Thinking of upgrading from a Fusion drive on a Mac? Here’s what you need to know

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Apple relied on the Fusion drive for years as an reasonably priced center possibility between a gradual however reasonably priced high-capacity laborious disk drive and a quick however costly high-capacity SSD. The Fusion drive pairs an SSD with only a few gigabytes with a a lot bigger HDD. macOS treats the Fusion drive as one logical machine, displaying it as a single drive within the Finder. However behind the scenes, it robotically optimizes file storage, so probably the most regularly accessed recordsdata are shifted over time to your SSD, whereas the HDD holds less-used ones. Because of this your Fusion drive Mac can begin up rapidly, however nonetheless be a slug when utilizing Photoshop to edit massive photos.

This seamless and invisible administration is nothing like having two separate drives—it is a stitched-together hybrid. Because of this, you may’t separate the 2 simply by upgrading one half with out quite a lot of fancy interactions. And most Macs with Fusion drives have an SSD put in that’s tough to entry or is construct into the motherboard; the HDD is usually fairly tough to entry and swap out, or could also be unattainable to take away.

In case your plan is to vary out both or each components, nonetheless, begin by cloning your Fusion drive to an exterior drive utilizing Disk Utility, Shirt Pocket’s SuperDuper, or Bombich Software program’s Carbon Copy Cloner with Catalina or earlier variations of macOS. Massive Sur provides complexity to cloning; learn this put up at Bombich Software program and this at Shirt Pocket for extra on the problem. (Macs with Apple’s M1 silicon can’t be cloned totally but, however no M1 Mac comes with a Fusion drive.)

Apple presents an in depth information on splitting and restoring Fusion drives that ought to assist if you wish to knit again collectively one or two upgraded parts.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a query submitted by Macworld reader John.

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