Wow! This sounds great. Everywhere you look these days, from cars to computers, everyone’s talking about new combinations, new hybrids, new fusions of different technologies to use the best qualities of both. Depend on Apple to use it where it counts, and do it right.
Apple’s New Fusion Drive
The end of October has been a pretty busy time for Apple. Not only did they introduce the Mac Mini, iMac, and the latest incarnations of the iPad and the new iPad Mini, they also announced a brand new storage option, a device they have dubbed the ‘Fusion Drive’. So what is it all about? And why is it different from other pieces of technology that already exists?
Well, according to Apple, the brand new Fusion Drive is speedy and efficient. It is perfect for the more disk-intensive tasks, for example, when you boot up the computer and launch applications for the first time. It is also great for photo editing. This is absolutely fantastic as the majority of people that use the Apple desktop and netbook style computers are doing fairly intensive tasks with it.
So how does Apple’s New Fusion Drive work? Well, to put it simply, it puts all of the frequently used items into flash storage. Accessing this flash storage is much quicker than standard ‘disk accessing’ and as a result, you will have access to what you need in a much quicker frame of time. Information that isn’t accessed frequently is sent to the hard drive. This is a constantly evolving process and all of the file transfers happen in the background whilst you are running the computer. Don’t worry though, there isn’t any noticeable slowdown when you use Apple’s New Fusion Drive, and the only thing you are really going to notice is an increased amount of speed.
Many people originally believed that this was going to be a Hybrid Drive. This is a piece of technology that we have seen in the past, and the Hybrid Drive traditionally uses SSD in order to cache the data. However, from what we have seen, the Apple Fusion Drive is a completely different concept to this. In fact, they appear to have invented their own technology.
To understand why, you need to know that caching is the duplication of data, i.e. with Hybrid Drives a duplicate of the data is sent over to the SSD storage. This is not like that at all. The data is literally moved from one location to another, which means that it isn’t duplicated at all. The data is moved permanently (well at least until the device sees you aren’t using that data a lot) This means that you theoretically end up with much more storage space, although of course, the main implementation for Apple’s New Fusion Drive is for speed.
When you use the Apple Fusion Device, it will appear as two separate drives on your computer that act as one partition. This means that if your hard drive fails, the hard drive could be replaced with a third party drive which could then act as a Fusion device. This is absolutely fantastic news!
Meanwhile, they note that all writes take place on the SSD drive, and are later moved to the mechanical drive if needed, resulting in faster initial writes. The Fusion will be available for the new iMac and new Mac mini models announced today.