Apple has silently dropped the amount of flash storage available in the 1TB Fusion Drive hybrid storage systems that it offers with iMac all-in-one computers.
While the original 1TB Fusion Drive included 128GB of NAND flash, the new 1TB Fusion Drive only has 24GB of flash storage. Users who need more high-speed storage will have to upgrade to either the 256GB SSD option or go in for the 2TB or 3TB (only on the 27-inch iMac) Fusion Drives, which still feature 128GB of flash storage. All options add significantly to the base price of an iMac - $200 (roughly Rs. 13,000) more for the 2TB Fusion Drive, and $300 (roughly Rs. 19,000) for the 3TB Fusion Drive.
The Cupertino-based firm recommends that users looking to buy iMac systems with 32GB of RAM should go in for either the 2TB or 3TB Fusion Drive, or the all flash storage option so that the amount of RAM doesn't exceed the amount of flash, which would make waking and going to sleep slower.
Apple's US site, in its "How much storage is right for you?" explanation on the iMac customisation page, states, "The 1TB Fusion Drive pairs a 1TB hard drive with 24GB of fast flash - enough to store important OS X files and applications to ensure fast startup, near instant wake from sleep and quick application launching, with room left over for your most frequently used files and apps. The 2TB and 3TB Fusion Drives pair a larger hard drive with 128GB of fast flash storage, providing even more space for your most frequently used files. For the best performance, iMac systems with 32GB of memory should be configured with a 2TB or larger Fusion Drive or all flash storage."
Fusion Drive is a combination of high-speed flash storage with a high-capacity conventional hard drive. The SSD portion is meant to enable faster booting and application launches, with OS X intelligently managing which files go where based on usage patterns. With the new 24GB flash storage on the 1TB Fusion Drive, however, the worry is that the OS will be forced to shunt a significant proportion of important files to the conventional HDD, slowing things down.
The company earlier this week launched a new 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K screen and a refreshed 27-inch iMac model along with a new range of input devices. A 1TB Fusion Drive with 128GB of flash is still available as an option for the Mac mini, though Apple is likely to switch to its new scheme with the next refresh of that product line.