SSD is the new way to add more power and storage to your MacBook Pro. Not only does it provide extra storage capacity but also powers up your computer through the technology. The space provided by Apple to its devices has always been disparaged. It becomes a hassle when you try to accommodate your precious information on your MacBook. To deal with this problem, you can consider MacBook Pro SSD (Solid State Drive).
SSD is more of a conventional hard disk that doesn’t have a disk in it. It is robust, light-weighted and spacious. However, it is important that you check if your device supports the SSD or not. In this blog, we’re going to suggest the best SSD for MacBook Pro that you can buy:
If you want an SSD with incredible speed and endurance, the Samsung SSD 850 PRO gives you both and more. Powered by Samsung V-NAND, it’s designed to handle heavy workloads on workstations and high-end computers with IT heavy users in mind. Plus, it boasts an industry leading 10-year limited warranty for client PCs. It all adds up to performance. Yes you can use a Samsung 850 EVO 2.5' SSD in your system swapping out your current HD. Follow this IFIXIT guide: MacBook Pro 13' Unibody Late 2011 Hard Drive Replacement To make this easy get either a USB or FireWire (being faster) external case to hold your new SSD so you can prep it up. Upgrade/ install your macbook pro to samsung 850 Evo SSD. Make it run just as fast as a brand new macbook. Tools: PH000 screw driver T6 torque screw driver S.
Best SSD For MacBook Pro
1. Samsung 850 Evo:
Samsung 850 Evo is one of the best SSD for MacBook Pro that has been designed with state of the art SSD including 3D V-NAND technology to provide faster speed. The benchmark speed of the item has been recorded at 524.4MBps reading and 512.1MBps of writing speed. With AES 256-bit encryption, Samsung 850 is available in the 120 GB, 250 GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB variants. One thing that you must know is that the Samsung 850 is an internal SSD. It means, you need to make sure about the size and the supported port prior to the purchase.
2. Buffalo Ministation Thunderbolt:
This external SSD is an easy method to add more storage to your machine. Buffalo Ministation Thunderbolt is a plug-and-play storage device that comes with a Thunderbolt connectivity to power your MacBook Pro with an unmatchable transfer speed. The USB 3.0 is also provided in order to let you connect it undersaly to other machines. With a speed of upto 10Gbps, Buffalo Ministation Thunderbolt is available from 1TB to 2TB storage space that you can choose accordingly.
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3. Toshiba Q300:
Toshiba Q300 is an internal SSD that is counted among the best in class read & write speed for MacBook Pro. It is a perfect pick for gamers due to its robust speed.The device delivers high precision data readout with Toshiba’s propriety Quadruple Swing-by Code ECC error correction technology. The SSD is equipped with a 2-bit-per-cell NAND flash technology that boosts the speed exceptionally. With a high endurance rating, Toshiba Q300 is available from 128GB to 512GB.
4. Samsung Portable SSD T3:
Samsung Portable SSD T3 is an external SSD but with a performance level of an internal SSD. The device has a metal body which is shock-resistant and offers a secure AES 256-bit encryption. The Samsung Portable SSD T3 is small in size, lightweight and compact that makes it handy to carry anywhere without any risk of damage. The SSD also supports multiple operating systems and machines.
5. Adata SE730:
Adata SE730 is one of the most affordable MacBook Pro SSDs that provides you with a rapid transfer speed. In just $139, you’re offered a 250GB space on the device, which is shockproof and waterproof too. The SSD weighs only 33g (1.1oz) and comes with 3 year limited warranty.
6. Transcend ESD400K SuperSpeed:
Transcend is among the best SSD for MacBook Pro that you can add to accommodate your extra data. Although, it is a bit expensive device that costs $360 for a 512GB, it provides you with a one-touch backup button and UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) support. It is a fast, durable and lightweight device that comes with a 3 year warranty.
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7. WD My Passport SSD Portable Storage:
If you’re looking for a low-cost high performing MacBook Pro SSD then WD My Passport SSD Portable Storage is for you. With a robust data transfer speed, it is provided with automatic backup. To support both Mac and Windows, this SSD is designed to support a USB Type-C and USB Type A ports. This easy to carry lightweight SSD is also shockproof that adds an extra layer of security to your data.
