assigned out of the physical pool of storage.  It is more closely matched to SUN's ZFS than INTEL's SRT.  While at the moment, Fusion is a single SSD fused to a single HDD, Core Storage has NO limitation as to how many and what types of storage devices you can put into the pool and/or fuse together.   SRT is a hardware solution tied totally to the actual HDD where as Core Storage abstracts the physical into logical and allows far more than just caching of data.  SRT is limited to 64GB, while Fusion has NO limitations on the size of the SSD.  Don't confuse the 4GB of dedicated cache that Core Storage carves out of the SSD with SRT as they are different animals.  This is not to say that SRT is not a valid technology. It will result in faster data storage response, but it provides NO ability to pool physical drives into a logical pool, nor does it abstract the physical hardware from the OS.  Core Storage is enterprise class storage technology that is far more forward looking than SRT.  SRT is INTEL's way of attempting to take the bull by the horns as MS has not been able to more storage technology forward since NTFS (and that was actually DEC technology that Dave Cutler brought over when he and his team were booted out of DEC and wound up at MS to deliver NT).  INTEL always solves issues with hardware as that is what they are, a hardware focused company.  Could we PLEASE STOP saying that Fusion is the same as SRT.  They are only as similar as a sports car is to SUV.

 

David

post #72 of 123

Given how cheap 256GB SSDs are nowadays, the only reasonable explanation I can imagine to this strong promotion of "Fusion drives" is that somebody (either Apple or a partner) has a worrying stock of 128GB SSDs and they don't know how to get rid of the stock. Other than that, I cannot find an explanation for pushing the Fusion drive this hard, considering how cheap 256GB SSDs are now, and even 512GB SSDs start to be quite affordable for low-end machines...

post #73 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

 

Even worse is the fact that OS X file handling takes all sorts of unacceptable risks with your data. Most significantly source files are deleted BEFORE the destination files are verified. If anything goes wrong with permissions, duplicate filename handling or some signal glitch on the USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt bus or network connection, you lose BOTH copies of the file. Apple really needs some Unix gurus to fix the low level file system and mark the code off-limits to everyone else especially the Finder team.

 

 

Please provide references to your allegation.  HFS+ is getting long in the tooth but as long as you have it configured as journaled, it first writes to the journal, then the destination, then verifies the destination write before marking the journal entry completed.  Yes, HFS+ can get permissions out of whack now and then, but there are tools to repair that and permissions will NOT result in loss of data.  As with any sufficiently advanced file system, there are maintenance routines that should be run periodically, such as repair file permissions, Alsoft's Disk Warrior to ensure that the directory structure is clean and optimized, and even an occasional defrag although HFS+ is less prone to fragmentation issues.  In almost a decade of OSX experience, personal and in the enterprise, I have never lost a file, something that I can't say for FAT/NTFS.

 

David


Edited by dtidmore - 1/6/13 at 9:22am
post #74 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

Given how cheap 256GB SSDs are nowadays, the only reasonable explanation I can imagine to this strong promotion of "Fusion drives" is that somebody (either Apple or a partner) has a worrying stock of 128GB SSDs and they don't know how to get rid of the stock. Other than that, I cannot find an explanation for pushing the Fusion drive this hard, considering how cheap 256GB SSDs are now, and even 512GB SSDs start to be quite affordable for low-end machines...

I think a more reasonable explanation of the fusion drive is that 3TB SSDs don't exist. It's not about how cheap small SSDs are. It's more about capacity.
post #75 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

Given how cheap 256GB SSDs are nowadays, the only reasonable explanation I can imagine to this strong promotion of "Fusion drives" is that somebody (either Apple or a partner) has a worrying stock of 128GB SSDs and they don't know how to get rid of the stock. Other than that, I cannot find an explanation for pushing the Fusion drive this hard, considering how cheap 256GB SSDs are now, and even 512GB SSDs start to be quite affordable for low-end machines...

