MacBook Pro 2011 Optbay SATA 3

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by starski0, May 5, 2013.

  1. starski0 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm looking to have an ssd installed and the new fusion drive possibilities have made it interesting to transfer my current hard drive to the optical bay. Searching for this I have found that sata 3 connections are problematic on the mac model I own (MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.0 15" Early 2011). I understand support for sata 3 is available on the main bay, but, forgive my ignorance, does that mean my current hdd cannot be installed in the optical bay? Have been searching but don't know where to go from here. Any help appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. johnnnw macrumors 65816

    johnnnw

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #2
    The HDD can be installed in the optical bay.

    You are right about the 2011 having some weird issues however.

    Many people are doing it with no problem (SSD+HDD) however it seems some are also having problems, mostly with the 2011.

    Even if the SATAIII optical port wasn't getting full speeds but still working it wouldn't actually matter too much as the HDD is not capable of speeds anywhere close to that anyway. A typical 5400RPM drive will only get around 80 read, much less than even SATAII rated speeds.
     
  3. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #3
    I have an early 2011 MBP also. I installed a SSD in main bay and moved the original HDD to optical bay for these reasons. Everything works great this way. I'm getting sata III speeds on the SSD and the HDD doesn't matter anyway. It can't take advantage of the sata III speeds. I haven't tried the fusion drive setup yet. Let us know how that works for you.
     
  4. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #4
    I have my intel 300gig ssd installed in the primary bay and the 750gig hd in the optibay without any issues. I find this to be the perfect setup. The machine starts up from a cold start to fully usable in 12 seconds. I love it. All apps are installed on the SSD and all data goes to the HD I have had zero issues.
     
  5. starski0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    #5
    Appreciate the replies.

    I'm not really concerned about the speed because as guys said, hdds don't benefit from it at all. I just want to make sure it's reliable.

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

    First of all I haven't opened my mac to find out my opt bay specs yet.

    My main point of concern is that on the link above owc makes two somewhat contradicting points regarding the optical bay. First if afirms that you can add any drive you want in the optical bay. Second, they stress that if it does have a 6G connection you should only install a 3G anyway.

    As I said previously wrote, I will be using the hdd in my computer write now, which I believe is a 6G.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks
     
  6. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #6
    The 2011 ODD port has issues with certain controllers - I know some vertex drives aren't recognised in there.

    However, if you put the SSD in the main bay, and the HDD in the ODD bay, you should be fine :).
     
  7. andy9l, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013

    andy9l macrumors 68000

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #7
    Hmm, you have some misunderstandings - I'll try to help!

    Firstly "3G" and "6G" are brand names from OWC, that relate to 3gb/s and 6gb/s of SATA II and SATA III, respectively. Your HDD is just a regular spinning HDD (assuming it's the stock one from Apple).

    SATA speeds (for the general consumer) are currently as follows:

    1. SATA III (fastest)
    2. SATA II
    3. SATA I (slowest)
    The problem with the optical bay is often not the reliability, but rather the speed. Even though your optical drive bay may be SATA III, many people report a negotiated speed with SATA III drives of only SATA II. Due to this, OWC is recommending a 3G (SATA II) over a 6G (SATA III) - basically you're wasting money on a SATA III because it provides no benefit over SATA II due to the optibay problem.

    That said, your current HDD is slow - really slow. It cannot saturate a SATA II connection. For this reason, putting your HDD in the optibay is absolutely fine. You will not notice any performance hits.

    Doing this also means you can put your new SSD in the original HDD bay, and get full SATA III speeds from it.

    As for SSD, you don't need to get an OWC SSD - Samsung SSDs are recommended on these forums as cheaper, and equally good, alternatives.

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #8
    The early 2011 models have SATAII on optibay and SATA III on mainbay.
    It can be installed but it will be slower.
     
  9. negativzero macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    #9
    What the OWC guys say is true. First let me get some facts straight.

    The early 2011 MBP logic boards do not come with SATA3 equipped, they only come with SATA2, so no matter what you do it will always be SATA2, even if you put in a SATA3 drive there.

