Apple MacBook Pro Upgrade Kits for HDD, SSD and Memory

Other World Computing announced various do-it-yourself kits that allow users to safely trick out the new MacBook Pros with more memory and storage for blazing performance.

Other World Computing has put together "do-it-yourself" kits to upgrade memory and storage for Apple's new MacBook Pro computers.

Kits are available for the new MacBook Pro 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models, Other World Computing said Mar. 1. There are kits to upgrade memory, to swap in higher capacity solid-state drives and to install higher-speed hard-disk drives, the company said.

Apple updated its MacBook Pro lineup on Feb. 24 with Intel's faster, second-generation core "Sandy Bridge" processors, AMD Radeon graphics, high-definition FaceTime cameras and Intel's new Thunderbolt connectivity technology. The Thunderbolt technology, formerly known as Light Peak, allows computers to connect to peripherals 12 times faster than a FireWire 800, and 20 times faster than a USB 2.0 connection, according to Apple. The new MacBook Pros are twice as fast as their predecessors and are the greenest notebooks, according to Apple.

The hard-disk drive kits come in storage sizes of 750GB and 1TB, and are priced at $124.99 and $122.99, respectively. The 750GB disk is a 7,200-rpm drive, OWC said. The Mercury Extreme Pro solid-state drive kits begin at $114.99 and have storage capacities that go up to 480GB. OWC said the kits are generally available online.

"We pride ourselves in offering new Mac owners more performance and expanded choices, compared to factory-available," said Larry O'Connor, founder and CEO of Other World Computing.

The company claimed the 750GB kit offered 50 percent more storage capacity and a faster drive at a cheaper price than what was available from Apple. Users would get either a 500GB 7,200-rpm drive from the factory, or upgrade for $150 to a 750GB 5,400-rpm drive, OWC said.

The company also said its 1TB kit offered more storage than Apple's biggest option and its SSD kit was about half the price of what Apple offered.

Apple announced 13-inch MacBook Pro notebooks with a 320GB hard drive or a 500GB hard drive, while the 15-inch model comes with either 500GB or 750GB. The 17-inch notebook by default comes with 750GB hard drive.

The storage upgrade kits provide all the necessary tools required for easy installation and data transfer. There are also steps on how to continue using the original drive as an additional external drive with the provided enclosure or as a backup drive using Time Machine.

The memory kits upgrade the MacBook Pros from 4GB of memory to either 6GB or 8GB of memory. The new MacBook Pros have two memory slots and currently ship with two 2GB memory cards installed for a total of 4GB memory, OWC said. The 6GB kit, priced at $59.99, contains a single 4GB memory chip that will be swapped with one of the 2GB modules, OWC said. The 8GB kit, priced at $114.99, contains two 4GB memory chips to replace the existing memory.

The kits come with DDR3 1,333MHz memory chips, matching Apple's specifications.

OWC also offers a trade-in program in which users can send in unneeded Apple memory for discounts on the memory upgrade kits. The discounted prices are $46.99 for the single 4GB memory and $89.99 for the two 4GB modules, OWC said.

OWC also offers optical bay upgrade kits.