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Best SSD Drives (and How I Did It)

Samsung EVO 860 vs Crucial MX500

Are you continue to utilizing a mid-2012 MacBook Professional? Yep, that’s my mannequin. I love my MacBook, however properly, when it’s beginning to present its age, it’s not that speedy anymore.

Luckily, there’s a fast approach to improve the efficiency of an previous Mac — upgrading the interior exhausting drive to SSD (strong state drive).

In case you are like me, who nonetheless loves the previous MacBook and but to determine to spend money on a brand new but expensive MacBook, then this information is for you.

I am going to share with you an inventory of one of the best SSD drives for MacBook Professional 2011 and 2012, in addition to a step-by-step instruction on find out how to substitute the interior HDD with a brand new SSD so that you waste no time and make no errors.

P.S. I went with Essential BX200 SSD (as proven within the buy receipt under), and I’m fairly proud of the efficiency it has delivered to my Mac. However, BX200 is a legacy product and the corporate has a brand new higher SSD — Essential MX500.

Notice: I did the SSD improve on my mid-2012 MacBook Professional, so this information might be most helpful to these of you who’re utilizing the identical mannequin with me. Nevertheless, I assume it might additionally apply to older MacBook fashions like 2011 and 2010 so long as your machine has a regular 2.5-inch SATA drive.

Disclaimer: I’m not a pc skilled however I did an in depth analysis on the subject about the most effective SSD for MacBook Professional and truly upgraded it on my own (DIY). It’s value stating that MacBook Execs from 2013, 2014, and 2015 have only a few SSD improve choices; And newer MacBook Professional 2016 and 2017 fashions are usually not upgradable in any respect. Additionally, this publish was initially revealed two years in the past, I’ve thus come again to revamp the content material ensuring the knowledge within the article is correct because the SSD market modifications quick.

Fast Abstract

Don’t have time to go too deep into the technical area? I perceive. Right here’s a fast rundown of the perfect SSDs for MacBook Professional.

  • In the event you use your previous MacBook Professional primarily for light-weight duties reminiscent of browsing the Web, transferring footage, and so on., an reasonably priced but high-capacity SSD is greatest for you. Essential MX500 is my prime decide, adopted by Samsung 860 EVO and SanDisk X400.
  • When you use your MacBook Professional for heavy duties like gaming, photograph/video modifying, 3D modeling, and so forth., a pricier efficiency SSD is greatest for you. Samsung 860 PRO is the most effective, OWC Mercury Electra 6G is a superb various.

Under, you’ll discover extra detailed critiques, however you can too click on the hyperlinks above to get extra information about every SSD and maybe order one in every of them on Amazon so you will get the product as quickly as attainable.

Why Belief Me for This SSD Improve Information

To start with, I nonetheless use a 13″ mid-2012 MacBook Professional, and I have efficiently changed my Mac’s inner exhausting drive (500GB Hitachi HDD) with a shiny new Essential SSD which value me about $140 (tax included) by the point I bought it in 2016. See these screenshots for proof.

I opened the primary case of my MacBook Professional and inserted the brand new Essential SSD drive.I’m utilizing a MacBook Professional (13-inch, Mid 2012)And yep…it’s with an SSD now!I spent $140 shopping for the Essential SSD in 2016, tax included.


Here’s what occurred to my MacBook Professional and why I determined to switch the onerous drive with an SSD. The fast reply is: I needed to.

On April 1, 2016…yep, Fools’ Day however it wasn’t a joke. My MacBook Professional went black display swiftly, it stopped working, and I couldn’t flip it on. After sending it to Apple Genius Bar for analysis, the geek man informed me it was as a result of the interior arduous drive hooked up to my Mac died and he stated the one answer was a alternative. To me, it was devastating! The 500GB Hitachi arduous drive was working okay for the previous 4 years, and there wasn’t any signal for it to die out till it occurred unexpectedly. Consequently, I misplaced some paperwork and footage that did not be backed up in time. Lesson discovered, the significance of backup!

Additionally Learn: Best Exterior Drives for Knowledge Backup

I started to buy round for solid-state drives. For 2 causes: first I learn that SSDs beat HDDs over many elements (extra within the following part). The opposite is for worry of HDD failure — sure, I hated Hitachi HDD for some time and determined to offer SSD a attempt. After that, I did as a lot analysis as I might, each on-line reminiscent of studying business SSD benchmark checks from,,,, and offline too — principally asking pc restore store technician for recommendation, and I ended up with ordering a 480GB Essential BX200 SSD on April 5, 2016.

