Fusion Drive Vs. HDD

At, Roadrunner writes:

I’m going to buy a 27-inch iMac for video editing with Final Cut Pro x. Should I upgrade to a fusion drive?

Congratulations on your upcoming purchase. The new iMac is certainly an excellent choice for users interested in having a full OS X experience on the desktop.

The Fusion Drive (which is really a hybrid drive with very minor differences) is a great way to boost the performance of your operating system and frequently used programs without taking a huge hit on storage capacity. You really don’t need an extremely fast drive from which to play music files and run other miscellaneous data, but you would certainly see an increase in performance when it comes to launching applications.

iMacWhat makes the Fusion Drive different from some “normal” hybrid drives is that each component (SSD and HDD) acts as an independent device. The slower, traditional platter drive provides most of the capacity of the Fusion Drive. Just because it’s slower than the solid-state component doesn’t mean it’s impractical. In fact, most of the data you might have stored on this portion of the drive amounts to media files, documents, and other accessible data. The solid-state portion of the Fusion Drive handles the important matters. Your operating system, primary applications, and critical rendering data is kept here where it can be made available to your system at breakneck speeds.

The result is a better experience for video editors rendering video, and just about any user that suffers from extended wait times during application launch.

The biggest downside of the Fusion Drive is the price. You’re spending a premium for something that gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll probably do just fine with an external drive connected by way of USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt coupled with a moderately-sized SSD.

The decision is entirely your own, but if speed is an absolute must for you, then it’s certainly an option worth giving serious consideration.