OWC Gets 1,200MB/s from SSD in 2014 MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Since we already had them opened up for our exclusive unboxing, we decided we might as well have a little fun with the new 2014 MacBook Pro with Retina display models after their release last week.

How much fun can you possibly have with disassembled Retina MacBook Pros, you ask? Well, we popped a 256GB SSD that was taken from a 2013 Mac Pro into the brand spanking new 13” and 15” rMBP models and found that the two models apparently have some extra performance capabilities to offer. The 15” model clocked performance numbers that went beyond 1,200MB/s, while the 13” model exceeded 1,190MB/s!

UPDATE: OWC Now Offers SSD Upgrades for 2013-Current MacBook Air & MacBook Pro with Retina display models and OWC Reveals Apple Boot Camp Support for SSDs

The performance boost over the stock SSDs in the 13” and 15” rMBP – which achieved up to 759MB/s and 794MB/s respectively – is explained by the fact that the Mac Pro SSD negotiates a x4 PCIe connection versus the stock cards, which negotiate a x2 PCIe connection.

Check out the benchmarks below for a complete look at the numbers of the 13” and 15” rMBP 2014 models with both the stock SSDs and the Mac Pro SSD installed.

13″ Retina MacBook Pro with Mac Pro SSD Benchmarks & System Report

x4-rMBP-13'-Benchmark

x4 rMBP 13 ASP13″ Retina MacBook Pro with Stock SSD

x2-rMBP-13'-Benchmark

x2 rMBP 13 ASP15″ Retina MacBook Pro with Mac Pro SSD Benchmarks & System Report

x4-rMBP-15'-Benchmark

x4 rMBP 15 ASP15″ Retina MacBook Pro with Stock SSD

x2-rMBP-15'-Benchmark

 

x2 rMBP 15 ASP

SSD swap not recommended
It should be noted that this experiment was done simply to illustrate potential speeds. OWC does not recommend installing a Mac Pro SSD in your Retina MacBook Pro, as we have not performed a thermal evaluation.

However, this does hint at future upgrade potential of your late-2013 or 2014 rMBP.

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91 Comments

  • Just want to confirm to others that the 2014 MBP can handle the 1tb 4x ssd from a 2015 MBP. My stock ssd went out and the mbp was out of warranty so bought a use ssd on ebay from a 2015 and haven’t had a single issue and temp is good and speed is AMAZING! ZERO issues for me and love having the extra space for video editing.

      • I’m a little confused about the specs on OWC site for the new Aura PCIe-Based Flash Storage Upgrade For Your Mid-2013 or Later Mac. Under performance OWC lists…

        Performance
        Peak data rate: 763MB/s read and 446MB/s write
        Incompressible data rate: 754MB/s Read and 425MB/s write

        However, on my stock SSD drive on my MacBookPro11,3 I currently get read/write speeds of above 650 MB/s using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. So is there a performance loss as far as write speeds?

        • Hello Todd,

          The new OWC Aura SSDs for your Mid-2013 or Later Mac is a great option to add up to 1TB of SSD space.

          The write speeds will be less then what the OEM SSD has to offer, but will still be very fast and provide more storage for every day use!

          If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our Technical Support Team!

  • Any word on an ssd upgrade for Macbook Retina (10,3) and above? I’ve been checking this blog every week for over a year and half now looking for any news and it’s always the same ‘unfortunately we can’t comment on future products here on the OWC Blog. Be sure to check back often for official announcements’.

    I didn’t want to but I ended up buying a 512GB but I would have rather bought one from you guys.

  • Same here. Waiting patiently but searching on EBay as well as that is the only option at the moment.

    At least we can change the memory and the SSD on our models, thank heavens for small mercies.

    Agreed, an OWC comment giving us a thumbs up/down would put our minds at rest.

    • I emailed OWC in early October asking about the Late 2013 MBP Retina (oldest mentioned unit in this article) and this is what they sent back:

      “Thank you for contacting OWC.

      Unfortunately at this time we still do not have a replacement drive available for that unit. I apologize for any inconvenience. I have looked into this, and cannot offer an ETA as to when we might possibly have a replacement drive become available as well. I would recommend to check out our blog as that would be where would announce any new products that become available.

      Please reply back to this message if you have any further questions or concerns.

      Thank you again for contacting OWC.

      Sincerely,

      OWC Matt R
      Technical Customer Service Representative”

      No ETA now? Hmph.

  • OWC said they were to release an solution by Q2… we are now in to Q3, please explain the delay?

    if you don’t have a solution then tell us and stop hamstringing customers

  • Well, looks like we are eon our own guys. I am at a point where an upgrade is a necessity or I need to get a new laptop and give this to my kid (mid 2014 RMBP).
    I think we need to try to pop in a hard drive from the article above and see what happens. If there are issues, we can revert back to the low capacity hard disk.

    TO this effect, please point me to the links to
    1. Does the mac pro hard drive physically fit into the rMBP?
    2. Connectivity of the Mac pro hard drive. Are there any connectors that may be needed to electrically connect the mac pro hard drive to macbook pro?

    Lets do it ourselves guys. OWC can help if they want (or not)

  • OWC,

    You originally specified a release date in the second quarter of 2015 for the late 2013 MBP 11,3.

    Can you please give us some kind of update?

  • Though I feel like shouting, I won’t…

    …but will OWC’s SSD upgrades for the mid-2014 rMBP **EVER** see the light of day?

    Or is all this just a cruel taunt?

    OWC: stop blowing smoke and GIVE US AN UPDATE, please!

    (Ok, I shouted. Sorry.)

