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Fusion Drives Won’t Support the New Apple File System in macOS High Sierra

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As reported by MacRumors, the upcoming new Apple File System (APFS) feature in macOS High Sierra, will not support Fusion Drives and will be limited to Macs with all-flash built-in storage. Although iMacs with Fusion Drives were converted to APFS during the beta testing process in the first macOS High Sierra beta, but support has now been removed and will not be available when it is released to the public next week.

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Apple has officially confirmed that APFS will not be available for Fusion Drives, and has also provided instructions for converting from APFS back to the standard HFS+ format, with the release of the GM version of macOS High Sierra. When customers with an all-flash machine upgrade to macOS High Sierra install the update next week, their drives will be converted to AFPS. Apple explicitly says “Fusion Drives and hard disk drives aren’t converted.”

“Public Beta testers who had an iMac with a Fusion Drive converted to APFS will need to follow a long list of instructions to convert back to HFS+, including making a Time Machine Backup, creating a bootable installer, and using Disk Utility to reformat their iMacs and reinstall macOS High Sierra. 

Apple says APFS will not be supported on Fusion Drives “in the initial release of macOS High Sierra,” which suggests support could be added for Fusion Drives at a later date after lingering bugs are worked out”.

The new Apple File System is an advanced version of HFS+, optimized for solid state drives, offering better security, crash protection, simplified backups and stronger encryption.

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  • sukisszoze

    …that’s awkward..lol

  • MleB1

    More planned obsolescence by Apple. You want the sparkly new OS with its completely new file system? Sorry, that won’t work on a lowly HDD-equipped Mac. Can we interest you in a brand new Mac? Frustrating loophole for them (which I’m sure Apple will ‘fix’ in whatever the next OS is next year), is that my lowly mid-2011 Air can do High Sierra.

  • Shameer Mulji

    not at all. APFS has been designed from the ground-up for flash-based storage, not spinning storage.

  • Mr Dog

    AFPS is designed to take advantage of SSD’s….
    You would not even be able to tell the difference between HFS+ & APFS 90% of the time.

    It is likely to much effort required for hardware that is on it’s way out anyway.

  • bbousquet

    You do realize it will not prevent anyone with a supported model from installing High Sierra? The OS will run just fine on HDD-equipped Mac computers, it just won’t upgrade the file system to APFS (which is geared towards SSD’s anyway).

  • So Young

    So basically someone who buy a new iMac with fusion drive will now have all the new features in high sierra out of the box? Very bad move Apple.

  • So Young

    but appart from the new file system, there are realy nothing worth uopgrading from sierra to high sierra.

  • bbousquet

    It doesn’t change anything. High Sierra runs fine on computers with a fusion drive (or standard HDD). It just won’t upgrade the drive’s file system to APFS, which yields little to no benefit on spinning drives anyway.

  • bbousquet

    This is quite subjective. HEVC, Metal 2, VR, upgrades to stock apps, etc.

  • Shameer Mulji

    “It is likely to much effort required for hardware that is on it’s way out anyway.”

    Agreed. Speaking of which, it’s high-time Apple made SSD’s standard on all iMacs. Even if that means paying a little bit more for standard configuration iMacs, I’m all for it. Since SSDs & APFS are the future, no point in having spinning HD’s lingering around.

  • sukisszoze

    Thanks…I can see a bunch of non-technical users thinking..wtf..

  • Shameer Mulji

    Possibly. But I would be surprised if non-technical people understood the actual technology underlying file systems. Many older Macs with spinning hard drives will still run High Sierra, they just won’t support APFS.

  • Shameer Mulji

    High Sierra is to Sierra what Snow Leopard was to Leopard. A lot of under-the-hood changes and refinements to user-facing features. Nothing most users will see as earth shattering. If anything, it should work smoother than Sierra.

  • Ned K.

    omg what have you done to new Macbook line, Tim?! No glowing Apple logo, only USB-C ports, and some weird file system, which is not compatible with many applications people actually use the most?

  • Ned K.

    People don’t buy Mac for Metal 2, VR, and etc.

  • bbousquet

    They don’t buy them for APFS either.

  • raslucas

    They buy the Mac for the apps that use these technologies.

  • Ned K.

    Really? For VR? Ok…I really wonder what kind of Mac you use. The best selling Mac is Macbook 13 inch w/o discrete GPU….and you say graphics intensive features like Metal 2 and VR. Ok…….99% of people buy Mac for its simplicity and UX, not for such features. PC is must cheaper an effective for such graphics intensive works.

  • Ned K.

    Of course they don’t, and most of them don’t even care.

  • raslucas

    Ya. It allows developers to use these technologies for their apps without worrying about hardware compatibility. It’s really no different from the apps using openCL and the first Metal APIs. It’s really just to make their apps faster and more responsive.

  • raslucas

    I just feel like sticking to improving the backbone of the OS and giving developers great tools to make great apps, and NOT changing their UI all the time to try to find something people actually like goes hand in hand with simplicity and UX.

  • MleB1

    But Apple’s built-in MacOS software – as well as future 3rd Party products – will all be geared to the newer file system. You’ll be installing a hobbled update at best, if installed on a HDD.
    Should Apple even make High Sierra available to HDD Macs? Sure. Break it and they will come.

  • bbousquet

    Do you know what a file system is and its implications on end user software?

  • Shameer Mulji

    It is true previous iMacs didn’t support VR but the new iMacs are optimized to take advantage of VR capability.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Agreed.

  • sukisszoze

    I have a SSD in my 2010 iMac…should be all good to go!

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