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Upgrade And Benchmark Your 2012 MacBook Air's SSD

Upgrade And Benchmark Your 2012 MacBook Air's SSD
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Upgrading Your MacBook Air's SSD

Apple's MacBook Air isn't known for its serviceability. You cannot swap out the system's CPU, its memory, or any of its I/O. But you can switch out its SSD. Granted, the storage interface is proprietary, preventing you from using a standard 2.5" drive or even mSATA. However, OWC does make it possible to take Apple's svelte, but not particularly flexible MBA, and upgrade its capacity. 

These guides have been done before, though. In fact, OWC's online instructions are pretty easy to follow. So beyond simply performing the upgrade on one of our in-house MacBook Airs, we wanted to explore the new drive's performance, working around Apple's deliberate disabling of TRIM on third-party devices, and getting the most out of our old SSD through external connectivity. After this, you shouldn't have to worry about seeing "Your startup disk is almost full" for quite a while.

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  • 4 Hide
    boulbox , April 11, 2013 9:34 PM
    Very nice and informative DYI.
  • -2 Hide
    killerchickens , April 11, 2013 9:42 PM
    Yawn.....ZZZZzzz
  • -2 Hide
    boulbox , April 11, 2013 10:05 PM
    Very nice and informative DYI.
  • 8 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , April 11, 2013 11:24 PM
    Is it just me or does the warning window on the first slide look photoshopped on?
  • 9 Hide
    Priox , April 12, 2013 12:21 AM
    How many times did you have to wash your hands after touching that Mac?
  • 2 Hide
    ojas , April 12, 2013 1:19 AM
    Try putting an SSD into a 2007 MacBook, install Win 7 and run it in AHCI mode.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , April 12, 2013 4:39 AM
    Every OWC drive we've used to replace the stock drive in the Macbook Airs at my place of employment has failed within 2 months. Anyone else having the same luck or is it just my supplier?
  • 0 Hide
    monkeysweat , April 12, 2013 7:23 AM
    not a huge fan of the sandforce / vertex drives.. I had a vertex2 and had 2 of them die within a month because of my computer going to sleep... they sent me an agility 3 to replace the last one, now I'm scared to let my PC sleep,, I would be extra worried in a MBA as you would want it to go to sleep often... IMO would be better just to order a MBA with the amount of storage required or spend 150 bux on a nice large external drive and be done with it.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , April 12, 2013 8:27 AM
    That other SSD seems to require a heatsink (which it was using that metallic case for, if you remove it and place it in the macbook air, will it overheat?
  • -2 Hide
    the great randini , April 12, 2013 12:04 PM
    yawn..zzzz x2
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , April 12, 2013 12:57 PM
    This is why I'm no longer an Apple fan. You pay 3x the price of, say a Lenovo, for a computer that has a shelf life of maybe two years tops, and is incredibly difficult to upgrade on top of that. Not to mention Apple makes it near impossible to find spare parts.
  • 1 Hide
    sundragon , April 12, 2013 1:22 PM
    Quote:
    This is why I'm no longer an Apple fan. You pay 3x the price of, say a Lenovo, for a computer that has a shelf life of maybe two years tops, and is incredibly difficult to upgrade on top of that. Not to mention Apple makes it near impossible to find spare parts.


    Hmm... The 13" MBA is $1,199.00... Could you kindly point me to the URL for the $399.66 Lenovo Ultrabook? I would love to buy one :D 
  • 0 Hide
    asalikus , April 12, 2013 2:22 PM
    Tom's Hardware community hates MACs but nice DYI. :p 
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , April 12, 2013 2:52 PM
    For all the mac hatred, these "hardware wise" are actually great machines.
  • 1 Hide
    nikoli707 , April 13, 2013 9:21 AM
    ultrabook is an intel trade mark and just a marketing thing, a laptop is a laptop. there are plenty of equivalent 120gb ssd equipped laptops out there for around $600. personally, i got a hp m6 with an a10-4600m, gets 6 hours battery and blows intel away at on chip gaming, threw an extra 120gb ssd i had laying around, put the 750gb hd into my ps3, and i paid $399 on a deal for mine, and its less than an 1" thick

    there are also plenty of youtube drop tests that show having a plastic 399 vs aluminum frame mac 999 have NO, none whatsoever advantagaes. only advantage is they are about 15-40% lighter and about 20-35% lighter. If your like me, i dont drop my laptops and im not a wussy even though im much more scrawny than your average human.
  • 0 Hide
    dvhh , April 15, 2013 6:41 PM
    Also interesting for zenbook owner
  • 0 Hide
    Idonno , April 21, 2013 1:02 AM
    XXXXXXX
  • 0 Hide
    Idonno , April 21, 2013 1:10 AM
    So what are the rules for posting here? Every time I try, I get "An error has occured." except above which was a test. Are we being censored now or is this still a forum for the free exchange of thought?
  • 0 Hide
    Jon Norris , May 30, 2013 11:20 AM
    Quote:
    Every OWC drive we've used to replace the stock drive in the Macbook Airs at my place of employment has failed within 2 months. Anyone else having the same luck or is it just my supplier?


    Yup same here - three chips in a row, two died after about four days exhibiting the same behavior and one died about two months into it with different behavior. Getting a RMA refund now but its been painful swapping in/out chips that are obviously sub standard.

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