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It’s been more than a week since we all got suckered into staying up late – or taking an hour or so off from... Why Apple’s Fusion Drive Matters

It’s been more than a week since we all got suckered into staying up late – or taking an hour or so off from work, as the case may be – because of the Apple iPad Mini event. While most of us held our breaths till the iPad Mini was actually announced, I think that it is safe to say that it was rather anticlimactic. If anything, there were a couple more other points which excited me more than the iPad Mini.

Apple's Fusion Drive

Fusion Drive

One of them was the Fusion Drive. While Phil Schiller did not spend a lot of time discussing the Fusion Drive, I think he did give us a clear idea of what it is.

Basically, the Fusion Drive is the result of putting together a 128 GB SSD (or flash drive) and a 1 TB (or 3 TB) hard drive. The end result is a combo drive that gives the user the best of both worlds: speed and storage space.

It all sounds so exciting, as “best of both worlds” scenarios usually are. But, does the Fusion Drive really matter for the average user? Why can’t we be satisfied with a regular hard drive?

A happy medium between speed and storage space and what you need.

If you have ever used a MacBook Air, you would know just how amazingly fast it is. Even the 2011 model still surprises me at how fast it shuts down/boots up. That’s all thanks to the SSD. However, there is the issue of running out of space very quickly. I don’t have movies and music on my Air, but I still find myself dangerously low on space if I do not back up photos and other files.

Getting lots of SSD storage would be ideal, but that would not be feasible financially. As for the traditional hard drive, it will never be as fast as SSD. So, putting together these two to become one entity only contributes to the user experience.

the new iMac is the most advanced desktop Apple has ever made

It just works!

I think this is the main thing that the Fusion Drive has going for it. It just works. You don’t need to manually select which drive to use for what task, which is one of the issues of other hybrid drives that came before Apple’s. Instead, the smart guys at Apple have done some magic that allows the system to move files and programs between the SSD and the hard drive, depending on what you are using.

Additionally, a certain amount of flash memory is allotted to current tasks (such as writing this post in an editor, for example), so as to avoid any lag.

Just like Phil Schiller said during the event, you don’t need to know how the Fusion Drive functions.

And for the mainstream user, that is all that matters.


[Image via ArsTechnica & iclarified]