ssd macbook pro touch bar

After seeing in iFixit’s teardown that the base model of the new 2016 MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar had a removable PCIe SSD storage unit, many were excited at the possibility of aftermarket upgrade parts across the new MacBook Pro lineup.

But new images surfacing on the web this week after the first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar units began reaching the hands of buyers are showing that the Touch Bar models don’t follow suit and have SSD storage chips soldered into their logic boards instead.

This is going to come off as a major disappointment to anyone who was looking forward to a company, such as OWC, making aftermarket upgrades for these machines, but it also highlights the importance of picking the right storage option from the get go.

Additionally, it’s surprising that Apple would mix and match by going with the removable PCIe unit in the lower end MacBook Pro and the soldered PCIe-based unit in the higher end MacBook Pro.

The pictures first showed up on an online forum and reveal that there was some protective shielding over the SSD. The brave new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar owner had to remove the shielding to see what kind of SSD was hidden beneath, so you can imagine the suspense leading to the disappointment after this finding.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar SSD and batteries

Although this is the 15-inch model, it’s said from other buyers that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar follows suit, which means only the non-Touch Bar model still has the removable PCIe module.

Apple’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar begins at 256GB of storage, but for where that’s not enough, buyers can opt for factory upgrades up to 2TB when buying their machine online. Bumping the storage up while checking out on Apple’s website adds anywhere from $200-1,200 to the total cost of the machine.

The images also illustrate the relatively small battery cells, which don’t take advantage of every nook and cranny inside the machine as they could. Apple likely reduced the size of the batteries on purpose in order to cut on weight and meet their four-pound goal.

Also read:

Are you upset to see that the SSD in the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can’t be upgraded? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: MacRumors

  • Bugs Bunnay

    That sucks!… Unless you got a reflow station and knows how to reflow stuff 😀

    • Agreed, this means SSD failure equals board failure. No thank you.

  • John Smith

    My mid-2012 Non-Retina MacBook Pro keeps seeming better and better. I’ve maxed the RAM to 16GB and put in a 480GB SDD.

    • Jack Wong

      Kind on the same boat and mine is 2013 Air with 8Gb ram and 512GB SSD.

      But I want retina display…

    • The Afroman

      Same boat. Mid-2012 15 inch – 16gb, 480gb SSD and a 2tb HDD in the Superdrive spot. Looks like it’s last of it’s kind.

    • Jose Rivera

      I traded a Mid-2012 13″ i7 MacBook Pro for a 2015 13″ 2.7GHz 256GB model, and I miss my 2012 to an extent that I could upgrade the ram more easily and same with the drive. I’m not complaining though…

  • 5723alex .

    “new 2016 MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar had a removable PCIe SSD storage unit”…. Which can’t be upgraded anyway due to lack of Apple’s propriety driver support for any SSD except the one installed.

    • techfreak23

      That’s until OWC comes out with after market upgrades for it like they’ve done with every other model of MacBook. It will probably take them a few years like it did for the 2013+ models though.

      • 5723alex .

        They won’t this time as this is the first time Apple developed their own SSD driver.

      • I don’t want to be the one to jump in and say “anything’s possible,” but anything’s possible.

      • techfreak23

        You almost took the words out of my mouth. I was going to say “never say never”

  • mrgerbik

    Yuck – It may take some time for the momentum to slow down, but Apple is going to slowly bleed their buisness to death with moves like this, IMO.


    I hear from Tim that a dongle for that is coming soon!!!

  • mwpitt52

    Just another slap in the face. If you’re thinking about buying the low end 1500.00 model it seems to make more sense to buy the 2015 Macbook Pro 13″ Retina. I put them side by side at Best Buy and the 2016 Macbook Pro was only a thin hair faster. The 2015 has all the ports and does not look like a cheap netbook. Also you get the iconic glowing Apple logo ( which I cannot believe they removed). The 2015 model was listed on Cody’s deals on Ebay for $1030.00. The low end your going to be close to $1600.00 by the time you buy all the new wires or dongles.

  • Rolf Bause

    …Of course it can’t.

  • rubeN

    Apple has completely lost their mind with this $2500+ disposable machine. Guess that’s what happens when you have filthy rich execs that are out of touch.

  • rasslefan

    If you ignore the box of dongles and that you can’t change the RAM or the SSD, just remember that it’s THINNER! Priority #1.

  • Andrieux Querido

    Thaaat Sucks !!!