What is your opinion of the fusion drive on an iMac?


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I'm an OLD person (well, not THAT old) and love my iMac rather than a laptop. I currently have a mid 2010 and upgraded to a SSD drive a couple years ago. It's working fine but it's just old - I can't even get Mojave on it. Now that they just came out with an updated iMac, I'm wondering what drive you might recommend. I don't know much about the fusion drive, but is that a good drive or should I upgrade to a SSD only drive? I don't do a lot on my computer (no in-depth spreadsheets, etc.) other than email, photos (lots of photos), watch youtube, documents and a few games but I do like it to be fast! Also, I wonder if it's worth the price to go from 8gb memory to 16 or if I even need 16. My current iMac does have the SSD drive and it has 4gb memory. I would love to hear your recommendation. Btw - I listen to your podcast every week and feel like I know you guys - you do a great job! Thanks, Sandy Martin


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Jan 8, 2012
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Either option is more than sufficient, in my opinion. You've already stated that you upgraded your mid-2010 iMac with an SSD so you know how it performs. If you're satisfied with it, continue using an SSD, but if you want to save some money and still be able to do the things you want with your iMac, get a fusion drive.


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Aug 19, 2013
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Welcome to the forums. I looked up your Mac, and found some specs here: https://support.apple.com/kb/sp582?locale=en_US
I'm not sure if that is the same machine as yours.

Disclaimer: I'm not that good with Apple products, but have built several PCs.

It looks like the max amount of RAM that can be installed is 8 GB of RAM. The board and chipset limit how much RAM can be used on a system. I'm not exactly sure where you are seeing slowdowns, but the only way an SSD would help with speed would be booting. After that, it would come down to CPU speed and both amount of RAM and speed of RAM.

Since you are a light user (nothing wrong with that), you wouldn't need a lot of RAM, or even a lot of storage. I had to search what a Fusion drive was (basically a hybrid drive), and while hybrids have their place, they are being shifted out of being relevant in PCs anymore. SSD drive prices have been dropping quite quickly over the past year alone, while hybrids have stayed relatively the same. You do get the benefit of storage from an HDD and some of the speed of the SSD, however, being a light user, I don't see the need for you to get such a large drive when you mainly just use the laptop as a browsing device (again, nothing wrong with that).

Aside from running a more updated version of MacOS, what are you looking to achieve?


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Apr 6, 2016
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I also have an older iMac at home, 2011 model. When I first got it, I immediately upgraded the hard drive to an SSD. Then I discovered the 4 giga ram was upgradable to 16 gigs (4 sticks of 4 gig ram). I'm now running Lightroom and Luminar on it with no problems. Only thing I don't like about it it it's not upgradable to Mojave.

However, with all that said, I personally prefer the SSD route if it's affordable. Fusion is ok if you want the best of both worlds at a lesser cost.