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Fusion drive, or should I roll my own?

 
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ed-hawco
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Fusion drive, or should I roll my own? Reply with quote

The new (late 2012) Mac Mini base HDD is a large but pokey 5400 RPM drive. There's also an option to get the new fusion drive, but it doesn't say what the speed of the HDD part of it is. I'm guessing it will also be 5400 RPM. Also, I don't have a lot of faith in the Fusion drive; I don't trust a system that moves files around "automatically."

My plan before the new machines came out was to get a 240 GB flash drive from OWC and use that as the OS drive, and shoehorn in a 500 GB 7200 RPM drive for data.

I'm still thinking of going that way, but I'll have to wait for confirmation that both drives will fit in the new machine. As far as I know there is no change to the chassis, but I don't know that for sure.

Anyone here have any insight on that? (Either thing; speed of the HDD in the fusion drive, or confirmation on the physical chassis for the late 2012 Mac Mini.)

Thanks!
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Grasshopper
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Fusion drive, or should I roll my own? Reply with quote

ed-hawco wrote:
Also, I don't have a lot of faith in the Fusion drive; I don't trust a system that moves files around "automatically."

I wouldn't worry about that too much. It's seen as one volume, so you can easily do backups with Time Machine or something like CCC.

I really think the Fusion drive is one heck of a deal. I'm seriously thinking about getting one and upgrading Mac minis.

BTW: I also think the physical drive will be spinning at 5400rpm. I don't think there are many 2.5" hard drives on the market spinning any faster than 5400rpm at 1TB.
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ed-hawco
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Grasshopper. The other worry I have with the fusion drive is that I can't see there NOT being a performance hit when working with virtual machines (Parallels, VMware, etc.).

My Windows virtual machine is about 50 GB. So If I don't open that for a while, it will get moved out of the SSD portion of the fusion drive. Then one day I open it up... what happens? Does the whole 50 GB get shuffled into the SSD drive while 50 GB of other stuff gets shuffled over to the HDD? How does that not take a while? Or am I thinking about this all wrong?
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thedeske
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apple's yet to give up much info, so hard to say if it's a good choice. Some are guessing on the tiering process. Either way it's in software. Using 2 volumes is a solid way to operate now.
I think people are used to Apple's cute names for something that works well within their garden, so bet on Fusion having a set of rules that might not fit everyone's needs.

Wait on reliable reports.

An OWC or Samsung 240 with a 750g HGST or WD Black makes a nice combo right now for performance and size.
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curt
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thedeske wrote:
Apple's yet to give up much info, so hard to say if it's a good choice.

This page has a little more info. I saw it earlier on the 123mm homepage.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5446?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
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CMYK
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: Re: Fusion drive, or should I roll my own? Reply with quote

Grasshopper writes "(the Fusion drive) is seen as one volume, so you can easily do backups with Time Machine or something like CCC."

But Apple Support FAQ says "External drives cannot be added to Fusion Drive." Doesn't that mean Time Machine or CCC can't be used with an external drive? Seems it's a major disadvantage if it's not possible to connect an external drive to a mini with a Fusion Drive. Or am I missing something?
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