Fusion Drive v.s SSD only, in live audiovisual playback/processing performance



  • I'd like to share this information and also ask izzy experts their opinions on Fusion Drive comparing with full SSD.

    for those who hasn't heard of [Fusion Drive](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Drive):

    it's a new technology that combines HDD with SSD intelligently into one core hard drive that's supposed to perform almost at full SSD speed (around 490 mb read/ 240mb write speed). It caches files from HD to SSD intelligently, however the caching size should be limited.

    For MacBook Pro users, modification of swapping CD-rom with a new SSD is available since a few years ago. You get a space for another hard drive.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Would Fusion Drive's performance actually surpass HDD and almost as close as SSD, considering it's very economic, OR would it's cashing size for video file fail to perform in high speed and rather go into slower HDD speed? Let's say in our scenario when we need to play back a couple 1080p video file or processing them in real-time.  (A Fusion Drive of 750 GB HDD + 250GB SSD is around 250$ USD)

    2. Would a SSD (256Gb) + HDD (750GB) separately setup, and put all the applications and the files that's needed for the performance be A LOT more stable and optimizing for its speed? (while still get a lot of room for storing other files that's not being used for the show, pricing probably around 200-250$ USD, or would be just around 150$ for adding 1 SSD)

    Thanks in advance


  • Tech Staff

    From my experience on my last show where we had a new Imac with a fusion drive is that SSD is still much quicker for video playback.
    I think that the Fusion drive tries to learn certain files to cache that are used regularly, and that can help particularly with your applications.
    A combination of Fusion or HDD + SSD is in my opinion the best balance of performance and price.
    The fusion has the potential to out shine a standard HDD, I have not the data to prove or disprove this, however I would be sure to get a 7200 rpm drive either way.



  • I agree the fusion drive is good but is better for everyday use and data/file movement.

    It shifts files to and from the solid state to standard HD depending on how often you use them. Its very clever and I am sure it would speed up your workflow and computer use in general but for performance (especially with video) id say option 2 would be the best.
    Drag all files/media you need on SSD and keep a bigger HDD for storage, apps, etc.


  • Looks like a separate SSD would be a better choice on this one. This is very helpful. Thanks very much guys.



  • No problem.


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