New iMac with Fusion Drive is unbelievably fast

November 10, 2012

Whenever Apple releases a new or updated computer, you can expect it to be significantly faster.

Introduce a computer with a revolutionary hybrid hard drive system, and expect even greater things. That’s the case with the brand new iMac and Apple’s new Fusion Drive.

The Fusion Drive system seamlessly utilizes a 128 GB solid-state drive to run the operating system and other big software, and then a traditional spinning hard drive to give you the amount of storage you need. Solid-state hard drives are great because they’re very fast,but they’re also really expensive, which has limited how high you can go up in storage without breaking the bank

Macworld recently published a report that breaks down the speed of this new system. In their example, they analyze a Mac Mini with Fusion Drive.

“It was the Fusion Drive that really kicked the BTO Mac mini into overdrive. The standard configuration $799 Mac mini with its 5400-rpm hard drive took more than three times as long to complete our copy file and uncompress file tests as the Fusion Drive did in the BTO Mac mini. The BTO Mac mini’s PCMark productivity test score (using VMWare Fusion) was three times higher than the high-end standard configuration’s score. [...] 

The BTO Mac mini was actually faster than the Retina MacBook Pro in a few tests, like the iPhoto, iMovie, and Aperture import tests. But file copy and file uncompress tests were a bit faster on the Retina MacBook Pro with its “pure” flash storage than on the Mac mini’s Fusion Drive.”

This technology will likely become a norm among computer makers until prices on solid-state hard drives come down.

Just remember — this technology doesn’t come cheap. You’re looking at a few extra hundred dollars to make your next Mac really fast. The updated iMac is expected to be released sometime before Christmas.

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