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Can the RAM and storage on MacBook Air (2022) be upgraded?

Apple recently announced its MacBook Air with M2 SoC. But the big question is. Can the RAM and storage on the MacBook Air (2022) be upgraded?

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Whether you’re a first time buyer or someone who has purchased a Mac before, there might be a few surprises that come up when purchasing a Mac product with Apple silicon. While there are plenty of benefits to the new hardware, there are also drawbacks. The one question you might be asking yourself is. can the RAM and storage on the MacBook Air (2022) be upgraded? Unfortunately, the answer is NO. So before you go out and purchase your MacBook Air (2022), please make sure to choose the specification of your laptop carefully. This is a choice that you will have to live with for the life of the product.

Why it isn’t possible to upgrade the MacBook Air (2022)?

The reason for this is that Apple made the switch from traditional CPUs to its own in-house silicon. Apple revealed the M1 chip back in 2020. Two years later, during its WWDC 2022 event, Apple revealed its next generation SoC with the introduction of the M2, featured in the new MacBook Air. So what does this mean? It means that you will need to choose your CPU, RAM, and internal storage configurations at the time of purchase. That means there will be no upgrading in the future.

While this might sound like bad business, it’s a bit of a toss up. Although you lose the ability to upgrade your PC, you get a better experience due to Apple’s ability to unify the hardware, the operating system, and software. The results pretty much speak for themselves, as reviews have been extremely positive. So while you can’t upgrade or update the internal hardware, you can make the right choice at the point of sale.

What configuration options are available for the MacBook Air (2022)?

For now, with the MacBook Air (2022), there are only two M2 chipset options, one with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, and the other being an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. You can see from the configuration page above that you will also have the ability to choose your RAM and internal storage. You will have the option of mixing and matching the RAM and internal storage. so choose wisely. The base model starts at 1,199 and can go as high as 2,499.

Once you have configured your MacBook Air (2022), that’s it. You can never upgrade it in the future. For those that have already purchased the MacBook Air (2022), my condolences. As stated before, there is no way to upgrade your RAM and internal storage. The only way to make a change is to sell the current model you own and buy a new one.

MacBook Air (M2)

Apple’s MacBook Air (2022) offers the latest with its powerful M2 SoC.

If you’d like, please check out the models available from Best Buy or head to the Apple website for more configuration options.

MacBook Air 480 GB SSD Upgrade

The Apple MacBook Air is a seriously good laptop and is almost the perfect back up or travel computer for a photographer. In 2011 Apple finally refreshed their MacBook Air lineup with new SSDs using new form factor Called mSATA SSDs (also known as blade SSDs). Although Apple does offer two choices on the 13 inch MacBook Air, 128 and 256 GB (on the 11 inch you can choose 64 or 128 GB), this is one area where the MBA disappoints.

The OWC 480 GB 6G SSD upgrade installed on my 13 inch MacBook air with 1.8GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7.

Apple uses both Toshiba SSDs and Samsung SSDs on the current 2011 MBA. This doesn’t sound like anything to worry and really its not but you should know that the Samsung SSDs are much faster than the Toshiba units and there is no way of knowing which one you get before booting up the machine for the first time. This just takes a second. Go to the Apple menu About this mac more info System Report. Serial. ATA.

You can tell what SSD type you have by looking at the model string in a System Report from your machine. The SM prefix indicates a Samsung drive while the TS indicates Toshiba. A Samsung 256 GB drive will show up as. Apple SSD SM256C.

The problem is that the performance difference between the two Apple 3G drives is pretty significant, the Samsung is about 2X or more faster than the Toshiba SSD, see the Anantech’s MBA review.

Upgrading the MBA with the 480 GB SSD

The OWC 480 GB 6G SSD upgrade and 256 GB Apple Samsung 3G SSD side by side. The pink square is a foam thermal pad.

The OWC 6G SSDs are about 3x faster than the Apple Samsung factory SSDs. The 480 GB SSD upgrade costs right around 1000. The Apple 256 GB upgrade for the 13 inch MBA is 300 or 2.34 per GB, the OWC upgrade is 2.14 per GB and 3X faster and you get to keep the factory SSD for back up or other tasks. This is a great value for someone like me that needs the additional HDD space.

