First mac (MBP June 2009) purchase and SSD + SATA2 problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jetix, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. jetix macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #1
    Hi everyone! I was reading this forum for ages, but this is my first post here. I'm long time Windows only user and now, after 2 years of deciding, I feel ready to purchase my first Apple computer - the new (mid 2009) MacBook Pro (2.53 GHz version) - mostly for graphic design (Adobe CS4 suite) and some extensive photo editing.

    So far, everything looked great and I was looking forward getting a hassle-free system, where I won't fiddle about system issues like in Windows and concentrate on work.

    But now I feel a bit stuck:

    I was planning to replace the stock HD with nice fast SSD drive to help me with my job - I was deciding between the OCZ Vertex 120, Crucial M225 or Intel x25-m (well this one is pretty expensive, so I would rather opt for the Vertex).

    But than I started to read threads about freezing computers, about spinning beachballs, about updating firmwares, about the possibility I won't be able to install OSX on the new SSD at all (please see here: http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=58184 or in other threads on OCZ forum) - and that's exactly why I want to leave the microsoft world. WTF?

    There is long thread on Apple Support forum (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2054387&tstart=0) about the normal SATA2 drives not working properly after the recent EFI 1.7 update - so does it mean it is notr safe to update the MBP drive to something like Seagate Momentus 7200.4 as well?

    Could I ask very kindly all of you, more experienced: what would you recommend? I've got money on my account and I'm ready to purchase, but I want my new computer run smoothly, hassle-free, without problems - that's what I was told about macs.

    Thanks much for helpful replies!
     
  2. rme macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #2
    I was planning to get a 17" mbp with the 5400 rpm drive and upgrade it to the X25.
    Because of these issues with EFI 1.7 I decided to get one with the 128GB SSD, and upgrade to the X25 when the issues are resolved.
    So my advice would be to wait.
     
  3. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I had to return my MBP last week. I was getting beachballs, freezes and the rest. After reading around on the Apple Discussions Forums and on here, I believe my, and most people's issues are casued by the EFI 1.7 firmware update.

    Some Apple stores now have a EFI rollback tool, which will obviously roll back the firmware from 1.7 to 1.6. This will limit any SSD hard drive's performace but at least you won't have any freezes.

    The fact that Apple know about the issue and have this tool suggests to me that it won't be long before we see an EFI 1.8 update, which should hopefully enable full SATA II performance and get rid of those pesky beachballs and freezes.

    If you want to pull the trigger now, I suggest you ask for a machine with the 1.6 firmware before handing over your hard earned. Luckily, my MBP replacement had the 1.6 on it, so I'm waiting for 1.8 (and a truckload of reviews) before buying a SSD. Others have not been so lucky. It seems to me that a lot of the American Apple Stores are now stocking machines with 1.7 pre-installed.

    All said and done, 1.6 and SSD will still make your machine fly, but not as much as if it had a fully functioning SATA controller.

    Hope that helps.

    KK
     
  4. p3ncil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #4
    Get the mbp.
    Don't install the 1.7 firmware.

    Get optibay or DIY your own SATA slim cable. Replace your optical drive with your favourite SSD.

    Why?
    Because in Firmware 1.6 the optical drive SATA port isn't affected. It runs @ SATA2.
     
  5. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    the mbp 17" does not have the 1.7 firmware.
     
  6. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Yes, forgot about that!! Well said.

    If you're after a 17" MBP then forget everything that has been said. The EFI 1.7 update was only intended for 13" and 15" MBPs.

    The 17" have never had the 1.5Gbps limitation.
     
  7. Ixesin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #7
    I'm confused now... I've just installed the 1.7 upate on my 13 inch mid 2009 macbook pro. Are all these problems only associated with SSD upgrades? Because I'm preparing to upgrade the hard drive to a larger one and yesterday I did get a few freezes occasionally...
     
  8. rme macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #8
    Pretty sure I saw messages on the apple forums about this, from people with the 17" mid 09 mbp.

