Upgrading Macbook SSD with Sintech m.2 adapters

By Atomstar on Saturday 14 September 2019 14:16 - Comments (7)
Category: Mac, Views: 2.319

Since storage upgrades are quite expensive for MacBooks, there are third-party adapters that allow using m.2 SSDs on Apple's proprietary connector. Here I describe two of these connectors of Sintech.

Summary: the short Sintech adapter is 1.1mm thinner, which also fits in a 13" MacBookPro12,1, the long version does not fit. For a MacBookPro11,2, both the short and long adapter fit. I don't see a reason to buy the long (or rather: thick) version.

Introduction & limitations

This guide is based on the following sources:Limitations:
  • for <2015 MacBooks hibernate does not work anymore and should be disabled (unless you want to flash the ROM). Normal sleep works fine and on my MBP 2013 this was not a problem.
  • Power usage/battery life might increase, depending on what SSD you buy, see 'Comparison of tested NVME SSD models' on the Macrumors forum

Adapter comparison

Sintech sells two adapters:
  1. Long version: ST-NGFF2013-C: Sintech info, Sintech shop, Amazon.de. Thickness: 4.0mm (4.1mm with tape)
  2. Short version: ST-NGFF2013: Sintech info, Sintech shop, Amazon.de. Thickness: 2.9mm
Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C and ST-NGFF2013Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C and ST-NGFF2013
Sintech long adapter
Sintech ST-NGFF2013 longSintech ST-NGFF2013 long backSintech ST-NGFF2013 long frontSintech ST-NGFF2013 long thickness with tapeSintech ST-NGFF2013 long thickness without tape
Sintech short adapter
Sintech ST-NGFF2013-C shortSintech ST-NGFF2013-C short backSintech ST-NGFF2013-C short frontSintech ST-NGFF2013-C short thickness

Installing m.2 SSD in MacbookPro12,1

Sintech short adapter
Upgrading SSD MacBookPro12,1 1/3Upgrading SSD MacBookPro12,1 2/3Upgrading SSD MacBookPro12,1 3/3Sintech SSD in MacBookPro12,1 side view 1Sintech SSD in MacBookPro12,1 side view 2SSD MacBookPro12,1 top short Sintech adapterSSD MacBookPro12,1 angle short Sintech adapter
Sintech long adapter
SSD MacBookPro12,1 long Sintech adapterSSD MacBookPro12,1 long Sintech adapter side2SSD MacBookPro12,1 long Sintech adapter closed topSSD MacBookPro12,1 long Sintech adapter closed angle

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Comments


By Tweakers user Pepppie, Sunday 15 September 2019 07:37

Nice! Do you have some benchmarks comparing the OEM Apple SSD with the one connected by adapter?

By Tweakers user Theo, Monday 16 September 2019 07:54

What's the difference between this 20 euro adapter and other adapters that cost half and have the same connectors? IN the end it is just a PCB with only two connectors on it. At Ali, Ebay and Amazon similair adapters can be found for less than 10 euro.

So the one milion dollar question: Why go for the expensive adapter as cheaper one also are avalible widely?

By Tweakers user lakemens, Monday 16 September 2019 10:35

COOL! Did not know this one, thanks a bunch!

By Tweakers user BastiaanCM, Monday 16 September 2019 15:14

Could at least mention that depending on the exact model laptop, this may or may not work well. Namely that some macs can't hibernate with a custom SSD, which should be manually disabled at the cost of battery life.

Furthermore not every SSD will work. Depending on the make and model you need either a NVME drive or not. And I think the specific drive's sector size may also make it (in)compatible.

And battery life may be affected.

By Tweakers user Atomstar, Monday 16 September 2019 17:54

Thanks for your feedback!
Pepppie wrote on Sunday 15 September 2019 @ 07:37:
Nice! Do you have some benchmarks comparing the OEM Apple SSD with the one connected by adapter?
It appears speed is limited by the SSD, not the adapter. See Macrumors forum for benchmarks.
Theo wrote on Monday 16 September 2019 @ 07:54:
So the one milion dollar question: Why go for the expensive adapter as cheaper one also are avalible widely?
Sintech works, people have problems with other brands, so I'd rather spend 10e more and go with something that works. Which one did you find and does it work?
BastiaanCM wrote on Monday 16 September 2019 @ 15:14:
Could at least mention that depending on the exact model laptop, this may or may not work well.
Thanks! I've added limitations (and sources) to the post.

By rookie no. 1, Monday 16 September 2019 21:14

Theo wrote on Monday 16 September 2019 @ 07:54:
So the one milion dollar question: Why go for the expensive adapter as cheaper one also are avalible widely?
The question sounds more expensive than a few dollars and if a few dollars are the problem, why buy an Apple?

Most brilliant solution for upgrading (tweaking) your Macbook yourself.

By Tweakers user Yero, Wednesday 18 September 2019 14:06

Interesting! Nice in-depth article, with tests of a lot of model that work, and those that don't.

I've bought a replacement ssd for my MBP 2015 13" in the past - an expensive OWC-model which was supposed to be compatible, but the first one died after two weeks and the second after a few days,

With this adapter and an M2 drive, it at least affordable to give it another try. Thanks! :)

(originally in Dutch)
Interessant! Mooi uitgebreid artikel ook, met tests welke modellen wel en niet werken. Ik heb in het verleden de ssd van mijn MBP 2015 13" al eens vervangen door zo'n duur OWC-model, maar los van de kosten ging deze ook na twee weken kapot. Een vervangend model vervolgens weer.

Met een M2 en deze adapter zijn de kosten in ieder geval een stuk lager. Interessant genoeg om het een keer te proberen. ☺

[Comment edited on Wednesday 18 September 2019 14:12]


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