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  • Alex Smith - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    I'm wondering whether it's worth putting a 3rd party SSD into the new Retina MBP or not? e.g. instead of 512MB SSD they include. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    The problem is that the SSD is not a standard 2.5" drive. Right now we don't know the exact specs of the SSD, but it's most likely a custom form factor, which means no other commercial SSD will fit in. Of course, companies like OWC will most likely make an SSD that's compatible, but it will take a while. Reply
  • Alex Smith - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Thanks Kristian.

    Overall the Intel 520 (that I was considering) seems better in most things (http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/532?vs=529)... however, it might not even come out it the form factor required...
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    If you look at our Heavy and Light Workload Suites, the Samsung 830 Series is actually a bit faster (and actually one of the fastest drives we have ever tested). I'm not saying that they always provide the most realistic look at performance, but they consist of real world IOs, including reads and writes at different sizes and queue depths. Reply
  • zilab - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    are you saying the one included in retina display is samsung 830 series? Reply
  • marioyohanes - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Both of my Intel 520 and Intel 330 always goes black screen and freeze after waking up from sleep, latest firmware also did not solve any problem. Based on my experiences using SSDs with Mac, better to pay those extras by buying Apple SSD or the slow Intel 320. Reply
  • texasti89 - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link


    SSD and RAM chips are soldered in. You can't s upgrade or change. Apple is getting more greedy.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Judging by the pictures Apple showed today, the SSD seems to be a separate PCB, just like in MBA, and hence upgradeable.

    http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2069#18
    Reply
  • texasti89 - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link


    Judging from this image

    http://images.apple.com/macbook-pro/design/images/...

    Yes, It's a separate PCB, but I have the feeling that the connector is proprietary.
    Reply
  • maratus - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    It should be as easy to replace as in the current Air. The question is whether we will see anything non-Sandforce based (preferably the same Samsung 830 for cheaper). And given that it only depends on Samsung and will be strictly for this MBP, most likely not. I'm not even thinking about anything based on SandForce right now, so my only option is Marvell / Indilinx. I'd rather stay with reliable stock 830. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    The flash drive isn't soldered to the motherboard, but it does look like a custom module. The RAM however is soldered and that scares the crap out of me.

    The standard warranty for a MacBook is only one year, and I have had Apple DIMMS go bad after that...twice now. With industry standard memory modules I can easily diagnose and replace them. It's a cheap repair given the current DRAM pricing.

    The extended three year warranty is $350.00, but a Mac can easily have a effective service life of about 5-6 years in my experience. I know this for a fact as my kids have adopted my previous MacBook Pros. Am I to throw the $2200 laptop in the trash if a single RAM chip goes bad after three years? Or pay Apple another $500.00 for a new logic board? I don't think so.

    The tech industry is swooning of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, but I'm thinking it's really just techno-bling for Apple Elitists. Maybe in a year or two the design will change to something a bit more reasonable.

    Until then, if I need to get a New MacBook Pro, I'll stick with the thicker design and the low DPI screen. It has the same CPU and GPU specs, is still portable, but user serviceable, and upgradable.

    I have been such a loyal Apple fan-boy over the years, I can't believe I just wrote all this. Is anyone else thinking about this like I am?
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    I've actually seen more SO-DIMM slots on Apple motherboards that have failed after several years than the memory modules themselves.

    That being said, I always buy Macs with the bare minimum of RAM installed and upgrade later for a fraction of what Apple has the gall to charge. So it irks me that they make this an up front cost and charge a high premium on a component that typically depreciates in price quite steadily.

    RAM usually carries a limited lifetime warranty as well, so if Apple wasn't willing to resolve an issue that cropped up after the first year of ownership (or three w/ AppleCare), then they're also shorting you on the industry standard warranty period for a product that they are charging such a premium for.
    Reply
  • xpro - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    I have been looking for the same info. Even though OWC has SSD options for the macbook air their prices are unjustifiable to me.

    I would be interested in getting the base model and upgrading the ram but if the ram is soldered in like the macbook air I would be very disappointed and may sacrifice the "retina display" for the user serviceable macbook pro.

    I can't wait for a teardown!
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Not surprised that it's Samsung (and most likely the same controller as 830 Series). It's the most logical choice given that Samsung supplies lots of Apple's components, plus 830 Series offers great performance and very mature controller and firmware. Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Could someone explain why they dont get a Marvell Controller instead?

    Why stick to Samsung?
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Do you mean a third party Marvell based SSD (from Plextor or Micron/Crucial for instance) or an in-house SSD with Marvell controller?

