Those curious to try out Apple’s new Fusion Drive on the late–2012 iMac will now get a chance to do so at a lower price point. Over the weekend, the Cupertino company added a configuration option for a 1 TB Fusion Drive to the entry-level 21.5-inch iMac, a feature that had previously been limited to the more expensive 21.5-inch configuration and the 27-inch models.
French site MacGeneration first spotted the change Saturday. The option is now available for all iMacs, although the 21.5-inch model is limited to a 1 TB Fusion Drive thanks to that machine’s use of a 2.5-inch internal hard drive. The 27-inch iMac, which uses desktop-sized 3.5-inch drives, offers either a 1 TB or 3 TB Fusion Drive.
Apple’s Fusion Drive, introduced alongside new Macs in October, intelligently combines 128 GB of solid state storage with up to 3 TB of traditional hard drive storage. OS X sees a single volume of both storage mediums combined, and the system intelligently manages data so that system files and recently used user data and applications are automatically moved to and accessed from the solid state drive. The end result is transparent to the user, and combines the speed advantages of an SSD with the storage capacity of an HDD.
With the change in configuration options, new users looking to try out the Fusion Drive can save about $200, as the high-end 21.5-inch iMac with a Fusion drive started at $1749 and the new entry-level option now starts at $1549.
The Fusion Drive is also available as a build-to-order option on the high-end 2012 Mac mini. For more adventurous users, it is also possible to create your own Fusion Drive using OS X and existing hardware. Other World Computing has a detailed walkthrough on the process.