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Unboxing the 17-inch October 2011 MacBook Pro

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  • I ordered my 6Gb/s SSD drive a few months ago and I am just about to perform the install placing it into the main drive bay and removing the 7200rpm drive that came with the MBP and placing that in the optical drive bay. I’ve been advised by OWC that this is the recommended installation when using one SSD and one mechanical drive. And that advice came after my very first SSD got damaged in the optical drive of my non-unibody 2008 MBP.

    Hoping for the best!
    (Macbook Pro, Late 2011, 8Gb RAM from OWC)

    • Hi, I’m a customer who purchased two mercy pro 6g 240g ssd, I was going to replace the drive in my mid 2010 iMac by nextbyte reseller, but afraid to break warranty. I just read another blog which there is another customer’ s experience of turnkey program. And can u offer me more details about the 2 years extend warranty of iMac if I have my iMac upgrade by owc? Does it includ all part of iMac or just the 5 year 6g SSD itself? If it does, really, I would switch to owc’s warranty. Because I really need like the iMac update program!
      Another thing I need to ask is I also have 17 inch macbookpro unibody late 2009, I replace the original hard drive with one of the Mercy 6g 240gb ssd. Use the peed test to test write and read speed of it. Turns out to be a 100 read and 130mb/s writing speed which are way far from average of 500mb/s, why is that? How to fix it? And I’ve also watched the speed comparing video that a late 2009 15 inch book pro and ect. It’s quicker than mine. My start up speed is around 30s and the wring reading speed tested by the software is also just 100mb/s. can u offer any information about this to me? Thanks a lot.

  • I just picked up a Late 2011 17″ MacBook Pro today. I had already ordered OWC’s 480 Gig Extreme SSD with the shielding kit, in anticipation of these new systems being released.

    I’ve updated everything (EFI 2.3 etc) and am using Blackmagic SpeedTest (free on the App Store). It’s reporting writes of about 200-250 MB/s, and reads of about 480-510 MB/s. That’s with the SSD in the main bay, reporting a 6G/s negotiated speed, and with both the battery and SATA cables wrapped with the shielding kit.

    The read speeds seem within expectations, but shouldn’t writes be up near the 500 MB/s also?

    Maybe of interest: the stock Hitachi 750 G 7200 RPM drive reported only a 3 G/s negotiated speed in both bays.

    • Spoke to one of our Development staff (who have been following this pretty closely) to see what he thought, and his thoughts went right along with my suspicions: there’s a possibility of a bad SATA cable.

      The Apple drive showing as a 3Gb/s connection isn’t surprising in the least. Apple isn’t officially supporting the 6Gb/s drives (even thought he hardware theoretically should), so it’d make sense that they’d simply use the SATA 2.0 drives and be done with it.

      • Is there a likely solution to the write speed issues?

        BTW, I exchanged my 17 inch for a 15 inch i7 dual quad core 2.5 late 2011.

        Same issue with write speeds. Max at 250 MB/s, while read speeds approach 500 MB/s in boot bay.

        I don’t get this. Why the problem?

        • It’s certainly unusual that the problem would manifest itself twice. You can try reformatting the drive in the new machine, but it’s only a 50/50 chance that’ll help. In that case, it’s one of two things – either something unusual with the controllers in the Late 2011’s or just an issue with that particular drive. Either way, the Comments section on the Blog is ill-suited for troubleshooting this out. I recommend getting in touch with our Tech Support staff and working with them towards a resolution.

      • I ordered just now, and I’d like to know if every 17 inch model has this kind of bad sata cable issue……

        • Not all 17″ models have had continued SATA problems. With many, it was just the latest firmware that needed updating. This is, of course, moot with the new models, as they would have been manufactured after the new FW update. However, there have been reports of bad cables going all the way back to March, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.

  • !@#$%^&*()_)(*&^%$#@ is all I got to say!

