Battle of Hard Drives: Fusion Drive vs. SSD vs. HDD. Which Is Right for You?

Myra updated on Nov 05, 2020 to Mac File Recovery | How-to Articles

Fusion Drive vs. SSD vs. HDD lets you compare the three types of hard drives by viewing the price, speed, performance and potential risks while using each. Go and get the right hard drive for your Apple computer, Windows PC or laptop. Let EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard takes care of your lost data on the Fusion Drive, SSD and HDD with the enhanced data recovery capability.

This page offers a detailed comparison of HDD, SSD, and Fusion drive. It also offers a complete data recovery solution for the latest Fusion drives. Check out the detailed information now:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
HDDs The cheapest, oldest and most common type of drive is the humble HDD...Full steps
SSDs HDDs are increasingly being replaced by SSDs (or solid-state drives)...Full steps
Fusion Drive Fusion Drive is a combination of HDD and SSD technology...Full steps
Fusion Drive Recovery When lost Fusion drive data, run EaseUS recovery software > Scan drive > Restore...Full steps

It would be easy to think that a hard drive is just a hard drive, but this would be a long way from the truth. There are, in fact, several different types of hard drives, and the one you choose will depend on a number of factors – but ultimately it comes down to balancing size, performance, and price.



The cheapest, oldest and most common type of drive is the humble HDD (or hard disk drive). This is a decade-old technology that is still very widely used. Data is stored on rotating platters, which are read from and written to with a magnetic head that moves across the surface of the platter like the arm of a record player. Because of the fact that the disks containing data rotate, and the read/write head moves. HDDs are often referred to as mechanical drives and the fact they have moving parts means that they are audible when in use.

  • Advantages: cheap, reliable, high capacities available
  • Disadvantages: Slow, risk of physical damage, can be noisy in use



HDDs are increasingly being replaced by SSDs (or solid-state drives). These take a number of forms, but they all have one thing in common – no moving parts. SSDs are less prone to damage than standard HDDs because there is no risk of a moving read/write head coming into contact with a disk, but this is not the only advantage of this type of drive. Because they are based on Flash memory,  SSDs are also significantly faster than traditional hard drives, making them ideal for tasks that require better performance, such as gaming, CAD and video editing.

This extra speed comes at a cost, though. On a gigabyte for gigabyte basis, an SSD is noticeably more expensive than an HDD, but prices have started to come down significantly in recent years as the storage technology is more widely adopted. SSDs come in a number of physical forms, including those that look like regular hard drives, and those which look more like RAM memory modules. Another important factor to bear in mind is that SSDs do not last as long as traditional HDDs. This is not because they are less reliable, but rather that their very nature means that data can only be written to each section of a disk a limited number of times.

  • Advantages: Fast performance, low power consumption, silent operation
  • Disadvantages: Higher cost, lower capacities, limited lifespan

Fusion Drive

fusion drive

The final type of drive that we're interested in here is Fusion Drive. As you might guess from the name, this is a combination of HDD and SSD technology. Actually, Fusion Drive is specific to Apple; it is the company's own version of the more generic hybrid drive, but it works in very much the same way. Briefly explained, a Fusion Drive comprises a large capacity HDD and a smaller capacity SSD. For instance, 2019-model iMacs are available with Fusion Drives made up of 3TB HDD storage and 128GB SSD storage – although there are numerous other configurations available, and Fusion Drive is available for other Apple devices. While there are two physical drives making up the Fusion Drive, they appear as a single drive within macOS.

  • Advantages: Cheaper than SSDs but faster than HDDs, quiet (although not silent) operation, high capacities available 
  • Disadvantages: Not the very best performance, can have problems, only available in certain Macs

Fusion Drive Benefits

macOS organizes the content of a Fusion Drive so files that are accessed frequently are stored on the faster SSD to speed up access. This can include documents and other files that are used most regularly, as well as apps and key files relating to the operating system itself. In some senses, a Fusion Drive is like a regular hard drive with an extremely large cache. It brings the speed benefits of installing an SSD at a greatly reduced cost; it gives users the best of both worlds. 

It is only really possible to get a Fusion Drive by buying an iMac with one preinstalled. Some people have had success adding one to a Mac that was not originally supplied with one, but this is not something that is guaranteed to work and is a route best avoided.

Fusion Drive is fairly unique, and this means that it can have unique problems. The idea of the drive is that the HDD and SSD components that make it up are supposed to show up in Finder as a single drive, but this does not always happen. It is possible for a Fusion Drive to "split", meaning that it will appear as two drives instead. Apple is aware that this is something that can happen from time to time, and the company offers a suggestion about how to fix it ( -- however,  this problem can also stem from a physical problem with a Fusion Drive, and this can be troublesome and expensive to fix.

For all of their benefits, Fusion Drive suffers from the same problems as HDDs and SSDs when it comes to data loss. No matter what type of drives you using, it is only too easy to accidentally delete a file only to later discover that it was a file you actually needed to keep. Whatever type of drive you have, it is important, to have a backup plan in place. Making regular backups of data is one of the easiest ways to prevent the loss of files. And, of course, Trash gives you something of a safety net, giving you the chance to recover files you have deleted, but what happens if you empty Trash?

This is where the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac can help. The software can handle data recovery from HDDs, SSDs and Fusion Drive disks, helping you to get back files you may have thought you had lost forever. It does not matter whether you lost files because of accidental deletion, drive formatting, a virus, or something else, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is probably your best chance of getting back your data (there is also a version available for Windows). The software is available for just $89.95 +VAT, and there is a free trial version available so you can test out its capabilities before you decide to buy.

How to Recover Deleted/Lost Data from Fusion Drive:

Step 1. Select the Fusion Drive where you lost data and files. Click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your Fusion disk and display the scanning results on the left pane.

scan the selected Fusion disk to find lost data on your Mac

Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) and click the "Recover Now" button to get them back.

click recover now button to recover lost data on your Mac

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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