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Situation with latest MBP 13",15" regarding upgradability of RAM, SSD

Hi, I intend to buy a MacBook Pro but do not want to pay too much for it. So my intention is to buy the smallest configuration and upgrade it myself. So far my investigations delivered the following infos:

13" - RAM not extendable or only with a 7.000 $ device => thus buy 16GB from the very beginning

SSD: Transcend offers Jet Drive Lite (SDcard) for upto 128GB for about 83€ street price, 95MB/s read, 60MB/s write speed

Transcend does not offer their Jet Drive 7xx serie SSDs for MBP later than early 2013, thus it may take another 2 years before they hit the market with devices that match MBP 2015 devices, if they do it at all and if there is no firmware issue (Apple adds proprietary FW to their SSDs).

Question: What is the situation with the latest MBP 15" regarding upgradability of RAM and or SSD, SD-cards excluded.

If I'm wrong with my investigations regarding 13" you may update me as well.

Kr Michael

Contestado! Ver respuesta Yo también tengo este problema

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Hi there,

all the recent answers are from 2015.

An newer question from 2016 from "milanf11" was never answered?

Are we here in fact alone?

Now about 3,5 years later – any experiences with thirdparty SSDs for this MBP?

And whats about cooling-hints?

My MBP is absolut clean inside! But when there is about 25° Celsius in the room – the fans are begining to be loud – what is very annoying. How can i cool this Mac?

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Solución Elegida

All of the Retina series systems (both 13" and 15") have soldered RAM so you will need to buy your system with the exact memory you think you'll need upfront. There is no economical way to upgrade it later.

All of the Retina series systems currently (both 13" and 15") have a removable SSD unit BUT! There are very few 3rd parties that make the SSD that will fit your system. So far only the earlier models have options. Review OWC & Transcend web sites. You maybe able to buy a used Apple SSD but mostly the smaller ones are found from the better suppliers (check IFIXIT store front). There are a lot of Craigs List & eBay sales from bogus and junk units which won't work. So be careful if you go down that path. So the bottom line here its iffy if you'll be able to upgrade in the future. So its better again to buy what you need upfront.

Options: Buy a used non-retina MacBook Pro! The last generations are upgradable both memory & storage. Yes, they are heaver & don't have the retina display but thats the tradeoff if you want a system which you can upgrade. As for processing speed the difference so far is not that much to worry about. Sure this will change as Intel introduces better CPU's in the next few years but for now this is the better direction for many people who what more control of their system.

FYI: The new MacBook that just came out doesn't offer any upgradability everything is soldered in.

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Dan, Thanks for your detailed answer, which covers all facets of my problem. Unfortunately buying a MBP with less than the retina display is for me no option as I come from a Dell Latitude E6520 with 1920x1080, 16GB and 1TB HDD. But perhaps its worth to consider buying an older 15" MBP with a retina display and upgradability, if it exists ?

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As I stated your upgrades are limited to the SSD only and only for a small group of systems. Here's what Transcend offers: JetDrive slide down to the table. Thats it! Nothing else at this time.

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I should point out the Hi-Res display models are quite good! The real issue from a screen perspective is the size and the distance to the screen you are viewing it. Don't get me wrong here, I like crisp and correctly colored images. But, there is a point most people can't tell the difference unless their nose is touching the screen ;-} Don't get to caught up in the hype. Take a good look at the still for sale non-retina 15" MacBook Pro's at an Apple store (you'll need to ask to see one if they still have one in stock) side by side of a retina and then tell me you can see enough of a difference to give up the expandability.

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But Dan, It's New, Improved! It has a fancy name! It MUST be better.

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@Mayer - A 50 year old Scotch is still young and it still improves with age! Just like me! ;-}

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For MBP 15” Mid 2015 you can upgrade to 2TB Samsung 970 EVO 2TB - NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD (MZ-V7E2T0BW) with Sintech NGFF M.2 nVME SSD Adapter Card for Upgrade 2013-2015 Year Macs (wont fit Early 2013 MacBook Pro) from Amazon with the latest Mojave 10.14.6

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I came across these guys:

They claim to sell a compatible SSD but since I'm not currently state-side nor do I know the credibility of MCE tech, I'm skeptical to get it myself.

Anyway... they claim to have the replacement drive for our laptop (I've got one too and I’m struggling with the same issue) with R/W speeds that are supposedly the same ...

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