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  #1  
Old 09-12-2016, 01:44 AM
Tyranor Tyranor is offline
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Default iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Greeting everyone,

I need a bit of advice.

I'm currently running PT11HD (standalone software) on late 2012 21,5" iMac with 16gb of RAM, 512Mb of video, 1Tb fusion drive and 3.1Ghz i7. OSX Yosemite.

I do audio post production and the current machine works fine but I'm getting busier and want to upgrade it to more powerful one + 27" screen.

I cannot buy current iMac because I then have to upgrade to PT12 and I'm not ready to do so.

I looked at the options and there is two available.

1) iMac 27" late 2013
3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz).
32GB (four 8GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory;
512GB PCIe SSD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics processor with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

2)iMac 27" late 2013
iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) - Technical Specifications
3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz).
32GB (four 8GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory
3TB Fusion Drive

Both have Apple warranty till July 2017. The difference is $500 (1st option is more expensive)

1st option looks better but I never worked with pcie SSD. Are they preferable to fusion drive? Obviously they are faster but is there any Pro Tools related issues with them? Are they more or less reliable that fusion drives? Is Halswell i7 and ProTools work fine? Also, 1st option has twice as much video memory but I don't play any games :)

Any feedback will be much appreciated
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2016, 02:56 AM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Stay far away from any Fusion drives and or Green/Blue drives which are power saving drives you can't turn off those "features" so go for the SSD drive all day everyday No substitute!

You will L O V E the SSD drive technology, its smoking fast and stable as anything. Yes it is more expensive because it is soooo much better and there are hundreds of posts with regards to Fusion drives and Music production so no Fusion drives and if tou can afford it get a second SSD for recording to. You need a second rec drive anyway so get the best and stay away from errore and downtime trying to become a computer tech
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2016, 03:13 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyranor View Post
1) iMac 27" late 2013
3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz).
32GB (four 8GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory;
512GB PCIe SSD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics processor with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyranor View Post
1st option looks better but I never worked with pcie SSD. Are they preferable to fusion drive? Obviously they are faster but is there any Pro Tools related issues with them?
Like mentioned by Christopher already it΄s the opposite...Fusion drives were the ones which messed up with Pro Tools in many cases whereas PCie SSDs are the "holy grail" ,
the way to go for the work with Pro Tools. They are incredibly fast yet super reliable. The best for any audio/video work.

Cheers.
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2016, 03:55 AM
Tyranor Tyranor is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Thanks for the replies.

Funnily enough, my current iMac has Fusion drive and I never had any issues. That's why I was really surprised when I saw many posts on this forum with the advice to avoid Fusion drives. Maybe earlier Fusions drives are better than the current ones, I dunno

Is Halswell i7 significantly better than IvyBridge i7?

I suppose that 4gb of video is always better than 2gb even though I don't do any video editing or play games
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2016, 06:42 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyranor View Post
Thanks for the replies.

Funnily enough, my current iMac has Fusion drive and I never had any issues. That's why I was really surprised when I saw many posts on this forum with the advice to avoid Fusion drives. Maybe earlier Fusions drives are better than the current ones, I dunno

Is Halswell i7 significantly better than IvyBridge i7?

I suppose that 4gb of video is always better than 2gb even though I don't do any video editing or play games
Remember that the video isn't only for video editing or games but also the PT display. The more video memory you have the smoother things will look.
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2016, 05:28 AM
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Gemylon Gemylon is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Chiming in ...


Been working on the latest iMac with Pro Tools HD 12.5.2 over here with a 1T FDrive.
Absolutely no issues !
Pro Tools run like the smoothest thing.

Samples on SSD, sessions on SSD.

I believe different comments are subjective, as is mine of course

ATM my iMac seems faster than my 2013 Mac Pro 'TrashCan'...






Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyranor View Post
Thanks for the replies.

Funnily enough, my current iMac has Fusion drive and I never had any issues. That's why I was really surprised when I saw many posts on this forum with the advice to avoid Fusion drives. Maybe earlier Fusions drives are better than the current ones, I dunno

Is Halswell i7 significantly better than IvyBridge i7?

I suppose that 4gb of video is always better than 2gb even though I don't do any video editing or play games
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2016, 06:21 AM
Tyranor Tyranor is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Would love to buy latest iMac 5k but the spec that I want cost $2500 more than the late 2013 iMac with SSD drive from my first post. Quite a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemylon View Post
Chiming in ...





Been working on the latest iMac with Pro Tools HD 12.5.2 over here with a 1T FDrive.

Absolutely no issues !

Pro Tools run like the smoothest thing.



Samples on SSD, sessions on SSD.



I believe different comments are subjective, as is mine of course



ATM my iMac seems faster than my 2013 Mac Pro 'TrashCan'...





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2016, 12:46 PM
jpellizzi jpellizzi is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Just chiming in - I know a lot of people say to stay away from the Fusion Drives, but it's been fixed for a while now.

I have a Late 2015 27" iMac running El Cap and HD Native 12.5.2 and it's perfect. The only issue is the minor GUI lag with faders and the Pro plugins.

Sierra should fix that though, can't wait.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2016, 01:13 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellizzi View Post
Just chiming in - I know a lot of people say to stay away from the Fusion Drives, but it's been fixed for a while now.

I have a Late 2015 27" iMac running El Cap and HD Native 12.5.2 and it's perfect. The only issue is the minor GUI lag with faders and the Pro plugins.

Sierra should fix that though, can't wait.
What's "been fixed". Yes some specific things may have been improved, but the fundamental problem of very unpredictable IO latency is inherent to the design. And if you are unfortunate enough to buy a Fusion drive with a 4800rpm HDD then uh, they suck at just about everything. All a cheap and nasty low-cost way of Apple trying to improving performance, not something anybody should want on a professional DAW workstation. And unfortunately these kin of things are often not "it works OK for me so should work OK for you", they tend to be very dependent on software/setup/sessions etc. (starting with wether you are using Disk Cache in Pro Tools or not).

Pro Tools 12 Disk Cache is great, and can mask lots of issues, but if buying a professional workstation, just skip the crap and go straight for the very very fast Apple PCIe/NVMe SSD, they have incredible performance, and worth it even at Apple prices.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2016, 08:57 PM
jpellizzi jpellizzi is offline
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Default Re: iMac upgrade. SSD or Fusion drive?

I can't remember the actual release notes or version, but there was definitely an update that officially confirmed compatibility with Apple Fusion Drives. Not sure how or what they fixed specifically.

Anecdotally, I've had no issues at all with PT12 HD using the Normal disk cache setting. Even on opening huge feature film mega sessions, and it doesn't seem to matter if I'm running a session from the internal fusion drive or an external TB or usb3. I think the spinner section on the 27" late 2015 iMacs are 5400 rpm.
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