Other World Computing Releases Aftermarket SSD Upgrade for Retina MacBook Pro

NewImageOther World Computing has released a 480GB aftermarket SSD upgrade for the Retina MacBook Pro. However, while OWC's upgrades for the MacBook Air are very price-competitive with the storage upgrades available at the Apple Online Store, the 480GB Aura Pro 6G is less clear-cut.

In its blog post announcing the release, OWC notes that "when introduced this past June, the MacBook Pro with Retina display base model offered a 256GB SSD configuration with no upgrade option." While this used to be true, at the beginning of this month, Apple expanded the custom configuration options for the Retina MacBook Pro. Now, users can upgrade the base model with either 512 or 768GB of storage.

The 512GB upgrade costs $500 from Apple, while OWC offers the 480GB SSD for $579.99. Though it appears to be more expensive, the OWC upgrade does allow users to keep the 256GB drive that comes in the notebook by default. For purchasers ordering the Mercury Aura Pro before September 30, OWC will include the $60 OWC Envoy Pro for free, an external USB 3.0 enclosure for the SSD drive from the Retina MacBook Pro. This gives users a very speedy (and very small) external drive.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

29 months ago
ha, and iFixit said the rMBP wasn't upgradeable at all!
Rating: 11 Votes
29 months ago

What kind of warranty does it have? I doubt it's as convenient to replace as going to the Genius Bar by any measure, and that means your machine is going down for days


3 Year warranty and it takes someone with average intelligence and the correct screwdriver about 5 minutes to replace the SSD in the rMBP. :rolleyes:

At that price? No thanks. I would rather buy a crucial m4 512gb SSD for $400 and connect it to a thunderbolt adapter.


Don't forget the $100 cost of that adapter.
Rating: 9 Votes
29 months ago

ha, and iFixit said the rMBP wasn't upgradeable at all!


At the time, it wasn't.
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago

Why would anyone want to put super fast storage modules into a crappy USB 3 enclosure?

Thunderbolt or GTFO.


Is 500MB/s not fast enough for you?
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago

ha, and iFixit said the rMBP wasn't upgradeable at all!


The RAM because it is soldered and battery because it is glued are the two items that are the pain. iFixit's guide shows it is easy to remove the SSD.
Rating: 4 Votes
29 months ago

Why would anyone want to put super fast storage modules into a crappy USB 3 enclosure?

Thunderbolt or GTFO.


Because Thunderbolt is incredibly expensive, and USB 3 is plenty fast for this purpose.
Rating: 4 Votes
29 months ago

Why would anyone want to put super fast storage modules into a crappy USB 3 enclosure?

Thunderbolt or GTFO.


The Apple SSD can read/write ~450MB/s, USB 3.0 can theoretically do 600MB/s (although probably less in practice).
Rating: 4 Votes
29 months ago

How exactly is the SSD installed if it's soldiered onto the board? I don't understand.


Because the SSD is not soldered to the motherboard...

Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago

That's a gross exaggeration and misunderstanding of my comment. The guy I commented referenced the five-sided screws, not the soldered on RAM. The screws are about control. Plain and simple.

The soldered on RAM is about saving space so they can make the computer thinner. While the move in 2008 to the unibody enclosure still present on the non-retina MacBook Pros made the machine thinner than it was before, there was no downside to it doing so. Now, to keep such a powerful machine so thin, the battery cells are built into the unibody frame/top case and the RAM is soldered onto the logic board. That's bad. RAM failures happen, and on a non-retina/non-air MacBook, you pay $40 to replace the faulty RAM module and you keep on chugging. Now, if your RAM fails, you have to replace the entire logic board, and if you're out of AppleCare, that means you're replacing your laptop. How the hell is this a GOOD move?

The screws are a statement that Apple thinks the computer is unsafe to open for non-experts. If somebody wants to open the computer, they will get the correct screwdrivers, somebody ready to plonk down several hundred dollars for an SSD won't really be deterred by a set of screwdrivers (and in this case OWC provides them to you for no extra charge). The batteries are less protected in the rMBP than before and already the fixed batteries in all but the very first unibody MBPs make opening the computer more dangerous. I know this myself, I trashed a computer by touching the wrong thing with a screwdriver and creating a short-circuit.

And regarding RAM, I definitely heard a lot about faulty RAM but very, very little about failing RAM (but I have seen three failing batteries, two HDDs, one HDD enclosure, four optical drives, one fan, one trackpad, one iPhone home button, one Time Capsule. If you see a pattern, it is very much moving parts that fail, incl. batteries where ions move compared to mere electrons in other things.) In my 20+ years of owning computers, I have never encountered failing RAM. Sure, the larger the number of components that are soldered or glued on, the larger the likelihood that the whole assembly needs to be replaced at some point. But in the end, why cry about integrated RAM more than about integrated graphic cards [in laptops]?

Again, if it were largely only about control, why did they not change the screws on all MBs? And why did they make the second generation Mac mini easier to open than the first one?
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago

Technically I never even said you didn't get one from them, all I said was that you needed one, and then that they were available from various sources online (including OWC).

I still great comfort in the fact on multiple occasions in this thread alone, I've answered and help a few different users, better than simply pointing out meaningless and obviously misinterpreted statements, yes? :)


Actually, I was the one who posted all the tools came with the OWC kit. Good try at spinning.

----------

While it's true; only Apple and OWC make drives that work in this machine. They can rape us on prices all they want, sadly.

Who forced you to buy an MBA? No one. If you want a laptop that has more aftermarket parts options, buy something else. Or better yet, start your own SSD business and compete with OWC and Apple.
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]