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Do It Yourself Apple Fusion Drive on Your Mac

Discussion in 'Apple Mac' started by dazpazz, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. dazpazz

    dazpazz Active Member

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    Ever since apple announced Fusion Drive i have been pondering if it was possible to cobble together a diy Fusion Drive.. I found this video tonight on YouTube and thought i'd share it with the fine AVForums apple community :thumbsup:

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  2. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Pretty cool but what I want to know is whether you run a bootcamp windows instal with this fusion drive set up.
  3. dazpazz

    dazpazz Active Member

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    Install windows on a mac?? Blasphemy!!!! :D

    Ive no idea how or if it would work with bootcamp..
  4. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Haha! I use it rarely but do occasionally need it for work/games. Might give it a try sometime.
  5. dave_parki_uk

    dave_parki_uk Active Member

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    according to the apple FAQ regarding the official fusion drive you can create 1 new partition or a bootcamp partition.
  6. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    very good read about the fusion drive here:

    Achieving fusion

    And as dave posted above you can indeed have a bootcamp partition, interestingly though that lives on the HDD only and i guess for obvious reasons doesn't share any of the fusion drive capabilities.
  7. malk

    malk Member

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    So thats the command to "make fusion work"on the mac??
    Has anyone here tried it?

    Oh dear,justvseen the blokes tattoo,a mac logo........thats a bit sad imho
    Still,he knows his way round a mac,,

    So,does this mean,on my MBP,running ML,if i installed the ssd as my boot drive,used the superdrive bay,as a storage place for my 500gb hdd,then ran the terminal command of fusion drive,then,using carbon copy cloner,put my data back in,i would have a fusion drive MBP?.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  8. CamFire

    CamFire Active Member

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    From that ArsTechnica report, it looks like failure of either drive sounds plenty of work later on to recover. I recall not using RAID-0 because of this.
  9. bpsmith

    bpsmith Active Member

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    I think the point is that you treat it as a single drive and backup accordingly. Obviously there's double the chance of failure now though. :-(
  10. MrSynner

    MrSynner Member

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    I tried it on my 2011 Mini - for a while - whilst fitting a new SSD last week.

    It is distinctly nippier than with just a mechanical drive, but the thought of losing TWO drives worth of data in a crash was too scary - I used to routinely operate RAID arrays in my PC days, and have very singed fingers.

    Also seemed to have quite some trouble installing Bootcamp to the Fusion drive too - Windows didn't seem able to 'see' the drive - not too surprising, as I think the Fusion process is software rather than hardware.
  11. dazpazz

    dazpazz Active Member

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    I will be deffo giving this ago on my 2009 MacBook Pro over the Christmas break and hopefully make it feel like a newer machine!!

    I know that the 0 & 1's are split across the drives meaning that lost or corrupt data can occur but surely if you backup on a weekly/monthly basis depending how much stuff you've put on your machine, it shouldn't really be an issue..

    Also isn't it easier to manage a single large volume, than it is to micro manage a small ssd??

    I've no real interest in bootcamp as I have a gaming rig if I need anything windows..
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  12. hutch

    hutch Active Member

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    Does this work on an iMac with two internal drives? The YouTube link seems to say that it only works with one internal and one external.
  13. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    I would think so since thats the setup the new iMacs with fusion drives will have, only difference being that the SSD part of the new iMacs are custom non standard drives similar to what they are doing with macbook air/retina.
  14. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    i'm very tempted to try a fusion drive set up in my macbook only thing that puts me off is the bootcamp stuff, from the article I posted it says the windows install will only go on the HDD, i've got quite used to my windows bootcamp install being nice and fast on a partition on the SSD and don't really want it to be limited to HDD speed.
  15. MrSynner

