I've posted my research on various optical bay adapters on my blog, but thought I'd share my findings here as well. A few weeks ago I purchased a new MacBook Pro. My old machine was plenty fast, but it has developed an overheating problem related to the x1600 graphics card and it can’t stay stable under normal use, to say nothing of attempting to play a YouTube video. But it lasted a good 4+ years as my everyday machine and has held up better than any Thinkpad that I ever used, which is saying something. I think Thinkpads are fine machines, built to take a beating, but my MacBook Pro lasted better than any of them. Given that I can’t have my development machine locking up several times a day I procured a new Macbook Pro from Expercom, the local Apple shop. They are much closer than the Apple store and have much, much better parking. I had intended to buy a 15 inch machine. But when I began to add up the cost of getting the anti-glare screen (a must for me) and the high resolution upgrade I began to wonder why I wasn’t getting a 17 inch instead. I don’t travel much so portability isn’t a huge issue, and I’d get all those extra pixels plus an express card port. So a 17 inch with 8GB of RAM it was. Sitting in my old machine though was my secret weapon. A Crucial C300 265 GB SSD. Given that I’m doing data mart development having a drive than can plow through random reads is a huge benefit. So I wanted to move it over to my new machine. As I thought about it more though, what I really wanted was to have the storage of the 750 GB hard drive that was already in the machine as well as the speed of the SSD. So I began to look at the options for putting a second drive in the optical bay. I really rarely use the DVD drive anyhow and I’d rather occasionally plug in a DVD drive than always be plugging in the SSD. So I did a bunch of googling and found several options, all with various pros and cons: 1. MCE Optibay 2. Lots of cheap, generic caddies on Amazon, eBay, and Buy.com 3. PowerBookMedic Dual Drive 4. MaxUpgrades.com Optical Bay Kit 5. OWC Data Doubler Here are my thoughts on each of the options... From what I can tell the MCE Optibay is the most popular product, but there are reports of terrible customer service, and of caddies not working or not fitting well. It costs $99 for the empty Optibay and that includes an enclosure for your now homeless optical drive. The generic caddies are a compelling option if you are price sensitive above all else, but from what I could tell they don’t allow you to screw the hard drive into the caddy. It is secured by the SATA plug and perhaps some duct tape if you want to apply some. I just dropped a ton of money on a new laptop, and I’m not about to secure my $800 (at time of purchase) SSD with tape. Also, it seems that on most of them you have to rip parts off of them in order to make them fit. Prices range from $9 to about $20. The PowerBookMedic Dual Drive looks like a step up from the generic caddies but for $59. It wasn’t clear to me if you could bolt your drive into it or not. MaxUpgrades.com is interesting. They appear to have the same (or nearly the same) adaptor as the OWC Data Doubler. It is a simple metal frame with holes to secure the drive and other holes to secure it to the case of the computer. The adapter alone costs $72.75. But the interesting, and compelling thing is the super drive enclosure. If you add that the total comes to $89.00. This is by far the best looking enclosure I saw in all my searching, and it is built for slot loading drives. By itself the enclosure is $24.95. I wish I had bought it. The only downside I see here is that the design of the MaxUpgrades.com site is pretty terrible. Rather than having a page for each product they have a giant page with a ton of extraneous info and then a drop-down to order a particular product. That didn’t inspire confidence. Perhaps I’m judging a book by it’s cover. Finally I’ll discuss the OWC Data Doubler. After all my searching and seeing complaints about all the various adapters I was very impressed by both the apparent quality of construction of the Data Doubler and the fact that you could secure the drive to it and it to the computer. But what put it over the top were the installation videos which demonstrate installing the product in a variety of machines. This not only let me see the product from a variety of angles, so I knew what I was getting, but it also showed my exactly how it would install and fit. This was a huge selling point. I had some confidence in them as I’ve ordered from them before, so I went ahead an ordered the product. I also ordered an enclosure for my Super Drive and got the cheap tool kit as my current tiny screwdrivers are getting a little stripped and I didn’t have a spudger. And now for a brief digression… I had understood that both the hard drive SATA port and the SuperDrive port were SATA3 ports capable of 6gbps. This would have given my C300 SSD a nice performance boost. The plan was to leave the original hard drive alone, clone it onto the SSD, and put the SSD in the optical bay. The would leave the hard drive with its little rubber shock absorbers, giving it some additional protection from drops and bumps, and avoid any thermal issues that might arise from putting it in another location. It turns out that the SATA port to the optical bay is a SATA2 port capable of 3gbps. So perhaps I wanted to put the SSD where the hard drive was. I wasn’t excited about this but was considering it. But then I learned that lots of people are reporting issues getting 6gbps SSDs to work in the hard drive spot. There seems to be an interference issue with the cable for the battery indicatory lights. OWC is selling a little bit of shielding for the wire that resolves it for some people but I decided not to mess with it. So I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be getting full performance from my SSD. The kit came and I commenced a series of backups using SuperDuper to get my old computer backed up and then to put the image of the new system on the SSD. I ran the video from OWC as I disassembled the new MacBook Pro, removed my optical drive, and installed the Data Doubler with my SSD. The only issue I encountered was that the connector cable in my 2011 machine seemed to be a little different from the one in the video, which shows a 2010 machine. In my machine the SATA adapter cable is attached to the frame or the motherboard solidly. So I just popped one end out of the Super Drive and left the cable in place. Then I attached it to the Data Doubler as I slid it into place. The whole thing took about 15 minutes and was a great deal easier than replacing the drive on my old MacBook Pro, which involves a great deal more screws and seems to take about twice as long. I held down the option key as the machine booted and it let me select which drive to boot from. I selected the SSD and now it’s off to the races.