Skip to main content

The iMac Fusion Drive is finally dead — good riddance


Now that Apple is replacing the traditional Intel-based 21.5 inch iMac with the new 24-inch M1-powered iMac, the Fusion Drive is officially gone forever.

The announcement came as part of the Apple Spring Loaded event, which spotlighted the new iMac design, alongside a number of updated products.

For those unfamiliar, the Fusion Drive is Apple’s implementation of a hybrid drive, combining flash storage and hard drive storage in one. Around 2012, when solid-state drives were relatively expensive, the option was standard on most iMac models, promising a mix of speed and storage. At the time, it was a smart solution.

But as the years went on, the lack of larger-capacity SSDs for the iMac became a sticking point. Before this recent announcement, you could configure the 21.5-inch iMac with a 256GB SSD, but if you wanted more storage, you’d have to jump to the 1TB Fusion Drive. Those were you’re only options.

With the $2,000-plus cost of an iMac, the Fusion Drive received tough reviews in performance, with low cache speeds, low read and write speeds, and poor optimization when moving large files. The Fusion Drive was always dubbed as one to avoid in modern times.

But now, the new M1-based 24-inch iMacs come with SSD options configurable from 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or even 2TB of storage.

That means Fusion Drives are finally nowhere to be found on the modern iMac lineup, roughly nine years after its late 2012 introduction in the iMac and Mac mini.

Combined with Apple’s new M1 chips, these new solid-state drives offer big updates to the iMac. Apple is promising that the new M1-based iMacs can be up to 85% faster than before, while graphics performance is now up to twice as fast.

The design of the iMacs is also more modern, with flashy new colors, a thinner profile, a brighter display, and more. You can catch up on all the news from today’s Apple event in our recap, which looks at the iMac, iPad Pro, Apple TV, Air Tags, and more.

Editors' Recommendations

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
Apple just dashed our iMac hopes and dreams
The back of a silver iMac in an office.

Apple has confirmed it has no plans to release a 27-inch iMac in the immediate future. The news comes on the same day that reviews for Apple's 24-inch iMac M3 and MacBook Pro M3 went live, with the company urging pro users who had been waiting for a 27-inch iMac update to go with a Mac Studio or Mac Pro instead.

An Apple representative confirmed that a 27-inch iMac with Apple silicon won't be arriving soon to The Verge. Apple last updated the 27-inch iMac in 2020, just a few months before Apple silicon was released to the world. It never saw Apple Silicon, instead being stuck on older Intel chips. Apple discontinued the product in 2021, eventually delisting it the next year.

Read more
How to watch Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ Mac launch event if you missed it
how to watch apples scary fast event if you missed it apple

Apple Event - October 30

Apple revealed refreshed Mac computers and its latest chip at its special “Scary Fast” event on Monday.

Read more
The M3 is the most important chip Apple has ever made
Apple's M3 chip family.

Macs with Apple silicon were a revelation when they launched three years ago, but we haven't seen Apple demonstrate how it will carry that idea forward since then. We saw the M2 release and the middling performance improvements that came with it, but the M3, announced during Apple's "Scary Fast" event, is the most important chip Apple has ever designed for Macs.

Although it carries the branding of the third generation of Apple silicon, it's really the second true generation. There's a lot riding on this release for Apple to prove that it can sustain its own silicon in Macs, and M3 is arriving at a time when there's fierce competition on all sides.
Second-gen Apple silicon

Read more