This MCE Optibay Thing Doesn't Make Sense

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by groove-agent, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. groove-agent macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    So I just bought a new SR (non-unibody) 15" MBP. I was looking at the Optibay option, but there's something that doesn't make sense. On their website, you can purchase the Optibay online, select what they call the "1st generation MBP" (which I'm assuming means an intel, non-unibody) and it gives you the option of choosing a 500GB SATA drive.

    My understanding is that the optical drive bus is EIDE ATA100, not SATA. Do they have some sort of internal conversion going on that allows you to use SATA drives with a PATA bus, or have they figured out a way of running another SATA drive off the original SATA bus? I know you can run multiple drives off a SATA bus, but I don't know if you could do this with the connectors on the MBP.

    Any speculation?

    I emailed MCE, but I don't expect to get a reply - at least, I haven't received anything yet.
  2. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    The give you the connection plug for Sata but double check and make sure. Most likely though it is only Sata1
  3. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    So that means that you can put a SATA drive in with an IDE bus?
  4. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yes they should include the conversion connector. The Max Upgrades unit for the Unibody they give you the conversion from the optical drive Sata to the Sata for the hard drives. Yes they actually are different. But I would make sure they provide this other wise it is worthless not to have the IDE to Sata. BTW they do this in the MacPro optical drives IDE to Sata on the conversion kits as well.
  5. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    BTW just FYI this is the first unit Apple make the optical drive a Sata connection on the unibody. Reason the new Unibody is sata already but you still need the convert to Sata Hard drive. Go figure that one out. Why they just did not use a normal hard drive Sata connector and make life easier is beyond me
  6. efedor macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2007
    I use the optibay on my mid 08 mbp and It works as good as when I had my hard drive in the original spot. The optibay comes with a small circuitry that hooks up to the sata hd and that's were I assume is the sata converter. I strongly recommend it because it works! and it fits well...hey for 129dls they even send you a small screwdriver but..ahhh no instructions!
  7. echeng macrumors newbie


    Apr 15, 2009
    I did this on my old MBP, and there was a performance hit in the IDE to SATA bridge. From my testing, it seemed to be around a 20% hit.

    Still, it was nice to be able to put a second SATA drive in there instead of being limited to 160GB (spinning) IDE drives.
  8. efedor macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2007
    I have a 120gb ssd on the original spot and a 320gb 7200 on the opti. Like I said before it does not affect performance and is as fast as it was when I had it in its original spot.
  9. tm.chen macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2009
    the version before the unibody MBP uses IDE for its optical drive?
  10. edblor macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    Yeah, is this confirmed? Source?

    My 2.17GHz CD 17" MBP has a SATA HDD, but I would find it hard to believe the optical drive is IDE.

    [edit]Upon Googling, I came upon this:

    (Apple System Profiler report)
    Firmware Revision: FQ3T
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
    Cache: 2048 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
    Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
    Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, DVD-DAO"

    The MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846: was a standard drive in the first 17" CD 2.16GHz laptops. As you can see above, it is indeed an IDE interface.

    Damn....what a downer. Looks like Apple forced this first gen MBP out the door with an added on SATA controller for the HDD, and left the older tech for the optical drive.

  11. bstreiff macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    Austin, TX, USA
    Probably. IDE vs. SATA in optical drives doesn't matter that much for performance, reading the disc is where the bottleneck is.
  12. edblor macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    True. I remember the "huge" gains going from IDE133 to SATA150 ;)

    I did not mean to sound harsh on Apple for going HDD-SATA and optical-IDE. Back then, most new mobos had both too. Heck, some still do, eh?
  13. aaronearles macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2009
    Most notebooks use SATA for hard drive and IDE for optical, even current models.
  14. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    That conflicts with what echeng is saying. His tests suggest a 20% hit using the IDE to SATA converter. However, he's using solid state SATA drives which might not be directly applicable for whatever reason.

    I saw a Macworld (or Mac something) review and they did a "Finder Test" which sounds like a straight file copy, nothing elaborate. The results showed little to no difference. However, he was using a 160GB PATA drive.

    I'd rather go with the faster of the two options. If native PATA is faster than spending overhead on a PATA to SATA conversion, I would prefer to limit myself to 160GBs. In any case, I'm sure it's faster than using an external firewire or USB drive. I just like the idea of not having to carry around an external drive. It's one less thing to connect when I sit down to work.

    MCE would be the people to ask, but I haven't received a reply after 4 days. I don't think they'll reply since they're a smaller, online sales company.
  15. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    I currently have a uMBP and a SR 17" at my house. The uMBP optical drive is definitely SATA and the SR is PATA. In the "About This Mac" section you can tell what devices are connected to each bus by clicking on the respective bus.

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