Is the SSD upgradeable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by acb2m, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. acb2m macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Before I pay the extra $300 to go from 128 to 256gb can anyone tell me if the drive is upgradeable? I'm probably going to use it for 4-5 years so if it is I'll just get the cheaper one and wait for the prices to come down, but if its not I'll go with the 256. Thanks.
  2. acb2m thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
  3. inf macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    Wrong! The SSD module is changable, but the problem is that there's no ssd modules like Air uses at the markets at the moment. But I think there soon will be!
  4. MrBobYu macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    Yes and it will probably cost a fortune or it will be hell to do the change.
  5. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    No, the SSD is not changeable at all. Each NAND module is soldered to the motherboard.
  6. SamTheeGeek macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2010
    United Kingdom
    i agree that its gonna be near impossible to upgrade the SSD yourself.
  7. stenberg77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    It is removable

    It's disturbing when people state that they know things they don't, thats a male thing!

    Check facts at ifixit.

    Attached Files:

  8. LinkMx macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2007
    The SSD is removable, it's actually just a mini PCI Express card.

    the problem is that the part is custom made, sot rigth now it's impossible to find a replacement that doesn't come from apple, but who knows, maybe third party modules will be available in the future.

    Edit: Apparently mini PCI express SSDs are already available, I don't know if they work on the Air since they seem to be of a different size, the problem is that they're expensive and 64 GB seems to be the max size that I could find in newegg, but we will probably see third party solutions for the air pretty soon.
  9. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
  10. acb2m thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    So its changeable? Or if not now then it will be in the future? Maybe I'll go with the 256 to be on the safe side and in a few years upgrade it when the prices go down.
  11. zartemis macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Is it? This site claims it is a different connector.

    My 2-year old Dell Mini 9 used mini pci-e SSD (and I later upgraded it from stock).

    Flash drives not in standard SSD enclosures for use in small laptops (netbooks) is not new or revolutionary (no matter what the Macbook Air advertisement claims).
  12. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I would say that just because it's the only one like it right now doesn't mean it will not become a third-party market option later. Look at Runcore, PhotoFast, and others. The LIF SATA-II was almost a proprietary type solution... at least it was only used by Apple but others made SSDs that were faster and had more storage than the stock SSD even.

    Since it's "plugged in" to a proprietary port, and not soldered to the board, leaves the option for expansion by third-party vendors later. The thing is Jobs made it sound like this MBA is the future of all of the Mac notebooks. I suspect probably other Macs will get NAND Flash even if it's just the main storage holding OS X and apps. That makes more sense for the bigger thicker Mac notebooks to give them both 2.5" SATA drives for file storage and NAND Flash for OS and apps giving it extremely fast startup, app opening, and etc.

    If Apple does use this tech in other Macs, it's almost guaranteed that third-party suppliers will make them and sell upgrades.

    Now, with the RAM situation, it's soldered to the board, and without an expensive robotic arm in a research or factory environment that isn't upgradeable at all for the common consumer.

    I would tell people to upgrade the RAM to 4 GB no matter which other options they want. While I fully believe 2 GB RAM is sufficient in OS X for the current situation and majority of owners, to future proof the machine 4 GB RAM is very necessary. Right now it's necessary for those who want Windows, but apps will require more RAM, and Lion will probably require 4 GB by itself, and the RAM is shared as VRAM for the Nvidia 320m.
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza

    Wrong again...

    The SSD is a mini PCIe x1 interface. That means, you can swap out the card for a higher capacity one.

    If people are wondering, that mini-PCIe x1 interface carries a 250MB/s bandwidth.
  14. mattb79 macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2010
    If the new MBAs sell as quickly as the iPad and iPhone, expect third parties to start tapping that large market with alternate/bigger drives.

    I actually think Apple should have piggybacked the new Airs at an iPhone or iPad press conference. The exposure to Apple users (who don't currently use Macs) would probably convert them to Mac users.

    That's Apple's key goal here; converting their huge iPhone/iPad/iPod user base into Mac users. There's a massive gap there, as the majority of users of other Apple products still use PCs as their primary computer.

    The new MacBook Air is the perfect device to begin a mass conversion.
  15. ImperialX macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Let me elaborate on my one word response. As of now, you can take it out, but there's no way for you to buy a replacement, so there's no point in taking it out. Thus my answer, "No".
  16. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    To the OP:

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: Maybe with some hacks and special parts to buy in the future.
  17. diddl14 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2009
    Also wrong. It's not using PCIe x1 but a standard SATA II interface to connect to the NVidia chipset. See this thread for details.
  18. acb2m thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Thanks for the info, I'll be getting the 256.
  19. sparkie7 macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
    Nothing a soldering iron and a mac geek can't fix, ya know whut I mean? :D
  20. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    For all practical purposes? No.

    If you want to get technical, yes kinda sorta maybe.

    But it's not going to be easy, and it's not meant to be user-upgradeable.
  21. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    If you are a hardware geek...then yes its changeable.

    If you know nothing about computers and/or lazy then NO. ABSOLUTELY NO.
  22. mr0c macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2010
    Virginia, US
    LOL, I was wondering what to do when I get made redundant next week, I'll set up my own robotic arm factory and modify MBA's for a living ;)
    (Maybe even add custom racing stripes?)

    All at exorbitant prices :D
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Not soldered, that was some misinformation provided, but the iFixit guide cleared that up. However it's using a non standard interface and/or proprietary so for all practical purposes its not feasible to upgrade it.

    Choose wisely at the time of purchase as you'll not really be able to upgrade later.
  24. diddl14 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2009
    It's a wild guess however I would be very much surprised if 3rd-party SSD providers like Crucial or RunCore would not jump on the new Apple SSD bandwagon and in future offer alternatives with higher capacity and faster controllers. Since Apple hooked up their flash via standard SATA, it should be not that difficult to figure out how the 6+12 pins of the Apple 'SATA' connector match to standard SATA (+power)? As an niche aftermarket its probably not unattractive.

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