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How To Upgrade Mac SSD feat. Transcend JetDrive 855

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Upon receiving the Transcend JetDrive 855, I was surprised. Not by the fact that the entire box is wrapped in plastic only, but both the ends of the box actually had the plastic glued shut. Ripping the plastic off will potentially damage the box.But, contrary to what we’ve experienced with the JetDrive 820’s super-premium box which is covered in soft-touch material inside and out, the Transcend JetDrive 855 is made out of cardboard only.Looking at the back of the box we can find the contents of the package and also a QR code where it tells you what device is compatible with the SSD. The Transcend JetDrive 855 is also eligible for a 5-year worldwide warranty.Opening up the box we find the Transcend JetDrive 855 wrapped in a hard-shell plastic cradle – similar to what the JetDrive 820 has.Underneath the cradle we find the two screwdrivers – one P5 and another T5 screwdrivers to open up the MacBook and also the enclosure. There’s also a sticker pad for you to seal up the screws and to provide friction to the enclosure. More on that later.Overall, what you get is just the Transcend JetDrive 850 SSD, the enclosure, two screwdrivers, a quick installation guide, and a friction pad to seal the screws on the enclosure.Design

The enclosure itself that houses the SSD inside is actually very plain. It is made out of relatively thick piece of aluminium. It’s a little weighty for its size.There’s a bright blue status indicator LED at the front together with a Transcend logo, and the short Thunderbolt cable comes out from the other end.The reason why they’re using Thunderbolt is actually brilliant. Since this upgrade kit is meant for MacBooks that has a Thunderbolt port (which is oftentimes unused), Transcend utilizes it with the enclosure.Behind the SSD we can see a total of 4 screws. They’re T5 screws by the way, so you’ll have to use the included red screwdriver to open it.There’s the JetDrive 850!Once the enclosure is opened, we finally get to see the JetDrive 850 SSD itself, alongside with the PCB that is built into the enclosure.Looking at the JetDrive 850 SSD, there’s really nothing too special about it. Only one side of the PCB is utilized since we’re reviewing the 240GB version.Fun fact: the Toshiba SSD that came with the MacBook Air 11-inch mid 2013 is only 128GB and used both sides of the PCB. Technology in NAND chips sure advanced a lot over the past 5 years.JetDrive ToolBox software

Nothing has changed at all since the first time we looked at the JetDrive ToolBox from nearly a year ago. The interface is the same – but there’s one new option which is to optimize the system for the JetDrive 850 SSD. Not sure what’s it for, though.We’re unable to test the ease of firmware upgrade since the JetDrive 850/855 that we have is already with the latest firmware.Installation/upgrade guide

We used the same approach as before, where we used SuperDuper! to clone everything from the existing SSD to the new SSD. Simple and straightforward, and can be done rather quickly depending on how much data you have.Our best advise is always remember to test booting to the newly migrated system via Thunderbolt before swapping the SSDs.The reason why we’re insistent in getting the JetDrive 825 and 855 is because of the enclosure. Once we swapped the SSDs, we can reuse the old SSD as a speedy external storage device.
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