back to article Build a 1TB MacBook

MCE Technologies has a dual 500GB hard disk drive kit to produce 1TB MacBooks by using the SuperDrive optical disk drive bay. The kit uses two 2.5-inch drives spinning at 5,400 or 7,200rpm and with capacities of 100, 120, 160, 250 or 500GB. One replaces the standard drive whilst the other replaces the SuperDrive optical disk …


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  1. Rolf Howarth
    Thumb Up


    That sounds like fun! I've long been a fan of laptops and my current MacBook Pro has served me extremely well but with disk capacities stuck at 160 or 250 GB for so long it has never been quite enough to avoid the need for external FireWire drives or a separate server on my network to store all my photos, movies, music, etc. (And no, not just pr0n, before you ask :-). If you can have up to 1TB available now while mobile that makes things VERY interesting.

  2. Glenn Gilbert

    Easy enough to change the hard disc

    It's easy enough to change the hard disc on a MacBook and MacBook Pro. Some sites are doing a 320Gb 5400RPM disc for £65. The 500Gb 9.5mm discs aren't easily available yet.

    Good idea to use the optical drive; amazing what duct tape can do:-)

  3. James Dunne
    Thumb Down

    Come on..

    Why on earth would you need that level of storage on a notebook of all machines?

    Spend the extra cash on a desktop and some online storage if its that necessary.

  4. Rolf Howarth


    Yes, I know it's easy enough to change laptop hard drives, I've done that myself on several occasions. And yes, I already have a desktop and online storage... I'm just too lazy to turn them on, or to want to worry about the fact that my main iTunes library is on one machine and that I've found a song I like while I'm on another.

  5. andy rock
    Thumb Down

    not being funny...

    ..but who gives a shit. seriously?

    laptops have been able to have two hard drives in them for bloody ages. now the storage density of disks has got that high the magical 1TB number can be obtained in them. wahoo.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James Dunne

    500gig is bugger all when I'm videoing all day. Having that RAIDed will be awesome. The question is, do I want to lug around a separate DVD writer?

    @Andy Rock: Great comment, really helpful. We're not talking about generic laptops, we're talking specifically about MacBooks. Why don't you go back to watching tv and stop irritating the adults. Btw, loved the cliches.

  7. Rolf Howarth
    Gates Horns


    To me the big news is that 500GB laptop drives are now available, I'm not so bothered about putting a second one in my optical drive bay.

    I remember a few years ago when I tried to upgrade my then laptop and it was a huge struggle. "Sure we sell 160GB laptop drives. SATA? What's that, never heard of it. I think they're IDE, is that a problem?" or "Sure we sell 160GB SATA drives. Oh. For a laptop? I see. No, sorry."

    I guess that's what you get for being slightly ahead of the curve :-(

  8. andy rock

    heh heh

    'stop irritating the adults'? who's got the cliches on the go here? btw, love the cliche that is you, 'videoing all day'. how will you lug that DVD writer around with your latte in one hand and your macbook in the other?

    i was simply referring to a non-story of laptop storage being oh-so-advanced enough to get that much storage into a laptop. sorry if i offended you. as Rolf puts it 'the big news is that 500GB laptop drives are now available'.

    and another thing, why is it the mac faithful never actually put their name to their rants? have some self belief, dammit!

  9. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Funny Ha ha !

    Funny ha ha to that , as Toshiba had that trick years before this one became available for a large number of their portables and at a lot cheaper prices using a USB port so one could hot swap too , so thus the wheel keeps on turning in the same endless circle !

  10. E

    Of two minds

    Speaking as a sysadmin the last thing I need is users keeping a terabyte of stuff on their laptop - they insist that every damned bit of data they ever collected must be immediately available when they travel, they refuse to back the stuff up generally, - ['takes too long', inviting complicit grin] and then freak out when the disks eventually die.

    Speaking as a user, well the more storage the better. But... who really needs a terabyte for Itunes? Who needs Itunes?

  11. Ed Gould
    Thumb Down

    1 TB for $900????

    Gee I just got a 1 TB for less than $300 (US) of course it is using firewire which I believe the Macbook air does not have. Let see 2 500mb HD's and a Mercury controller for less than $100 ... I think I got a better deal.

  12. jubtastic1


    The DVD drive doesn't generate a fraction of the heat of a HD, I can see extended use resulting in full time fans and or china syndrome.

    500GB SATA laptop drives becoming available is cool though, will be able to sell a bunch of those to clients.

  13. Joe

    @ Andy Rock

    Surely you read the headline and clicked on it before reading the article? If MacBooks didn't interest you, why waste your time? And then why bother to comment if you didn't care?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    ignorance is not bliss

    2.5 inch laptop drives are NOT YET reaching 1TB.

    ...and Toshiba supposedly had a 500 GB 2.5 inch lap top drive years ago?? What planet are you on?

  15. Matt

    title goes here

    a second hard drive will create more heat, but the OD bay in a MBP is under a plam rest and is largenough that the drive will be situated well away from the logic board... heat wont be an issue as the MBP relies lot on the metal construction to act as a heat sink and the heat generated will be nicely dissipated by that time...

    for those users that have never tried editing HD video you wont realise just how much drive can be consumed in very little time! so loosing the OD for extra space will benifit some users.

