If you’re one of the many excited buyers chomping at the bit to get one of Apple’s latest-gen Retina iMacs, you might want to take a second to consider the specs on the new models. According to Apple’s website, the 1 TB Fusion Drives used in the new all-in-ones have seen a significant decrease in the amount of included flash storage.
How significant? The new drives ship with less than one-fifth of the previous flash storage.
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A Fusion Drive, as most readers will likely recall, combines the cheap, vast storage of a traditional hard drive with the speed and efficiency of flash storage, with OS X automatically and intelligently moving files from the hard drive to the flash storage as needed to make those files more easily accessible.
In previous versions of the Fusion Drive, Apple has included 128 GB of flash storage—enough to store a lot of large apps and files that you use frequently. In the new iMacs with 1 TB Fusion Drives, however, that number has been cut to an insanely small 24 GB.
See for yourself on this excerpt from Apple’s iMac spec page:
Apparently Apple somehow thinks this is acceptable. Thankfully, for users who actually care about putting that flash storage to good use, there are two options that include the full 128 GB of flash. You’ll just need to spend a little extra to buy the 2 TB or 3 TB variety if you want to get that—an extra $200 or $300, respectively.
Because of this change, Apple is recommending that all machines with 32 GB of RAM be configured with the 2 TB or 3 TB Fusion Drive, or an all-flash drive (which will cost even more) for increased performance.
One reason for this? The image that’s used to store your computer’s memory contents when it goes to sleep would be too big to fit on the flash storage. Waking the Mac from sleep would take longer because the contents of that image would have to be read from the slow hard drive rather than the flash storage.