Macbook air 2017 SSD Compatibility with Samsung SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by enarida, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. enarida macrumors newbie


    Jan 6, 2018
    I'm planning to buy a NVMe m.2 samsung evo ssd. ( and wanting to ask you guys is it compatible with my mac ? I have done some research and it says that macOS high sierra supports natively nvme's. Do i need a sintech adapter for the ssd that i'm buying? Thanks
  2. Audit13 macrumors 68040


    Apr 19, 2017
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Yes, you'll need a Sintech adapter because the Air from mid 2013 to present use the same SSD.

    Be aware that some people are experiencing kernel panics with the 960 EVO.
  3. zekeyou macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2018
    Hi did you try the NVMe m.2 in your Macbook Air 2017?
    Any feedback?
  4. Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009

    I put this in my MacBook Air, formatted it in the APFS format then installed High Sierra and did all the updates. So far I haven’t experienced any issues.
  5. zekeyou macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2018
    First of all thanks for responding back on this thread even though it is a bit old.
    I have a few questions if anyone would be kind to offer as we shed some light. You know that 99% of websites (even in Toms hardware - they recommend that one cannot use any SSD, other than OWC or Transcend JetFlash, for Macbook Air 2017 models due to APFS + protocol.

    My questions:
    (i) With your NVMe m.2 950 Pro - have you tested your read/write performance in High Sierra
    (ii) Did you follow any particular methodology for setting this up? For example did you just clone using an enclosure or is there another method? My question mostly relates on how one can install MAC OS into the new SSD
    (iii) Do you know whether both 950 Pro or EVO version may work
    (iv) Same as (iii) but what about 960 series? Anyone has any info?
    and most importantly
    (v) Did you got an adaptor for the SSD? If so can you recommend one? I am asking as those that I found do not talk about 2017 models of MacbookAir

    Guys I would greatly appreciate any response. I am trying to find a workable solution - everybody says anything.

    Thanks again.

    Some links:
  6. Macdctr, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    I did not realize this thread was a bit old...

    I ran Blackmagic Disk Speed Test on my Samsung 950 PRO NVMe drive this evening and came up with this result...


    I should have run Blackmagic Disk Speed Test when I had my Apple SSD in before installing my 950 PRO but unfortunately I did not. The new drive is much faster and I'm pleased with both the faster performance and larger storage capacity of this drive :)

    I chose to do a clean install. Fresh install of the OS and all application software. I made a bootable High Sierra install thumb drive and booted off of it to format my new NVMe drive using Disk Utility software. The whole process of setting up the NVMe drive was easy once I had it formatted in APFS...

    Honestly, I had no idea because all the threads I read had said that the Samsung 9xx PRO series NVMe would not work due to chip set conflicts... A good friend I know locally assured me that I should not have any issues so I went ahead and purchased my 950 PRO.... I plan to purchase a 1TB 960 PRO sometime this summer to put theory to practice so to speak... so far my 950 PRO has been performing very well inside my MBA :)

    I don't know of anyone who have worked with the 960 series NVMe drives but then I did not know of anyone putting in a 950 MVNe drive until this week either and I know it works very well.

    Yes I got an M.2 to Apple adapter for my MBA. Here is the link I used to get mine...

    However this is for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 versions of the MacBook Air... I would "assume" that this should work with the 2017's as well... but that's only a guess... hope my answers help!
  7. nordique macrumors 65816

    Oct 12, 2014

    Wow....this is huge news! I had no clue this was even possible!

    So I could even get this ssd for my retina MacBook Pro (have a late 2013 and early 2015 model....also an early 2015 MacBook Air)...and it would work? Provided one has the adapter

    Huge news. Never seen any news about this online and in fact have also been told that one can only use the ssds that are in apples laptops or the owc/trascend
  8. Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    There is a thread about this in the MBP section. That's where I got most of my information from so I could retrofit the NVMe drive in my MBA. You can see by the picture below my Samsung 950 PRO NVMe M.2 drive installed in my MBA (with the adapter attached).

  9. zekeyou macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2018

    Thanks again very much for the detailed reply. I am new in Mac OS so have all these question-marks. So what is left to know if (i) whether the 960 series works (EVO or PRO), (ii) whether all this works on MacBook Air 2017, as now in many websites they note "it will work on 2015 but not on 2017". But I am not sure this is some Apple misinformation :)
    Thanks again.

    PS: If anyone has any feedback Re 2017 models please do share. Macdctr here has shed a lot of light into this grey area.
  10. Macdctr, Mar 11, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    Unless something is actually proven with pictures to back up what is being said, I would take things with a grain of salt regarding what is posted in the forums.

