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I'm going to add a SSD drive to my macbook pro. I'm wondering if the optical drive adapter can have any influence on the disk speed, taking it down from a SATA III to a SATA II or I.

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Regarding SATA I, II and III and getting the best speeds speeds — it really depends on what specification your machine is, and what adapter you get.

I would suggest you install the SSD in place of your original HDD, that way you don't lose out on the SSD's potential because of an adapter:

  • MacBook Pros from Early 2011 and onwards do have SATA III (6 Gbit/s) connectors for their main HDD compartment.
  • But ones from Mid 2010 and before have SATA II (3 Gbit/s).

In either case, I would install the SSD there, and then install the HDD in the optical bay, because:

  • From what I know, newer MacBook Pros support SATA III in their SuperDrive bay — so to take advantage of it, you'll need to get an optical bay adapter bracket that supports it too.
  • MacBook Pros from around 2011 (and older) have SATA II in the optical bay.

To find out what you have, go to Spotlight (the magnifying glass in the top-right of your screen), and type "System Information", open that app, go to Hardware > Serial-ATA > Link Speed and it should say there.

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