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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2012
Hello everyone,

Lately, I have been wondering if I should replace my Macbook pro's optical drive with SSD.
My mac is almost 3 years old, and it got a bit slower lately (I did everything that can be related to software - repair disk permissions, etc). I would like to speed it up, and I thought that because I already upgraded my Ram, this is the best thing I can do - instead of buying a new mac.
The problem is that after a few days of reading i have some unanswered questions. I was hoping to find some answers here - since I read some threads of users who upgraded their macbooks.

My Mac configuration:
13" MacBook Pro (Mid 2009 - the model is 5,5). I have 8GB of ram, and I recently replaced my HD to 640GB WD Scorpio Blue. The cipset that I have is Nvidia MCP79 AHCI. Currently, I'm getting negotiated link speed of 3 Gigabit on my Hard drive, and 1.5 Gigabit on my optical drive.

I thought about:
* Buying this caddy.
* Buying a sata2 64GB SSD - I read that I will get the same speed if I will buy a sata3, because my logic board supports only up to 3 Gigabit.
* Installing the SSD instead of the optical drive in order to keep using the sudden motion detector sensor.

My questions are:
1 Is that a good idea to use a cheap caddy instead of an expensive OWC one?
2 Will I get 3 Gigabit speed in both of the drives if I will install the SSD instead of the optical drive? I suspect that because it's an old drive it may have a max speed that is lower then 3 Gigabit. I couldn't find a clear answer about this subject, and I think that the answer is dependent on the model. Does anyone know how should I install it in a mid 2009 MacbookPro 5,5?
3 How will it effect the battery life? I would like to install the OS on the SSD, and store all the videos, pictures, and mp3 files on the HD. Considering that I will turn on "put the hard disks to sleep when possible" - will it severely decrease the battery life?
4 Will I get an extra speed if I will buy a SATA 3 drive? I read that it's just a waste of money, but I may be missing something.
5 Crucial V4 / Intel 330 / Crucial M4 - Which one should I buy? It seems that they are quite similar, and all of them will work well on my mac. Does anyone have an experience with any of them? Any tips?

Thank you very much!
Last edited:


macrumors member
Hello there!

Done a very similar thing in my 2006 MBP 17'' 2.16.

1. I have a similar caddy, The exact same but with a SATA drive in it and an PATA connector on the motherboard. Obviously it slows the SATA drive in the caddy to the limitations of PATA but that won't be applicable to you as both your HD and Optical drive bay are SATA. So in short you shouldn't see any speed differences but to be on the safe side I would put the SSD in the main hard drive bay and your file drive in the caddy.

2. As you have a SATA II bay you shouldn't get any more than 300MBPS. I have a SATA I and I pull around 140MBPS which makes my system boot in around 15 seconds. As said for best speed results use the factory hard drive location for the SSD.

3. I chose the Crucial V4 (32GB) to run my OS and apps because it had very good backwards compatibility reviews, A lot of other drives mainly SATA III drives appear to have issues with the SATA II macs (i.e either not working or being mega slow) So something built for the purpose like the V4 is the way forward.

Also from reviews I've read they all seem to out perform the factory specs and they're a great combination of price and performance...Mine was under £1 per gigabyte.

I hope this helps :)


macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
I went with a Crucial M4 in my mid 2009 13" MBP.

1. & 2. I've read that people have some issues getting 3.0Gb/s using a SSD in a caddy in this model. That's why I replaced my HDD, aside from the fact that I do use my optical drive from time to time.

3. I didn't notice a change in battery life when replacing my HDD with the SSD. What that tells me is that you'll probably negatively affect your battery life.

4. I went with the crucial M4 because I found it for cheaper than the V4 or Samsung 830. Just look for a good price on the capacity you need. Good SATA III drives will detect the controller speed and adjust accordingly.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2012
Thank you!

If anyone who uses 2 HD drives (hdd + ssd) can tell about the effect on battery life - I would be thankful.
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