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Apple addresses MacBook SATA issue

Apple addresses MacBook SATA issue

The latest MacBook Pro models now have full SATA performance available thanks to a firmware update - but still ship with SATA 1.5Gb/s drives.

Apple has answered the question of whether changes limiting the new 15” and 17” MacBook Pro models to 1.5Gb/s SATA were made in hardware or software with an update to unlock the hidden performance.

As we reported last week, the latest revisions to the MacBook Pro stable have perplexed users by limiting the speed of the SATA bus to 1.5Gb/s – a far cry from the 3.0Gb/s offered by older models.

Apple has now confirmed that this limitation existed only in software – and didn't represent a move to a cheaper chipset, as many new MacBook owners had feared – by way of a new firmware update which returns the SATA controller to its previous 3.0Gb/s capable mode.

However, the update reveals an interesting snippet of information for anyone that thought Apple's flagship laptop range was built using the latest and greatest hardware: unlike traditional PC manufacturers, Apple has stuck with the older 1.5Gb/s standard for all hard drives in its stable – shunning the 3.0Gb/s standard to which every other PC manufacturer has long since migrated.

The admission comes as part of the release notes, which advise users of the fact that “Apple has not qualified or offered [3.0Gb/s SATA] drives for Mac portable computers, and their use remains unsupported.” The release goes on to say that “all previous and current Apple portables with a SATA drive interface include a SATA 1.5Gbps hard drive.

Despite this cost-cutting move, the real world performance is likely to be minimal: the decision to unlock the 3.0Gb/s potential of the latest MacBooks is more down to the availability of ultra-fast after-market SSD add-ons than the performance potential of an average mechanical drive. Even though the actual performance will barely be noticeable, many MacBook owners may feel upset that at least one component of their shiny new system is older than it seems.

In addition to unlocking SATA 3.0Gb/s performance from the very latest MacBook Pros, the firmware update also improves a crash in the ATI Radeon HD 4850 drivers for the iMac range, and solves a problem where systems running Boot Camp were unable to return from sleep mode properly, and is available immediately from the Apple website.

Do you think that Apple has a cheek offering 1.5Gb/s SATA drives to its customers, or are you just pleased that your shiny new MacBook Pro can accept an SSD running at full whack after all? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

18 Comments

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p3n 24th June 2009, 12:02 Quote
If the hard drive itself doesn't saturate the SATA bus then why would it need SATA II, though I believe they come with an SSD option so the chipset thing is dumb. I'm glad they fixed the problem for the SSD benchmark nerds...
alpaca 24th June 2009, 12:12 Quote
if there is no normal hard drive right now that saturates SATA, there is absolutely no use for SATAII drivers. i do not really understand where the fuzz is about. on the other hand, why did they not code for SATAII in the first place (as futureproofing), as the chipset supports it anyway? is it more expensive/difficult?
lewchenko 24th June 2009, 12:38 Quote
A 5400RPM laptop HD is not going to need to be a SATA 3Gb's speed rated drive, as it could never saturate the connection to speak, so of course Apple would ship 'older' HD's as its irrelevant whether its SATA I / II etc.

So its just PR then in the PC world if someone sell's you an uber fast SATA II 3Gb's '5400 RPM laptop drive', which will never (ever) get near that speed. SSD's yes, normal HD's (especially laptop drives.. no)

This whole story appears to be fluff !
fodder 24th June 2009, 12:56 Quote
From the last story on this here:-
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2009/06/15/new-macbooks-have-sata-downgrade/1#reply
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder
Nothing new for apple.

Remember the old mac 'power pc' towers? They were still using 2x CD rom drives long (maybe even a year+) after you couldn't buy them anymore. My theory is they did a bulk buy of discontinued Sata II stock and will continue to find reasons to fit it until it runs out. I bet the reason to then switch to Sata III wil be 'Solid state drives are now being accepted as the format of choice' thus putting the reason back on the user for sticking with Sata II for so long.

