MacBooks afflicted with SATA 'degrade'
Flash no longer quick as a flash
Apple may have switched to a slower SATA interface with some new MacBook Pros.
Apple had used SATA II for its MacBooks but appears to have reverted to the older and slower SATA I for some new MacBooks. The affected models are the 13in and 15in screen MacBook Pros. The 13in white MacBook and MacBook Air and the 17in MacBook Pros use the SATA II interface.
A thread on the MacRumours web forum provides more information, including the suggestion that a firmware upgrade could fix the problem. Apple has not responded yet.
The Serial ATA interconnect links computers with disk drives and ran at 1.5Gb/s in its first incarnation, That was upgraded to 3Gb/s in the second generation of the standard, and the latest SATA III version operates at 6Gb/s.
The SATA degrade shouldn't affect hard disk drive MacBook users, but may well affect users with Flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs). Benchmarks indicate slower SSD I/O than with the 3Gb/s link, with large sequential reads the most affected. Overall, SSD use in the affected MacBooks should still show faster performance than with hard disk drives. ®
Apple has updated the firmware on the MacBook Pros which had the SATA speed problem. That problem is now a thing of the past... and, just as some persons had stated, fixing it required merely performing a firmware update. <http://support.apple.com/downloads/MacBook_Pro_EFI_Firmware_Update_1_7_>.
El Reg seems to have not bothered to cover the fix with the same speed and depth that they covered the problem.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. If Macs aren't overpriced, why do their SATA ports run so slowly?
@ Jordan 4
Whats actually important is how many bits pass under the read write head in a given unit of time. That is determined by the rotation speed AND the density at which data is being stored.
Data densities have improved dramatically. A modern 5400 RPM drive will beat a 3 year on 10,000 rpm drive when you are just measuring throughput.
@ Anonymous Coward
""This is normal for a laptop" - Yes, but those price tags aren't..."
Dell M1530, closest comperable configuration in 15",4GB,320GB: $1489
- 8400M vs Apple 9400M graphics (winner Apple, big time.)
- no Vista Ultimate option (Ultimate is only real comparrison for OS X)
- cheap plastic case (apple is molded aluminum)
- 56watt battery w/ approx 3 hour life (Apple has 7 hours)
- sucky software, no video editing package, no music package, no Exchange integration (eqivalent adds $360 to price for Dell, winner Apple)
- no single source support (dell for hardware, microsoft fee based for OS support)
- Same screen (but Apple also offers non-glossy option)
- no backlit kbd
Apple machine is $1599, a bit pricier, but requires no additional software, and from most vendors you get Parallels 3.0, a printer, and a carry bag free. Just buy Antivirus and 1 or 2 productivity apps and the Dell costs more.
Next step up: 15" MackbookPro with additional 9600M secondary video processor: $1999.
Oh, Dell offers no 15" with a more powerful graphics adapter... have to go to 17"...
- cheap plastic case
- VERY short battery life
- 5 full pounds heavier
- no web camera
- no bluetooth
- no included software
Properly configured, it's a whoping $70 cheaper than Apple's 17" offering, and FAR more expensive than the 15".
Do NOT tell us Apple's machines are overpriced without backing that up with specific examples. Apple's hardware is spot on price wise with the competition, and this higher up you go, apple becomes the cheaper of the 2 offerings. Add just the MINIMUM reasonable software to a PC and the Mac is cheaper in every case when you compare like-like hardware.
No, apple does not offer a cheap $500 laptop. Why? $500 laptops SUCK and typically don't even run Windows by itself well, let alone any real demanding app likel managing 15,000 images or songs in a database, ort editing video.
Starting Mac at $999 blows away Dells comperable offer...
Actually, no, SSDs aren't affected by fragmentation like HDDs.