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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
Hi everyone!

I just bought a brand new A1708 13" mid-2017 i5 MacBook Pro (Function keys) that only has 128GB internal SSD.
These come with special SSD drives, and by chance I found an adapter on eBay that I had never seen before (see picture).
Basically it is advertised as being made for installing M.2 SSD on a A1708 MacBook Pro, and it has the same shape as the original Apple SSD.

So I bought some Samsung 970 EVO Nvme M.2 1TB SSD. It fits perfectly on the adapter, but then when trying to install the whole thing, half of the new SSD stick out on top of the rest of the motherboard :eek:.

I have not removed the original SSD, just trying the new one on top of it to see how it would fit. It hangs over some components and a bit of the CPU. Note that once installed it would be sitting lower and looks like it would be really close to the CPU but hopefully not touching it. The lid should close fine when putting the MacBook Pro back together.

Do you guys think I should stop this insane endeavour or it shouldn't be very problematic? I am mainly doing audio (ProTools, Ableton,...), no gaming, no video. Do you think that the SSD could get too hot and too close to the CPU and damage it or get damaged?

PS: the SSD fits fine and tight in the adapter, you have to insert it at 45°, but then there nothing to push it back flat against the adapter.... any ideas? When closing the lid should push it back I guess but I'd like something more "professional".

Thanks a LOTTTT for your help and I really hope someone has tried that before me with success !! 😅😅😅
 

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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
6,086
1,575
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The NVMe you have is a 2280. You need a 2242.

 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
Hi Audit13, thanks a lot for your answer! I just googled 2242 SSD drives. They look like they are smaller right? But it looks like the pinout looks different than the one from the adapter and the Samsung I have? (they have 2 grooves instead of 1)
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
NVMe and mSATA drives can have 2 notches.



Ok. So even if my adapter has a single notch the dual notch SSD would fit right?

Actually the only 1TB one I found is a single notch 2242 ! 😀
It's this one, if anyone needs it : https://www.amazon.fr/Sabrent-interne-performance-DRAM-less-SB-1342-512/dp/B07XVR1KKR

Have you head of Sabrent? Is there nothing you would recommend? And thank again !!!!!!!!!!🙏🙏🙏🙏
 
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venom600

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2003
1,079
816
Los Angeles, CA
I wouldn't do that if I were you. The drive you posted is DRAMless. It will be painfully slow. This is a good video explainer on why you don't want an SSD without it's own DRAM.

 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
I wouldn't do that if I were you. The drive you posted is DRAMless. It will be painfully slow. This is a good video explainer on why you don't want an SSD without it's own DRAM.



😭😭😭
Thanks for the advice! Is there any other model you would recommend? (and how so spot DRAMless drives?)
 
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venom600

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2003
1,079
816
Los Angeles, CA
As far as I can tell you are likely out of luck. Nearly every drive I can find in that form factor is an old MSATA drive (as opposed to M.2). The few NVMe drives are from no name brands that have horrible reviews. This is an example of in theory, yes you can upgrade the drive. In practice, no one makes anything to upgrade to.

That's a real disappointment too because your machine was my favorite of that generation because of the upgradeability.
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
As far as I can tell you are likely out of luck. Nearly every drive I can find in that form factor is an old MSATA drive (as opposed to M.2). The few NVMe drives are from no name brands that have horrible reviews. This is an example of in theory, yes you can upgrade the drive. In practice, no one makes anything to upgrade to.

That's a real disappointment too because your machine was my favorite of that generation because of the upgradeability.

Thanks Venom600.
If I can’t find any proper 2242 SSD, leaving my Samsung SSD sticking out over the rest of the board is a big no-no ?
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
6,086
1,575
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Where are you located?

Although drives with dram are preferred, you may have no choice.

I have used dram-less drives in a the 2015 MacBook Air 13". Honestly, everybody using these Airs with dram-less drives have no idea. They were no slower than the original Apple drives the replaced.

You need to look at how often you will need to read and write to the drive, together with the file sizes.

The YouTube video only shows images of 2.5" SSDs and is from December, 2017. NVMe controllers and firmware have come a long way. A NVMe drive, even without any dram, is going to be faster than a 2.5" sata3 drive with dram.
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
Where are you located?

