Move MacBook Air PCIe SSD to Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by alphaod, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I'm looking to get a 2013 Mac Pro to replace my 2009 Mac Pro; I think after some five years, it's time for an upgrade.

    Being in China these days, if I want built-to-order, I would have to either pick it up in the US or be ripped off here with the additional costs (about 20% due to taxes).

    A few months ago while back in the US, I tried to bring my old Mac Pro with me, but the TSA basically caused it to miss my flight. I had it sent my folks instead and they are weary about bring it over for me (makes sense; they can't explain what it is).

    I've settled on the 6-core base model. The only issue I have is that it has a 256GB SSD. RAM and such I can buy here readily and it's not expensive.

    Preferably I would want the 1TB SSD, but it's just not cost reasonable.

    I have a 2013 MacBook Air with a 512GB PCIe SSD which I thought would be nice in the Mac Pro. I don't use this laptop much, so it doesn't need that much space.

    The question:
    Can I swap the SSD from a 2013 MacBook Air to a 2013 Mac Pro?

    Cheers.
     
  2. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #2
    If the answer was yes, it would be well known by know. And OWC would not be scrambling to make a module for the nMP.

     
  3. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    switzerland
    #3
    I think this should be possible. but: we know that the PCIe SSDs in the MBA are connected using only 2 PCIe lanes whereas in the nMP they are connected with 4 lanes. I don't know if the SSD in the MBA is the limiting factor or if it is the MBA's logicboard. with "only" 2 lanes you'll get about 700MB/s and with 4 lanes you should see about 1000+ MB/s.
     
  4. scoobeesnac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    #4
    I thought this too until I looked at the cost of external SSD arrays eg. LaCie with similar performance that actually cost a little more, and in addition to whatever you chose in the nMP, so if you want performance it's a fair deal.

    Also, it's integrated and one less thing to worry about :)
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    Agree, I think for the same performance, it will only cost you more than just order a 1T stock SSD.
     
  6. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    The 1TB SSD on my rMBP runs on a four lane bus. I only have have the 512 GB SSD in my MacBook Air and it is two lane. To be fair with regard to OWC, they don't have an upgrade for the 2013 MacBook Air/Pro models either.

    It's perfectly good price if I was building a BTO machine in the US, but being in China these days it's a recipe to be ripped off. The base price of the Mac Pro starts at $4650 and that 1TB add on is something like $1000. Not reasonable at all if to you consider I would've spending at least $1000 more than someone in the US.

    The closes "cheap" place is Hong Kong which I can't order a BTO as I lack a shipping address.

    In US: BTO reasonable pricing.
    In China: Screwed from the start.
     
  7. Riwam macrumors 6502a

    Riwam

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    #7
    ...............
    It is not particular to China.
    You don't get US prices outside the USA.
    In the Euro countries the difference is also very high.
    And the same applies to any other country outside the USA, depending on the height of the local VAT as well.
    :eek:
     
  8. zViiPeR macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #8
    1TB upgrade is US$1088 (depending on exact exchange rate) in the UK. China isn't some special case, everywhere outside the US is similar in pricing.
     
  9. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    I picked one up in Hong Kong (no VAT) with a 6% discount.

    Total was around $3780 USD.


    I'll see if I can switch it over. If not I'll get another Pegasus J4.
     
  10. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #10
    I'm 99% sure they are not pin compatible, possibly not physically compatibly. Although I guess you'll find out soon. :)
     
  11. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Switches out perfectly. Same exact length, size, thickness.

    The only issue was the Mac Pro SSD had a metallic heat spreader glued (well more double-side thermal tape) on it, so it would not fit in the MacBook Air with that on it.

    I was able to remove the heat spreader with a heatgun and pried apart with a plastic spudger.

    The 256GB SSD from the Mac Pro is also 2-lane only, so I suspect only the 1TB drive is 4-lane.
     
  12. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    switzerland
    #12
    did you check while the SSD was still mounted in the Mac Pro?
     
  13. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #13
    Out of interest, does anyone know if the SSD in the 15" MBP uses 2 or 4 lanes?

    I only ask because I get speeds of almost 1GB/s with my 1TB drive in my MBP. And looking at the specs of PCIe 3.0, that would be possible even with one lane.

    I wouldn't watch Youtube with lesser transfer speeds. And yes, I do need to reassess my priorities...

    David
     
  14. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    switzerland
    #14
    I'm pretty sure it uses four lanes. you should be able to see if it's 2 or 4 lanes in the System Profiler app.
     
  15. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #15
    Not only China, NZ has high GST(Goods and services tax) of about 15%. It's insane.
     
  16. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Thanks everyone. I know a lot of the people in the world are saddled with bad prices and high taxes.

    No need to tell me, "not just China."

    I have found most everyone is bothered with the reason I wondered if I would want to get the base model instead of my real question.

    Perhaps I was hoping to avoid the whole, "Just get the 1TB upgrade crowd," but somehow the fact that the upgrades are not an option didn't faze them.

    The 1TB drive uses four lanes.
     

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