back to article Hardware hacker proves Apple Fusion Drive works on older Macs

Top marks to hardware hacker Patrick Stein who has discovered that Apple’s Fusion Drive technology, which combines separate SSD and HDD storage into a single volume, can be added to old Macs. And he’s added one to his own Mac Pro. Patrick’s test set-up included a 120GB SSD linked into the desktop’s internal Sata connector plus …

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  1. jubtastic1

    And there's more

    He's since run a ZFS filesystem on a Fusion LV after determining that it works at the block level rather than the file level. It also seems there's a built in 600 second of idle wait baked in before the OS re-tiers the data across the physical volumes, Interesting stuff.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    But...

    After Reading the Apple FAQ on Fusion Drives, the entry that worries me goes something like... if your Fusion Drive reports errors, you have to use Disk Utilities to re-build and *restore the data from a backup*; Seeing something like that in an FAQ would make me run away, very fast!

    1. Mark 65

      Re: But...

      I'm more interested, given he used an external drive, what happens if it's not on or gets unplugged.

  3. Toxteth O'Gravy

    Notebooks

    Nice idea, but I find that with a WAN-accessible Nas box, I no longer need more than 256GB of storage in my laptop. There was a time when HDDs simply weren't big enough, but - for me at least - that's long past.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A hacker that has a mac, lol ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hardware hacker"?

    He plugged in a USB drive. I suppose that's hardware.

  6. Mondo the Magnificent
    Devil

    DIY?

    Seriously now, has anyone ever tried to open up an iMac? It's like open heart surgery with an assortment of tools.. hard work indeed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DIY?

      His example was a Mac Pro with an external HDD. I imagine it would work with a firewire-or thunderbolt-attached drive on an iMac as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Angel

      Re: DIY?

      It is *not* that difficult. It is not hard either. Provided you have the Torx screwdriver set and two strong suction cups (to lift the glass front) it is not a problem at all.

  7. nanchatte
    Trollface

    You can be sure...

    ... that this "oversight" will be corrected in a future update of OS X, in order to protect the user from inadvertent data loss.

  8. Gordon Fecyk
    Joke

    DMCA takedown notice in 3... 2... 1...

    Integrating the two proved to be simply a matter of then running command line code:

    [somehow censored by overzealous American lawyers forgetting that El Reg is in the UK]

    1. KjetilS
      Black Helicopters

      Re: DMCA takedown notice in 3... 2... 1...

      With American logic, el Reg has a .com domain hidden somewhere, and have paid money to people in the US, therefore they are completely under US jurisdiction.

      I wish I was kidding.

  9. James 100

    USB for a reason

    He was using USB deliberately - not as a sensible setup for actual use, but to make a more obvious difference between the SSD's performance and the hard drive's. Obviously in a "real" installation you'd want to use SATA for the drive - and as for "what if it gets unplugged while you're using it" ... probably much the same as on any other system when you yank a system drive suddenly: instant crash and either a serious FS rebuild or a restore from backup. (You might be lucky and find enough system innards living on the SSD to survive or at least shut down cleanly, but I really wouldn't bet on that.)

    End result: a lot like having a regular SATA "hybrid drive", but with more flash in it and less data duplication - and just like any other drive, you should make good backups! Nothing new there. (Though since I've found HFS+ fairly flaky in practice, I'd be extra-careful with the backups...)

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