Poll: Could you live without an optical drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Forgeron, Oct 29, 2010.


Can Apple drop the optical drives?

  1. Yes, drop m today!

    249 vote(s)
  2. No, I will be using discs for a longgggg time to come.

    57 vote(s)
  3. Apple can drop optical in a couple years, but not today.

    75 vote(s)
  1. Forgeron macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    In light of the new "can the Air be your only macbook" discussions, I'd like to make a case for dropping optical drives all together.

    - Software is often downloaded, OSX comes on a stick now.

    - Movies are downloaded. 1080p blu ray quality itunes downloads will happen, it's only a matter of time. And unless you have a 46+ inch TV that you sit relatively close too, you will be ok with 720p for the near future. (Also, real movie lovers will probably have a standalone Blu Ray player, therefore no need for one in your mac.)

    - Dropping the optical from the macbooks will save room/weight/money.

    - Those who really need it, can use an external drive.

    Apple will most likely never have blu ray in any line up, has probably considered it dead on arrival.

    Also, having a bookcase full of discs is very 1998. :)
  2. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    To be honest, I rarely ever use mine now.

    It could be completely eliminated if it weren't for DVD's being used to watch films etc :p
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I would only be okay without an optical drive if it was replaced with another hard drive bay. I don't need my laptop to be any smaller than my 15" non-unibody MacBook Pro is right now. And I really appreciate the ability to take out the optical drive and replace it with another hard drive.
  4. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009

    Even my criterion collection of much coveted DVDs I spend years and tons of money collecting and displaying now looks like an old trashy poster on the wall of a college student. Very "sophomoric".

    I've been curious about what's next for film collections. As for need of an optical drive?--- I would rather save the weight and have an external when needed. ORrrrrrr, dual HDD/SDD.
  5. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2010
    consider this:

    -all current apple software sold from the store comes on a disc.
    -DVD Movies (original or otherwise) are still quite popular
    -Blank DVDs are cheap
    -To install windows for bootcamp you need the install disc and a driv(unless you have alot of time to waste)
    -ALL retail Windows Software, applications, or games bought retail come on a, you guessed it, DVD.

    If there was no built in drive you would need an external drive to use discs. This is fine if you keep your laptop at home mos of the time but carrying around an external disc drive with you defeats much of the purpose of owning a laptop. If you keep your laptop at home all the time you dont need a laptop and should just buy a desktop. ("I want to use my computer in bed" is not a valid excuse)
  6. jjp14 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2009
    I'll drop the optical drive once iTunes has lossless music downloads. Until then, i'll be ripping my own stuff. I guess an external would be ok, but it'll still be a hassle.
  7. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    I like to have the option to use the DVD, but I also rarely use mine. This MBP is 5 months old and I may have used it twice.
  8. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Optical must not be removed, rather Blu-ray should be added.
  9. electronique macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2008
    To all the oldie DVD lovers.. Cue hippie voice
    "Stop livin in the past man"
  10. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    No. I have software on DVD's which are not available for download by legal means.

    Would be silly that I have to buy a DVD drive on top of the price of MBP which comes standard on every laptop. ( nowadays, laptops support even blu-ray )
  11. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Battery life would suffer. When that issue is solved it may be a different story.
  12. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    It wouldn't suffer any more that DVD when you're burning a BD-ROM.
  13. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    Consider this:

    Software installations are a one-time job. Do you need to install an application every time you want to open it up?

    If I'm going to carry around the movie DVD(s), I can carry around an external optical drive too.

    Flash drives are convenient.

    Here's another perspective. So let's say I had the option of an optical drive in my MBP or a second hard drive. Since my internal HDD is nearly full I'll need a second HDD soon. I would rather have an internal 2nd HDD rather than an internal optical drive, since I would use the former much more often.

    I would be perfectly fine with an external optical drive included in the price of an MB/MBP without the optical drive, but with the option to remove it for $xx off the total price (dunno if Apple would do that though if they remove the internal optical drive, they'd probably make the optical an add-on for +$xx).
  14. Forgeron thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    I haven't watched a DVD film for years now. Last time somebody handed me DVD to watch, I downloaded the HD version instead. The disc never left the box.
  15. Moyank24 macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2009
    in a New York State of mind
    I think I would be able to live without it. The only thing I use it for now at this point is to rip my DVD's. And I have most of them ripped, so I haven't even done that in months.

