Is Superdrive really necessary?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Super20, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Super20 macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2004
    Council Bluffs, IA
    In an effort to further convince my wife to let me get a new Powerbook, I've thought about not choosing the Superdrive option and just getting a combo drive. I did some checking and if I want a dvd recorder later, it's much cheaper to get an external recorder than a superdrive. What I want to know is, is the thing really necessary if I don't do movie editing and that sort of fancy stuff?
  2. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    It's totally not warranted. An external will give you speed and compatibility (8x, +/-RW) over portability. Externals can also be used with iDVD using some hack (have a search around, it's very prolific).
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    iDVD doesn't work with DVD writing devices.
    I wouldn't count on that hack for externals to survive another iDVD update.
    If you plan on using iMovie/iDVD, you'd better get the SuperDrive.

    You might not think that you'll ever do movie editing, but eventually the techie bug will bite and you'll end up with a DVcam, and you'll shoot some birthday party where little Jimmy turns 4, and want to put together a DVD for some family member or other, and you'll see how easy iMovie and iDVD are to use and put together a decent looking film and make everyone who sees it look at you with new appreciation because after all, they can barely use a computer, so anyone that can do this must be a genius, even though Apple makes it really easy to use, and then the next thing you know you're filming bar mitzvahs and weddings and your kid parallel parking her first car without denting a fender and.... pant, pant, pant.
    That's the longest run on I've ever written!
  4. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    Quite simple: If you don't do movie editting, you don't need a Superdrive if you don't want to pay for it.
  5. captain da macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2004
    if you're going to be serious about video editing, you'd be better off to get an external firewire dvd burner, like a lacie or something. i believe that final cut pro hd comes with a dvd burning program that'd support an external drive (correct me if i'm wrong). however, if you're just going to mess around with it, the superdrive and imovie/idvd is probably a better choice. you can still do some pretty neat stuff with that.

    however, if you have no inclination to do that sort of thing, then jsut go for the combo drive. if in the future you feel like making movies, you can either spring for an external drive or you can just render it back out to tape and then connect your camera to a vcr and put it on vhs tape.
  6. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Hi Super 20,

    I agree with Yellow, if you don't get it now then you can't add it later, unless you buy an eternal one, which may not work with iDVD. If you don't have a DV Camcorder and are not planning to get one in the next couple of years, then don't bother with the superdrive. If you do have one, then you don't know what you are missing if you don't use iDVD. It was one of the Apps that made me switch from a Windows PC a couple of years ago.

    If you have a 5+MP digital camera, a superdrive is useful for backing up your photo library, and your purchased music. (iPod could be another option)

    Just my viewpoint
  7. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I don't do much movie editing, but do use it to back up my pictures instead of using several cd's I can use one dvd and it is done. As an add on device it was only $200 for an ibook I bought my wife. If you really want the superdrive just add the powerbook with the specs you want with the cdrw drive then add the superdrive for $200 more. I can't imagine you could buy an external drive for much cheaper than that. Yes, it might be a bit faster, but having an internal one that you have with you at all times would be nice I would think. Also, an external they come with firewire cables already or are they separate which is an extra cost?!?!

    However, if you dont' have many pictures, or do movies, and don't plan on getting into them in the next three+ years then I would not worry about getting the superdrive.

    I am very glad I got my superdrive in my current iMac. I didn't intend on doing movies, but I borrowed a digital video camera and fell in love with doing them. Now I am working on geting a camera of my own.
  8. evil macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    chicago ex-toronto
    i know some people use theirs a whole lot, but i have never used mine once and ive had it for about 9 months now.
  9. Ari_0 macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2004
    The Superdrive is 2x slower than the Combodrive. and thats just reading. Writing wise its only 4x which takes around 20-35 minutes. Not to mention the 45minute it would take for a DVD-rw.

    If I was you, even if I was intent on backing up, I would just get an external HDD. Otherwise you could wait untill apple updates speed it up (but then we're talking anything up to a year).

  10. ump3 macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2003
    When I bought my G4 (Quicksilver 867Mhz) a couple of years ago I opted for a CD-RW drive instead of the combo, because I had no need to view DVDs on my Mac (until recently). I successfully installed a Pioneer DVR-107 OEM internal burner without ANY hitches at all (it opens the flap door on my g4 better in fact than the original), and once I'd upgraded to 10.3.4 (I was running 10.2.8) it is 100% compatible with all iApps and Finder burning etc.. (You will need 10.3.4 for the iApps to recognise the drive as a useable one, although it'll work fine with Toast)

    This is what appears in my System Profiler:

    Capacity: 2.03 MB
    Manufacturer: PIONEER
    Model: PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-107D
    Revision: 1.15
    Drive Type: CD-RW/DVD-RW
    Disc Burning: Apple Supported/Shipped
    Removable Media: Yes
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk2
    Protocol: ATAPI

    I got the drive for £48 (I'm in the UK obviously) and am extremely happy with it, its undoubtedly the cheapest way of getting a DVD burning capability. (Avoid the DVR-A07 as it has a different face plate which may interfere with your Mac).

  11. answer348 macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2004
    I'm also looking to buy a powerbook and am wondering about the necessity of a superdrive. At first, I thought I wanted a DVD burner so I could download movies, burn them on DVD, and then erase the evidence; but now I'm not so sure I'd have the patience to download entire movies.
  12. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    So it will take the Combo Drive 5 minutes to burn a 650 MB CD and the SuperDrive 20 minutes?
  13. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Basically, the Superdrive is great for film hobbyists. It's convenient, portable, and works well with Apple's bundled software.

    But as the others have mentioned, professionals will need scratch disks and faster, Dual-Layer burners.

    If you're not interested in film or movies, opt for the Combo drive. If you are (and it can be quite fun), go for it.

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