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Author Topic: Mac upgrade advice  (Read 10991 times)
Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2012, 10:09:30 AM »
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Well, as I said, I have no personal experience with the Fusion technology, which makes it rather futile to argue in depth about its merits and faults.  Obviously, the Fusion drive (or at least its marketing) is mainly aimed at īconsumerī users, who want a fast and easy-to-use Mac for their intended use.  Nothing wrong with that; it is exactly my own attitude towards my car... Smiley  And most of MacWorldīs contents is primarily aimed at that market segment, too.  For all I know, the Fusion may be a gift from heaven for them.

My own conclusion, based on my previous experience, plus reading up the subject from more deeply going sources like ArsTechnica and Lloyd, is that the technique is simply an unnecessary complication for me and my needs, also one that leaves me with far less control than I like.  Space on a modern SSD isnīt THAT limited and expensive, so some informed deliberation over what goes where will leave one with an SSD system volume with enough free space to run well, plus a HD volume for the rest, a volume rather seldom accessed, and thus mainly silent (the HD portion of a Fusion drive gets up and running for each and every R/W operation to that logical volume, even if only the SSD is involved; something that never happens with my present setup).  And, in case either the SSD or the HD goes belly-up, I have only one volume to restore; the Fusion goes bust in its entirety. Obviously, backups, or disk clones are important in either case, but the task of getting back up is simpler with separate volumes.

Like most decisions, mine may prove wrong.  But I canīt see I risk very grave consequences if it does; itīs like getting a manual gearbox for a car instead of an automatic one (which happens to be my choice for my own car): itīs just a tiny bit more footwork - but far more control.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 10:11:05 AM by Per Ofverbeck » Logged

Per Ofverbeck
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2012, 10:46:18 AM »
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Well, as I said, I have no personal experience with the Fusion technology, which makes it rather futile to argue in depth about its merits and faults.  Obviously, the Fusion drive (or at least its marketing) is mainly aimed at īconsumerī users, who want a fast and easy-to-use Mac for their intended use.  Nothing wrong with that;
Per, I do respect your opinion, believe me. However, maybe being a computer engineering and knowing the matter quite well, I strongly disagree with the consumer aspect.
Your kind reply is mostly an "I don't know what it is but I know how to work the old way with a fast SSD". Nothing wrong with that, just please try to avoid judgments like that Smiley

Faster HDD =  evolution. Bigger SSD = evolution. Sum of them = (maybe?) revolution.
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2012, 10:47:28 AM »
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FWIW, Tim Cook has said that Apple has not forgotten the pro user and is working on a new Mac Pro that he thinks people will like that should be out next year. Just Google MacPro 2013.

Jim
Indeed. Unfortunately, except for Tim's word and a bunch of crystal balls, why don't know absolutely nothing more.  Undecided
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2012, 05:06:45 PM »
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It would be questionable to move data after a small number of reads. That would stress the mechanics over necessary.

Assuming I want to read data five times and it doesn't get moved, I use the hard drive and "stress the mechanics" 5 times

Assuming that after 2 read operations, a third one is devoted to moving the data during idle time, I "stress the mechanics" 3 times.

Also, is that your qualified opinion that reading data off a hard "drive stresses the mechanics"?

Any specific reason that would prevent me from using a third party SSD and a third party hard drive to exploit the "Fusion" concept? If there is a specific reason, would you put it at the hardware or at the OS level?

You mention "Fusion" is a revolution? Where does the revolution term come from? Storage tiering? Virtual drives?

Regarding the 5400rpm disk, benchmarks show about 80 MBps in sustained write speed. Even FW800 may struggle to reach those speeds. Definitely not a bottleneck.

