The 8 Best SSDs To Buy for MacBook Pro in 2018

Update your Apple device for less

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Give your MacBook Pro a refresh with a new solid-state disk drive (SSD). Instead of spending a small fortune buying a new machine, consider replacing the hard drive disk with an SSD for faster performance, more storage space, and fewer crashes. When it comes to performance, SSDs are more responsive. SSDs will also dramatically shorten the time it takes to save or copy data compared to using a traditional hard drive, plus they operate more quietly.

Intimidated at the idea of replacing a crucial component of your MacBook Pro? Don’t be, it’s easier than you may think to replace the hard drive disk on your MacBook Pro. You only have to remove a couple of screws; even a novice can handle it with the right instructions. Or, if you want to make it even simpler, you can also choose an external SSD to upgrade your system. The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for an SSD is to check your MacBook Pro first to determine whether you have a PCIe or SATA SSD controller before choosing an SSD. Our list below includes great choices for either type of SSD controller. If your interest in SSDs has been piqued, read on for our best picks.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall SATA SSD: SanDisk SSD PLUS 480GB

SanDisk SSD PLUS 480GB

Courtesy of Amazon

If you have an older MacBook Pro and are looking for ways to speed up its operation and gain more storage space, the SanDisk SSD Plus 480GB drive might be what you are looking for. Using the SATA Revision 3.0 interface, this SSD is supported by MacBook Pros made in 2011 or 2012, but if your device was made earlier you still may be able to update your laptop with it as long is uses SATA 1.0 or 2.0. And let's be real: It’s definitely more cost-effective to try to update your MacBook Pro with this SSD instead of upgrading to a new device. It has a capacity of 480GB – plenty of room for all your personal files, photos, and even videos. Plus, this SSD enables to you save data quickly and retrieve it even more quickly — up to 20 times faster than your old hard drive — thanks to a 535MB/s sequential read speed and a 445MB/s sequential write speed. With cool, quiet operation and a generous battery life, this SanDisk SSD may transform your older MacBook Pro into the device of your dreams. 

Best Budget-Friendly Option: Samsung 860 EVO 250GB

The Samsung 860 EVO 250GB is a budget-friendly option for those looking to speed up operation of their MacBook Pro devices made in 2012 or earlier. It has a SATA 3.0 connection interface and impressive read and write speeds (520 MB/s and 550 MB/s) for dramatically improved device performance. At 250GB, this isn’t the largest SSD on our list, but that’s still plenty of space for the average Mac user, even if you love taking high-definition photos and videos. Does your laptop take forever to startup? This SSD will change that. Are your apps, games, and other programs sluggish and slow to open? Get a fresh start with this affordable SSD. Even when multitasking, you’ll be impressed by how responsive your MacBook Pro will be. Plus, this SSD is guaranteed to be long-lasting, with an estimated reliability of 1.5 million hours. That’s a lot of computing time – and time you’ll be able to use more effectively thanks to your speedier device.

Best Storage Upgrade for the Price: WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB

If you never want to run out of storage space again, check out the WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB SSD. This SSD adds a huge 1TB of storage space to your MacBook Pro, enough to save over two million average-sized photos. This SSD is compatible with Macs that have SATA controllers and uses the SATA 6.0 GB/s interface. It also offers very good performance thanks to a sequential read speed of up to 560 MB/s and a sequential write speed up to 530 MB/s. You may also notice improved battery life since this SSD boasts an active power draw up to 25 percent lower than previous generations of SSDs. Plus, the manufacturer offers free downloadable software to monitor the status of your drive as well as a five-year warranty for this SSD, so you can buy confidently knowing you’ve opted for a product with good reliability and a long useful life. 

Fastest SATA SSD: Transcend 480GB JetDrive

If you have a MacBook Pro made between 2013 and 2016 that could use some upgrades, check out the Transcend 480GB JetDrive. Compatible devices include the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Retina, Mac Mini and Mac Pro. This SSD uses the advanced PCIe Gen 3 x 2 interface designed to provide speedy data transfer. This JetDrive SSD really lives up to its name; check out the incredible read/write speeds that you can achieve with this SSD – 950MB/s for each thanks to the 3D NAND flash technology that this SSD uses. This SSD also comes with a JetDrive toolbox that makes it very easy to monitor things like the health status of the drive and firmware updates. Upgrading your Mac with a Transcend JetDrive 820 allows you to easily increase storage capacity, ensuring you have plenty of space for your documents, photos, music, and videos.