OWC’s Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G SSD should guarantee a significant boost in speed and with the 480 GB model, almost twice the disk space as Apple’s largest SSD. There are no other SSDs suitable for 2010-2011 MBAs, unless you find an original Apple unit on the used parts market.

Installation notes

Because OS X Lion is preinstalled on the removable Apple factory SSD, you cannot simply remove that drive and replace it with a new SSD. There are two methods to prepare using a new SSD, I used two USB HDDs to back up and restore the OS. Remember to format the new SSD with the disk utility before you restore the OS. For more details.

OWC Mercury Aura OS X Lion installation instructionshttp://eshop.macsales.com/tech_center/format_2011_air/

Installing the OWC SSD

The installation is quick and easy only taking about 15 minutes or so. All the necessary tools for the job such as Torx and Pentalobe drivers are supplied by OWC with the SSD purchase. Make sure you use a proper container or at least a strip of tape sticky side up to hold onto the tiny Pentalobe screws that secure the MBA bottom cover.

Important links

Information on OWC MacBook Air SSD upgrades.

OWC SSD review at Anandtech.com.

All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2012 Robert OToole. All rights reserved.

How to use an NVMe drive to upgrade your Mac’s SSD

If you’re not able to shell out 1000 or more for a new machine, you can squeeze out a few more years with a storage upgrade for some older MacBook Air or MacBook Pro models. Here’s how to do it.

A new drive and adapter installed

This year, schools are offering in-person or virtual options. No matter which option your school is offering, the best new computer may be a computer that’s new-to-you.

Last year, we purchased a 2015 MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The problem is that 128GB is not large enough to meet the school’s requirements. They want 256GB or greater.

Upgrade MacBook Air

First, you’re going to need to gather the computer and parts. We found the 2015 MacBook Air and a 2017 MacBook Air on Craigslist.

Read from AppleInsider

Both years are essentially the same computer, with a speed bump in CPU MHz. We could have also found a MacBook Pro, but those cost more and weigh more.

change, macbook
  • 2015 or newer MacBook air
  • bootable macOS USB drive to reinstall macOS
  • Sintech NVMe adapter
  • Crucial P1 1TB drive
  • P5 pentalobe screwdriver
  • T5 torx screwdriver

Supported models

The Mac you upgrade doesn’t have to be a MacBook Air. It could also be a MacBook Pro, or Mac mini.

In general, any 2013 to 2017 MacBook Air, 2013 to 2015 MacBook Pro, and 2014 Mac mini can be upgraded, with good results. How can you tell if your computer is compatible with an upgrade? When you click on About this Mac, System Report, the Hardware Overview section has a Model Identifier number that you can use to determine compatibility.

The problem with Standby

When we write, with good results, there is a caveat. 2013-2014 machines treat hibernation differently than 2015 and later machines.

Apple has different power management modes for increasing battery life. One of those can cause a problem for users who upgrade to an NVMe drive in a 2013-2014 machine.

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Some of these machines will kernel panic when attempting to go into standby mode. Standby is where the computer records a snapshot of the current state of your computer to the flash drive, usually after about 3 hours. A Mac on Standby can stay charged for up to 30 days without being plugged in.

The solution is to prevent the computer from going into Standby. Here’s how to do it.

  • Open the Terminal app
  • Type sudo pmset.a standby 0
  • Press Return
  • Quit the Terminal

The computer will still hibernate or sleep, without saving the current state of the computer to the flash drive. You’ll still have battery-life, although maybe not the 30-days-without-charging kind of battery life.

2015 and later machines need no modifications like this at all.

Supported OS

You can run a range of macOS using these NVMe drives:

For the students in our house, we’re going with Mojave. Every app they’re going to use will work fine with Mojave, but your mileage may vary.

At some point in the future, we will likely upgrade the machines to Big Sur, but not until it’s been out for a few point releases.

Supported drives

There are a range of drives available that will work, but unless the Mac has a controller that can take advantage of faster speeds, there’s no benefit to spending more on a faster drive.

While the WD Black SN750 can transfer speeds at a rated 3400 MB/s, it’s not useful if the Mac can’t support those speeds.

The Samsung drives have a history of working after firmware updates have been applied. The problem with firmware updates is that they require a Windows machine to install them. If you’re preparing a computer for a student, this may be outside your comfort level.

