2014 MBA SSD-MCE Tech or OWC

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by HylianKnight, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. HylianKnight macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    #1
    Hello all. I'm repairing an early 2014 mba for a friend. The oem Toshiba ssd in it completely failed so I ordered a 240gb Aura from OWC to replace it. The drive came in today. I have it installed and running, but I was prompted to do some digging after I discovered the computer sees the drive as an external drive.

    Apparently I did not do enough research before ordering. It seems that the OWC Aura drives do not support TRIM, do not support SMART, have slower speeds, and are essentially two data ssds in a raid configuration. Only thing the Aura has going for it is a 3 year warranty.

    I just saw that there is another company, MCE Technolgies, that sells ssds compatible with 2014 mbas. Their ssds support TRIM, support SMART, and have speeds that rival the oem drive. The only downside is the 256gb comes with only a 1 year warranty.

    I am tempted to return the OWC drive for a refund and order from MCETech, but I have read some less than flattering things about them as a company. Anyone with any experience with these two companies and their ssd offerings for the 2014 mba (MacBookAor6,2)?
     
  2. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #2
    I've used OWC SSDs in 2011 and 2012 13 MBA's. They've worked as expected for a few years now. They "look" like regular (internal) drives.
     
  3. HylianKnight thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2017
    #3
    I would expect drives from those years to work fine, as they were normal sata or m.2 drives. Starting late 2013, and in the 2014 mba, Apple uses a customized m.2 interface. This has caused issues with making affordable 3rd party storage solutions. Long story short, the ssds owc made for these models function a bit differently.
     
  4. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    I just installed an Aura blade SSD in my 2012 iMac, which also has a proprietary connector. Trim in MacOS is a pain and needs to be disabled everytime you update the OS for third party SSDs. The Aura reserves data (which is why it is 240, not 256) for garbage collection. While not technically TRIM, it is automated which is very nice. Also, you *can* enable trim on these drives if you want. I do not intend to enable TRIM in mine unless there is a write speed problem, which, if it does occur, you can just enable trim until the problem clears up.
     
  5. HylianKnight thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2017
    #5
    Yes, I have spoken extensively with OWC and for the model you are referring to TRIM can be enabled. I don’t know much else about that drive, but the models for 2013-2015 are basically two SATA drive in a RAID configuration. I have confirmed they are also using TLC flash which tends to draw more power thus generating more heat. This is also why OWC put a heat spreader thing on the drives. It makes contact with the aluminum backplate of the macbook and uses that to disperse heat. I can tell you that it is not comfortable. It gets very hot. I played around with it for a week and did not like how it performed thermally. I have returned the drive. MCEtech drive is on the way, uses MLC flash, and operates within the same parameters as the oem drive. I will provide feed back on this drive as soon as it is installed. On the note of having to disable trim on 3rd party drives before an upgrade, —I’m not sure that is accurate. This was a requirement back when upgrading to Yosemite because of the new kext signing, but Apple later decided to provide the ability to enable TRIM on 3rd party drives.

    Going back to the claim of certain drives performing “garbage collection” being sufficient; my understanding is that garbage collection can not perform the same level of cleanup that TRIM handles. Has something to do with needing to know which logical blocks are used and unused at the file system level. TRIM gives this information to the drive.
     
  6. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    North Carolina
    #6
    True, but you can always just enable TRIM if you need it... unsure why this would be seen as an issue.
     
  7. HylianKnight thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2017
    #7
    Not on the drive for mid 2013 to later MacBooks (pro/Air). If you look at the spec sheet on owc’s site you will see that the drive itself does not support TRIM for this model. Other OWC drives do support TRIM, just not this one.
    B4436695-1A30-441F-98CB-1D4046855408.jpeg
     
  8. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #8
    They might mean it doesn't natively support it. You CAN enable it.

    https://blog.macsales.com/31602-owc-ssds-built-to-perform-with-or-without-trimforce-command

    OWC actually gives you instructions on how to do this:

    https://blog.macsales.com/31619-how-to-execute-trimforce-command-with-your-owc-ssd

    And just for reference

    Capture.JPG
     
  9. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    No you cannot enable TRIM on a SSD RAID which OWC's drives are. It may report as TRIM enabled, but it really isn't, even Windows can't do TRIM on a SSD RAID (what's worse is OWC uses crappy Sandforce controllers - no modern SSD uses them now!) The other posts above are 'generic' and really only apply to 2012-early 2013 and EARLIER models which used SATA based SSD's. late 2013 on MBP's all use PCIe. MCE tech prices are just as bad as buying used Apple SSD's on the auction site. I bought a 1 TB Apple OEM SSD from ebay several years ago and it's still running strong on my 2013 rMBP 13. MAKE SURE IT'S SAMSUNG. All the other SSD controllers stink, even Apple OEM ones using Toshiba/Marvell controllers. (Apple's NVME controllers seem to fantastic OTOH)
     

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