If 80 MBps sustained is not a bottleneck, any reason why people are selling, buying and using faster devices?
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K.C.
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2012, 07:58:21 PM »
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Indeed. Unfortunately, except for Tim's word and a bunch of crystal balls, why don't know absolutely nothing more.  Undecided

Unless you're a Beta tester for OSX and then I could might tell suggest to you that the drivers for one of the best video cards in the industry are in the latest build. A full size, very powerful video card that will not fit in an iMac. You can't test the drivers in the OS unless you've got a Mac that runs the card and they're not adding the drivers just for fun.

That's also where the Mini takes a significant back seat to the latest iMacs. Video is integrated, not bad, but not a separate and much more powerful card.

Now also give some thought to the new iMacs having a significantly less (70% claimed) reflective display than the model it replaces. It's the very same display but the glass that gave it the reflective issue is now gone. I have last years 27" iMac and the display calibrates very well. I'm expecting the new display will be much more widely accepted for photo and video post work and will find it's way to a much wider acceptance in the trade.
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2012, 02:03:06 AM »
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I know that K.C. 😄
Unfortunately we can't say anything more. It's happened in the past that kexts were found but then didn't translate in a commercial product.
A single test kext means nothing. Maybe within the next months we'll know more. I hope so! Smiley
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2012, 02:17:10 AM »
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Also, is that your qualified opinion that reading data off a hard "drive stresses the mechanics"?
That's not what I wrote. Read better. Moving data continuously between the hard disks is the stress factor.

Any specific reason that would prevent me from using a third party SSD and a third party hard drive to exploit the "Fusion" concept? If there is a specific reason, would you put it at the hardware or at the OS level?
You may succeed, you can create the volume via terminal and the OS should recognize the dual storage. It's still a new technology and Apple is know to prevent you some operations even if they're technically possible. Using a Samsung 830 SSD may be the best choice.

You mention "Fusion" is a revolution? Where does the revolution term come from? Storage tiering? Virtual drives?
So you just can't have more than one revolution in a field? That's questionable. I don't agree with you.


If 80 MBps sustained is not a bottleneck, any reason why people are selling, buying and using faster devices?
Again, read better. It was a compare between the speed of FW800 external disks and "slow" 5400rpm internal ones. As the internal disks reach the speed that the FW800 struggle to, it's NOT a bottleneck. Older 5400rpm 2.5" disks were slower, that's not the case.
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HSakols
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2012, 08:22:03 AM »
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I'm still confused.  For the digital darkroom would I benefit from a fussion drive rather than using the ATA drive?  Do I dare try to put a third party SSD drive in myself or pay apple for the fussion?  I have no problem putting in RAM, but it sounds like replacing the drive is more intensive work. 

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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2012, 09:58:22 AM »
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I'm still confused.  For the digital darkroom would I benefit from a fussion drive rather than using the ATA drive?  Do I dare try to put a third party SSD drive in myself or pay apple for the fussion?  I have no problem putting in RAM, but it sounds like replacing the drive is more intensive work. 

Here are several guides for work on a Mini, among them drive swapping.  As you will see, you have to dismount almost everything to get at the drive...  and obviously the warranty will be void. Still, it doesnīt look all that scary; Iīll certainly do it myself if the 256 GB SSD proves too small, after all.
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Per Ofverbeck
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2012, 10:31:27 AM »
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I'm still confused.  For the digital darkroom would I benefit from a fussion drive rather than using the ATA drive?  Do I dare try to put a third party SSD drive in myself or pay apple for the fussion?  I have no problem putting in RAM, but it sounds like replacing the drive is more intensive work. 
It's not as hard as swapping the HDD for an iMac, but it's still not that easy.
Not only you have to take your time, but then you have to buy the kit with the tools to dismount the whole Mac. Finally you'll have to create a fusion drive via command line.
If you add the cost for the SSD you'll probably still save money but… is it worth it? The choice is yours.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2012, 01:59:39 PM »
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Quote
It's not as hard as swapping the HDD for an iMac, but it's still not that easy.
Not only you have to take your time, but then you have to buy the kit with the tools to dismount the whole Mac. Finally you'll have to create a fusion drive via command line.
If you add the cost for the SSD you'll probably still save money but… is it worth it? The choice is yours.