Best Overall PCle SSD: OWC 1.0TB Aura SSD Flash

If you are a Mac lover through and through, we recommend the OWC 1.0TB Aura SSD Flash. Aura PCle-based flash storage upgrades are engineered just for Macs, making it easy to upgrade. In fact, this SSD was the first upgrade available for mid-2013 and later MacBook Pros with Retina display and MacBook Air laptops. This flash-based storage upgrade offers very fast read and write speeds of up to 726MB/s, leading to improved performance, faster boot-up times, and less lag when using large programs or gaming. Worried about how to transfer data between your original hard drive and your new speedy SSD? This product makes it easy thanks to the included Envoy Pro enclosure that fits both drives. This SSD has a total capacity of 1TB with 960GB usable space whereas 64GB is allocated to error correction and real-time data redundancy. Plus, thanks to the included enclosure, you can still use your initial hard drive as an external drive.

Best Value SATA SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB

As the newest edition of one of the world's top-selling SATA SSD series, the Samsung 860 EVO is specially designed to enhance the performance of existing laptops like your MacBook Pro. This SSD is compatible with SATA 3 GB/s and SATA 1.5 GB/s interfaces, making it useful for upgrading many aging MacBook Pros. With the latest V-NAND technology, this fast and reliable SSD comes in a wide range of compatible form factors and capacities. It boasts consistent speeds even when multitasking or under heavy workloads. Using the mSATA interface, the 860 EVO performs at sequential read speeds up to 550 MB/s with Samsung’s Intelligent TurboWrite technology, and sequential write speeds up to 520 MB/s for fast file transfers and improved performance. For this version of the EVO SSD, the TurboWrite buffer size has been upgraded from 12 GB to 78 GB. Thanks to the included five-year warranty on each SSD, you can see that the makers are sure about its durability. 

Best Splurge: G-Technology 0G06054 2TB G-Drive Mobile SSD

G-Technology is not one of the best-known brands on the market, but this SSD is a splurge-worthy option for upgrading your MacBook Pro if you really want to transform your device. It gives you a massive 2TB of storage space, enough for millions of high-definition photos. It’s also a great choice if you are concerned about wear and tear, since this SSD is one of the toughest on the market. The G-Drive Mobile is certified to IP67, meaning it can be submerged in water at a depth of one meter with no ill effects. The G-Technology G-Drive Mobile's impact and tensile strength are better than many comparable SSDs – it’s drop-tested to three meters and can take 1,000 pounds of pressure without breaking. Short USB-C and USB-A (full-size USB) cables are included, letting you plug the G-Drive Mobile into any MacBook or iMac. As a bonus, the drive also comes ready-formatted just for macOS, making it easier to transfer files from your old hard drive to your new one.  

Best External SSD: Seagate Fast SSD 250GB External SSD

If you are interested in an external hard drive rather than changing out the hard drive that came you’re your MacBook Pro, the Seagate Fast SSD is one of the best options on the market. This stylish, sophisticated piece of machinery simply hooks up with your MacBook Pro using a USB-interface, making it easy to use and transport. It looks great with its silvery dark gray plastic and aluminum exterior (and complements the styling of the MacBook Pro very well also), plus it’s quite portable at only nine millimeters thick. There is a status-indicator LED on one edge for easy viewing, and a USB-C connector on the drive since this SSD uses a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface. Cables with USB-C and USB-A (standard USB) terminals are included in the box. This SSD, while not the fastest on our list, is still pretty speedy with read speeds of 528MB/s and write speeds of 478MB/s. Plus, if you love photography this SSD comes with a two-month free trial to Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography plan as a bonus.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular SSDs for MacBook Pros on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 26 different SSDs overall, screened options from 12 different brands and manufacturers, read over 120 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the SSDs themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.