    And I can't remember the last time I purchased software that I couldn't download.

    I'm all for it!
  16. sandylp macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Still need Optical Drive

    I use my optical drive to import books on cds into iTunes and then I put them on my iPod. I usually get my books from the library, which are free. The selection of audiobooks from the library that are compatible with the iPod is limited. So, until there is more of a selection, I'll have to get them from cds. I also buy them from iTunes and from Audible, but most of them are from the library.
  17. lifeguard90 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    No, not quite yet. It would ruin the portability/ comfortability of having a mbp for example. I, and others still have games, software, music, etc.. that needs the drive. Plus to burn music. I do not want to get a new mbp just to have to buy a separate dive to carry around, ruins the whole point.
  18. tonywang.xmpt macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    I've already gotten rid of my optical drive for extra storage.
    Its worth the trade off
    Plus, if i really need to access my optical drive,
    I got it hooked up to an external drive.

    So yea,
    optical drive are becoming obsolete (for me at least)
  19. akhbhaat macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2010
    I've used the optical drive in my Macbook exactly once. In fact, I've made disc images of the software that I use most, and I mount or transfer them via a USB drive. The advantages are numerous: installing/copying from an image is much faster, quieter and more reliable--and that's with 5400 rpm magnetic hard drives and USB 2.0. Imagine it with USB3.0 and a SSD!

    So, yes, I could absolutely live without it--at least as long as the lack of an optical drive only applies to my secondary computer (I intend to keep an optical drive in my desktop for the foreseeable future). On the whole, the optical drive is far from dead:

    1.) I can cheaply back up mountains of data onto optical discs and then shuffle them into a closet or wherever without ever having to worry about the data they contain being damaged by freak electromagnetic interference, temperature, or anything of that sort. Because information is physically encoded onto the surface of the disc, optical discs still represent a fairly ideal medium for archiving (of course, cheaply made writable discs will eventually decay due to chemical breakdown, but it would still take decades)..

    2.) The optical disc also retains a cost/efficiency advantage when using newer formats like Blu-ray. It still takes many hours or even days to download that much data via the typical broadband connection, while distributing flash drives (especially of that capacity) is hardly cost effective for regular boxed software.
  20. StopSign24 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    I'd go with this, or instead of another hard drive bay, add another few battery cells. Can't go wrong with more time unplugged.
  21. tjb1 macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2010
    Pennsylvania, USA
    You will never see an option to have it in or not, this would mean apple would need to make two different unibody designs and that is not going to happen and if it does I guarantee you will pay for it. I really dont see why this topic needs to be brought up DAILY when its the same answer every time...people need it some people dont. Dont want it stick the optibay caddy in because Apple isnt going to change there mind.
  22. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i like having a optical drive available but it doesn't need to be in a notebook. an external for $50 is good enough for the few times I use it.

    however I need USB, Firewire, Ethernet, SD Card, DVI, VGA and such.

    If they remove the optical and replace HDD's with Flash memory then I hope some of the free space goes to Battery and ports.

    If the MBP's get fewer ports and no optical then this would eventually make them uninteresting for my needs.
  23. Wattser93 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2010
    They can replace it, just not now. I don't need one, but I like having one.
    I purchased a base 13" MBP about 2 months ago. I plan to add 8gbs of RAM within the next year and by 2012 I'd like to add an SSD. If they can get a 256gb SSD to an affordable price, I'll buy one to replace my HDD, if SSD are still expensive like now, I'll probably replace my optical drive with an SSD to compliment my HDD.
    I think by the revision after next, it's realistic to replace it, but for now, there's the MBA for people who don't want an optical drive. It's convenient to burn photos to DVDs and mail them to family. When I'm sending 4gbs+ of photos, it's easier to send a $0.50 DVD and let them keep it than send a $20 flash drive and wait for its return.
  24. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    I haven't used the optical drive in my 13" Macbook Pro for at least 4 months now. Have it available as a slim and small accessory that either comes right in the box or for a small fee.
  25. Heavenly macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2009
    Northwestern University
    The only thing I really use the optical drive for is burning discs so I can live without it. With all the games available on digital download, there isn't much use for an optical drive for me anyways.

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