SATA Bus Crippled in MacBook Pro Since 2008

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by timish, Jun 16, 2009.

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  1. timish macrumors regular

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    #1
    All,

    I did some research based on the uproar regarding the current batch of machines Apple released with the hardware to support 3.0Gbit SATA, but instead set the chip to run at 1.5Gbit.

    I found something disturbing.

    The Penryn MacBook Pro models (and possibly other related machines) from 2008 were equipped with an Intel ICH8-M AHCI SATA bus architecture.

    This technology supports 3.0Gbit SATA transfer speeds, but again, for whatever reason Apple halved the capability even in the high end models from 2008.

    This is nothing new (in regards to the newer machines)

    These laptops have had this capability for a long time, yet Apple has capped the speeds.

    I am basing my information on my 2.6Ghz "classic" 17 inch Mac Book Pro.

    If you do a System Profiler and click on Serial-ATA you will see what Intel chip/architecture controls your SATA bus.

    If it's a Intel ICH8-M AHCI then your machine should have 3.0Gbit SATA capability yet Apple crippled its speed as well.

    We need a firmware fix too guys and gals.

    Even this "older" chipset supports 3.0Gbit SATA speeds and for some reason our capability has been limited.

    Some guy was asking these same questions back in 2007 in regards to his Macbook Pro.

    Apple has been pulling this junk for a while with their "Pro" machines.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1114521


    See attached screenshot.

    That chipset supports the higher SATA speeds according to Intel yet Apple's implementation clearly caps it at 1.5 instead of 3.0

    Why don't we have this capability Apple???
     

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  2. bcaslis macrumors 68020

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    It has not always been capped. My late 2008 UMP 15" delivered SATA II speeds with an Intel X25M SSD. But the mid 2009 UMP 15" is clearly capped at SATA I speeds.
     
  3. timish thread starter macrumors regular

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    That is due to your late 2008 "Unibody" MBP being equipped with an NVIDIA chipset which also controls the SATA bus. (correct me if I am wrong)

    Does your serial-ata bus report the same chip controller as my "classic" 2.6Ghz MBP? (ICH8-M AHCI)

    Point being is the chipset has been around since the 2008 Penryn "Pre Unibody" MacBook Pro models (and perhaps the MacBook) and Apple has been setting the capability to 1.5Gbit (instead of the 3.0gbit which the architecture is supposed to support)

    What they have been doing is nothing new.

    The hardware supports the 3.0 speeds on these Intel SATA chipset laptops, but why is Apple scaling them back to 1.5??

    That is the giant mystery and it's not just on the new models either.
     
  4. TXBDan macrumors regular

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    #4
    How are you testing that it is limited to 1.5 in your computer?
     
  5. twodeko macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Is there a possibility that Apple is using SATA controllers that are designed for 3.0 Gbps but didn't meet spec when they were tested and then downgraded to 1.5 Gbps with firmware? These would be bought for less and have similar identification.
     
  6. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    SSD's were almost unheard of in early 2008, so there would have been no good reason for Apple to put SATA2 in, except for the fact that the chipset supports it.
     
  7. timish thread starter macrumors regular

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    In my opinion, I highly doubt that.

    In a low end product, perhaps, but I wouldn't expect Apple to put sub par parts in their flagship product, especially when the specifications for the "guts" of these machines are easily found on Intel's website.

    It still doesn't excuse the fact that the hardware natively supports the SATA II protocol and 3.0Gbit speeds yet Apple has limited its capabilities in both my top of the line model from 2008 and the new hardware that was recently released.

    Check my screen shot in my original message.


    You will also see that my current 500GB hard drive, model HTS545050KTA300 is also a 3.0Gbit capable Hitachi drive, yet the Intel ICH8-M AHCI chipset controlling this drive, which supports 3.0 speeds is running at half of what it should be. Doesn't make sense at all.

    The system profiler is stating that the chipset is running at 1.5 instead of 3.0 which it is capable of.

    I've also tried four other hard drives in this machine, all with the same results.

    The chipset won't run at 3.0 native speed regardless of what I do.

    Seems like my ICH8-M AHCI equipped 2008 MacBook Pro has the same problem as the new models that were just released.
     
  8. bcaslis macrumors 68020

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    Yes, the late 2008 UMP 15" uses the Nvidia 9400M just like the mid 2009 models. I guess I misunderstood your point, I thought your issue was Apple not supporting full SATA II speeds. As to why they capped the ICH8-M or the 9400M in the mid 2009 models I have no clue. I don't buy this "it reduces power" but I can't think of any other reason to do so.
     
  9. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #9
    2007 "Santa Rosa" Macbook Pros have these as well.
     
  10. bugout macrumors 6502a

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    Your 500GB hard drive is incapable of taking advantage of a sata 2 interface.. it can't even max out a sata 1 interface..
     
  11. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #11
    that particular chipset was modified by intel for apple, sata II was not included in it for obvious reasons (at the time it was not needed and was at a much higher cost)

    this is nothing new
     
  12. timish thread starter macrumors regular

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    Interesting.

    Then these models also have the chips to support 3.0 speeds but are also limited for some unknown reason.

    Now, to even STIR the pot further............

    We all agree that 1.5Mbit is SATA I speed, right?

    We all also agree that 3.0Mbit is SATA II speeds, right?

    It has been established that the older models (and some new models) have a 3.0 capable architecture, yet are limited to 1.5 speeds.

    BUT.............!!

    Native Command Queuing is a feature that is part of the SATA II command set, and one would think that a SATA II controller that supported NCQ would also support and should run at 3.0Gbit speeds.