When I did my homework about replacing the optical drive in my 27" iMac for an  SSD I looked at these factors -time and tools, testing the system, and my level of expertise- and decided it was better to let a professional do the job. Some people like opening up computers and working inside them but  while I am naturally curious about how everything fits together I decided it was worth the $150 or so to let a professional do the job, and I'm the kind of guy who likes working on cars. I have the skills to do the job, just wasn't interested in doing it. Sometimes you have to delegate.

I have respect for those who do enjoy this kind of work, it is just not my cup of coffee.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 02:03:17 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

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BJL
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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2012, 03:28:47 PM »
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For the digital darkroom would I benefit from a fussion drive rather than using the ATA drive?  Do I dare try to put a third party SSD drive in myself or pay apple for the fussion?
It seems that the "Fusion Drive" software can be applied to any combination of SSD and HDD, including an external HDD. So maybe one option is getting a fast and fairly big internal SSD, and "fusing" it to a big and fairly fast Thunderbolt external drive. Any experience or comments on this?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 03:44:16 PM by BJL » Logged
mac_paolo
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2012, 05:15:01 PM »
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It seems that the "Fusion Drive" software can be applied to any combination of SSD and HDD, including an external HDD. So maybe one option is getting a fast and fairly big internal SSD, and "fusing" it to a big and fairly fast Thunderbolt external drive. Any experience or comments on this?
Do not try that unless you really know what are you doing!!!  Shocked
The system won't boot without the external disk attached and God knows what will happen if you accidentally unplug the external disk. The whole volume may become unreadable.
A fusion drive with an external disk is a one way ticket to madness.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2012, 06:46:55 PM »
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Upgrading RAM on new iMac practically impossible:


"... Apple mentions the impracticality of memory upgrade only in a side note hidden on the iMac's options page. There, Apple said: "Every 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory built into the computer. If you think you may need 16GB of memory in the future, it is important to upgrade at the time of purchase, because memory cannot be upgraded later in this model."

The not-yet-available 27-in. iMac will continue to sport four external memory slots. Customers can boost the RAM at the time of ordering to 16GB (for an extra $200) or 32GB ($600), but those prices are exorbitant compared to third-party RAM that users install themselves. An additional 8GB of memory -- which would raise the iMac's total to 16GB -- costs just $40 at Crucial.com, for example..."

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Slobodan

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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2012, 10:16:59 PM »
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Anand (as usual) has a good article explaining Fusion Drive:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6406/understanding-apples-fusion-drive

I liked his description describing it's behavior of "pinning" frequently used files to the 128GB SSD portion, only 4GB is used as a cache.....

I was honestly considering the iMacs until I saw iFixit's teardown.....
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2544+Teardown/11936/1
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2012, 09:49:25 AM »
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Unfortunately, for those who knew Steve's thought, the strange value by iFixit was the 7/10, not the 3/10  Undecided
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Benoit Malphettes
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« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2012, 09:49:16 PM »
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re Mac Pro 2013: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/apples-mac-pro-may-be-fading-away-11012011.html?campaign_id=otbrn.bw.tech
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2012, 12:00:38 AM »
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Ahmmm... have you noticed that the linked article is more than one year old?
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Slobodan

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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2012, 04:44:30 AM »
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Ahmmm... have you noticed that the linked article is more than one year old?

Have seen any Mac Pro since this article was written ? Just saying  Grin

Henrik
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2012, 05:01:14 AM »
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Have seen any Mac Pro since this article was written ? Just saying  Grin

Henrik
Henrik, let's keep those links for MacRumors. Smiley
Here people have to decide based upon released products or product lines.
I'd be more than happy to suggest a Mac Pro in 2013, but it doesn't exist and none of us knows or will tell. Smiley
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