1 2 3 Previous Next 33 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2013 1:45 AM by softwater
kamaaina2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

So, after the new announcement of FUSION drive, I am wondering if it is possible to create your own FUSION drive setup on an older machine like my MBP. Since many people replace the original HDD with a SSD and swap the optical drive for the HDD, it seems we may have the hardware components of a FUSION drive available right there.

 

Now, if OS X ML comes with this special edition of disk utility that supports FUSION drive, or we could download it somewhere, the question is, if we can stitch this together in a way that you have a nice real fusion drive there. It seems having an extra partition on the hard drive for Bootcamp shall be OK, but it seems you cannot partition the flash drive. I could live with this. But instead of having two seperate drives it would be very cool to "fuse" them together to one fusion drive and have ML move the software according to what's used the most.

 

Has anybody made this work on an older machine yet? Any thoughts?

  • 1. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,570 points)

    The problem with Fusion Drive is that it uses flash memory, not a SSD disk, so it's near impossible to do it, and more when you need a special OS X version for the Macs compatible with Fusion Drive

  • 2. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    kamaaina2010 wrote:

     

    Has anybody made this work on an older machine yet? Any thoughts?

    No one has even seen it on a new machine yet.

     

    In theory, what you ask is possible. HSM has been used for enterprise-class applications for years. Apple is the first company to bring this technology to the consumer market. In practice, it is never going to work without Apple's active support. Perhaps I'm wrong about that. Only time will tell. If you really want more speed, I suggest you get a new machine or a 3rd party hybrid drive.

  • 3. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    kaplucker Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    mende1 wrote:

     

    The problem with Fusion Drive is that it uses flash memory, not a SSD disk, so it's near impossible to do it, and more when you need a special OS X version for the Macs compatible with Fusion Drive

     

    Maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean but I believe your statement is incorrect. Anandtech had a good, but brief, write up on the Fusion drive. The 128GB NAND Flash used in the Fusion drive is a custom form factor SSD that uses the same connector as the MacBook Air.

     

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

     

    If they are correct, this special version of Disk Utility just sees an SSD and a HD and makes the magic happen in software....maybe. What we don't know is if there is special firmware in the SSD and/or HD controllers that go along with the new version of Disk Utility.

     

    I doubt there is any technical reasons why a Mac running 10.8.x couldn't run the new version of Disk Utility to create a Fusion drive assuming a SSD and HD are present on the Mac in question. However, Apple may not officially "bless" this set up, limiting it only to new machines. They are, after all, a company that makes money off of computer sales.

  • 4. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    Ewen Level 6 Level 6 (11,800 points)

    homebrew fusion drive isn't currently a possibility for you to buy.

  • 5. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    kaplucker Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Ewen wrote:

     

    homebrew fusion drive isn't currently a possibility for you to buy.

     

    The fusion drive is made up of a separate SSD and a separate HD that are linked together using a special version of Disk Utility.

     

    The question is will Apple limit this functionalty to machines you buy from them with the fusion drive pre-installed or will they let people create their own fusion drives if they have their own SSD and HD installed on a Mac. This would be similar to the way you can create a RAID 0 with Disk Utility now.

     

    Am I guessing they will limit fusion drives to machines they sell that come pre-configured with them.

  • 6. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    Patrick Stein Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    You can create your own Fusion drive. Have a look here:

     

    http://jollyjinx.tumblr.com

  • 7. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Patrick Stein wrote:

     

    You can create your own Fusion drive. Have a look here:

     

    http://jollyjinx.tumblr.com

    Hardly. That is just some ZFS fan who doesn't seem to understand what Fusion drive really is and thinks ZFS is safer than HFS+ with Time Machine. Any time someone recommends NOT using Time Machine is a red flag to run far away.

     

    Certainly ZFS is a robust file system. When it causes your enterprise-class server to lock up at least once per week you don't have to worry about file system corruption.

  • 8. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    donreith Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    While the guy has a love-on for ZFS, he also demonstrated what those of us reading this were looking for, that you can put an SSD and HDD into a Mountain Lion Mac & configure it to be a Fusion drive.

  • 9. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    kamaaina2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Exactly, now we just need something more "user friendly". Probably worth to wait a bit and see when some experts get this to work. I agree with kaplucker, this will probably not/never be officially supported be Apple, and maybe they even have some firmware or interface checks that might prevent it, but from a pure logic perspective, it seems possible. Whether that flash memory is solded to the board or an SSD put in should not make a difference. You should be able to logically fuse this capacity together. That said, we'd want the automatic optimization of moving things back and forth according to usage.

     

    For a user like myself it would be great if one could assemble this through the special version of disk utility or a third party tool rather then through terminal commands, but whatever makes it work. ;-)


    We shall wait and see. Thanks everybody so far for the comments and the great links!  

  • 10. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,470 points)

    Or you can buy a hibrid that basically contains all the ingredients of the Fusion, sans the ability to talk to the OS and predict which piece of data to move onto the flash section of the thing:

     

    http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/laptop-hard-drives/momentus-xt-hybri d/?sku=ST750LX003

  • 11. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    donreith Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Nowhere near the same thing.  The Momentus has 4GB or 8GB of NAND vs. the 128GB (or more??) that you would get in dedicated SSD.

  • 12. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    kamaaina2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Not the same at all. I have the 500GB Momentus XT running in the MBP and it surely felt like a small improvement, but with the 4GB flash part this is nowhere near what we would expect from a 128GB SSD + 500 GB HDD 7200.

  • 13. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    kamaaina2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found another post here with some more references for additional reading.... 

     

    Yes, with just a tiny bit of typing, you can make a DIY Fusion Drive, using a regular SSD. A Mac developer, Patrick Stein—a/k/a jollyjinx—wants us to know that you don't have to buy a Fusion Drive at Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) eyewatering prices, and that you can have it on older Macs.

    In IT Blogwatch, bloggers fire up the command line.

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/ssd/21255/build-your-own-apple-fusion-drive-no-ne ed-pay-3x-price-itbwcw

  • 14. Re: How to build your own fusion drive
    softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Thanks Patrick. Just waiting for my OWC SDD to arrive and have been researching how to do this.

     

    Just wondering if you (or anyone else) has any feedback on reliability or other issus after using a homebrew Fusion set up for a while?

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