Any compelling reason for Superdrive on Macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mcpix, May 16, 2006.

  1. mcpix macrumors regular

    May 13, 2005
    Okay, I'm ready to spec out my Macbook, but as always every dollar counts.

    I already have an external LaCie DVD burner (16x), any reason to pay an extra $200 for the 4x Superdrive? I'm thinking I'd rather spend that money on a bigger hard drive and more memory.
  2. AJ Muni macrumors 65816

    AJ Muni

    Aug 4, 2005
    No. Buy ram with the extra $$.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    When every dollar counts, no, don't get it and spend the money on RAM. DVD burning is nice, esp. for backups. Disk space is always great. RAM is essential. Buy in the order RAM, HD, SuperDrive (my advice).

    You will want 2GB no matter what you do (and will wish you had it if you don't get it), so consider 3rd party RAM, maybe, depending on how hard it is to replace it yourself in the MB (it's easy in the MBP). 1GB is the bare minimum for usability (512MB is useless), and 1.25GB is better than 1GB, regardless of what people will tell you about paired RAM. So... worst case, get no extra RAM from Apple, buy a 3rd party 1GB stick, and bump up to 1.25GB by removing one of the 256MB sticks. That's just a ~US$115 upgrade. Then you can upgrade the other stick later.
  4. Bakey macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2003
    O Donny Boy
    Safe to say you've already answered your own question here!!

    The only other thing to take into consideration [from my view point] is the question of whether or not you'll be needing to burn DVD's on the move? Or more to the point are you prepared to hulk around your LaCie burner??

    It would certainly be nice to have the built-in Superdrive, but at an additional $200 it really does beg the question!!

    Good luck in your choice and let us know what you eventually decide on opting for... ;)
  5. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
    only if you think you'll feel the need to burn on the road (without lugging your external burner).
  6. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816


    Dec 1, 2005
    Exactly. you dont need to pay for a slower superdrive
  7. aesth3tic macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2005
    University of Washington

    I disagree with you on that. While 2GB is necessary for some of us, it's not for everyone. 1GB is the best for average users, and yes, paired ram does make a difference. So two 512MB sticks is better than one 1GB stick.
  8. khisayruou macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2004
    My combo drive on my older PB was very picky with the dvd medias I used, it also won't play a lot of my older backups. Since then on, I swore never to get a combo.

    2gb ram is overkill unless you plan on doing a lot of multitasking and/or media stuff. But the rule is, the more the merrier...if you can afford it.
  9. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Depends on who you are, of course, but for me, a larger HD is much more important than RAM once you get up to 1GB. Clearly, unless you're planning on burning lots of DVDs on the road, you don't need the superdrive.
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I disagree when it comes to the Intel Macs, especially those with integrated graphics. My mini duo is sometimes problematic but typically usable at 1GB. 1.5 or 2 GB would be much better for it. But, yes, 1GB is usable, but it fills up dramatically faster than on a PPC-based Mac.

    I agree 2x512MB is faster than 1x1GB, but 1.25 GB is faster than 2x512MB if you exceed 1GB of memory being used, and that's a trivially easy thing on the Intel Macs.

    Keep in mind that my 17" 800MHz iMac runs fine for my parents with a mere 512MB. But the Intel Macs are hungrier, and the integrated graphics add to that hunger.
  11. mcpix thread starter macrumors regular

    May 13, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.

    I didn't realize you could use two sizes of ram at a time.

    Since crucial wants $165 for a 1gb chip, does it make more sense to pay Apple the $100 for a 1GB machine?
  12. Mernak macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2006
    Kirkland, WA
    depends on if you plan on upgrading the ram later on. if you do then get the 1 Gig stick that way you only lose 256mb of ram, whereas if you get the 1GB from apple they actually install 2x512 instead of 1x1GB. personally im hoping to get 2x1GB sticks (from 3rd party) and even if I weren't i would want the 1GB + 256MB because im planning on using this computer for a good long time (had this computer for ~5 years now) and would want the option to upgrade later on.
  13. iamhammill macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2006
    York, PA

    Where does processor speed fall in that list?

    I cancelled my original 1.83 MacBook with 1GB for a 2.0 MacBook with 512 ( I can upgrade by myself.)

    The un-upgraded 2.0 was the same price as the upgraded 1.83.
  14. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Why is paired better? I can't seem to find any concrete info on this for these models.
  15. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    Paired makes makes things function marginally better but it doesn't really matter just get as much RAM as you can preferably over 1gb

  16. WithTea macrumors member

    May 11, 2005
    So, on the note of RAM, I'm looking at the MacBook to potentially be my first Mac (well, first computer for me, not considering family computers!), and as a student, the $$ count. Assuming I'm just going to be using my computer for the internet, word, iTunes and an occasional movie, 1Gb should be plenty, right?

    Also, with this (relatively limited use) would I notice any difference between 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz?
  17. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    I don't think the processor will matter as much as the ram. The 1.66MHz Mini can handle 1080p.
  18. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    1 GB will be plenty, and for the uses you mentioned, you won't notice a difference between 1.83 and 2.0.
  19. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    I'm still annoyed that I can't get a Black Macbook without the superdrive.
    I want the Macbook for when I'm on the road and use my 17" MacBook Pro at home and the office. I have no need for the superdrive in both of them... but I don't want white macbook either.

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