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Someone explain fusion drive

new imac fusion drive

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#1 SuperKid

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 20:27

I missed the keynote and read on the website about this fusion drive (apple never seem to give much details apart from that it will make the imac better) but it doesn't actually say if its a software or hardware thing, I have an SSD in my imac which a hard drive is it something I can make OS X use in an update? (probably not as this is apple we are talking about) just curious

Matt.


#2 SirEvan

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 20:29

it combines an SSD + HDD (128GB SSD + up to 1TB HDD) in software to present one drive.

Basically, what PC's have had for months via either motherboard support (combine say, a 32GB SSD with your hard drive) or via hybrid HDD's that have 8MB or so of flash on them. Nothing new here, but Apple brought it to you first apparently!

#3 episode

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 20:31

http://www.newegg.co...top-Hard-Drives

One of those. Just higher capacities.

#4 OP SuperKid

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 20:33

Nothing new here, but Apple brought it to you first apparently!


Ohhhhh, I never actually knew this existed before and actually thought Apple made this haha! wooow. so i guess its not something I can do with my imac i got now which has ssd and hard drive? i guess they probably updated the motherboard to support it meh!

#5 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 20:51

it combines an SSD + HDD (128GB SSD + up to 1TB HDD) in software to present one drive.

Basically, what PC's have had for months via either motherboard support (combine say, a 32GB SSD with your hard drive) or via hybrid HDD's that have 8MB or so of flash on them. Nothing new here, but Apple brought it to you first apparently!


Since when did they say they were the first?...

#6 DDStriker

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 21:48

Since when did they say they were the first?...


SuperKid implied it's the first he/she heard of it
SirEvan stated it was not new technology and has been around for some time and acknowledged that it appears brought it to SuperKid's attention first not so much that they released it first or ever claimed to do so

I could be mistaken but yeah we'll soon find out

#7 vhane

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:59

it combines an SSD + HDD (128GB SSD + up to 1TB HDD) in software to present one drive.

Basically, what PC's have had for months via either motherboard support (combine say, a 32GB SSD with your hard drive) or via hybrid HDD's that have 8MB or so of flash on them. Nothing new here, but Apple brought it to you first apparently!


Ars reckons that it's more like Automatic Tiering than a caching solution.

#8 Stetson

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:13

http://www.newegg.co...top-Hard-Drives

One of those. Just higher capacities.


Not really. It isn't an SSD cache tied to a hard drive. The OS sees an SSD and a hard drive as separate units. It manages what goes on which drive at the OS level. OS and frequently used files/apps get moved onto the SSD (and deleted from the hard drive), and files/apps that are used less frequently get moved to the hard drive (and deleted from the SSD).

Apparently also all disk write operations go first to the SSD, and then get transferred to the HDD as time allows. That's more like the caching that happens in a hybrid drive.

To be clear, this is not a caching concept, at least not in the current use of the word. Cache would imply that the data on the SSD is duplicated, and it's not. If you have a 1TB mechanical drive paired with the 128GB SSD, you have a 1.12 TB storage platform.


http://www.macobserv...n-drive-details

#9 .Neo

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:23

it combines an SSD + HDD (128GB SSD + up to 1TB HDD) in software to present one drive.

128 GB SSD + up to 3 TB HDD actually.

Basically, what PC's have had for months via either motherboard support (combine say, a 32GB SSD with your hard drive) or via hybrid HDD's that have 8MB or so of flash on them. Nothing new here, but Apple brought it to you first apparently!

A friend of mine has one of those hybrid HDDs (in his MacBook Pro FYI) and they simply cache frequently accessed files. The Fusion drive doesn't do that.

http://www.macrumors...l-hybrid-drive/

#10 richardsim7

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:25

Sounds like RAID0

#11 Muhammad Farrukh

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:26

http://gizmodo.com/5...ve?popular=true

#12 articuno1au

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:27

http://en.wikipedia....rage_management and http://en.wikipedia...._Tiered_Storage

That's what you are looking at, executed by the file system, not at a block level.

EDIT::
It's different from caching and hybrid drives technically, but in terms of what the user sees it ought be pretty similar.

#13 -Dave-

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:56

maybe they are finally using ZFS ?

#14 .Neo

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:00

Sounds like RAID0

It's not RAID.

http://www.macobserv..._medium=twitter

It's basically just a 128 GB SSD + 1-3 TB HDD with a software layer on top that presents both drives as one to the user. Disk Utility will actually show you to separate drives. OS X dynamically moves frequently accessed files from one drive to the other without the user knowing. Once again, it's not the caching system you see in Hybrid Drives. Files are actually being moved from HDD to SSD or vice versa.

#15 SirEvan

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 15:38

Since when did they say they were the first?...

Was a jab at apple hyping new features all the time that other devices already have.

And Superkid, if you want something similar, you can get a hybrid drive. Not quite the same, but they're supposed to increase performance over regular HDD's by around 3x. Some PC motherboards allow you to use an SSD to do something similar, where they'll cache frequently used files on an SSD, to improve the responsiveness of the system.

http://www.anandtech...79-pro-review/4

Users of Intel’s Z68 Smart Response Technology that were dismayed when SRT was not a part of the X79 specifications will be overjoyed to see something similar to Intel’s operation on ASUS’ X79 range. By placing two compatible drives (typically a mechanical HDD and a formatted SSD) in the appropriate SATA ports, the software and hardware implementation will let the SSD act as a cache, in order to improve loading times to the mechanical HDD, just like Intel’s RST



http://www.intel.com...technology.html

Intel® Smart Response Technology2 is a feature of Intel Rapid Storage Technology that enables a lower-cost, small-capacity SSD to be used in conjunction with a high-capacity hard disk drive. The combination results in a high-performance, cost-effective storage solution. You still have access to the storage capacity you need to store your movies, games, and other disk-intensive retrieval applications, but now you don’t have to sacrifice speed.

  • Faster boot times
  • 2x faster game launches3,4
  • 2x faster storage I/O performance3,5
  • Quick access to your favorite files