Today, Other World Computing announced the first non-factory-installed SSD upgrade for the MacBook Pro with Retina display. The upgrade, called the Aura Pro, is designed for those who purchased the standard, 256GB SSD model and want to upgrade for more storage capacity.

OWC’s upgrade consists of a 480GB drive for $579.The drives begin shipping in one week. OWC includes all of the necessary installation tools.

While Apple also offers a 512GB model of its own for around the same price as OWC’s 480GB upgrade, OWC says that Apple’s included drives reach 461MB per second read speeds, while OWC’s reach 500MB per second.

Full press release below:

OWC Announces Mercury Aura Pro as Industry’s First
Solid State Drive Upgrade for 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display

SandForce-Driven 480GB SSD Offers 87.5 Percent More Capacity than Factory 256GB
SSD;
        $59.95 Retail Value Enclosure for Re-Tasking Factory Flash Module as External
to be Provided

August 14, 2012, Woodstock, IL — Other World Computing (OWC®) http://www.macsales.com,
a leading zero emissions Mac® and PC technology company, announced today the
OWC Mercury Aura® Pro as the industry’s first high-performance Solid State Drive
upgrade for 2012 MacBook® Pro with Retina display (rMBP) computers. Available
in 480GB capacity, the 6G (6Gb/s) SandForce Driven™ Mercury Aura Pro offers rMBP
owners 87.5 percent more capacity than the factory 256GB model. Additionally,
customers buying the $579.99 MSRP Aura Pro direct from OWC until September 30,
2012, will later receive the OWC Envoy Pro USB 3.0 bus-powered portable enclosure
(a $59.95 value) for re-tasking the rMBP’s factory flash module as an external
drive at no additional cost.

OWC “Unlocks” the Factory Capacity Limit
When introduced this past June, the MacBook Pro with Retina display base model
offered a 256GB SSD configuration with no upgrade option. Now, instead of being
“factory locked”, rMBP owners can add 87.5 percent more capacity with a 480GB
Mercury Aura Pro SSD. The only other and far more costly and time-intensive option
for rMBP owners, as discovered by The SSD Review.com, is to upgrade the SSD through
an authorized dealer. Making this an even less desirable option is the fact that
the original 256GB flash module is retained and sent back to Apple.

Pricing, Availability
The Mercury Aura Pro for 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display is available immediately
on a pre-order basis for $579.99 MSRP with shipping to commence on/about August
21. Orders placed direct with OWC by September 30, 2012, will receive the OWC
Envoy Pro USB 3.0 bus-powered portable enclosure (a $59.95 value) for re-tasking
the rMBP’s factory flash module as an external drive. The external Envoy Pro
enclosure will be shipped separately to all qualifying customers by the end of
2012.

“We’ve received significant user feedback that 256GB just doesn’t provide adequate
capacity for this machine and in fact, some users have maxed out the factory
drive space,” said Larry O’Connor, CEO, Other World Computing. “Offering nearly
double the capacity along with the ability to reuse the factory drive as a high
speed external drive is an unbeatable combination upgrade value.”

New Model Continues OWC’s First-to-Market Streak
The new Mercury Aura Pro for 2012 rMBP machines continues OWC’s two year streak
as being the first manufacturer offering an SSD upgrade for the latest Apple
notebook computers. There’s an Aura Pro/Envoy enclosure bundle for 2010 and 2011
MacBook® Air computers and an Aura Pro SSD upgrade for 2012 MacBook Air owners.

In addition offering first and only upgrades for the latest Apple machines, OWC
also offers world record-breaking 3G (3Gb/s) and 6G (6Gb/s) Mercury SSDs for
nearly every Mac and PC produced over the past decade in capacities from 30GB
to 1TB with prices starting from $49.99. For more information on the complete
OWC Mercury SSD line, including expert benchmark reviews, visit: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/.
 For more information on the OWC catalog of over 2,900 performance upgrades and
accessories, or for reseller inquires, visit: http://eshop.macsales.com/

The Fast SSD for Everyday Use
Several leading technology sites have noted the Mercury Aura Pro’s outstanding
performance potential compared to the Apple factory SSDs. Electronista.com pointed
out “new and improved” Apple SSDs reach read speeds of 461MB per second and write
speeds of 364MB per second, while the Mercury Aura Pro is rated at up to 500MB/s.
Expert SSD industry source TheSSDReview.com found LSI SandForce Driven™ based
SSDs offer “excellent performance” over 500MB/s and that these SSDs “excel in
highly compressible data testing which is the bread and butter of typical consumer
use.”

Doesn’t Slow Down with Use Like Ordinary SSDs
Ordinary SSDs offer fast read/write performance during first initial uses, but
then experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. Independent
simulation tests by leading drive performance experts confirm OWC Mercury brand
SSD’s ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling technologies are able
to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy long
term usage of the drive and without dependency on less than effective OS TRIM
management.

Up to 100X Greater Data Protection
Utilizing SandForce DuraClass™ technology, OWC Mercury brand SSDs are able to
provide up to 100x higher data protection than ordinary SSDs, as well as leading
enterprise-class hard disk drives. By combining the highest level of Error Correction
Code (ECC) and SandForce RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
technology along with 7% over provisioning, OWC Mercury SSDs provide RAID-like
data protection and reliability without loss of transfer speed due to parity.

For more information on the Mercury Aura Pro for 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina
display, visit:f