Over the past two weeks, I’ve written about the (surprisingly easy) process of, and the varied challenge levels of. Today’s guide looks at the easiest SSD installations of all: the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro. A new SSD in one of these machines could have two, four, eight, or sixteen times the original storage, plus two to four times faster speeds. Apple shipped most MacBook Airs and all Retina MacBook Pros with solid state storage, so upgrading these machines for extra capacity and speed is generally as simple as picking a new drive, then using two special screwdrivers during the installation process. Assuming your MacBook is old enough to be out of warranty — except for a few specific models — you’ll find that pretty much anyone can handle this swap with the right tools. Below, I’m going to show those tools to you, as well as the MacBook-ready SSDs that are worth considering The Big Picture The original MacBook Air was designed with solid state memory as an option, not a mandate.
MacBook Air 11' Mid 2013 Repairability Score: 4 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair). Once you get past the outer case, all the major components are fairly easy to access for replacement. The outer case is held on with Apple's proprietary Pentalobe screws, so you'll need the right screwdriver to get inside.
Back in 2008, Air buyers could add a 64GB SSD for a whopping $1,300 premium over the ultra-thin computer’s normal price, and there was no consumer 1TB drive capable of fitting inside a laptop — a desktop 1TB SSD sold for $4,000. Today, the lowest-end MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros ship with a 128GB SSD as standard; Apple’s 256GB SSD adds $200, versus $500 more for 512GB, or $800 more for a Pro-only 1TB SSD. But those are Apple prices; third-party drives are much more affordable. Following some relatively straightforward guidelines, you can bump an original MacBook Air up to 128GB for $95, or enhance newer MacBooks for $170 (240GB), $300 (480GB), or $550 (1TB). Many MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro SSDs come with kits that help you transfer the contents of the old drive to the new one, open your computer, and keep the old SSD around as an external drive if you want it. MacBook Air: Replacing Your Old Hard Drive or SSD There are five key generations of the MacBook Air that use different types of solid state drives. • First-generation 13″ MacBook Airs (sold between 2008 and mid-2009) can be upgraded to a 1.8″ SSD with a ZIF connector. On price, your best choice is a or each of which have a. Ableton cracked torrent mac.
Expect speeds in the 50-90MB/second range. Add if you plan to keep using your old drive after the SSD swap, or want to ease the migration process from your old drive to the new one.
 • Second-generation 13″ MacBook Airs (sold between 2008 and mid-2009) can be upgraded to a 1.8″ SATA drive with between 120GB to 480GB of capacity. Other World Computing/OWC’s Mercury Aura Pro comes in,, or versions with promised read/write speeds in the 275-285MB range.  • Third-generation MacBook Airs (11″ and 13″, sold between late 2010 and mid-2011) use blade-style SATA III SSDs that look similar to RAM boards. 9to5Mac’s Seth Weintraub added a; the same drive now sells for, with a, and a. They promise 460-570MB/second speeds. OWC’s Aura/Aura Pro series for this particular MacBook Air has had comparatively poor reviews, but a for the same computer can be had for.
[iFixit’s guides for this and are here.] • Fourth-generation MacBook Airs (11″ and 13″, sold starting mid-2012) should go with the 4.8/5-Star reviewed models (,, ), which promise 460-570MB/second speeds. Mixed reviews of OWC’s and would give me pause. [iFixit’s guides for this and are here.] • Fifth-generation MacBook Airs (11″ and 13″ sold starting early-2013) switched to faster PCIe SSDs, which are not yet being offered by Transcend or OWC for this particular laptop. How easy is installation? Except for the older first- and second-generation MacBook Airs, the process is incredibly simple: you generally use a Pentalobe screwdriver to remove 10 screws from the Air’s bottom, then a Torx T5 screwdriver to unscrew one screw on the SSD. Shown below includes both screwdrivers.