Apple Issues Fix for SATA Drives in MacBook Pros


System Profiler reporting 13" MacBook SATA speed

System Profiler reporting 13" MacBook SATA speed

A week after reports first surfaced of a downgrade in SATA bus speeds, Apple (s aapl) has issued a fix that both solves the problem and puts an end to conspiracy theories about it.

The issue centered around new MacBook Pros having a SATA speed of 1.5 gigabits, down from 3 gigabits on previous models, including the low-end MacBook. While there would be no performance degradation on any MacBook Pro with a mechanical hard drive or standard solid-state drive, there was at least a theoretical decline in performance for those with faster SSDs, like the Intel X-25M.

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 “addresses an issue reported by a small number of customers using drives based on the SATA 3Gbps specification with the June 2009 MacBook Pro.” Interestingly, there is also a caveat: “While this update allows drives to use transfer rates greater than 1.5Gbps, Apple has not qualified or offered these drives for Mac notebooks and their use is unsupported.”

As the owner of a unibody MacBook, I can report that my “unsupported” Intel X-25M has run like lightning for six months and counting. The real issue here isn’t about unsupported drives, but how something like this slipped through Apple QA. Nonetheless, those considering upgrading their drives can now be confident of the best performance, be it real or imagined.



Since you’ve touched upon the issue of SATA drive and MACBOOK, i would like to bring to notice that APPLE replaced my MACBOOK SATA hard drive free of cost even though my MACBOOK was out of warranty. I have a MACBOOK second generation bought in mid 2007. I experienced a hard drive crash in the month of MAY. I did not backup my data and learnt to do so the hard way. I came back to my hometown for vacation and decided to contact APPLE regarding this because the issue was not an isolated one. After a lot of bargaining i was able to convince them that the issue was genuinely a hard drive crash associated with SEAGATE hard drives in MACBOOKs manufactured in mid 2007.
My idea is to educate people regarding this so that they are benefited in 2 ways.
1) Backup data and 2) Contact apple regarding this.
Unless and until i stressed upon a replacement i didn’t get one. As far as i know APPLE recognizes this but has not issued a call back.
So users who have MACBOOKs(second generation), kindly make a note of this.


Naren Bharatwaj

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