Quiet feature rich optical drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TheStrudel, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #1
    I'll probably get the GGW-H20L at some point, when it hits a price drop or support gets added in DVD Studio Pro for blu-ray. But in the meantime, I'd like to get a better SATA optical drive. Anybody know what the quietest drive offering fast burning speeds, burns -DL and does lightscribe is? Price isn't a big issue, because internal DVD burners pretty much top out at $60 and I'm very willing to pay that; it's not that much on top of the $30 for a cheap one. So does anybody know which DVD-DL burning lightscribe drives are reliable, fast, and most importantly, the quietest (for read, at least. I'm less picky about quiet in burning...)?
     
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #2
    The LITE-ON LH-20A1L-06 is $33 and seems to be reliable and have good noise reviews. it has Lightscribe, burn speeds of 48x CD-R & 20x DVD-R (fastest CD/DVD burner speeds) and comes with Nero! (for Boot Camp of course ;))
     
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #3
    are you going to get this one? im going to buy this LITE-ON for my PC and another non Lightscribe OEM model which has no packaging or discs.
     
  4. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #4
    I'm not sure...reviews seem to conflict a bit with what you're saying about the noise and reliability. Seems like I might be better advised to stick with a samsung model...Have to look into this further. While we're on the subject, I've also heard that the SATA ports are not necessarily that reliable for optical drives in the mac pros. Is this true?
     
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #5
    not sure sorry as i dont own a Mac Pro. but ive heard it is possible to put your own SATA optical drive in.
     
  6. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #6
  7. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #7
    You can get it, but be aware that the Mac Pro only has internal cabling for PATA/IDE optical drives, not SATA. The drive you listed is SATA.

    You will have to buy cables and hook them up to the ODD SATA ports yourself if you want a SATA optical drive. Also, depending on which Mac Pro you have, the SATA drive isn't recognized in Windows.
     
  8. c073186 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    So what is a good Lightscribe DVD burner that works well with the Mac Pro? Which is better, IDE or PATA?
     
  9. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #9
    PATA/IDE are just different names for the same thing. IDE = PATA.

    For the Mac Pro, I bought a Samsung 18x drive which is really good. The latest Samsung offers is a 20x version of what I bought: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151155
     
  10. big dainjerus macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2007
    #10
    Would one be better off not getting the second drive in the mac pro and putting one of those in yourself? Do they perform better than the stocks ones? Are the optical drive situations similar to the ram ones; get the basic stock config and add your own third party style?
     
  11. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #11
    I would say yes, the one I linked is faster than the 16X drive Apple offers, is bootable (you can boot off it if you need to reinstall), and is even supported by OS X's built-in disc burning framework.

    And at 25$ each or so, 50$ will get you two drives that beat Apple's drive in performance and noise, while Apple charges 100$ for the second drive on its own.

    There is even a benefit to one PATA, and one SATA drive, since they won't be sharing the same bus, it improves performance a bit when using both at the same time. This is especially true if you don't need both drives in Windows.
     
  12. Tbarr macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #12
    Krevnik,
    You left out the part about how Apple's drive offerings don't support LightScribe or LabelFlash. The Optiarc AD-7170A has the hardware to perform LabelFlash, but Optiarc decided to release that ability in the AD-7173A drives, which is basically a 7170A with different Firmware. So, your Apple drives do not support labeling of any sort.

    But, it's even worse... The Optiarc AD-7170A is ALMOST 2 YEARS OLD. And, Apple had Optiarc CHANGE THE BOOTCODE on the drives supplied to Apple. This means that you can't use Modified OEM Firmware to do things like set the drive to Book Type all DVD+ Discs to DVD-ROM. The drive will Book Type DVD+R DL discs automatically, but you can't Book Type DVD+R or DVD+RW discs to DVD-ROM. Which means those Discs are not as Compatible with older DVD Players. I've been Book Typing all my discs to DVD-ROM for over THREE Years.
    Thanks Apple!
    http://club.cdfreaks.com/f86/optiarc-ad-7170a-firmware-1-nc-241351/
     
  13. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #13
    I already knew about needing to wire the SATA cable myself - in fact, bought two of the proper cables for that already, intending to hook up that drive and eventually the LG super multi Blu-ray drive. I don't use windows, so that's not an issue either. But you've reminded me of a few other questions. Lightscribe seems to be more widely available than labelflash, but does labelflash have any advantages? I use exclusively DVD-Rs instead of +Rs as I've heard +Rs run into trouble with older DVD players, and I've never had any issues with -Rs myself, but I guess that book type issue is the problem with +Rs? While on the subject, I followed that link, and it echoes what I've noticed before - the availability of newer (Better?) firmware for the included drives. Ought I flash to newer firmware? If so, which? And is there a firmware for this drive that adds labelflash functionality (as it seems to be similar to another drive that has no hardware differences, but different firmware)? I've read what Liggy & co. had to say on the website, but they didn't mention specifics for firmware I ought to flash to. Got any info to add?

    Thanks.
     
  14. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #14
    I honestly don't care about those features all that much to debate it... Sure, the Apple doesn't support those, but I didn't list them because honestly... a pair of 25$ drives beats Apple's 100$ drive /without/ taking that into account. ;)
     
  15. Tbarr macrumors member

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    #15
    So Far, the only other firmware you can use is the Region Free version of 1.NC. I don't care about Region Free myself. I just care about burning discs, giving them to my family, and having them work. My brother-in-law had a Player that hated the DVD-Rs but loves the DVD-ROMs. I can even burn a DVD+R, booktyped as DVD-ROM, and it works great in my original TiBook's drive that will spit out a normal DVD+R. Basically, you can't get more compatible than a disc booktyped as DVD-ROM.

