Confused between Mac Fusion Drive vs SSD for your iMac? You’ve landed at the right spot.
In this post, we’ll look at how a Fusion Drive is different from an SSD, along with the speed, price, and specs of both. After reading it, you should be able to decide on which one is the better option for you.
So, let’s get started!
Fusion Drive – Pros & Cons
Fusion Drive is basically a hybrid hard drive with two separate drives fused together – a Serial ATA drive (hard drive) and a Flash Drive (SSD). It is used in devices made by Apple Inc.
When you use a fusion drive with your iMac, the macOS places the frequently accessed files, including the OS itself, and apps on the flash storage part (SSD) so that these files are always quick to access. The lesser frequently used data, on the other hand, is stored on the hard drive part.
This lets you get the best of both worlds – faster operation because the data you use most frequently is accessed quickly from the flash part, and lots of storage space for keeping all the useful data, including files, photos, movies, and more backed up in the HDD part.
- Fusion Drives are more affordable than SSDs.
- While it makes some sound, an SSD is significantly less noisy than the traditional hard drive.
- Fusion Drives have better boot-up time than HDDs.
- Fusion Drives are noisier than SSDs.
- The performance is slower than an SSD.
- Since it has moving parts, a Furion Drive can fail if you drop/damage your machine.
What to do if your Mac doesn’t see your hard drive? Read the following article to know the answer: Hard Drive Won’t Show Up on Mac: How To Fix It.
Solid State Drive (SSD) – Pros & Cons
An SSD or Solid State Drive is, basically, a hard drive with no moving parts. It is based on flash memory, which is much faster than a traditional mechanical hard disk. This enables it to give a super-fast performance to support the more demanding games and applications.
Owing to their performance, SSDs are gaining wide popularity, with more and more systems coming with SSDs these days. Upgrading to an SSD is one of the best ways to speed up your computer.
- SSDs offer top-notch performance and speed. This makes them better suited for professionals and people who use more demanding apps and games.
- The booting-up time of a Flash Storage device is much shorter than HDDs.
- An SSD consumes less power and generates less noise & heat.
- SSDs are costlier than their alternatives, like HDDs or fusion drives.
- In case of iMac, the maximum Flash storage you can get is just 1TB, which may simply not be enough for many users.
Mac Fusion Drive vs SSD – Head-to-Head Comparison
Here’s the head-to-head comparison of the different aspects of Mac Fusion Drive vs SSD:
The biggest difference between a Fusion Drive and an SSD is the price. SSD is the more expensive option. But, if you’re someone who regularly uses high-usage apps, you’ll find that the SSDs are worth their price.
On the other hand, if you’re a regular user who wants to get a large capacity drive to store all your data on without having to spend a fortune, then the Fusion Drive is the best option.
Just like the traditional HDDs, the Fusion Drive has moving parts that can fail if you drop/damage your machine. This one is a serious downside to the fusion drive.
In comparison, SDDs don’t have any moving parts, which makes them significantly more durable than a fusion drive.
SSD trumps the fusion drive in terms of speed/performance. It gives you the best bootup times and performance.
However, when it comes to the fusion drive, it’s not as fast as a dedicated SSD. But, to put things in perspective, I would say that – in practical usage – only power users are likely to notice the difference in read-write speeds between an SSD and a Fusion Drive.
Fusion drive boasts a higher storage capacity than SSDs. It comes in storage capacity variants ranging from 1TB to 3TB in size.
An SSD, on the other hand, comes in limited storage capacities. In case of iMac, the maximum Flash storage you can get is just 1TB. However, note that this limited storage problem of SSD on iMac can easily be solved by using an external HDD Hard drive.
Final Showdown – Mac Fusion Drive vs SSD: What’s Better?
It’s pretty simple to choose between the Mac Fusion Drive vs SSD, based on your own needs and preferences. If you’re someone who needs the best performance, whether it’s for gaming or for some other demanding apps, you should go with a dedicated SSD. Of course, you’ll need to shell out more for it. But, it would still make sense considering the performance benefits it will offer over Fusion Drive.
On the contrary, if you don’t really need top-notch performance and would be satisfied with average speeds as long as you get high storage capacities at reasonable prices, getting a Fusion Drive would make sense for you.
Alternatively, you can also consider getting an SSD for your iMac and using an external HDD additionally. This way, you’ll be able to the best performance and adequate storage space too.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this guide helped you learn about all the key differences between Mac Fusion Drive vs SSD.
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