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12-24-2011, 11:46 PM #1
[Review] OWC Data Doubler for MacBook Laptops
The OWC Data Doubler can replace an unused Apple SuperDrive with a second storage drive.
Are you a heavy storage user? Some people, like video editors, use immense amounts of storage. If you use a MacBook of almost any year or model, you can buy an OWC Data Doubler to increase your storage space to the maximum that you can possibly get inside of a MacBook without using external storage. The idea behind the OWC Data Doubler is simple - remove the unused Apple SuperDrive to make better use of the space with a second volume. In the image above, you can see how the OWC Data Doubler is made out of blue-painted steel and is structured to be shaped like the Apple SuperDrive.
Removing the Apple SuperDrive takes some patience. There are three screws that hold it into the MacBook Pro and one of them is hidden under the speaker module. The other two are completely wide open to your view. Before attempting to install an OWC Data Doubler, follow these three steps as precautions before trying to install the OWC Data Doubler to keep your computer safe:
- Touch the Apple SuperDrive to discharge any static electricity that you may be carrying.
- Using a nylon pry tool (included with OWC's Data Doubler bundle), lift up and disconnect the battery connector wire.
- Using a nylon pry tool (included with OWC's Data Doubler bundle), lift up and disconnect all data cables from the motherboard.
Next, you can start uninstalling screws to remove the Apple SuperDrive. If you're unsure of which screws to remove - you can follow OWC's guide. The thirteen inch Macbook Pro is slightly different than the fifteen and seventeen inch MacBook Pros, but the fifteen and seventeen inch MacBook Pros are the same. To view the guide for the thirteen inch MacBook Pro click this link. To view the guide for the fifteen in MacBook Pro click this link. To view the guide for the seventeen inch Macbook Pro click this link. These guides will take you step by step so that even a beginner can do this without messing up.
In the image above, you can see that my MacBook Pro thirteen inch 2011 model has a 128GB Crucial solid state drive for boot and application launch speed - but it also has the OWC Data Doubler installed with a 5400 RPM 500GB hard disk drive which I can use for media storage. I was never a user of the Apple SuperDrive, so this change was more convenient for me. It fits very snugly and OWC includes tools and special screws for installing it inside the OWC Data Doubler box.
- More Storage
- Makes Better Use of Second SATA III (SATA II in some cases) Bay
- No DVD/CD Support
- More Power Usage
There isn't much to say - it's a good upgrade if you need the storage and don't need a DVD/CD drive. I have noticed on several MacBook Pros that the Apple SuperDrive makes a quick grinding noise at boot up. The OWC Data Doubler doesn't make this noise - which means that you get a quieter experience. Unfortunately, because the hard disk drive requires constant power to keep the motor running, it will use more battery life. Solid state drives will use comparable amounts of power as well. The OWC Data Doubler is compatible with hard disk drives and solid state drives, so you can choose how to mix and match your options.
You can use the secondary disk for several options. One, you can dual boot on two disks instead of partitioning your main disk. Or, you can simply use it for extra storage. You can use it as a RAID storage unit with your existing disk, or you can simply use it as an internal-external hard drive that holds things so you can put them on your main drive when you need them. I personally use it as an internal-external hard drive. I think that this is a great buy and I would recommend it to anyone with a MacBook Pro. It comes in at $64.99. There are OWC Data Doublers for the iMac and Mac Mini as well - they are shaped slightly differently.
Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 12-25-2011 at 11:17 AM.
12-25-2011, 12:44 AM #2
i love mine. this was the first thing i upgraded in my mac along with the ram i bought from macsales.com no complaints here. i too would recommend this to anyone with a macbook/pro
12-25-2011, 01:13 AM #3
This were good if you could pull it out and put your optical drive back easier on a Mac you you have to literally take it apart
12-25-2011, 04:23 AM #4
Would be a sweet upgrade to squeeze a 1TB drive in my 17" MBP since I almost never use the SuperDrive. Not to mention I can make my older model MacMini into the server edition when I get a new iMac next year
12-25-2011, 06:42 AM #5
i believe the super drive bay is only sata II in the 2011 model i did this upgrade but with two ssd's and after some research on which drive to get i got a sata III for the main bay and sata II for the second. just a small correction :-)
12-25-2011, 08:34 AM #6
Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 12-25-2011 at 08:43 AM.