    Yes, they are unstable when you put in a SSD into the superdrive slot. It happened with my 2011 MBP and I can't explain why but this applies to the 2012 MBPs as well. So it is highly recommended to put the SSD in the main bay and the HDD in the superdrive bay. Putting the SSD into the superdrive bay will inexplicably lead to beachballing, crashes, etc... That said, I had one 2012 MBP with a ebay-bought optibay with an SSD in it and it yielded lots of beachballs, but when I swapped it with an OWC data doubler, all the problems disappeared. I'm not promoting OWC here, but it could be possible the ebay data doublers are the problem. It solved my problem, but it may not solve yours.

    The main bay is equipped for shock dampening and noise isolation so it will be ideal to leave the HDD there. If you put the HDD in the optibay slot, you will hear it spinning up and spinning down when its doing work. It might not be ideal but if you're having problems with the SSD in the optibay slot, you might have to do this.

    So hopefully this makes everything clearer for you.
     
  10. pedrofan, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013

    pedrofan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #10
    All you need to know:

    · Point 1: port's max speeds:

    ----------------------------------
    Sata 2 max speed = 300mb/s
    Sata 3 max speed = 600mb/s
    ----------------------------------


    · Point 2: HDD/SSD's max speeds (on best manufactured models), depending on the sata connection:

    ................................. Sata 2 ............ Sata 3

    HDD 5400rpm ......... 80mb/s ........... 80mb/s
    HDD 7200rpm ......... 100mb/s ......... 100mb/s

    Sata 2 SSD .............. 285mb/s ......... 285mb/s
    Sata 3 SSD .............. 285mb/s* ....... 550mb/s


    * Note: Sata 2 only affect's you if you want to put a sata 3 SSD in the optical drive's port, of an early 2011 macbook pro that doesn't have a sata3 port in that bay, because it will go at 285mb/s, in the rest of cases JUST DON'T WORRY.


    · Point 3: macbook pro's sata configurations:

    ................................................. HDD Bay's port ........ Optical Bay's port

    Early 2011 ....................................... Sata 3* ...................... Sata 2*
    Summer 2011 .................................. Sata 3 ........................ Sata 2/3*
    Late 2011 (6770 GPUs gen.) ............. Sata 3 ........................ Sata 3*
    Mid 2012 - Early 2013 ...................... Sata 3 ........................ Sata 3

    *Note: some 17" models had problems with sata 3 speed in the main drive because the cable had interferences. OWC sarted selling a sealed cable.)

    *Note: Early Sandy Bridge chips where all faulty. They had a design flaw that made all Sata 3 ports but one useless and it can't be fixed by software. Intel warrantied that those manufacturers that decided to mount their chips wouldn't have any problem if they used only one sata 3 port, and the others in sata 2. Apple didn't needed even one, because the SSDs they were selling were sata 2 models that didn't even reached 300mb/s, so they decided to start selling sandy bridge macbook pros with that faulty proccessors.

    *Note: Intel relesed Sandy bridge revised version with all sata 3 ports enabled.
    Apple starts adopting them and selling them mixed with faulty ones.

    *Note: Revised Sandy Bridge chips fully adopted




    · Point 4: check your optical's drive sata version in OSx's Sys Info


    If something is wrong just post it an I will change it.
     
  11. starski0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    #11
    The plan is to get a Samsung, only referring to OWC because they seem to have done a good amount of testing. As for 3G and 6G I just assumed it was jargon. But if I'm correct I'll still have to get a bracket for my hdd, which will probably come from them.

    Thanks

    ----------

    That does clarify a lot of questions. As for the optical drive sata version, I don't think it is specified for early 2011 macbook pros, and as far as I have been reading, some will be sata 2 and others will be sata 3.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/SP620?viewlocale=en_US

    ----------

    Thanks, this has been my plan all the way. I'll give it a shot in a couple of weeks and hopefully everything will workout.
     
  12. andy9l macrumors 68000

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #12
    Correct :)
     
  13. bxt403 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #13
    There are quite a few variations for 2011 MBP.

    I bought my early 2011 17" MBP refurbished earlier last year. I did a lot of research about SATA3 capabilities. As mentioned: the early 2011 models are a mixed bag for SATA3 in the optical bay-
    System Report/Profiler- and go to the Serial-ATA section.

