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I'm thinking about buying a macbook pro (latest 2012 version) and it seems sensible (from a financial point of view) to buy the standard built in hard disk and do the upgrade to SSD myself.

In order to get the most bang for my buck, I'd like to know what the maximum read/write speed of the SATA interface in a macbook pro supports? i.e. is it worth getting a 600Mbps or 300Mbps drive? Is it SATA 2 or 3?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

OWC has tested it and confirms that..

...the MacBook Pro 15” (2012) has two drive bays, each capable of running an OWC 6G SSD at full 6Gb/s speeds.

which is the SATA Revision 3.0 speed.

They've also setup a striped RAID which benchmarked at "over 1000MB/s read speeds and write speeds that nearly hit 900MB/s".

Regarding the Macbook Pro 13" (2012), OWC recommends using a 6Gb/s SSD only in the main bay, as the 6Gb/s performance of the optical bay is very poor. 3Gb/s models however work without problems in the optical bay.

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They've had SATA 3 (6Gb/s) since switching to Sandy Bridge early 2011. I'd say get the SATA 3 SSD if it doesn't cost much more.

If the combination of memory chips and controller inside the SSD itself can't supply data as fast as 3Gb/s, you won't ever max a SATA 2 connection. However, some current SSDs are starting to approach the real world limits of SATA 2, so they should all be on SATA 3 soon regardless.

Depending on how disk I/O intensive your work is, you may not notice the difference between an SSD on SATA 2 vs. SATA 3, so I'd say if it's a huge price difference, it won't be worth it for most users.

But you'll definitely notice the difference between a spinning disk and an SSD on any version of SATA.

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