I’ve been teetering at the edge of my Macbook Pro’s hard drive limit for a while and completely ran the 500GB drive down to 0 bytes free once. I’ve been wanting to upgrade to SSD for a long time but I didn’t want to just swap it out for a similarly sized drive. Unfortunately, the prices of larger drives continued to be more than what I wanted to pay. Finally, after a long wait, my vision was to be realized.
I’d been lusting after Samsung’s 850 EVO for the longest but it had been hovering around the $350 mark. I decided that I wouldn’t purchase it until it dropped below $300. Sure, I could’ve gone with other drives for about $250 but I wanted a full 1TB not a mere 960MB. 🙂 Last week, Amazon dropped the price to $295 and I jumped on it. Alas, my joy was short-lived. I forgot they have a distribution center here in and I got nailed with $20 tax which put me back over the mark I didn’t want to cross. In hindsight I should’ve shopped at Newegg. Oh well.
After opening the package I was shocked by the weight of the drive. It feels like a cheap plastic toy. I had to throw it on the scale and it weighed in at a mere 1.9 oz! The stock drive turned out to be almost twice that.
Last night I started cloning the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner. I debated on SuperDuper but opted for what I’d used in the past. It really is a no-brainer tool. Click the source, click the destination, click clone. Three clicks and wait. And wait. And wait. I gave up and went to bed. By morning it was done and all I had left to do was create the recovery partition which took just a couple of minutes.
It was a long day at work knowing I had a new toy to try out but somehow I managed. As soon as I got home I ripped the Mac apart (well, after I verified I could boot from the SSD) and made the swap. It’s not bad at all and the ability to change the drive at all is the very reason I purchased the older 2013 MBP instead of the Air which had just come out. I’ve already upgraded from 4GB RAM to 16GB and now I’ve upgraded the stock HDD. Try that with an Air! Anyway, it booted fine so I made the physical swap.
If you’re upgrading your own drive, you’ll need a very small Philips screwdriver to remove the bottom case. Next you’ll find four screws around the drive to remove. Carefully remove the drive and disconnect the SATA cable. Using a #6 Torx screwdriver, remove the four posts from the stock drive and move them to your SSD. I should have taken pictures but there are enough on the web. 😉
I did a quick sanity boot before putting everything back together. The difference not only between the HDD and SSD but also between internally mounted and enclosure mounted was night and day. I really wish I would’ve thought to get benchmarks ahead of time also. See what happens when I get excited? Once I was satisfied I was good to go I put everything back together and did a final real boot.
So far the boot time is considerably faster and apps (even hogs like Photoshop) start in a flash. I wish I had done this sooner. The last step to finalize the installation was to enable TRIM. I’m still a bit shy about upgrading to El Capitan so I’m still running Yosemite. After 10.10.4 Apple unofficially supports non-Apple drives (technically mine was a Toshiba). To enable it, open Terminal and run this command:
sudo trimforce enable
After you enter your password you’ll get a small wall of text and be prompted to confirm your decision. Then you’ll be prompted again. If you’re really, really sure it’ll enable TRIM and reboot the system.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This tool force-enables TRIM for all relevant attached devices, even though such devices may not have been validated for data integrity while using TRIM. Use of this tool to enable TRIM may result in unintended data loss or data corruption. It should not be used in a commercial operating environment or with important data. Before using this tool, you should back up all of your data and regularly back up data while TRIM is enabled. This tool is provided on an “as is” basis. APPLE MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, REGARDING THIS TOOL OR ITS USE ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH YOUR DEVICES, SYSTEMS, OR SERVICES. BY USING THIS TOOL TO ENABLE TRIM, YOU AGREE THAT, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, USE OF THE TOOL IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND THAT THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO SATISFACTORY QUALITY, PERFORMANCE, ACCURACY AND EFFORT IS WITH YOU. Are you sure you wish to proceed (y/N)? y Your system will immediately reboot when this is complete. Is this OK (y/N)? y Enabling TRIM... . . Operation succeeded. Your system will reboot momentarily, please wait...
Once you reboot, hold the option key, click the Apple, and open System information. Navigate to the SATA selection and make sure TRIM Support is reported as Yes.
Using Black Magic Disk Speed Test I’m seeing read/write speeds between 480-500 MB/s. Officially, Samsung claims “up to 540 MB/s” so I’m content. There you go. If you’re on the fence, get that SSD!