Looking for a bracket/adapter/caddy for installing a HDD/SSD where the MacBook Pro SuperDrive used to be.

There are two general types:

1) Minimalist open-type brackets (in the truest sense of the word):

enter image description here

  • Seems to allow airflow around the SSD/HDD, necessary?
  • Will it hold the drive firmly enough?
  • The OWC brand that I've seen is expensive. Are there cheaper alternatives to it? (Could not find.)

2) Space-filling caddies that mimic the SuperDrive's shape:

enter image description here

  • Are these heavier?
  • Do they ompede ventilation around the SSD/HDD and promote overheating?
  • This is how the iFixit and MCE OptiBay enclosures look like, as well as the cheaper ones on eBay.

What are their advantages/disadvantages? I have no experience with either.

What are important things to look out for when choosing a bracket?

I also know that the SuperDrive is fixed in place on the unibody enclosure at a lot of points — I wouldn't want to get a caddy that attaches with less. How can I ensure that with either type?


1 Answer 1


The only really important thing when choosing a bracket is to get one of the correct height. You can get 9.5mm and 12.7mmm "tall" versions, and some machines will only take the thinner of the two so choose carefully in that respect.

Other than that, what is important is difficult to canonically state further it depends on what type of machine you are putting it in, and what sort of drive you will use etc, but I would have the following observations instead:

Open Bracket Type:

  • Sometimes these are simply mounting brackets, without the SATA adapter mounted in the corner
  • If you are running a hot drive, then heat build up may be less of an issue. However, keep in mind that this is an unlikely scenario with an SSD, and if you are using a traditional spinning platter drive, then this type of bracket may not provide optimally tight fixing (it's not screwed in on both sides) which could be a vibration problem

Caddie type:

  • These have a full height end plate where the CD is normally inserted. It's important to close off the slot to prevent dust ingress, and if you don't want to tape to your case, then sticking a little strip of foam on here is an effective barrier
  • Not so much for Macs which always us a slot loading device rather than a tray system, but the caddie type usually comes with a fake CD-Tray strip that you can use to block off the hole in your case, which won't come with (or fit to) a bracket type device.
  • Thanks! How to know which height a Mac needs before opening it up? For example, mine is a Late 2011 MacBook Pro. Also, since you mentioned it, maybe you'll know how to answer this question about sealing off the slot
    – Baumr
    Dec 13, 2012 at 14:30
  • 1
    I rely on google/ifixit to check (checking the size of replacements drives is a good way to check), it's more often than not 9.5 for notebooks, larger ones are found in iMacs generally.
    – stuffe
    Dec 13, 2012 at 17:37
  • Just wanted to let you know that I've updated the question with a supplementary question — perhaps you'll know. I also added some bullet-points below each — if you know how to answer either? Thank you!
    – Baumr
    Jan 14, 2013 at 1:01

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