I'm looking to buy a 15" Retina MacBook Pro, I'm looking at the website Models and they seem to be pretty inflexible (for instance the 2.3 GHz model you are locked into a 256 GB HD).

So I know this is a little preemptive, but I want to know how the hard drive is configured. For instance, on my current MacBook Pro I swapped out the standard hard drive for a 480 GB SSD. If the new thinner model has a standard SSD I will buy the 2.3 GHz model and add larger hard drive. My worry is it will use a proprietary hard drive like those found in the Air in which case I would be forced to buy the 2.6 GHz model just to get the larger storage I suppose.

Does anyone have any info on this?

  • 2
    I don't think there is anything concrete, but from the picture of the inside it looks to be the same as with the Air models (i.e. there is nothing to replace manually, neither RAM nor hard drives).
    – XQYZ
    Jun 12, 2012 at 2:09

3 Answers 3


The flash modules and controller of the SSD are blades (think naked SSD). They are not up to 3rd party configuration (at this time), but according to bmike, they are not soldered onto the main board and are actually discrete components.

However, there is no information as to what kind of proprietary (if any) configuration the blades come in, or whether they require an additional proprietary onboard controller (this may be likely given Apple's tendency to create speciality hardware for their line-up). So it most likely isn't the case that one could just crack open an existing SSD and use the blades within. A manufacturer would have to specifically design a unit for the new notebook. This isn't unlikely, but price will be the determining factor as it will be a speciality component.

It is also not clear at this time if Apple will make the components upgradeable, which is also a distinct possibility given how quickly SSDs are saturating the market place.

At best, it's a tentative "maybe."

enter image description here

You can read more about the new machine here: http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/design/

  • Where did you get the picture ? Sure it is the pro (not doubting just disappointing as I have to drop an extra 1000 on a feature I don't need) Jun 12, 2012 at 2:20
  • @bumble_bee_tuna Image courtesy of Apple: apple.com/macbook-pro/design
    – user10355
    Jun 12, 2012 at 2:24
  • I see it now, wow this is next level predatory pricing even for apple. Jun 12, 2012 at 2:26
  • Darn! I wish you could replace them. Looks like no Retina MacBook for me (or right now, at least)
    – daviesgeek
    Jun 12, 2012 at 3:36
  • 1
    Ha, I've never heard Apple accused of "predatory pricing" for their Macs before. (This page is already the first google hit for: apple mac "predatory pricing".) They must be doing something right these days when people think a $2100-2700 laptop is so cheap that it will drive competitors out of business.
    – Ken
    Jun 12, 2012 at 17:55

OWC are now offering 480GB replacement SSD modules specifically for the Retina MacbookPro.


They are not a standard form factor, (and still a long way off being considered 'cheap') but at least it means that a route to increasing capacity from 256 to 480GB exists.


The new MacBookPro from Apple uses flash memory directly embedded on to circuit board and currently not replaceable.

P.S. This is part of the reason that the new model is so thin.

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