After the SSD was delivered, it took me one other two days to handle the set up course of — opening the arduous case, watching OWC and iFixit video directions, putting in the brand new macOS, and so forth. the listing went on and on. Frankly, I made fairly a couple of errors till I obtained the whole lot proper. Lastly, the SSD was operating easily on my MacBook Professional.

However, you don’t should make these errors, as I’m going to share all I’ve discovered alongside the best way on this information. My objective is straightforward: to save lots of you time exploring what the most effective SSD is for MacBook Professional 2012 (maybe 2011 too) and keep away from pitfalls you may encounter through the set up course of.

Ought to I Improve My Previous MacBook Professional to SSD?

The talk of HDD and SSD has by no means stopped. HDD stands for arduous disk drive, has a for much longer historical past and continues to be the mainstream. SDD, brief for strong state drive, makes use of a brand new storage mechanism and begins to get extra traction as its worth declines which occurred simply a number of years in the past. Each HDDs and SSDs have execs and cons. Common talking, HDDs beat SSDs in worth and capability limits; whereas SSDs are superior to HDDs in efficiency and sturdiness. In case you are curious about studying extra, this or this text is value looking.

Picture supply: BackBlaze

There are good the reason why you must contemplate putting in an SSD on a Mac machine. In reality, Apple has began to make use of flash storage in virtually all its pc product strains, MacBook Professional included. Flash storage is storage that makes use of electronically erasable reminiscence modules with no shifting elements, just like what a strong state drive has to supply.

  • Your Mac can be a lot quicker. Working example, as soon as I put in the brand new Essential SSD to my 2012 MacBook Professional, the efficiency improve blew my thoughts. Let’s take boot time for instance, within the previous days, my Mac took almost a minute to start out up totally. Now it’s solely 10 seconds or so; I’m all the time amazed to see the startup progress bar flash by way of…no extra spinning wheel. Apart from, a Mac with an SSD switch information quicker and launches and runs apps quicker.
  • It is going to be extra silent. Since an SSD is non-mechanical, it makes nearly no noise until the followers spin up. A quiet Mac is best than a loud Mac. In contrast to SSDs, mechanical arduous drives include spinning platters and magnetic heads. It’s regular to listen to a whining noise or clicking and tapping when the drive is spinning up or accessing knowledge.
  • SSDs are extra sturdy. One most important issue that results in conventional exhausting drive failure is the warmth created from steady movement generated by small shifting elements. “Only 78% of the hard disk drives we buy are living longer than four years”, in response to Backblaze. As a result of a strong state drive doesn’t have any shifting elements, it’s extra dependable thus safer for the info you’ll save or create in your Mac.
  • SSD worth is dropping. In accordance with Lucas Mearian from PCWorld, “The price computer makers paid for solid-state drives (SSDs) declined by as much as 12% over the last quarter”, he famous later “SSD adoption rates in laptop computers will grow by more than 30% this year.” It’s protected to say that SSD worth nonetheless has room to say no as competitors goes on.

SSD for MacBook Professional 2012: What To Contemplate?

Now that you’re able to buy for an SSD and retire the previous onerous drive in your MacBook Professional. Which SSD do you have to get? Listed here are some elements it is best to contemplate. Observe that this text is concentrated on inner SSD improve for MacBook Professional, NOT an exterior SSD as the standards are totally different. You possibly can learn our greatest moveable SSD roundup for extra.

Price range

Though the worth of SSD has been falling, the vary nonetheless varies so much. For instance, the most cost effective SSDs value greater than 100 US Dollars whereas the costliest ones are priced at over $1000 which might can help you purchase a brand new Mac machine. So, the very first thing is to ask your self — how a lot can I afford to get an SSD for my MacBook? For instance, between $100 and $150, or round $200, and so forth. Word: a less expensive SSD doesn’t imply it’s not good, there are lots of different elements reminiscent of drive measurement, the model, and so on. that have an effect on the worth.

