Apple MacBook Pro Upgrades

Apple pitches the MacBook Pro as the laptop that can be used for real work. Generally, the Pro MacBook has the best processor in the line-up, the screen is great and it comes with a decent amount of storage space. They would like you to buy a new MacBook Pro roughly every 3 years, but you don’t have to. By upgrading an existing MacBook Pro you can make it much faster than it originally was, and get more years from it. With the current prices of Apple’s MacBook Pro line being well over the £1,000 mark, it makes a lot more sense to do an upgrade.

RAM Upgrades

There are two types of "memory" in a computer, RAM and drive storage. Without getting too technical, RAM gives your computer a high-speed temporary work space. It’s where apps and data live while you are actively using them. If you have more RAM it means that your MacBook Pro will normally feel faster as you are using apps, especially if you are opening multiple apps, or web browser tabs, at the same time.

The minimum amount of RAM that Apple puts into a MacBook Pro now is 8GB. Up to very recently (October 2016), Apple did sell a MacBook with just 4GB, but I would say that if you have less than 8GB you will see a performance boost from increasing your RAM.

Apple have made several different versions of the MacBook Pro, so to see if there are compatible upgrades for your Mac, just refer to the table below. Note that if you wish to find out a bit more about how much memory your MacBook Pro currently has, and whether you’re using a lot of that up during everyday tasks, you can check our free guide here


MacBook Pro RAM Upgrades


  1. A picture of an apple MacBook Pro from 2010

    MacBook Pro (2008 2010)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes
    Maximum Capacity: 
    8GB
    Repair time: 
    60 minutes
  2. a picture showing an Apple MacBook Pro from 2012

    MacBook Pro (2011 2012)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes
    Maximum Capacity: 
    16GB
    Repair time: 
    60 minutes
  3. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2012

    Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2012)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes, but with some caveats.
    *
    Maximum Capacity: 
    16GB
    Repair time: 
    13 days
  4. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2013

    Retina MacBook Pro (2013)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes, but with some caveats.
    *
    Maximum Capacity: 
    16GB
  5. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2014

    Retina MacBook Pro (2014)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes, but with some caveats.
    *
    Maximum Capacity: 
    16GB
  6. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2015

    Retina MacBook Pro (2015)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes, but with some caveats.
    *
    Maximum Capacity: 
    16GB
  7. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2016

    Retina MacBook Pro (2016)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes, but with some caveats.
    *
    Maximum Capacity: 
    16GB
  8. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from 2016

    MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2016)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    No
  9. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2017

    Retina MacBook Pro (2017)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    Yes, but with some caveats.
    *
    Maximum Capacity: 
    16GB
  10. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from 2017

    MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2017)

    Memory Upgradeable: 
    No
*Increasing RAM on Retina MacBooks Pro.

Upgrading the memory on some models of MacBook is a bit more complicated. When Apple started to design the MacBook Air they realised that if they soldered the RAM memory chips to the main board (called the Logic Board) they could save a lot of space. Since then Apple has started to solder more and more RAM onto the Logic Board of all their MacBooks, including the MacBook Pro. This doesn’t necessarily give any performance benefits, but it does allow the laptop to be thinner. Of course, having the RAM soldered to the Logic Board does mean that it can’t be upgraded, but if you’re serious about getting better performance from your existing Mac, we can help.

These kinds of upgrades cost a bit more than a standard memory upgrade, since we’re changing the Main Logic Board, memory and processor inside (yes, that’s soldered on too). However, the upgrade will still be a fraction of the cost of a new MacBook Pro. Get in touch using our contact form below if you’d like a quote. Please try to include the serial number of your MacBook too.


Storage Upgrades

Fusion Drives and Flash Storage

If RAM is for storing apps and data when they are in use, the “hard drive” in your MacBook Pro is for storing everything permanently. It stores all your pictures, emails, apps and any other data. I say “hard drive”, but the more modern technology is a “solid state drive” or “flash drive” in Apple parlance.

