Apple Compatible SSD Reviews and News

SSD's For Macs : ATA vs SATA I vs SATA II Support

Still digging for a clear-cut answer to this: Exactly which Apple computers-10480544" width="1" height="1" border="0"/> support built-in SATA II speeds vs SATA I ? This issue is starting to matter as solid-state flash SSD's maximum peak read speeds and to a lesser degree - the slightly slower write speeds are beginning to encroach on the maximum bandwidth of the current SATA II spec. Fortunately, the backward compatibility of the Serial ATA specs insures your SSD will simply run at the fastest clip your motherboard chipset allows regardless.

Find which Macs support SATA II SSD's
Download MACTRACKER - A great reference of Apple system specs to get specific SATA bus speed info for specific models. Apple started using SATA II in Late 2007 only on very select Macs. As of this writing, only the recently revised 2009 'Classic' white MacBook still uses SATA I - and only the newest 5-USB-Port Mac Mini of 2009 finally added SATA II support. MacTracker will also point out the fine distinctions of when and exactly which models made the switch from ATA drive interfaces to SATA I.

It's important to note that the quoted transfer rates of SSD's in Press Releases, Product Listings, or even on this site are PEAK numbers only on SEQUENTIAL types of read/writes - often more theoretical than real world throughput the average user will experience. The RANDOM read/write numbers are markedly lower - especially random writes. Oh but what do you care? Unless you absolutely went out of your way to research and upgrade your existing mechanical hard drive to top of the line models - ANY current-generation SSD is going to feel faster than what your Mac came with.

Be aware, often benchmarking articles and SSD reviews are deceiving: the Tweak Geeks often pit the latest top of the line SSD they're testing against the absolutely fastest platter drives known to man such as Samsung's F1, WD's Velociraptor, or Seagate's Barracuda ultra-high RPM drives that the majority of us do NOT have installed in our computers. That doesn't really show the difference an SSD can make over the stock, often Middle-Of-The-Road performing drive Apple included in your Macintosh.



SATA 1.5 Gbit/s
SATA 3 Gbit/s
Frequency
1.5 GHz
3 GHz
Bits/clock
1
1
8b/10b encoding80%
80%
bits/Byte
8
8
Real speed
150 MB/s
300 MB/s