While the MacBook Pro with Retina Display has been getting a lot of press around here lately, the real unsung hero of WWDC 2012’s new Macs is the MacBook Pro 15”.
Though it’s lacking the thinner profile and high-resolution screen, the 2012 MacBook Pros offer two things that the Retina Display model doesn’t which mean everything to performance: an optical drive and a standard SATA hard drive.
Those two components themselves aren’t particularly great; the platter-based hard drive is a dog-slow 5400rpm and nobody seems to use their optical drives any more. The real potential here comes, not from the components, but from the space they occupy.
The hard drive is easily replaced, and replacing it with an OWC 6G SSD is a natural upgrade path for those looking to max out their performance. The bay will handle SATA Revision 3.0’s 6Gb/s speeds just dandily. It’s the optical bay, though, that really opens up possibilities. Article Continues…
While the both the new Macbook Airs and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display have new, custom connectors for their SSDs, the updated 2012 13” and 15” MacBook Pros continue to use industry standard SATA drives for their storage. That’s great news for upgrading; it means you can install an OWC Mercury Electra 6G or Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD in the main drive bay and get the amazing performance boost that comes from an OWC Solid State Drive.
There’s also an optical drive in these models. It’s obvious Apple is moving away from the optical drive as a media source; they’ve removed it completely from both the Air and now the 2012 MBP Retina models. You can do the same with the standard MacBook Pros, except you can put something even more useful in its place: more storage! The OWC Data Doubler, allows you install any 9mm or narrower 2.5” SSD or platter-based drive in the optical bay, and fits without issue in the 2012 MacBook Pros.
You may recall the problems people had using 6Gb/s SSDs in the optical bay of some 2011 MacBook Pros, so we did some preliminary tests this time around, too. We’re happy to say that the 15” model can take a 6Gb/s drive in either bay. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend using a 6Gb/s drive in the optical bay of the 13” model at this time. In our testing, we found the 6Gb/s performance of the bay to be very poor. The 3Gb/s models work with no problems, though, so you can still put a high-capacity drive in the optical bay and put the super-fast 6G SSD in the main drive bay, where it’ll work just fine.
We will be reviewing options to resolve the problem in the 13″ 6Gb/s optical bay , just as we are continue to do so with the similar issue affecting the 2011 MacBook Pro 15″/17″ models.
Speaking of new Macs and what can/can’t be upgraded, stay tuned for our coverage on the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
ADDENDUM: Independent sources confirm Data Doubler and our 6G Extreme as offering incredible dual drive performance: http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2012/20120708_2-MacBookPro15-dual-6G-ports.html
UPDATE – 9/20/2012
Good News! Apple released EFI Update 2.9 for MacBook Pro (Mid 2012), which appears to have resolved this issue! We’re locking down the comments here. All the coverage and comments are now concentrated here.
Relatively speaking, solid state drives like the OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro, Aura Pro, Legacy, and Electra series are fairly new players to the computer world only really coming into prominence within the last few years, as prices became more affordable. The technology behind them, though—flash memory—was developed during the early 1980s by Dr. Fujio Masuoka for Toshiba, who produced the first chips during the first week of April, 1987.
In the quarter-century since, the market for NAND flash memory has grown considerably. Now, NAND flash has become the de facto choice for compact storage – from USB thumb drives, to memory cards for cameras and phones, to high-capacity solid state drives, to the built-in memory on your favorite portable devices.
Everybody loves a chance to win something; if they didn’t, Wheel of Fortune would be little more than a spelling test followed by a look through a Sears catalog. Once you add prizes, though, things get much more interesting – and that’s where the folks at TweakTown come in.
You see, they’re giving away one a 240GB Mercury Electra 6G Solid State Drive to one lucky winner, and two other winners will get a Newer Technology GripStand/GripBase Bundle for iPad and another bundle for iPad 2 owners. Of course, with such great prizes at stake, there are a few minor things you’ll have to do to enter:
- Become a fan of OWC’s Facebook page (i.e., “Like” us).
- Post “I want to win some OWC goodies at TweakTown thanks to Other World Computing!” on the contest thread.
- Report that you’ve performed the first two steps by posting on the forum page on TweakTown’s site.
Pretty simple, huh?
Contest entry runs from today until December 10, 2011. If you are a winner, you will be asked to provide your full name, address and telephone number for shipping.
Check out TweakTown’s contest page for full details.
Well… it’s not exactly free. You see, there’s a minor catch to it; you have to win.
OWC and Real World Labs are offering a giveaway where one lucky winner gets a high-speed 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD.
Entering the contest is pretty simple.
- Join/Like the official Other World Computing Facebook page.
- Join/Like the official Real World Labs Facebook page .
- Comment under the “Real World Labs and Other World Computing Joint Contest” post on the RWL FaceBook Page.
Then, you sit back and wait.
The contest is open to EVERYONE, regardless of where you live, it will run up to the 15th of November and the winning person is required to post a picture of the product once he/she receives it (for validation purposes, of course).