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ssd

Through the MacBook Air, Apple has pioneered the everyday use of flash storage as an alternative to traditional hard drives. With the inevitable discontinuation of the pre-2012 MacBook Pros, Apple’s MacBook lineup will go completely flash-based and it looks as if the desktop Mac is going that way to… well, kind of.

At their October special event, Phil Schiller announced Fusion Drive, a new storage technology available for configurations of Apple’s late 2012 Mac Minis and iMacs. Fusing together flash and traditional storage, Apple aims to create a faster storage medium that still offers up a large capacity. In this article, we’re going to run through the basics of Fusion Drive, the technologies behind it and what it means for the future of storage on your Mac. (more…)

SSD’s or Solid State Drives are a popular upgrade lately due to the very significant difference they can make to even an older Mac’s performance in real world use. Unfortunately, SSD’s are also still prohibitively expensive for those of us who wish to keep large quantities of media on an internal hard drive.

There are a few workarounds for this, but most rely on an external drive or cloud storage. Alternatively, the following guide will show you how to install an SSD and make use of a larger, standard hard drive in the SuperDrive bay. As far as non-standard upgrades go, it’s not too difficult, but is perhaps not best suited for complete novices and may well void your warranty.

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Since transitioning to an SSD earlier last year, I’ve become accustomed to dealing with a smaller amount of hard drive space in my MacBook Pro. Moving from 256GB down to 128GB felt like a risky thing to do at the time – the last thing I wanted was the constant headache of a hard drive that’s full to the brim.

The reality is that I absolutely haven’t noticed the decrease in size. I trimmed down my Applications directory, moved all my iMovie content off to an external drive, and started a new photo library in Lightroom (my old Aperture library was becoming an out of control nightmare to manage).

These few changes freed up over 100GB of space and, by being mindful of what I download, save, and store on my internal drive, this space is still more or less completely free.

Downsizing to a smaller drive hasn’t once caused me a problem – I’ve found that when it comes to internal drives, bigger isn’t necessarily better. But would you be happy to sacrifice all those extra gigabytes? Let us know in today’s poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Much has been said about solid-state drives (SSD) being the next “big thing” in terms of computer performance. If you regularly find that your Mac is running slowly when opening apps and booting, it might be obvious to immediately think that the problem is down to insufficient RAM.

Although the amount of memory in your Mac does make a big difference, we’re starting to get to the point where we all have plenty of RAM for everyday tasks (4GB is more than enough for most Mac users). The main piece of old technology inside your MacBook or iMac is actually the hard drive, and that can contribute significantly to poor performance with certain tasks.

Not convinced that you’ll notice a performance benefit? Check out this video and come back in two minutes. I’ll wait!

So why hasn’t everyone jumped ship to this new performance-boosting miracle? The main problem with solid-state drives at present boils down to price. They’re still far more expensive than a standard Serial ATA drive, and out of the budget of many Mac users.

The question I’m asking today is whether you’re sporting a shiny new SSD (and reaping the performance benefits), or waiting for the price to drop over the next year or so. Have your say in the poll, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear what you all think!

As a follow up to our article on upgrading your Mac’s RAM, this article will outline how to go through the same process to upgrade your hard drive.

We’ll begin with a brief discussion on why upgrading your hard drive will improve your system then move on to the pros and cons of mechanical vs. solid state drives. We’ll conclude with a step by step tutorial on finding and purchasing the right HD for your Mac and point you to some instructional guides outlining the installation process for your specific model.

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