    No, it does NOT work. I have the new 17″ “Late-2011” Core i7-2860QM 2.5GHz model w/ anti-glare display and nothing works as far as the add’l 6Gbps SSD in the optical drive is concerned. And I can’t believe when researching the subject that I never got the shielded SATA cable from OWC, nor did I receive the external enclosure for the optical bay, nor was I told that I could get rebates for my RAM. :-( Whoever I talked to the day I ordered my Data Doubler was one mean-spirited son of a gun.

    I <3 Tracy! She's wonderful and great at customer retention and problem-solving skills.

  • I’m already on my second 17″ “Late 2011″ MBP 2.5GHz anti-glare model and while both correctly report the 6Gbps in the optical bay, at least the first one did not do well with the OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD. At all. I exchanged the first one for unrelated reasons and while they both correctly reported the optical bay as having SATA III 6Gbps speed, it was not a pretty picture with the 2nd SATA III SSD in the optical bay. Quite the opposite really. I had never seen any Apple product stumble like this and reporting one error message after another, before collapsing altogether.

    Then, just a few hours ago, Apple released another EFI firmware update (v 2.3) and I have yet to try it. Apple’s description of the new firmware update certainly gave me no immediate reason to get my hopes up regarding the ability to run my 2nd OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD using the Data Doubler in the optical bay and that the SSD would all of a sudden work properly, or at all, for that matter. Then again, it might.

    Either way, it is very disappointing that a machine with a Quad Core i7-2860QM that turbo boosts up to 3.6GHz would not be able to run a SATA III port correctly. I know, I know, it’s the optical bay, but the fact that the entry model 13″ MBP is able to deliver near 1GB/s speeds, but not the pimped out 17” model, is truly infuriating and disappointing. :-(

    • While we’re not going to go deep into this testing, I can report that I have taken a hard drive with an up to date build of 10.6.8 and installed it into one of the new October 2011 MacBook Pro models, it does boot and – given only a cursory run through – seems stable at this time.
      However, since firmware and OS updates from Apple do not take into account situations like this, there may be unforeseen issues. As such, we do suggest using the operating system that came with your machine rather than retrofitting a prior OS.
      So, play at your own risk.

      • Hey Mike (and anyone else who’d like to contribute to my inquiry),

        Why would anyone want to run Snow Lep over Lion? Without going into specifics, Lion has tremendous improvements as far as being a secure OS, not that SNow Lep was lacking in that dept. Or is the problem with the SATA III optical bay port an OS-specific issue? I’ll do an installation of Windows 7 Ultimate and see what happens, if you wane me to. There would have to be Win 7 drivers available, seeing that the SSD’s are being marketed to both Mac’s as well as Windows-based PC’s, right?

        • True, Lion has some great features. The main reason I can think of that someone would want to downgrade the OS is for compatibility of current software or hardware. If a crucial part of your workflow has not been found to be Lion compatible yet but you still want a new laptop, there would be a reason to install Snow Leopard on your new Mac until that hardware has an updated driver or that software has been updated to be compatible with Lion.

      • Installed the 240 GB Mercury Pro Extreme in the main bay of late 2011 17-inch. Installation went fine.

        However, writes max out at 275 MBs, while reads are great at 475 MB/s.

        I’m seeing random cursor disappearing, however.

        Everything is updated including EFI 2.3. Very disappointing. I did a review of the 240 this year on our 13-inch MBP early 2011, and write/reads were 475 MBs.

        Hope there is a solution to compatibility issues in the main bay and an improvement in write speeds.

        This is disappointing. We sold our 13 inch

  • Any idea if this revision will support two Sata III drives using the data doubler bracket?

    • “Initially, we’re seeing the same 6G architecture as the prior model as well…but we’ll be posting separately with testing results soon.”

      • I just tried a 6G OCZ Vertex SSD in my brand new late 2011 17″ MBP’s optical bay using an OWC Data Doubler. Sadly it does not work and exhibits the same incompatibility regarding 6G drives as the early 2011 17″ MBP.

  • – drool –

    I wish I could work in you unboxing lab.

    But there is no way I’m moving back to the midwest. ;-)