Storage Capability

The quantity of an SSD is among the most necessary elements you need to think about. At this second, it’s not widespread to see SSDs out there on the market that’s lower than 500GB in measurement. In different phrases, 500GB is nearly the bottom capability you would select from most producers. It’s because smaller drivers are sometimes slower and costlier contemplating the fee per gigabyte. Additionally, as digital camera know-how improves, pictures and movies typically have a lot bigger file sizes. In case you are used to syncing these information together with your Mac, the probabilities are that your Mac shall be crammed up a lot quicker than ever earlier than. So, contemplate a 750GB or 1TB if in case you have a necessity for giant storage. You would contemplate 4TB, however for my part, it’s an overkill, and a 4TB SSD is often far more costly.


There’s a saying within the storage world that even the worst SSD is miles forward of an HDD when it comes to velocity. However not all SSDs are made equal. Drives with bigger capacities are typically quicker in writing and studying, because of an SSD’s velocity benefit that comes from parallelization. However the distinction wouldn’t be night time and day. For many MacBook Professional customers, a less expensive but high-capacity SSD is sufficient to meet your day by day computing wants. For these of you who make a dwelling in fields like design, improvement, or workstation, and so forth. that requires a MacBook Professional to maneuver giant information and deal with request in a short time, then contemplate a high-budget, high-performance SSD.


Shopping for an SSD is an enormous funding, and it’s critical enterprise because the drive carries all of your private or enterprise knowledge. You don’t need to get an SSD that’s insecure, faulty or from a producer that doesn’t supply high quality customer support. That’s why selecting a model is necessary. Normally, I purchase merchandise from manufacturers which might be reliable like Apple, Samsung, Essential, SanDisk, and so on. For SSD producers, one other issue why model issues is that high quality and guarantee. For instance, throughout my analysis, I know Samsung makes its personal SSD controllers, reminiscence, and firmware, which gave me confidence that the corporate is able to designing and placing collectively the complete SSD from begin to finish. Additionally, manufacturers like Essential and Samsung all supply Three-5 yr guarantee for his or her SSDs…one other bonus.


Not all Macs help SSD improve and never all SSDs match into the Mac mannequin you personal. For instance, the newest MacBooks are all with SSDs and they’re blazing quick and based mostly on Four-channel PCIe interface (Supply: 9to5mac), there isn’t any have to improve until you might have specific causes. In case you are utilizing a Retina MacBook Professional or Air that was made mid-2013 or later, it’s virtually unimaginable to improve the onerous drive as a result of PCIe-based SSDs don’t use normal connectors. Even when your Mac like MacBook Professional/Air previous to 2013 is in a position for SSD improve, you ought to be cautious as a result of MacBooks don’t use commonplace SSD designs and MBPs and Airs share differing types with one another. Fortuitously, MacBook Execs from 2012 and earlier than are suitable with 2.5-inch SATA drives which most SSD producers present.

Best SSD for MacBook Professional: 5 Nice Decisions in 2019

For common customers preferring a less expensive but high-capacity SSD, Essential MX500 is my prime decide, adopted by Samsung 860 EVO. In case each choices went out of inventory, SanDisk X400 is a wonderful various.

For energy customers who’re much less worth delicate and have high-performance calls for, Samsung 860 PRO is unquestionably a winner out there. If it isn’t out there, OWC Mercury Electra 6G is a superb choice.

Professional tip: when you safe the specified SSD, I additionally recommend you get the BatPower S2 Mac Laptop computer Screwdriver set package — which incorporates the proper screwdriver and different instruments you’ll have to open your MacBook Professional case and swap the previous arduous drive to get the brand new SSD put in.

1. Essential MX500

As I stated at first, I’ve been utilizing a Essential BX200 480GB (now a legacy product) with my mid-2012 MacBook Professional for about eight months — with none issues! I have a very good impression of the Essential model and undoubtedly would advocate its merchandise. MX500 is common due to its worth benefit and numerous capability choices (from 250 GB to 2TB).

What’s Nice:

  • Worth could be very aggressive.
  • Robust safety with hardware encryption.
  • Loads of distinctive options different merchandise are unable to supply.

What’s Not So Nice:

  • Respectable efficiency however not the quickest SSD Solely Three-year guarantee

>> Verify Worth on Amazon <<

2. Samsung 860 EVO

The Samsung EVO collection has remained the highest place in SATA SSD for a number of years because of its many benefits akin to excessive velocity, 5-year guarantee, and know-how — which I talked about earlier that Samsung is ready to design and make key SSD controllers and elements by itself. One other perk of selecting Samsung is the Magician software program, which is nice for drive set up, upkeep, and quicker transfers.

