There’s some buzz this morning about the 2009 Macbook Pro exhibiting SATA 1.5Gbps speeds (the previous models have a 3Gbps SATA hard drive controller) and from the first benchmarks, it looks like disk performance is logically lower, if you have a fast disk, like an SSD – even 7200rpm laptop hard drive often don’t reach 120MBps (Mac rumors reports [SSD] performance going from 225MB/s down to 115MB/s in disk benchmarks. Ouch.).
The situation gets even more confusing as some users are reporting seeing a 3Gbps SATA, while others see a 1.5 Gbps one. First of all, I believe that NVIDIA has never produced a single GeForce 9400M motherboard chipset (aka ION) that doesn’t handle SATA-2 (3Gbps). And even if they did, it would not really save a buck on the chip, as long as the chip size is identical. Most importantly, a 1.5 Gbps SATA-I Geforce 9400M chipset does not exist, as far as I know.
Then what happened? We’re not sure, but consider these scenarios: what if some computer shipped with a SATA-I disk? What if 1.5Gbps consumes less power? What if it was a shortcut to ship on time? Because the hardware supports SATA-II, there is a
slight good chance that this can be updated in the future. We’ll be waiting for an official statement from Apple.