Why no optical drive in the new Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by FlyingPie, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. FlyingPie macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I really don't understand this.. I thought one of the reasons the Mac Mini existed was so people converting from PC could have an affordable way to get into the Mac world. Thus, the optical drive makes sense - People like to watch movies on their PC and back up photos and other files to CD/DVD. Not to mention blu-ray, which has only been around for a few years. And now they expect people to buy a USB optical drive? I'd rather have one built-in, using SATA.

    Previously, if I were to buy a Mac, I would have bought a Mac Mini. But now I am frustrated, because now there are no Mac models that I'd want to buy.
    Mac Mini: No built-in optical drive
    iMac: I don't like all-in-one computers, and I've heard it's hard to replace the hard drive and RAM in the iMac if needed.
    Mac Pro: Very expensive, and probably overboard for what I need
    MacBook: Not as fast as I'd want
    MacBook Pro: A bit too expensive for a laptop, in my opinion
    MacBook Air: No optical drive, and too "light" - I want something more powerful

    This really doesn't make much sense to me. Oh well. :/
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    RAM is dead easy in an iMac. There's a little door on the bottom for it.

    As for HDDs you can't use third party ones now anyway so what's the point of upgrading. Order it with a 2TB drive and be done with it.
     
  3. FlyingPie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    That about the hard drive doesn't exactly provide any motivation for me to buy an iMac, nor does it address any of my concerns. Apple charges way too much for their upgrades. I'd rather save some money by ordering a hard drive elsewhere and replacing it myself. I don't like all-in-one computers anyway - If the computer dies, I'd rather not be forced to replace the monitor along with the computer.
     
  4. 42streetsdown, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

    42streetsdown macrumors 6502a

    42streetsdown

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    #4
    Optical media sucks dude. I never use my CD drive anymore, and i'm glad not to have to. No more worrying about scratched disks or slow read/write speeds.
     
  5. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Buy an external cd/DVD drive...
     
  6. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a

    42streetsdown

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    #6
    did you even read his post? he doesn't want an external drive
     
  7. FlyingPie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Optical media tends to be used for things that you need occasionally, and as such, I don't think the speed is much of an issue. Consider how optical media is used - Installing an application (which is usually only done once in a great while), making backups (you'd only need to restore if something goes wrong), and for movies & music (in which case, the drive is fast enough anyway). Also, while writing to an optical disc, you can always do something else at the same time. So the speed isn't much of an issue.

    Also, what about watching high-definition movies? Blu-ray is currently the only widely-accepted format for high-definition movies. I don't know of there being many high-def movies available for download through legal channels; and I don't think many people right now would be willing to go buy a large enough hard drive to store all of their downloaded movies. I'm really surprised Apple still hasn't brought blu-ray to their computers, and has even gone so far as to remove the optical drive from the Mac Mini altogether. The Mac Mini has been popular as a home theater PC (among other things), and as such, a blu-ray drive would be a great addition.

    Also, considering how beautiful Apple's monitors are, I'd think a high-def movie would look great on one..
     
  8. AVR2 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2006
    #8
    Really? How's that? The iFixit teardown of the latest Mac mini seems to suggest that it's a standard SATA drive.
     
  9. YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #9
    I, too, think the removal of the optical drive in the Mac mini is silly. It's not like it's made the machine any smaller, or it even needs to be any smaller.

    Sure, it lets you fit a second hard drive. But most people would rather have a built-in optical drive.

    If you don't mind having a Core2Duo, you might find a refurbished 2010 Mac mini cheap somewhere. As an added bonus, you'll get nVidia graphics too.
     
  10. Unpleasant macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2011
    #10
    I understand where your coming from but we really need to move forward with technology. Its the only way it will change and become better. USB are more reliable then CDs are. There shouldn't be an argument about it. USB are dirt cheap. CDs cost more. If you are like me and need a ODD then pick up a external one.

    Not that i don't like USB, I enjoy high quality music so i rip my CDs in flac. Thankfully I have a Macbook pro for that reason lol
     
  11. potatis macrumors 6502a

    potatis

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    Dec 9, 2006
    #11
    Could also be that they want to bring down the price a bit as many people don't want it. The original Mini was the cheapest, and it didn't have Bluetooth or Wifi, something that was added later and increased the base price. Now, if something seems redundant, they'll remove it if they think the lower price will attract more buyers than an optical drive. Which is at the same time offered as an external add-on in the Apple store, just like RAM - they offer it with 2 GB to it keep the price down. And maybe the non-informed user who only emails and surfs the web will never notice any setback to performance.
     
