Will Apple ever stop selling Combo Drives?

MacSA

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2003
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I really thought this would be the update (Mac Mini) that would see the end of the Combo Drive. Sadly it wasn't to be - it's still there. Even worse, Apple have taken away the BTO Superdrive (£30) in the £399 Mini which leaves you with no option but to go with the £529 Mini if you want to burn DVDs.

Why do Apple still sell these, it looks really cheap on Apples' part, also, it makes half of their much touted iLife applications practically useless - iMovie and iDVD. DVD burners are so cheap these days, goodness knows how much they would cost Apple who would buy huge quantities - and those combo drives must cost them £1. And then there's the £749 macBook with combo drive lol.:eek: You can buy £349 PC laptops with DVD writers.

So, when do you think the Apple Combo Drive will finally disappear?
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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For a PC I can get a DL DVD-burner for under 10 pounds probably... and Apple can't even afford to put a DVD burner (nevermind dual layer) into their overpriced machines.

And fanbois say Macs are not overpriced? Please.
 

MacSA

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2003
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generik said:
For a PC I can get a DL DVD-burner for under 10 pounds probably... and Apple can't even afford to put a DVD burner (nevermind dual layer) into their overpriced machines.

And fanbois say Macs are not overpriced? Please.
This is true.... I was ready to switch with the next upadte of the Mini.. I did plan on getting the cheap Mini with a BTO Superdrive, sadly Apple have taken that option away and I would have to pay £529 for a DVD burning Mac now - this takes the Mac out of my budget. It looks like i'm going to have to get a PC now.
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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MacSA said:
This is true.... I was ready to switch with the next upadte of the Mini.. I did plan on getting the cheap Mini with a BTO Superdrive, sadly Apple have taken that option away and I would have to pay £529 for a DVD burning Mac now - this takes the Mac out of my budget. It looks like i'm going to have to get a PC now.
I like the mini, but it isn't really that cheap of a computer currently, I'll probably get a MBP to satisfy my laptop needs when the merom versions come out, then get these current ones from the refurb "bin" when they get their next speed bump.

I am not going to pay $799 for a Core Duo model when for a wee bit more the iMac has a LCD and a Core 2 Duo processor!
 

Passante

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Apr 16, 2004
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You still use CDs and DVDs??? :eek: I'm waiting for a Mac without and optical drive. The only use I have is for a DVD rom drive to play commercial DVDs.

Guess I thing different.... or just am different.... :rolleyes:
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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Passante said:
You still use CDs and DVDs??? :eek: I'm waiting for a Mac without and optical drive. The only use I have is for a DVD rom drive to play commercial DVDs.

Guess I thing different.... or just am different.... :rolleyes:
How do you archive your.. photo files?

Using a think different solution of relying on a contraption full of motors and gears and rotors?

Sorry, that doesn't cut it, I don't see optical drives replaced as a reliable backup media anytime soon.
 

bigandy

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Apr 30, 2004
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generik said:
For a PC I can get a DL DVD-burner for under 10 pounds probably... and Apple can't even afford to put a DVD burner (nevermind dual layer) into their overpriced machines.

And fanbois say Macs are not overpriced? Please.
You do realise that the £10 DL DVD drives you talk of are 5.25" ones? And they would only fit a MacPro?

Each and every other Mac uses thin, laptop type optical drives, which, because of their slender nature, cost quite a few times more.

You're comparing Apples and Oranges there, not Apples and Apples.
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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bigandy said:
You do realise that the £10 DL DVD drives you talk of are 5.25" ones? And they would only fit a MacPro?

Each and every other Mac uses thin, laptop type optical drives, which, because of their slender nature, cost quite a few times more.

You're comparing Apples and Oranges there, not Apples and Apples.
Well that is their poor design decision, it is their same "oh look, so slim!" drives with no eject buttons that freezes up my mac forcing a restart when I rip CDs.
 

Passante

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Apr 16, 2004
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Quoting generik "How do you archive your.. photo files?

Using a think different solution of relying on a contraption full of motors and gears and rotors?

Sorry, that doesn't cut it, I don't see optical drives replaced as a reliable backup media anytime soon."


I back up to two external drives for redundancy. Flash drives are used for important files between back ups.

I found DVDs to be too slow for backups and a pain in the derrière to keep track of.

Hard drives are cheap, fast and have huge capacity. Backup to hard drives can be automated so that you don't have to be there.

Kudos to you for doing backups. I just think hard drives or tape drives (if the ever get cheap enough) are a better way to go. YMMV. Perhaps when Time Machine is released in Leopard hard drive backup will make sense to more people.
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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Sorry, I still distrust backing up on hard drives, too many points of failures. Even if the hardware doesn't fail you, what happens if you contract a virus? Or someday you accidentally deletes it?

