Best external optical drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by RolledUp20s, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Wrexham, North Wales
    #1
    I don't think the apple SuperDrive is good value for money, I've seen drives half the price that offer 24x speed on cd burning, 8x DVD.

    I think the SuperDrive is only 8x for anything.

    So, what's everyone else using?

    I went to my local pc world and the optical drives there were only for windows...
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    aaronvan

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    I can see Puget Sound from here
    #2
    Buy the least expensive one from NewEgg. You'll hardly use it anyway.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Pretty much any USB DVD/CD drive will work with your Mac. I've used LG, HP and Toshiba portable DVD drives over the years. They were all marked for Windows only and they all worked flawlessly with my Macs, including Lightscribe features for the drives that supported it.

    I particularly like this one, sits inconspicuously on the foot of my iMac but looks good too :)

    http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Slot-Loading-Portable-SuperMulti-PA3845U-1DV2/dp/B0040UOP20/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1341599120&sr=8-5&keywords=toshiba+portable+dvd+writer
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Wrexham, North Wales
    #4
    i make dvd copies for my 3yr old, he tends to scratch them & they're no good after a week. my wife doesn't have an iPod so she likes cd's in the car...cd's? what are they? ..exactly.

    i would have enough use out of it..hence i want a good 1, but i honestly think the superdrive is apple being apple..painting poo gold and getting money out of it :) ..ofcourse the poo has an apple logo on it
     
  5. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #5
    Exactly. I have a Rosewill brand from Newegg that's been great. Cost $20 or so.

    Read the reviews for the best sellers, you'll likely find reviews mentioning if someone's had success using it with a Mac or Macbook Air and whether it works off one USB port or requires two.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    falterego

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    I bought this Toshiba drive and was disappointed when I unpacked it with a USB Y cable.

    Then I was delighted to see that it worked just fine with a normal USB A-B cable.

    Then I was disappointed again when I found that ANY disc (CD or DVD) burned without the Y cable did not work. Windows and OSX reported that it burned successfully, but discs either won't play or sometimes even show up as blank in whatever device I use them.

    The same USB port on my HP tower works just fine to power and read/write data on my external hard drive, but if I plug in the DVD burner instead I get crap results. The Y cable works just fine, I'd be OK with it at my office, but there is NO way it would work with the MBA USB ports being on opposite sides of the computer. The Y cable is only about 2 feet long and the split part of it can only be separated to span 6-7 inches. I decided to fork out the extra money for the Superdrive and haven't looked back. Even on Windows it works well. I never pay attention to burn times though, so I can't vouch for any speed.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    #7
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    SE-218BB. by Samsung. awesome.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    aaronvan

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    I can see Puget Sound from here
    #9
    Do you have an iMac? You could always air gap from the MBA to it's DVD drive.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    I use a Toshiba slim internal SD-L802B (12 EUR used) with an external USB enclosure from Amazon (12 Eur new), so for 24 Eur I can burn the occasional DVD-R or CD-R and play my HD-DVDs on my MBA under Bootcamp in Windows 7 (with TotalMedia Theater 5).

    My recommendation would be you buy just an enclosure and pick from an old Windows laptop any slim IDE drive, it'll work flawlessly. Any HD-DVD or Blu-ray player will work, too !
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #11
    Apple Superdrive

    It just works well, is inexpensive, burns CDs at 24x, writes them at the same speed, DVDs at 8X both read and write. It's rugged as well.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #12
    I bought the Apple Superdrive for two reasons:

    1. It ONLY needs one USB cable.
    2. It is guaranteed to work for Lion, Mountain Lion, etc. Apple appears to have a habit of removing non-Apple hardware support from their OS from version to version.

    Luckily I was able to get a brand new in the box Superdrive off ebay for $57.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    1. Many / Most use one USB port, as long as it was made this decade. You might find some really old ones on Amazon that require 2 USB ports, but pretty much all the ones in Newegg use only one.
    2. I highly doubt Apple would remove support to external USB drives anytime soon. It's a very standard part of the USB spec.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    Reports are that certain USB Ethernet adapters that worked in Snow Leopard stopped working in Lion. So obviously Apple did something.

    I'm not saying that Appel will remove USB DVD drive support, but I could see them removing non-Apple USB DVD drives.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #15
    I too am in the market for an external optical drive. I'm going to be ripping my whole CD collection (about 400-500 CDs), so I need something that's rugged and well-built and won't fail after the first 50 rips. Is the SuperDrive good enough or should I go with something else? If not, what should I go for? I have no need for it to be thin nor light nor beautifully designed, I'll only need it while at home.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    I guess anything is possible, but ethernet support is not part of the USB spec and hence is usually does require additional drivers. Pulling out USB drive support would be like like pulling out USB mouse support; they're both very much an essential function of the USB spec.

    ----------

    Although I've only handled a few of the models, they're all equally durable in my opinion.

    My suggestion then is to go buy one from a local store such as MicroCenter or Best Buy; that way you have someone to go to for an exchange or a refund if it breaks after 50 CDs.

    For real durability, try to look for the external drives that are based off desktop hardware. They're much bigger: usually 8+ inches long and 2 inches tall; and always require a power adapter. However, because the drives are 5" drives intended for desktop use, they will certainly be more durable than the slim ones based off of laptop drives.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #17
    I'm not sure if it would be an issue for you, but I'm not sure that you can play DVD movies using the Apple DVD player app with a non-Apple optical drive. I think there might be some other minor limitations too with non Apple drives. I went for the Superdrive, even though I don't use it often, because I like having the "proper" matching kit, and its well-made, but its certainly not essential to get the Apple drive.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    #18
    Hey everyone, I just wanted to suggest a method that is completely free if you have another computer with a disk drive. Here's the link: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5287?viewlocale=en_US

    Credits go to GGJstudios who posted this in one of my threads.
    I'm not sure if this will work for bootcamp but should be fine for installing software.

    Or you can create disk images on another computer and then put those on a USB, although this method is relatively complicated and time consuming but this method should work for bootcamp.

    Disclaimer: I am not encouraging the use of illegal file sharing etc. and this method should only be used for software that allows it.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #19
    Audio CDs aren't supported, so that's really not an option for me...
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Seamaster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    #20
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    #21
    Oh hang on.... Misread that bit the first time I read it, I thought they said they are supported :mad: what's the point of it then?
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #22
    Problem is is that that drive is a double USB plug and that's really not practical for the MBA.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Seamaster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    #23
    One of the reviewers reckons it works with just one off the Air.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #24
    I'm fan of the Lite-on from newegg.com http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106329

    I like the top-loading design, reminds me of the old sony diskman and makes it feel retro.

    One USB port is all that's required. Reported working with OSX (forgot where, either elsewhere in this forum or on amazon reviews or something)
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    TwinCitiesJHawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #25
    Anyone know of a good inexpensive blu-ray drive that works perfectly on the 2012 MBA using only 1 USB Port? I'm looking for one that I can watch my bd movies on while traveling. Thanks!
     

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