Superdrive or Combo?

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by rapps, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. rapps macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2004
    Hey everyone,
    I'm swaying b/t the 12" and 15" (The $1M Question!)....but also b/t the superdrive or the combo.

    The SD is only 4X. Is it worth the extra money?

    The other option is to get an external dvd burner to hook up when I'm back home....

    What are your thoughts on whether to get the internal SD? long does it take to burn a full dvd on the 4X?

  2. Finiksa macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    DVD and CD spin rates aren't exactly comparable. 1x DVD is approximately equivalent to 9x CD, so a 4x DVD is about 36x CD that's pretty fast you're not going to get better than that in a notebook system. Of course a DVD contains 9GB about 12 times the storage of a CD so burn times are going to be a lot greater.

    The real question is will you have any use for a DVD burner, if yes than get the SuperDrive. Dual layer DVD burners becoming more popular so you might want to get a dual layer external drive if that would be more useful to you.
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    If you think that you will want to do any iDVD work, then the SDD is the only option.

    Burning a DVD with Toast takes me about 45 minutes with a 2X on a PB 12" rev. B.

    The SDD is great for backups also.
  4. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    I would suggest you get the combo drive, up the hard disk and buy a nice, fast external FW. That way, you can easily upgrade the drive when dual layer comes out and sell the old one. You can still burn data on the road. You get the largest drive for storage from Apple.

    Rarely do you NEED to urn a DVD on the fly. If it cannot wait until you get bac to home, then a powerook with 4x is probably not going to cut it anyhow.

    I do a lot of video work, and I always can burn at home. On long trips, I found that a slim fw dvd burner traveled well in my bag and I can use that as well.
  5. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    If you don't need it don't get it. Save yourself the extra $200 and spend it on something that you might need. I would say setup an external later on it you will be in need of it. I didn't get a super drive in my new PB because i won't need it. I later on i start getting into burning DVD's i'll get an external.
  6. rapps thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2004
    Thank you everyone for your insightful comments. I'm going to ponder it over....and hopefully make a decision soon!
  7. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    Or, if you do need it, decide whether or not you need speed & compatibility over ease-of-use and portability. The PB DVD-RW is - format only (read: no Philips '+rw' functionality). I bought a combo, and put an 8x DVD+/-RW in my crappy PC.
  8. rapps thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2004
    Can you explain the advantages of getting a + vs a -?

    I wanted to use it to backup my music collection, dvds, etc...

    Also,buying an external one could make sense. Have there been any 16X's that have come out yet? Does anyone recommend any mac friendly models?
  9. mrilloraza macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2004
    i too had come across this bridge a month ago with my 12in powerbook, and a friend of mine broke down for me this way - how many times are you really going to burn a dvd? and he also brought up the fact that the burner only burns in the "-" format, for about the same price you can get an external one that is twice as fast as well as comes with toast 6 titanium or something like that. also, if you are going to do alot of heavy dvd burning an external drive may be alot smarter due to the wear and tear. they are alot more durable plus, they are cheaper and easier to replace than the one in your powerbook. the only thing that i wish i would have gotten it for is for backing up applications etc. but i plan on getting an external hard drive anyways and doing all the grunt work in there (this also helps prevent your hard drive from fragmenting, think of all those music files, graphics pictures, and movies.) just my 2 cents
  10. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    when do you think apple will make a dual layer DVD burner? Could you upgrade to it on G5?
  11. sockeatingdryer macrumors regular


    May 28, 2004
    Athens, GA, USA
    Golly, now I'm wondering if I should have taken the combo drive option for my eMac more seriously. But I did up the RAM and add Bluetooth anyway, so...

    The way I see it is that CDs are slowly becoming obsolete. Alot more companies are shipping their stuff in DVDs, and it may take awhile, but soon DVDs will be the only option.

    On a more solid facet: the SuperDrive is much more tightly integrated with your Mac, and consequently, the OS. That's a major plus; Toast isn't that much of an expense. Also, that DVD burner gives you 'more' unlimited storage, if that makes sense. It's also better when backing up.

    Lastly, I know that in the eMac case, the DVD burner is only $200 more. That's pretty dang good, I know most DVD burners cost competitively, but then again you don't have that integration or that added expense if you get the SuperDrive. And there's that coolness factor of just having one. I think you'd get a better resale value for sure... It's your call. :)
  12. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    What companies are you refering to. I know Apple ships alot of there software on DVD, but i haven't seen many other companies to this. I know there are some game companies that make a dvd version of there games.

    Also if cds are becoming absoete then someone better tell all my friends. Besides myself, nobody i know has a DVD drive much less a DVD burner in there computer.

    I myself decided to save the $200 and get the HD upgrade and buy a 512mb stick of ram from To me that is a better investment. And always later if you want to get a dvd burner you will be able to get an external about 3 or 4 times faster for that same price. With the easy iDVD hack (patch what ever you want to call it) you will then be able to burn your movies to your external dvd drive in iDVD
  13. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004

    Some games are being ship currently with both DVD and CDs. Far cry for PC is currently only DVD I believe. As time goes on the CDs will be phased out they just dont hold enough data. almost all computer bought in the past 2 years have a DVD rom in them. DVD burners are still realtily newer and they are just starting to really become more standard. think 5 years ago CD burners where just starting to become standard but not everyone was putting them in yet.

    Besided a DVD-ram drive is about 30 bucks for an internal drive. Burners being 60-70 for internal. Dual layers being 90-200.

    Yes the super drive is a massive rip off when the drive the parts come from is only 100-120. (pinoeer I believe makes it and there dual layer one is only 140 for an internal)
  14. toughboy macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Izmir, Turkey
    well.. as a 12" PB combo drive user, I'd say that, you can always use your desktop for wide screen and dvd storage and it will save you around 1000 bucks to go 12" PB combo.. by the way, I'd go for iBook if you are thinking about going small and lite and buying a 12" one..

    I agree with the suggestion of buying a external box and pluging in a nice 8X or 12X pioneer dvd burner.. its lot faster and lot cheaper to buy or upgrade...

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