    If you mean the first one, then the answer is fairly simple. Apple has close relations with Samsung since they have provided Apple with components for years. It's cheaper to buy in bulk (buy these and we give you a discount on those) and the relations already exist. On top of that, e.g. Plextor has no OEM channel. Of course, I bet they would make one if Apple asked but right now they are a relatively small company compared to Samsung - they might not be able to keep up with the demand.

    As for an in-house SSD design with Marvell controller, it can take years to develop and validate one, and it's very expensive. I don't think the gains of an in-house design would really be worth the price. Apple already equips their SSDs with custom firmware anyway.

    Samsung's advantage is that they make every single component they use in their SSDs. That makes them independent of other suppliers, which means they know exactly what their supply level is and also makes competitive pricing possible. When you're as flash hungry as Apple is, you need a supplier that can supply you with enough SSDs. On the other hand, Samsung's 830 is extremely competitive in performance as well, so there is no downside.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    On my 1280x800 Chrome browser, all three instances of "USB *.0" are at the beginning of each line of the paragraph. It reminded me of xkcd:

    http://xkcd.com/276/
    Reply
  • bigdisk - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    haha. Why do I find that so hilarious? Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Because it is, it's making me smile, that for sure Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    People just don't understand us lovers of symmetry. Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Has Apple decided to discard the standard blue coloring of USB 3.0 ports or is the color balance of the laptop photos just off? Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Do you seriously think Jony Ive would put blue colored ports on a Mac that he designed? Apple is big on color matching all the ports. They're all USB 3.0, so there's no need to differentiate them. Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    I thought this initially, but I just wanted a confirmation. If included, the blue ports would help to easily differentiate the appearance of this year's model from previous years'. Considering that many of Apple's fans want to show off that they have the latest product, I can't see why the subtle blue color would be anything but welcome. Reply
  • marioyohanes - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    I'm gonna buy this new MBP with Retina Display, however, Anand, could you please find out about why their baseline MBP with Retina Display is not available with larger SSD? And also is there any way to upgrade its SSD? mSata perhaps... Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    It's very simple: Apple wants you to pay more for the high-end MBPR with more storage. This has pretty much always been the case when it comes to Apple.

    As for upgradeability, we need to wait for a teardown (I'm fairly sure Anand will be taking his MBPR apart) to see what the SSD is like. It seems to be a separate PCB though, which means it's upgradeable at least in theory. If it's a custom connector/form factor, it means it will take awhile before you can get a third party SSD.
    Reply
  • mitch567 - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    I am surprised that the retina MBP doesn't support new wifi protocole 802.11ac. Maybe it will be activated later when new AirportExtreme or TimeCapsule will be released or when Mountain Lion will be available. Could you please have a look at the chip used in this model ? Thanks Reply
  • macuser2134 - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Yeah its a same. This product was developed during a time when there was no 802.11ac + integrated bluetooth 4.0 chipset announced from any manufacturer. And it seems that 802.11ac also has some different antennas design. I expect 802.11ac to appear in the next revision. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Apple always leaves something out in order to have a 'magical' upgrade next year. Reply
  • Omid.M - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    If the SSD were replaceable, would you advocate putting in the 830 or do you think performance is probably much closer and thus not worth it to swap the drives?

    I'd love the 2.6 with 512 GB but I think it's probably $2799 and thus not worth it to me.
    Reply
  • privater - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Hi, Anand:
    Can you please test the SD reader if it connected to USB 3.0 bus?
    I really appreciate if it's an upgraded edition for faster transfer SD content.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Friday, June 15, 2012 - link

    Looking at the System Information report, it says "Vendor ID: 0x14e4", etc, with "Link Width: x1" and "Link Speed: 2.5GT/s". I just copied iMovie (1.45GB) to a Sandisk Extreme III 8GB card (from Dec 2008, contains FAT32 filesystem) and it took 5:30 (min:sec). I was also copying from my old MacBook Pro via WiFi, etc, so it wasn't the only thing running. Reply
  • wfolta - Friday, June 15, 2012 - link

    (The Extreme III SDHC card I used is rated at 6 MB/s, i.e. has the little "6" in a circle. If my calculation is correct, my transfer rate was actually 4.4 MB/sec. Not sure if that's an improvement or not. Hope the info is helpful.) Reply
  • Mike Kobb - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    On my current Mac, I'm using an OWC SSD, which uses a SandForce controller. I also use FileVault 2. The SandForce's write performance is penalized when writing encrypted data, so although my read speeds are in the 500MB/sec ballpark, my writes are about half that.

    iFixit claims that the controller for the new Air is a SandForce with Toshiba markings. If that's true, the Air would suffer the same write penalty when using FileVault.

    Could you please do some write tests with encrypted data to see how the Retina's SSD performs? And, if you do disassemble and can identify the controller, that'd be great!
    Reply

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