What’s Nice:

  • Excessive efficiency.
  • As much as 4TB in measurement 5-year guarantee.

What’s Not So Nice:

  • The Samsung Magician software program solely works with PCs, not Macs.

>> Examine Worth on Amazon <<

Three. SanDisk X400

SanDisk has a phrase of mouth amongst its reminiscence card and disk storage market. The corporate additionally makes strong state drives. SanDisk X400, comparatively new to the SSD market, goals primarily for enterprise pocket book upgrades. The SanDisk X400 has 4 capacities that vary from low to excessive quantity. What impressed me most is its efficiency, which is nearly as good as Samsung 860 EVO.

What’s Nice:

  • Higher endurance with SanDisk’s nCache know-how.
  • 5-year guarantee.

What’s Not So Nice:

  • Doesn’t include software program like Samsung Magician.

>> Verify Worth on Amazon <<

Four. Samsung 860 PRO

This product is actually an upgraded model of 860 EVO. PRO is designed for gaming and professional computing, whereas EVO is for on a regular basis computing. The variations are that PRO has a better most sequential learn velocity (i.e. as much as 560 MB/s) whereas EVO is as much as 550MB/s. However 860 PRO is far more costly than 860 EVO as nicely.

What’s Nice:

  • Wonderful efficiency, a lot quicker than 860 EVO.
  • Numerous nice options and capability choices.

What’s Not So Nice:

  • Samsung Magician software program isn’t obtainable for Mac customers.
  • Modified the guarantee from 10-year to 5-year.

>> Examine Worth on Amazon <<

5. OWC Mercury Electra 6G

OWC (stands for Different World Computing), is a pc hardware supplier since 1988. I acquired to know the model when I was looking for video tutorials about tips on how to open my MacBook Professional case. The OWC workforce has created tons of actually superior movies that make it hassle-free to exchange any Mac elements all by your self. The OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD options high-quality and helps disk encryption.

What’s Nice:

  • Wonderful in efficiency.
  • Gives helpful video tutorials for SSD set up.

What’s Not So Nice:

  • Worth is a bit greater than that of different choices.

>> Examine Worth on Amazon <<

Disclaimer: this evaluation and information are based on 1) my very own experiencing buying and putting in a strong state drive on my mid-2012 MacBook Professional; 2) the experience of SSD and pc specialists with whom I seek the advice of; Three) the knowledge accessible by way of the producers’ web sites. As thus, the above suggestions are my very own opinions and I reserve the rights to vary my opinions when needed. Your Mac’s efficiency might range after swapping the drive. Additionally, it might make extra sense to purchase a brand new SSD laptop computer as an alternative of spending cash on upgrading elements.

How to Improve MacBook Professional to SSD: Four-Step Information

So that you’ve purchased and acquired your required strong state drive (and maybe the screwdrivers and instruments wanted to open your Mac case), now what? Open the case of your MacBook Professional and put the SSD inside? Mistaken. You’ll have to ensure you’ve backed up all the info in your previous arduous disk drive (if it’s nonetheless working) and created a bootable installer for macOS (see how to do that in Step 2).

Word: if the interior onerous drive in your MacBook Professional has crashed or died, I extremely advocate you schedule an appointment with Apple Genius Bar. Their geek workforce will set up the newest macOS for you, so that you don’t should take the time to make a bootable installer. Additionally, you don’t want to purchase any screwdrivers or instruments as a result of they may open the case for you as properly.

Step 1: Again up Your Mac Exhausting Drive

The simplest means is to make use of Time Machine. You can even clone your Mac arduous drive to an exterior drive. Cloning is complementary to backup strategies like Time Machine, and I encourage you to take action in case you have additional moveable drives. This ensures you rise up and make your Mac work once more in minutes in case any system crash/errors throughout replace.

Step 2: Create a Bootable macOS USB Installer

The USB installer lets you shortly boot up your Mac simply in case, particularly when the Web Restoration choice isn’t obtainable to make use of. All you must put together is a USB flash drive with a capability 8GB or bigger as a result of the file measurement of the newest macOS Mojave is 18.5 GB. You’ll be able to learn this text for how you can make it.

Step Three: Open MacBook Professional Case and Set up SSD

That is the important thing half that you could be additional cautious. Any misoperation might injury your Mac. Fortuitously, OWC has recorded an in depth instruction on this video. I extremely advocate you watch it earlier than you begin.

