Previous 1 2 3 Next 33 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2013 1:45 AM by softwater Go to original post
  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 (14,725 points)

    Home brew experimentation on an old has-been computer is great for education and invention.



    However to consider brewing up your own fusion drive for your working Mac is far and away a worse idea than even calling it a horrible idea.


  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    PlotinusVeritas wrote:


    brewing up your own fusion drive for your working Mac is far and away a worse idea than even calling it a horrible idea.



    Is that opinion based on personal experience?


    Aren't Apple's Fusion drives using exactly the same corestorage set up? If there's some hardware difference that makes Apple's Fusion drives inherently more stable I'd be happy to hear about it. Or are you claiming all Fusion drives, Apple's included, are inherently unstable?


    That doesn't seem to be the consensus of opinion from my reading, but I'd be interested to hear any rational, evidence-based arguments to the contrary.

  • kamaaina2010 Level 1 (0 points)

    I built mine in December, and my wife's in early January. Running this on two MBP "main machines" and it's been an awesome experience. Would never want to go back to a regular hard drive setup. No problems so far.


    MBP 13" i7 early 11 with 240 GB SSD (Intel 330) and 500GB Seagate XT

    MBP 17" Core 2 Duo 2.9 Ghz early 09 with 180 GB SSD (Intel 330) and 500GB Seagate XT


    I failed setting up bootcamp when I freshly installed it and basically gave up on bootcamp then and run Win trough Parallels. It's supposed to work though. It did not start the Win installer from the external CD-ROM somehow. But Fusion otherwise is great. If you do it, Apple OS (10.8) won't enable trim support for the SSD, you will have to use the free trim enabler software.


    Hope this helps.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 (14,725 points)

    I never mentioned any mfg. of Fusion drive, Apple or otherwise...   Rather home brew experimentation on ones primary computer as a bad idea.



    As such you were inferring things regarding statement I never made.




    as to your last,  the Greek philosophers said that there has "never been truth gained by consensus"





  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    PlotinusVeritas wrote:


    I never mentioned any mfg. of Fusion drive, Apple or otherwise...   Rather home brew experimentation on ones primary computer as a bad idea.



    I understand that, Plotinus. My point was that a 'homebrew' fusion drive is no different from an Apple Fusion drive as far as I understand it - they both use the same corestorage disk management system. So my point was that your claim that it was a bad idea to use a fusion drive on your primary system seems to be implying either that:


    i. there's something about Apple's H/W that makes an Apple Fusion drive inherently more stable than making your own; or


    ii. Apple's Fusion drives use some s/w instead of, or in addition to, corestorage that is not available to the 'homebrewer'; or


    iii. Apple's Fusion drives are just as unstable as homebrewed ones.


    Of course, if you don't know what corestorage is and are not familiar with the technical details, that's OK. I'm researching this topic and am looking for people who can inform me.


    Peace indeed. I'm rather fond of the Greeks philosophers myself. Socrates always made a point of asking and listening to the "experts'" opinions before offering his own analysis.

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Thanks. The choice for me (and probably I guess anyone else installing an small SSD (120GB) and data doubler!) is whether to pare down my central user account to less than 90GB and use the second internal drive for less used files, or to attempt some kind of Fusion set up.


    Either is OK, and I may play with both ideas; I'm just looking for the best speed really. I keep multiple redundant, synchronous and asynchronous backups so I'm not worried about data loss. I'm more concerned with how stable the system is in terms of kernal panics, BSOD and crashes. I can't tolerate any of those.

  • etresoft Level 7 (27,801 points)

    Obviously point i. is true. Apple builds fusion drives that way at the factory using components that have been tested and verified. When you crack open your machine, remove some parts, and add some new ones, it is no longer a device manufactured or supported by Apple. Whether it works or not is based on your own skill with hardware hacking and the relative compatibility of your 3rd party hardware and the amenablity of your Apple hardware to repurposing. Some people have reported success and some people have reported failure.


    Your statement that a homebrew fusion drive is "no different" than an Apple one is clearly false.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 (14,725 points)

    Your statement that a homebrew fusion drive is "no different" than an Apple one is clearly false.


    Thank you, that was MY point exactly.




    Softwater seems to be attempting to extract a mobius loop of inference re: a statement about "home brewing your mac"  as equal to or slanting the factory Apple Fusion drive.




    on your primary system seems to be implying either that:--------iii. Apple's Fusion drives are just as unstable as homebrewed ones.



