2011 MacBook Pro 17" - SATA III and RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HCR93, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. HCR93 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #1
    I have an early-2011 17" MacBook Pro that is getting really slow (I think the HDD is slowly dying) and am ready to give it a few upgrades.

    Firstly, I want to install an SSD (leaning 500GB Samsung 840 - there seem some great deals since the evo came out and an SSD is such a huge upgrade, a bit more speed on that doesn't seem to matter much). But I'm concerned about SATA III on these early models. I've heard they can be unstable, especially on the 17" due to the SATA lead?

    Secondly, gonna give it a RAM bump while the bottom is off. I have read that it can unofficially support 1600mhz RAM? I know there's not much to gain, but given 1333mhz and 1600mhz are basically the same price, I may as well right? Would any RAM designed for 2012 MBPs work fine in mine?

    Hoping someone could give me a definitive answer about this... I've done some looking around, but don't wanna splurge on these upgrades to turn out I've got it wrong! Thanks for any help...
     
  2. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #2
    I've got a 17 inch early 2011 MBP with a Crucial M4 250 SSD in the main bay, the original HDD in the optical bay via data doubler, and 16 GB of Crucial 1333 mhz RAM running smooth and fast. Love it! The SATA III issues were in regard to putting a SATA III drive in the optical bay.
     
  3. eagandale4114 macrumors 65816

    eagandale4114

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    #3
    Your mac should accept the 1600 mHz ram.
     
  4. prisstratton macrumors 6502

    prisstratton

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #4
    The issues with SATA 3 were fixed with a firmware update sometime ago. As soon as it was reported that things were working well I immediately switched my drive (see my sig.) and I have never looked back, you will enjoy the upgrade. You can use either the 1333 or 1600 MHz RAM, but you will not notice any difference in speed in your day to day computing needs. You can use any DDR3 SO-DIMM 204 pin that you want. I went with OWC simply because they guarantee that it will work in your specific system.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/1333DDR3S16P/
     
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    The SSD is hands down the best upgrade you can make. Good idea going with the 500gb. You can never have too much disk space.
     
  6. HCR93 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    Thanks for the input guys... sounding very promising! I cannot wait to make the jump, should be a HUGE boost.

    To those that have the same model and no problems with a SATA III SSD, could I just ask you to check System Profiler and see if your optical drive is connected using SATA III or II. I know I'm being a bit cautious, but an Apple Genius admitted a few months ago that some of them could still have issues (of course rolling out also that Apple never supported or advertised SATA III anyway on those models). I read they made a revision at some stage making both HDD and ODD on the SATA III a few months in, and I bought mine early on.

    Thanks again for your help! Appreciate it :)
     
  7. niteflyr, Aug 15, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013

    niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #7
    This from OWC in regards to 2011 MBP's Optical Bay:


    "Special compatibility notes related to use of this product with 6Gb/s SSDs in the following machines:
    2011 MacBook Pro 13" (Model ID MacBookPro8,1)
    2011 MacBook Pro 15" (Model ID MacBookPro8,2)
    2011 MacBook Pro 17" (Model ID MacBookPro8,3)
    MAIN BAY: A 6G SSD may be utilized in main bay (move drive or second SSD into Optical Bay*) for reliable SATA Revision 3.0 6Gb/s performance in excess of 500MB/s.

    (Model ID MacBookPro8,3) models. After successfully applying this update, your Boot ROM Version will be: MBP81.0047.B1E. Please read our very informative Blog Post for additional information.

    OPTICAL BAY: The optical bay interface may either be SATA Revision 2.0 3Gb/s (300MB/s max) OR SATA Revision 3.0 6Gb/s. There is no way to specify/order this data interface with Apple, but you can confirm what interface version your optical bay offers by using 'About this Mac, More Info, Serial-ATA' info display.

    Testing has demonstrated that Apple factory hardware does not reliably support a 6G (6Gb/s) Solid State Drive or Hard Disk Drive in the optical bay of 2011 MacBook Pros (ModeI ID8,1; 8,2; 8,3). If your OWC Data Doubler bundle comes with a 6G drive, you should ONLY install that drive in the main drive bay and utilize the Data Doubler to re-task your existing drive or install a new 3G SSD or HDD in the optical bay. PRE-2011 models can utilize a 6G drive in the optical bay, but will do so at a reduced 3G (3Gb/s) speed.

    MacBook Pro 13" models: Apple does not support the use of 6Gb/s drives in the optical bay. While we have observed a high rate of success using SATA 3.0 6Gb/s drives in Apple 13" bays where 6Gb/s link is present, some systems may not operate properly with this setup. For guaranteed reliability/compatibility, we suggest 6Gb/s drives be used in the main drive bay only, and 3Gb/s hard drives or SSDs be used in the optical bay when a two-drive configuration is desired. We cannot guarantee proper or successful 6Gb/s drive operation in the Apple MacBook Pro 13" optical bay."

    Additional info:

    http://blog.macsales.com/11895-2011-macbook-pro-sata-problems-resolved

    Sort of resolved. Still a mixed bag.
     
  8. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 29, 2011
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    Southern Cal
    #8
    My opti-bay shows 3GB, SATA II.

    My SSD is in Main Bay. SATA III.
     
  9. prisstratton macrumors 6502

    prisstratton

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #9
    .......
     

    Attached Files:

  10. HCR93 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #10
    Thanks again for all the info people! Much appreciated... hopefully all goes well!
     

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