new optical drive: dumb question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bozz2006, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #1
    I have the Pioneer DVR-112D in my mac pro Classic, and I'm a little irritated that it won't burn DL-DVDs at any higher than 2x. I recently did a crossflash with DVRFlash to update the firmware on the drive hoping that doing so would improve DL-DVD write speeds. No dice.

    SO... I am looking for a newer, better, faster optical drive. I know it needs to be ATA to work in my antique mac pro. Does it need to be some kind of mac specific drive? Can you give me any recommendations?
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #2
    No, not Mac specific. Any IDE DVD burner should do. :)

    I've had good luck with Samsung, though it's been awhile since I've used an IDE model. Currently, I've the Samsung SH-S223Q (SATA Lightscribe). LG, and Sony are usually decent as well. You might want to use newegg's customer reviews as a guide. ;)

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  3. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #4
    :cool: No problem. :)
     
  5. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #5
    Bozz, what's the deal with DL-DVDs anyway? I mean how do handle and store them? How do you label them? And how do you know which side is up?

    I bought one once and couldn't wrap my head around the fact that both sides were identical and not touchable.
     
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #6
    Eh?! You're thinking of dual-sided DVDs. Dual layer DVDs have a label side and an "untouchable" side.

    [​IMG]
     

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  7. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #7
    Exactly. Dual Layer means two layers on one side where the upper layer is transparent to the lower layer.

    Perhaps it would be worthwhile to buy a more modern SATA drive and use the ODD-SATA ports.
     
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #8
    Damn! See how I am?!? All this time thinking wrong just because of my inability to translate Japanese well enough. Heh! goofy me!
     
  9. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #9
    Do you think that would be worthwhile? I looked at the connections and it looks like the power cable would be no problem, unless the power cables on SATA optical drives are different than PATA. However, I am not quite sure how difficult it would be to snake an SATA cable from the logic board up into the ODD bay; there doesn't seem to be much wiggle room there.
     
  10. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #10
    The power connector is different, but Molex > SATA is probably one of the easiest computer adapters to find anywhere. Just buy one off newegg when you get the drive. Heck, get two drives! They're what, $25 each? Might as well only do the SATA run once. (the signal cable run is doable, google for it)
     
  11. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #11
    I appreciate the input J. Could you spell it out for me even more? Is the molex cable the power cable i'll need for the optical drive? do i just need a splitter or something? Any more info you could provide would be appreciated. If I could use an SATA ODD that would be good.

    Edit: maybe the IDE drives use molex? And I need to get some converter to plug the old style IDE power lead into the newer SATA optical drive?
     
  12. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    #12
    "Molex" (in this case) refers to a type of power connector your current optical drives use. SATA drives have their own unique type of power connector, but you can get a little adapter easily enough. Looks like this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123137

    Pretty sure there are two power connectors in the ODD caddy, so you can just put an adapter on each. You could also buy a Molex > SATA adapter with two SATA connectors coming off it. It doesn't make much difference.
     
  13. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #13
    there do appear to be separate IDE and molex (four pin) connectors in the optical bay. two of each, where one molex connector piggy-backs off the other and one IDE connector piggy-backs off the other.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    bozz, IDE drives do use the Molex 4 pin power connectors. SATA has it's own, but if you do decide to swap from an IDE for a SATA drive, you'd need a Molex to SATA power cable J the Ninja linked. Really easy to find, and inexpensive as well. :)

    The drive type is up to you. No speed advantage would be obtained, given it's DVD afterall, but it might make swapping drives easier down the road. (You already ran the cabling if you go this route). ;) :p
     
  15. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #15
    The SATA interface really is usefull if you put in a BD-ROM drive. That way you can write DVD DL and play Blu-Ray under Windows and perhaps later when Apple supports it. The drives are not really expensive any more.

    Just one point. You need a cable with SATA 90° connector on the logic board side or it will not fit under the fan unit properly. Unfortunately access to the ODD-SATA ports is only simple if you remove the fan unit which also means removal of the CPU cover and loosing of the RAM cage. To wriggle it through the cable duct in the wall between the two bays isnt a problem if you remove the HDs.
     
  16. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #16
    Thanks nano. So, basically, the impetus between setting up an SATA optical drive in my computer now would make it just less of a hassle if i need to replace the drive down the road when IDE drives become more and more outdated? If that is the case, it might be prudent to just cross that bridge when I get there and get an IDE drive now. My only concern would be that I'd want any drive I buy to have up to date firmware, as I understand it is impossible, or at least a major pain in the butt, to update firmware from a mac.
     
  17. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #17
    Thanks. I don't use my computer for movies, bluray or dvd, so that may be another case of "If I decide to make the change, I can do it later", rather than, "I might as well just do it now." Also, very good to know that I can snake the SATA cable through the cable duct.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #18
    Not just swapping out the DVD drives, but allowing you to place HDD's in as well. (Running the cabling from both ODD_SATA ports on the logic board). More drives than ports would mean a PCIe SATA card or RAID controller, but you have the option in the future. The SATA card has the advantage of being fairly inexpensive (depending on the number of ports you want), and rather easy to install.

    If you've no expectation to need to make any changes in the near future, the benefit may not matter to you at all. For me, I'd do it so I didn't have to worry about it later. But I tend to stuff everything to the limit. :p

    Cost seems to be about the same. SATA drives are a few bucks cheaper, but the savings is used to get the power cable. So maybe ~$2USD less. Big whoop. :D :p Either interface offers LightScribe if you want it, so no advantage there either way.

    As for updating firmware, if you run Windows, it's doable, and is somewhat easy, depending on the method. I find a USB floppy and DOS boot disk to still be handy, no matter the machine. ;)
     

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