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What is the maximum size hard drive I can put in my Mid 2010 MB Pro?

I read somewhere that the MacBook Pro Mid 2010 only can handle a 500 gb internal hd. Is that true?

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Your system has a SATA II (3 Gb/s) interface which can support any SATA I or II HD. Today you can find very large SATA drives (4TB). But the physical size of the drive must fit within your system. Your system supports 2.5" drive that is 9.5mm in height.

The OS will not be your limiting factor Mac OS Extended format (HFS Plus) volume & file limits. As you can see your limits of the OS are well beyond what your system can physically hold.

The only real issue will be the SATA interface speed. Most HD's today are SATA III (6Gb/s). Sorry to say these drives are too fast for your system. While they may appear to work the I/O difference will cause errors and will overheat your system as your system works overly hard to correct the errors (overheating it). The best thing here is to locate an older drive (SATA II) or make sure the drive you plan to get has a compatibility jumper and the supplier give you the needed jumper to lower the the SATA speed.

And, yes you can put a 500GB drive in. Or even a 1TB drive (make sure it's a 9.5mm version).

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Cause errors, no. Overheat, no. SATA interfaces are backwards compatible. That's why the connector is still the same.


@ Luis Domingues - Sorry you have things backwards here.

The older drives can be used in newer systems "Upperly Compatible". Newer drives are not downwardly compatible in older systems.

But! Some drives are! We call these drives auto SATA port sense or ones that offer a jumper to match the systems SATA ports I/O speed. As an example Seagate's SSHD HD drives as well as Samsung's 850 EVO SSD drives are auto sense.

Fixed SATA speed drives are just that fixed at one and only one I/O speed and they must be put into a system that is the same or higher SATA I/O speed (i.e. a fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) can be used in a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) or a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) system.

So as you can see the waters are very muddy ;-} Which is why you need to know what you have and what is possible for your system.


Thanks Dan, so based on this, what you you recommend be the best choice for for a new drive from ? There are so many name brands and other options I have no idea what's best. Does the RPM matter? Can I get a SSD instead (if I can find one that's not too pricey)


@ Robb Caldwell - Sadly it depends on what your needs are.

Some people don't need deep storage but want speed, others want deep storage, and others want it all ;-}

As you're hijacking someone else's Q I can't give you an exact answer here as I would need to know what your system is and what your designs are here. Are you just a web surfer, gamer, photographer, programer or a writer.


i put a samsung 850 evo i tb into my internal Mac Pro mid 2010 and it was not recognized by disk utility or by drive genius software. My old crucial solid state 250 gb is getting full but still working fine so i have sent the samsung back and am ordering a crucial 512 gb which is supposed to be backward compatible with 3 gps. have three drives internally, the 250 crucial and two 4 tb. External i have a 5 tb and a 4 tb. Mike


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Your machine can take a 12.5 mm hard drive. Right now you can get up to a 1.5 TB drive, like this one:

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Mayer please review this Unibody MacBook Pro Q&A "Hard Drive Types & SSD Replacement Options: All of these MacBook Pro models support a 2.5" notebook hard drive or SSD that is up to 9.5 mm tall (0.37 inches) and use a SATA interface, but the maximum SATA interface speed of different models varies."


Dan - please review the link I gave. IMPORTANT OWC NOTES:

Only the MacBook White Unibody Late 2009 / Mid 2010, 13" or 15" MacBook Pro Unibody (2008-2012), and 17" MacBook Pro (2006-2011) models can accommodate a 12.5mm tall drive. For PC owners consult system specifications for maximum allowable drive height before attempting to install. (See compatibility tab for more info)

Drive not compatible for use in MacBook or MacBook Pro Optical Bays via Data Doubler. 9.5mm Required for Optical Bay.


Yes, you can force fit the larger drive in. But... You loose the air space between the HD and the case, this will degrade the drive as it will run hotter (less airflow) and the case will be hotter too. Second, if you bang the case the hit goes directly to the drive by-passing the shock padding. It's best to stay within the Apple guidelines here. We tried the larger drives in a few systems only to pull them out. Our users are quite hard on the equipment physically & use, the drives just didn't hold up.


Dan - you stated "we" & "our users": but have never filled out your profile so no one here knows anything about your expertise.


I have forced a 12.5mm Seagate HD into my 2010 MBP15" with bad results: there's a gap now which compromises my laptop. Don't do it.


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