Question Macbook Pro Retina SSD upgrade question


Active Member

Sister has asked me to upgrade her Macbook Pro Retina. I haven't got her one to hand yet but it's similar to mine I'm guessing. A1502 (Mine's a Macbook Pro Retina late 2013). I believe her one is a 2014 model with a slightly different config like memory and CPU.

It's got a 500GB SSD and she needs an upgrade to 1TB. Was quoted £300 +VAT just for the HDD with a reasonable labour change. They stated it's an expensive HDD that's imported from the US. Got more info from them and they've advised it's an OWC disk.

Maybe something similar to this.

Amazon product
Can't I just use something similar to this one?

Amazon product
I'm reading some Amazon reviews and some people have said they have done it but then some have mentioned they had to use an adapter.

Something like this I believe

Amazon product
Anyone here done this upgrade before and know exactly what's needed? If so, do you recommend the Sabrent Rocket above? I've never used this brand but reviews on Amazon seem good. Thanks! :D


Well-known Member
Firstly please don’t put HDD that’s Hard Disk Drive, spinning mechanical disk, when you mean SSD (Solid State Drive) memory chips on a board.

The OWC are the only, go to brand, for a straight swap out and yes like everything Apple more expensive, as you have to consider they sell a lot less than PC NVMe drives.

You need to be absolutely sure of the MacBook year and model. As 2012/early 2013 MacBooks have older, slower SATA based SSD’s. Whilst later 2013-2015 have faster NVMe style SSDs but with Apples own connector, rather than a standard M.2 style one. Hence OWC using Apples connector. Whilst yes you can save money and possibly use a m.2 NVMe drive with an adapter. But I don’t know anyone who’s done it myself.

I know a few people with OWC upgrades, including myself, so happy to recommend them.

Sabrent are a good brand btw. My worry would be a reliable adapter board.


Active Member
Hi. Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I know the difference between HDD and SSD, hence used SSD in subject and other places. Just a slip up the tongue (fingers) here and there. Meant Disk or drive when I typed hdd.

I'm also aware of the earlier Macbook Pros (non-Retina) having 2.5" Disks but not heard of them having SSDs besides NVMe. Did they have M.2 SATA in between those and NVMe at one point?

Ours are pretty high end Macbook Pros at the time and both from 2013+ so should be NVMe.

As the machine is getting on in age, didn't want to spend the OWC price for the straight swap option if a £10 adapter works. Would be interesting to hear if anyone here managed it with one of those and their experience. I'm thinking it's just an interface adapter without any electronics involved so probably not too much that can go wrong with the adapter if build quality is sufficient.

Thanks for the info. Appreciate the reply though! :D


Well-known Member
Happy to offer some advice and please report back your success with the adapter if you go that route.

2012 and early 2013 MacBook Pro Retinas (MBPr) also have a stick based SSD. Same styling as the MacBook you have. But the SSD interface is SATA based and like 2.5” drives limited to 600MB/s max speed (450-500 realistic). Then they upgraded in late 2013 to 2015 models with NVMe type speeds (1500-3000MB/s).
Hence do make sure you get the right type.

I myself still rock my 15” MBPr Mid 2012 and upgraded with an OWC 2TB drive from its original Apple 500GB SSD stick a couple of years back. 9 years old this coming summer, it’s still an amazing machine and been a daily driver for work and home.

I may well jump to Apple silicon if new powerful MacBooks arrive. But until Parallels or VMware get reliable Windows Virtualisation software working on them. I’ll keep running this setup.
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Active Member
Thanks. Seems you're right. Just had a look at my system.

Apple SSD SM0512F so seems to be the SATA type, for my one anyway. Sister's one, no idea yet but her one was slightly newer. Still both solid machines. I use my Windows machines more for work so only whip out the Macbook now and again.

I'm going to nudge my sister towards just getting an External USB and moving stuff off. Cheaper for her and less hassle (for me). Gotta love this friends and family free IT support. Try to avoid it where possible. :D

re: Apple Silcon. Same here. Keeping an eye on the M1. Maybe the next gen...and when the price drops a bit. :D

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