    You still with me??

    Ok.

    All you guys and gals running at 1.5Gbit go to your system profiler.

    Click on Serial-ATA again.

    Does NATIVE COMMAND QUEUING say "YES"?

    So, this proves that the chip is running SATA II commands and supporting the extended features of SATA II extensions, yet bottlenecked at 1.5Gbit for some reason.

    I think ALL MacBook Pro (and perhaps MacBook) owners deserve and explanation regarding this, and/or a firmware update that covers ALL these models equipped with ICH8-M AHCI hardware.

    This is ridiculous.

    LOL

    Check the 2007 Mac Book Pro developer note

    http://developer.apple.com/document...MacBookPro_0601/Articles/MacBookPro_0601.html

    It clearly says this unit supports SATA II commands.

    "The SATA disk drives operate through an AHCI 1.1 controller that supports advanced SATA-II features such as Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and PHY power management."

    Something is definitely screwy here.

    That is NOT MY POINT.

    The fact is the hardware inside my machine should support the higher transfer rate. This is supported by the technical documentation from Intel.

    It does not and that is what has me (and a lot of other people) upset.

    It is also backed up by Apple's developer Technotes that the SATA bus should support SATA II, which includes a 3.0Gbit transfer rate under the standard.

    You are possibly incorrect. (I might be as well, but please read Post 14 above this one for my ideas/hypothesis)

    If the chipset reports that it supports "Native Command Queuing" then that is a subset of SATA II capabilities.

    Do you have a cite that shows that the particular Intel SATA chipset was modified by Intel to remove these desirable performance features for Apple?

    That doesn't make sense to me. :confused:
     
  13. bugout macrumors 6502a

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    Yeah so you've had it nearly year and just noticed.. MBP's up to and including that model never had a Sata 2 interface.. The reason we're all up in arms is because apple dropped the spec on newly released machines..
     
  14. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #14
    i am correct, im also ACMT certified

    NCQ show's up but IS NOT ACTIVE.

    YOU ARE WRONG
     
  15. timish thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    According to the APPLE DEVELOPER NOTE I posted above, you are incorrect.

    Did you even read it?

    Oh really?

    Certified or not I don't care.

    What is your rebuttal to the Apple TechNote I posted in my reply #14?

    It clearly states:

    ""The SATA disk drives operate through an AHCI 1.1 controller that supports advanced SATA-II features such as Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and PHY power management.""


    How can you say that NCQ is "NOT ACTIVE" yet the TECHNOTE and System Profiler SAYS OTHERWISE??


    Ok, MR ACMT certified, show me documentation that PROVES ME (and APPLE) wrong?

    LOL
    :rolleyes:
     
  16. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    #16
    Out of curiosity are you using Snow Leopard..?

    Just your hard drive capacities are displayed in Base 10 format..
     
  17. harshw macrumors member

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    #17
    Hi

    Yes you are correct. The ICH8-M used has SATA 3.0 Gbit/s capability but is capped at 1.5 Gbit/s. There is a reason for that and it affects other laptops as well - Dell, IBM/Lenovo etc

    The ICH8-M was incompatible with many SATA-PATA bridge chipsets at the 3.0 Gbit/s level. Since the SATA-PATA bridges were needed due to optical drives being PATA, you'll see this on many laptops. On Desktop motherboards where a separate chipset was used to provide IDE channels and on laptops that had no PATA optical drives, the chipset can and does provide 3.0 Gbit/s
     
  18. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #18

    because those tech note's are always accurate ?

    all your trying to do is get people in a furl about this and it does not matter,

    no one cares about the old chipsets, there mad about the fact that apple dropped an already adopted and standard technology.
     
  19. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #19
    Yes it does.
     

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  20. timish thread starter macrumors regular

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    Hi,

    Yes I am.

    The 1.5Gbit designation stays consistant with Leopard (10.5.7) as well.

    Thanks!

    Prove me wrong....

    All you bring to the table is rhetoric, a boast about being certified (which is based on apple's "accurate" documentation LOL!!) and an ignorance to sharing technical data that is completely RELEVANT to the current model situation.
    :rolleyes:
     
  21. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #21
    right...good luck


    next
     
  22. bugout macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    PWNED :p
     
  23. P Mentior macrumors regular

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    I just don't understand why it really matters. The fact is that HDD can't transfer data at that speed unless it is an SSD. Why care if you don't use it anyway? I understand that it may give you better performance if you were to upgrade to an SSD but most users probably wont ever need to worry about it.
     
  24. timish thread starter macrumors regular

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    The reason I brought this up is:

    Everyone is up in arms about the new model's 1.5Gbit speed cap.

    1. It appears this isn't the first time that Apple has limited the SATA bus on it's Macbook/Macbook Pro line as evidenced by my screen shots, etc.

    2. There is a TON of misinformation being posted, even from people supposedly "certified" :rolleyes: on these platforms. Anybody can research Macbook or Macbook Pro with NCQ or Native Command Queuing to see that these technologies are supported by these chipsets. Why even report NCQ as YES/NO in System Profiler if the chipset doesn't support it? LOL.

    3. It sets a precedent that Apple bottlenecks its products, in 2008 and now. It's nothing new.

    4. I'm hoping that bringing light to the fact that the older machines have the capability, that they also get rectified, or at least the problem with the previous machines is brought to the forefront. There are TONS of non Unibody Macbook Pros out there, and this also ads some clout and "allies" to the current argument/plight about the SATA bus being limited on the current machines.
     
  25. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #25
    too bad your thread states somthing you cant even back up....


    down the list this thread goes
     
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