Use a standard NVMe SSD in 2016 / 2017 MacBook Pro 13″

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NVMe Adater
Sintech NVMe SSD Adapter for MacBook Pro A1708 - Image credit: Sintech.

Using standard M.2 NVMe SSD drives in the 2016 and 2017 A1708 MacBook Pro 13″ is now possible thanks to the release of an adapter from Sintech. While almost every Mac laptop released in the last five years has had a soldered PCI-E SSD, preventing upgrades, one model stood out in having a removable SSD – The A1708 13 inch MacBook Pro from late 2016 and mid 2017. However in typical Apple style, they decided to use a proprietary PCI-e connector instead of the standard M.2 slot used by the rest of the computer industry. This meant that while the SSD was removable and theoretically upgradeable, there was no other drive available to actually replace it with. Until now.

Sintech, the makers of our recommended adapter to use NVMe drives in the 2013 to 2015 MacBook Pro models, have now released an adapter that allows standard NVMe drives to be used on the 13 inch 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros (A1708). Note that these adapters are only compatible with the 13 inch MacBook Pro models from late 2016 and mid 2017 without a touchbar, as they are the only models with a replaceable SSD. The touchbar models from 2016 and 2017, along with the 2018 and later models, have a non-removable soldered SSD.

Another important thing to note is that although these adapters will allow full-size M.2 2280 form factor NVMe drives to work, only smaller M.2 2242 and M.2 2230 form factor drives can actually be screwed into place due to space restrictions on the MacBook Pro motherboard. While M.2 2280 drives will still work, they’d have to be secured using some other method, such as using a piece of tape – not something recommended for long term use.

Fortunately, the excellent Sabrent Rocket NVMe 2242 SSD is now available in a 2242 form factor and works perfectly with this adapter. It’s available in sizes from 512GB up to 2TB and is highly recommended. Read / Write speeds range from 1700/1550MBs on the 512GB model up to 2500/2100MB/s on the 1TB and 2TB drives.