Help on Buying External Optical Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by grinning walrus, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. grinning walrus macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2008
    My dvd/cd optical drive has crapped out, and I've been thinking about getting an external one. I would get it fixed, but from what I understand, it would be cheaper to just go this route.

    The OWC MercuryValue is what I'm looking at now ( World Computing/VLFWU2D116/). My question is, can you play cds and dvds on this, or is just for burning? Companies seem to market external optical drives as being great to burn with, but never mention actually playing other cds and dvds. So either they are purely for burning (ideal for someone with an older computer that may not be able to burn) or this is just an obvious function that most people would assume that playback was included. Thanks for your help.
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    If you look at the specs section of that page at the bottom, you will see two separate blocks of information for "write" speeds and "read" speeds. Simply put the "write" speeds are the maximum burning capabilities, and the "read" speeds are the maximum playback speeds (although for normal watching/listening DVDs and CDs they will be operating at 1x- only when ripping disks will the drives use higher read speeds). There is no such thing as a burn only drive.

    BTW- the Pioneer 116 drive mechanism used in that is Pioneer's current shipping model drive so has the latest specifications on both sides so I think you would be happy with it.
  3. grinning walrus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2008
  4. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York

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