If your MacBook is from 2008 Mid 2012, it will almost certainly have a mechanical hard drive inside, and that’s probably the slowest part in your computer right now. We can upgrade this type of MacBook with a Flash Drive, and you will see a huge performance difference. Your Mac will start up much faster, apps will load quicker and just generally, your computer will feel a lot more responsive.

If you have a Retina MacBook Pro from Late 2012 onwards, it will have a Flash Drive already. However, if you’re running a bit low on storage space, we can upgrade that to something bigger. The type of Flash Drive Apple uses for the Retina MacBook Pro is unique, so it cannot be upgraded with a normal SSD you can buy in a shop. It must be a Flash Drive which is certified for your Apple product. In addition to looking very different, these Flash Drives also include error checking and hardware encryption making them very valuable.

Installing a PCI express Flash Drive into a Retina MacBook Pro
Installing a bigger PCIe “blade” Flash Drive into a Retina MacBook Pro

Why not just keep the same size?

It may be that your current hard drive is nearly at full capacity, and simply swapping over to a Flash Drive at the same size won’t help. It could be that you don’t use all the space on your hard drive, and never will, and therefore buying a Flash Drive of the same size would be a waste of money. That’s the thing about Flash Drives; they cost more than hard drives. They are cheaper than ever before, and definitely represent the best value performance boost for an MacBook Pro, but if you needed a 512GB or a 1TB Flash Drive, it is definitely still an expensive upgrade.

What are Fusion Drives?

If you do have a lot of data, 1TB or more, and don’t want to invest in a flash drive of that capacity, there are still options for you. We can fit a Fusion Drive into certain MacBook Pro models. This is a combination of hard drive and flash drive, which macOS is able to use as one single drive. It typically gives a boost of 3.5x performance when working on large files. Even just starting your Mac should be a lot faster, maybe even twice as fast.

Drive technology comparisons

Small Files — MB per second

Read or write Megabytes per second
Flash Drive
Write Speed 208 MB/s
Read speed 140 MB/s
Fusion Drive
Write speed 127 MB/s
Read speed 129 MB/s
Hard Drive
Write speed 38 MB/s
Read speed 25 MB/s

Large Files — 1GB & more

Read or write Megabytes per second
Flash Drive
Write Speed 440 MB/s
Read speed 477 MB/s
Fusion Drive
Write speed 325 MB/s
Read speed 482 MB/s
Hard Drive
Write speed 173 MB/s
Read speed 174 MB/s

MacBook Pro storage upgrades


  1. A picture of an apple MacBook Pro from 2011

    MacBook Pro (2008 2011)

    Bigger Hard Drive: 
    Yes
    Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    Yes
    Max Storage drives: 
    2
  2. a picture showing an Apple MacBook Pro from 2012

    MacBook Pro (Mid 2012)

    Bigger Hard Drive: 
    Yes
    Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    Yes
    Max Storage drives: 
    2
  3. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2012

    Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2012)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    No
    Max Storage drives: 
    1
    Max Capacity: 
    1TB
  4. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2013

    Retina MacBook Pro (2013)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    No
    Max Storage drives: 
    1
    Max Capacity: 
    1TB
  5. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2014

    Retina MacBook Pro (2014)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    No
    Max Storage drives: 
    1
    Max Capacity: 
    1TB
  6. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2015

    Retina MacBook Pro (2015)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    No
    Max Storage drives: 
    1
    Max Capacity: 
    1TB
  7. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2016

    Retina MacBook Pro (2016)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    No
    Max Storage drives: 
    1
    Max Capacity: 
    2TB
  8. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from 2016

    MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2016)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    No
    Fusion Drive: 
    No
  9. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro from 2017

    Retina MacBook Pro (2017)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    Yes
    Fusion Drive: 
    No
    Max Storage drives: 
    1
    Max Capacity: 
    2TB
  10. a picture showing a Retina Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from 2017

    MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2017)

    Bigger Flash Drive: 
    No
    Fusion Drive: 
    No

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