Like I said, usual Apple shinanigans. No realworld performance impact at the moment, but there will be.
Htr-Labs 24th June 2009, 14:57 Quote
Sadly....I was considering purchasing a new MacBook Pro 13", only to find out about the 1.5 Gbps limitation on the SATA interface. I wanted one for a while but simply could not afford to pay the premium until recently, however I'm still not convinced it is a wise purchase and I'll tell you why. I knew the chipset could handle the SATA 2 spec but I was not sure why Apple would limit it, but now I realize why. Apple does things like this simply "because they can" whether it be for market control, pleasure or just because they are maniacal and evil, and that annoys me to know end. This is not some kind of sick joke where people willingly sacrifice their hard-earned money for a lack-luster product and are expected not only to like it, but to request more of the same. Has the world no common sense anymore? I refuse to pay for such shoddy products that cost almost twice as much as other "PC Manufacturer" brands such as Dell, IBM/Lenovo, and HP, yet offer less than half of the performance. If you want to pay for a label, go right ahead, but I strongly urge you to resist. Maybe when Apple introduces PERMANENT 25-40% price reductions to ALL of their products, maybe then I will buy. Paying for a label is one thing, but paying for something that does not even work properly or cannot compete with similar products is just ridiculous. Sorry for the rant, but something has got to give here.
Ape 24th June 2009, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Htr-Labs
Apple does things like this simply "because they can" whether it be for market control, pleasure or just because they are maniacal and evil, and that annoys me to know end. This is not some kind of sick joke

It is, I laughed through pretty much all of your post.
leexgx 24th June 2009, 16:59 Quote
unless your using SSD and even then you not notice it as its the Access times that make it fast not just the data rate
Boogle 24th June 2009, 17:36 Quote
Pay premium for shoddy hardware, go on forums exclaiming how paying more for less is a good thing. It's the Apple way!
D-Cyph3r 24th June 2009, 19:38 Quote
Woah, apple fanboy rage out ftw!


PS: Apple blows! :P
Ape 24th June 2009, 19:44 Quote
lol I'm just pissed at all these anti apple **** that know **** all.
lewchenko 24th June 2009, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Htr-Labs
Sadly....I was considering purchasing a new MacBook Pro 13", only to find out about the 1.5 Gbps limitation on the SATA interface. I wanted one for a while but simply could not afford to pay the premium until recently, however I'm still not convinced it is a wise purchase and I'll tell you why. I knew the chipset could handle the SATA 2 spec but I was not sure why Apple would limit it, but now I realize why. Apple does things like this simply "because they can" whether it be for market control, pleasure or just because they are maniacal and evil, and that annoys me to know end. This is not some kind of sick joke where people willingly sacrifice their hard-earned money for a lack-luster product and are expected not only to like it, but to request more of the same. Has the world no common sense anymore? I refuse to pay for such shoddy products that cost almost twice as much as other "PC Manufacturer" brands such as Dell, IBM/Lenovo, and HP, yet offer less than half of the performance. If you want to pay for a label, go right ahead, but I strongly urge you to resist. Maybe when Apple introduces PERMANENT 25-40% price reductions to ALL of their products, maybe then I will buy. Paying for a label is one thing, but paying for something that does not even work properly or cannot compete with similar products is just ridiculous. Sorry for the rant, but something has got to give here.


I just dont know where to start with this post.. Its either the funniest post ever, or if you were being serious, then its the most retarded post Ive ever read. So from all the ranting I guess you never really were considering the Macbook Pro 13" then considering you think its 40% over priced and offers 50% less performance than a PC laptop! Or did you forget that when you were "saving up for one" !!

And if you believe what you wrote, then please go see a Doctor. When he asks you what your symptoms are please state 'Delusional' , 'I know bugger all about computers but still post on IT tech websites' , and finally 'Troll'.

:(
The internet astounds me sometimes when I see people posting stuff like that.
frojoe 24th June 2009, 21:52 Quote
For all of you that hate apple so much, why even bother reading a story about the company? Seems like a waste of your time.
Ape 24th June 2009, 22:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
The internet astounds me sometimes when I see people posting stuff like that.

I've given up on this site, you only see posts like Htr-Labs on here and no where else on other tech sites.

EVERY Apple thread so far has been hijacked by idiots. Seems like Bit Tech is not moderated and full of wannabe techs with fk all knowledge of what the subject matter is.
Matticus 24th June 2009, 23:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ape
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
The internet astounds me sometimes when I see people posting stuff like that.

I've given up on this site, you only see posts like Htr-Labs on here and no where else on other tech sites.

EVERY Apple thread so far has been hijacked by idiots. Seems like Bit Tech is not moderated and full of wannabe techs with fk all knowledge of what the subject matter is.