    Until recently when I had done the research myself, it did not occur to me that I would be able to retrofit any NVMe M.2 drives into my 2013/2015 MacBook Air, especially the Samsung 9xx PRO series drives. From what I have read in the forums, there were many who have said that the Samsung drives would not work. I am proof that at least the 950 PRO series drives do work. I was tempted to purchase the 960 PRO drive but it was more money than I wanted to spend so I went with the 950 PRO instead.
  11. zekeyou macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2018
    Well everyone, Macdctr has said what has been done. I will soon-ish try it on my MBA 2017. Not sure whether I will go with the 960/ 950 Pro/Evo. All depends on budget and a bit of luck. Will let you all know once this is done. In the meantime if anybody tries: Let us know. Thanks very much!
  12. Macdctr, Mar 11, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
  13. flintjoris macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2018
    mba 2017 is just a speed bumped 2015 model.i updated ssd in my 2017 model and it works fine.The adapter part is most difficult.but you can find al info you need in the mbp section
  14. zekeyou macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2018
    Thanks flintjoris.
    Will surely try it. Funny enough just today a friend - who is not super involved in pc specs - mentioned to me that he had checked and noted that 2017 is a bumped 2015 model as you said.

    Thank you again.
  15. Macdctr, Mar 16, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    From what I have read the 2017 i7 is pretty much the same as the 2015 i7. The changes are with the i5 systems... that's where the speed bump comes from.
  16. Macdctr, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    I will soon find out whether or not the 960 EVO/PRO will work in my 2013 MBA because I ordered a 512GB version and should get it sometime next week. I also have a 2015 2.2GHz i7 8GB MBA coming next week so will be trying this on my new MBA when it arrives :)

    If it is okay with everyone I will post my observations in this thread.

    I hypothesize that if the 2015 and 2017 are the 2.2GHz i7 models then if it works on the 2015 it should also work on the 2017's since the logic board between the two are the same. At least from what I have read.

    Thanks, just trying to help clear up the topic of installing aftermarket NVMe drives in 2013 and later MBAs.
  17. Macdctr, Mar 18, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    This is the drive comparison I ran between my MacBook Air with Samsung 950 PRO NVMe drive and MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch with installed OE Apple SSD drive.

    My MacBook Air on the left and my MacBook Pro on the right

    After looking at the test results above it makes perfect sense to upgrade to the NVMe drives... I plan to upgrade my MacBook Pro as well...hope all this info helps!
  18. duncho macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2009
    Hi Macdctr,
    could you please advise me? I have Macbook Air 6,2, 13" i7 SSD 256GB produced in mid 2013. I want to upgrade it to 1TB but keep OS Sierra (not High Sierra as it sucks more battery).

    My Macbook SSD has 12+16 pins and I have already purchased the adaptor you mentioned here.
    The question is, which Samsung M2 SSD would work with my setup and OS?
    Alternatively I could buy this drive instead:

    Does your SSD upgrade supports SLEEP mode on Mac? I saw sellers of M2 adapters always mention that SLEEP mode will not work. Many thanks!!!
  19. Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    Unfortunately if you want to use NVMe drives you have to use Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra. 10.13 supports the use of NVMe drives natively. As far as I know Sierra does not support NVMe drives unless you hack the OS which I am unfamilar with. Also APFS format which comes with 10.13 is well suited for use with flash/NVMe drives.

    With my current setup, SLEEP mode does not cause any issues with my 2013 i7 MBA. It goes to sleep when I close the display and it will wake right up when I open up the laptop. No hangup, no issues. The mac just resumes where you left off once you sign back in... so far I have not had any issues using my current setup. Hope this helps...
  20. duncho macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2009
    many thanks for your fast reply, appreciated. I really don't want to install High Sierra which I had for several weeks and had to revert back to Sierra due to high battery drain issues. What a pity that Samsung doesn't make 1TB AHCI Pro SSD drives :(
    I will have to order 960GB Jetdrive and install that one even if slightly slower (950/950) and more expensive (499€).
    Once again thanks!
  21. streich3 macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013
    Have you or anyone else gotten it to work with the 960 PRO? I was looking on Amazon and it seems like the only 950's they sell are refurbs in the US.

  22. Macdctr, Mar 20, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    I have not used the 960 PRO as of yet. I'm planning to get a 960 PRO but it won't be for some time and I want to do more research at the MacBook Pro page where there have been some progress on this front... from what I have read so far people who are using the 960 PRO are experiencing kernel panics using them and they are having computer "SLEEP" issues with their Macs so I feel more research is in order before plunking more money towards an NVMe drive that may or may not work...

    With that said... I can say that I have used the 950 PRO twice now since my initial post and so far have not experienced any issues with this storage drive.

    EDIT: if you get the Sintech adapter, the vendor says that the 960 PRO will work but you will have to run OS 10.13 High Sierra.

    I have this part on order...
  23. duncho macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2009
    Just upgraded stock 256GB SSD to Transcend JetDrive 820 960GB and I have to say that I'm not impressed at all. New drive speed is only slightly faster than the original one, not 950Mbps as advertised... What's worse, new SSD consumes slightly more energy, so it's depleting the battery faster. Any idea what could be wrong?

    stock 256GB Apple SSD

    Transcend JetDrive 820 - TRIM OFF

    Transcend JetDrive 820 - TRIM ON

    Attached Files:

  24. Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    I will start out by saying that I'm not familiar using the Transcend JetDrive 820 960GB. Not sure what is going on with your setup unfortunately.... not sure if anyone else does???

    I just posted results with the Samsung 950 PRO and adapter that I used. So far this setup has been working very well for me.
  25. duncho macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2009
    Could you please check on your MBA whether you have AHCI controller Link width x2 or x4?
    I assume this is the root of my problem. Thank you


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