Mac Pro Second Drive Bay

DXoverDY

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Original poster
Apr 19, 2005
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Ok so I'm getting ready to order my MP in a week or so. Waiting to see what kind of updates we get in some other products tuesday before ordering. Order once, just makes life easier :)

But I have some questions. I don't "need" a second optical drive right now... but will I be able to add a second drive in the future in that available bay? I'm thinking bluray or hd-dvd after prices come down a tad bit. But I am not familiar at all with how the "power mac/mac pro" do those types of upgrades. I'm more familiar with the portables.
 

Glen Quagmire

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Jan 6, 2006
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You should be able to add a standard 5.25" optical drive to a Mac Pro at a future date with no problems. The Superdrive you get as standard is a parallel ATA device, exactly the same as used in Windows PCs. There are two spare sockets on the motherboard that may enable you to plug in serial ATA optical drive in the future.

I ordered two optical drives with my Mac Pro as I felt certain that having a flap with nothing behind it would annoy me.
 

DXoverDY

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Original poster
Apr 19, 2005
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Glen Quagmire said:
You should be able to add a standard 5.25" optical drive to a Mac Pro at a future date with no problems. The Superdrive you get as standard is a parallel ATA device, exactly the same as used in Windows PCs. There are two spare sockets on the motherboard that may enable you to plug in serial ATA optical drive in the future.

I ordered two optical drives with my Mac Pro as I felt certain that having a flap with nothing behind it would annoy me.
Yea.. i think i'm still going to go for the $90 2nd super drive ... figure why not. Then I'll have just about everything right there if I need it.

Thanks for the info. Appreciate it.
 

jansmith

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2006
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DXoverDY said:
Yea.. i think i'm still going to go for the $90 2nd super drive ... figure why not. Then I'll have just about everything right there if I need it.

Thanks for the info. Appreciate it.
You can save a little $ and order the drive from OWC -- $42.99 See http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optical-drives/superdrives/powermac/

They also have a video showing how easy the installation is. You will have to use a screwdriver to pop the drawer flange off, no big deal.
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 19, 2005
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jansmith said:
You can save a little $ and order the drive from OWC -- $42.99 See http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optical-drives/superdrives/powermac/

They also have a video showing how easy the installation is. You will have to use a screwdriver to pop the drawer flange off, no big deal.
Bonus. Saving $50 or so... appreciate that tip..

How's this one for another savings.. any way to get a second Geforce 7300GT for cheaper than buying from apple pre-installed? I don't play a lot of games but the SLI of two of those cards oughta give me a good enough boost. If I can save a few bucks buying separately I'm game for that too.
 

NATO

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Feb 14, 2005
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Northern Ireland
I don't know about the Mac Pro, buy my Power Mac's optical drive doesn't seem to have a plastic bit stuck to the end of the tray, it's just the tray itself. If I was to purchase a standard DVD-RW drive, would I have to remove the front bezel and/or the plastic bit stuck on the end of the tray?
 

jansmith

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2006
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NATO said:
I don't know about the Mac Pro, buy my Power Mac's optical drive doesn't seem to have a plastic bit stuck to the end of the tray, it's just the tray itself. If I was to purchase a standard DVD-RW drive, would I have to remove the front bezel and/or the plastic bit stuck on the end of the tray?
Yes, you use a paperclip to pop the drive door open and extend the tray, then turn the unit upside down. You then take a small screwdriver and insert it in the two notches that you see. The bezel pops right off, and the drive is ready to be installed.
 

NATO

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Feb 14, 2005
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jansmith said:
Yes, you use a paperclip to pop the drive door open and extend the tray, then turn the unit upside down. You then take a small screwdriver and insert it in the two notches that you see. The bezel pops right off, and the drive is ready to be installed.
Awesome :) Thanks a lot, I always wondered about that! Since I'm in 'silly question' mode, could I ask two other things?