Step Four: Run macOS Set up and Switch Knowledge

When you end the SSD alternative work, plug within the USB flash drive (with the bootable installer you made in Step 2) to your MacBook Professional. Now press the beginning button to show in your Mac. Maintain down the Choice key as quickly as you hear the reboot tone. Choose the disk named “Install macOS Mojave” and set up the working system to your MacBook Professional. After that, use Time Machine to revive all the info. Comply with the directions from OSXDaily. They’re fairly useful.

What’s TRIM and Ought to I Allow It on My SSD MacBook Professional

For Mac computer systems, TRIM is a command that helps macOS system know the place the info you need to delete or transfer is saved. The primary advantage of enabling TRIM is to make it quicker to put in writing to empty reminiscence thus delay the lifetime of your SSD. Do you actually need to allow it? For my part, no. As a result of I haven’t observed any slowdown with my Essential SSD (but). Plus, Apple didn’t help TRIM for aftermarket SSDs till OS X 10.10.Four (supply: AppleInsider).

How to verify in case your SSD is TRIM enabled or not in your MacBook Professional? Click on on Apple emblem on the highest left nook > About This Mac > System Report > SATA/SATA Categorical, then choose your SSD disk and examine “TRIM Support.”

In my case, it says NO as a result of I haven’t enabled TRIM.

If you wish to allow TRIM, this CNET article exhibits methods to do it step-by-step. You can even watch this YouTube information for those who favor a video tutorial. Only a sort warning: earlier than you proceed, ensure you backup your Mac simply in case.

Ideas To Maintain Your SSD-based MacBook Professional in Good Form

Within the digital age, nothing lasts endlessly. All units and hardware elements have a lifespan. Ultimately, they are going to be gone. An SSD drive is not any exception. All we will do is attempt our greatest to increase its life and maximize the worth. Even when it fails sometime, it gained’t trigger panic. That stated, listed here are some useful ideas and tips you might need to apply:

  • All the time backup your SSD knowledge to a different place, be it an exterior drive or cloud storage, it doesn’t matter. Backup is the one efficient approach to keep away from knowledge loss disasters.
  • By no means erase or format your SSD drive. You’ve discovered the distinction between how HDDs and SSDs work, there isn’t any have to wipe an SSD clear by making pointless write cycles as a result of doing so will solely degrade your SSD life.
  • Replace firmware out of your producer. Most solid-state drive suppliers like Samsung launch firmware updates frequently. It’s all the time a good suggestion to go to the producer’s web site and set up the firmware.
  • Don’t expend all of your SSD space for storing. Even in the event you’ve chosen a small-size SSD on your MacBook, goal to have no less than 10% free area. Optimize your Mac regularly with apps like MacBooster.
  • Keep away from exposing your SSD and MacBook to excessive temperatures. Though SSDs are extra sturdy and resistant than HDDs in relation to cold and warm, leaving your SSD-based MacBook Professional in such surroundings too lengthy is a nasty concept for positive.

Last Phrases

When your previous MacBook Professional runs sluggish or begins to behave up like freezing up randomly, it’s higher to be careful as there might be one thing fallacious with the onerous drive. In my case, I’ve personally skilled arduous drive crash with my mid-2012 MacBook Professional. Thankfully, you don’t have to abandon your previous Mac and get a brand new one. Changing the interior exhausting drive with a strong state drive has been a good way to spice up your Mac efficiency whereas spending much less.

Nevertheless, selecting one of the best MacBook Professional SSD isn’t a simple activity as a result of there are such a lot of elements you could need to think about. Plus, the set up course of might simply go fallacious for those who don’t know what you’re doing. Anyway, I hope this information above has given you some helpful instructions. Whether or not you’re a basic consumer who’s chosen a Essential MX500, or you’re a energy consumer who has secured a Samsung 860 PRO, they each are superior SSDs for Mac laptops. Additionally, don’t underestimate the SSD set up half because it might be fairly time-consuming in the event you don’t have the suitable instruments at hand.

If in case you have any further questions relating to SSDs for MacBook, depart a remark under.

Chris is a pc geek for a decade. He beloved speaking to computer systems by way of codes, and now he finds it extra fascinating speaking with the actual individuals. He now writes all the things associated to pc points and loves serving to individuals clear up issues.