OWC Launches New Aura Pro X2 SSDs for Older MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models

Other World Computing today announced the launch of new Aura Pro X2 SSDs, which are designed to offer double the speed of Apple's SSDs at half the price.

Compared to its existing Aura SSD options, the Aura Pro X2 offers lower power consumption, lower heat, and better battery life. OWC says the SSDs it's offering to Mac users are cheaper, faster, and better.


The Aura Pro X2 SSDs offer read speeds up to 3200MB/s and write speeds up to 2400MB/s, with a maximum of 2TB of storage. OWC has designed the SSDs to be compatible with the latest versions of macOS, with support for APFS.

OWC says the new Aura Pro X2 SSDs are available for MacBook Air models from Mid 2013 to 2017, Retina MacBook Pro models from Late 2013 to Mid 2015, the 2013 Mac Pro, and the 2014 Mac mini, making OWC's upgrade option a solid one for eking more life out of an older Mac.

The Aura Pro X2 SSDs are not compatible with the 2018 MacBook Air or the redesigned MacBook Pro models released from 2016 to 2018.

OWC ships SSDs with an Envoy Pro enclosure designed to house your original SSD so you can repurpose it as an external USB drive and also use it to transfer your data to the new SSD.

Pricing on the Aura Pro X2 SSD starts at $120 for the 240GB model with SSD only, and goes up to $700 for the 2TB model. OWC offers 240GB, 480GB, 1TB, and 2TB options. Slightly more expensive packages with tools, transfer enclosures, heat sinks (desktop machines) and more are available for those who need the extra equipment.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with OWC. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: OWC


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2 days ago at 09:45 am
I really hope the reliability is improved on these. I heard only bad things about the first gen of these.
Rating: 4 Votes
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2 days ago at 11:28 am
I was looking online today about it. I guess a lot of these aftermarket SSD upgrades are NVMe, but Apple's bootrom doesn't fully support sleep/hibernation with these. Looks like there are workarounds (disabling hibernation, or installing a modded rom/firmware), but either disable something, or are hard to do for the basic consumer.

Kinda wish there was a similar upgrade for the 5K iMac. Would be fun to get a Fusion drive, and upgrade both the SSD & HDD.
Rating: 3 Votes
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2 days ago at 09:43 am
Things like these make me bitter that everything these days is soldered on to the Motherboard.... I'll likely stick with my 2015 mac till that changes.
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 hours ago at 07:45 am
Thank you for the questions -

#1 - With comparison to comparable Apple SSDs our power draw levels are lower and we are working on quantifications of this. Note that under peak performance we may have higher draw, but this is for shorter durations with respect to how much faster the X2 reads and writes data. Power efficiency is higher per MB transferred. Idle power is comparable or better as well.

As noted - we will be publishing multiple data points along the lines of battery performance and operational performance. Working on a Photoshop test (battery and performance), Video Playback test (light load / battery life test), AJA Test (constant load test on battery + Performance... we might be higher draw, but higher performance as well depending on laptop limitations (air only 2 lane, so limited... will be good test example for multiple reasons), Idle test (battery life while no use) - and some raw electrical data. Working on all of this.

#2 - we already have firmware update capability for our drives. Most don't because they don't support Macs in the first place or Mac is secondary. OWC was the very first 3rd party SSD manufacturer to provide true firmware update support for Apple users.

#3 - Flash technology is changing - and especially with QLC and lightly over provisioned TLC - wear can be a real issue. The designs we have maintained to date in all of our SSDs, the type of flash utilized, the advanced wear-leveling, the large over provisioning allocation, and the platform applications designed for have enabled us to comfortably provide 5 year warranties without the need to specify a warranty cutoff at a fixed amount of data written. From a marketing benefit point of view, we should publish this and will see that we do.

#4 - we direct ship to Europe from MacSales.com in the USA. It is available from multiple resellers right now in Europe including OWCShop.EU (which is now closely affiliated with OWC USA).
https://www.owcshop.eu/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?search_in_description=1&keywords=Aura+Pro+X2&osCsid=ilso869c2gna1og2p5niuj6bq2&x=0&y=0

With respect to Europe - we are greatly expanding or presence on the continent for substantially improved availability, better local pricing, and localized support including warranty processing.

thanks.

Dear Larry:

while you are participating in this thread, I would have four questions:

[LIST=1]
* You state the new Aura Pro X2 consumes less energy and produces less heat compared to previous Aura Pros - but how would it compare to an Apple SSUBX SSD of similar capacity?
* Some (maybe most) third party NVME SSDs do not support firmware or bottom updates on Macs - did you test this with the new Aura Pro X2
* What is the endurance rating?
* When will it be available in Europe?


Thanks a lot for taking your time to answer our questions. Like a number of members here, I am very cautious when it comes to OWC SSDs - have had bad experiences in the past myself and reports of underperforming previous generations of OWC PCIe SSDS.

But this new one really seems like a bona fide superior Mac-centric solution. Congrats.