Although drives with dram are preferred, you may have no choice.

I have used dram-less drives in a the 2015 MacBook Air 13". Honestly, everybody using these Airs with dram-less drives have no idea. They were no slower than the original Apple drives the replaced.

You need to look at how often you will need to read and write to the drive, together with the file sizes.

The YouTube video only shows images of 2.5" SSDs and is from December, 2017. NVMe controllers and firmware have come a long way. A NVMe drive, even without any dram, is going to be faster than a 2.5" sata3 drive with dram.

I am in France.

Are we sure btw that the original Apple SSD in my MBP has Dram?

So a Dramless NVMe SSD is still better than my Samsung sticking out? 😅

I am mainly working on ProTools and honestly I do not know how many Read/Writes that implies, and file sizes are quite smaller than on Video Softwares 🙁
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
6,086
1,575
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I am in France.

Are we sure btw that the original Apple SSD in my MBP has Dram?

So a Dramless NVMe SSD is still better than my Samsung sticking out? 😅

I am mainly working on ProTools and honestly I do not know how many Read/Writes that implies, and file sizes are quite smaller than on Video Softwares 🙁

If the drive is a Samsung, it is unlikely it would be dram-less although the amount of onboard dram may be low.

As SSD size increases, read write performance goes up. I am fairly certain that read/write performance in a 128 GB NVMe with dram is going to be lower than a 1 TB NVMe dram-less.

Write performance with large files slows down when the cache gets filled.

Here's a review of Lexar's dram-less NVMe: https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8923/lexar-nm600-low-cost-nvme-ssd-review/index.html

The performance isn't bad and way better than you will ever get from a 128 GB SSD.
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
If the drive is a Samsung, it is unlikely it would be dram-less although the amount of onboard dram may be low.

As SSD size increases, read write performance goes up. I am fairly certain that read/write performance in a 128 GB NVMe with dram is going to be lower than a 1 TB NVMe dram-less.

Write performance with large files slows down when the cache gets filled.

Here's a review of Lexar's dram-less NVMe: https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8923/lexar-nm600-low-cost-nvme-ssd-review/index.html

The performance isn't bad and way better than you will ever get from a 128 GB SSD.

Thanks! That’s quite convincing... I’m just a bit worried about the lifespan of the Dramless drive :(

Do you think keeping the Samsung SSD hanging on top of the motherboard and close to the CPU like on the pics would be risky?
 
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venom600

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2003
1,079
816
Los Angeles, CA
You know what? I changed my mind. Go for it. For $80 as long as you keep good backups you get more space. Just keep your expectations adjusted appropriately. That said, don't overlap a larger drive... these things get very hot by themselves, and your machine only has one cooling fan.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
6,086
1,575
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thanks! That’s quite convincing... I’m just a bit worried about the lifespan of the Dramless drive :(

Do you think keeping the Samsung SSD hanging on top of the motherboard and close to the CPU like on the pics would be risky?
I personally would not worry about the SSD lifespan. By the time the warranty expires, you'll probably be ready for a bigger drive. I have 60 GB 2.5" SSDs from years ago and they are still working. They outlived their useful life way before they failed.

Prices on technology tends to go down. Look at the the fall in prices for an SSD over the years.

Any SSD can fall at any time without warning.
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
Thanks
I personally would not worry about the SSD lifespan. By the time the warranty expires, you'll probably be ready for a bigger drive. I have 60 GB 2.5" SSDs from years ago and they are still working. They outlived their useful life way before they failed.

Prices on technology tends to go down. Look at the the fall in prices for an SSD over the years.

Any SSD can fall at any time without warning.

Thanks again guys. You have been incredibly helpful !

I will go for the Sabrent Dramless drive, and I found a 2TB one ! But Do you think my MacBook Pro would be compatible with 2TB drives? 🤔 The max orginal configuration with this model is 1TB i think.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
6,086
1,575
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thanks


Thanks again guys. You have been incredibly helpful !

