A forum thread [Google translation] posted to Chinese site WeiPhone.com earlier this month claims that Apple is planning to introduce its next iMac at a press conference either this month or next month, with the new iMac offering a redesigned body with a thinner profile. The report includes a photo of what is said to be the logic board and other internal components of the new iMac.
In the leaked photos there’s what appears to be a 2.5″ hard drive. They’re limited in size and usaually not available in the sizes 3.5″ drives come in, though the current iMac can be built with a 2TB option (as well as a 246GB SSD), and you can get 2.5″ drives in that size but speeds would be a drastically lower. The Retina MacBook Pro is a perfect example of Apple’s idea of the future – pure SSD and a fast (as well as versatile) external IO in the shape of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0.
This makes me wonder if Apple wouldn’t be including mechanical drives but would actually be moving the iMac to SSD. There’s too many disadvantages to warrant moving the iMac range to 2.5″ mechanical drives as performance would be hugely impacted.1
On the other hand, Apple’s argument would be that they include Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, which means there’s a growing range of high performance and high-speed storage devices that can easily be used. They’d be right, but they won’t be cheap and moving to 2.5″ SSD or mechanical drives will only increase costs.
I changed the drive in my old 2009 MacBook Pro and it genuinely felt like a new machine. ↩