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.
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
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.
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!