1. How does the metal cover slide down to allow the tray to come out?

2. Supposing HD-DVD or Blu-Ray comes along, will I be able to slap one of those in the Mac Pro and OS X actually recognise it as a HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Drive?
 

jansmith

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Aug 27, 2006
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NATO said:
Awesome :) Thanks a lot, I always wondered about that! Since I'm in 'silly question' mode, could I ask two other things?

1. How does the metal cover slide down to allow the tray to come out?

2. Supposing HD-DVD or Blu-Ray comes along, will I be able to slap one of those in the Mac Pro and OS X actually recognise it as a HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Drive?
Since I don't have my MacPro yet (ordered 8/7:mad: ), I can't say for sure, but seeing one work in the Apple Store, it looks like it does exactly that -- it must use the same eject signal to open the metal cover that slides the tray out -- or perhaps there is a mechanical interlink that does it.

I have heard that the MacPro was designed to be compatible with BluRay when it comes along; don't know about HD-DVD. BTW, I read an article the other day saying that a higher density BluRay is in development that could put up to 200GB of data on a disk!
 

Dark Dragoon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2006
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UK
As far as I can tell the drives flap is opened by two little levers infront of the flap. When the drives tray is ejected it hits the levers which pushes the flap down allowing the drives tray to come out.
 

OneTraveler

macrumors member
Oct 16, 2002
62
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End of the Earth
On a similar note....

OK, so I was wondering this yesterday. Two drive bay doors...if I hit eject on the keyboard, which bay opens, and can I specify which one?
 

Fedge

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2006
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OneTraveler said:
OK, so I was wondering this yesterday. Two drive bay doors...if I hit eject on the keyboard, which bay opens, and can I specify which one?
The top one opens. Use opt + eject to open the bottom one.
 

waremaster

macrumors 6502
Aug 27, 2006
406
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OneTraveler said:
OK, so I was wondering this yesterday. Two drive bay doors...if I hit eject on the keyboard, which bay opens, and can I specify which one?

When you have two drives to open the bottom one hold option + press eject to open the bottom drive or you can click the eject symbol that will appear at the top of the status bar next to the time and select which drive you want to eject or close

In windows I always install cd eject tool that gives me control of the drives opening and closing not just opening as the apple keyboard utill does.
 

janstett

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Jan 13, 2006
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Chester, NJ
jansmith said:
I have heard that the MacPro was designed to be compatible with BluRay when it comes along; don't know about HD-DVD. BTW, I read an article the other day saying that a higher density BluRay is in development that could put up to 200GB of data on a disk!
I'm not so sure about that, I thought Apple was staying neutral in the format war. They either align themselves with Sony (Blu-Ray) or Microsoft (HD-DVD).

My thoughts on the format war

FWIW I've been looking into both formats now that they've been launched, even considered dropping $2k on both players. At first I thought Blu-Ray would win because of its better studio support. However, right now I think HD-DVD will win and Blu-Ray is in a very deep hole.

- Toshiba's HD-DVD player was a dog at launch but has improved drastically via firmware updates since launch.
- Samsung's Blu-Ray player was a dog with quality problems at launch and has stayed that way.
- HD-DVDs are mastered carefully with Microsoft's VC1 codec.
- Blu-Ray movies are mastered sloppily with higher bitrate and lower quality with 10-year-old MPEG-2. People are complaining about the poor encoding craftsmanship especially on former reference-titles like Fifth Element.
- The cheapest HD-DVD player is Toshiba's HD-A1 at $499. The cheapest (and only) Blu-Ray player is Samsung's BD-P1000 at $999.
- More HD-DVD players are coming at all price ranges. More Blu-Ray players are coming and they are all more expensive than the Samsung.
- Sony doesn't have a player on the market for a format it invented.
- Sony is having big manufacturing problems (low yield) for BD-ROMs because their manufacturing process is significantly different from old DVDs. It gets worse for dual-layer discs, none of which exist on the market yet.

So at this point Blu-Ray has a lot of work to do to get back to being even. If the PS3 launch isn't a monster success with coattails for Blu-Ray, I think the Blu-Ray studios could start defecting and then HD-DVD wins.

