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My use of the OWC 500GB Aura Pro 6G SSD for my 2013 MacBook Pro (2024)

My thoughts on upgrading my 2013 MacBook Pro with the OWC 500GB Aura Pro 6G SSD for greater performance.
David Miller



November 18, 2023


I recently upgraded my older MacBook Pro (2013) with the OWC Aura Pro 6G SSD and it’s been quite a game changer. The speed and responsiveness of my laptop have improved dramatically, making everything from booting up to running heavy programs so much faster. I did run into a few issues with macOS updates though. More on all of this below.


Property Value Property Value
Digital Storage Capacity 500 GB Connectivity Technology USB
Brand OWC Special Feature Portable
Hard Disk Form Factor 2.5 Inches Hard Disk Description Solid State Drive
Compatible Devices MacBook Pro Retina, 15-inch and 13-inch, Mid 2012 - Early 2013 (MacBookPro10, 1 MacBookPro10, 2) Installation Type Internal Hard Drive
Hard Disk Size 500 GB Read Speed 530 Megabytes Per Second


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Performance boost and experience with upgraded SSD

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Upgrading to the OWC Aura Pro 6G SSD has notably increased my MacBook Pro’s performance. The difference in speed and efficiency was immediate, something I’d like to detail in a practical, experience-based list:

  • The boot time has decreased significantly, giving me a quicker start to my work sessions.

  • Applications launch and run more smoothly, making multitasking a breeze.

  • File transfer speeds are a dream; moving large files doesn’t take half the time it used to.

That said, the upgrade wasn’t without its challenges. While the read and write speeds of up to 530MB/s and 500MB/s, respectively, are a massive improvement from my old drive, it’s worth noting that SSD performance can vary depending on numerous factors, like the file types being transferred and the overall health of the computer. There’s also the consideration that, despite the speed, a 500GB capacity might not be enough for someone with extensive media libraries or large design files.

The 5-year limited warranty that comes with this SSD provided an extra layer of confidence in my purchase. Knowing that OWC stands behind their product for an extended period is reassuring, especially when investing in technology that’s crucial to daily operations.

I appreciate the advanced security protocols, like AES 128/256-bit encryption, since my MacBook Pro holds sensitive personal and work-related data. However, this feature might not be a deal-maker for everyone, depending on their need for security.

Compatibility had to be thoroughly checked before taking the plunge. The SSD fits perfectly with my Mid-2012 - Early 2013 MacBook Pro model, but this might not be the case for all models, and making a mistake here can be frustrating.

Although the option to “Visit the Store” was frequently prompted, I didn’t find it necessary as the installation was straightforward - it was a simple internal drive replacement. However, for someone less confident in their technical skills, such links can provide useful additional resources or access to professional support.

While the financial investment in an older MacBook Pro might seem questionable to some, for me, the balance between cost and benefit tipped favorably. I’ve extended the life of my machine without shelling out for a brand new unit, making this a cost-effective solution for my computing needs.

Embarking on this upgrade journey has given my trusty MacBook Pro a new lease on life and has confirmed the adage that sometimes, an upgrade can be just as good as a new buy.

Compatibility and installation insights

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When it came to upgrading the SSD in my Mid-2012 MacBook Pro, the OWC Aura Pro 6G seemed like a godsend. I was looking for a modern solution to breathe new life into my trusty machine, and this drive seemed to tick all the right boxes. Here’s what stood out to me throughout the process:

  • Speed Improvements: The boost in performance with write speeds up to 500MB/s and read speeds up to 530MB/s was a dramatic improvement from the factory SSD.

  • Compatibility: It fit my MacBookPro10,1 and MacBookPro10,2 models like a glove, with no hiccups in recognition.

  • Security: The support for AES 128/256-bit full-drive encryption provided peace of mind.

  • Warranty: A 5-Year OWC Limited Warranty added a significant level of assurance to the purchase.

Now, despite these highlights, there were a few quirks to be aware of. The OWC drive didn’t seem to handle macOS updates with the same ease as the original Apple drive. For some reason, automatic updates to the latest macOS versions didn’t go as smoothly, which could be a slight inconvenience for those not too tech-savvy.

Installation, on the other hand, was a straightforward affair. It was as simple as remove the old one, insert the new one, and install the OS. Time Machine made the process of transferring data a breeze. And although there’s always the seed of doubt when moving away from factory parts, I found that this internal solid state drive melded seamlessly with the MacBook’s architecture, running the system like new.

Yet, one thing to keep in mind – external conditions, such as exposure to the cold, might affect the drive. Not exactly a dealbreaker, but worth considering where and how you’ll use your upgraded machine.

