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Will this SATA 3 SSD work with my SATA 2 MacBook?

Hello everyone!

I'm contemplating buying my first SSD. I want to put in a small (about 60 GB or so) SSD as my main drive and install my current HDD in an disc drive bay by removing my optical drive.

But I can't decide which SSD to get.

I know that my current Macbook from late 2008 is only SATA II (capable of 3 Gbps link speed but the negotiated link-speed is 1.5 Gbps right now) so is there any point in getting the OCZ Vertex 3 (running SATA III, 6Gbps)? Or would the Vertex 2 be fine since I am not able to take advantage of the 6 Gbps interface?

Will I see diminished read/write speeds by installing the Vertex 3 or will it get the 500mb read/write speeds?

I've been reading through multiple forums about people having a problem with the 1.5 Gbps negotiated link speeds. Will my computer suffer from this as well? (My Macbook uses the NVIDIA MCP79 AHCI chipset).

So basically, which SSD should I get to get the most out of the computer and the SSD?

I am hoping to hear your answers :) Greetings from Denmark!

Nicklas

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3 Answers

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There is no point in paying extra for a SATA 6GB drive when there are a lot cheaper ones out there with 3GB interface. Right now the breakpoint for value-per-coin is around 100-128GB drives. The Corsair Force series (http://www.corsair.com/solid-state-drive...) are often good priced. I bought a 115GB which really should be enough space if you don't need your complete music library/iphoto on your portable. Twice the size SSD drive and it can cost 3 times as much! So get what you can afford.

For you in Denmark this is a fast drive for a very good price:

http://www.komplett.dk/k/ki.aspx?sku=625...

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All SATA 3 drives are backwards compatible to SATA 2...

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This is not correct the standards stipulate the opposite. Thats not to say some drives will work! These are drives designed to do this. You need to review the specs sheet of the given drive to see if it states it.

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SATA-III will probably work with your MacBook.

But I would definitely not say that SATA-III is fully compatible with SATA2.

Please be aware, that if you use OptiBay, the SATA-III HDD (or SSD) will not work as OptiBay drive (at least with MacBook Pro late 2011).

I spent a lot of time (and some money) to figure it out. :)

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.p...

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Did you make sure your EFI was up to date? Checkout this Apple TN EFI & SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs. Apple did address some compatibility issues with SATA III drives.

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Dan, thanks for this suggestion.

"Unfortunately" I am up-to-date with both EFI Boot Rom and SMC versions...

The reason I say "unfortunately" is that I would be happy if I could just upgrade firmware and have my brand new HGST SATA-III HDD up and running. :)

Now I need to wait for the other drive to arrive (ordered Samsung 1TB 2.5" SATA-II Spinpoint).

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Here's a useful reference: OWC Data Doubler review the Red notes for the details of your given systems optical drives compatibility with SATA III (6.0 Gb/s). If your system optical drive is only SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) you will need a fixed SATA II drive. An auto sense drive like a Samsung 850 or 860 EVO won't work as it can't latch onto the ports I/O speed properly.

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Nicklas Gibson will be eternally grateful.
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