    No such claim was made, implied, directed, or should be inferred.



    To quote the Thai กระต่ายหมายจันทร์


    as meaning ultimately, you can home brew your Fusion drive,...see how it goes......, but us other folks will buy one.






    Peace to you in Thailand

  • kamaaina2010 Level 1 (0 points)

    FYI, I actually used the simple and cheap "hard drive caddy tray" for $10 from AZ. I put the SSD in the original hard drive slot and the spinning drive in the tray where the CD-ROM was. For the instructions I followed Tomas' video on YouTube on "Create your Own Apple Fusion Drive - How to".


    For replacing the CD-ROM there are plenty of videos avail as well, just try to find exactly your Mac model as otherwise it will look different and screws are elsewhere. ;-)

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 (14,725 points)

    Hey, thats a brilliant video,  Ill have to try that some time on my older macbook Pro

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    etresoft wrote:


    Your statement that a homebrew fusion drive is "no different" than an Apple one is clearly false.


    And yet, as you know full well, I have made no such statement. I asked whether the previous poster was implying that.


    It's still unclear to me why he, or anyone else, thinks that a homebrewed fusion drive is unreliable, nor have either of you said anything about the difference between Apple's fusion drives and one you put together yourself. Yes, I understand the former have obviously been tested by Apple, but tested for what exactly?


    AFAICT, 'fusion drive' is a software solution (and therefore any compatible hard disks should work just as well as any that Apple re-brands and sticks their name on). If I'm wrong about that, great. Please enlighten me as to how.

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    I bought a kit from OWC which includes the SSD and the caddy. What I can't get to the bottom of is the "To Trim or not to Trim?" debate.


    What did you do?

  • kamaaina2010 Level 1 (0 points)

    I enabled trim. All I could find online is that:

    • Trim seems to be good that's why SSD manufacturers tell you to do it
    • MS Win 8 does it by default for SSDs
    • Apple has disabled it for non-Apple branded SSDs by default, but supposedly not for the stuff they sell, meaning in general they think it's good too (?)
    • Every time you do an OS update Apple deactivates trim support again for the non-Apple SSD (trim enabler now can monitor that)


    As far as I can tell:

    • I cannot tell if its on or off (performance wise)
    • I rather keep it on as it's supposed to extend life of the SSD
    • It does not seem to create an issue with the Fusion Drive setup
    • I keep regular backups (time machine, CCC, etc.)
    • I am an average user and don't run this in a server. If it shortens the drive life in Fusion for some reason, I will probably not notice as I might upgarde the computer before (obvioulsy an assumption).
    • I am always somewhat suspicious about these rumors and FUD about scaring people out of creating something great for cheap themselves without really providing a reason. If there is a real issue, let Apple make an official statement, and everybody can say "oops, we did not know that, I guess I should not do it".


    All I can say is it feels like I have a new computer. It's awesome. Not sure what the downside might be, if any, but it might be worth it anyway. Looks like one drive to me, super fast, I don't have to worry about moving stuff or splitting it on  different drives, and I have a 700GB drive that performs like an SSD most of the time that cost me less than $200 and 30-45 min of work (replacing CD-ROM, switching drives, Fusion setup). Time to reinstall the OS and apps from scratch (which I did) obvioulsy not included. But it's a day of work I did over the holidays last year that I enjoy every day working on this machine.


    This might not work for everyone, and there is potential for screw-up. But that should be clear to everyone in the first place.

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Great reply, thanks.

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    OK, all done. Seems stable enough so far after repeated restarts and 24hrs of testing. I'll let you all know if that changes.


    As for the speed, apps are noticeably faster at loading, but I'm a bit disappointed that boot up time is still relatively slow. Booting from an external USB 2.0 disk = 47 seconds from chime to login prompt. Booting from my new internal SSD/Fusion set up 35 seconds. I was hoping for a lot faster than that.


    iostat confirms the SSD is doing most of the work, so I'm not really sure why that is. Maybe it's just having an old dual core MBP from 2009.



    Regarding TRIM, I've tried it with it both enabled and disabled. I suspect the boot up time is slightly faster (3-4 seconds) with TRIM off, but that's not enough for me to turn it off. Otherwise, at this stage, I see no difference with it on or off.


    Incidentally, in order to aid repeated testing, I also added one-click TRIM enable/disabling to my own free utility app 'FastTasks'. Anyone interested can search for it on MacUpdate or contact me off list by clicking on my profile and I'll send you a free copy.