The Crucial P1 drives are affordable (1TB for 104) where every other terabyte drive was more money.

Our advice: buy the drive that’s within budget and will meet the needs of your Macintosh and your school’s recommendations.

What you can you do to max things out:

We considered what the machines we had were capable of, and maxed them out based on that.

For example, you could get a 4TB drive. It will be expensive. Practically, we targeted 1TB or fewer.

For a MacBook Air, the maximum speeds of the controller are between 700 and 1500 MB/s. The Retina 15 Mid-2015 MacBook Pro supports 4x lanes PCIe 3.0 speed, and can support 3000 MB/s.

For our MacBook Airs, the Crucial P1 makes sense. If we were upgrading a Retina MacBook Pro 15 from 2015, the WD Black might make more sense.

Even though we chose the slower Crucial drive, it reached 1476 MB/s read and 1323 MB/s write speeds on the MacBook Air. On our stock 2015 MacBook Pro, we get only 529 MB/s read, 482 MB/s write speeds.

The original drive in a 2014 MacBook Pro

It’s worth noting that just because a drive is rated at a high speed it’s possible to achieve less than that speed. For example, We tried the WD Black drive in a computer running Windows, and it reached 2900 MB/s. On macOS on the same computer, it reached 2400 MB/s.

There are a lot of variables, and while we’re doing something not officially supported, it’s still an impressive speed increase over stock drives.

Okay, you’ve convinced me. How’s it done?

You’re taking out the internal drive, and when you do, you won’t have a recovery partition temporarily.

Shut down the computer. Use the Pentalobe P5 to remove the bottom cover of the MacBook. Not all screws are the same length, and it’s important to get each back into the same hole it came out of.

You might take cardboard and poke the screws into the cardboard in orientations similar to the screw holes they came out of. Or you might put strips of double sided tape down and organize them on that. Whichever you do, make sure the screws go into the holes they came out of when you’re done.

The cover will come off easily. On the MacBook Air, we lift at a corner or hinge area working around the sides. There’s a sort of latch at the middle of the sides of the machine, where you’ll feel the cover pop free and lift off.

Removing the original drive

Locate the SSD. In the center of the MacBook Air, there’s a Torx screw holding it down. Unscrew it and remove the drive, setting it aside.

Take the Sintech NGFF to M.2 NVMe adapter, and insert it in place of the original drive. Then, take the new NVMe drive and insert it into the adapter. When everything is aligned, the notch in the end of the NVMe drive will line up with the post the Torx screw came out of. You can reuse it, or use the Philips screw that came with the adapter.

Make sure to align the adapter and drive correctly on the standoff that the Torx screw goes in. This may require some care to insert the adapter and drive fully into their slots.

Put the cover of the computer back on, taking care to replace the screws in the holes they came out of. Normally on Macs, the longest screws go near the hinge area, or near the center of that hinge edge.

The new drive and adapter installed

Insert the USB macOS drive you made earlier. Power on while holding down the Option key. When the list of drives comes up, select the USB drive. The computer will boot to recovery.

Open Disk Utility to format the new SSD drive as GUID partition scheme with macOS journaled file system. Once done, quit Disk Utility and proceed installing macOS.

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The result will be a faster computer than stock configuration, more storage, and the drive will show up in System Report under NVMExpress.

System Report showing success

Squeeze some life out of those storage-constrained MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models

We purchased a 2015 MacBook Air for 280 and a 2017 MacBook Air for 420. Craigslist is subject to availability and haggling, and your willingness to meet strangers wearing face masks with considerable sums of cash.

The Crucial P1 drive was 104.99. The WD Black drive is 134.99. The Sintech NGFF M.2 NVMe adapter is 16.99. You’ll also need a Pentalobe screwdriver to open the computer. An appropriate tool kit is 6.99 making the all in cost about 130 above the cost of your computer.

There’s a lot of life left in second-hand Macs, and upgrading one from just a few years ago is an affordable way to meet or exceed back-to-school computing requirements. The computer will be faster, have more storage, on a budget.

