Firmware update quietly enables SATA 6Gbps in MacBooks

Firmware update quietly enables SATA 6Gbps in MacBooks

Summary: Nearly seven months after new MacBook Pros arrived, users can now reliably harness the blistering 6Gbps speeds hidden under their aluminum hoods. Oh, and 2011 MacBook Airs have it too. Shhh...


Other World Computing noted in a blog post today that Apple appears to have quietly fixed a pesky SATA 6Gbps bug in its 2011 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with today's MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.2.

In addition to adding Lion Internet Recovery and the Thunderbolt fixes mentioned in its release notes, the 4.17MB firmware update also squashes a pretty significant bug found in Apple's secret SATA 6Gbps support in the 2011 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs.

Why didn't Apple mention the SATA 6Gbps fix in the release notes?

Apple doesn't promote the fact that the 2011 MacBook Pros and Airs support SATA 6Gbps because it isn't officially supported. I bet that it's because Apple can't get sufficient quantities of SATA 6Gbps SSD modules. Apple ships its current MacBooks with SATA 3Gbps SSDs and doesn't want to promote its SATA 6Gbps support until it can ship every unit with a 6Gbps SSD from the factory. What's the point of promoting SATA 6G when shipping SATA 3G drives?

OWC offers SATA 6G SSDs for the 2011 MacBook Pro in capacities from 60GB to 480GB and for the 2011 MacBook Air in 120GB and 240GB capacities. A 480GB capacity model for the 2011 MBA may be offered in the future but no date has been announced.

SATA 6Gbps is a big deal for users that need to get the absolute maximum performance out their Macs and this is great news for anyone in the market for a SSD upgrade for their MacBook Pro or Air. A SATA 6G SSD is a no-brainer upgrade -- if your Mac supports it.

Image: Slashgear

Topics: Software, Hardware, Storage

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  • RE: Firmware updates quietly enables SATA 6Gbps in MacBooks

    I just ran the software update on my 2011 Mac Mini and it updated the firmware to support 6Gbps SATA. I was planning to replace the hard drive with a Seagate Momentus XT SSD/Hybrid drive to improve disk performance over the 5400rpm drive that it comes with but this may change my disk choice.
    • RE: Firmware updates quietly enables SATA 6Gbps in MacBooks


      I am thinking of doing the same on my MacBook Pro CTO 2.93 Core2Duo. They are supposed to be very good and the boot time with the SSD Hybrid is supposed to be very good. May still be a better option for you, depending upon your needs. I doubt you have seen it yet, since you own a Mac; but HP is offering a 580 and 830 7200RPM Hybrid SSD Drive with 80GB SSD on their new 14" Envy, looks very nice. I wish Apple would offer this. Apple is slow on moving to hardware upgrades for some reason.
  • RE: Firmware updates quietly enables SATA 6Gbps in MacBooks

    My 2011 MBP says it only supports 6 in the main connection. So if someone adds an extra hard drive in place of the optical drive... it can only run 3 there.
  • awesome

    zoooooooom! (if you can afford it)