I will go for the Sabrent Dramless drive, and I found a 2TB one ! But Do you think my MacBook Pro would be compatible with 2TB drives? 🤔 The max orginal configuration with this model is 1TB i think.
I can't think of why it would not be compatible. Back in 2017, a 2 TB option may not have been a via option for Apple to offer. As time when on, dram technology improved, manufacturers were able to produce higher-capacity chips using TLC and QLC techniques, and perfecting 10, 8, and 7 nm processes.
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
I can't think of why it would not be compatible. Back in 2017, a 2 TB option may not have been a via option for Apple to offer. As time when on, dram technology improved, manufacturers were able to produce higher-capacity chips using TLC and QLC techniques, and perfecting 10, 8, and 7 nm processes.

Ok, I was just afraid that as from factory they didn't "expect" to see 2TB, when installing my 2TB the computer would not "recognise" it.

I'll order the Sabrent 2TB right away and keep you guys posted as wether it:

_Fits in the adapter (some reviewers said they had issues installing that model in their PC)
_Works in the MBP
_How it compares to the original one (Speeds & Temperatures)

If it works I hope this helps some people out there who could get a cheaper mid-2017 MBP (with Function Keys) and then upgrade the SSD storage size, because honestly I do not understand how the hell the newer ones have the SSDs soldered to the motherboard?!?!
I mean that shouldn't the case for a "Pro" computer, where "professionals" need to upgrade, replace, repair, etc....
It's totally ridiculous....

That would be OK for the MacBook Air, who would be targeted to wealthy student, or non-professional laptop users.

Unfortunately I learnt all my audio software and "computer skills" on Macs, so changing to PC is a bit of a hassle but honestly I'm tempted....

That was my 3 minute rant 😅

I'll be back next week !
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
So! It’s been 2 weeks and I wanted to get back to you guys and to anyone else who might be desperate to upgrade their SSD on Function Keys MacBook Pro 2017.

So, when installing the new SSD and turning on the computer the first time..... nada..... the SSD was not recognised and when opening Disk Utility in the boot menu it couldn’t find the internal drive, so I was totally depressed! BUT I decided to use my well learned wisdom (“have you tried turning it off and on again” for you IT Crowd fans 😜) and simply restart it and BANG !!!

I have been working for 2 weeks flawlessly on the laptop.
The only thing is the longer boot time when opening (28s) but I guess it has to scan 2TB worth of memory instead of 128GB ?
Well personnaly I don’t mind at all as I rarely restart the damn thing.

I checked the speeds and the read time is pretty much the same (slightly lower but still fast as f, but the write speed had doubled !). Check pictures.
Also on the original SSD it never seemed to pass the 2160p50 and 2160p60 test..... weird.....

I checked temperatures too and they seem to be 2° Celsius lower with the new SSD!

So THANK YOU again to you guys! You have helped me sooooo much it’s so kind of you.
I hope this helps some other people.

Peace ✌
 

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sporkme

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2018
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Curious - I have the same adapter (actually a few, will resell them likely) on the way from China for my 2017 13" MBP.

My 128GB is just not cutting it anymore (why can't Photos just push more of that crap to the cloud!? why is the base OS now up to like 50GB, worse than Windows!). Your adapter, like mine, probably specifies a 2230 or 2242 SINGLE-SIDED. Looking at the Sabrent online, that seems to have chips on both sides. How did you manage to cram that in there?

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 7.11.41 PM.png
 
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pskplt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2020
13
4
To be fair it was a perfect fit, it seems the adaptor is made for double-sided SSDs. Just the whole thing (Adapter+ new SSD) is thicker than the original SSD so it looks like it’s about to come into contact with the lid when closing it, but it’s really hard to tell if it touches or not... no bump on the back of the lid when closed so far....
 
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Alexander William

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2020
289
129
Also the Dram less QLC sorbent drivers are excellent, unless you're doing massive file transfers (>10gb)its completely fine, but there are some bad brands, Sabrent are great.
 
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Jordi Sark

macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2020
1
0
Hey, I'm thinking about doing the same, is it working so far? No hibernation problems? Also which adapter are you using?
Thanks!!

To be fair it was a perfect fit, it seems the adaptor is made for double-sided SSDs. Just the whole thing (Adapter+ new SSD) is thicker than the original SSD so it looks like it’s about to come into contact with the lid when closing it, but it’s really hard to tell if it touches or not... no bump on the back of the lid when closed so far....
 
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