To superdrive or not to superdrive - that is the...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Vashti, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #1
    Hey ya'll. I got some great advice from you guys a couple of days ago. I have one more decision to make, and I should be buying my new 15" 1.25 powerbook today. I'll use the computer for surfing the web, light data processing, proposal writing and spreadsheets, soon downloading music, and eventually light photoshop work. This will be my only computer.

    Is there any reason to buy a superdrive if I don't own a video camera and don't make movies, and I don't expect to have huge amounts of data to back up? I do plan to eventually buy an ipod and load a very large music collection into my powerbook and then onto the ipod. Someone said the combo drive is actually faster for that function. True?

    The only purpose I could imagine for a superdrive is putting together a reel. I'm a beginning actor, and hopefully, within a couple of years will be putting together a reel to send out out (an edited compilation of clips that feature my work). Any of you know anyone who's done that? So far, I've received copies of my work on video. I'd have to buy some kind of adaptor to get video onto dvd. Perhaps by the time I do that, it would be cheaper to hire someone to make my reel. Anyone have any info?

    Could I use my ipod to back up info instead of superdrive?

    I tend to keep my laptops for four or five years - until they're gasping for life. So probably resell value isn't a big issue.

    If it seems like I need the superdrive, I'll get it - but if I can save the $200 by swapping it out, it means I can get the ipod sooner.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    It's great to have a place like this where a technophobe can go with questions.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    As I get closer and closer to buying a new PowerBook myself, I've been pondering this very question. I personally can't imagine using a DVD burner much at all. I only got a CD burner a few months ago, and generally it sits idle in my office. On the other hand, like you, I like to hang on to my computers for several years, and so I worry that in a couple years it will be a real liability not to have one. But by that time, external drives will likely be even cheaper than they are now, so why not put off the decision to buy one until then?

    I've heard that iPods are not the best solution for backing up data: they are too easy to erase, and there is the potential for breakage or loss/theft. Personally I use iDisk for mission-critical backups (projects in process) and CDs for long-term backups (as I've said, a recent upgrade from zip disks). I could see using the iPod for daily backups, with occasional backups to CDRW--that might be a good solution for you--the chance of your HD crashing and your iPod getting stolen on the same day are relatively slim.

    Hope this helps. It's a tough decision.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #3
    if you can afford it, get it... i always say that i won't want to backup, or i won't need the space, or blah blah blah... and i always do!!

    it's so handy to be able to burn to dvd, and you never know, you might get a digital video camera one of these days, even for storing picturtes and things, a burner is soooo nice...

    now, i dont have one per se, but my brother is getting sick of me mooching off of his, so my next computer will DEF have one
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #4
    with the hack that enables iDVD to use ext. DVD burner, i'd save the money and get the iPod instead. (of course, apple may close this hack in the future...) it sounds like you won't need to burn DVD on the go at all (which is the only reason to get the superdrive, other than iDVD) so an ext. will do the job if you later decide you want to burn DVDs.

    yes, iPod can be used to back up. it's just a FW HD that happen to be a darn good music player. :)
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Northlands
    #5
    Plain and simple, don't get a superdrive unless you need it, and from reading your post, it sounds like you don't need it.

    I have plans of purchasing a Rev B G5 and am not getting a superdrive because it saves money and it will mean that burning and reading speeds will be increased.
     
  6. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    DVD burners are great backup devices. Really - many fewer disks.

    That said, you can get an external one and use it when you need it for about the price delta Apple charges. And you could use it on different systems, should you buy other computers later.

    Go with the combo drive if you don't think you'll need the burner in the case.

    My advice is the opposite with a tower - go with the SuperDrive, get an external CD burner if you really, really need the speed.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #7
    thanks

    Thank you all. That helped. In exactly 1 hour and 34 minutes (when I'm free), I'm calling apple and buying this sucker. Why do large purchases make me so nervous? I think I'll skip the superdrive for now and get a small (15 gb) ipod. It's less space than I want, but the price is right. Thanks again4
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #8
    Oops. One last question. Jxyama or anyone, how do I find out about that hack in case I do buy external burner down the road?
     
  9. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    See here.

    Good luck!
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #10
    yeah, jsw got the thread... i sure hope that apple doesn't plug this "hole" in the iDVD or that it's unpluggable. (like iBook dual monitor hack, which apparently cannot be hack proofed.)

    i'd buy a DVD burner now, but i'm a bit worried future versions of iDVD may be resistant to this hack.

    vashti: yeah, i hear ya about the big purchase. when i slapped down $1800 for my PB, i remember thinking, "oh geez, what have i done??"

    (i also got the same feeling when i got PS2 for $300, a TV for $500...)

    that feeling lasted exactly until i received the PB in the shipment. :D after that, "it was all what have i been doing without a computer for this long?"
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #11
    Thanks - mission accomplished!

    Thanks, y'all. You guys are fabulous! I just did it. I bought

    15" 1.25 powerbook with combo drive and RAM on one chip
    Epson C84 Printer
    Applecare
    Microsoft office suite
    and a 40 GB ipod

    Woa!!

    I scrapped my plans to get the Canon 960 printer, a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, an extra 512 MB of RAM (would have been from Crucial), and fancy case. By getting the free printer and deferring the rest of it until later, I get to be the proud owner of a new ipod. It seemed worth the trade-off. Thank you all for all your help. You guys are really great.

    I won't say goodbye. I bet I'll be back in a week with set-up questions.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #12
    congrats. make sure to calibrate your battery the first thing you get it...

    i have no doubt that you will enjoy it immensely!

    come back with any questions once you open that thing up...
     

Share This Page