OWC Tears Down, Tests New 2015 13” MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Yesterday we unboxed, tore down and tested the new 2015 MacBook Airs that were announced at Apple’s Spring Forward event.

Today we have given the same treatment to the new 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display. The 13” rMBP was updated with the Force Touch trackpad, a new processor, an improved battery life, faster memory and a faster SSD. Note: The 15” rMBP model is unchanged from the previous generation.

UPDATE: OWC Now Offers SSD Upgrades for 2013-Current MacBook Air & MacBook Pro with Retina display models

Some key points of interest
  • The faster memory runs at 1866MHz and now has what is likely a radio frequency shield.
  • The Force Touch trackpad has a controller now on the underside.
  • Great speeds on reads, however writes were a bit slower than our 256GB equipped MacBook Air.
OWC Mike H. and OWC Ron’s early Force Touch trackpad impressions 
“The Force Touch trackpad is simply cool. The trackpad no longer moves and the new tech actually makes it feel like it does. Power it down and the trackpad doesn’t click at all. Really amazing tech and superfast. You would swear it’s clicking downward when it’s not. It’s a really great inventive tech item that definitely wows more in person. Nicely done.”

Check out our gallery below to see our testing results, unboxing and teardown:

13” 2015 MacBook Pro12,1 with Retina display:

macbook-pro-13-2015-23

Check out our unboxing/teardown/testing of the 2015 MacBook Airs here: blog.macsales.com/28910-owc-unboxes-tests-speeds-of-ssds-in-new-2015-macbook-airs

And as always, if you need an external drive for Time Machine or to expand your MacBook Pro with Retina display’s storage, OWC has a great selection of portable and desktop drives. And be sure to check out our Thunderbolt Central page for high performance Thunderbolt solutions.

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70 Comments

  • Hi There
    I’ve a Mac book Air (early 2015) 7.2 with a 512GB SSD and a Mac book Pro Retina (early 2015) 12.1 with a 128GB SSD. Was wondering if this two SSD’s can be exchanged, so that i can upgrade the Mac book pro with the 512GB SSD?
    Thanks for some help.

    • Hello Ricci,

      The 2015 MacBook Air (7,2) and the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina (12,1) will have the same interface and you will be able to put the 512GB SSD into the MacBook Pro with Retina!

      If you have any further questions, let us know!

  • so does the macbook retina 2015 ssd speeds from the controller or does it depend on the actuall SSD? i see the upgrades and compatibility in general state that ssds are compatible on the retina from 2013-15 models? if i used an ssd from a 13 to a 15 will it be slow?

  • Is there no way to increase storage on the Macbook Pro 13″ retina early 2015? I thought you couldn’t upgrade ram, but could upgrade storage.

  • Any new news on the Mid 2014 MBP 11,1 SSD release yet?

    Should have coughed up the dough up front assuming an upgrade was already available.

    Thats what i get for “Assuming”!

  • I suggested that my spousal unit purchase a MacBook Pro Retina 13″ early 2015 with the maximum RAM and smallest (128 GByte) SSD. At the time we expected that larger 3rd party replacement SSDs would be available.

    Now I hear constant complaints from the spousal unit about running out of disk space!

    When might SSDs compatible with the new MacBook Pros be available?

  • Is there any information on a possible internal SSD upgrade for this model yet? The website only lists upgrades for models 10,1 but not the 12,x yet…

    I’m really anxious to get an upgrade for my system.

    Thanks.

  • I’m planning to buy refurbished macbook pro 13′ march 2015 model with 8 gb ram. would it be possible to upgrade ram to 16 gb? on my previous mac I bought 8 gb ram from OWC and replaced it my self.

    • Unfortunately, the memory in MacBook Pro with Retina display models is soldered in and thus not user-upgradeable.

  • Reading some of the posts it sounds like there might be something soon as far as SSD upgrades to the 2015,2 rMBP.

    Is there any indication of the what the options/sizes will be? I’m hoping for a 1Tb to come out soon.

  • Updates for the PCie upgrades. Are we expecting any this year? I read on apple discussion about people shaving plastic off battery holder to make a mid 2014 or higher PCIe fit. I really don’t want go that route if there is hope of something that i don’t need Mod.

    • It is possible to upgrade the SSD in the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display, and we’re hard at work now to bring flash upgrades of our own. Continue to check back to the Rocket Yard for official announcements.

  • I have a early 2014 macbook air A1466, i bought a 500GB Pci-e off of Ebay, would anybody be able to tell me if it is compatible with the 2015 macbook pro?

  • Is the SSD in the MBPr 13″ a PCI-e?
    Im only getting the 128gb ssd for now, I would like to upgrade in the future,
    Thanks!

    • Hi, Ryan. It is possible, and OWC is hard at work to bring upgrades for your model. Be sure to bookmark the Rocket Yard and stay tuned for official announcements.

      • Jarrod, care to comment at all on the significant delay in bringing the PCIe drives to market?

        Apple introduced them nearly 3 (?) years ago, and we still have no 3rd party options. Is there something unusual about them that’s requiring some crazy reverse engineering, or are there patent issues or what?

        We’ve heard from our suppliers at OWC for the last 12 months or so “They’re coming Q3, 2014,” and then “Q1, 2015,” and then “Q2 2015,” and now we’re in Q3… It looks like Transcend is having trouble bringing these to market as well, so I’m wondering if you can speak openly about that the engineering, manufacturing, or even legal hold up is.

