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I am considering of buying a Mac Mini with a 1TB Fusion Drive. However I will rarely use OSX (except for iPhone application development) and will mostly be running Windows 8 through Bootcamp. In this setup, is it worth for me to spend extra 250$ on the Fusion Drive?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

My understanding is if you want to use Bootcamp, you'll have each drive formatted and available to the software as a two-drive system and not as a one drive - fused hybrid item.

Out of the box, the BootCamp software will see if you have a CoreStorage fusion drive and just put the Windows partition on the spinning HD. There, it won't even get to see the SSD nor likely any of the data that exists on a core storage volume (which is a mix of files stored on the SSD and on the HDD).

I'd still get the fusion drive since you can always experiment with the BootCamp default situation, experiment with virtualization, and decide to partition both drives to be stand-alone and run BootCamp to install Windows on the SSD itself. Worst case, you don't like the experience and take advantage of Apple's 14 day return policy to get a different Mac if you don't like your Mini once you've tried it for a week or so.


Here's what you'll likely see when you get your Mac. The SSD will be disk0 and the DHH will be disk1 and the combination of disk0s2 and disk1s2 will be the raw space that fuses into Macintosh HD to be a logical:

MacMini:~ me$ diskutil list
/dev/disk0
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *121.0 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         121.0 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Boot OS X               134.2 MB   disk0s3

/dev/disk1
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk1
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk1s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         999.4 GB   disk1s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Boot OS X               134.2 MB   disk1s3

In system profiler under storage, you'll see something similar to this:

Macintosh HD:

  Available:    1 TB (1,000,499,220,480 bytes)
  Capacity: 1.11 TB (1,111,826,497,536 bytes)
  Mount Point:  /
  File System:  Journaled HFS+
  Writable: Yes
  Ignore Ownership: No
  BSD Name: disk2
  Volume UUID:  32F084C9-A737-34BE-9567-165721D02C07
  Logical Volume:
  Revertible:   No
  Encrypted:    No
  LV UUID:  CDBF5035-78F6-4302-B90E-2B9034324A26
  Logical Volume Group:
  Name: Macintosh HD
  Size: 1.12 TB (1,120,333,979,648 bytes)
  Free Space:   115 KB (114,688 bytes)
  LVG UUID: D0EFA715-18BE-408E-8149-838206F04AFB
  Physical Volumes:
disk0s2:
  Media Name:   APPLE SSD SM128E Media
  Size: 120.99 GB (120,988,852,224 bytes)
  Medium Type:  SSD
  Protocol: SATA
  Internal: Yes
  Partition Map Type:   GPT (GUID Partition Table)
  Status:   Online
  S.M.A.R.T. Status:    Verified
  PV UUID:  94835A4F-7029-4334-A9B9-A4F510A11157
disk1s2:
  Media Name:   APPLE HDD ST1000DM003 Media
  Size: 999.35 GB (999,345,127,424 bytes)
  Medium Type:  Rotational
  Protocol: SATA
  Internal: Yes
  Partition Map Type:   GPT (GUID Partition Table)
  Status:   Online
  S.M.A.R.T. Status:    Verified
  PV UUID:  06A43A8A-0F80-4A9F-9034-BD6486F3AA34
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Thank you, bmike. So if I have a two-drive setup with Windows residing on HDD, will SSD not be used in any way when I run Windows? –  niaher Jun 15 '13 at 16:06
1  
Windows will see two drives. The entire SSD will be a core storage volume with content it can't read. The half of the HDD will be it's boot partition, the other half will be a core storage volume with content it can't read. Only if you deleted the two core storage partitions that Apple places on both drives when they ship will windows have the ability to write to the SSD. –  bmike Jun 15 '13 at 16:21

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