Apple Compatible SSD Drives

Apple Compatible Solid-State Drive Upgrades

Shopping for the best SSD for Mac? Internal or external, there's a great range of SSD upgrades you can perform on your Macintosh desktop or MacBook laptop to bring it up-to-speed with high-performance storage.

Mac Compatible SATA SSD's

For upgrading many legacy Mac's and MacBooks, a very affordable off-the-shelf 2.5" laptop-size 6Gbps SATA III SSD is the right choice. When used with a 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter, sled, or tray it's also the right choice for older Mac Pro towers and iMac computers which used full-size 3.5 inch drives. They're also ideal for building a DIY external SSD Macintosh backup drive with a low-cost USB or Thunderbolt enclosure.

#1 Choice: 2.5" Samsung SATA SSD For Mac

Delivers Peak Read / Write SSD Performance

Mac Compatible SATA & NVMe PCIe SSD Blades

For upgrades inside your Mac, you need CUSTOM PINOUT Apple compatible SSD modules. Companies like OWC, Fledging, MCE Technologies, and Dataram make Mac-specific SSD blades appropriate for your particular model/year of Macintosh laptop or desktop.

Custom Apple M.2 PCIe SSD

For 2013-2016 Macs

For Apple users with modern Thunderbolt 3 equipped Macs, you can build your own SSD backup drive using standard pinout ultra-fast NVMe PCIe SSD modules and either a very affordable 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 USB-C enclosure or a costlier 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 drive case designed to hold standard M.2 form-factor solid-state modules. We reccomend the Western Digital Black or a Crucial P1 Series SSD blade.

For New Macs with USB-C Thunderbolt3 Ports

Enclosure For M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Blades

MacBook Compatible SSD's

From the original white MacBooks and early MacBook Pro's through around 2012, a standard 2.5" SATA SSD was generally an easy upgrade. As with other Mac's, solid-state modules supplanted standard drive form factors, first with custom M.2 SATA and then as by 2014, custom pinout PCIe NVME SSD modules. Adapters are available to convert a standard M.2 SSD blade to Apple's custom pinouts if needed, but it's best to buy direct replacements from OWC, Transcend, or Fledging who make Apple compatible modules.

MacBook Pro - Air SSD Upgrade Kits

May Be SATA or PCIe Modules Depending On Model

The compatible MacBook Air SDD timeline is most complex. As the 1st Macs to feature solid-state storage, it has transitioned from 1.8" ATA-IDE to 1.8" SATA I, then II, then III, then onto custom-pinout M.2 SATA modules, to the more recent M.2 PCIe modules.

iMac Compatible SSD's

White Plastic iMac's - both G5 and Intel used full-size 3.5" SATA interface drives. Thick bodied Aluminum iMac's used full-size SATA drives as well. However with the ultra-Slim Aluminum iMac, Apple moved towards 2.5" laptop size SATA hard drives with (optionally) a custom SATA SSD module. We recommend complete iMac drive upgrade kits specific to your model with the proper tools and other things needed to safely complete the drive swap.

Drive Upgrade Kit For iMac Desktops

Complete SSD Drive Swap Kits

Mac mini Compatible SSD's

For Intel CPU based Mac minis, a 2.5 inch SATA SSD III is generally the right choice, for older white G4 Mac mini's you want an IDE-ATA interface 2.5" laptop size drive for upgrading.

#1 Choice! Ultra Fast SATA III SSD for Mac Minii

Peak 560/530 MB/s Sequential Speeds

Mac Pro Compatible SSD's

The Mac Pro cylinder models use a custom pinout PCIe SSD module. There are a few aftermarket Apple compatible SSD upgrade options. OWC/MacSales is your best bet, followed by MCE which supplies larger, factory original Apple PCIe modules in larger capacities than your Mac Pro came with.

The Aluminum Mac Pro Towers offer two solid-state drive upgrade options. One is to use a readily available drive tray/adapter to convert an off the shelf SATA SSD to 3.5" drive bay. Another option is the use of a PCIe SSD card in one of the slots which can typicially support either 1 or 2 2.5" SATA SSD drives, or more recent ones that support M.2 SATA or even PCIe SSD modules.

Mac Compatible ATA-IDE SSD's

Even for much older G3 and G4 Macintosh models there are a few 2.5" PATA-IDE solid-state drives that can be a drop-in replacement for legacy Mac Mini and iBooks.

Transcend Best SSD For Mac Vintage G3/G4

64GB ATA-IDE Interface Solid-State Drive

*** With an adapter, some can be retrofitted to tuck an IDE SSD into an iMac or other full-size Macintosh 3.5" drive bay common at the time.

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SSD's And Apple Compatibility

Regardless of it's form factor, an SSD drive or module is a platform agnostic device. When formatted for the proper operating system, be it MacOS, Windows, Linux or other OS, it will perform as optimally as it can. Apple owners will most likely need to reformat a new SSD to the proper GUID or Extended formatting and partitioning depending on your Mac model and version of OSX.

Top Mac Compatible Internal SSD Manufacturers

Notable companies who make Apple compatible internal SSD blades, modules and drives start with Samsung as the performance leader of the pack. Other venerable solid-state flash memory brands of note include Toshiba / OCZ, SanDisk, AData, Silicon Power, Transcend International, WD-Western Digital and Patriot.

Mac Compatible External SSD Drive Companies

For off-the-shelf Apple friendly SSD data backup drives, look to brands such as Akitio, LaCie, Western Digital, OWC, CalDigit and others offering ultra-high performance flash memory based data storage hardware for Macintosh computers.