Here's how to upgrade the SSD on your MacBook to NVMe for cheap!

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in today's video I'm gonna show you the

cheap way to upgrade the storage in

pretty much most recent Mac's this video

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a free trial of PDF element today so

about 18 months ago I would have told

you that upgrading the SSD in a retina

MacBook Pro was not cost-effective at

all this particular MacBook Pro

originally shipped with a 512 gigabyte

solid state drive and because Apple uses

proprietary drives this would have run

you about 275 dollars 275 bucks for a

half terabyte SSD but we had no other

choice because the only options were

buying an original Apple drive or buying

an O WC Drive which was similarly

expensive but since those olden times

two key things have changed number one

SSDs are a lot less expensive than they

used to be and number two Mac OS now

natively supports nvme SSDs so let's

jump straight into the SSD upgrade now I

purchased this MacBook Pro without an

SSD so we're going to be putting in an

SSD from scratch

now there is one complication because I

purchased this retina MacBook Pro on

ebay with no SSD installed I don't know

what version of Mac OS it was running

when I bought it

so because I want to simplify this

process as much as possible by having

the absolute most recent version of Mac

OS installed I grabbed this external SSD

and plugged it in over USB and installed

the most recent version of Mojave that

way the boot ROM which is going to be

there regardless of whether you have an

SSD installed or not is going to be

absolute latest version so with that out

of the way let's take a look at the SSD

that I bought I just grabbed this thing

from my Crescenta it was $60 it's a 512

gigabyte SSD doesn't matter what storage

option you go for any M key nvme m dot 2

SSD will work okey dokey so now that we

have this thing opened we're only gonna

need one more thing which I have in my

handy-dandy pocket here and that is this

adapter this is just a physical adapter

that's going to map the pins from our

nvme drive to the pins for the MacBook

Pros SSD slot so we'll just fit those

together nice and snug and there we go

now let's go ahead and flip over our

macbook pro and we are going to open

this thing up and replace the SSD now

while I'm doing this it is worth noting

that this is a 15 inch retina MacBook

Pro but this trick is going to work on a

whole host of MacBooks if you have a

MacBook Pro any retina machine from late

2013 to mid 2015 will work MacBook Airs

from mid 2013 to 2017 will work

I believe IMAX from late 2013 that have

either fusion drives or pure SSDs they

use these same exact drives the Mac pro

from late 2013 I think some Mac minis do

as well but I'm not sure exactly which

models pop off the back case I haven't

actually opened this computer yet it's

probably pretty dusty it's not too bad

I'll clean it out later

so with the back off you can see right

here is where our SSD is going to go and

all we have to do to get it to fit in

here is unscrew this small retaining

screw which I believe is actually a

different screw bit I think it's a Torx

t5 thats gonna be my educated guess

let's see bingo Torx t5 screw and again

this is also going to be the same

whether you're in this MacBook Pro or

MacBook Air or a Mac Pro or whatever

they all use the same screws then I'm

just gonna line up the notch on the SSD

and push it in and then once it's in

we're just going to screw down the

retention screw and that's literally it

from a hardware perspective this is a


simple process but now let's go through

the process of formatting this and drive

and setting it up so you can ignore this

utilities tab the flash drive that I'm

using actually has the dos dude

Mac OS Mojave patcher but we don't need

to worry about that because this machine

is natively supported so I'm just using

this for the Mac OS installation so if I

go through to the Mac OS installer and I

hit continue you'll notice the SSD isn't

showing up now this is because when you

buy a new SSD it's going to come

unformatted so we have to go ahead and

format it ourselves so we're gonna go

ahead and launch Disk Utility and you'll

see our internal PCIe SSD media when we

go to erase this disk and format it

we're gonna give it a name I'll call it

Macintosh SSD and for the format I'm

just gonna leave it with Mac OS extended

journaled okay so for the sake of

simplicity we want to keep our format

the same as whatever was previously on

here so I updated this thing to Mojave

so that I knew what version was running

on here and it was running in Mac OS

extended journaled so we want to stick

with that if you have had Mojave on your

computer before and you had it formatted

APF s then you want to stick with a PF s

and then we're good to go ahead and

install mac OS Mojave on our new

upgraded SSD so I'm gonna come back

after Mac OS Mojave has finished

installing on this macbook pro and we're

gonna see how fast this SSD is compared

to the standard stock SSD so now that

Mac OS is installed on the MacBook Pro

let's see just how fast that SSD is so

in order to give us an idea of how well

it's done on our newly upgraded macbook

pro we're going to do a bit of a

comparison so i've brought along my

macbook pro which is actually identical

these are both late 2013 2.6 gigahertz

i7s with 16 gigs of ram and video

graphics and 512 gigabyte SSDs they are

identical computers apart from the SSD

so we are going to see just how much

faster our new and cheaper SSD is

compared to the original apple SSD which

this machine

so let's start with a baseline

read/write test of the original apple


so it looks like we're getting about 700

megabytes per second read and write

speeds which is respectable definitely

good compared to a SATA SSD but nothing

too special and now over to our new

upgraded SSD and keep in mind that this

was one of the least expensive SSDs I

could find so it's definitely not going

to be the fastest that you'll be able to

buy so we're looking at about 1300 read

1300 write that's almost double the

speed of the standard Apple SSD and

here's the real kicker

even though Apple SSDs have become less

expensive they used to be 275 $300 you

still have to shell out like a hundred

and fifty dollars for a 500 gigabyte

Apple SSD so you're paying more than

double the money to get half the speed I

mean that pretty much says it all

doesn't it that's crazy all right so at

this point in the video let's talk a

little bit about this particular MacBook

Pro so I haven't really said too much

about it I revealed what these specs

were just very briefly so what this is

is a late 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro with

Retina display with pretty much the

maxed out spec this thing has the 2.6

gigahertz Intel Core i7 4960 HQ 16

gigabytes of RAM Nvidia GT 750 M

graphics with 2 gigs of VRAM this thing

is pretty much kitted out except for

obviously you can add a larger SSD than

what I've added now I paid 450 dollars

for this machine it was in a wholesale

lot and all in when you considered the

SSD we're talking 450 with free shipping

for the device itself plus $60 for this

SSD plus another $9 for the adapter and

we are looking at a total of five

hundred and nineteen dollars I would say

that this computer on eBay would fetch

somewhere around seven hundred and fifty

dollars maybe more but I think the

cosmetic damage might hold it back a

little bit once we subtract selling fees

this computer would probably net me six

hundred and sixty dollars if I were to

sell this today which would be a pretty

decent hundred and forty dollar profit

over what I spent on this machine now

obviously that's not a ton of money if

you're looking to flip a macbook pro but

if you are looking to save a lot of

money buying a macbook pro without an

SSD and then adding one in yourself this

is a really fantastic way to go because

not only are we getting a significantly

less expensive MacBook Pro keep in mind

we're saving like two hundred dollars

over what this machine goes for on ebay

but we're also getting an SSD that's

going to be faster and snappier than

what you would normally get so overall I

would say that this has been an

incredibly successful endeavor we've got

a lot of equity a very good MacBook Pro

deal I kind of just got this thing

because I wanted to try it out for a

video but it ended up being a really

really good deal so let me know down in

the comments below if you think I got a

good deal on this MacBook Pro and if you

think this SSD upgrade was worth it

don't forget to follow me on twitter at

luke piane and join my subreddit if you

have any questions and with that I will

see you in the next video