8. Transcend StoreJet:
Transcend StoreJet is amongst the few best MacBook Pro SSD for MacBook Pro, which meets the U.S. Military drop-test standards. However, being strong doesn’t adversely affect the sleek look of the device. With a rugged design, it is available from 500GB to 2TB variants. WIth a single touch backup button, it is amongst the fastest SSDs available that transmits the data over USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.
9. SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD:
SanDisk Extreme SSD is another great choice when it comes to cost-effective device with higher performance. It is sleek, easy to carry and shock-resistant that comes with three year warranty. The Secure Access tool that helps you encrypt the private files with 128-bit AES. With less power requirement, it reads at the 430MB/s for fast transfers.
10. Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA:
Crucial MX500 is a popular name among high performing SSDs for MacBook Pro. This device offers read and write speed of 560 MB/x and/510 MB/s respectively with Micron 3D NAND technology. The best part of Crucial MX500 is the Power Loss Immunity that saves your work if a sudden power fail happens. The SSD comes with a whopping five year warranty and a higher level of reliability.
Overall, this is the list of best SSD for MacBook Pro to enhance the storage. If you’re confused over buying an external or internal SSD, the latter, that is internal SSD should be your choice. MacBook Pro SSD offers limited speed due to Thunderbolt or USB limitation, internal SSD has dedicated memory controllers to maximise reading/writing speed. If you know some more MacBook Pro SSD, do let us know in the comments section below.
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In this article I will show you, how to install a SSD into the Apple MacBook Pro. All the essentials of material and tool that is required for the installation are linked in the article.
For the installation of the SSD we have to unscrew the MacBooks, therefore it makes sense to upgrade the main memory (RAM) right now. In a a previous article I have already put together suitable memory recommendations: Apple MacBook Pro: RAM upgrade (HowTo)
- Data migration
Frequently asked questions
What are the advantages of a SSD?
- short start times for operating system and apps
- comfortable and faster work under Mac OS X
- SSD work completely silent
- SSD has no mechanical parts, thus insensitive to hits and external influences
To what should I pay attention with a SSD?
When choosing the SSD, care should be taken that the memory size of the new SSD is not too low. It is advisable to choose an SSD with at least 120 GB or better even 240GB. With regard to the height both SSDs with 7 and 9.5 mm can be installed. All SSDs recommended below meet these requirements.
What are the differences between Samsung EVO/Pro series?
The main difference is the flash memory which is used in the SSD. The new Evo series is designed for the home user and relies on TLC flash memory. This one is reasonable to produce but on the other hand a bit slower. Therefore Samsung could recover this performance disadvantage in the EVO series with a so-called turbo-Write buffer and achieve a similar performance to the Samsung Pro.
I have a detailed explanation of the differences (incl. Advantages and disadvantages) in a separate article: SSD Comparison: Differences between Samsung 860/850 Pro and EVO series
Can I install an SSD with SATA 3 in a MacBook Pro with SATA2?
Yes, SATA3 is fully backward compatible. Therefore SSDs with SATA 3 can be easily operated on SATA2.
Which MacBook Pro models can be upgraded with a SSD?
|MacBook Pro (Mid 2012)||15 inch|
|MacBook Pro (Early + Mid 2011)||17 inch|
|MacBook Pro (Mid 2010)||17 inch|
|MacBook Pro (Early + Mid 2009)||17 inch|
|MacBook Pro (Early + Mid 2008)||17 inch|
Suitable SSDs for Apple MacBook Pro
[Last update: 15.04.2018]
On the market there are a variety of solid-state drives (SSD), but they differ seriously in speed and durability. For this reason I have compiled only high quality and fast SSDs that I could test in MacBook personally in my professional life and as a result I can recommend in good conscience.
