Sata III SSD in 15" late 2011 MBP OptiBay

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Fuzzball27, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Fuzzball27 macrumors member

    Fuzzball27

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    #1
    Please read my entire post before answering, thanks!


    I would like to install a Sata III SSD in my OptiBay and I need to know if it is possible. If I understand correcly, the history of SATA and the 2011 MBP is as follows:

    1. Early 2011 MBP comes out with SATA III hardware on the Main Bay and SATA II hardware on the OptiBay, but SATA III didn't work on either bay.

    2. Apple releases a software update that enables SATA III capability on the Main Bay of early 2011 MBP models.

    3. Apple quietly started including SATA III hardware on the OptiBay for Late 2011 MBP models. However, SATA III speeds are only working on 13" models due to EMF issues on the 15" and 17" models.


    My Question(s):

    1.
    Does anyone know if apple fixed the issue via software as they did in the Main Bay? I am currently running OS X 10.11.5.

    2. If I have a late 2011 MBP that came with the SATA III cable in the OptiBay, can I install a SATA III SSD in the OptiBay?

    3. If the issue hasn't been fixed:
    Will I just get SATA II speeds on my SATA III drive, or do the EMF issues render SATA III drives useless in my 15" late 2011 MBP?
     
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #2
    You have the history pretty much right. Some Early machines did have SATA III, though, and there's no guarantee of working SATA III on 13" - whether Early or Late - though they do seem to be more stable than 15" and 17".

    1. They did not. It is not something that can be fixed via software. The stability issues stem from a design "flaw"/choice in the Intel chipset. If SATA III was previously enabled via software in the main bay, it is because it was restricted via software. The hardware in the main bay has always been stable SATA III.

    2. There's no way to know. You may have a machine that works properly, and you may not. The only way to know is to try it.

    3. Most likely, if your machine does have an issue, it will be more severe than merely negotiating SATA II on the III link. Think unexpected volume ejections, failed data transfers, and data corruption.

    I'll also add my experience. I have an Early 2011 15". It has SATA II in the optical bay. I am currently using SATA III Samsung SSDs (see signature) in both the main bay and the optical bay. Everything is stable and issue free. The optical bay SSD of course only runs at SATA II speeds, though.

    Bottom line is that it's a lottery. It may work fine, or it may be a complete nightmare.
     
  3. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    I had one of these bays in my 2011 13 inch for a while with an SSD. It was slow, faster than rotational drive speed, but not nearly as fast as the SSD in the main drive bay. In the end I just pulled the optibay out and put a bigger SSD in the main drive bay. That also increased the speed of the main drive bay since larger SSDs tend to be faster than smaller ones. Also saved an couple of ounces.
     
  4. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #4
    Trying to gather some data:

    1. Early or Late 2011?
    2. SATA II or SATA III link speed in optical bay?
    3. SATA II or SATA III negotiated link speed in optical bay?
    4. Was the low speed the only disadvantage you had with the SSD in the optical bay, or did you experience stability issues?
    5. Did you use the SSD in the optical bay as a system boot drive?

    Thanks.
     
  5. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #5
    See responses in line. Sorry I did not take very good notes on this experiment and no longer have the 13" MBP, and it was 2 years ago.

    1. Early or Late 2011?
    Late 2011, I think.

    2. SATA II or SATA III link speed in optical bay?
    Not sure any more, but I think it was SATA II. Sure did perform like Sata II.

    3. SATA II or SATA III negotiated link speed in optical bay?
    Not sure

    4. Was the low speed the only disadvantage you had with the SSD in the optical bay, or did you experience stability issues?
    Just speed, but I only kept it in there for a few days and sent back the SSD (128) GB back for credit against a larger SSD (480 GB) for the main bay.

    5. Did you use the SSD in the optical bay as a system boot drive?
    No. Always booted off main drive. Bought the drive in the optical bay for storage expansion.
     

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