mac air superdrive with the imac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ph17, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    #1
    Does anyone know whether a mac air superdrive will work with the new 2012 imac?
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #2
    It works with any Mac...and I'd guess it would work with some PCs.

    I guess people think that it's tied with the MBA because that was the first Mac to drop the optical drive.
     
  3. macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #3
    It definitely will but IMHO I'd go with an external bluray drive.

    I did and it is much much quicker at burning and ripping discs than the SuperDrive.
     
  4. hfg, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #4
    Actually, the Apple USB SuperDrive is not guaranteed to work with all Macs! It draws more current from the USB port and may overload a standard USB spec port (500ma) and shut down. Certain Mac computers (rMBP, Air, Mini) are designed with a higher-than-normal current available from their USB port to support this drive. This has been an issue in the past with trying to use this drive for computers with a failed internal optical drive, including older iMacs.

    It is listed as an "accessory" for the new iMacs, but not listed as compatible under the SuperDrive specs. Perhaps they are coming out with a new one, or just the specs haven't been corrected? It also may be that a USB-3 port (900ma) will supply the required power.

    From the Apple specs:
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD564ZM/A/apple-usb-superdrive?fnode=5f#overview

    System Requirements

    MacBook Pro with Retina display
    MacBook Air computer
    Mac mini computer


    There are several brands of external optical drives designed for the Netbook market which will also work with your Mac and are available for around $30.
    Some come with dual USB plugs for additional power, but the ones I have tried worked with a single USB connection on my Macs.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #5
    You learn something everyday...thanks for the heads up.

    I guess the take away is to look elsewhere for something cheaper or spend a little more and get blu-ray.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    #6
    It's the power requirement thats the issue not the brand.

    The likely reason iMac isn't listed is because all iMacs up to now have had Superdrives and the page hasn't been updated yet.
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #7
    I would imagine that it works out of the box with the new iMacs. In any case the SuperDrive will work with most Macs by editing your plist and adding the mbasd=1 string. It works with my 2011 17" MBP and lets me utilize Boot Camp Assistant where my external LG drive wouldn't. Also plays DVD movies nativity with QuickTime.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Hmm I was wondering this. So I asked an Apple support person (live chat) yesterday, and they claimed that the SuperDrive that's in the Apple Store (online) will work with the new iMac, despite not being in the specs.
     
  9. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #9
    I suspected as much too.

    I have never seen the actual current drain listed for the USB SuperDrive other than that it was above the 500ma spec of USB-2. However, USB-3 specs at 900ma and I would hope that would be more than adequate for the USB SuperDrive. If so, then any of the new Macs with a USB-3 port could use it without a problem.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #10
    The only thing I don't understand is that if it really is compatible, then why isn't it listed in the specs? All they have to put is 'Late 2012 iMac', not iMac (as that would imply all models).
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #11
    It will work. Apple just rebrand the packaging on the outside. Apple just enable a flag in a config file to allow usage of these drives and nothing more.
     

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