12-25-2011, 09:54 AM #7
Too bad no one makes a hybrid SuperDrive that has the SuperDrive AND the extra storage.. Either way, that's extremely cool. If I did not use my Super Drive ever, I would get that :-). Nice review Mr. Bouchard. Hey, why does my iPad auto correct "bouchard" to "Bouchard"?? HaAnd it will be like a taco inside a taco within a Taco Bell that's inside a KFC that's within a mall that's inside your dream!
12-25-2011, 01:43 PM #8
I like the idea of doubling up on Hdd space, but personally, didn't like the data doubler from OWC. I went with the ifixit.com enclosure instead. From the pics on both websites, the ifixit.com enclosure appeared more stable and allowed for less hdd movement. I upgraded my internal hdd to a 120GB intel SSD and in the dvd spot, installed a 750GB hdd from seagate. I'd have to say I couldn't be more happier with my 2009 17" macbook pro thus holding off on a macbook pro upgrade. Hope that helps others. And here is the link for the other enclosure.
9.5 mm SATA Optical Bay SATA Hard Drive Enclosure - iFixit
12-25-2011, 02:53 PM #9
I got the new 17" Macbook pro, i decided to move from my 500GB 7200RPM drive to a 320GB Solid State Drive @ 600 MB/ SEC Read and write, i used this same kit to remove the superdrive and insert a 1TB Drive for my storage needs, works amazing! I also got an enclosure for my superdrive which i can use now via usb. Works great! i would highly recommend this to anyone who needs more storage or would like to do an SSD install and not have to sacrifice space due to pricing.
btw. I got over a 500% boost in my macbooks performance! With the regular harddrive i would take exactly 1:30 seconds from complete shut down to power up. I also have 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz Ram. WIth the solid state drive from complete shut down to power up takes only 4 seconds!!! Photoshop loads up within 1-2 seconds.
12-25-2011, 10:55 PM #10
Definitely the best upgrade I did to my '11 MBP.
12-25-2011, 11:07 PM #11
i did this for my 2009 13 inch mbp. best decision i made. i got everything from macsales.com. their superdrive enclosure is very sleek too. i installed a 1 TB WD scorpio blue so i have a lot of extra space. sadly for my mid 2009 mbp the RAM is maxed out at 8 GB. it is still fast compared to stock mbp's though. one more thing. i placed the 1 TB HDD to the original HD bay and the SSD in the data doubler. reason is that the HD bay has sudden movement protection while the superdrive does not. SSD's don't have moving parts so it will be perfectly fine in the data doubler. cheers guys! =)
12-26-2011, 03:02 AM #12
OWC 1333DDR3S08S 8.0GB (2x4.0GB Kit) PC3-10600 DDR3... in stock at OWC
like would this be good? lol
Last edited by rawrjoeynashomg; 12-26-2011 at 03:11 AM.
12-26-2011, 10:42 AM #13
12-26-2011, 01:47 PM #14
I just got an email today from newegg that had 16GB of ram for that machine (2x8GB) for a whopping $149
OWCs ram is top-notch and carries a lifetime guarantee, I have it in my 2011 MBP right now and have no complaints (though I paid much more than $50 for it). I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
Crucial is good too, but I prefer OWC - they support the Mac community much more, and consistently have the best quality bits you can get your hands on.
Last edited by arem; 12-26-2011 at 01:50 PM.
12-26-2011, 04:56 PM #15
I'm heavily considering this. Not sure I'm going to pull the plug yet, but it's something that would be AWESOME to do. I'd LOVE a 120 gb SSD as my boot disc and move my 500 GB Seagate Momentus to the slot. For those of you that wouldn't want to completely lose the Superdrive, OWC has an external enclosure for the Superdrive for $29.99 when purchased with the Data Doubler.
OWC VLSS9TOPTU2 SuperSlim USB 2.0 Enclosure for... in stock at OWC
If I went with the Data Doubler...this is something I'd do. While I don't use the Superdrive all that much, there are times that it is a necessity for what I do. It sounds as though the drive is even smoother in the USB enclosure.
Amazon.com: Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2), 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 Memory Module (CT2KIT51264BC1339): Computers & Accessories
Same RAM at much cheaper prices. I just upgraded my iMac to 12 GB RAM (4 GB already installed & added 8 GB) for just under $40. This RAM is sold by a third party, but Amazon will have more in stock later. You can wait and get free shipping from them.
Last edited by bigdog5142; 12-26-2011 at 05:07 PM.
12-29-2011, 01:16 AM #16