Mac mini fusion drive performance
Fusion drives can work with two drives of any type, as long as one is faster than the other, but this guide assumes you're using a single SSD and a single platter-based hard drive, each of which will be formatted as a single volume with Disk Utility , using the Mac OS Extended Journaled format.
The commands we will use instruct core storage to make our two drives ready for use as a Fusion drive by first adding them to a core storage pool of logical devices, and then combining them into a logical volume. Core storage can use an entire drive or a drive that has been partitioned into multiple volumes with Disk Utility.
As an experiment, we tried creating a working Fusion drive that consisted of two partitions. One partition was located on the faster SSD; the second partition was located on a standard hard drive. While this configuration worked, I don't recommend it. The Fusion drive can't be deleted or split into individual partitions; any attempt to perform either action causes diskutil to fail. You can recover the drives manually by reformatting them, but you'll lose any data that was in any partitions contained on the drives.
Apple has also stated that Fusion is to be used with two entire drives that have not been divided into multiple partitions, as this capability could be deprecated at any time. Therefore, it's best to use two entire drives for creating your Fusion drive; don't try to use partitions on an existing drive. This guide assumes you are using one SSD and one hard drive, neither of which has been partitioned into multiple volumes using Disk Utility. The following processes will erase any data currently stored on the two drives you'll use to create a Fusion drive. Be sure to create a current backup of all the drives your Mac uses before proceeding.
Also, if you type a disk's name incorrectly during any of the steps, it can cause you to lose the data on the disk. Both drives should be formatted as a single partition using Disk Utility. Once the drives have been formatted, they will appear on your desktop. Be sure to note each drive's name, because you'll need this information shortly. Once the process is complete, they will become a single volume named Fusion.
Putting Fusion Drive’s Performance in Perspective
By the way, the "s" in the disk name indicates it's a drive that has been partitioned; the number after the s is the partition number. Even when you format a drive on your Mac, you're going to see at least two partitions when you view the drive using Terminal and diskutil. We can just ignore the EFI partition here. Now that we know the disk names, it's time to create the logical volume group, which we will do on page 4 of this guide.
The most important thing to do if your Mac has a Fusion Drive: Back up your data
The next step is to use the disk names we looked up on page 2 of this guide to assign the drives to a logical volume group that core storage can use. With the disk names at hand, we're ready to perform the first step in creating a Fusion drive, which is creating the logical volume group.
Once again, we will use Terminal to execute the special core storage commands. The process of creating the logical volume group will erase all data on the two drives. Be sure to have a current backup of the data on both drives before you begin. Also, pay special attention to the device names you use. This name won't show up on your Mac as the volume name for the finished Fusion drive. You can use any name you like; I suggest using lowercase letters or numbers, with no spaces or special characters. Apple's stubborn attachment to mechanical storage in premium-priced computers is offensive.
Once you hit the HDD, it'll suck, thanks to the bottom-tier rpm drives Apple uses. Think about how much that's going to drive you nuts not now, but 24 or 36 months from now. I agree with other recommendations: Get the machine with the largest SSD you can afford and pair it with good quality external storage. Assuming you keep this Mac in service for a while, you'll be able to upgrade and improve that external storage over time, particularly as SSD prices continue to drop.
So basically that only gives me like 10 GB for apps and stuff. Now that I think about it some more I don't really know why I'm even considering it.
Fusion drive on OSX with two SSD drives - Macintosh How To
The is my personal machine. The is so frustrating to use that I want to throw it out a window. The other day, all I had to do was print an attachment from an email, and it took literally 20 minutes wait for it to wake from sleep, wait for my email app to launch, wait for the attachment to open in Preview, wait for the print utility to launch, etc Point is: if there's any chance the experience will be like that, even if only for some of the time Not worth it.
I'll save up longer and wait to buy the machine to get a real SSD. It is obnoxious that I can't easily access the iMac's SSD and replace it with a much more capacious one. The problem is that Apple's SSD pricing, much like its computers, is several years out of date. Fuck off with that, I'd be willing to invest in a lower-end drive, a set of iMac-opening tools, and a Samsung instead. I think that is probably sufficient for most people's fusion needs.
Twenty-four is just anemic. Upgrading to an SSD on the is so easy too.
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It is totally worth it. Cruzmisl wrote: Upgrading to an SSD on the is so easy too. The physical process of an SSD upgrade for laptops of that vintage takes under 10 minutes, and that's if you stop for a bathroom break in the middle of it.
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Anyone can do it. Tsur wrote: What would happen if you accidentally disconnected an external drive from a Fusion set up?
Bad things which is why I'd only advocate it for a system where that's not a risk. But the iMacs are nearly 2 years old now, and Apple has never lowered pricing on old computers until the new ones come out. The 4-year old Mac Pro is still the same price today as it was when it came out 4 years ago. So that's why the pricing for SSD upgrades is several years out of date.
The root cause is Apple hasn't bothered updating their hardware and has a policy not to reduce price mid-product cycle. Note that Apple's SSDs aren't generic ones. They're still overpriced, but not as bad as comparing to generic ones. Another thing to consider between pure SSD and a Fusion setup talking internal is what happens when that spinning drive inside the case starts to age.
At this point, I'd only consider getting an internal SSD, as that is likely to last longer than an HD, then supplement with external storage or use external SSDs for boot, they're plenty fast enough. Apple really needs to make storage more easily accessible on the iMacs, but they seem to be going the wrong direction. My work machine is one of the 1TB 24GB fusion drive setups, and truthfully I have no complaints with it for what it does as a work desk machine. I only use a few core set of apps Adobe CS, other productivity things and I work almost exclusively off of a network server.
The extra storage is for iTunes and infrequently used apps. The machine at least when launching and using apps is super responsive and is completely faster than my old iMac. Honestly, the 1TB fusion drive would not be acceptable if I wasn't working off of network volumes, but it does do the job fairly well, all things considered. The system acted like everything was on SSD, though, and I knew when I was going to have to wait for slow disk access.
Instead, Apple has stuck with its Fusion Drive tech as the default, which combines a small SSD and a large hard disk in a way that presents them to you as a single drive.
Behind the scenes, macOS works out what data you use most often — at the block level, not simply whole files — and keeps as much as possible on the SSD. It moves less important data to the hard disk without you having to think about where things are at. The former holds Windows 10 and your apps, the latter your personal files. But, as we said earlier, look closely for other compromises.
Since , it has reduced that to just 24GB in 1TB models. The former alternates between writing and reading a 5GB file. Want to see how a Fusion Drive holds up?
Check out our imminent Spoiler: the hard disk part is a real performance bottleneck. QuickBench revealed that the SSD is actually capable of higher transfer rates — up to 3.