Best external DVD burner for 2012 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rgdigital, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. rgdigital, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012

    rgdigital macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    Now that the optical drive is dead (for the iMac at least), let's use this thread to post the best Mac-compatible, External DVD burners, with links.

    Preferably USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt or Firewire 800. :apple:

    EDIT: I've included FW800 because of my 2 external HD's, so I'll have to buy a $29 adapter anyway. I might as well daisychain one more device.
  2. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    Remembering there is no FireWire on new iMacs, so you'll have to price in adapter cable
  3. grandvvazoo macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2012
    you might want to reconsider the FW800 options, as there is no FW800 port on the 2012imac (unless you're considering paying for an adaptor as well)
  4. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Good thread!!

    Dont care about FW whats that do anyway? I'm looking for just a simple USB Optical we can do this right, no need for third party adapters?
  5. rgdigital thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    Good point. I already have to get a Thunderbolt to FW800 cable for 2 of my external HD's. Add $29 to any FW800 burner.
  6. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    Well, if you're already getting a converter for your external HDs, you might be able to daisy chain off them for your burner. Would save on cabling costs.
  7. rgdigital thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    So far, usb 3 burners are hard to find, but there are a ton of usb 2 burners:

    ASUS USB 2.0 Black External Slim CD/DVD Writer Model SDRW-08D2S-U
    $29 on newegg

    SAMSUNG USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer Model SE-218BB/RSBS
    $35 on newegg

    LaCie Slim DVD±RW USB 2.0 Portable Burner (301910)
    $65 on macmall
  8. James twinli macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2012
  9. Hirakata macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2011
    Burbank, CA
    There's no reason to get a USB 3 burner because of the bottleneck of DVD writing speeds.
  10. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2010
    I'll probably just get the Apple Super Drive, unless a USB 3 drive appears before next March, but saying that though the writing speeds would be slower than USB 3 so perhaps they'll be no point in making USB 3 external dvd/cd burners?
  11. themcfly macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    I'll just take the cheapest usb-powered external drive off of amazon...

    Just in case, because right now i wouldn't even need it for my software and media.
  12. digitalfailure macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    If I decide to get a 2012 model over the 2011 I'd be looking to add a blu ray drive with DVD write, I can really take advantage of the claimed screen quality then with movies.
  13. rgdigital thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    There's also OWC -here's a nice fast one:

    OWC Value Line 24X USB 2.0 External DVD Writer - $49
  14. bigcat318 macrumors 6502

    Dec 25, 2007
    I bought a blu-ray reader, which also burns DVDs, for under 60 bucks on Amazon.

    I have really only used it for Blu-rays so I cant speak much to its burning capabilities.
  15. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
  16. redirector macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2012

    Since I have an old iMac, I have never looked for external options, but I am now. There's a ton of them, at many different price points and capabilities.

    This explains why Apple excluded it altogether:
    1. the problems of including an inferior DVD Burner that compromised their design and display goals, adding extra weight and component costs to the new iMac... Do not underestimate the savings Apple gets (and apparently is not passing on to us?) from a 30-40% reduction in shipping weight, especially when you an use that weight savings to ship over hi-dollar iPad and iPhones for no increase in corporate shipping costs. Apple's Revenue-per-Shipping Container just went through the roof!

    2. Those who seriously need one (like me) would find these aftermarket options compelling esp with Blu-Ray and would have carped about Apple's inferior DVD burner

    3. DVD burners are contrary to iTunes and iCloud profit centers.

    4. I am guessing that internal surveys that focus on the decision for a customer to buy an AIO in the first place, the number of people putting "dvd burner" in the top 5 reasons to buy is not big enough to compromise all these other considerations. Including a DVD Burner in the iMac for that audience apparently would not sell incrementally more iMacs to offset all that cost savings.

    Seems like an easy business decision to produce a better looking machine, achieve huge gains in shipping and component costs, and leave those who need to burn DVD's and could not be satisfied by Apple's choice of DVD burner to shop from this superior list of products.
  17. redirector macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2012
  18. Simonmiller macrumors member

    May 1, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    Can anyone in the UK recommend a good external DVD writer that can be flashed to make it region free please? I have been all over Google trying to find one!
  19. Recoil Rob macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2012

    I tried this and though it would play audio CD's it would not burn either through iTunes or the provided Dragonburn software. I sent it back, the replaced it, same problem. Called Apple and spent 45min, they said probably incompatible.

    Anyone else able to use this with the late 2012 iMacs with IntelCore i5?
  20. rgdigital, Mar 11, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013

    rgdigital thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    Bought one and love it

    I almost forgot about this thread. I ended up getting an external FW800/usb2/esata Blu-ray drive (not burner) from OWC for $129. Great, fast drive that will rip a Blu-ray in about 35min, and CD's in less than 5min.
  21. Lyilly macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2013
    Please excuse the newbie and humour the (what I'm sure is a silly) question - if I'm wanting an external optical drive mainly to play games (nothing hardcore, just Sims 3!) and watch the occasional dvd, am I alright to buy any old drive or do I need to be looking for something specific in the specs? For example, would this do the trick?

    Thanks in advance! Just bought my very first iMac and not 100% sure what I'm doing yet....:D
  22. rgdigital thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    Yes, that should work just fine.
  23. scottw324 macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    I just ordered this one today and should be here next week.

    Samsung BR/DVD/CD burner external drive

    It has some good reviews so I figured I would give it a try. Only $10 more than the Apple SuperDrive but with BR ability so figured the $10 extra was worth it.

    I will let you know more after I get it and get a chance to use it.

    BTW, I have a i7 2.6GHz quad core Mac mini with 16 GB of ram. Is there a stock app that will allow me to burn CD/DVD/BR disk or is there a recommended, easy to use App/program to download to accomplish this? Preferably free or low cost.

  24. rgdigital thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    Check out MakeMKV -it's a free "beta" that works fantastically.

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