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Old Oct 1, 2012, 08:24 PM   #1
mediacomposer
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Thumbs down OWC SSD "Upgrade" 2012 Macbook Air - Buyer Beware

Hey Guys,

Long time lurker first time thread-starter, you guys have solved A LOT of problems of mine over the years and I thank you for that.

I wanted to let you know of a recent problem I had with the brand new 2012 third party solid-state drive upgrade for the Macbook Air. The new Macbook Air in 2012 has a new form-factor for the SSD "blade" and is touted to have a much faster read/write speed from the 2011 version. After a little delay, third-party Mac parts manufacturer "Other World Computing" came out with a compatible 2012 version of this SSD. I was excited to get this upgrade because while Apple tends to gloss over their "performance" improvements, I knew OWC was a solid SSD manufacturer for all Mac products. I have bought memory and SSDs from them in the past and found them to be reliable, fast, and a great value.

This time however was a completely different story. I bought the computer with the 128GB SSD option and looked to install the 120GB Aura Pro 6G SSD. For $170 I thought it was an applicable upgrade if it meant over 500 MB/s read/write speeds as advertised. As a video editor, I occasionally use the air to throw video together. The advantage of having the fastest SSD as my system drive becomes apparent with highly intensive program use. I did drive speed benchmarks on the factory SSD before installing OWC's version.

During installation I hit a major snag. The drive did not fit my machine! I have the 11" and I don't know if they only measured the 13" version but I had to shave off a corner of the plastic battery container with an X-acto knife to get the drive to lay flat (Inside red circle).

Now, admittedly, this alone would not have been a deal breaker for me. The drive did ultimately fit and I installed a fresh 10.8.2 OSX onto it. Upon setting that up, I ran my benchmarks again and found that the drive did not even come close to the factory drive. The factory drive ran a read/write speed consistently around 450MB/s and this drive could barely break 200MB/s using BlackMagic's Disk Speed Test. Very disappointed.

I removed OWC's and reinstalled the factory drive no harm no foul except for the installation scar. I RMA'ed the drive to OWC and they only refunded $130 of the $170 cost and I also paid shipping for the return (which I wouldn't have minded if I got all $170 back.)

I have to say the worst part of this is that I wrote all this in a review under the drive's OWC product page and it was never posted. As of right now it has a perfect 5 star review when I posted mine roughly 3 weeks ago. This blatant screening of reviews is why I write this today... so people know, buyer beware.
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macbook air 11, macbook air 2012, owc, ssd

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