VIDEO: How to give your Mac a significant speed boost in under ten minutes by swapping the factory SSD for OWC’s Aura Pro X2

The affordable Aura Pro X2 flash memory upgrade kits from Other World Computing (OWC) help make your old Mac feel and run like a brand-new model. These performant SSDs consume less power and run cooler than any flash drive drive before. And thanks to our video instructions, you’ll be able to swap factory SSD for an Aura in under ten minutes.

Bringing older Macs to modern specs

Unveiled two months ago in mid-April, these PCI-e drop-in upgrade kits are available for Macs dating back to the models manufactured in 2013. Replacing Apple’s OEM SSD in your machine, these modules have a similar form factor but are a lot cheaper than buying the upgraded storage directly through Apple.

Maxing out at two terabytes, they offer up to 16x more storage of the original drive. Now older Macs can have plenty of storage space to keep your high-resolution photographs, videos, etc.

Even better, you get read speeds up to 3.1 gigabytes per second and write speeds up to 2.3 gigabytes per second—about double the speed of your Mac’s original SSD and on par with Apple’s latest models. With these kinds of speeds, you can edit 4K video comfortably, record podcasts, develop apps and run other resource-intensive tasks on older Macs more comfortably than ever before.

The install process takes just under ten minutes and can be performed by pretty much anyone. Our own Harris Craycraft has swapped the SSD in his mom’s aging four-year-old MacBook Air for a 1TB Aura Pro X2. He shot the whole process so give his video a quick watch to see for yourself just how easy it is to speed up your Mac without breaking the bank.

You get twice the performance versus comparable factory SSDs. These premium NVMe (PCIe 3.1 x4) modules are coupled with advanced SLC caching and instant full-speed write acceleration to yield read speeds up to 3200MB/s and write speeds up to 2400MB/s.

Not only that, but these SSDs manage to consume less power and run cooler than the original drive in your Mac, helping prolong your notebook’s battery life. Starting at 110 and with 1TB/2TB capacities costing 299/699, you can keep your Mac running optimally for years at a fraction of the cost of buying a new model.

How to replace Mac SSD with OWC Aura Pro X2

The Aura Pro X2 upgrade kit includes all the installation tools you’ll need. For a few additional bucks, you can get the kit itself along with an aluminum Envoy Pro PCI-e to USB 3.0 enclosure. What the enclosure enables you to do is repurpose that factory SSD as a fast USB 3 portable drive to do things like transfer files between computers on the go, boot into Windows 10 via Bootcamp with free driver software (or into another operating system), back up your backups, boost your storage even further and what not.

Get the enclosure so you could transfer data from the factory SSD in OWC’s enclosure to your new Aura once the install process is complete. Follow along with iDB as we walk you through removing the original SSD in your Mac and replacing it with a new Aura Pro X2.

1) Shut down your MacBook Air, unplug it from its charger and flip it over.

2) Using the included T5 screwdriver, remove the screws from the back of the computer.

TIP: Be very careful not to lose any of them. Best thing you keep them safe and take notice of the two screws near the hinge that are slightly longer than the others.

3) With the screws off, remove the back cover.

4) Unplug the battery connector from the motherboard.

Your battery connector may look different from Harris’s so be sure to look up your computer model or check OWC’s website for more information.

5) Using the included P5 Pentalobe screwdriver, unscrew the factory SSD.

6) Remove the factory SSD and put it somewhere safely.

7) Connect your Aura Pro X2 and put the screws back in. Be sure to seat the module fully or it won’t be recognized. And don’t forget to remove the plastic strip from the thermal film (if present) at the top of the OWC Aura SSD’s metal heat sink.

8) Plug in the battery connector and reverse your steps to get the back cover back on.

9) Put your old SSD into the aluminum Envoy Pro enclosure that arrived with your kit.

10) With your old SSD installed, plug the external drive into your computer.

11) Turn on your computer while holding Command – Option – R or Shift-Option-Command-R in order to invoke Internet Recovery. Doing so will start up your computer over the Internet because the new drive doesn’t have macOS installed or a Recovery partition to boot from.You should see a spinning globe instead of an Apple logo during Internet Recovery startup.

How To: Replace the SSD in your MacBook Air 13″ (Early 2015)

Depending on your Internet connection, this may take anywhere from a couple of minutes to up to an hour, or longer. Connect your Mac to the power adapter so that it doesn’t run out of juice whilst it’s loading Internet Recovery from Apple’s servers. If the computer won’t start up from Internet Recovery, you will need to reinstall macOS after starting up from another disk or volume, or by using a bootable installer.

