A closer look at the Apple Fusion Drive
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) new Fusion Drive was unveiled just a couple of weeks back. While it sounds similar to the hybrid hard drive, like the Momentus XT hybrid drive, it really consists of a separate solid-state drive and hard disk drive that are merged into a single volume at the operating system level.
Ars Technica has a detailed rundown of how the new Fusion Drive works in practice, conducting tests to show data being stored on the SSD by default, and only being copied over to the HDD when the SSD is full. This is unlike Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) Smart Response Technology, which uses a SSD as a write-back or write-through cache.
According to the report, "The advantage of Fusion Drive over a pure SSD is that if they eventually outgrow the SSD, the system will automatically grow with them, keeping less often-used things on HDD."
Separately, blogger Patrick Stein has documented how he was able to create a Fusion Drive for an older Mac using a SSD and HDD, and combining them into a core storage VolumeGroup. This appears to validate that the feature is built into the OS X operating system, which means that it could be available as a generic feature in future Macs.
- check out this article at Ars Technica