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Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tubeexperience, Jul 22, 2016.
For the non-Retina MacBook Pro, which SSDs do Apple uses in its build-to-order options?
I took a quick look on eBay it looks like Samsung and Toshiba are the OEMs for some of the more recent system pulls, but I can't tell you for sure if those are specifically from BTO cMBPs.
From the older pre-retina Macs I've taken apart this doesn't really surprise me. I saw quite a few Samsung and Toshiba branded parts.
Are they basically off-the-shelf parts?
I think they would have to be. It wouldn't be cost-effective to do otherwise for what is a small volume.
I have a BTO 2012 cMBP and it has a Samsung HD and Samsung RAM.
In the past, yes. If I recall correctly there were firmware tweaks in older SSDs that let OSX identify them as OEM, back when OSX only enabled TRIM by default on Apple drives.
They still do that today. My 2015 rMBP shows Apple SSD. But I have read that is actually a Samsung PCI-E M.2 drive.
I'd go out on a limb and say Samsung and Toshiba based on what ebay is showing. I think Apple will choose from the most economic source for these components
That's what I thought too.
Obviously, with the rMBP, that's different since every single rMBP came with an (proprietary) SSD.
I guess with Apple adding trimforce, it doesn't make as much of a difference as it used to.
rMBP doesn't use a PCIe M.2 drive: it uses a proprietary drive (made by Samsung).
Toshiba and Samsung, both quite slow models. You're better off performance and price-wise buying your own and swapping it.
I am pretty sure I read in 2015 rMBPs it is a Samsung PCIe M.2 drive, but without NVMe made just for Apple. So Apple does have to add NVMe support.
I do know it is slower than the Samsung 950 Pros we use in our desktop machines. I get 1.5 GB/sec on my 2015 rMBP 15" and 2.5 GB/sec on the desktop systems. I love Samsung SSDs!
This is incorrect. In 2013-2015, the PCIe SSDs use the same Samsung chipset that Samsung's own M.2 drives use (remember that the SM951 comes in both AHCI and NVMe varieties), but the physical connector is not M.2, it is Apple-proprietary. So it is essentially all of the same components that would be on a standard Samsung M.2 drive, but the packaging and physical connector are different and custom/proprietary.
You can buy an adapter that will allow you to fit an M.2 drive in a 2013-2015 MBA/rMBP. You are correct, though, that these machines lack NVMe support, so you have to make sure that you get a PCIe AHCI drive. (So far, only the new Macbook uses the NVMe command-set, but the Macbook's flash chips are directly soldered onto the logic board...)
Thanks for the correction. So Apple is creating it own plug. Shades of IBM in the 60s and it's storage plugs. I wonder if this will be considered to be an anti-trust violation like it was back then.
The end result is we consumers get screwed again.
I just bought an DELL XPS 15 and it is a marvel of upgradability, at the same weight and smaller size, and with an option for a better screen than a rMBP. Remove the screws, pop the back cover off, and the 2 memory slots and M.2 connector are staring you in the face.
And there is a Skylake processor, 2 USB 3 ports, and Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 port.
It's interesting. I was of the same opinion as yourself when I first started looking into this (in order to figure out what my upgrade options were for my MBA and rMBP), and found the whole thing rather galling. I am generally not a fan of this kind of behavior when there are reasonable industry standards available, and goodness knows I have a love/hate relationship with Apple in part due to this very kind of thing.
But I've come to discover -- rather depressingly -- that even with the availability of this adapter, the M.2 options out there are slim pickins'. 1TB M.2 blades in the 2280 size have only become a thing *very* recently (and of course they are all NVMe), while Apple has been shipping PCIe flash in 1TB capacities in their laptops since *2013*. Think about that. NVMe is very recent, too, so back when Apple switched to PCIe they were forced to continue using AHCI commands. And to-date there is not a single M.2 blade part that has ever been manufactured in the 1TB capacity that is PCIe + AHCI. It simply doesn't exist.
Also, when Apple started using blades in 2010, NGFF/M.2 wasn't yet a twinkle in the industry's eye.
Makes you wonder if the proprietary interfaces and form factors were not something that was originally born more out of necessity than it was to prevent third-parties from providing Mac users with upgrade options.
I agree that there were not many small form factor options with the rMBP was originally conceived, but there are today.
I guess we will see if Apple changes their minds and provides the next generation rMBP with industry standard, user-replaceable, storage and memory. I hope so, but I am not hopeful.
I think the user-replaceable RAM ship has sailed on their portables.
And if you want the ultimate in portability (Macbook), I guess you also have to give up user-replaceable storage, too. THIS one actually frustrates me the most out of any decision thus far. Portables haven't had socketed CPUs in a while, and the RAM being soldered on is just more of that same kind of thing, and doesn't surprise me. A computer these days is mostly a disposable physical object anyway...if something happens to it or you need a better one, you go out and purchase another one. No biggie (mostly/relatively). After all, it's "only" money. But whereas a computer is just a tool that can be replaced, the *data* that you generate with that tool is priceless, and I would argue that you absolutely need to be able to easily and readily extract a storage module from a machine in an emergency (your machine dies and you need to get at your latest data ASAP, the data corrupts itself and you need to hook it up to something else to recover it, you need to run forensic analysis utilities on someone else's data, etc.). So I am very not happy with this trend. Forget about the ability to upgrade storage capacity: storage needs to be removable for *recovery* reasons. If a logic board with soldered-on storage physically fries itself, You. Are. Hosed.
As for the rest of their product line-up, if I were to guess, since they already have their own form factor now, they'll probably keep it. There is an argument that could be made that if there is any chance that the rest of the industry were to remain as far behind Apple's progress here as they have been historically, Apple would be stupid to put their fate in the hands of that same industry. It took everyone else this long to get performance blades to market in 1TB capacities, almost 3 years after Apple had already done the same. If Apple wants to offer a storage-related option on their products to their customers, but the industry is dragging its heels, should Apple be forced to wait? Should they have waited until 2016 to introduce high-performance 1TB options? If they want to go to 1.5TB now, but those won't be ready for another 3 years, should they just forego it? (This assumes there is something about the 2280 form factor that made it difficult to squeeze 1TB-worth of flash onto it, which I don't know for certain to be the case.)