Use of ATA over SATA in optical drive bays

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Pat H, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Pat H macrumors member

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    #1
    Looking at blu-ray drives, I thought of an interesting question, and I just wanted to know if anyone knows the answer...why was an older standard used for the MacPro's optical bays, especially when the HDs use SATA?

    And I know the motherboard has sata ports, so that's not my issue. It's just kind of a pain having to use an adapter or run a cable to the motherboard if I want to use a sata blu-ray drive for example.
     
  2. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Optical drive aren't fast enough to need that kind of speed.
     
  3. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #3
    That isn't really the point. The crappiest PC's I've bought this year come with SATA optical bays.

    I'm not au fait with who made the Pro motherboard, but perhaps it was only ever offered to Apple with a 4-SATA configuration.
     
  4. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    #4
    But the mobo on the MacPro has 6 SATA ports.
     
  5. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #5
    Oh. Are the connectors behind the fan shroud? In which case I have no idea why the drives are IDE.

    Edit: Perhaps it's something to do with the connector dimensions, more specifically protruberance from the back of the drives, given the relatively cramped nature of the Pro. Although there would seem to be sufficient space for a 90-degree power/data connector.
     
  6. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

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    #6
    seems like a moot point anyways, seeins how there is no BR support in OS X right now :p
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #7
    And when you say that you mean, "to play movies," because, yes, there is Blu-ray support in OS X for DATA.
     
  8. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

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    #8

    Maybe IDE drives are cheaper for Apple...
    Especially when your talking bulk purchases, prior to rebranding.
     
  9. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #9
    I very much doubt it, and there's no specific, special 'branding' to do for the Pro drives - just pull off the carrier front plate from a standard drive and that's it.

    (which is something that every time I eject a drive from a Pro, I feel has a terribly hokey look to it, unlike say my 700-series Dells which also uses stealthed drives)

    As for costs if anything, due to the shipping numbers even back in say mid-07, SATA drives may have been cheaper to procure in large numbers.

    Maybe it's just because this aspect of the Pro's hardware layout has not been looked at for changes.
     
  10. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #10
    Er... I'm not talking about the bezel. Why don't you open up your system and dismantle the drive from it's cradle. On the top is a yellow sticker, it's there you'll notice there's a Apple logo on the OEM drive - that's the branding i'm talking about.

    From all the products Apple produce today, the MacPro is the ONLY system that features a standard 5.25" optical drive. Every other system, Apple has used the slimmer, laptop versions - including the iMac.
     
  11. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #11
    Which is why I said specific branding, not just a sticker or a minor ROM change (even if it's required these days), i.e. anything that would require it to remain IDE.
     
  12. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    It was probably for compatibility issues as the two ODD SATA ports do not function unless AHCI mode had been enabled. EFI (and the BIOS module) leave AHCI disabled by default since most OSs do not have drivers for AHCI (or Enhanced) mode built into the install (*cough*XP and Vista*cough*) and, even if you do get them installed, there is no way to easily enable AHCI mode without using a low-level bootloader like GRUB to poke the correct bits in the memory. Leopard is able to recognize the devices connected to the ODD ports but this detection occurs AFTER the initial bootloader has picked the boot drive.

    The end result of both these condition is that the two ODD ports cannot have a boot drive connected to them which means that connecting the system's only DVD drive to one will result in the system being unable to boot off of any CD/DVD which is a huge problem, regardless of the OS used. Also, since Apple bill the Mac Pro as supporting up to 4 HDs, it would probably cause quite a few complaints if they took one of the good SATA ports for the DVD drive and, as a result, having at least one drive that could not be booted from and would intermittently disappear depending on which OS you were using.
     
  13. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #13
    I hadn't thought of that, but I'm not sure I see it as a big problem given the mode of use / installation of Boot Camp, at least with XP - and certainly not with Vista.
     
  14. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #14
    You're right. However, when I set up my current PC build an IDE DVD-RW drive was $25. The SATA version was $30. Not only does the speed difference between the standards not come into play, you also pay more. What's the point of having them? Better airflow perhaps, but I'd rather keep the extra $5 and buy a decent 120mm to help with that.
     
  15. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

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    #15
    uuummmm.....
     
  16. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    #16
    [​IMG]

    The fat-&$% IDE cables have a habit of plopping themselves down somewhere important, like right between the intake fan and the CPU heatsink. SATA cables not only will block much less air flow if they get in the way, they are also much easier to tuck/tie out of the way.
     
  17. Supaklaw macrumors regular

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    #17
    Because Superdrives are still IDE... Apple isn't exactly cutting edge with a lot of it's components. Like DDR2.
     
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #18
    FB-DIMM cutting edge in shipped systems is DDR2 right now.

    Apple uses partially squared IDE cables which look a lot neater than that, and the cable alone won't significantly impede the poor airflow in a Pro.
     
  19. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #19

    You hit the nail on the head. :D Yet almost everyone seemed to ignore it....
     
  20. Supaklaw macrumors regular

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    #20
    Guiyon's point makes sense.

    DDR3 is cutting edge btw, not DDR2... and "Super"drives are butt slow.
     
  21. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    #21
    In reference to Mac Pros, there is no Intel motherboard that supports DDR3 and the model of Xeon chips that Apple is using.

    Go try to configure one at Dell, IBM, or HP. You will see that they are all DDR2 and if you are lucky, then you can get FB-DIMMs support.

    The new MacBooks all use DDR3. Show me how many other laptops are currently shipping that support DDR3.

    /rant over
     
  22. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #22
    I'm sure the updated MPs will have SATA optical drives in them. They updated the MB(P)s with SATA drives and those are laptops. You'd think they update the drives in their more powerful desktop models.:rolleyes:
     
  23. NightSailor macrumors 6502

    NightSailor

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    #23
    Thanks for the information.
     
  24. emt377 macrumors member

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    #24
    They're a hassle in PCs. Ten years ago internal SCSI cables sucked just as much, and before that ST506. But this is a function of the typically retarded layout of PC cases, where you have to run fat ribbon cables from one end of the case to the connector usually located a few inches from the CPU - other systems I've had over the last 20 years (SGI, Sun, and now Apple) are designed with cabling in mind and don't have the same problems. Or they use caddies and mini backplane boards (which Sun has used as long as I can remember, at least since the original SparcStation!). That's because these systems are design starting with the case layout and designing the logic board to support the physical layout - PC mbs are not designed with any particular enclosure in mind, just cram as much as possible onto as little real estate as possible, and place the internal connectors where there's likely to be an open space (which is close to the CPU). (Yeah, I know, you can buy a decent PC from DELL and other sources, in which case cabling is a non-issue.)
     

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