Mac Mini and the Fusion Drive

Any experiences with this setup? Does the Roon database automatically go on the SSD with this?

OSX will put on the Fusion Drive the things you use the most. Certainly the Roon software will be running off the Fusion drive assuming you have it running all the time. As for the database it will come down to what else you have running on the Mini and what files Roon is frequently accessing.

If the Mini is dedicated to Roon (i.e. Roon Server) and has nothing else going on or is it sharing activities between Roon and other tasks (e.g. Photos)? Also the size of your Fusion drive comes into play here too. Apple used to sell the Fusion drives in different sizes, but just checking their site it looks like it comes in one size only (1 TB w/ 128 GB Flash). So although that 128 GB sounds like a lot, depending upon what else you’re running it could eat up fast. Again running Photos on that box could dominate the flash portion of the drive.

It would help the conversation here if one of the guys from Roon could chime in to say how much of the database files get loaded while Roon runs and what doesn’t. But then again if Roon isn’t reading everything all the time well then it isn’t such a big idea that those particular files sit on the 5400 RPM hard drive.

1 Like

No. The fusion drive is not an ssd, it is a platter dive that uses ssd memory as a cache. What goes where and why are all handled by the drive you have no n control.

The devs have stated many times that it is a very good idea to run Roon on an SSD, that the more albums in Roon the more need for a faster drive on which Roon resides. In addition, I"m not sure I"d trust OSX to evaluate the read prediction correctly for Roon.

Regarding the ‘how’ Fusion works I believe we’re saying the same thing. Ultimately what you use and how you use it will determine what OSX stuffs on flash portion of the ‘logical’ drive. Our only control is passive - how we use the machine. Having a dedicated Fusion based machine for Roon is certainly better than a dedicated machine with a tradition 5400 RPM spinning disk.

There really are advantages in keeping things simple. I run the database (Core) on a 120Gb mSATA SSD and all my local music (mainly 44.1 KHz FLAC) fits on a 1Tb SATA SSD.

Having a disk management layer possibly split the database between different physical or logical volumes is something I would try to avoid.

For a 1Tb Fusion drive, the SSD is separate to the spinning 1Tb drive…and is not a Cache in that the OS and most frequently used Apps reside permanently on the SSD and run from there. All that changes is what Apps OSX decides should reside on the SSD and which ones can be farmed out to the legacy drive. There are in depth articles on Ars Technica and Anandtech that go into more detail about the algorithms that OSX use to decide which Apps “qualify” to get on the SSD

You can also easily set up OSX to “split” the SSD and legacy drive into two different drives…thus allowing you more discretion about what apps go where

The OP should also note that since about Sept of 2014, the 1Tb Fusion drive only comes with a 24Gb SSD rather than the previously supplied 128Gb SSD [just another unnecessary penny pinching measure from Apple]…[the 2Tb and 3Tb Fusion drives are still supplied with 128Gb SSD;s]

1 Like

Ahh, I did not know this.