What makes a SuperDrive "Super"?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by pjkelnhofer, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. pjkelnhofer macrumors 6502a

    pjkelnhofer

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    Boston
    #1
    Is there something special about the drives that Apple use for the superdrive, or if I take a different internal DVD+RW drive and put it inside a PowerMac will iDVD, etc. see it as a SuperDrive or not (I realize I will likely have to hack Panther to add disc-burning support for the drive).
    Anyone know this one?
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #2
    i believe it's simply Apple's nickname for DVD-RW... easier to say, easier for consumers to understand. CD or DVD drive, combo drive, and superdrive.

    it should be noted that the real superdrive was a floppy disk drive back in the 80s, it had the amazing ability to use doublesided disks. i remember seeing drives labeled "superdrive" when taking apart old macs...

    paul
     
  3. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #3
    What makes the SuperDrive a SuperDrive is the like the other person said, and thats the ability to do one more thing the Combo Drive can't do and thats burn DVD's. You may be able to re-write DVD's if you have Panther (Mac OS X.3). I've never tried it so I'm not sure.

    The drives the Apple use are specifically made for Apple. iDVD looks for either the Sony or Pioneer SuperDrives that Apple uses. You may be able to get it to work if its the exact make and model as the ones Apple uses, but you cannot lets say put a Phillips DVD-RW drive in it and expect iDVD to see the drive as a DVD burner. The ones Apple uses are great anyways so I see no need to put a different one in there.
     
  4. Achtung_U2 macrumors member

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    #4
    mklos:

    Just so you know.... I beg to differ with what you have been told here. I have a G4 Sawtooth model, Superdrive was not available when I bought it.

    After all my other upgrades to the Mac, I decided I wanted an internal Superdrive, my buddy has a late model G4 dualie, not sure of exactly which one, but it was right at the end of the run. Anyhow, he bought the Pioneer and still had trouble with iDVD reading from it. But he told me he thought it best to buy the Pioneer or Sony and just use Studio Pro instead.

    Anyhow.... what Im getting at here is, I bought a 'superdrive' from OptoRite, the drive has the new technology and reads/burns + & - ... it was only $99 including 5 free Pio-Data blank DVD-R +-. Well, when I installed it, iTunes, iDVD, & iPhoto would not recognize it. I could only use it in Toast or Studio Pro.

    I posted here, in the forums asking for help or advice and one of the guys was kind enough to advise me to download the PatchBurn II driver.

    It took a few seconds to install, and.... behold, ALL of those Apple programs burn thru this internal drive. It works. You dont have to buy the higher priced model drive in the hopes that it will work. Even my friends Pioneer didnt work right until I also told him about PatchBurn II.

    Im sorry, I cant remember where he told me to download it from, but you can search the hardware forum for the post, or, I can email it to you. The version that I have here requires Panther, but the developer also makes one for Jaguar. Hope this helps you out.

    Good luck. Mark ~
     
  5. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #5

    I know people who have gotten it to work. I'm not saying that it will work, in fact it probably won't like you said, but I do know people who have gotten it to work. Like I said, you have to get the EXACT model of the Pioneer or Sony drive and then just maybe it will work. You cannot buy some off brand CD-RW/DVD-RW (superdrive) and think it will work because it will not. They only real way to get it to work is the expensive route, to buy a Mac that came standard with a SuperDrive. Even if it wasn't new. Look on eBay for a Mac that came with SuperDrive.
     
  6. Achtung_U2 macrumors member

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    #6
    mklos:

    I think you totally mis-took my previous post.

    I agreed with your total explaination, as its exactly what happened to me with my G4 when i first installed a new drive.

    But...

    ... in the post above, you cut off the whole bottom of my reply where I explained that, in fact, the PatchBurn driver solves the whole problem with almost any aftermarket superdrive. You do not need the 'built in' model G4's, nor do you have to spend the $$$ for Pioneer or Sony.

    The 'jist' of my previous reply was to help pjkelnhofer, or anyone else to see that you CAN buy the cheap, off brand drives and they WILL & DO work with ALL Apple software by using the PatchBurn II driver, as mine does even with an off-brand $99 special.

    Take care.
     
  7. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    #7
    Not if you don't know what makes it "super". The rewrite or RW logo is well known since CD burners have been around for a decade. Many people know what a rewrite drive is. Out of the box no one knows what makes a drive "super" This is in the same vein as claiming that the single mouse button is easier. It isn't. Its easier because est Mac users know how to use it. Put a PC user in front of a Mac mouse and watch them get confused.
     
  8. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #8
    I don't understand why people always say the Apple superdrive is so expensive. It's a $200 option. Buying an external DVD RW will cost you about... $200. It's about the same price, and you don't need to hack it illegally to use iDVD. The only time I can see getting an external DVD RW is if you have an older Mac or an iBook that doesn't have the option to upgrade to a superdrive, or possibly for extra speed on a Powerbook. The Superdrives in the iMac and G5s are just as fast as external models, and cost the same, so why not get them?
     
  9. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #9
    Geek moment here: I don't think the original superdrive was just a double-sided floppy drive. My recollection is that the "superdrive" could read the HDFD format: 1.2 megs of data compared to 800K in a double-sided floppy. But it is funny that Apple has resurrected the term for a DVD-RW.
     
  10. pjkelnhofer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    pjkelnhofer

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    #10
    I don't think they are expensive as a BTO option, but what if you already have a PowerMac and what to add one? That is what my original question was about.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
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    Los Angeles
    #11
    I think "superdrive" is a better name than "CD-RW and DVD-R drive." Yes, at first a newbie might ask "What's a SuperDrive" and then you tell them it can read and burn CD-R/W's and DVD-Rs, and after that first explination everyone just refers to it as the SuperDrive. Same deal w/the Combodrive. What's a better sounding name "Combo drive" or "CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive?"

    And if you go to apple.com the drives are talked about as "SuperDrive (CD-RW/DVD-R)" and "Combo drive (CD-RW/DVD-ROM)" so there is no confusion as to what they are.

    If I worked in retail I'd rather say "superdrive" or "combo drive" everytime I was refering to the optical drive than having to say "CD-RW/DVD-R drive" or "CD-RW/DVD-ROM."


    Lethal
     
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #12
    Sorry. The comment wasn't really directed at you--it just seems that people are constantly complaining about how expensive Superdrives are, when in fact they aren't, especially given the fact that you get iDVD for free--Apple pays big licensing $ for that technology.
     

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