Thanks,
Magnus

Rating: 2 Votes
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2 days ago at 01:00 pm
The question is do these have the same issues as the previous version with cursor lag? I put one in for a client of mine and eventually got so annoyed with her constantly texting me about it I just gave her my Apple drive instead.
Rating: 2 Votes
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5 hours ago at 11:08 am

I think it’s pretty disappointing that it took several pages of vague and misleading answers about hibernate issues on pre-2015 models to find out that:
1- OWC didn’t seem to even have an understanding or awareness of this issue before reading this thread
2: their product does not resolve this issue.

Looks like we are still better off with the cheaper sintech adapter+nvme solution.


Several pages? There are two pages in this thread on my iPhone XR.

The issues are complex, to say the least, especially as Apple radically updated (overhauled) the firmware on all Macs capable of running High Sierra to accommodate APFS, NVMe, et al. as evidenced by some of the other threads on the subject.

While I am taking a wait and see attitude towards the performance, data integrity and compatibility of the Aura X2, if those items end up checked off to my satisfaction, I know I will be a much happier camper than the Sintech/m.2 SSD hack currently in vogue.

For the record, the Sintech + Samsung 970 1TB EVO solution is nearly the same cost as the OWC 1TB solution, ditto for the 500GB. I would expect OWC’s 1TB and 480GB models to be the most popular. What premium you pay is for the extra engineering put in to make this a viable Apple OEM substitute, as opposed to simply picking parts, hoping for the best and living with the limitations.

If the OWC solution disappoints, I am sure we will find out shortly. Here is hoping it doesn’t as an Apple OEM SSDPOLARIS 1TB is about $1000, when you can find one.
Rating: 2 Votes
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2 days ago at 01:18 pm

No idea about the current (just released) models but iirc the 2017 models is just like the 2015 I have. The SSUBX SSDs are plenty fast and reasonably available secondhand though not particularly cheap but worth it to me for the convenience that they will always be properly recognised and supported without surprises. The hdd you could replace with just about anything I guess. I put a Samsung eco 860 in a 3.5” bracket in its place.


The 2015 iMac uses the SSUBX model SSD, the 2017 and 2018 iMacs use the SSPOLARIS model SSD. The SSPOLARIS model supports NVMe, whereas the SSUAX and SSUBX SSDs do not support NVMe. You can find the SSUAX and SSUBX at fairly reasonable prices, but the SSPOLARIS SSDs are insanely expensive when you can find them. beetstech sometimes has stock of them - https://beetstech.com/product/sspolaris-ssd-256gb-512gb-1tb-2tb , they also have a great article on which drives are what - https://beetstech.com/blog/apple-proprietary-ssd-ultimate-guide-to-specs-and-upgrades
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 hours ago at 08:02 am
This is my bad and I have to walk back my hibernation comments. All the various sleep and other power mode challenges have been supported and eliminated for all systems + we have the ability to update should a future OS version make additional changes there to.

Hibernation is not presently supported on pre-2015 systems and doesn't enable. If a system that is sleeping is allowed to fully run out of power, it will be a restart event vs. resume. Short of the noted hack to the Apple EFI, this is the state of things today. This has been a discussion point with Apple for over a year and something that may be addressed by Apple in the future, but they really do not have any true motivation to do so.

That being said - we have over two years now into development of our own NVME driver solution which can solve this without the EFI change for pre-2015 models. It is a lot further reaching than just that as well. I hope to see us release this driver by late summer in beta, but there is substantial testing and qualification before we release this kind of solution. The driver also goes way beyond just the internal SSD upgrades.

I apologize for the previous incorrect information on hibernation.

MacBook models before 2015 don’t include the NVME DXE drivers so don’t support standby and hibernation with NVME unless flashing the EFI with modified firmware. How did you get around that? Thanks!

[doublepost=1555600179][/doublepost]Between posts think answered the hibernation. There are no sleep issues once so ever with the Aura Pro X or X2.

With respect to the Apple EFI / firmware / bootrom updates - We require that Apple OS 10.13 or Later has been previously installed on Mac for use of the Aura Pro X2 (and was same for Aura Pro X). There have been zero issues with Apple firmware updates pushed out post 10.13 with our NVME drive models.

Dear Larry:

Thanks again.

To #2: I was referring to Apple Firmware and bootrom updates, not SSD firmware ones (there are problems usually as well for Apple users).

You can confirm no sleep and hibernation issues with pre-2015 Apple MacBooks and iMacs?

Your answers are very much appreciated.
Magnus

Rating: 2 Votes
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5 hours ago at 11:23 am

and not only that - has a keyboard that is very much liked vs. what the new laptops have. I don't like the Touch Bar or the new keyboard and will be using my Retinas for years to come. :)


Absolutely! Please keep refurbing them - we'll keep buying them!
Rating: 2 Votes
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2 days ago at 09:57 am

I really hope the reliability is improved on these. I heard only bad things about the first gen of these.


Bummer!

Was about to snag one, didn’t know about reliability issues.

Thanks for heads up
Rating: 1 Votes
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