The shock and horror that I and many other users who rely on connectivity in a laptop face in Apple’s new MacBook Pro line is somewhat alleviated after today’s EFI firmware upgrade. Prior to it, users of Apple’s top of the line portable laptops faced an arbitrary interface downgrade which capped throughput to 1,5 Gigabits per seconds – a number that could easily be saturated by a speedy solid state drive (SSD). For people who purchased these disks, the downgrade was nearly the last straw in a troubled line of laptops.
My previous article lamented the downgrade of the SATA interface and the making redundant of the lower-end 15 inch model, as a portend of the line failing. While that conclusion was premature and harsh, in order to get a machine that still has decent connection options, full dual GPU support, a high-resolution screen AND great processing power, users now have to opt for the 17 inch model which, for all intents and purposes it not a laptop that is easily toted. If you are on a tight budget, and cannot afford to purchase an external monitor, but still need and 8 bit display, an iMac, which takes up less desk real estate is a better choice.
Apple’s decision to fix this is of course welcome, but their attitude is negligent – complacent as to customer’s needs or wants as can be seen below in their statement about the firmware:
MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 addresses an issue reported by a small number of customers using drives based on the SATA 3Gbps specification with the June 2009 MacBook Pro. While this update allows drives to use transfer rates greater than 1.5Gbps, Apple has not qualified or offered these drives for Mac notebooks and their use is unsupported.
To complete the firmware update process, please follow the instructions in the updater application (/Applications/Utilities/MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update.app). The updater will launch automatically when the installer closes.
For detailed information on this update, please visit About the MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 and iMac EFI Firmware 1.4 Updates.
It could be called typical Apple fashion to mention that a small number of customers reported the issue rather than apologising for leaving the interface in a throttled-back position. Sadly, that is not Apple’s modus operandi – they make no mistakes or miscalculated guesses.