  • Did you do a thermal evaluation yet? If so, I’d just order a Mac Pro one as I only have 5GB left on my stock SSD and put almost everything I could onto an external drive…

    Please be fast!

    • JMM – you’ve probably taken a heap of backups of your iOS devices on your machine and that has filled up your drive

      In Finder select the Go menu and then hold the Alt/Optoin button on your keyboard and select Library

      Go into Application Support and then Backup

      Press Command-Alt-I to Get Information on the selected folder and see the size of each folder in the Backup directory

      Each folder in the Backup folder is a backup of an iOS device. You can probably just delete most of the old ones!

      and

  • OWC need to make an announcement on what it is doing around RMBP late 2013 and beyond, it’s been far to long await. Please step and give us some direction. I know you are busy but you have customers waiting to buy upgrades

  • I really think they don’t care. Even a note saying that they’re still working on it would be nice, but they’re not willing to do that even. I’ve always had a good opinion of these folks, but their silence is shaking that.

  • Desperately waiting for OWC to drop the new PCIe blade SSD upgrades. It’s one of the few things holding me back from buying a new Macbook. That and the Skylake rumors…

  • Where can i buy a 512GB Mac Pro SSD for my 2013 Late MBr? Any address? Or maybe the correct partnumber to get the right one?

  • I’m just waiting for PCIe SSD blades for IMac (Late 2013 & 2014) 21.5 and 27 Inch since I am told they are compatible with MackBook Pro and Air (Late 2013-214) I am right?.

    I hope to see them soon to buy one!

  • It’s tempting to say heck with thermal concerns and order one of the Mac pro drives :D imagine 2tb pcie flash in your mbp….

  • I would love to upgrade my 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pro from 256GB to 512GB or 1TB with a 3rd party solution. Any idea when we might be able to purchase such a part?

      • That sounds great! Any chance or hints you’ll be offering memory similar to the macpro’s to take advantage of the x4 PCIe connection?

      • OWC Larry, any update on the release of the SSD upgrades for the 2014 13″ rMBP? I am interested in upgrading as soon as possible. Thx

      • Also looking forward to the upgrade for my 13″ MacbookPro 11,1

        Amazing how fast we run out of space.

        I’d rather wait a few extra months for improved durability and speed, though!

      • Please update us on the anticipated upgrades for the 2014 13″ rMBP. There has been a lot of activity on this thread for months. It was initially thought it would come in the first quarter and now we are at the end of the second quarter. We really want this upgrade!

        • I bet that they are regretting suggesting it would be available at all! That is why The post by Jarrod (staff at OWC) says this:

          OWC Jarrod @ 8:51 am on September 25, 2014
          Unfortunately we can’t comment on future products here on the OWC Blog. Be sure to check back often for official announcements, however.

      • So quarter two definitely came and passed with nary a peep about the 2014 retina compatible pci-e flash drive upgrades and their availability. Is this product/project still in development, or has it been dropped altogether? I only ask because I’m actually about to hit that point in my degree program, where I’m going to be forced to dual boot with Windows for 3ds max, and my retina pro has all of about 100GB free. I’m decluttering like a madman, and leaning on pocket externals, but it only works so well.

        I understand that these things take time, and I (along with many others) am patiently waiting, but I just wanted to check in, and see if there was at least a new/revised potential release window planned. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

  • Hi!
    I have a rmbp mid 2014 smallest stock version and i want to buy a new ssd into it, ’cause i need more space, if I buy this aura pro, will it faster than the stock ssd? Thank You :)

  • The System Report screenshot under the “15″ Retina MacBook Pro with Mac Pro SSD Benchmarks & System Report” caption appears to be from a Mac Pro, not a MacBook Pro.

  • Would you mind telling us exactly what Samsung’s model number is for the PCI-e x4 drive? And have you guys tried it in the Macbook Air yet?

  • What about the opposite? Can I take the 512GB SSD from my MacBook Pro Retina and put it into a Mac Pro 2013 to replace the 256GB SSD?

  • Apologies for being off topic slightly but I couldn’t find where to post my question. Any news on OWC versions of the 2013 MacPro hard drives?

    • Unfortunately we can’t comment on future products here on the OWC Blog. Be sure to check back often for official announcements, however.

  • would you be so kind as to post the 4k-256K read/write performance comparisons also? Does the 1TB perform better in those test cases?

  • @OWC, would that blade (Mac Pro one) work in the Sept 2013 iMac 27″ slot? So you could use it and an OWC Sata SSD as well?

    • Hi Jason, the answer is YES an it was confirmed to me by people of Apple.

      1) Apple SM0512F or SM0256F SSD PCIe blades are the same Samsung blades models MZ JPU512T/OA6 (512GB) and MZ JPU256T/OA6 (256GB) respectively.

      2) Those blades are used and compatible with the following models:

      MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013)

      MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)

      MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)

      MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014)

      MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)

      MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014)

      MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)

      MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)

      iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013)

      iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)

      iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)

      Mac Pro (Late 2013)

      Mac mini (Late 2014)

      Hope this helps for all. I am sure that the best option will be to get the OWC PCIe SSD blades they announced that will be able for the second quarter of this 2015. Regards

  • As it turns out – apparently just buying the BTO 1TB Flash storage from Apple for the rMBP will give you basically the same speeds! 9to5Mac reports over 1GB/sec.

  • Finally, the first hint that an SSD for the late 2013 Macbook Pro and current 2014 MacBook Pro is in the pipeline!

    Hopefully this means that an OWC drive for the late 2013 Macbook Pro and current 2014 MacBook Pro isn’t too much further away!