Mac Mini i7 2.6 Fusion is FAST like SSD

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by Hugo Drax, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Hugo Drax

    Hugo Drax Diamond Member

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    Like having a 1TB SSD although its really tiered storage. But its smart enough to cache the right stuff to make the computer feel like SSD. Even surfing is snappier due to the write caching to SSD.

    Definitely worth it if you want a turnkey solution.
     
  2. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    Im surprised honestly that Apple didn't come out with this earlier on, but nonetheless it is a great addition to the storage options they have nowadays.
     
  3. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    What's the difference between Apple's fusion drives and the hybrid drives Seagate has?
     
  4. dlock13

    dlock13 Platinum Member

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    It's revolutionary of course.
     
  5. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    There's one major difference between them. As the OP pointed out, "Fusion" is really just tiered storage, or to use what may be more common computer terms... a "smart JBOD array." It automatically comes with the operating system placed into the 128GB flash partition and moves files that are used the most into flash. Hybrid drives don't have nearly that much NAND and will only make copies of files to place into flash.

    Oh, and it's a lot more expensive. :p Probably not a surprise since it's most likely a 128GB mSATA drive + 1TB HDD.
     
  6. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    So are they using two separate drives or is it a hybrid drive?
     
  7. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    #7 Aikouka, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  8. slashbinslashbash

    slashbinslashbash Golden Member

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    Yes, it is two separate drives, and it is not technically caching either (like the Momentus XT or Intel's SSD Cache feature), since the files reside either on the SSD or the HDD, but not both. Personally I wouldn't mind if it was just a cache; I would actually feel somewhat better about it. But then again, I am a paranoid freak, and hopefully anybody who uses a Mac for their everyday machine also uses Time Machine to backup regularly.
     
  9. Hugo Drax

    Hugo Drax Diamond Member

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    It uses two drives, OS files reside on the SSD, frequently used apps,files get moved to the SSD and stick there. All writes go to SSD, a 4GB section carved out for writes, which get deferred to either the spindle (FDD) or go straight to SSD if it is part of a file that already exists.

    I had to move some cables and I shut down the mac mini with all my windows open including a Virtual machine running ubuntu 12.10 64bit and on boot up it was instant, even all the windows were right there instantly. and the virtual just popped in.

    Now the technology "Core storage" did not exist till 10.7.x and they probably were working on it and felt comfortable introducting this fusion drive tiering during the new hardware that was qualified with 10.8.2 and by then core storage has been tested quite a bit internally.

    The drive shows up as one volume. Although it is two separate drives (SSD + FDD)

    Definitely worth paying extra for this, its a turn key solution and it works.
     
  10. Zink

    Zink Senior member

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    The drive shows up as being 1TB + 128GB in size though doesn't it? It gives you more storage than a caching drive which is important once bigger SSD sizes become standard and you have 1TB + 256GB. It's the same risk and performance as having a separate SSD for software but the OS decides which files go where automatically instead of having to figure out which drive each program needs to be installed on and how to free up more SSD space.
     
  11. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    You meant HDD. But otherwise you're dead-on I think.
     
  12. TuxDave

    TuxDave Lifer

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  13. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    No. SRT is caching, so the data is mirrored on both drives, the SSD doesn't net you any additional space.

    This piece here from Ars outlines how it is different.

    Also, apparently a person can make their own Fusion Drive, which is nice for people that drop their own SSDs into MBPs and hackintosh owners. Or for older Minis... the list goes on.
     
  14. bearxor

    bearxor Diamond Member

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    No, it not the Intel SRT.

    SRT uses a smallish SSD, say 20GB, to cache common accessible files from the hard drive.

    Fusion Drive does some of this too, but for the most part, the most commonly used files actually reside only on the SSD. In Hybrid setups the SSD is a cache of the mechanical drive, meaning two copies of your files exist.
     
  15. jalaram

    jalaram Lifer

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    Is there any article on how roll your own? My MBP has a 128 SSD and 500 HDD in it.
     
  16. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    It was in the linked article, but because I am super nice here you go
     
  17. TuxDave

    TuxDave Lifer

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    Ah, thanks for the article.
     
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