One of the best investments I’ve made is when I ordered my current iMac with a Fusion Drive. The SSD portion of the drive is 128 megs in size. The difference in performance between this iMac and my previous iMac is night and day. Applications start in no time. The boot time has been dramatically reduced and even the shutdown times are better. Any maintenance routines that I have to run that involve disk access are all dramatically faster.
This iMac looks and feels exactly like my previous machine except for one thing. Performance. The only thing that I’d do differently now that I know what a dramatic difference a Fusion Drive makes to the performance of a Mac is order a 256 meg Fusion Drive. Then I’d be certain everything is running off the SSD portion of the Fusion Drive and not the hard disk portion. Right now, this is the case but barely.
However, when you have a Fusion Drive it’s also a smart drive. Programs and files that are frequently accessed are stored on the SSD portion. Infrequently used files are stored on the Hard Drive portion. Sitting behind the wheel of a Fusion Drive iMac is a very different experience than sitting behind the wheel of a non-fusion drive iMac. For the little extra it cost me for a Fusion Drive iMac it is so worth it.
Inspired by my MacBook Air
The inspiration for a Fusion Drive iMac came by way of my MacBook Air. The MacBook Air is a fantastic unit. It is 100% powered by an SSD drive which is basically flash drive memory. The MacBook Air is fast as a result. If you’re thinking about a portable computer you sure can’t go wrong with an Air.
As I was working on my iMac I started thinking about how fast my Air was and realizing that it all had to do with the SSD drive of the Air I decided there and then I had to get an iMac with a Fusion Drive. Within a half hour of this epiphany I had ordered the iMac. I’ve never once looked back in regret but have only been too happy that I did this
The Fusion Drive
The Fusion Drive is a very advanced piece of technology. To keep costs reasonable it weds an SSD drive portion with a hard drive. When I bought my iMac by far the largest portion of the 1 Terabyte drive was a traditional hard drive. 128 megs of the drive was an SSD drive but I could have ordered 256 megs.
The beauty or genius of this drive is that your very active files are maintained on the SSD portion. Thus, programs launch incredibly fast. The drive is still a Terabyte in size giving me plenty of storage room. However, because the files I work with are maintained on the SSD portion my iMac the computer just whips a long. Since the iMac is an overall more powerful machine than my MacBook Air it now shows. The Air remains as capable, fast and as responsive as ever. It’s just now the iMac is benefitting from SSD technology. Bottom line. I call my iMac a screamer.
The New Mac Pro’s
Announced back at WWDC in June, the Mac Pro’s, which are expected to be launched any day, are unbelievably powerful yet extremely beautiful machines. They will be powered by Fusion Drive capability and at the high end you can even order an SSD of up to a Terabyte in size. This is incredible.
Go the Extra Mile
I was told by an Apple rep that a lot of people don’t understand what a Fusion Drive is and thus the benefit for the extra cost. Unless you really don’t care about performance that much definitely go the extra mile and order your iMac with a Fusion Drive. You won’t regret this as every operation you do will be speeded up.
The way of the future is SSD. Some things will be 100% SSD but those that require a lot capacity will likely to be Fusion Drive to keep costs reasonable. That’s the advantage of Fusion Drive technology. You have the capability of an SSD drive with the traditional high levels of storage for just a marginal cost more. So when you go to order that new machine that you’ve been wanting ensure that it is either an SSD unit or one that has a Fusion Drive.