Fusion is NOT about unloading 128GB SSDs.  It is about delivery SSD performance AND massive data storage at an affordable price.  SSD prices have fallen but they are still at or slightly above $1/GB for your better SSD drives.  Top end, 750GB, 7200rpm 2.5" HDD's cost between 10-20 cents/GB, so the economics are still significantly better on HDD. I have almost 1TB (750GB HDD + 180GB SSD) of Fusion storage on my latest ivy bridge MBP which is something that I could NOT afford in SSD only form and the performance is virtually the same as SSD only.  Yes, I could live inside a 512GB SSD but that would leave me with little growth room and that would still cost me far more than the Fusion combo I am running personally as well as on several other macs.  HDD technology has been written off so many times during my career that I have lost count.  The most recent breakthough is a way, using existing manufacturing production lines, to create random wells of magnetic containment such that they don't interfere with each other even when made an order of magnitude smaller and closer together.  Assuming this makes it into production (Seagate has already announced plans), we will see the price/unit stored in HDD drop once again keeping it the preferred storage media for massive data.  SSD will overtake HDD for many things, but at least for the near term, massive storage is not one of them.

 

David

post #76 of 123
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
I think a more reasonable explanation of the fusion drive is that 3TB SSDs don't exist. It's not about how cheap small SSDs are. It's more about capacity.

 

I was going to say the same, but then I realized he was talking more about how FD uses 128GB SSDs instead of 256 GB ones. He's on our side—commenting more on the small size of the SSD (at the price ratio) than anything else.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

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post #77 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I was going to say the same, but then I realized he was talking more about how FD uses 128GB SSDs instead of 256 GB ones. He's on our side—commenting more on the small size of the SSD (at the price ratio) than anything else.

As you know the point of the Fusion Drive is to bridge the gap between performance and capacity. As a user of dual drives in my MBP for years and a user of the Fusion Drive since a week after it was announced I can see it does this very well.

Using a 256GB SSD would just add a lot more cost and only 1/8th of an extra TB of storage capacity. You will not see a speed up in your file access by using a larger SSD. In fact, due to the nature of denser NAND it's possible that it could actually slow down performance depending on how the make this double capacity SSD.

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post #78 of 123
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
As you know the point of the Fusion Drive is to bridge the gap between performance and capacity. As a user of dual drives in my MBP for years and a user of the Fusion Drive since a week after it was announced I can see it does this very well.
Using a 256GB SSD would just add a lot more cost and only 1/8th of an extra TB of storage capacity. You will not see a speed up in your file access by using a larger SSD. In fact, due to the nature of denser NAND it's possible that it could actually slow down performance depending on how the make this double capacity SSD.


Right, right. I imagine Apple decided not to go with Seagate drives for that very reason. They would have done testing on a host of combinations and configurations, finally settling on the one that gave a large enough SSD to be meaningfully usable while not being too large as to still be prohibitively expensive.

 

I bet there's a prototype iMac with a 1TB hard drive and a 32GB NAND chip sitting at Apple somewhere.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #79 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Right, right. I imagine Apple decided not to go with Seagate drives for that very reason. They would have done testing on a host of combinations and configurations, finally settling on the one that gave a large enough SSD to be meaningfully usable while not being too large as to still be prohibitively expensive.

I bet there's a prototype iMac with a 1TB hard drive and a 32GB NAND chip sitting at Apple somewhere.

Seagate drives for the SSDs? I am under the impression they use the SSD cards in the iMacs which likely means they are Samsung or Toshiba.

As I've stated many times with my setup over the years I have an 80GB MLC Intel X25 G2 SSD but I have never used more than half of it for system and apps. If I were to do it all over again I would have gone with a 64GB SLC SSD which I think would likely be the bare minimum one would want to use but since my biggest app is Xcode and I don't have any of those large Adobe app suites installed it's more than sufficient for my needs. I have a hard time thinking of any usage type that would need the 256 or 512 GB that has been requested for Fusion Drive.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/6/13 at 11:08am

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post #80 of 123
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
Seagate drives for the SSDs?

 

I mean they decided to go with (I'd say "come up with", but I'd be called a troll for thinking that Apple could ever create anything) Fusion Drive as it is because existing "hybrid drive" solutions (such as the one from Seagate that real trolls pretend is exactly like Fusion Drive) didn't do what they desired.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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