The iMac Fusion Drive is finally dead — good riddance

Apple

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.

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