While Apple provides solid state drives on its laptop models, the stock iMacs use slow spinning hard drives. The more expensive models include a Fusion drive, which is a combination of a SSD and a spinning hard drive. With a Fusion drive, frequently accessed files are stored on the SSD, for faster retrieval. The 1TB Fusion drives use a 32 GB SSD. The 2TB and 3TB Fusion drives use a 128GB SSD. All of the iMacs can be configured with a “pure” SSD, with a build-to-order configuration.
In my opinion, Apple is shortchanging its customers with its current stock storage options. The spinning hard drive in the lower-end iMac models is just too slow for an acceptable user experience in 2017. It might be excusable in the base budget model, but a Retina iMac at $1300 should include a Fusion drive at minimum. I just can’t imagine spending $1300 on a computer to get sluggish drive performance.
In the next generation of iMacs, I’d like to see Apple provide 128GB Fusion SSD drives as a minimum stock configuration. More importantly, Apple should offer stock models with pure SSDs. There are many Apple iMac customers who would do just fine with 256GB or 512GB of SSD storage, just like on its laptops. It’s baffling why a customer can’t walk into an Apple store today and buy an iMac with pure SSD storage.