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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

OWC Aura Pro X2 PCIe-based flash storage upgrade

June 14th, 2019, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

The OWC Aura Pro X2 is the latest flash storage upgrade for certain models of Mac from 2013 to 2017.

GRAPH LEGEND
Aura Pro X2 2TB - OWC Aura Pro X2 2TB NVMe PCIe 3.1 x4 flash 'blade' with Apple compatible connector
Aura Pro X2 1TB - OWC Aura Pro X2 1TB NVMe PCIe 3.1 x4 flash 'blade' with Apple compatible connector
Aura Pro X - OWC Aura Pro X 1TB NVMe PCIe-based flash 'blade' with Apple compatible connector
Original - Apple factory 256G PCIe-based flash storage that originally shipped with the 2015 MacBook Pro.

TEST MULE: MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) 2.2GHz Core i7, 16GB of 1600 MHz DDR2 memory

LARGE SEQUENTIAL
We used AJA System Test to benchmark file level sequential transfer speed using a 16GB test file. HIGHER number in megabytes per second = FASTEST

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
By upgrading your PCIe-based flash storage with the OWC Aura Pro X2, you can see up to a 59% increase in Large Sequential READ speeds and 98% increase in Large Sequential WRITE speeds.

This is good news for owners of these models of Mac:
Late 2013 to 2015 MacBook Pro 13-inch and 15-inch
Mid 2013 - 2017 MacBook Air
Late 2014 Mac mini

It also is compatible with the Late 2013 Mac Pro 'Turbo Tube' although its 5.0 GT/s Link Speed limits the top speed to around 1500MB/s. That's a lot faster than the original 2013 factory PCIe-based flash storage modules which topped out at 1000MB/s.

You don't need to throw away your old PCIe flash storage. You can always order the Aura Pro X2 bundled with the Envoy Pro bus-powered enclosure and use it for backup or archiving.

The Aura Pro X2 can also be used as fast external storage. We installed it on an Apple compatible PCIe carrier board and mounted it in the AKiTiO Node Lite Thunderbolt 3 PCIe box. When plugged into the iMac Pro's Thunderbolt 3 port, we measured 1744MB/s average large sequential READ (2200MB/s peak).

We installed the Apple compatible PCIe carrier board in the 2010 Mac Pro tower's 4-lane PCIe slot 4. The Aura Pro X2 measured 1528MB/s average transfer rate. That's much faster than using 2.5-inch SSDs in the factory bays which top out at 275MB/s.

NOTE: In certain circumstances, the read speed can slow down from 3000MB/s after a period of reads to 2000MB/s before returning to the peaks over 3000MB/s.

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WHERE TO BUY THE OWC AURA PRO X2
Order direct from Other World Computing. (Also can be bundled with the Envoy Pro Enclosure.)

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copyright 2019 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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