OWC Launches New Aura Pro X2 SSDs for Older MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Other World Computing today announced the launch of new Aura Pro X2 SSDs, which are designed to offer double the speed of Apple's SSDs at half the price.

    Compared to its existing Aura SSD options, the Aura Pro X2 offers lower power consumption, lower heat, and better battery life. OWC says the SSDs it's offering to Mac users are cheaper, faster, and better.


    The Aura Pro X2 SSDs offer read speeds up to 3200MB/s and write speeds up to 2400MB/s, with a maximum of 2TB of storage. OWC has designed the SSDs to be compatible with the latest versions of macOS, with support for APFS.

    OWC says the new Aura Pro X2 SSDs are available for MacBook Air models from Mid 2013 to 2017, Retina MacBook Pro models from Late 2013 to Mid 2015, the 2013 Mac Pro, and the 2014 Mac mini, making OWC's upgrade option a solid one for eking more life out of an older Mac.

    The Aura Pro X2 SSDs are not compatible with the 2018 MacBook Air or the redesigned MacBook Pro models released from 2016 to 2018.

    OWC ships SSDs with an Envoy Pro enclosure designed to house your original SSD so you can repurpose it as an external USB drive and also use it to transfer your data to the new SSD.

    Pricing on the Aura Pro X2 SSD starts at $120 for the 240GB model with SSD only, and goes up to $700 for the 2TB model. OWC offers 240GB, 480GB, 1TB, and 2TB options. Slightly more expensive packages with tools, transfer enclosures, heat sinks (desktop machines) and more are available for those who need the extra equipment.

    Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with OWC. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

    Article Link: OWC Launches New Aura Pro X2 SSDs for Older MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models
  2. iLoveiTunes macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    Things like these make me bitter that everything these days is soldered on to the Motherboard.... I'll likely stick with my 2015 mac till that changes.
  3. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    I really hope the reliability is improved on these. I heard only bad things about the first gen of these.
  4. 4jasontv macrumors 68000

    Jul 31, 2011
    This is wonderful. I wish they could get their prices lower, but you know, beggar v chooser...
  5. greenbreadmmm macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2007

    Was about to snag one, didn’t know about reliability issues.

    Thanks for heads up
  6. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    This is an awesome upgrade. 5x the speed upgrade for me on a 2013 rMBP.

    Just need to save some $ for the 1TB now :p
  7. ignatius345, Apr 16, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019

    ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
    Would this very much improve the responsiveness of a 2013 MBA 11"? It's got only 4GB of RAM and is a little laggy at times these days under Mojave. Wondering realistically if dropping a faster SSD into it would help a lot. For just over a hundred bucks I could also almost double its 128GB storage...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 16, 2019 ---
    :( I think you're gonna be waiting a long time. Apple plugged that little hole in their revenue stream a while ago. At this point, the Mac Mini and the 5K iMac are the only things you can upgrade RAM on, and that's it. They definitely want you spec'ing your RAM and storage from them at the time of purchase. For all their harping about being "green" this all just shortens the useful lifespan of their products.

    I'm personally hanging onto this old MBA and another MBP because unlike anything currently offered, they have usable and reliable keyboards. Being able to easily get at the battery and SSD of the MBA is a huge bonus, though.
  8. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2015
    East Coast, United States

    Under Gen. 3 SSDs, it states that the MBA logic board has a PCIe 2.0 x4 interface, so you may see an increase in speed from that. You will definitely see an increase from a larger SSD as there are more NAND chips to write to than on your 128GB SSD. Hope this helps.
  9. ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Hmm. Very tempting for my 2013 MBP, which is low on space and could use the speed. But... I’m a little wary of sinking more money into a 5.5 year old Mac when some other component could go any day.
  11. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    I was looking online today about it. I guess a lot of these aftermarket SSD upgrades are NVMe, but Apple's bootrom doesn't fully support sleep/hibernation with these. Looks like there are workarounds (disabling hibernation, or installing a modded rom/firmware), but either disable something, or are hard to do for the basic consumer.

    Kinda wish there was a similar upgrade for the 5K iMac. Would be fun to get a Fusion drive, and upgrade both the SSD & HDD.
  12. Narrator Jack macrumors regular

    Narrator Jack

    May 14, 2013
    "Older", 2013-2017--somewhere, a 17" 2008 MacBook Pro is wheeze-laughing, and its SATA-I-limited SSD laughs back.
  13. Rassama macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2019
    I did this with my late 2015 5k iMac: I replaced the stock 1 TB fusion with a fourth gen Apple SSD (SSUBX) and a Samsung SSD. Not for the space — went to 1.5 TB total — but for the speed. I didn’t fusion them though.

