MacBook Air 6,1 SSD Upgrade!

hcdav

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 23, 2014
2
0
Good evening everybody,
I'm very new here but have done a decent amount of searching before coming to ask you guys this question. I bought my 2014 11 inch MacBook Air 128GB back in August with the intention of upgrading the SSD at a later date. I am beginning to run low on space on my hard drive. Jetdrive's MBA SSD Upgrades confirm compatibility only with the 5, 1 and 5, 2 models. Is anybody aware if there is an actual hardware change between 5, 1/5, 2 and 6,1 which would prevent compatibility with these upgrades?
Thank you in advance and if anybody does have any testimonies please let me know!
 

DmbShn41

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2009
295
2
Starting with the 2013 MBA models and going forward, Apple started using a proprietary connector for the SSD, I believe its a PCI express. The upside is that its faster than standard SATA connections, so yay! The downside is that there isn't anything available in the way of third party options for upgrading the drive for future use. The only realistic way of upgrading your drive is to buy the larger size that has been removed from an 11" already. eBay has these, but they are pricey.

I suggest looking into external drives, or putting one together yourself. You could get a USB3 external enclosure for a 2.5" drive for about $5, and a 120GB SSD for $75 or so, and that would a be a decent portable storage solution. And if the 120GB is lacking for space, it could upgraded later on to a larger size.

Also, cloud solutions are available depending on availability of WiFi during your travels. Options are available, but its certainly a price vs convenience. Hope this helps.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,486
2,015
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Also, the 802.11ac wifi is quite fast if you have a compatible router. This is what I get using wifi to connect to a Mac Mini on the LAN - about twice the speed of a direct connect USB2 drive. I also moved my large media library to the Mini and use it as an iTunes server. These things won't help much when you're away from home though.

There are several threads about replacement SSDs for the new machines here. I was under the impression that nobody makes them as well, but someone pointed out that iFixit lists them on their site. It was not clear to me whether they have actually been removed from other machines though.

Of course, the Sunday morning quarterback answer is that you should have bought a machine with enough storage to start with. Even if you can find a replacement SSD, the economics are questionable...
 

Attachments

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,031
2,273
Third party internal solutions are coming. From OWC (I'd avoid this one) and Transcend (I have this in my 2012 MBA and it's working GREAT.

Lou
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,231
2,688
Delaware
Third party internal solutions are coming. From OWC (I'd avoid this one) and Transcend (I have this in my 2012 MBA and it's working GREAT.

Lou
That is good for you, but the OP needs a PCIe drive.
Your 2012 takes an SATA SSD, correct?
What have you heard about Transcend offering the PCIe devices? - for 2013 and later?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,231
2,688
Delaware
The text listing details about that card show that only the PCIe SSDs are supported (even though there's a bunch of pictures of other type storage cards)
So you need to use PCIe SSD storage (not SATA) with that card, which, in turn, needs a logic board that supports it (in a desktop of some kind/cMP, not an iMac or other laptop)
And, my limited searching shows that ALL the various cards listed are the cards that Apple uses (and don't seem available as non-Apple cards - so availability will naturally be limited.)
Unless someone else has actual experience with finding other third party PCIe SSDs that would work in a Mac.

The PCIe SSDs, although not exactly proprietary to Apple, could have all production available for Apple. And, even though a few show up from other vendors, nearly all production is contracted to Apple.
I have no facts to back that up, only what seems to be the marketplace - maybe my point of view is completely wrong....
 

JHUFrank

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
645
54
Wait if you can for the Transcend models to come out. I bought one for an older MBA and the quality is great.
 

thitiv

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2011
56
9
Bangkok, Thailand
I also have a 6.1 machine. You can buy parts from eBay. See here for example

512GB SSD replacement: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-512GB-S...Air-11-A1465-13-A1466-2013-2014-/251401720529

Someone also told me that the SSDs for 2014 Retina's and Air's are the same and we could even put a 1TB SSD for Retina in the Air: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Samsu...?pt=US_Solid_State_Drives&hash=item3a9ea0533e

Replacing the SSD is not difficult:

13-inch Early-2014: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Air+13-Inch+Early+2014+Solid-State+Drive+Replacement/24754

11-inch Early-2014: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Air+11-Inch+Early+2014+SSD+Replacement/24762

iFixIt also sells the tools necessary to open and replace the SSD.

Cheers!!
 

alex0002

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2013
489
113
New Zealand
I also have a 6.1 machine. You can buy parts from eBay. See here for example

512GB SSD replacement: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-512GB-S...Air-11-A1465-13-A1466-2013-2014-/251401720529

Someone also told me that the SSDs for 2014 Retina's and Air's are the same and we could even put a 1TB SSD for Retina in the Air: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Samsu...?pt=US_Solid_State_Drives&hash=item3a9ea0533e
Some of those 2014 rMBP PCIe SSDs look like they might be a bit wider than the ones in the MBA. Perhaps a different length too.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Samsu...tina-NEW-Mac-Pro-Late-2013-2014-/151526192552

You really can't be sure unless someone like OWC or ifixit confirm that the SSD swap between rMBP and MBA is possible.
 

thitiv

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2011
56
9
Bangkok, Thailand
The 1TB can be "squeezed" into a 13-inch mid-2014 Air but it wouldn't fit in an 11-inch model, which confirms alex0002's note. From the thread mentioned in the previous post, the 512GB would apparently fit in both 11-inch and 13-inch.
 

thitiv

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2011
56
9
Bangkok, Thailand
The 1TB can be "squeezed" into a 13-inch mid-2014 Air but it wouldn't fit in an 11-inch model, which confirms alex0002's note. From the thread mentioned in the previous post, the 512GB would apparently fit in both 11-inch and 13-inch.
Update: I decided to give it a try. An aftermarket Apple service in Bangkok just completed a similar process to install a 1TB PCI-e SSD on my Early 2014 11-inch Air with i7 and 8GB RAM. Time taken was 15 minutes. So far so good!! Effectively he trimmed the plastic part of the battery edge to give way to the extra width of the 1TB stick. The shop provides OEM battery replacement services; if the machine needs to eventually sent in for warranty claim, then the mods can be undone.
 
Last edited:

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
762
222
Belgium
Updated: I decided to give it a try. An aftermarket Apple service in Bangkok just completed a similar process explained by alex0002 to install a 1TB PCI-e SSD on my Early 2014 11-inch Air with i7 and 8GB RAM. Time taken was 15 minutes. So far so good!!
How much did you pay if you don't mind me asking?
 

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
762
222
Belgium
The price of the 1TB is 25,000 Baht (USD 757.- approx). I traded the existing 256GB in for 3,800 Baht (USD 115.- approx). Net paid was 21,200 Baht (USD 642.- approx).
Thanks for your answer. Quite a lot of money! Maybe I'll get this done at a later stage. Could you share the name and address of that store? (I am quite often in Bangkok)
 

thitiv

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2011
56
9
Bangkok, Thailand
Thanks for your answer. Quite a lot of money! Maybe I'll get this done at a later stage. Could you share the name and address of that store? (I am quite often in Bangkok)
Here is the map from their website

http://m.mac2hand.com/contactus

You may need a local friend to help. They are not far from Exit 4 of Ladprao MRT station.
 
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