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Can flash storage on MacBook Pro (Retina) be upgraded?

I am planning to purchase the new introductory model MacBook Pro (retina display). However, I'd like to be able to upgrade to a large flash storage module in the future. Will that be possible? I did read the teardown that you posted for the machine, but that question wasn't clearly answered.

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Are you saying all Retina model's (2.3, 2.6, and 2.7) Flash memory can be removable?

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Yes, the Flash Storage unit is replaceable. Checkout the new iFixIt breakdown on the 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display Step 10 - MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown to see for your self.

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In the MacBook Pro Retina, the Flash Storage device is NOT permanently soldered to the logic board, and yes, it can be upgraded. I found an original Apple 512 GB flash storage drive on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/200858649301

I'm going to try to fill in the missing link here -- Flash Storage and Flash Memory are indeed the same, and it is just like a Solid State Hard Drive, but with a different shape and connector and no enclosure. Solid State Hard Drives, USB thumb drives, and the new Flash Storage devices are all composed of NAND or NOR gate Flash memory technology, as are Compact Flash cards and SD cards for cameras and phones. This technology is unique from other types of memory such as battery-powered Static RAM or Dynamic RAM. Flash memory is NON-VOLATILE permanent data storage and can be removed and connected to another computer and the data on it will persist without power, just like a typical "hard drive" or "thumb drive", making it a suitable replacement for magnetic media such as tapes and hard drives. What differentiates a CF card from an SSD from a new Flash Storage Drive is the available sizes of memory chips, the speed of operation, and the interconnect port with the computer. But at the core, they all use NAND or NOR gates.

On the other hand, there is VOLATILE memory, known as RAM (Random Access Memory) or DRAM (Dynamic RAM). All modern computers in the last 30 or so years use volatile DRAM memory to temporarily store data and instructions for the CPU to access and work on. The fundamental architecture of DRAM is a capacitive (dynamic) memory storage element which loses its charge state with time and has to be refreshed by the memory controller. The most widely adopted and successful system architecture of DRAM in computers today is SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM). The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina both have SDRAM which is permanently soldered to the logic board. The type of RAM in this generation of computers happens to be called DDR3L 1600MHz or PC3-12800.

Clear as mud?

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Of curse you can. Check this: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/A...

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Hi Adrian,

As far as i'm aware i think you can upgrade the storage (flash memory) in the base model of the new MacBook Pro. It is a custom chip though so you will have to either wait for a third party to come up with a compatible chip or get your hands on a larger apple drive.

Sean was right about the RAM. Soldered on..

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OWC already has the chips for the base model.

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There is some conflicting info on the SSD type used and the connectors pinouts so it might be a little early to make a judgement on it being upgradable by third parties. In any case I'm sure Apple will still sell you the other models module.

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I think that we are talking about the flash storage on Mac ( specially on the mac retina so I just want people to use the same term use by apple ) see tech spec from apple description. the Retina Display like the Air is base flash-based architecture.

you can understand better that for RAM we are talking about 1600Mhz. and for the flash storage I read somewhere that is up the 500mb/s. data transfer.

MacBook Pro with Retina display uses one of the fastest memory technologies available today — 1600MHz, Double Data Rate (DDR3L), synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM) — ensuring that the Intel Core i7 processor is constantly fed with data without wasting clock cycles.

http://9to5mac.com/2012/06/18/on-the-new...

2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz

8GB 1600MHz memory

512GB flash storage1

Intel HD Graphics 4000

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory

Built-in battery (7 hours)2

Tel me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for the link really interesting.

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Gabrielvon, Just so were clear here: The system comes with either 8 or 16GB 1600MHz, Double Data Rate (DDR3L), synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM) which is soldered on - Which is the memory space and is dependent on the systems battery to sustain its' state (volatile memory). The Flash storage 256 or 512GB is your emulated Hard Disk storage space (non-volatile memory) and whats on it is not lost when power is removed or the system is reset and is on a removable unit in the system. Apple's spec sheet treats them as different elements of the system Memory (RAM) and Storage (Flash).

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You are correct both the MacBook Air & MacBook Pro Retina use Flash as the storage space instead of a mechanical Hard Drive unit.

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You can now buy third party Flash storage on Amazon for your 13" MacBook Pro Retina Display.

http://goo.gl/PocpE8

Here's a quick video on it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBEf1DDT...

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I highly HIGHLY recommend Samsung msata. Then, use an adapter. That's what I do and get 500+ read/write. I used owc and returned it because I only got 200-300 r/w. If you want me to further explain, just ask and I will.

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You do understand the SSD in this system is a M.2 PCIe Blade and is faster than SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) or mSATA III (6.0 Gb/s) SSD. In addition, there is no room to install the mSATA device.

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No, according to the ifixit.com teardown guide the ram is soldered on. you can have mac upgrade it from the factory.

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RAM is soldered, Flash is not

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Bit of a misnomer Dan, both are flash- the confusion is that OP termed the ssd "memory" which 99% of the time refers to RAM.

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rab - In this context RAM implies memory that requires power to sustain it's state. Flash (which is a kind of RAM but here is used as an emulated HD) does not require power to sustain it's state.

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Flash Storage and Flash Memory it's all in the name.

Easy

Flash Storage is on a separate card with a special Apple connector, we don't know when and if a third party will make an other size available.

Flash Memory this is soldered on the board. impossible to upgrade or change.

I really recommande to upgrade the Memory to 16GB. and for the storage, 512gb is good for me and if I need more space I use my 16TB NAS at home and I can access it form anywhere so I can stream stuff back to my MAC RETINA.

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Gabrielvon - Don't confuse people: Flash Storage and Flash Memory is the same! There is no difference if it's removable or fixed (soldered). How it is used can be different! When additional components are added it can emulate a hard drive. Here's a good write up on SSD technology: http://arstechnica.com/information-techn... What I think you were try to describe is SRAM (static RAM) which is powered by a small backup battery acting as the RAM space on the PC. The only place I've see this used is on servers. The iPad uses standard RAM which is powered to run the OS & active App/s. The flash is strictly long term storage. When you power down the iPad the RAM memory that is reset not the Flash. When you put your laptop into sleep mode it's just like the iPad using the battery to hold the state of the RAM (volatile memory) and likewise powering down your laptop flushes the RAM not the HD or Flash.

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