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How do you upgrade or replace the storage in the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is it the same storage and process as the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it possible?

The 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro model (A1425, A1502) has a 13.3” color display which runs at 1290×800 while the 15-inch model (A1398) has a 15.4” color display at 1440×900. These are also known as “pixel doubled” as the 13-inch model has a 2560×1600 native resolution at 227 ppi while the 15-inch model has 2880×1800 native resolution at 220 ppi.


These default settings already look attractive, still, some laptop users prefer to see more than what fits on the screen, all at one time, at this high resolution. Apple provides the “scaled” resolution options available from “Large Text” to “More Space” in the System Preferences and Display icon (see below):


Quick Tip: Press and Hold the “Option” key while clicking the ‘Scaled’ button” in the “Displays” icon to see more resolutions. This shortcut is available in OS X Mavericks (10.9) and OS X Yosemite (10.10); this functionality is also in OS X Lion (10.7) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)  “extended desktop mode”

Photo credit: Anandtech

Five (5) scaled settings in Apple’s MacBook Pro Retina Display (for 15-inch model):

1024 x 640

1280 x 800

1440 x 900 (Best Retina)

1690 x 1050

1920 x 1200


On the 13-inch models, however, scaled resolutions supported are:

1024 x 640

1440 x 900

1680 x 1050


With each scaled setting, it’s obvious that graphics performance and quality can be affected. See, Apple renders the screen at high resolution and scales it to fit the 2880 x 1800 panel (which is noticeably not in the five (5) options available, because it will then be showing very tiny text in that resolution).


MacPerformanceGuide has a very unique comparison page of these scaled resolutions here.

Photo credit from @yourfavorite Reddit user:

Third-Party Software Options

As expected, Apple does not allow or support third-party hacks. If you do, however, and have the know-how to proceed, make sure to back up your computer first and do so regularly.



The fastest and easiest option to switch between resolutions on your Mac is QuickRes. This is supported in OS X Lion (10.7) and later versions of OS X. This was originally free for download but has now been made available for USD 4.99 which is still a reasonable and affordable buy as it is a very useful software anyway.



A more sophisticated hack is SwitchResX, a shareware application that allows extensive control on (1) Monitor Resolution, (2) Color Depth, (3) Video Mirroring, (4) Display Rotation, and (5) Display Overscan among others. The application is on a free 10-ten-day trial with a EUR 14 price to register. This allows laptop users to even play around by creating and enabling new resolutions, available for many Mac OS X versions, as well as Mac OS 9. Best to pay the programmers who thought about this ingenious idea, right?


Photo Credit:

In a Nutshell

Depending on your work needs, the scaling options may come in handy for you, especially if you are a photographer who wants to see the details of your work. The default settings are often deemed to be the best fit to make things simple and convenient for you in using multiple applications at the same time, for example. For additional control and overall user experience, the third party options and software applications mentioned may be worth considering.

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