Apple Fanbois Whine About Reduced SATA Speeds In New MacBooks… Apple Updates Firmware… Firmware Stops Third Party Drives From Working Correctly… Fanbois Whine Louder

From the “Be careful what you wish for” department comes this story.

When the new MacBook  made it’s appearance, Apple fanbois immediately noticed that the SATA interface for the hard drive was capped at 1.5 Gb/s as opposed to the 3 Gb/s that the previous models could achieve. Predictably the fanbois started to complain loudly in Apple’s Discussion Forums and in few other places as well (for example, Gizmodo). Apple to it’s credit quickly came up with a firmware update that restored the computer’s ability to do 3 Gb/s which was no doubt quickly applied to MacBook after MacBook around the world. Now, reports are appearing on Apple’s Discussion Boards that this firmware update doesn’t play nice with third party drives. Here’s a couple of examples that describe what people are seeing:

“No disk access can happen at all for 20-30 seconds, then usage spikes, then no disk access at all.”

“I would like to add that I’m experiencing the same thing as the above users. I am using the Intel x25-M. This is terrible, the laptop is near-unusable.”

Oh, in case you’re wondering why they don’t just revert back to the previous firmware…. They can’t if the update completed successfully.

To be fair, Apple did warn that this might be a possibility. In the support document that was bundled with the firmware update, Apple posts this warning:

This update allows drives to use transfer rates greater than 1.5Gbps, however Apple has not qualified or offered these drives for Mac portable computers, and their use remains unsupported.  All previous and current Apple portables with a SATA drive interface include a SATA 1.5Gbps hard drive.

So that implies that if you’re on the bleeding edge looking to put the fastest hard drive in your shiny new MacBook, you’re on you’re own if things don’t work. Having said that, I can see Apple coming out with another firmware update to try and silence the screams of the Fanbois. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later .

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