How often do you use your MBA Super Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rkb, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. rkb
    macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2010
    I'm trying to see if one of these would get much use or just gather dust while at the same time making pants 80 bucks lighter.

    -For software, if I can't download I use disc sharing with my iMac.

    -Movies, I rip using RipIt on the iMac, save to a 16gig flash drive then load to the MBA.

    Is there some other use that a Super Drive would more efficiently perform? I'm always up for a shiny new Apple purchase but just don't think it would get used much. 
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    Bath, UK.
    I'm not gonna bother with it.

    Most of the time I imagine I can get by disc sharing from another Mac.

    If I do find that I need a USB drive I'll just get one from elsewhere. I'm sorry Apple but only working with a MBA or Mac Mini (heck not even any other Macs, let alone PCs) and only doing CDs/DVDs is a joke. No way am I buying the external drive from Apple.
  3. macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2008
    I got a much cheaper and probably fast USB Sony DVD burner (I think I paid like $40 bucks for it three years ago). It's not good for travel, where the MBA drive may be better for. But honestly, I never need a burner or disk drive on the road.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I already have an external DVD burner...its not portable, but as the poster above me pointed out, never once in over a decade can I remember a time when I found myself needing a burner while on the road.

    As for reading from DVD media, you can always 'borrow' another Mac's drive in a pinch. Or just go find the digital version online from the vendor.
  5. macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    Marina del Rey, CA
    I bought the Super Drive with my original MBA when it came out, what 2.5 years ago.

    My MBA is my traveling computer: I rarely use it at home, except maybe to surf the web while watching TV (and the iPad has largely replaced that). So your situation may be different.

    There was a game I played sometimes to pass the time while on the road that required the DVD to start, so I would bring it along sometimes to play the game.

    Other than that, I probably used it a half dozen times: To a clean re-install when I got the machine, to upgrade to Snow Leopard and to upgrade iLife and iWork (family packs all) and a couple times to load data on a CD a client gave me, but that was just because I had the drive handy and it was easier for them. I soon stopped carrying it around and actually had to hunt around to find it the last time I needed it.

    My only concern would be OS upgrades -- and maybe Apple will sell them on USB sticks as well as DVDs
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2007
    I've used mine once so far (installing iWork). Will only use it to install some software and occasional DVD burnings.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
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    Well.... Only just got the MBA but until now i have not needed a DVD drive. On my old macbook i havent used the dvd drive for over a year. To install software i just rip the dvds to DMG on my iMac and mount them on the machine i want to install on.
  8. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    They are going for $35-40 on *bay though the worst bay outlet store. I think you'll spend more time worrying whether you need one or not compared to $40 to just buy one for a rainy day.

    Same as a wired keyboard for my Mac Pro. I have only needed it twice, but when I did, it saved me immensely.
  9. macrumors member


    Oct 21, 2010
    I've used the external SuperDrive for software installs, as the MBA is my only computer. I also use it occasionally for ripping CDs (remember those?) and that's about it. If you have the latest generation MBA, you should probably save your 79 bucks. The software is on a flash drive, and there's always disc sharing for those rare times you need an optical drive.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't have an MBA, but the optical on my desktop is hardly used. Only when I'm looking to [re]load an OS, be it OSX, windows or Fedora. With that said, using an optical drive over a thumb drive is clearly better, especially when it comes to windows that in general terms doesn't really support booting up from a thumb drive.

    So while my usage of the optical drive is near non-existent. The times I needed one has been indispensable.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    I have had the External Superdrive with my MBA since the RevA, and for two years since the RevB came out. I bet I've used it a total of like 5 or 6 times in almost 3 years.

    Save your $$ and just buy it if/when you need it.

    Also, for transferring Movies over to your MBA - from your iMac, why not put them both on an Ethernet network, and transfer that way? Gotta be faster than a USB key?
  13. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I've used it twice. I want to turn it into a SD I can use with any computer but I'm afraid to F it up. :eek:
  14. macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
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    2x a year
  15. macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    frequently -
    tho I have a LaCie external Lightscribe DVD-DL burner.

    I regularly burn cd's of talks for people and also burn dvd's to backup existing ones.

    I used to use it for rebuilds of earlier model Airs, but with the new model and usb stick plus most of my apps saved as images on an external HD, this will no longer be necessary.

    I see SD cards and USB sticks being the future method of storage, but at present cd's and dvd's are much much cheaper for 'give-aways'.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    I have been using one of these below, on my 13" or smaller laptops without optical drives. It works just great and is very inexpensive. Fast light, and small.

  17. macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    Used mine once in like two years. Not even sure why I bought it.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Mar 11, 2008
    I never even bothered to buy the external drive.
  19. macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2010
    I had a revA macbook air that I bought the drive for and I only used it a handful of times with that computer (long gone, still have the drive though). I used to to play Civilization IV which required the disk at the time. I also used it to install microsoft office.

    I got a mac mini server and use it all the time with the server to rip dvds to the mac mini.

    I used it once with my new macbookair 11.6" to install CS5.

    I would get a used one on ebay and save some cash.

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