12) Choose Restore From Time Machine Backup if you’d like to restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup or Reinstall macOS to have Internet Recovery download and reinstall the Mac operating system from scratch on your newly installed internal OWC drive.

Finally follow onscreen instructions to complete the macOS instal process. For those asking, we also have the instructions for installing OWC’s SSDs into the MacBook Pro models.

The speed boost

I mentioned earlier that the 3200MB/s read speeds and 2400MB/s write speeds give you enough throughput for storage-intensive tasks like editing 4K video. That’s just scratching the surface of what one can expect after giving their computer an Aura Pro X2 boost.

For starters, you’ll notice that the system boots up faster than before. Your Pages document, heavy Photoshop and complex GarageBand projects load faster, too. Video streams are more fluid, games load faster and your computer feels snappier overall. For benchmarking SSD performance, we used the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test which is a pretty standard disk speed tester for macOS available for free from Mac App Store.

Pretty much everything you do on a Mac benefits from a speedy SSD—and that’s especially true for configurations with less than eight gigabytes of RAM. In low-memory situations, the operating system frees up memory by writing out idle sections of the RAM to the SSD. As you multitask and apps go from actively running to being in a suspended state, different RAM sections get written to the SSD and replaced with new code.

Hence—the faster the SSD, the nimbler the system.

My thoughts on Aura Pro X2

The math couldn’t be simpler.

MacBook Air Storage Upgrade from 128GB to 1TB NVMe SSD (Early 2015, Without losing data)

Replacing the factory SSD with a state-of-the-art one is the most affordable way to breathe a new lease of life into your old Mac. OWC’s served Mac users for decades now and they offer some of the fastest, most reliable internal replacement SSDs the money can buy.

To illustrative the point, Apple charges nearly twice as much to get a 2,400 15-inch MacBook Pro from stock 256GB SSD to two terabytes. As a matter of fact, here’s a quick comparison between OWC’s SSD-only upgrades (without enclosures) and Apple’s exorbitant prices.

  • OWC Aura Pro X2 240GB SSD — 120
  • OWC Aura Pro X2 480GB SSD — 180 vs. 400 for Apple’s 128GB → 512GB upgrade.
  • OWC Aura Pro X2 1TB SSD— 300 vs. 800 for Apple’s 128GB → 1TB upgrade.
  • OWC Aura Pro X2 2TB SSD — 700 vs. 1,200 for Apple’s 256GB → 2TB upgrade.

Don’t be talked into spending 1,300-4,000 for a new Mac notebook when a simple DIY upgrade for a fraction of the cost of a new model will keep your old computer running at peak performance for years to come.

OWC Aura Pro X2 SSD highlights

Here are the key benefits of the upgrade kit:

  • High performance for high demands
  • Read speeds up to 3192 megabytes per second (3.1 GB/s)
  • Write speeds up to 2488 megabytes per second (2.3 GB/s)
  • Consumes less power and runs cooler that the original drive
  • Premium NVMe, PCIe 3.1 x4
  • Designed for macOS 10.13 and beyond
  • Supports macOS Catalina and APFS
  • Backed by a 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty

The full technical specifications are listed on OWC’s website.

Pricing and availability

As mentioned, Aura Pro X2 is available with the drive alone or as part of an upgrade kit that comes with an included drive enclosure.

All kits include OWC’c installation tools, a five-year warranty, 24/7 access to their US support team via phone or chat and other perks. Aura Pro X2 is designed for macOS High Sierra 10.13 and beyond. Yes, Aura Pro X2 supports the Apple File System (APFS). And if you optionally trade-in your original, unaltered SSD, OWC will treat you to a rebate.

The Auras are available for these models: MacBook Pro (Retina, late-2013 to mid-2015), MacBook Air (mid-2013 to 2017), Mac Pro (2013) and Mac mini (late-2014). And unlike Apple, OWC lets you upgrade your Mac’s SSD after the fact.

Your thoughts

Have you used OWC’s SSD upgrade kits before?

If so, do not hesitate to share your experience with readers in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев down below.