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I have one of the new Mac Pros, and I'm thinking about upgrading the internal SSD. It seems that some Amazon sales suggest that the drive is the same format as in the Retina MacBook Pro.

Does anyone know for sure? Because if they are the same, the ones listed for the MacBook Pro are about 1/3rd cheaper.

  • Which Mac Pro specifically do you have? – Allan Apr 11 '16 at 21:56
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    Why a downvote? – CousinCocaine Apr 11 '16 at 22:32
  • @Allan - ummm, there's only been one new Mac Pro in the last 6 years, I didn't feel I needed to be more specific. But find, Mac Pro 6,1. – Maury Markowitz Apr 12 '16 at 11:35
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    It's just being specific for accuracy. Many times I have worked with folks who said "I got a new Mac this-or-that" only to find out it was a refurb model from a couple years back. Remember, we can't see what you have in front of you. – Allan Apr 12 '16 at 11:54
  • You also failed to mention what model MacBook Pro was being used for comparison, nor did you include any URLs to what you were looking at on Amazon! – user3439894 Apr 12 '16 at 13:57
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The model of MacBook Pro will make a large difference as to whether or not it's compatible with the Mac Pro, assuming you're talking about the "new" 2013 model.

Specifically, the Mid-2015 MacBook Pro will work, but earlier generations use various different interfaces which will not be compatible.

As you can see comparing this photo of a 2012 MacBook Pro's SSD and this photo from the 2013 Mac Pro, the interfaces are completely different. Alternatively, you can see the same pinout in the 2015 MacBook Pro on this page.

I recommend sticking with 3rd-party upgrades provided by OWC (since they will tell you exactly what they've been tested with), or only getting parts that could have shipped with the original machine. (For example, ordering a broken Mac Pro off of eBay that came with a larger SSD that you can extract.)

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Thats a darn good question. While I cannot tell you definitively what the differences are, the ssds in apple macbook retinas and 2013 mac pro towers are not identical. I think the difference is in the chipset controllers and you may find the retina one does not work in a mac pro, but the mac pro one works in both. Can anyone confirm ?

I do not have a 2013 mac pro here at the moment. But it uses (used) an ahci samsung 941 chip , with the apple pinout. More recent ones may use the 951 ahci chip. The same chips in M2 format work in the PCI slots of my 2010 mac pro tower.

BUT. The Apple SSD from a 2015 retina macbook, with the same pin configuration as the mac pro 2013 chip, does NOT work in my mac pro. It is not recognised in the 2012, 2010, or 2008 mac pro towers. However, it works perfectly in the 4x pcie slot of a mac pro 1,1 (2006 model). As a boot disk, at full speed etc.

If anyone knows the technical answer as to why I would love to hear it !

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I recommend going external because the price of an internal versus an external gets you much, much more.

  • The price for a 1TB SSD for the MacPro is trending at around $950 on eBay
  • On Amazon, it's slightly less at $938
  • The upgrades by OWC are cheaper than the genuine Apple SSD, but still quite expensive at $895

  • The Mac Pro (Late 2013) and the MBP (Mid 2105) use the same SSD (PCIe 2.0 x4) so that pricing is he same.

In comparison, you can get a WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo with 4TB for $369 on Amazon that has RAID and easily accessible and serviceable with standard 3.5" drives. So, for the price of a 1 TB SSD you can get an 8TB T'bolt storage devices or two 4TB T'bolt storage devices for redundancy .

Looking at OWC again, they have a 4TB SSD upgrade at $2000. That's 4 to 5 T'bolt drives.

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  • There are numerous and serious problems with going with an external, of which I am all too aware because I have an external. Among them, and by far the most annoying, is that during reboots the machine sometimes fails to see the drive in time, and instead ignores it until the boot is complete, at which point it has created a new user folder on the SSD. Unwinding this is a serious PITA. Frankly, I wouldn't recommend this machine to anyone, but I have it now so getting it to work right is my goal. – Maury Markowitz Apr 12 '16 at 14:03
  • The only way that I could see that happening is if the Users folders were on the external. I have this device hooked up to my iMac and it works flawlessly. However, I didn't move my Users folder there. I just created a symlink in the Users/username folder that went to the t'bolt device. – Allan Apr 12 '16 at 14:27
  • Yes, the user folders are on the external. I also tried a symlink, but that failed in spectacular fashion in the case the drive is not yet ready during boot. – Maury Markowitz Apr 13 '16 at 14:07
  • Have a look at this article...it might solve your problem: useyourloaf.com/blog/using-the-mac-os-x-automounter – Allan Apr 13 '16 at 14:15

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