New MacBook Pro Limited 1.5 Gbits/s SATA Bus: Follow-up

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
  2. macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Santa Rosa
    A bug that bugs me.

    This little slip-up is a bit disturbing. Apple cannot afford to make mistakes just as the Mac is building market share and Microsoft is pounding them with "pc" ads.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008
    Especially given Vist'a "flaws", it still owns 3X the market share as OSX.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    It seems like a battery life design compromise. Isn't the newer 15" lasting longer on a charge than the previous model?

    I am certain Apple's hardware engineers know what they are doing and didn't change the spec arbitrarily. It was either a power issue, heat issue or something that was specifically addressed by lowering the top-end speed of the SATA II bus.

    The only real speed hit is on very large/sequential reads from a SSD drive. Most software reads and writes in small spurts. I doubt anyone would even notice the change in real-world use, esp. with a traditional HDD.

    And with Snow Leopard bringing lots of low-level optimizations across the board, I defy anyone to complain about how "slow" the SATA II bus is now.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2006
    How are they determining that it is truly a SATA II port? Are they looking at the controller? Another thing that doesn't make sense is if they cloned the OS to the older system, Why does the os see the older Mac SATA ports as 3.0Gbit/s if its using the same drivers. Isn't the only way this is possible is if the new macs do have a 3.0Gbit/s controller and have a firmware issue?

    Cloning makes a 1:1 copy including drivers, Right? I would say it is a firmware problem and will be corrected. Or am I missing something.
  6. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    So its finally proven its more of a hardware design snarfu...
  7. macrumors newbie


    Aug 15, 2008
    No one seems to know

    No one really seems to know what the issue with this whole thing is. At the end of the day, performance isn't affected by too much for a majority of users to say the least.

    If it is an unintentional software bug, I'm pretty sure Apple's engineers are already hard at work for a fix; it is an unintentional hardware fault, then too they'd be figuring out a way to work around this.

    If it was intentional, this is Apple and there's nothing that we could do about it. :)
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    New York City
    That's not the point.
    But we can chose to buy a previous version of unibody.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2003
    Actually, if the current complainers get their way, it could affect the vast majority of us. It seems reasonable that the "slow" SATA, which is good enough for all mechanical HD's and most SSD's, would consume less power than the "fast" version, which would outperform the "slow" on superfast SSD's only on certain rare operations.

    Therefore, if Apple switched it back to "fast", down goes battery life and that affects ALL users in a real way.

    As I have said elsewhere, I doubt that someone who needs to milk every drop of speed out of his hard drive, and will shell out for the top-of-the-line SSD would be interested in the MBP that only has integrated graphics. Certainly this computer devotee must also have the dedicated graphics card, too.

    I gotta believe that Apple engineers are not stupid, especially for such a high-profile product.
  10. macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008
    Note that, according to the linked article, the high-end 15 inches MBP is affected as well... (So it would seem only the 17 inches MBP is SATA II for now, and the white macbook, of course...)

  11. macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2003
    Here's what I can gather, from looking at the computers in the Apple store. Any MBP that you order with a pre-installed SSD comes with SATA 3.0. Any MBP 15" that you order with a HDD comes with SATA 1.5. The physical disk controllers are identical. This leads me to believe that Apple, for reasons of power conservation, have chosen to ship the MBPs that come with power hungry HDD's with the slower bus which conserves a bit of power, while shipping the MBPs with SSDs with the faster bus because the extra power that the bus draws is negated by the lower power demands of the drive. My prediction: Apple will release a firmware fix, all MBPs with have the faster SATA, and anyone without an SSD will see little real world performance gain and a slightly reduced battery life.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2009
    sadly not true. i got my 13" macbook pro with an ssd factory installed last week and it's got a 1.5 sata bus
  13. macrumors 601


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    People need to stop spreading this misinformation about 3.0 being "enabled" with preinstalled CTO SSDs. This has been confirmed time and time again by users such as bobbylols, even posting confirmed screens of their system configs.

  14. macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2003
    Well, the controllers appear to be exactly the same, so either it's simply a power saver, or someone cocked it up. Still stands to reason that Apple will release a firmware update, and most users will install it and get reduced battery life with absolutely no discernible increase in performance.
  15. macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2009
    Halifax, Canada
    Something I haven't seen mentioned, though...what about running multiple devices at the same time? If I've got a USB hub attached with a couple of external drives and am copying large files around (just as an example) am I going to hit a speed bottleneck with the 1.5 as compared to the 3?
  16. macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2003
    USB would be your bottleneck, but it's a moot point.
  17. macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    Correct. The USB bus peaks at 480mbit/s, and that's in bursts. A third of the total bandwith of the S-ATA bus.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2009
    For all of you who have questions about the SATA bus speed issue on the new MacBook Pro (mid 2009) here is what Apple support told me:

    The problem (with the 17" MacBook Pro mid 2009) for the SATA speed being downgraded from previous versions to 1.5 Gps instead of 3.0 Gps is HARDWARE!!! So for the moment, if you buy a this model, you will have a 1.5 Gps SATA bus with no possibility of a software update since the issue is hardware based.

    Hope they'll fix this!

    Regards, Edouard.

    Conversation took place with Apple Canada on the 30 of June 2009.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    This is old news. The firmware update for the macbook pros already fixed this

    This has been fixed.

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