TarDisk – Increase your old MacBook’s storage memory

The TarDisk is a solution for many Mac users who are running older models. It is also useful for users are facing problems with insufficient storage on their Macbooks. That is quite obvious as the TarDisk’s technology is based on the premise that the Macbook carries an SD card slot. Hence it is usable only on the older models. Basically models pre-2016 MacBooks. It is especially useful if older Mac users are looking for means to add a few more years to the life of their aging Macs before they can get their hands on a new one. In this post, we will review the TarDisk in terms of installation and performance. (Full Disclaimer: We were given a Tardisk 128GB in exchange for an honest review.)


TarDisk 128GB macbook storage expansion drive
TarDisk 128GB MacBook storage expansion drive

How can you install the TarDisk on your Macbook?

There are two main ways of installing TarDisk. For starters, you can use it as a simple external drive. But that is not why you paid the big bucks for. So let’s talk about the main feature. The Hybrid Drive.

With the Hybrid Drive feature, TarDisk adds to your existing drive. Hard disk or SSD. Doesn’t matter. It’s quite a simple installation. You just plug it in. It comes with a software bundle that you need to execute to begin the installation process. The manufacturers call the process ‘Pear’-ing. Note that this is a semi-permanent process and it increases the capacity of your primary storage. To do this, the TarDisk makes necessary changes in some core operational files of the Macbook’s memory management system. WARNING: Make sure you back up your device.

Can you safely uninstall the TarDisk your Macbook?

Yes, TarDisk can be uninstalled. But it’s a tedious 8-step process. However, if you are using the memory expander, you probably won’t even want to uninstall it. It works quite fluidly and you won’t even notice the difference in your usage. You will be conditioned into thinking that the additional space is just part of your system. Additionally, using TarDisk does not violate your warranty with Apple. But if you are using TarDisk you might already have run out of the warranty period.

Is the TarDisk fast enough?

It is 1/5th the speed of an SSD. It uses a UHS-I SDXC transfer protocol that gives it a speed of 95MB/s. However, the company states that their software is intelligent enough to create a flash memory in your SSD to give faster access to files. This essentially minimizes any lag that you would expect to arise out of the technical speed variation between your SSD and TarDisk. In our testing, we did find the experience to be pretty similar to using our primary memory device. That being said, we didn’t test for resource-intensive files.

What is the difference between the TarDisk and an SD card?

TarDisk vs SD card
A form factor comparison between an SD card and TarDisk.

An SD card can only be used as an external drive. It cannot be paired with your device’s primary memory system. The TarDisk, on the other hand, can be ‘Pear’-ed with your existing drive to create a seamless memory expansion solution for your MacBook.

Why can’t you just use an SSD instead?

SSD’s are costlier. TarDisk is a good solution to get a few years out of your MacBook instead of getting an entirely new SSD. Additionally, a new SSD would require you more technical jugglery than just plugging in this disk and expanding your memory easily.

You can buy your TarDisk here.

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