BACKGROUND: A few months after the release of the Early 2011 MacBook Pro, Apple quietly changed the top speed of the optical bay SATA port, to which the SuperDrive (DVD Drive) is connected, from SATA-II (3 Gigabit, 3Gb/s) to SATA-III (6 Gigabit, 6Gb/s). The SuperDrive connects there at SATA-I (1.5 Gigabit) speed and Apple designed the corresponding SATA circuitry to accommodate that speed as they never imagined customers would remove the SuperDrive in order to install a high performance storage device in that location. As a result, only SATA-I and SATA-II (3 Gigabit) devices function there reliably and SATA-III devices, such as newer hard drives, hybrid drives, and Solid State Drives (SSDs), do not. Symptoms include: beachballing, system freezes, excruciatingly slow data transfers, and sometimes the device may not even be recognized by the system at all.
RESULT: Our engineers have been working long and hard on this problem and after analyzing and analyzing and analyzing the SATA signal there found the solution and have enabled us to create the OptiBay Extreme - the only solution that literally corrects signaling issues in affected machines and allows SATA-III SSDs, hybrid drives, and hard drives to be installed in the optical bay and run 100% reliably at FULL SATA-III SPEED! When an OptiBay Extreme with SATA-III SSD is combined in a RAID 0 configuration with a SATA-III SSD in the main drive bay, data throughput in excess of 1GB/sec can be realized!
The MCE OptiBay Extreme is a precision-crafted enclosure which houses a high performance 2.5" SATA Hard Drive or SSD and directly replaces the SuperDrive (DVD Drive) in your machine. It is designed to the exact same physical specifications and screw hole locations as the original internal SuperDrive it is replacing. This allows it to be installed precisely in the same location as the SuperDrive and to be fastened properly to your MacBook Pro or MacBook using the same screws and mounting holes used by the original SuperDrive.
VERIFY: To check if your Early or Late 2011 MacBook Pro can benefit from the OptiBay Extreme, hold down the option key on your keyboard while going to the Apple Menu at the upper left of your screen and select the first item there which should say "System Information". Then select, depending on your Mac OS, either "Serial-ATA" or "SATA/SATA Express" and there you will see on the right pane two Intel 6 Series Chipsets listed. While the top chipset normally corresponds to the main drive bay and the lower one to the optical drive bay check to see that in the information below that the "Link Speed" for both chipsets indicates "6 Gigabit." If so, then you can use the OptiBay Extreme to get full SATA-III (6Gbps) speeds when using a SATA-III SSD, Hard Drive, or Hybrid Drive in that location.
- Available for use with your own 2.5" Hard Disk or SSD, or with pre-installed SATA-III Hard Drive up to 2TB, Hybrid Drive, or Solid State Drive (Solid State Drive)
- Compatible with all Mac OS (Including El Capitan, Mac OS 10.11) and Windows operating systems.
- S.M.A.R.T. Status Compliant
- Maintains internal air current profile to original specifications and cooling efficiency of internal ventilation system
- Easy to setup using Apple's Disk Utility program
- Can be set up as a single volume, partitioned, or made part of a RAID array
- Optional External USB 2.0 SuperDrive compatible with iDVD, DVD Studio Pro, iTunes, iPhoto, and Finder Burning
- Compatible with Mac OS version 10.5 through 10.11 (El Capitan)!
- 2LIFETIME WARRANTY on OptiBay Enclosure. Three-year warranty on hard drive or SSD.
Optical Drive Options
In order to maintain functionality of your SuperDrive, we are offering our new MCE USB 2.0 Enclosure for Unibody SuperDrive for just $20.00 with the purchase of an OptiBay! Easily install your Unibody SuperDrive into our ultra-slim, ultra-portable, specially designed USB 2.0 Enclosure and use with iTunes, iDVD, Finder Burning, etc. just as you did before! The enclosure is completely portable and powers from your USB ports and installing your Unibody SuperDrive into it is a breeze! You can also choose to include our ready-made Portable 8x USB 2.0 Double-Layer SuperDrive with your OptiBay Hard Drive. This slim external SuperDrive provides you with a bootable, portable, bus-powered drive that is just as compatible with iTunes, iDVD and Finder Burning as before.1 You can use it to load system software, install applications, as well as play and burn DVD's and CD's. Use the drive only when YOU need it... and put it away when you don't!
You can also choose the MCE Desktop 24x DVD-/+R/RW USB 2.0 / eSATA "SuperDrive" if you would like the convenience of a higher-speed double-layer CD/DVD reader/writer at your disposal in a more stationary desktop form factor.
1MCE OptiBay Utility Software
Included with every OptiBay is the MCE OptiBay Utlity program. This is software we created specifically for OptiBay users and allows them greater flexibility when using their, now external, SuperDrive (DVD Drive) that was removed when installing the OptiBay, or any other external DVD Drive. The MCE OptiBay Utility program activates the Apple DVD Player application so that it can now play movie DVDs from an external SuperDrive when there is no internal SuperDrive in the system. As well, if you ever reinstall your SuperDrive back into your machine our OptiBay Utility program will allow the Apple DVD Player application to again play movie DVDs from the internal SuperDrive. The OptiBay utility program is compatible with Mac OS 10.4 through Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite). It also provides other functionality when using the OptiBay and this is fully detailed in the program and accompanying Read Me file.