How can I know which Optical Drives are compatible with my 2009 Mac Pro?

Mac Pro 2009

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
88
0
I want to replace the default superdrive with something fast and reliable, what are my options? The old one is full of dust (blame the previous owner!) and performing quite poorly.
 

ChuckBlack

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2010
81
1
I've always had luck with Pioneer drives. Apple at one time sold them with MacPro's too.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I've used and installed:

Asus
Lite on
Samsung

As well as Apple own super drive but all three of the above are Blu Ray units, and all work well under OSX. Go for one with a dedicated PSU and you should be fine.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,021
95
Oregon
I replaced mine with an LG Blu-ray burner, and it's been perfect for four years now.

I also have the two original Superdrives this unit (a 2009 4,1 Mac Pro) came with when I custom ordered it from Apple, and both have barely been used, and zero use to me. They are both in perfect condition (about as close as brand new as you can get) and if you want one, I'm sure it would be easy enough to ship you one.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,342
6,360
So are there no specs to respect or anything? Will any PC model do?
The only spec to worry about is to get a SATA drive, but this is very nearly every single optical drive sold today.

You also need to remove the front bezel so the tray will fit through the case's front slots. They are typically a separate piece that just snaps off. Back in the day you had to pay attention because not all drives had removable bezels, but AFAIK in the last several years they all have removable bezels now. Just don't get a weird one-off brand and you should be fine. I'd recommend Pioneer, ASUS, and LG.

If you are getting a blu-ray drive (as opposed to DVD), be aware that almost all brands and models will make a drive seek noise once every few minutes when there is no disc in the tray. This only happens in OS X and not Windows. I believe you can avoid this in one of the following ways:

1. OWC sells the LG BD drive with a Mac-specific firmware that doesn't do this.
2. Keep a disc in the drive.
3. This isn't going to be too helpful, but I vaguely remember something about some setting in OS X. Maybe Spotlight indexing? Or power savings?

This is all I can think of.
 

CrazyNurse

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2012
147
3
I had an external LG BD-R that I was using with my mini.

I repurposed it and swapped it out with the stock Apple "Superdrive" which was also made by LG.

I'm not sure how pertinent this is for OSX, but back in my PC days there was a concern w/riplock. Some drives had hackable firmware (pioneers IIRC) that made the drives run at their advertised speeds all the time. The riplock throttling technology was supposed to discourage optical disc ripping (e.g. ripping CDs to MP3 for upload to Napster...yes, I'm old.)
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,578
1,680
Charlotte, NC
I got mine here, it doesn't make any seeking noise when not in use, and I didn't change any settings. It comes with an install guide. I've only had it for a year but It's been a great drive.