    MrSynner Member

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    In theory, it should work on any Mac running two drives - under Mountain Lion. It seems to be a form of software RAID - combined with some cacheing and and file optimisation.
  16. nigelbb

    nigelbb Active Member

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    Except the SSD is 1000x less likely to fail.
  17. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Just about to give this a shot myself as I finally dug out my optical bay caddy, backing up my MBP then opening it up, will let you guys know how it went!
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  18. malk

    malk Member

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    Excellent,been dying for someone to try it!!! I would if i had the money to get the bits.
  19. nigelbb

    nigelbb Active Member

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    Sounds ideal for my Mac Pro that I just upgraded with an SSD & have been experimenting with Mountain Lion while still booting off a Velociraptor with Snow Leopard. Are there any written tutorials I really don't want o sit through some amateur YouTube video when I can read the same information in a fraction of the time.
  20. nigelbb

    nigelbb Active Member

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    I just found a detailed article with performance testing on creating a DIY Fusion drive MPG - Fusion Volume - Apple?s Fusion Drive Technology

    Unfortunately the conclusion in big red letters is:-

  21. malk

    malk Member

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    Oh no,hope jase is reading this.
    Thats urinated on future fusion goodness.
    Is that on a MAC PRO?
    Not a macbook pro?
    Is there any major differences as regards to running fusion?
  22. nigelbb

    nigelbb Active Member

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    Who knows? The Fusion drive is only available on the new iMac & even then the 21.5" version can only have a 5400rpm 1TB drive whereas the 27" can have a 3TB 7200rpm drive. Even for the non-Retina MBP there is no option for a Fusion drive. So it could be some iMac specific code i.e. it will only operate if it is on a new iMac. It could be that the testing was flawed. It could be that real Fusion drives in iMacs show the same behaviour.

    Possibly there is no point to attempting a DIY approach as if you can fit two drives then you can just use the SSD as the boot & applications drive & allocate other files yourself rather than relying on some Fusion magic to do the work for you. MPG - Apple Mac Mini (Late 2012) - Mac Mini: Dual Drives Are Better than 'Fusion'
  23. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Well, got my second drive in the optibay and seem to have successfully set up the fusion drive, currently just restoring my backup which is gonna take some time but i'll let you know the outcome. I did test to see what would appear if I tried to do a fresh install and it did only show the one larger combined volume that I created though so looks to have worked ok.
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  24. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Lol, just caught up on the other posts, I guess I'll find out pretty soon, ultimately i'm not too fussed either way as I wanted to put the HDD in and really was just playing about with the fusion stuff out of interest.
  25. malk

    malk Member

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    Fusion also works on minis,i think its software in ML than anything really.
    The point is,its a cool feature,and if can be used,why not.
    I understand you can put the files wherever manually,but if you dont have to.....
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  26. malk

    malk Member

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    God speed jase,our thoughts and prayers are with you on this day...



    Lol,i reckon itll be cool.
  27. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    I;m sure one of the other articles I read they tested and saw data moving back to the SSD, they could of course been testing on a new mac mini which can come configured with it, I can't really remember.
  28. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Having skimmed the last bit of the article Nigel posted, the points made are that it could be related to the mac pro hardware, being an older chipset, sata II not III, who knows!
  29. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Back up and running and all seems well, not sure how I'll be able to test if data is moved around in the long run though but following the guides online has created a single volume at least and my TM backup has restored to it no problem. I also get pretty much the same read/write speed I got on just the SSD before using blackmagic speed test.

    On a side note, my OCZ agility 3 SATA 3 SSD has never performed very well to begin with lol.
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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  30. nigelbb

    nigelbb Active Member

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    I think that all you need do is fill up the SSD like the guy on MPG did MPG - Fusion Volume - Fusion Volume Speed (OWC PCIe SSD + HDD)

    How old is your MBP. I have a 256GB Crucial C300 in my 2008 MBP & while much faster than the 7200rpm disk it replaced it' nowhere near the potential performance of an SSD as the disk i/o is throttled at SATA-I speed (just tested with Black Magic Disk Test app at 128MB/s & 135MB/s R/W). I have a 256GB Crucial M4 in my 2008 Mac Pro but it is also throttled but this time at SATA-II speeds so while I see around 250MB/s for both read & write the theoretical maximum of the SSD is nearly double.

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