MacBook Pro Non-Retina (2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012)
- Samsung 860 Pro Series, 2,5 Zoll, SATA IIITip
(Available sizes: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB)
- Samsung 860 EVO, 2,5 Zoll, Sata IIITip
(Available sizes: 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB)
- Samsung 850 Pro, 2,5 Zoll, SATA III
(Verfügbare Größen: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB)
- Samsung 850 EVO, 2,5 Zoll, SATA III
(Available sizes: 120GB / 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB)
- Crucial MX500, 2,5 Zoll, SATA III
(Available sizes: 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 2TB)
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Before the existing disk is exchanged for a SSD, all data and settings must be saved. There are different approaches.
Option 1: Clone hard drive to SSD
- Before making any modifications create a backup via Time Machine, in case of emergency there is a backup
- Connect the SSD via USB to the MacBook Pro (e.g. using SATA to USB3.0 Adapter)
- The new SSD must first be formatted using Disk Utility (as “Mac OS Extended Journaled“)
- Then subsequently create a fully bootable 1:1 copy of your hard drive to the SSD with SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner. (This process may take several hours).
Option 2: OS X reinstall and restore the backup
- Before making any modifications create a backup via Time Machine for later restore.
- Create a bootable OS X recovery stick (instruction)
- Now the new SSD have to be installed in the MacBook Pro (introduction see installation)
- After the SSD is installed into the MacBook, insert the USB flash drive. Then turn on your MacBook while holding down the ALT key.
- You will be asked which medium should be used for booting. Select the USB stick.
- Before reinstalling the SSD, it first must be formatted (as “Mac OS Journaled Extendet”) via the Disk Utility. After that OS X can be installed on the new SSD. In order to this just follow the instructions on the screen.
- Finally, the data and settings from the Time Machine backup will be restored now.
In principle, everyone who doesn’t have two left feet can do the installation. The important thing is to allow oneself plenty of time for the installation and proceed with caution. There are two ways to install a SSD in the MacBook Pro:
Option 1: Install SSD as a second drive
Everybody who needs a lot of memory or uses the DVD drive rarely, can install a second hard drive / SSD to the place of the Super Drive. For this purpose, a special frame (conversion kit) is required in which the hard disk will be installed. Then the removed SuperDrive comes in an portable USB enclosure, which is included in the conversion kit.
I made very positive experience with the following four conversion kits:
- OWC Data Doubler Optical Bay Hard Drive/SSD Mounting Solution (~ $20)
- Hard Drive Caddy Tray for Apple MacBook Pro 13/15/17 inch (~ $8)
Option 2: Replace hard drive with SSD
The replacement of the existing hard drive with a SSD is the easiest way. This reconstruction is completed quickly with little effort (about 10 minutes). For this purpose, no special accessories or conversion kits are required, only a proper SSD and the appropriate screwdrivers.
After the SSD is built into the MacBook, it makes sense to use the removed hard drive as an portable hard drive. A good portable enclosure with a fast USB3.0 interface is, for example ORICO portable USB3.0 enclosure
If you decide on the installation variant 1, the conversion kits I mentioned have already all tools needed for. At the Flancrest kit there is even a SATA-USB adapter enclosed to clone the hard drive without a separate 2.5 “USB hard drive. Otherwise, the mini screwdriver set from Hama is recommended that contains the required PH00 and Torx6 screwdrivers.
Basically, it is recommended when working within range of electronic components, to wear an antistatic wrist strap. It protects against electrostatic charging, thus preventing possible damage to electrical components in the Macbook. The bracelet is slipped over the arm and has a cable with alligator clip which is simply clamped to the radiator. Corresponding bracelets are already available for a few dollars (e.g. Rosewill Anti Static Wrist Strap).
Basically a Time Machine backup should be created. If this is completed, the MacBook Pro can be shut down. Afterwards unplug the power cord and other cables and place them upside down on a soft surface.
The following Youtube video explains the installation procedure in great detail:
Starting up / completion
After installation, the MacBook can now be started for the first time from the SSD Pro. Please do not be alarmed if the boot should not be noticeably faster after a new installation. Because Spotlight must rebuild the index from scratch, which can take some time.
Should there still be any problems (e.g. durable high-revving fan), in addition the SMC (introduction) and NVRAM / PRAM (introduction) should be reset.
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