Would I recommend the OWC Aura Pro 6G to fellow MacBook Pro users looking for an upgrade? Absolutely. But remember, it might not be the cheapest option around. If you’re fine with a bit of manual tinkering when it comes to updates and looking for a considerable boost in your Mac’s performance, it’s an investment that could very well extend the life of your older MacBook Pro. Just be prepared that it may not behave precisely like an Apple-branded SSD in every scenario, which is a small price to pay for keeping a veteran MacBook operating at peak performance.

Long-term viability and value of upgrading an older MacBook Pro

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Upgrading my older MacBook Pro with the OWC Aura Pro 6G SSD was like breathing new life into a seasoned workhorse. When it comes to tech longevity, here are a few crucial aspects:

  • Sustainability: Instead of buying a new laptop, upgrading is a greener choice.

  • Cost Efficiency: The investment significantly lower compared to purchasing a brand new MacBook Pro.

  • Performance: A noticeable improvement in speed and storage.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The main drawbacks include:

  • Compatibility Issues: Not all upgrades go seamlessly; sometimes there are hiccups with system updates.

  • End of Life for Hardware: Older models inevitably reach a point where they will no longer support the latest software.

With these points in mind, the decision to upgrade my MacBook Pro was not taken lightly. The process felt akin to a heart transplant – the core of my machine was getting a fresh start. The 26% faster read speeds and the incredible leap from 256GB to 1TB of storage space were not just numbers but a tangible shift in how I experienced my computer. My work files loaded in a snap and the seamless multitasking had me feeling like I was commanding a spacecraft.

Yet, there are realities one can’t ignore. The world of technology moves at an astronomical pace, and older MacBook Pros have certain limitations. There might come a day when this machine can’t keep up with the software advancements or new peripheral technologies. Will the USB connectivity be enough in a world moving towards USB-C and Thunderbolt? That’s a gamble.

From a value perspective, the 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty adds a sense of security to the purchase. It’s comforting to know there’s a safety net should things go sideways. And the advanced security protocols like AES 128/256-bit encryption ensure my data stays protected.

However, the biggest positive takeaway is the sense of self-sufficiency. There’s a certain pride that comes with performing your own upgrades; it’s empowering and educational. The replacement process was as straightforward as it gets: remove one screw, replace the drive, and voilà – an upgraded machine ready to tackle modern tasks. Plus, the old SSD finds new life in an external enclosure – a bonus storage device for my projects.

In a nutshell, upgrading with the OWC Aura Pro 6G SSD has undoubtedly added years to my MacBook Pro’s lifespan, giving it that “like-new” feel again. Sure, it’s not future-proof, but it is a cost-effective way to delay the need for a new laptop. While not without its potential issues, the pros of upgrading an older MacBook Pro clearly have outweighed the cons for me.

Customer support and troubleshooting experiences

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Navigating the customer support and troubleshooting waters can be a hit or miss experience. When it comes to upgrading a piece of tech as central as a MacBook, solid support is not just nice to have—it’s critical. I can say that dealing with OWC’s customer service turned out to be more reassuring than I expected.

Let’s break down the customer support experience:

  • Accessibility: Reaching out was straightforward. I could get in touch easily, which is important when you’re mid-upgrade and hit a roadblock.

  • Expertise: The tech support clearly knew their stuff, which gave me confidence.

  • Response Time: I wasn’t left hanging. They got back to me quickly, minimizing downtime.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing. As with any tech upgrade, bumps along the road do surface:

  • Troubleshooting Autonomy: The MacBook didn’t play nice with automatic updates using the new SSD. This might be a deal-breaker for those who prioritize seamless integration and minimal fuss.

  • Recognition Differences: There’s a distinct feeling that the MacBook treats the OWC drive differently compared to its own, which can be a tad frustrating.

In conclusion, despite a few hiccups, the OWC Aura Pro 6G SSD upgrades offer more positives than negatives. The customer service was a lifeline when the update process didn’t go as smoothly with the new drive. It’s clear that, while not always perfect, purchasing from a company that offers robust customer support can be the difference between a successful upgrade and a tech nightmare.

Support experiences can really make or break the upgrade journey. Personally, despite some drawbacks, the leap in performance and the feeling of giving a new lease of life to my beloved MacBook made it all worthwhile. The OWC drive may require a bit more legwork to get updates rolling, but it breathes new power into an older machine, and that in itself is a valuable gain. The key takeaway here is that solid customer support can ease the integration of third-party components into a system as closed-off as Apple’s, ensuring your old faithful can stay in the race a bit longer.