        This isn’t really even about competing with Apple, because Apple doesn’t offer any upgrade options after purchase.

        So why the delay?

        Inquiring geeks would like to know. :-)

        • Hi, Michael. Sincerest apologies, but we can’t comment on that on the Rocket Yard. But we do promise we are hard at work on bringing these solutions to you as soon as possible :). Be sure to bookmark the Rocket Yard, where we will make an official announcement as soon as we’re ready.

          • Thanks for your response, but I just wanted to clarify something? Are you saying that you cannot speak to the delays? I get that OWC is unable to tell anyone when 3rd party options will be available, previous inside announcements to vendors have been wrong anyway. But I’m curious why it’s such a secret as to WHY this is taking so long. Wouldn’t it just be easier to say, “there are engineering difficulties we did not face with SATA?” Or “there are legal issues we’re working with?” After the PCIe drives are released, will you be able to comment then?

            thanks.

            • Hi, Michael. Unfortunately, I can’t speak about the release date in any capacity other than to say that we are indeed working on them.

  • What, if anything, would prevent someone from taking the same 1tb pcie ssd as the top of the line MacBook Pro 2015? In other words is there anything hardware wise preventing the entry level from beyond 500gb?

    • Hello Andrew, SSD upgrades for the entry level MacBook Pro models are coming soon, but we’re not ready to make any official announcements yet on what is compatible.

    • Hi Samir, SSD upgrades for your MacBook Pro model are coming soon, but we’re not ready to make any official announcements yet.

    • The late 2013 and 2014 models use a PCIe 2.0 2-Lane SSD, and the current Early 2015 models use a faster PCIe 2.0 4-Lane SSD. You will not be able to use the 2014 SSDs with the 2015 model.

      • Some of the SSD’s available as upgrades for the 2014 have PCIe 2.0 with 4 lanes. In fact 1TB SSDs are always 4 lanes in the original 2014 model. Can I use those in the 2015 model? What about PCIe 3.0? which is what the 2015 actually has?

        • The new 2015 MacBook Pros have switched over to the new PCIe 3.0 x4 Lane SSD. I am sorry for the error in the previous comment.

          The installation of the 2014 model SSDs to the 2015 models have not been tested by OWC and we can not recommend this.

          • Are there any plans to test it? or is it completely out of the question?

            Since PCIe 3.0 based SSDs for MacBook Pro have not hit the market yet, knowing if older models work would be a great help. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

  • I have the new macbook pro 2015
    1000 gigs SSD
    I5
    But i mad a mistake and clicked the 8 gigs of ram instead of the 16 gigs
    can i upgrade it?
    i am on 35mb almost all the time and i am suffering very much
    Please tell me it can be upgraded

  • As Apple moves more and more to earlier planned obsolescence with it’s computers, clearly hoping that people will replace them as often as iPhones, we can’t help but wonder how the new trackpad will survive 3-4 years of usage when everything is out of warranty. RAM is now soldered to the logic board on the majority of the Macs Apple sells now and it’s only a matter of time before the same is true of these proprietary PCIe hard drives that OWC has yet to offer replacements for. When they’re able to do that, our prediction is that they will weld everything shut and each consumer will have no option other than to bring it to an AppleStore where they will melt it down and have people buy brand new and start the cycle again. It’s a Brave New World with Apple as the richest publicly traded company in the world. I guess we should be careful what we wish for.

  • Thanks for doing this! It helped with my choice to get the 256 Macbook Pro variant. I was on the fence with the 128 and 256. I have the 2015 Macbook Pro 256. Read and Write tests have shown that the 256 Macbook Pro for me is getting the same read speeds and DOUBLE the write speeds similar the the Macbook Air 256. So, I would recommend the 256 at minimum for anyone looking for the increased speed. Take care.

  • Hi, thanks for the teardown. Could the difference in writing speeds, between the Macbook Air 2015 and this new Macbook Pro 13″ 2015, come from the fact that you tested on the former with a 256GB SSD whereas on the latter (Macbook Pro) it was a 128GB SSD? Thanks

    • I’m with Koox.

      Will ya’ll test a new 13″ MBP with 2.9 or 3.1 GHz and–more importantly–a larger capacity SSD?

      Hard to believe the 13″ rMBP can’t write as fast as the MBAir. Assuming they both have 4 lane PCIe SSDs, I’m hoping it’s SSD capacity and/or available space on the SSD that has the MPB test with slower write speeds.

      My SATA II 2009 MBP with an OWC data doubler & OWC Mercury Electra SSD was recently damaged in an accident. Until the OWC MB Air unbloxing, I was planning to get a SATA III Mid 2012 so I can upgrade to 2 Pro SSDs in RAID 0 to build my dream a very portable, yet extremely fast video editing machine–even though that means one Thunderbolt port rather than two Thunderbolt2 ports–

      BUT when I saw the read/write speeds of the new MB Air, I thought I might buy my first maxed-out non-upgradable (at least until OWC figures out the upgrades) MBP.

      NOW, after the new MBP unboxing, I’m left questioning….

    • I just saw that 9 to 5 Mac benchamarked a new 13 MBP with 3.1GHz i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD using Geekbench, Novabench and Blackmagic Speed Test. The video of the Blackmagic Speed Test showed a Write speed of 1433.9 MB/s & a Read of 1289.5–though I don’t understand why it wrote faster than it read in the tests.