Do you use your Superdrive ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by perryj, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. perryj macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2007
    I'm pulling the trigger on a MBA the day they release the revision, but I'm curious if I should buy the superdrive ? Do you use yours ? Would you buy it again ?
    The air will be my primary, but the only thing I ever use my drive for now is a couple times a year I back up some photos onto DVD and I occasionally burn a CD for music in the car.....

    Thanks !
  2. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2009
    I rarely if ever do it but I do have 2 other computers with optical drives so your story maybe different Air being an only system that you use.

    What you may want to do is buy a used superdrive on eBay. I made an offer on one and they took it so I paid about $45 total with shipping and it's in excellent shape. Beats paying $99 for it at the Apple store.
  3. perryj thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2007
    that's a good idea, I just don't wanna spend $100 and never take it out of the box :D
  4. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The MBA SuperDrive is anything but "super." It doesn't work with most hubs nor anything other than an MBA/Mac mini without some internal reworking. In addition, it's poorly designed; the cable is a piece of crap, and it naturally bends and frays just being moved around in a pocket in a tote.

    I was dumb enough to buy two MBA SuperDrives for myself, as I bought a second even after my first cable split open after maybe five uses (I bought a third for my daughter). My second MBA SD stays plugged into a 24" LED ACD. I learned my lesson with the first one. Many people have had the same problems with their supposed "super" drives.

    If I were going to buy another external drive for an MBA, I would buy an external Blu Ray Drive from Amazon. I have seen them there for less than $100, and they will play Blu Ray movies on the MBA in Boot Camp/Windows. Imagine that, want to use your MBA for some real technology??? BOOT INTO WINDOWS!
  5. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Yes I use mine. It use it mainly to burn CDs on the go.
  6. ctrack52 macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2009

    When I purchased my MBA I loaded all necessary software using an older Samsung DVD writer that I had for my netbook. I purchased a Superdrive to match my MBA when I found it at a 25% discount. After 4 months the drive is still in it's original package and I haven't had any need to use a DVD writer. I guess it's because I don't use the MBA as my primary computer and have no need for external media. I am able to move files via the Airport Extreme with a Hard Drive attached or a portable drive. Movies are digital. Can't think of any need for a Superdrive at this point. I understand that Snow Leopard now allows using the Superdrive with other Macs? There is a possibility that I may find need for it but can't see it right now.
  7. tsubikiddo macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2008
    Melbourne, AUS
    I think it ultimately depends what technical & equipment back ups are available at your site.
    For myself, I was dead clear and contemplated a lot of imaginary scenes with anticipated difficulties using the Air w/o a optical drive. And I planned solutions or workaround to these scenarios.
    As a result, I am living happily since Day1 I received the Air. There were minor glitches from time to time but there has never been any major issues with regarding to its usability.

    If you are only using your optical drive a couple of times a year, give the remote disc a try ;)
    or else,
    since an usage requirement, you should get the Air's SuperDrive, no doubt about it.

    Just my 2cents,
    Hope this may help:D
  8. jns2001 macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2009
    I used my superdrive a couple of times to load Office 2008, and once to do a clean install, after messing my system with Parallels.:eek:
  9. AndyMulhearn macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2006
    I've had mine since christmas and used it half a dozen times. As I buy pretty much all my music on CDs it will get used a reasonable amount but it's a case of YMMV.
  10. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I would recommend it if you plan on doing any reinstalls of the OS or you do a lot of software installs.

    Admittedly, I rarely use mine. But during my reinstall weekends, (when I redo my OS and such about every 6 months) I use it a lot. Doing an OS install over the wireless - share a dvd player - app is annoying. For a hundred bucks its not that bad. I don't carry mine in a bag... just leave it in a drawer until I do installs, so I can't comment on the cable fraying. (Although I will keep that in mind.)

    So... I would get one.
  11. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Its really convenient to have an external DVD drive for OS reinstalls and similar stuff.
    The Superdrive looks cool but not being able to use it through a regular USB hub is a PITA. The cable on mine is garbage - the USB connector is what I would call upside down, meaning I have to twist it around to fit it into the Air USB port.
    Overall I'd say you're better off with a different external DVD drive, but yes you should get one.
  12. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I have one, but I almost never use it. For the most part, physical media is quickly going extinct.

    If you have another computer (Mac or PC), you can always use the "remote disk" option to connect your MBA to the optical drive of your other computer.

    I suspect that my superdrive will be one of the least used computer peripherals that I have ever purchased.

