How To Upgrade Your MacBook Pro Retina?

How To Upgrade Your MacBook Pro Retina

Upgrade your MacBook Pro Retina to make it faster and more powerful. Read on for detailed explanations on how to do these easy steps to get the maximum performance out of your device.

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3″ with Retina Display, M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 16GB Memory, 2TB SSD

Step 1: Upgrade the RAM

First, upgrade RAM up to 16GB and create a bootable installer from or run the Memory Test from the Apple Tools app to determine what type of RAM you need. Be sure not to install any excess memory until you are confident you have enough compatible slots for the amount of memory you’ve just added.

Step 2: Upgrade the Hard Drive

Upgrading to an SSD will make your system boot in milliseconds and speed up your daily functions. You can upgrade the hard drive from a bare drive to an HDD or SSD in 2 easy steps:

1. Upgrade your storage with a faster, 500GB or higher, 7200 RPM hard drive (or faster) and a SATA cable. If you think the internal drive is not spinning fast enough, try putting a bigger (up to 200GB) SSD in place of the standard HDD. That will speed it up right away and save one tool! Please follow step 3 to upgrade directly if you have an iMac. For the MacBook Pro Retina, you will have to purchase a new SSD, which is then installed by inserting it sideways into the mounting bracket on the right side of your laptop. It is not as easy as replacing a standard SATA HDD with an SSD, and therefore, I would suggest NOT doing this.

2. Upgrade storage with an adapter cable that allows you to connect a SATA hard drive or SSD to a MacBook Pro Retina (late 2013). You can either use the Apple (“Gen 2”) SATA adapter cable or the WD, Sandisk, Toshiba, or Samsung adapter cable. These cards come in 3 different speeds: 

  1. 7200 RPM, 
  2. 5400 RPM 
  3. 5000 RPM. 

These adapters come in 2 or 3 different lengths: 

  1. 7mm, 9.5mm, 15mm and 
  2. 12.5 mm or 25 mm. 

To fit these drives, you may have to remove the drive cage, which will allow you to use a smaller adapter card or an SSD that is 9.5 mm thick.

3. Upgrade storage with a Thunderbolt-to-SATA converter, which can connect a SATA hard drive or SDD to any Mac with a Thunderbolt port, such as an iMac, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro Retina, with Retina Display. This adapter works with existing hard drives and SSDs, and you will be able to utilize the speed benefits of SATA III fully.

The last two upgrades are the fastest ways to upgrade your laptop’s drive, requiring purchasing other products outside of Apple. To maximize your system’s performance, go with the adapter cable and a converter if you have an option between an adapter cable.

The best time for this upgrade is when you have a free slot available on your laptop (buy an extra RAM card same time!) so that it won’t be cluttered with unneeded parts.

Step 3: Upgrade Hard Drive to an SSHD

The last thing to upgrade is the spinning hard drive with an SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive). This is an excellent alternative to a rotating hard drive since it performs precisely what it promises. This will increase your system’s speed immensely than a spinning hard drive. Again, you can either install this yourself or use a specialized company.

Step 4: Clean up

Next, clean out all vents with compressed air and check all vents for any dust buildup. Because of the heat, any connections that aren’t fully linked or securely secured may fail and short out. An easy way to clean these connections is to use an Apple screwdriver and long needle-nose pliers.

Clear out your junk apps in the Applications folder to make your MacBook run faster and more stable.

Step 5: Software Upgrade

Finally, you’ll need to get the latest software for your MacBook Pro Retina by setting updates from the Mac App Store. Then, go to ‘Software Updates’ on your Mac’s menu bar to check for new updates. Afterward, reboot your computer and enjoy the improved performance of your computer.

These steps are the simplest and easiest way to upgrade your MacBook Pro Retina. I recommend buying a third-party hard drive or SSD for better performance and speed. If you do not need the storage in your laptop, I suggest purchasing an external hard drive as it will be cheaper and have more storage space for other things. I don’t recommend an SSD yet because they are much more expensive than a standard hard drive. If you decide to buy an SSD, get an adapter cable for your MacBook Pro Retina.

Apple’s engineering is terrific for their products, and if you follow the instructions above, your MacBook Pro Retina will be fast and efficient like a pro!

Can the Mac Pro be upgraded after purchase?

The Mac Pro can be upgraded in various ways without getting rid of your existing Mac Pro. One such upgrade is to replace the standard hard drive with a larger capacity one, while others include replacing the graphics card and upgrading RAM chips. You can also purchase a new processor separately if you are unhappy with your current CPU bottlenecking performance.

Hard Drive:

With the Mac Pro, you have a variety of hard drive options. First, you can upgrade your factory-installed hard drive to another factory-installed hard drive. This is a great way to boost your storage space by choosing a larger-capacity HDD over the standard 500GB one. The standard HDD has a 3Gb/s SATA interface and a storage capacity of up to 3TB (terabyte). In contrast, the new ones have an upgradeable 4Gb/s SATA interface and a capacity of up to 6TB.

If you want to install your hard drive or use an existing one, there are two ways to do that: 

  • By using an internal SuperDrive bay equipped with 2 x 5.25″ bays.
  • Installing the drive externally. 

The first method is the easiest, and you can do it as follows:

Buy your desired hard drive from a third party or the Apple Store with your Mac Pro already installed. 

  • First, remove any internal hard drives from the system. Then, install your new hard drive and use an external enclosure if you are using one to connect to USB 2.0 or FireWire (IEEE1394) and install the OS X operating system. With a direct connection, standard Firewire 800 GB 7200rpm, you can connect hard drives to a 3Gb/s SATA PCI Express card (40pin) to get maximum performance of 150MB/s while connected via USB 2.0 (480MB/s). 
  • The second method is to install the hard drive externally, with it connected to a standard 3Gb/s SATA PCI Express card. You can purchase an external enclosure from third parties or an Apple Store near your location, and many enclosures are compatible with the Mac Pro. Use an adapter that provides a USB 2.0 or FireWire (IEEE1394) connection, depending on how you plan to use it. Some third-party enclosures feature upgraded SATA controllers and power supplies and can be used as internal drive enclosures. They don’t use any additional power outlet around the computer case.

Graphics Card:

The next step you can take to improve your Mac Pro is to upgrade the graphics card. It’s a good idea to upgrade the graphics card in your Mac Pro, as it will allow you to start with a more powerful system right out of the box. It’s also advisable that you update to the latest version of OS X and applications, as they are dependent on proper graphics capability. For example, Final Cut Pro 7 requires OpenGL 2.0 support and can use up to 24GB of RAM; iPhoto 5 requires hardware support for OpenGL 3.2 and hardware acceleration for video effects (8 cores required).

A few different models of the ATI Radeon HD 5800 and NVIDIA GeForce 8800 graphics cards are available. You will need to purchase the most recent OS and software when upgrading your card, as they also require the latest drivers available.

You can purchase the cards at an Apple Store near your location. Go to the Hardware-Pro overview page to see more details on purchasing, testing, and software installation instructions for your specific computer. 

Below are a few cards that you can use in your Mac Pro, along with their compatibility and price:

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Is no stranger to technical writing after spending years in Networking, IT Infrastructure management, and online content marketing. He is an avid researcher, Software and apps dev tester who spends hours solving problems behind the scenes. Get in touch with him via social media and you can email him via

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