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Confirmed: OWC Aura Pro Faster Than Factory SSDs In 2012 MacBook Pro With Retina Display

Friday, March 1st, 2013 | Author:

Apple has started using either SanDisk or Samsung flash storage modules in their MacBook Pro with Retina display models and rob-ART morgan over at the Bare Feats lab posed the question of, “Which one is faster, the Samsung or SanDisk flash storage? And how do both compare to OWC’s Aura Pro 480G flash storage upgrade?”

And the overwhelming winner was the OWC Aura Pro which towered over both Apple offerings in random and sustained transfers.


For the results of all testing, see the original Bare Feats article: SHOOTOUT: Is the flash storage in the 2013 Retina MacBook Pro faster than the storage in the 2012 version?



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    1. Eric says:

      I just bought a 13″ rMBP. I only got the 128GB SSD with it but now I’m starting to think I will need more memory since I will be dual booting Windows 7. My only concern with OWC is what affect does installing this have on my Apple Warranty?

      • OWC Michael says:

        Installing the upgrades in and of themselves does not void Apple’s warranty. HOWEVER, the warranty does not cover any damages that may result from doing so and physically damaging the computer will void the warranty.

    2. Kate says:

      hey guys! I really need your help. My boss wants to install the OWC Aura pro into an early 2011 MBP8,2 15″. Please do say just no. If you could tell me the length and exact specifications of the SATA 6G including the connector type it would be already a huge help and a relief for my nerves. A complete explanation would be super awesome! Is there a possibility to force them to be compatible? A simple adapter or a fancy gadget? :)

      Thaaaaanks and greetings from germany <3

    3. G Quintero says:

      Great results! Still any time frame when large options will be available? A 768GB or larger than 480GB option has to be in the labs back in OWC HQ? Any sneak peeks or hints? :)

      • OWC Michael says:

        Unfortunately we really can’t speak as to future products here on the OWC Blog. That said, in the technology industry in general capacities are getting larger and speeds are getting faster as time goes on. I wouldn’t anticipate anything different when it comes to our products.

    4. Hank Roberts says:

      Please document your testing and specify which drives you’ve tested.This reports failures that testing will find — but doesn’t identify which are the two reliable SSDs, nor identify those that failed in testing.

      • OWC Michael says:

        For specifications on the testing, see the original Bare Feats article: SHOOTOUT: Is the flash storage in the 2013 Retina MacBook Pro faster than the storage in the 2012 version?

      • Hank Roberts says:

        Oops — looks like the blog software didn’t allow the URL I tried to post.

        I’m not asking about the tests you report on speed.

        I was trying to ask about a recent paper testing power failure’s effects on SSDs. Are you aware of the paper? (Possibly you can see the URL I tried to post, it was from news last week).

        That reported that only two brands did -not- corrupt when power failures occurred, but did not name them.

        Can you comment on those tests? Are you aware of any tests of that sort done on these SSDs?

        • OWC Michael says:

          It wasn’t our blog software, the link was removed manually as it had no relevance to this post.

          Yes, we are aware of the “data loss due to power failure effects on SSDs” paper that came out. Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got an SSD or a HDD, power loss during a write will corrupt the data being written. To avoid this kind of data loss in consumer use, we suggest an UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and having an active backup solution.

          Now in an enterprise situation (as is the case in that paper), where 24/7 access and quick recovery is crucial, we do offer the OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD with our Proprietary OWC Paratus Power Technology to ensure any existing writes will be committed/retired to prevent data loss and the drive will be shut down properly during an unexpected power interruption.

          While we do not know whether our drives were used in their enterprise-class drive study or not, our enterprise-class drives were designed to protect your data from that exact situation.

          • Hank Roberts says:

            Good answer, thank you. The news stories do say that two “enterprise grade” SSDs did not get corrupted by the power failure test.

            I guess those who want to find the info will be able to Google it.

            One question further — when a SSD drive is described as being damaged, is that recoverable like a hard drive can usually be reformatted? Or is it more like a head crash that takes out the recording medium and kills the hardware?

            • OWC Michael says:

              Just like a hard drive, SSD damage can go either way. For example, if the SSD takes an impact strong enough to knock loose the soldering on a NAND flash chip or if an electrical component fails, that would be physical damage similar to the head crash. On the other hand, if the directory gets corrupted beyond repair, then a zeroing of data or reformat can be performed to start over. Or, if the data is critical without a proper backup in place, it can be sent in to a company like Drive Savers for data recovery.

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