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Replacing SSD in MacBook Pro, is my shopping list + plan OK?

Hi everybody. I'm planning to replace the SSD in my MBP with a bigger capacity regular market SSD. Not an Apple branded one. I'm using a Sintech adapter and a Samsung Evo 970. Device is a Macbook Pro 13" Early 2015 (A1502).

Here's what I'm planning on buying:

After installing the drive in the machine, I need to first boot into Linux via bootable USB to partition the drive. Then I should be able to run the High Sierra bootable USB to setup the system, after partitioning again with Disk Utility to GUID and APFS.

I'm wondering if I'm doing this correctly. Is there anything I'm forgetting or could be doing better? I will probably need to find a local (Dutch) vendor for the Sintech adapter but I'm sure I can find it somewhere.

Any feedback appreciated.

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The adapter and using M2s built for Windows are just not reliable.

Go with one made for Mac, such as the OWC model or Transcend.

https://eshop.macsales.com/upgrades/macb...

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Thanks for your comment. I'm a little surprised though. What kind of problems arise when using the adapter? The thing is, the SSDs made for Mac are really expensive compared to the stock SSDs. So if at all possible I'd prefer to go with that option. But I'm curious how bad the problem is.

@danj has more experience with M2 drives in Macs than I do. Maybe he will chime in.

Hoping he will :) I've done some searching and found that people get trouble with this setup sometimes. Drives that suddenly revert to half speed, suddenly stop being detected. And minor issues like taking longer to boot up. But it's hard to see if these are incidents or if it's a fundamental problem. Gonna do some more searching for the moment.

@mayer - I’m with you, best to stick with the real Apple drives or go with either OWC or Transcend, that’s all I put in.

Review this great guide while it’s thin in a few places it’s still the best source out there: The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs

Thanks everyone. I was hoping for some more details, but I just ordered an OWC drive. Seems people do report problems with the M2 adapter. I'd rather pay a little extra than have to deal with that.

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가장 유용한 답변

I just bought the same from amazon:

Sintech NGFF M.2 nVME SSD Adapter Card

and

Samsung 970 EVO 1TB - NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD (MZ-V7E1T0BW)

Total cost including taxes and shipping: $260. Compared with OWC $400 you can see that savings could be substancial.

I am not a newbie to computers. I am a programmer working with hardware for more than 20 years. I have been doing my research and I totally think this solution will work and even boost performance in my 15” MacBook Pro (Mid-2015). I will report back once the items arrive an I do the installation and test the system. I will post why and how it works or in case of failure or poor results, I will also report results… Stay tuned.

As to the comments saying that this is not an stable solution, it would be good to have an explanation of what makes it unstable.

Update (11/19/2018)

Following up on my previous post:

I received the SSD and the adapter from Amazon about 3 hours ago. I am typing this post in my 2015 MacBook Pro with the new drive already installed. The installation was very simple:

1- Removed back cover.

2- Unplugged the battery connector.

3- Plugged the new drive with the adapter.

Block Image

4 - I had a bootable USB drive with Mojave Install. The machine booted in recovery mode. The new drive was recognized immediately as it would have done with the original. See picture.

Block Image

I used the Disk Utility to erase the disk and format it to install the OS. That took 15 seconds. Ready for the installation.

5- Mojave installed finished flawlessly.

6- Used Migration Assistant to migrate all Application, Data and Settings from the Time Machine backup done before I began the process. My machine looks exactly the same as when I started but I just went from 256GB storage to 1TB. The best part is the performance on this drive. Here are a couple of screen shots of the original drive vs the new drive.

Old 256GB Apple SSD

Block Image

New 1 TB Samsung 970EVO

Block Image

I have already run a number of tests specially to ensure that there is no data corruption (as in CRC errors). So far so good. But I will have to be more thorough. This is just an early report.

You might not have the same result with different hardware. My machine is a 15 inch MBP Retina (Mid 2015).

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There is a Sleep recovery problem and while it might appear to be running well if you look at the deeper CRC errors you'll see its quite high during heavy data moves. We did extensive testing a few years ago with both the PCIe/AHCI as well as PCIe/NVMe.

I realize the cost of the proper products are more expensive, sometimes going cheap is not really the best answer if you are dependent on your system working and your data is safe. I don't think using these adapters are smart. Don't forget you don't have anyone to support you if things break.

Thanks for your detailed answer! It convinced me to try. I ordered the 970 Evo 1TB too, and a similar adapter. I'll feedback soon.

I'm writing from my freshly installed SSD. Worked like a charm, I confirm I have the same perfs. Thanks a lot, it's one of those as-much-details-as-you-can answer which truly helped

Did more or less the same upgrade but used a Samsung EVO 970 2TB. Strangely my read speeds are below expectations, only go up to 2250MB/s whilst write is actually faster with 2500MB/s. Anybody with an idea what could cause that behaviour?

Which MBP do you have? I believe, maybe, that the 2015 models have faster PCIe, vs the late 2013’s ...

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I swear these boards are full of Apple “Geniuses” always warning to use Apple parts, pay there ridiculous prices or you’ll be sorry. Some early adapters screwed up sleep wake. To save 3 or 4 hundred dollars to update to 1 tb some people are willing to not let there macbook sleep. There is an updated adapter that solves sleep wake issues.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CWWAENG/ref...

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Hi,

Yes, it works.

I bought a Samsung EVO 970 1Tb + a Sintech adapter, and installed it in my Macbook Air 2015.

I booted on a Gparted Live CD (a bootable UDB drive would work too) to create a mac partition table and format the SSD to hfs+, so that it would be detected by the Air. (Gparted does not offer an APFS option)

Then, I booted on an external hard drive with High Sierra and used Disk Utility to change the partition table to GUID and format the SSD to APFS.

Finally, I restored my Air from a Time Machine Backup. Everything is working like a charm, and it’s cheaper than OWC (and probably faster).

I have a Macbook Air early 2015, I bought a Samsung SSD Evo 970 1Tb + a Sintech adapter, and this is what I did :

  • Installed the SSD + adapter in the Macbook Air
  • Booted on a Gparted Live CD (Linux on a bootable USB key would work too)
  • Created a partition table for Mac with Gparted
  • Booted on an external drive with High Sierra
  • Used Disk Utility to format the SSD in APFS
  • Restored a Time Machine backup on the SSD
  • Done! And everything works like a charm.

Hope that helps.

Cheers!

Block Image

Block Image

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hi Beber, do you face the Sleep booting issue?

Is there a reason that the Read/Write speed is not closer to the 3500/2500 MB/s of the EVO? Is the speed limited by the PCI or adaptor maybe?

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Would this upgrade work with a MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Late 2013 ?

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I like OWC for presenting great Mac solutions. Yet Crucial P1 and the 2nd gen sintech adapter work flawlessly in high Sierra, Mojave and Catalina. No sleep issues. At a savings...

Of course, Most Mac users like the easiness of how things work in the Mac world, including great reliability. However, there is a path of resistance for the ones who are willing to study a bit further, into what actually may be preferable options.

I have worked as a consultant designing apple solutions for at least 80 recording studios, using AVID and apple solutions. Clients including major music and sound award winners and studios, Game designers, as well as the humble bedroom recording studio. There generally are ways of maximizing results by bending rules. It is a labor of love and patience….

A.

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