External DVD Burners

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dlegend, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    #1
    Any good ones for fairly cheap? I'm looking for an external DVD burner with a firewire port and I'm having a hard time finding one.

    Thanks
     
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    Well, I don't know what fairly cheap is, but the external drives listed here at my favorite Mac parts place OWC all have FireWire and start at $71.99- and even the lowest price one uses the latest Pioneer drive mechanism (DVR-116D with burn speeds to 20x) that I am using two of in my MacPro.:)

    I would have no hesitation to order that one myself- but would caution you to avoid the many "slimline" externals as few (if any) of them are capable of greater than 8X burns and virtually all are USB 2 only.

    One nice thing about a full size drive such as the OWC also is that it a very simple matter to replace the mechanism as future upgrades come out- and standard size drive mechanisms are usually under $30 from either OWC or newegg.com. The same can not be said for slimline drives.
     
  3. dlegend thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    #3
    that price seems fair for what it comes with. Everything else I've been able to find is $100+ and seems pretty shoddy.

    The only other thing I'm not sure about is if I should get one with Lightscribe.
     
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    Well, I can only throw in my opinion there, but do you want to take about 5 minutes for a title only label to 35 minutes for a "graphic" label, have your labels in greyscale only and pay extra for the disks as a bonus?;) You might want to take a look at the official Lightscribe site as well as googling for lightscribe designs and such to make sure that is something that would be appealing to you.

    On the other hand, I never liked printed disk labels that need to be stuck on, so I migrated to using only white printable CDs and DVDs and use Epson printers with disk printing capablilites (though there are other printers that can too) for great full color discs. Yes, the disks are a little more just like Lightscribe but the results are not even comparable.
     
  5. dlegend thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    #5
    that's true, i'm an idiot, I have one of those Epson printers and i've even used it before with printable CDs.

    Thanks for all the advice!
     
  6. millerj123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #6
    I have the OWCVLFWG2D115 ($79.99) and the two biggest issues I've had: 1) It doesn't seem to want to record correctly when it's daisy-chained to my external hard drive and I'm pulling the data from the external hard drive and pushing the data to the DVD burner, and 2) the little fan inside the housing is so loud I always hesitate before turning it on. It does the job, so I'm in no hurry to replace it, although in the future I would consider trying the housing out first to see how loud it is.
     
  7. dlegend thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    #7
    Thanks for pointing that out. I was thinking about getting this but I'm not sure if you have to plug both the firewire and USB in to get either to work. I'm also not sure if having a powered USB hub will keep my external hard drives on all the time or not.
     
  8. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #8
    Yes, you need to connect a Firewire cable and a USB cable to that hub for it to function for both types of ports. It is really just a USB hub combined with a FireWire hub in a single case. Also note (as the Amazon reviews note) that while it says 3 FireWire ports that is technincally true but somewhat misleading as one of them must be used to connect to a FireWire port on your system to feed it, so in real world terms it really only has two FireWire OUT ports. That is also true of the Belkin "6 Port Firewire400 Hub" I have too-- really one port IN and five ports OUT.

    Don't even consider a non-powered USB hub (a recommendation I could give you a long explanation for making, but I will spare you! ;)). Whether or not your hard drives shut down is not determined by the hub at any rate- in many cases (like Western Digital MyBooks for instance) that is determined by the firmware in the drive's enclosure, and in other cases by the setting you choose in the Energy Saver preference pane in your System Preferences regarding putting the drives to sleep when possible.
     
  9. reubs macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #9

    Did you ever find anything for this? I've got to replace the CD drive on my MacBook, and I'm now shopping for an external drive to do the job.

    Any info?
     
  10. dlegend thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    #10
    I bought the $71 one from OWC (macsales.com) and it works great.

    If I had to do it again I would just buy this and throw in a Pioneer DVD burner for $20. You would be able to build it for less than $50.

    Its a little loud, but I only turn it on when I need it
     

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