    I'm hesitant to follow any of OWC's recommendations. It was pointed out on themacbookproproject's site- OWC's optibay design will guarantee no SATA3 even if your mac supports it in the optical bay (plus it includes a very thorough analysis- not simply stating that thorough testing was performed). Another cause for skepticism of some of OWC's (mis)information is since all their 2011 MPB memory upgrades are DDR3-1333; even though the mid and high-end quad-core i7 MBPs (both early and late 2011 models) can fully utilize DDR3-1600- one can verify/check by going to About This Mac->More Info...->Memory; and cross-referencing your CPU with the ark.intel datasheet's listed supported memory.

    I posted my own DIY solution for SATA3 SSD's in the optical bay on the forums (although I used an iFixit optibay- any generic one should work as long as it covers the SSD- i.e. it's not a "frame" design like OWC's). I personally already had the ifixit enclosure so used it, got the slimline cable from newegg, and SATA power from the local computer store, iirc.

    As for the original question- when I had the stock SATA2 Toshiba 750GB HD in the optibay, I didn't have any issues. As OWC lists it as such- installing a SATA2 HD using their Datadoubler in the optical bay should work (although I haven't used that particular enclosure).
     
  14. Romarion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #14
    Anyone got a 1TB drive working in their optibay?

    I have an early 2011 MBP with a SSD (main drive) + HDD (optibay) combo.

    I was using a 500GB HDD in the optibay successfully but once I inserted a 1TB drive (7K1000) which caused all sorts of drama including:
    - getting stuck at grey screen on boot; and
    - disabling keyboard and mouse after booting to Recovery / or USB drive.

    When I remove the 1TB drive from the optibay and insert the 500gb drive again, everything works sweet. But place the 1TB drive in there and whamoo, drama ensues.

    Have I bought the wrong drive? I just wanted the extra space. Is the 7K1000 causing drama because it's SATAIII in a SATAII optibay (early 2011 mbp)?

    Cheers

    PS. my SSD is a samsung 830. When I put my SSD in the optibay and the 1TB in the main drive, I got stuck at a grey screen also, but this time it was as if there were 0 drives :/
    When I switched the drives back (SSD in main, HDD in opti), it was all good again... weird..

    P.P.S There's nothing wrong with the 1TB drive when I use it externally. I can plug it into my seagate thunderbolt adapter and it runs perfectly. In fact, I've used the 1TB drive for 24 flawless hours before deciding to move it inside the MBP.
     
  15. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #15
    I have Crucial M4 in original bay and WD 1 TB in optical bay. Everything is working well.

    It is a known issue if you use the boot drive (SSD) in optical bay.
     
  16. Romarion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #16
  17. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

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    Aug 2, 2007
    #17
    Just be aware that if you put your HDD in the optibay you'll lose the SMS protection. So, unlike with the 2012 you've got 3 less than optimal options:

    1. HDD in HDD bay and SATA II SSD in optibay - will limit SSD speed to 1st gen SSD speeds of about 250MB/s (still pretty fast) but maintain best drop protection and quietness.

    2. SSD in main bay and HDD in optibay - will max SSD speed in the 500+MB/s area at the cost of some drop protection for the HDD and some additional drive noise.

    3. Just get a hybrid - costs you some speed (but still WAY better than HDD), cheaper, and you get to keep your Superdrive internal FWTW.
     
  18. Romarion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #18
    Thanks NewishMacGuy

    I've decided to go with option 2 - however, this option isn't working because of the reasons in my initial post. The 1TB HDD is causing the optibay to act strangely...

    I'm going to try a fresh install on it to see if that works.
     
  19. Yahooligan, May 30, 2013
    Last edited: May 31, 2013

    Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #19
    I ordered a caddy which looks nearly identical to that one and installed my Apple 1TB (Hitachi?) into it, works fine in my mid-2012 cMBP however, for whatever reason, it's only working at SATA-II speed (3Gb) and not SATA-III (6Gb). Not that it matters since the HDD will never even reach SATA-II speed anyway. :)

    I thought about creating my own Fusion drive setup, but after reading about how the Fusion drive actually works I decided against it. It doesn't copy entire files from one drive to the other but will simply copy the heavily used blocks between drives, this means that you could very end up with files and data split between drives and losing one drive means losing data and file corruption. Yes, I do back up with Time Machine so restoring data in the event of a failure isn't a problem, just the thought of one drive problem causing my machine to become unusable isn't my idea of fun.