  12. djrod macrumors 65816

    djrod

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    #12
    It's an experiment, if they see Air and Mini strong sales, they know people no longer care about optical drives and therefore they can kill it all across the whole Mac line.
     
  13. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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    日本
    #13
    They expect you to buy the content in iTunes and copy it to your disk or stream on your devices. Sharing photos is expected to be done via a biiiiiig new datacenter somewhere in US (iCloud, eMail, ...)

    Actually having an external optical device is not that bad ... wouldn't stop me to get a new Mini if would be in the market for it.

    And backup: I can't put all my photos on DVD anymore. Its better to copy to several disk connected via USB or NAS.
     
  14. FlyingPie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    How are optical drives holding anything back? Also, blu-ray has only been around for a few years.. We're not talking about ancient technology here.

    What about USB CD drives?
     
  15. FlyingPie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I can understand that. But I still think it's too soon to say people don't want optical drives anymore. Blu-ray, for instance, has only been around for a few years so far - Many people would want to watch blu-ray movies.

    I wouldn't mind it so much if the external drive used eSATA or something, but as far as I know, the Mac Mini doesn't have any eSATA ports, only USB for external devices.

    What about BD-R?
     
  16. Gaelic2 macrumors 6502

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    Mountains of N. California
    #16
    The optical drive has gone the way of the floppy drive. It's now part of the past and it is time we all move on with a company that innovates and leads the way or go with the great copier, Microsoft. They will hang on to the old as long as possible.
     
  17. FlyingPie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I don't understand that argument. Blu-ray, for instance, has been around for only 5 years. After it won the format war with HD-DVD, movie studios have moved to blu-ray for high-def movies. It seems far from obsolete.

    There definitely is a time to get rid of old technology, but this is not it for optical drives. If that is why Apple has done away with the optical drive, they are doing so way too soon. There are still very many people who would want to use the optical drive.
     
  18. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2011
    #18
    I find I really can't respond to someone who says they want a Mini (or Air) but don't want an external superdrive. I mean... WHY? Maybe its that I'm a more recent Mac convert but a new mini with a superdrive underneath it is still WAY smaller and WAY better looking than 90% of PCs. So who cares? And with the MBA its obviously better to have the small form factor and have to break out a drive in the rare instance you need one. Or do like me and share the drive off another Mac.
     
  19. FlyingPie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Having the drive be external just seems to make it a bit clunky - If I want to move the computer, it's 2 pieces to move vs. 1; and it's something I'd use often enough that I think it should be built-in. Also, I'd rather not use USB bandwidth for it; I'd rather the optical drive stay on SATA.

    As far as looks, it would only look better if you buy Apple's overpriced component.. Apple doesn't even offer blu-ray drives. If I bought a Mac Mini, I'd probably want to buy a blu-ray drive for it, and I'd have to go with a different brand for that.

    No blu-ray and now no optical drive at all? I find Apple's decision on this truly baffling.
     
  20. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2011
    #20
    Blu-Ray makes it moot any way. There wouldn't be a Blu-Ray drive in the new Minis if they'd kept a drive period. You can question Apple's decision on that but it doesn't change the fact that if you wanted Blu-Ray, you were going external any way.
     
  21. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #21
    I wasdisappointed when they announce no cd drive.
    My wife's computer needs an upgrade and was planning on the mini.
    When I think about the mini as far as entertainment it's a ATV2 on steroids.
     
  22. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2011
    #22
    Missed this comment.

    I'd say give TB a chance over the next few months. As far as external CD/DVD, USB is plenty fast enough. You can't rip/burn disks fast enough to saturate USB.
     
  23. FlyingPie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    What is TB?
     
  24. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #24
    All music needs to be digital now, and all software installs need to be downloads.

    Let's be ahead of the curve.
     
  25. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #25
    Apple's mistake isn't removing the optical drive, it's removing it and not using the space for something else. now there's space in every Mini to have two hard drives, yet they stick it with one.

    optical is a slow format. you lose nothing moving it from SATA to USB2, speed-wise. Blu-ray doesn't matter since it's not supported anyway.

    for any peripheral that needs speed, there's Thunderbolt.
     

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