The iMac Fusion Drive

Pierre Igot writes about the possible risks early adopters may take when buying a new iMac with a Fusion Drive installed:

Do potential buyers of the new technology really need to worry about a higher-than-normal failure rate for the new drives and the fact that, while these failures can be fixed with software, the fix involves erasing the drive?

I don't think it's a bad sign that Apple has released some troubleshooting tips for the Fusion Drive. I'd suggest it might actually a good sign the support page exists so soon.

Even so, the technology behind Fusion Drive is new and should therefore be treated with caution. I'm in the market for an iMac and am now faced with a tough decision: which storage configuration do I choose?

My realistic1 options are either:

  • 1TB, 7200rpm hard drive,
  • 1TB Fusion Drive,
  • 768GB flash storage.

Unfortunately, pricing for these options hasn't been announced yet, so I'm not working with any solid numbers. I imagine the 768GB flash drive will be prohibitively expensive, leaving me with the choice of "risking" a first generation Fusion Drive or suffering with a slow, spinning hard drive. It strikes me as slightly strange that smaller SSD configurations aren't available—but perhaps the 512GB chips are all reserved for other Macs, or considered insufficient for a desktop computer.

Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised at the cost of the flash storage, but it looks like I'll be going with a 1TB Fusion Drive in December. I hope it really does deliver the best of both worlds.

1: I don't need more than 1TB of storage, so I'm discounting the 3TB options.