    It’s not a hard swap to do but not for the faint of heart either. And while at it replaced the i5 with an i7. All in all quite the upgrade.
  14. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    Thanks for the tip. I wonder if this is still applicable to the current model iMac? If so, which vendor would you suggest? Thinking of upgrading my late 2013 rMBP to a current iMac. My iPad should be good enough for my needs when out and about.
  15. Squirrel macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2001
    Actually the price is a LOT lower. The previous GEN was about $600 for 1TB and $1200 for 2TB.
  16. Soopastar macrumors newbie


    Dec 13, 2016
    I hope so too. I had an Aura 512GB for my macbook. I replaced it twice under warranty and didn't bother installing the third replacement. Wasn't worth the hassle and data loss. Mine got SUPER hot and then they just died.
  17. 3rdiguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2012
    So glad I waited. Will definitely be getting this for my mid 2014 rMBP
  18. Rassama macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2019
    No idea about the current (just released) models but iirc the 2017 models is just like the 2015 I have. The SSUBX SSDs are plenty fast and reasonably available secondhand though not particularly cheap but worth it to me for the convenience that they will always be properly recognised and supported without surprises. The hdd you could replace with just about anything I guess. I put a Samsung eco 860 in a 3.5” bracket in its place.
  19. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    The question is do these have the same issues as the previous version with cursor lag? I put one in for a client of mine and eventually got so annoyed with her constantly texting me about it I just gave her my Apple drive instead.
  20. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2015
    East Coast, United States
    The 2015 iMac uses the SSUBX model SSD, the 2017 and 2018 iMacs use the SSPOLARIS model SSD. The SSPOLARIS model supports NVMe, whereas the SSUAX and SSUBX SSDs do not support NVMe. You can find the SSUAX and SSUBX at fairly reasonable prices, but the SSPOLARIS SSDs are insanely expensive when you can find them. beetstech sometimes has stock of them - https://beetstech.com/product/sspolaris-ssd-256gb-512gb-1tb-2tb , they also have a great article on which drives are what - https://beetstech.com/blog/apple-proprietary-ssd-ultimate-guide-to-specs-and-upgrades
  21. 4jasontv macrumors 68000

    Jul 31, 2011
    Yeah, sure that's true - but most 250GB m.2 drives are now under $50. The price may be lower than the last generation, but the markup remains consistent.
  22. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2010
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    I can't imagine why someone would buy this when the sintech NVME adapter exists.

    Cult of OWC, I guess.
  23. HailstormX macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2012
    “Full Compatibility”
    If that means a totally unreliable computer after installing. No thanks!

    Used to trust OWC but after having to RMA 4-5 times for customers. I gave up doing those upgrades. idk if it was heat issues or sleep/hibernate issues. Now I just try and get Apple OEM SSDs. At least the Apple ones don’t have crazy thermal paste pads on the drive.
  24. OWC Larry, Apr 17, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019

    OWC Larry macrumors member

    OWC Larry

    Apr 7, 2005
    Woodstock, IL
    The Aura Pro X2 is really an amazing solution and it benefits from the latest controller and NAND generations available. SSD in general has come a long ways since the first mainstream drives of a decade ago. It is an interesting challenge and frustration with respect to working with a platform that has been less than open.

    That said - all of today's Aura Pro SSDs run exceptionally cool, are low power, and provide performance well beyond that of the drives Apple originally provided. Sleep, hibernate issues are long in the past and were truly a factor of how Apple was making substantial changes between OS versions to how they were finding to best implement these operations.

    There are always options and work to be the best option in the space. Compared to a year ago and vs. the original Aura Pro X, the price per GB is down by a whopping 50% for high performance. There are lower cost ways to populate NAND - but those solutions don't support the performance sought. They burst with high speeds for only a small 1-3% of their capacity and then can slow down until have time to flush. Fine for most basic uses, not fine for photo, video, anything that puts a write demand of more than a few GBs onto the drive. Having said all of that, we will have a lower cost Aura Gen 2 very soon as well - but even this model, while not being as fast as the Pro X2 - will provide end to end performance that doesn't tease and then disappoint.

    I truly wish the Aura Pro X2 could have been our very first PCIe/NVME solution for Apple systems. It is truly the best option on the planet today for these systems and checks all the boxes. It reflects years of work and for anyone running 10.13 or later, provides the most reliable, highest performance, lowest power, seamlessly compatible solution for the PCIe type Macs - period. The same goes for our 2018 gen Aura Pros for the SATA models. We're always going forward and always seek the path onward and upwards.

    - OWC Larry
    --- Post Merged, Apr 17, 2019 ---
    That is not an issue under any circumstances with any of our models.

    --- Post Merged, Apr 17, 2019 ---
    We are in testing right now for iMac 2013-2017+. We do extensive qualifications prior to release - and in the iMac it's beyond extensive with respect to the screen needing the 'cut' off the Mac/the glue tape sliced to get inside those systems. We plan to release iMac model supports (each model/year and type goes through certification) within the next few weeks. Testing for iMac started last year. We want everything about Aura Pro X2 to be 100% perfect for every Mac we support it in.

    Mac mini 2014 we support right now. Mac mini 2018 is, unfortunately, soldered.

    --- Post Merged, Apr 17, 2019 ---
    Adapting would have been an easier solution - but it adds multiple points of failure, has signal impact to the lanes, and in general is not a great idea. Beyond just the hardware side, the other aspect is that the firmware we've evolved over many years for the moving Apple requirements is specific on our drives to be seamless for all Apple & Mac OS requirements. That is not the case with other hacked in solutions and such is reflected in issues commonly reported with such adapted/hack 'solutions'.
  25. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    Thanks for the info. Any word on the hibernation issues Late 2013 rMBPs have when upgraded with NVMe drives? I've heard that this affects more drives than just OWC (I think it's an Apple bottom issue). Just wondering if OWC found a workaround?

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