While I agree that Htr-labs post was a good read. I do not agree that Bit-Tech is not moderated, it is very well moderated by quite a few active mods. I think what you are referring to is "free-speech" and "debate". A lot of other tech sites have ridiculously strict moderating, that do not allow people to express their opinion and in many cases put a damper on any views that would go against their interests. Htr-Labs while misinformed was not being offensive or rude, so what is there to moderate? Unless I missed it, he did not resort to swearing either, unfortunately you did.
Ape 25th June 2009, 00:55 Quote
Righty ho, enjoy your comfy kiddy website.

As for the moderation, it also helps to stop idiots jumping into every fking apple thread and filling it with uninformed nubile chatter - not restricting it, just keeping it in check.

Anyway, enjoy. seriously.
jrs77 25th June 2009, 01:48 Quote
I'm not a fanboi of Apple and actually never bothered to buy an Apple-Desktop-PC, but their Notebooks/Laptops are allways the better choice, when it's about productivity and battery-life.
So who cares if it's SATA II or SATA I?

The funny thing is actually, that even with the limitation to 1,5 Gb/s they deliver the same power and speed compared to Windows-machines.

Just saying... I'm still using a very old Powerbook G4 (400MHz, 256MB RAM) I got as a gift some 6 years back in time, which is running Photoshop 7 absolutely fine. Try doing this with a Windows-Laptop and similar hardware.
Actually I don't even think that a Windows-machine would even have a liefespan of 10+ years, without changing the batteries, HDD or whatever.

But it doesn't matter really. Aslong as it's branded with a fruit on the shell, the Windows-crowd will tear it apart.
Matticus 25th June 2009, 12:48 Quote
I am by no means a windows fanboy, most the machines in my house are running windows though, we have 1 mac, 1 linux based server and my my main machine which dual boots windows 7 and ubuntu. I know certain people on here are windows fanboys, what you have to understand is that this site is open to quite a lot of younger people. The consequence of this is this is that you will sometimes get misinformed and immature responses, but if you are not adult enough to take these with a pinch of salt then why are you even here.

This is an open forum, open for debate, if you can't take the high ground then why waste your time here. Just go somewhere where debate means like minded people all agreeing with each other and having a jolly good time.
Htr-Labs 25th June 2009, 23:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
I'm not a fanboi of Apple and actually never bothered to buy an Apple-Desktop-PC, but their Notebooks/Laptops are allways the better choice, when it's about productivity and battery-life.
So who cares if it's SATA II or SATA I?

The funny thing is actually, that even with the limitation to 1,5 Gb/s they deliver the same power and speed compared to Windows-machines.

Just saying... I'm still using a very old Powerbook G4 (400MHz, 256MB RAM) I got as a gift some 6 years back in time, which is running Photoshop 7 absolutely fine. Try doing this with a Windows-Laptop and similar hardware.
Actually I don't even think that a Windows-machine would even have a liefespan of 10+ years, without changing the batteries, HDD or whatever.

But it doesn't matter really. Aslong as it's branded with a fruit on the shell, the Windows-crowd will tear it apart.

Good post...agreed. I've got an old Powerbook as well...still runs yellowdog like a top.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus
I am by no means a windows fanboy, most the machines in my house are running windows though, we have 1 mac, 1 linux based server and my my main machine which dual boots windows 7 and ubuntu. I know certain people on here are windows fanboys, what you have to understand is that this site is open to quite a lot of younger people. The consequence of this is this is that you will sometimes get misinformed and immature responses, but if you are not adult enough to take these with a pinch of salt then why are you even here.

This is an open forum, open for debate, if you can't take the high ground then why waste your time here. Just go somewhere where debate means like minded people all agreeing with each other and having a jolly good time.

I won't applaud you for saying so but I hope you won't lash out at me. I'm neutral here.

Don't the childish responses just tickle you to death :o

I do it nowadays just to get a rise and response out of the uncivilized heathens of the group. Thankfully you two can notice sarcasm for such a fine thing it is. As for the ones who attacked me...w/e. If you are silly enough to take the comment seriously then I suggest you follow the wise words of my good friend lewchenko:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko

And if you believe what you wrote, then please go see a Doctor. When he asks you what your symptoms are please state 'Delusional' , 'I know bugger all about computers but still post on IT tech websites' , and finally 'Troll'.

:(
The internet astounds me sometimes when I see people posting stuff like that.


Right on broseph...keep up the good work. ;)


Peace
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