why buy a superdrive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by davidwes, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. davidwes macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2004
    Hi. I am in the market for a new/used mac portable. I am basically interested in ilife 05, and making dvds with idvd. Now I have heard that I an use an externel dvd burner. If this is the case, what is the benifit of getting a superdrive as compared to a cheaper computer with a combo drive and an external burner?
  2. JonoColesUK macrumors member


    Jan 23, 2005
    London UK
    no added bulky disc drive to carry around with u? :confused:
  3. quidire macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2004
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    What advantage do you gain by having an external unless you want to pay more...

    I do like the LaCie d2 DVD±RW with LightScribe; it's dual-layer and has the ability to burn labels. It is 179, but you can get Toast 6 Titanium bundled with it for $20 more (which is what I linked to).

    I chose not to get a superdrive so that I could buy a better one (and not duplicate spending)... but for the $100 margin that is the norm between superdrives and combo ones, you aren't going to get a better drive. (and it's built in!)

  4. shane-o-mac macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2005
    For me it comes down to three things: style, fucntion, and price. The externals do burn at a higher rate 16x for the newest ones, but if you do not have highspeed firewire or usb 2.0 on your sytem then transfer rates can be really slow eclipsing the faster burning time. Needless to say an external burner is not as functional as an internal burner nor nearly as stylish.

    Ultimatley, for me it was a matter of cost, for a hundred bucks more I got the best of both world, great preformance from a mac burner albeit at 8x and the ease of integrated hardware. Mmm..the only draw back is with an external burner you can always chuck it and buy a new one when even faster hardware comes out. For not 8x is fine for my needs.
  5. lfielder06 Guest

    Dec 5, 2004
    I agree... If you can afford the superdrive go for it. The drives are only 8x, but most people cant afford the 16x media if you can even find it. I would say go fot the superdrive.
  6. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    I read somewhere than OS X (panther at least) isn't fully compatible with external DVD burners, and that you have to get 3rd party software (such as Toast Titanium) to use it.

    I don't know if this has been/will be fixed with Tiger/iLife '05
  7. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I can see no good reason not to get the superdrive.

    The additional cost is much less than the cost of purchasing an additional external burner, an external burner is just one more thing to carry around, and the internal superdrive is going to be fast enough for just about anything it sounds like you're doing.
  8. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    iDVD isn't, OS X is. iTunes and DiskBurn work fine with externals. iDVD '05 can create a disk image that can be used with DiskBurn to burn to external drives.

    If you think you might be burning DVDs, you might as well get the internal. Unless you're getting a PowerMac, it's pretty tough to upgrade on other models. If you may not be using it, at least not right away, buy a faster combo drive and save $100. You can always get an external later, which probably will be faster, but you'll have to have an external drive. If you have a laptop, it isn't too convenient.

    And it is tougher to use iDVD.
  9. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    Guess I'm in the minority. I prefer external drives -- sturdier construction, often faster and quieter -- easier to update.

    Further, I have never liked Apple's slot loading opticals. I have had to replace mine on two occasions -- my current PowerBook optical is fine, but it is still loud. On the road it gets used, of course -- but at home I don't use it all -- using my DVD burner as a "read" ROM when copying to my CD burner.

    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this. Clearly a lot of people like their Apple SuperDrives. I don't own one and really have no interest in one -- and I burn a LOT of DVDs.
  10. shuffle1 macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Can I use internal and external DVD burner?

    Hi gang,

    Not at the same time, of course, but is there a way to select the external burner at home and use the internal when I'm on the road? I heard this wasn't possible, but I wanted to check with you guys. Thanks!

  11. Peyote macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2002
    I've always been an internal burner guy...but when I purchased my Mini, I decided to buy it with the combodrive and later on buy an external burner.

    Here's a few reasons why:

    External burners support 16X speeds (this is really for support of future speeds and media)

    External burners are about to be released with LightScribe. (nuff said)

    The biggest reason was, I'm tired of buying a new drive every time I get a new computer. If I buy an external now, I can buy a new mac in a couple of years and not have to pay extra for a DVD burner. I can also take the burner to be used by either my iMac, Mac mini, or Powermac (in the future).
  12. acedickson macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2004
    There's one adavantage an external burner burner has that a Superdrive doesn't...yet. Dual Layer writing capabilities. Not a huge deal ATM with media so expensive for the DL. But I would like my PB that I buy now to have DL writing capabilities for when the media comes down a bit within the next year. I hope Apple doesn't drop the ball on the next upgrade..
  13. deebster macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2004
    Olde Englande
    You can use them at the same time. For instance, when copying a CD/DVD using Toast Titanium you can read from one drive (say the internal) and copy straight to the other (external). This means faster copying and less hard drive wear and tear.

    I have my external (CD) burner connected via firewire to my iBook and when it is powered on it automatically appears alongside the internal in the drop-down menu of drives that appears in all apps.

    In other words, say I want to burn a disc image using Disk Utility, when selecting burn speed I can also select which drive to use. The same applies in iTunes' preferences, and of course, both drives are listed in Toast's main window.
  14. dontpanic macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2004
    anyone know when the new external lacie drives are coming out?
  15. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    I would think a 12" iBook with an external DVD burner would be a lot cheaper than a 15" PowerBook with Superdrive. Maybe half the cost. Saving over a $1000 is a good reason to get an external drive.

  16. quidire macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2004
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    I would submit that a better comparison would be a 15" PB w/ combo vs a 15" PB w/ super

    ... that 1000 buys a lot more than a dvd, from a 12" iBook
    in addition to the superdrive, that 1000 buys:
    • a bigger, brighter screen
    • a backlit keyboard
    • a faster processor and front-side bus
    • a larger, faster harddrive
    • a better graphics card, with more graphics memory
    • more memory, with a higher maximum
    • other components are better (ie Firewire 800 vs 400 etc)
    • better/more software

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