Also, FWIW, there are "premature" playback options but none are legal unless you buy a Toshiba laptop for HD-DVD, or a Sony laptop for Blu-Ray. Both Intervideo (WinDVD) and Cyberlink (PowerDVD) are talking about supporting both, and each ships with a special version of their software on the above laptops. Not easy to configure an existing PC for either.

Also MS is locking down the hardware for both, requiring HDCP video cards and displays and the latest I heard is that not only will they not support it on anything but Vista, but they're even requiring 64-bit XP exclusively to view either new format. I hope Apple makes it easier for us to adopt either (or both) formats.
 

Fuzzy Orange

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Jul 29, 2006
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I wouldn't discredit Blu-Ray just yet... Overall, it IS the superior format. It is superior, IMO, for trivial things (superior durability, I think...) though. Sony knows it has produced flopped proprietary formats in the past *coughbetamaxminidiscumdcough*, and I think they are going to try and throw their all of their weight behind it. Lord knows Blu-Ray and the PS3 are the only things keeping Sony alive.
 

NATO

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Feb 14, 2005
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Fuzzy Orange said:
I wouldn't discredit Blu-Ray just yet... Overall, it IS the superior format. It is superior, IMO, for trivial things (superior durability, I think...) though. Sony knows it has produced flopped proprietary formats in the past *coughbetamaxminidiscumdcough*, and I think they are going to try and throw their all of their weight behind it. Lord knows Blu-Ray and the PS3 are the only things keeping Sony alive.
It's not just Betamax, minidisc and UMD... let's not forget Sony's other proprietary formats such as Memory Stick and ATRAC encoding. I can't actually remember a single Sony format which has actually gained industry acceptance... will Sony *ever* learn?
 

janstett

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Jan 13, 2006
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NATO said:
It's not just Betamax, minidisc and UMD... let's not forget Sony's other proprietary formats such as Memory Stick and ATRAC encoding. I can't actually remember a single Sony format which has actually gained industry acceptance... will Sony *ever* learn?
No...

Let's review some of the more recent phenomenon Sony has completely missed... They used to own portable music (Walkman) and completely missed the reasons why iPod succeeded. They used to make excellent televisions and completely missed out on the new flat screen technologies (DLP, Plasma) save a little late involvement with LCD.

I participate in the DLNA UPnP forum at work, and Sony's stubbornness has prevented MP3 from becoming a UPnP mandatory format (when it's obvious to anybody with a pulse that MP3 is the defacto audio format). Why? Because Sony didn't invent MP3, Frauhoffer did, and if their format is accepted, they want ATRAC accepted too. So the end result is that the only defaut audio format is LPCM, and we know how many people have large LPCM music collections, right?

Insane!
 

janstett

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Jan 13, 2006
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Fuzzy Orange said:
I wouldn't discredit Blu-Ray just yet... Overall, it IS the superior format. It is superior, IMO, for trivial things (superior durability, I think...) though.
Well, I agree they are throwing their weight behind it, and I think that's why they are letting Samsung take the arrows in the back while they continue working on the PS3 launch.

But the more I read about the two formats, I'm not so sure Blu-Ray is superior... It promises higher capacity but so far they haven't been able to mass produce a 2 layer disc, while every HD-DVD is dual layer already. They need the extra capacity because they're using MPEG-2 instead of VC1. We're comparing a lower capacity HD-DVD with a better compressed VC1 stream, versus a larger capacity BD-ROM with a sloppier MPEG2 stream, IMO if they can fit 4 hours on a disc, which both can, it's a wash. BD-ROM puts the data layer high up in the disc near the top surface where it's easier to scratch, although they counter that they have developed scratch-resistant material to ease the pain. Don't forget the first BD-ROM devices in Japan put the discs in caddies to protect them.

The two formats, from a practical standpoint as a movie consumer, are 90% the same. They both must support MPEG-2, H.264, and VC1, and IIRC they support the same audio codec selection (e.g. DD plus) too. The differences are the physical construction of the disc, which doesn't matter to a consumer. They really should have worked this out and merged the two formats, I blame Sony for trying to get the intellectual property royalties all for themselves. It's silly.