SuperDrive vs. ComboDrive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by gco212, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. gco212 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #1
    I'm looking into buying an ibook or powerbook, though not until this summer most likely. My question is what is the difference between the two drives, and is the super worth $200 to upgrade. And second, how much RAM would you suggest. 256 seems like way to little...
     
  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #2
    Combo = DVD-ROM/CD-RW

    Super = DVD-RW/CD-RW

    In other words, the only difference is that you can burn DVDs with the Superdrive. If you plan on making DVDs with iDVD, you need the Superdrive. Otherwise save yourself $200 and get the Combo drive.

    OS X prefers 512MB+ RAM, but with a laptop you want to buy as large a DIMM as you can afford, so consider putting a 1GB DIMM in there. by the time you buy prices will have dropped anyway.
     
  3. Macophile macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Southern California
    #3
    I went back and forth between the Combo and the Super drives before I bought my 12" Rev. C PowerBook. Was I really going to use the DVD burner? Would I be better off saving a couple of bucks?

    Then I used iDVD.

    If you're planning on doing any sort of video editing -- even just home movies -- then burning to DVD makes a lot of sense and iDVD makes it very easy. If not, or if you'll only do data backups, then you might be better of with the Combo drive and buying an external DVD drive and connecting it via Firewire.

    As for memory, I bought an additional 512MB stick of memory for a total of 768MB, which works really well. 1GBs are getting cheaper all the time.
     
  4. lfielder06 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    #4
    the super drive is only 4x for only dvd-r. I would recomend getting an external dvd drive that supports dual layer and 16x. There is a hack that makes this available for idvd. search the forums for a link to this. The reason i recomend an external is becuase of the drive speed, discs supported for burning, and price will be less. If you do not like the idea of using a hack you can purchase an external with an image burning program (ie Toast 6). Then save image in idvd and burn it using Toast. hope this helps
     
  5. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    yeah, but...

    I understand the cost issue of getting an external dvd burner...but the simplicity of having a laptop with EVERYTHING built in seems to outweigh that...
     
  6. Jsmit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    One difference that no one else mentioned is that the superdrive writes/rewrites to CDs slower than the combo drive. Yes, I got that right the superdrive is slower in writing CDs than the combo. I think it is 16X CD-R and 8X CR-RW for the superdrive, and 24X CD-R and 16X CD-RW for the combo.

    edit: I agree it is nive to have everything built in when it is a portable, that it is why I decided to get the superdrive.
     
  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    Depends how often you think you might need to burn a DVD when not at your setup at home (assuming you have someplace set aside for printer/airport etc). If you'll never use it away from home, then save the cash.

    Counter argument is that if you think you'll only burn DVDs occasionally, then the extra speed isn't really going to be a concern so you might as well have it all in one.
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #8
    I am glad that I sprung for the SDD drive in my PB 12' rev. B. It makes backing up easier. One disk instead of like 6 CDs.

    As to RAM, buy the most that you can afford. And look at third parties like OWC or Crucial. At the least make sure you have 768mb. But maxing out is not a bad way of going.
     
  9. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #9
    get the combo, and then buy a firewire enclosure and an internal DL DVD-/+RW...
     
  10. gco212 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #10
    Okay, I'm not really going to ever need to write DVDs, and I definately won't need to do it on the road for the next few years, and I would've bought a new laptop by then. As for RAM, the 1 gig is like $600 on apple.com, but the 756 is only an extra $200. That one is still overpriced by the look of it though. Do you suggest buying another one and installing it myself, or is the price not that bad for Apple's RAM (this is my first mac).
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #11
    I am sorry to hear that you gave up on the DVD-R recording capability. I just think that DVD recording is the future.

    As to RAM. It is easy to install on your own. Look at OWC (my favorite) or Crucial for lower cost RAM options. There were even recent posting here about outback.com that gave me pause for future needs.
     
  12. gco212 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #12
    Right now, I have no real use for DVD-R. I keep backups on another HD, so that I can burn it then if I need it. I don't burn movies or do any film editing, so it would basically be wasting space. Thanks for the tips on RAM too. I'll check those places out, and like I said, I'm not getting it until this summer, so I'll be able to wait for the prices to come down on RAM a little more. What are the chances of iBook updates this summer?
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #13
    As far as RAM prices coming down. Never count on it. My 1gb RAM went from under $200 on Crucial and OWC when I got my PB 12" to over $300 on Crucial when I was ready to buy.
     
  14. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #14
    Indeed the 1gig DIMMs and SO-DIMMs price fluctuate a lot.

    I bought a 1gig SO-DIMM for 160 then in a week it dropped to 150 and now its back to 160 USD.

    I should have gotten a price adjustment when it dropped hope it happens again and soon. :)
     
  15. MacNeXT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    #15
    Not that 24x is fast, but it seems to be about the maximum these slim line drives can handle. Went from 52x (cheap Lite-ON CD-RW) in my old B&W to 24x in my new iBook. Burning CD's is -again- a drag.
     

Share This Page