    This drive kit has actually been available for many years and yes, some laptop manufacturers used to offer 2 drives, but apple never has... and have you tried video editing on an XP or Vista machine??? well its painful, even with a monster laptop running full tilt with all its fans blowing... and yes, a desktop machine is better, but not always practical... so all in all, expensive, but useful...

  16. Matt Hamilton


    Apple Powerbooks of past (1998) have had this feature too. The G3 Powerbooks used to have a hot swap bay that could take an extra battery, optical drive, zip drive, hard drive, etc.:


  17. Hywel Thomas

    MBP drive swap not simple

    Changing the hard drive in a MacBook is easy.

    Changing it in a MacBook Pro is not, and will void the warranty. It's quite annoying. I regard this as an example of poor industrial design from Apple. Same for the current iMacs.

    It'd also be nice if they found room for a second hard drive in the larger machines (17"MBP, 24" iMac)

  18. heystoopid


    @ac surely you jest , or do you hail from the backward twin islands of the permanent mist in the South Pacific where things move slowly in the permanent fog ! All one could do was quite easily upgrade to newer and bigger IDE HD's with a simple screw driver as they became available on the market unlike major surgery required in this case and if you needed a DVD/CD writer just unplug the bulk storage drive and plug the optical drive in , truly a very simple and elegant solution with no surgery needed either !

    Also since an E Sata card exists for the PCMCIA slot , that too allows additional drives as well , so who indeed needs to butcher their note book with those two options available which could mean the Toshiba Notebook can literally access well in excess of 1.5TB of storage space , and the Mac has how much again with that set up ?

    Question , what part of the word "Simple" do you not understand ?

    Time to put on that vinyl record Jethro Tull Album whose first line goes "Really dont mind if you sit this one out." and most people know by heart the last line of the last verse too(the Ilooney version is a bit harsh on the ears when played through quality QUAD ESL63's and is of low bit rate in quality as are most DRM'd AAC encodings !).

  19. Daniel

    @ ANdy rock flamers

    I agree with andy rock here, big woop. the 500gb drive is the key in this story, the fact that the macbook pro can now support 1Tb is nice, but essentially just apple catching up to the rest of the market. As andy mentioned other laptops allow for this AND an optical drive.

    Now i realise this is something new to mac, but to be fair, if you're gonna carry around a seperate optical drive... why not carry an external drive? ok, you cant raid it... but ffs, this is nothing new.

    As for "videoing all day", 2 things... if you're "videoing all day" surely you're lugging around a camera...? now what the hell kinda difference is an optical drive gonna make. hell in that case how much difference is an external HDD gonna make... Unless You're not using a decent camera setup and you just wonder around with a handycam claiming that you're making "the next big thing".

    Look you jumped on flaming andy and all he did was point out that apple ownership has some major flaws to quote a random online illustrator "I buy from apple because it makes me feel closer to steve jobs". Yes they make good hardware and its aesthetically pleasing... but at the end of the day, they do have design flaws. You are making yourself sound like a trumped up film student with too much money to waste.

    *I am aware this may not be the case, however i figured If you're gonna flame someone for nothing more than pointing out that Macs aren't a gift from god (and by god i do not mean steve jobs allthough i can see where you get that idea).

  20. Anonymous Coward

    what is this article about?

    I found this article interesting. I did not find myself worrying about the mentioning of a computer made by apple. I do not care about apple much and certainly not about their laptops. What was intersting was that a company had a pair of 500GB 2.5 inch hard drives as accessory for a small laptop. Additionally this accessory kit did not seem to have anything to do with Apple as a company - it seems to be a third party add-on.

    The comments in this forum about PC versus Mac did not make any sense to me at all. What is the point of talking about the Mac of being years behind - how many years ago did the first 2.5 inch 500 GB hard drive come to the market - for any laptop computer?

    What is the point to confuse the possibility to connect a lot of external accessories to a laptop with the point to have it all INSIDE the box. Surely it is possible to connect almost any HD to any computer if you do not have to worry about getting it inside? All you need is to use a relevant interface - as most laptops have USB but often laptops usually have several others as well which could be used. Nothing to do with either PC or Apple.

    I also enjoy to listen to my LP's now and then - on special occasions... and this is perfectly ok on my planet...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why on earth would you set it up with RAID0 with one of the pairs in an easily removable slot?

  22. andy rock


    "Surely you read the headline and clicked on it before reading the article?"

    yeah, i did; just so i could vent my rage at Jobs! no, really, i just click any headline that says 'build' in the title because i'm a DIY kinda guy (i'm not lying). i didn't really think it would be something as base as gutting the book of it's optical. if we're really going to be picky about this:

    i) who on earth would build RAID with a mix of SATA and ATA? that is a fugly way of doing things, IMHO.

    ii) it's software RAID (unless i've read it wrong or macbooks grew a hardware controller) which is, again, 'a bit dirty'. that may just be me being a purist, though.

    iii) it's f***ing $799!

    just to clarify; i didn't say i thought Macs are shit. i meant it was a non-story. and bloody expensive to boot. a quick check of a certain e-tailer whose name begins with the 5th letter of the alphabet shows that you can get a tiny 320GB drive for under a 100. bargain. unlike this.

    *cheers for backup, Dan. i thought i could hear the lynch mob!*

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