    Update : *nevermind*
     
  9. Nautigar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #9
    I have installed a new X25-M into a new MBP 13" 2.53 and don't have any problems. The MBP came with Firmware 1.7 preinstalled. So it seems not all machines are affected.
     
  10. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #10
    He wants a 2.53 so he's not looking at 17 inchers.
     
  11. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #11
    I'm wondering if there wasn't a fix in production? I have a manufactured 2 week ago 13" MBP and popped in a 7200 rpm drive without any problems or spinning beach balls.
     
  12. Nautigar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #12
    I was talking about the 13" model.
     
  13. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #13
    My bad... misquote. I meant to quote: "Yes, forgot about that!! Well said.

    If you're after a 17" MBP then forget everything that has been said. The EFI 1.7 update was only intended for 13" and 15" MBPs.

    The 17" have never had the 1.5Gbps limitation."
     
  14. macinla macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    17" 3.06

    From all the threads I've read here and on apple.com is it correct that a new (this week) 17" UMBP does not have any issues when you pop in a 3rd party harddrive in it?

    Basically, if I buy a new CTO 17" UMBP, 3.06GHz, 500GB 7200 RPM and then pop in a postville (Gen2) Intel X-25 160GB SSD, will it work?

    Do all recent 17" UMBP come with EFI 1.6 but still runs SATA-II at 3.0Mpbs?

    This would be my first mac and I'm trying to avoid all the bios/patching/updates/fixing that I've spent too much time with on my PC....

    Thanks much!
     
  15. CSHawkeye81 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #15
    my 15 inch mid 2009 CTO in which I got last month came with the latest firmware.
     
  16. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #16
    is replacing the only solution ?

    because i just got my MBP and i don't want to leave it in a CMAA...

    could it be downgraded to 1.6 by a CMAA?

    i'm going to buy a SSD and will use it under 1.6 even if it's only half the bandwidth of SATA... but according to the opinions on Apple forums, 1.5Gb will be just fine to take advantage of a SSD

    it would be better to use 1.6 rather than taking the risk of having a useless SSD on 1.7

    thx
     
  17. macinla macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    Which MBP did you get? 13", 15", 17". From what I understand (but would like get confirmed, hence my question above) is that 13" and 15" have issues with aftermarket HDD/SSD when running EFI 1.7. However, 17" does not seem to have any of these issues (also trying to get this confirmed).
     
  18. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #18
    FWIW I'm running 1.7 on my 15" and have no trouble. But then, my SSD is in the Optical bay (with a cheaper version of optibay), so that might be why. Love it!
     
  19. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #19


    i have the 13"

    i'm convinced that a CMAA could downgrade it to 1.6 but i need confirmation

    if someone knows...
     
  20. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #20
    There aren't any problems anymore because Apple released a further update to remove the limitation of 1.5Gb/s SATA2 back to 3.0Gb/s. Whether you use SSD or HD, it doesn't really matter since they all work fine.
     
  21. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #21


    yeah but the fact is that this issue has been existing for more than 2 months already and Apple hasn't made a single move to release a fix

    i'm not gonna wait for ages to have the problem solved

    especially if Apple is deliberately blocking the use of non-stock HD !

    until then, i really want to enjoy the use of SSD

    so if someone knows if it's possible to have the EFI downgraded in a CMAA, please advise

    thx
     
  22. macinla macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    Apple released EFI 1.7 to allow the SATA interface to run at 3.0Mbps, but that specific upgrade/fix is what caused issues with 3rd party harddrives and SSDs. Unless Apple released something in the past hour, the problem still exists with 3rd party drives - which is why the OP created this thread.

    There is a long thread here
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2054387

    From what I understand; if you have a UMBP 17" then none of these issues apply - and that's what I'd like to get confirmed.

    Anyone with 17" UMBP running an Intel X-25 SSD without issues? What's the EFI version?
     
  23. naval macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    #23
    I'm running an X25-M G2 inside a UniBody MB Pro 13" with EFI 1.7, with Snow Leopard (10a432 / GM) with no issues for about a day now. It works fine.
     
  24. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #24
    great !!

    thx for the feedback
     

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