    The 7170 history is here;
    http://liggydee.cdfreaks.com/page/en/Optiarc-AD-7170A/
    "The drive was announced in July 2006. The Optiarc AD7173 burner adds support for LabelFlash but both drives share the same hardware and only differ in firmware. However you should not try to simply flash an Optiarc 7173 firmware on an Optiarc 7170 drive or vice versa. This will NOT work."

    I'm not up on LabelFlash, but the Liggy link leads here;
    http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/NEC-drives-to-feature-labelling-technology-from-Yamaha.html
     
  16. mgsarch macrumors regular

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #16
    Whoever said the SATA port is unreliable, not sure where you people are getting your info. I've been using both of mine on my 2008 Mac Pro without any issues whatsoever.

    Pretty strange logic to say they are unreliable ... as if intel ships server chipsets with busted sata ports? they're on the same bus as your other 4, soooo .....
     
  17. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #17
    It is unreliable (i.e. doesn't work at all) under Windows, because drivers that recognize the ports don't exist.

    Under OS X, that isn't a problem. ;)
     
  18. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #18
    Good to know that that concern is not an issue for me. In other news, I've gone ahead and ordered the Samsung drive. Since I already had the SATA cables on hand - been planning this a while - I started to route one from the motherboard, and I must say that this is the most tremendous pain. Couldn't remove the fan assembly because my #1 screwdriver wasn't nearly long enough to actually allow that. The most I managed was getting the SATA cable plugged in to one of the ODD ports; I couldn't manage to get it through to the optical bay. I've seen the posts on this forum and other sets of steps, but they could all be a little more clear. Huge pain. At any rate, once I get the drive in and working, I'll let you know how it works out.
     
  19. kkachurak macrumors regular

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    #19
    Can anyone direct me to a lightscribe dvd burner that I can pop below my stock CD-ROM drive that would be easiest to install?
     
  20. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #20
    I think most any ATA based lightscribe burner will work.

    I put a HP DVD 840i into my mac pro,, I'm sure it's an old model by now. The front tray "lid" just snaps off. Installation was easy and no drivers were needed by the os.

    I'm not sure why the OP was looking for an SATA drive.
     
  21. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #21
    I've hit an impasse. After much wrangling, I managed to route the SATA cable properly - much harder than I thought it would be. Then getting the darn screws off the optical bay was harder than it should have been (spare screws need to be anchored so tightly, apple? really?). Still, got through all that. Took the bezel off of the front tray of the Samsung drive. Installed it properly. Booted. The drive refuses to extend all the way - sticks out a centimeter (not clearing the mac pro's door) - stops. Door remains open, won't go any further. It seems to have plenty of room to clear the door, as well. Anybody have any clue why this is? Incredibly frustrating to have this problem at this point.
     
  22. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #22
    Fixed. Was actually a stuck gear, or something like that. Then the other drive kept getting stuck - moved it to the bottom bay, had to adjust it until it was sitting high enough properly. Now both drives work, and I haven't had time to do thorough testing, but the samsung is thus far very pleasing. It is considerably quieter during reading than the OPTIARC DVD RW AD-7170A that shipped on the ATA bus. I'll post my impressions of burning and lightscribe later on. So far, totally worth the $30 ($40 counting cables) this cost. As to whether or not it was worth the aggregate 6 hours I've spent trying to install properly, that's a different question. But hey, it was a learning experience, and I'd much rather get the learning out of the way on a $30 DVD drive than a $270 blu-ray burner.
     
  23. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #23
    Odd behavior. Every application that accesses the optical drive (DVD player, iTunes, Disk Utility) has crashed irretrievably upon the first use, necessitating a reboot before the app would work properly, but now it does. New drive is way quieter at reading (likely due to riplock) and I would say equally noisy - though faster - for burning and high speed reading (iTunes import). I can live with that. Ripping two DVDs at once through Mac The Ripper (copying another instance of it, running both concurrently) was slower than expected - 56 min 19 seconds for the new drive (SATA bus), and about the same (not finishing) for the old drive (ATA bus - apparently got held up copying DVD-ROM content as well). Probably not supposed to use both at the same time, as they certainly weren't ripping at full or normal speed... There's got to be a better way to test or rip concurrently.
     
  24. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #24
  25. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #25
    Further Observations:

    The lightscribe worked pretty well with Disc Cover RE. Have yet to try it with the HP software or an alternative (such as SmileOnMyMac's Disc Label). The label burn worked pretty well, though it seemed like it could have been a sharper image, but as more time goes on, I guess I'll refine my technique. I'd like to be able to print it through photoshop to get more control, but it seems like it'll be complicated to set that up (looked into it through a template and set-up process in a torrent I got).

    DVD Studio Pro will only write to the original superdrive that came in the MP. I don't know how to switch it so it'll use the SATA drive - if anybody knows, that would be handy. Also, I can't seem to eject the superdrive, just the top SATA drive, with a key command (Yes, I tried option-eject). Anybody know a way to do that (short of tinkertool or an add-on)?
     

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