  13. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2009
    being stuck with a crumby combo drive in my mini, i have realised just how much i used to use a superdrive lol, think it's time for more upgrading lol
  14. scottness macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101
    I bought the $100 superdrive and I've used it about 4 times in the last year. Wish I didn't buy it. I'd actually be ok if they left out the drives in the upcoming MBPs... maybe.
  15. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    yes, bring on the downfall of optical media!
  16. travelling chef macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2009
    Hot chef!! Currently in the UK
    I didn't originally buy the Superdrive with my MBA. However, I had a load of DVD films I fancied watching and with Snow Leopard coming up, I decided to invest in one :apple:

    The drive at first didn't work with my MBA :( I took it back (this was in Thailand) and when they tried it on another machine, turned out that the Superdrive was fine :confused:; however, my MBA logic board was faulty and wasn't able to supply enough power to the drive :confused:. I'd bought the MBA a few months earlier in the UK and it was still under warranty, so they repaired it free of charge, and got it up and running and working fine with the Superdrive :eek:

    In this sense I'm glad I opted to buy the Superdrive It's not something you'll need everyday, but has it's uses if the MBA is your only machine.
  17. AMF macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2010
    Alternative Drive Question

    Admittedly new to "forums" here - I know that the superdrive can only be used when connected directly to the MBA- has anyone had any success using another dvd burner/reader CONNECTED TO A HUB (powered or not) on the mba? Obviously must support Mac etc..., just haven't read any definitive answer...Much thanks for any info
  18. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2009
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    I have a Plextor PX610U that works either directly connected via its only USB connection and also through the USB hub in the Dell Monitor I use with the Air when at my desk. It's not happy when connected to the non-powered USB hub in the Aluminum Apple USB keyboard -- not that I really expected that it would.

    The Superdrive will also work when connected to the 24" Cinema display with the mini display port connection.
  19. trrosen macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2003
    best bet is to spend half the money and get a full size external drive from newegg for $50. It will be faster and have more features and if the drive dies its $20 and 10 minutes to put in a new one
  20. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2009
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    That's presupposing you have no need/desire to take your DVD with your Air. Lugging that around kind of defeats the purpose ;)
  21. H00513R macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2010
    Hardly ever use mine, unless it's new software or I'm importing music CD's.
  22. JLUGO35 Guest


    Jul 14, 2009
    Inman/Columbia, South Carolina
    I use my superdrive fairly often. I rip cds I borrow from friends and install software frequently. I have a lot of my software backed up so if I had no superdrive I would have problems loading everything if my macbook crashed. Finally, a majority of my professors want big projects that have multiple pieces such as powerpoints, word documents about the powerpoints and etc in one place usually a cd.
  23. JasG macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2009
    I use mine every few months to load software, that's it.

    Is it true that I can't plug the thing into another optical-drive less laptop, like a Toshiba or IBM netbook?
  24. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    Physical media is dead.

    I only use my disk drive to burn CDs for my car since its stereo is from 2001 when people still used those archaic disks.
  25. Apollo33 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    I'm really hoping that comment was dripping with sarcasm and that you're not just a Jobs drone...

    Physical media will never be "dead" due to the simple fact that it's far easier and cheaper to manufacture/press discs than it is to load data on a SD card.

    I mean, for a company that's pressing Blu-ray discs, let's assume that the cost per disc is $2 (which seems to be about the consumer cost for a 25 GB disc, presumably such a company would get a large discount for bulk orders... so it's possible they could get double-layer discs for this price)

    Meanwhile a 32GB SD card seems to cost around $70 for consumers.

    Clearly SD cards aren't a very good alternative for distributing media (and probably won't be for a long time).

    You may also claim that your precious iTunes can download all this content, but I will state that iTunes' version of Planet Earth (I downloaded the free episode) is just awful when compared to the Blu-ray version. There's plenty of visible artifacts from the compression.

    And if iTunes was to offer Blu-ray quality content (which would have to be just as high of a bitrate as the Blu-ray movie, since Blu-ray uses h.264 compression as well) then your harddrive would fill up extremely fast. I mean, a 500GB drive could only hold 10 full double-layer Blu-ray discs. That's also not a very cost effective method of storage.

    And with the move to more-expensive solid state drives... storage space will be even more valuable. Especially with Macs, since most of them can only have ONE disk drive. (two would be possible in most if you removed your SuperDrive... but then you lose the useful capability of reading/writing DVDs)

    In any case, getting back on topic: I'd say a SuperDrive would be worth it... I mean, remote install of software sounds like a drag, unless you readily have another computer available at any time you would ever want to install software. Also, what do you do if someone gives you a DVD/CD while you're on a trip with files on it? Wait until you get home?

    If I'm giving multiple people files to keep, I may just burn some DVDs, since it's a whole lot easier than passing around a USB drive or SD card (which some people might not have built-in slots for).

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