OWC Aura SSD – Upgrade Your Non-Upgradeable Macbook Pro

August 23rd, 2016 icon / message-square 7
OWC Aura SSD - Upgrade Your Non-Upgradeable Macbook Pro

The OWC Aura SSD is a neat little solution by Other World Computing that allows you to increase your MacBook Pro’s storage space… Wait, I thought you weren’t allowed to do that anymore…?

Apple has become the de facto computer brand for people in creative industries such as ours, whether you like it or not. Someone starting out in video will almost undoubtedly be drawn to Apple computers when investing in new equipment. However, the sometimes hefty price tags often make people opt for base model laptops such as the 13 inch MacBook Pro rather than a full-fledged workstation such as the MacPro.

mbp

The End of the User Upgradeable Macbook Pro

Apple used to be nice people. Their old Macbook Pro models had a regular 2,5” drive and standard laptop RAM stick slots. If after a while you found your machine to be too slow, you could easily rejuvenate it by adding an SSD and more RAM for relatively little money. Heck, you could even remove the optical drive and add ANOTHER drive for even more storage. All you needed was a little courage to open your beloved MBP and a Torx screwdriver. I actually managed to keep a 2009 MBP alive and well until quite recently. Granted, it wasn’t a 4K editing beast, but it chugged along fine for day to day HD work.

But a few years ago, Apple ruined it for everybody. Word on the street was that they had decided to integrate components onto the motherboard, and abandoned the widely available 2,5” drive in favour of smaller SSD modules. This meant that you had to choose your specs wisely when purchasing your machine: once you got it, that was it. Sad face.

The OWC Aura SSD to the Rescue

But the nice folks over at Other World Computing, home of all sorts of computer upgrade products, have a solution that can help you get more out of your MBP: the OWC Aura SSD.

This PCIe-based flash SSD module is designed specifically to replace the one found in mid-2013 or later MacBook Pros. They come in capacities of 480GB and 1TB, greatly improving on the standard MBP storage sizes.

OWC Aura SSD

Features of the OWC Aura SSD

The OWC Aura SSD is designed to maintain a 7% wiggle room in its storage capacity in order to run maintenance tasks in the background and optimise performance. This means more stability for your system drive. Installation consists of a hardware swap only, without the need to configure the drive via software in any way.

All the necessary tools to allow for an easy installation are included with the product, so no need to head to your local hardware store to hunt for obscure types of screwdrivers. Also included is the Envoy Pro Enclosure, which will accept your old drive and turn it into an external SSD USB 3.0 drive, which you can use to migrate your data to your fresh OWC Aura SSD.

It is really great to see SSD prices coming down: a 1TB SSD would have cost an arm and a leg not too long ago. Today, the 1TB version of the OWC Aura SSD will set you back anywhere between $399.75 to $647.00, depending on the exact model of MacBook Pro you wish to upgrade and whether you include the Envoy Pro enclosure.

DISCLAIMER: bear in mind, installation obviously means opening up your machine. If anything goes wrong, it may void your Apple warranty. Also, make sure your Macbook Pro model is compatible.

Have you had any experience with the OWC Aura SSD module? Would you recommend it? Let us know in the section below!

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Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
Member
August 27th, 2016

Cool. Glad this option exists.

But I have to disagree with this: “Apple has become the de facto computer brand for people in creative industries.”

This is a very old refrain that, sadly, doesn’t hold true anymore. Apple has abandoned the “creative types” that it so proudly and smugly claimed as its core base quite a while ago. The shutdown of Pro Apps and the continual crippling of its computers speak to a business model that’s based on closed-off toy devices, poke-and-swipe touchscreen UIs, and disposable products that are glued together.

I don’t think even Apple attempts to appeal to “creatives” in its marketing messages anymore. Its business is selling millions of iPhones every weekend, and skimming from the sales of third-party developers. That’s a much more convenient business model than retaining teams of highly paid engineers to maintain complicated media-authoring software that appeals to fewer people than buy an iPhone on any given day.

And by the way, Cinema5D: Where do you get off letting people type out their entire comment and the DELETING IT after they log in? WTF?

 Richard Hambloch
Member
August 24th, 2016

Mac is the standard? Are you serious…

 Bryan hinds
Bryan hinds
Member
August 24th, 2016

Extremely SERIOUS Rich. You do realize MACs are made with off the shelf parts? You can customize your build to edit in 8k for the cost of a macbook and then upgrade EVERYTHING. I’m no longer interested in buying a new mac every 3 years. Visit the link or give Origin a call and talk to them THEN make a decision. I just bought a custom pc from Maingear 6 core i7 processor two 500mb sd drives with GTX-1070 8gb graphics card with ultra 4k screen for $3800 you can throw anything at it and it’s all upgradeable. As for standards MACs really aren’t. When you work at post houses in LA they may be ok for editing but in the visual FX world MAYA, Nuke and Houdini are the top programs and are ran on Windows and Linux. That’s the next level.

Plinio Higuti
Guest
August 24th, 2016

Luiz Camp Reinaldo Padua flagra…

 Bryan hinds
Bryan hinds
Member
August 24th, 2016

Macs are so OVER. Step your game up and get a custom pc with a desktop GTX-1080 graphics card and 64gb of ram, complete with a 4k display. Fully upgrade-able.
https://www.originpc.com/workstation/laptops/eon17-x-pro/

Max Wurzer
Guest
August 23rd, 2016

“Today, the 1TB version of the OWC Aura SSD will set you back $399.75.” => price at B&H Photo Video Pro Audio is $578.50…

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