Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Adding a dual drive?

I have a mcb pro 17 mid 2009 and recently I have been thinking on adding a ssd drive by replacing the super drive for performance gains. Is it worth it and if so which is the best suitable ssd drive for it?

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Thanks for the answer Mayer, can you recommend me a ssd ?


cellac I really need to know your storage needs, If you are using large programs like Photoshop or you are just doing word processing and internet browsing. A SSHD could well fit your needs and obviate the need and expense of an SSD and bay adapter. This would possibly allow a RAM upgrade on a limited budget (which may be all you really need).


mayer, I rarely use Photoshop or other large programs, I have replaced my hd for a 1 TB and still have the original 4GB RAM config. But when booting and having many programs opened at once that's when the machine really suffers.


Yeah, increasing the RAM from 4GB to the maximum 8GB would definitely help, especially if you're shutting down with multiple applications open and they're re-opening at startup. For example, a web browser will attempt to reload every page that was open when you shut down. So there's a drive hit, a RAM hit and a network hit, as the browser attempts to reconnect to all the servers it got the pages/tabs from originally.

iFixit carries 4GB PC3-8500 SODIMMs for $40 apiece; OWC has a matched pair (2x4GB) for $68.


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Crucial's MX100/MX200/MX300 series of drives seem to be much more flexible about downscaling from 6Gb SATA III to 3Gb SATA II than competing brands like Samsung. The Crucials are also available in Micron branding (BX100/BX200/BX300). I've used several of these in 2009-2010 MacBooks, with no hangups. OWC recently introduced a low-priced line (OWC Neptune 6G; 240GB for $80, 480GB for $128) that has also worked successfully, although their higher-priced SSDs are 3Gb/6Gb-specific.

A point for the SSD nerds: Neither the Samsung nor the OWC drives can be modified with trim utilities such as Trim Enabler or Disk Sensei. Both manufacturers use Sandforce controllers, which have their own cleanup mechanism.

Another suggestion I got from OWC tech support: If you're installing an SSD as an upgrade in a laptop from 2011 or before, replace the HD ribbon cable (attaching the drive to the logic board) with a brand-spanking new one. The old cable has gotten banged around in the years you've used it, and SSDs are more finicky about a clean data connection. I have no empirical evidence for the OWC guy's claim, but I've installed 14 SSDs in 2011 or older laptops; the ones where I installed new cables worked, and the ones where I didn't install them didn't work until I swapped the cables. YMMV.

MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early 2009-Mid 2010) Hard Drive Cable Image


MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early 2009-Mid 2010) Hard Drive Cable


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@adlerpe I changed this to an answer since it's great information and I wanted to up vote it ;-)


Well, okay changed as I was fixing the link to the cable, but I've got it now.


@adlerpe I change out cables on the 13" & 15" everyday but I've never had an issue with the 17" cable as it doesn't "climb the stairs". But it couldn't hurt.


@adlerpe just to wrap up, you mentioned the Crucial MX200 as one of the suggestions ssds, is it really compatible with my mcb pro?


Sadly No ;-{

The Crucial MX200 is a fixed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drive, while your system has SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) ports which will require a SATA II drive. I have not found any supporting documentation they offer SATA II support in this series drive. If they don't document support, don't buy it.

If you are doing a dual drive setup you can encounter problems with any SATA III drive in the optical carrier. Also remember the HD port is the only one that offers crash guard protection for the HD so moving the HD drive over to the optical carrier now puts it at risk of crashing if you bump or move your system which running. Review this: OWC Data Doubler to make sure your system is clean. It makes no difference who's you use as the issue is the systems logic board.

Your only option here is getting a drive which is able to adjust its port speed matching your systems speed. I would recommend using a Samsung 750 EVO SSD. For reference: Samsung 750 EVO specs note the interface line here states "SATA 6Gb/s Interface, compatible with SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s interface" which is the clue this drive auto senses the system SATA port and matches it. We use Samsung drive exclusively and have no problems when using it as a primary HD drive replacement.

FYI: A link to your systems specs are in your question above


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Here's the guide for installing dual drives: Installing MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Dual Drive

Personally I would put the SSD drive in the hard drive bay and the old drive in the adapter due to BUS speeds. Make sure the new drive is backward compatible to Serial ATA (3 Gb/s).

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cellac will be eternally grateful.
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