DIY MacBook Pro ‘Fusion Drive’

I know this is all over the web if you look for it, however I’ve been so impressed with my new SSD based fusion drive that I thought I’d blog about it. Fusion is a software based logical disk that automatically puts often used files on the SSD and uses a 4Gb write cache on the SSD as well I think.

I bought a 120GB SSD a year or so ago and added it to my slightly ageing 2011 Macbook pro in place of the DVD drive. I had some issues with lock ups though despite trying a second different drive, so chickened out and put the DVD drive back in.

Since having my main logic board replaced last week(for free by Apple store in West Quay!) and finding a better SSD caddy on eBay ( £5.49 delivered next day !!) I’ve put the SSD back and it’s been working fine. This caddy has the correct mounting lugs to replace the DVD drive and hence no sticky tape need 😉

£5.49 delivered, the best value ever Mac upgrade ?

I created a fusion drive using the 120Gb HDD that I put in when I took the computer to be serviced. I was not expecting it to improve things so much, but basically you do not realise just how much a slow hard drive affects performance. It must be all the little writes that can’t be cached in memory since I have 16GB of RAM which you can see fills up with file cache on boot.

My 1TB drive is always over 90% full and is pretty slow any way, boot ups take literally 20 minutes. But with the fusion drive web pages load instantly and boot up is amazingly fast. I don’t think the old HD was even spinning all the time I was testing .

Here is the guide, it’s the second hit on Google 🙂 You basically have to boot from some recovery media ( I created a bootable USB thumb drive again see google) and run some terminal commands. Then you restore from a backup since it wipes ALL your data in the process.

I’m creating a second backup of my 1TB drive which looks set to  take 3 days or so. The WDMcloud NAS thing I have   is pretty cool, but not that fast despite using Gigabit ethernet.

So pretty excited about getting a turbo charged 1TB laptop! Incidentally, I’ve read that some new Mac’s come with a measly 24GB of SSD, which I guess just shows how effective the fusion drive technology is.

It’s not all great though, have been told that my iMac will probably need a new GPU at some point for at least £150 , you win some you loose some!

Boot Demo, for those who like that sort of thing…


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