    Just something to keep in mind.
     
  20. Romarion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #20
    I see. Perhaps it's because your 2012 MBP has SATA3 in the optibay.

    I tried installing a fresh copy of lion onto the 1TB (which is SATAIII) and it worked in the main HDD bay but not the optibay. I also tried the SATA3 SSD in the optibay... to no avail.

    So my conclusion is this: my 2011 MBP can't handle anything that's SATA III in the optibay - i.e. it can't downregulate to SATA2. Instead, it f@!#s everything up

    Agreed. And thanks for the tip on the fusion drive. It doesn't make sense to increase risk of loss like that.
     
  21. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #21
    You mean SATA-II? I thought about that, but it shows as being a SATA-III port.

    There must be something else going on if neither the HDD or SSD work, have you tried a different caddy? SATA-III devices are backwards compatible, so if they're not working in the optibay then it sounds like it could be a problem with the interface on the caddy. I haven't heard of anyone else having problems with SATA-III -> SATA-II in the optibay, the exception being certain SSDs?

    There's a decent article on DIY Fusion Drive in the June issue of Mac Life that explains the various aspects of it.

    I normally don't pick up MacWorld or Mac Life since they've largely become magazines that are 90% iPad/iPhone-specific but the June issue actually has a lot of Mac content. Surprise! :)
     
  22. croth56 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    #22
    Macbook pro 2011 early. 2.0ghz core i7. I have a Seagate Momentus XT 750gb hybrid drive in main bay. Seagate 1TB Hybrid in the optibay. According to the system report, Serial ATA both are showing 6 gigabit link speed and 6 gigabit negotiated link speed. No problems wit either
     
  23. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #23
    Are the new Seagate hybrids as fast as the old ones (being 5400rpm and all)? What's your take on the real world performance difference, if any?


    ___
     
  24. Romarion, May 30, 2013
    Last edited: May 30, 2013

    Romarion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #24
    That's strange. I've got an early 2011 MBP too but my 1TB in the optibay is causing drama.

    Also, I thought early 2011 MBPs were limited to 3gig transfer speed for the opti, but my report says that it could do 6gigabit...

    System report looks like this:

    Intel 6 Series Chipset:

    Vendor: Intel
    Product: 6 Series Chipset
    Link Speed: 6 Gigabit

    Negotiated Link Speed: 6 Gigabit
    Description: AHCI Version 1.30 Supported

    SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series:

    Capacity: 512.11 GB (512,110,190,592 bytes)
    Model: SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series
    Revision: CXM03B1Q
    Serial Number: S0Y0NEAC800076
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk0
    Medium Type: Solid State
    TRIM Support: No
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Intel 6 Series Chipset:

    Vendor: Intel
    Product: 6 Series Chipset
    Link Speed: 6 Gigabit
    Negotiated Link Speed: 3 Gigabit

    Description: AHCI Version 1.30 Supported

    Hitachi HTS725050A9A362:

    Capacity: 500.11 GB (500,107,862,016 bytes)
    Model: Hitachi HTS725050A9A362
    Revision: PC4ACB0F
    Serial Number: 110207PCG420GLGP6KYC
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk1
    Rotational Rate: 7200
    Medium Type: Rotational
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified​

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This 6gb transfer makes the 1TB failure in the optibay even more mysterious.
     
  25. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #25
    Used the cheap one like in your link. I don't think it really matters because the most 'high tech' part is the cable. Other than that the thing is just a enclosure.

    My Mac also showing 6 gigabit link speed and 6 gigabit negotiated link speed on my early 2011 13'' MBP


    NewishMacGuy is right about the option. But I never dropped my PC (from 2007 MB to 2011 MBP) so I see no reason to worry about the SMS protection. And that is exactly why it's important to have back up.
     

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