Last most powerful iMac model before the optical drive was removed?

jetlife2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 18, 2004
129
9
Cincinnati, Oh
Hi all

I have a 27" mid-2010 quad i7 2.93 imac with SSD, that is a pretty sweet fast machine. But my need for speed is itching, and I am thinking of replacing it with a more recent version. However, the one I have has the built in optical drive that I use quite a bit, and I like the elegance of the single unit vs. a drive on the desktop.

So what was the "Last" imac model, in its fastest quad i7 version, to still have the optical drive built in?

This would help me figure out which way to go.

Many thanks!
 

chevelleguy3

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2013
181
39
Mckinney, TX
The Mid 2011 would be the last of the built in optical drives. You aren't going to notice a huge increase in performance over what you have though. Why not go with a new one and get an external SuperDrive?
 

firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
5,606
454
Somewhere!
The Mid 2011 was the last model with the built in optical drive. But as chevelleguy3 stated, why not upgrade to a newer model with an SSD drive and external optical drive. You will notice a significant difference in heat from the newer models. I had a Mid 2011 and it ran quite warm when I asked a lot of it. I now have a late 2012 with fusion drive & external optical drive and even under a severe work load this machine still feels cool to the touch. The only drawback to the newer model is if you want to open it and work on it yourself, little harder to do now.
 
Last edited:

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,273
1,453
DFW, TX
You can also go the external BlueRay burner route and have a better all around CD/DVD/BR drive + upgraded computer components.
This is what I did even with my iMacs with the superdrive. Burns are much quicker with a full-sized drive.
 

PatriotInvasion

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2010
1,525
570
Boston, MA
Hi all

I have a 27" mid-2010 quad i7 2.93 imac with SSD, that is a pretty sweet fast machine. But my need for speed is itching, and I am thinking of replacing it with a more recent version. However, the one I have has the built in optical drive that I use quite a bit, and I like the elegance of the single unit vs. a drive on the desktop.

So what was the "Last" imac model, in its fastest quad i7 version, to still have the optical drive built in?

This would help me figure out which way to go.

Many thanks!
As others have said, "upgrading" to the mid-2011 model won't be worth it. Better option is to evaluate why you need a DVD drive in 2014. Everything can be ripped to digital if need be, all software is now digitally distributed, so why fight the inevitable?
 

jetlife2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 18, 2004
129
9
Cincinnati, Oh
. Better option is to evaluate why you need a DVD drive in 2014. Everything can be ripped to digital if need be, all software is now digitally distributed, so why fight the inevitable?
Ripping is exactly why I need the drive, I use it a lot.

Thanks all for the input. It's a shame to be faced with this choice of having to go backwards to an external drive. I probably will just wait until the performance increment is irresistible, whereas I might have upgraded sooner if I didn't have to give up an integral drive.

Cheers
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,392
5,627
[[ I like the elegance of the single unit vs. a drive on the desktop. ]]

Frankly, this makes no sense.

Get a -new- iMac, and add an external drive. If you don't mind spending around $100, you can get a drive that has BluRay capabilities in addition to DVD/CD.

If you buy a used iMac that still has a DVD/CD built in, you are "locking yourself into" an old-tech machine forever.

Who cares if it doesn't look quite as "elegant" on the desktop ???????
 

blueroom

macrumors 603
Feb 15, 2009
6,374
25
Toronto, Canada
Ripping is exactly why I need the drive, I use it a lot.

Thanks all for the input. It's a shame to be faced with this choice of having to go backwards to an external drive. I probably will just wait until the performance increment is irresistible, whereas I might have upgraded sooner if I didn't have to give up an integral drive.

Cheers
An additional benefit of an external drive is BluRay is an option, plus drives that don't have RipLock can be considered. The LG WH14NS40 would be a good choice in an external 5.25" USB enclosure.
 
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jetlife2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 18, 2004
129
9
Cincinnati, Oh
[[ I like the elegance of the single unit vs. a drive on the desktop. ]]

Frankly, this makes no sense.

Get a -new- iMac, and add an external drive. If you don't mind spending around $100, you can get a drive that has BluRay capabilities in addition to DVD/CD.

If you buy a used iMac that still has a DVD/CD built in, you are "locking yourself into" an old-tech machine forever.

Who cares if it doesn't look quite as "elegant" on the desktop ???????

So that is your point of view, understood. But in fact there are many people, myself included, who appreciate the reduction of clutter. I have had macs going back to the Quadra, then the G3/G4 towers, then various imacs, and most of them required separate monitors, external hard drives, external burners....Over the last 25 years I have come to prefer the all in one form factor for this very benefit.

When I am working I don't any more appreciate having devices and wires trailing all over my desk. Having an integral monitor, hard drive, CPU, and in this case yes optical drive, in the imac form factor is very attractive. I have dealt with the alternatives in just about every combination, and this, for me, is a product attribute that is definitely worthwhile.

Thanks for the input.
 

oleus

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2012
28
1
FWIW, i absolutely love my LG "Super Multi Blue" USB bluray/dvd/cd burner. It's extremely compact and portable, powered by usb, and looks nice hooked up to a new iMac.

i know you seem set against it, which i understand, but at least check that model out online. It's barely bigger than a disc !!! and having the additional bluray support can come in more handy than you might think.
 
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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,597
2,719
Bay Area
[[ I like the elegance of the single unit vs. a drive on the desktop. ]]

Frankly, this makes no sense.

...

Who cares if it doesn't look quite as "elegant" on the desktop ???????
Your post is the one that makes no sense. You really don't get why someone would prefer a single unit as opposed to having wires and peripherals? You get the point of an "all in one," right?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,392
5,627
The OP wrote above:
[[ So that is your point of view, understood. But in fact there are many people, myself included, who appreciate the reduction of clutter. ]]

So, what you're telling us, is that you're never going to own another Mac after the last DVD-equipped model, because you don't like desk clutter ???

What are you going to do ten years from now ???
 

borostef

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2012
320
25
Zagreb, Croatia
The OP wrote above:
[[ So that is your point of view, understood. But in fact there are many people, myself included, who appreciate the reduction of clutter. ]]

So, what you're telling us, is that you're never going to own another Mac after the last DVD-equipped model, because you don't like desk clutter ???

What are you going to do ten years from now ???
Maybe CD/DVD drives will make a big comeback by then... :D
 

jetlife2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 18, 2004
129
9
Cincinnati, Oh
The OP wrote above:
[[ So that is your point of view, understood. But in fact there are many people, myself included, who appreciate the reduction of clutter. ]]

So, what you're telling us, is that you're never going to own another Mac after the last DVD-equipped model, because you don't like desk clutter ???

What are you going to do ten years from now ???
No I didn't say that at all, I answered that already in post #7. I'm simply expressing a preference. Relax.