I am not talking about that PhD thesis or whatever worthless document that you happen to be typing, worse come to worse you will just be fired. I am talking about digital photos that are potentially irreplaceable.

Hard drive backup is an oxymoron in itself.

The other thing that I'd trust is probably Amazon's online data storage service, but other issues come into play for that.
 

Dunepilot

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Feb 25, 2002
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generik said:
Sorry, I still distrust backing up on hard drives, too many points of failures. Even if the hardware doesn't fail you, what happens if you contract a virus? Or someday you accidentally deletes it?

I am not talking about that PhD thesis or whatever worthless document that you happen to be typing, worse come to worse you will just be fired. I am talking about digital photos that are potentially irreplaceable.

Hard drive backup is an oxymoron in itself.

The other thing that I'd trust is probably Amazon's online data storage service, but other issues come into play for that.
Hard drive backup is the best way to go, in my opinion, not the useless solution you're making it out to be. It has huge capacity, allowing the creation of cloned drives (i.e. bootable backups)

No point complaining about hard drive data integrity either. Your average DVD-R probably won't be readable in 10 years, so DVD-based storage offers little advantage in that area.
 

NATO

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Feb 14, 2005
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I doubt there's much difference between the cost of the Superdrive and Combo drive, I reckon Apple is just using the Combo drive to differentiate between the lower and upper models, driving higher sales of the upper models as most people will opt for the upper model for the Superdrive.

Sneaky, but unfortunately not surprising :rolleyes:
 

SpookTheHamster

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Nov 7, 2004
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generik said:
Well that is their poor design decision, it is their same "oh look, so slim!" drives with no eject buttons that freezes up my mac forcing a restart when I rip CDs.
So you'd be happier if our laptops were an inch thicker, with a tray loading PC drive? The only beef I have with slot loading drives is that I can't use those small CDs that companies sometimes give out.
 

tobefirst

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Jan 24, 2005
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Getting back to the original post and setting aside issues of back ups, which the average consumer buying the lowest priced Mac is unlikely to do...

I can count, on my hands, the number of times I've used the Superdrive in the two of my Macs that have had them...and I'm pretty close to a power user in a lot of regards. Burning DVDs isn't nearly as popular as burning CDs, for a variety of reasons.

All that is really *necessary* in the lowest end product at this time really is just a combo drive. Also, I think NATO makes the best point in saying that it's a decision based on wanting people to move up to the next machine.
 

pjo

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2006
124
1
tobefirst said:
Getting back to the original post and setting aside issues of back ups, which the average consumer buying the lowest priced Mac is unlikely to do...

I can count, on my hands, the number of times I've used the Superdrive in the two of my Macs that have had them...and I'm pretty close to a power user in a lot of regards. Burning DVDs isn't nearly as popular as burning CDs, for a variety of reasons.
Hmm.. for a moment I thought I was the only one. For many reasons (having to split backups every 4GB, having to wait for photos to accumulate to 4GB before burning, etc) I mostly use DVDs to write videos. Photos will *generally* get written to CD - unless they're really high res (read: raw format).

For backups of regular files/photos/etc an external HDD as well as rsync to a server hosted on another continent serves me nicely.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
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generik said:
For a PC I can get a DL DVD-burner for under 10 pounds probably... and Apple can't even afford to put a DVD burner (nevermind dual layer) into their overpriced machines.

And fanbois say Macs are not overpriced? Please.
I think Apple just wanted to give the whiners something to complain about.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
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I owned a superdrive powermac G5 for a year and have had this superdrive macbook for 3 months... I've yet to burn a DVD, and I don't think I'm alone here.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
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QCassidy352 said:
I owned a superdrive powermac G5 for a year and have had this superdrive macbook for 3 months... I've yet to burn a DVD, and I don't think I'm alone here.
It's like someone said- DVDs are not a permanent storage solution (well, less permanent than an external hard drive). They are expensive, and can be easily misplaced. While it's not so much of an issue nowadays, it requires a DVD reader to get the data back off of it. External hard drives are the best way to go.
 

Passante

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Apr 16, 2004
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generik said:
Sorry, I still distrust backing up on hard drives, too many points of failures. Even if the hardware doesn't fail you, what happens if you contract a virus? snip
Contract a what? Sorry, never considered it. hmmmmm
 

Passante

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Apr 16, 2004
860
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NATO said:
I doubt there's much difference between the cost of the Superdrive and Combo drive, I reckon Apple is just using the Combo drive to differentiate between the lower and upper models, driving higher sales of the upper models as most people will opt for the upper model for the Superdrive.

Sneaky, but unfortunately not surprising :rolleyes:
I checked other world computing and the superdrive replacements are CHEAPER than the combo drive replacements. :eek:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optical-drives/superdrives/powerbook/

Not what Apple pays but still......
 

BornAgainMac

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Feb 4, 2004
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MacSA said:
Why do Apple still sell these, it looks really cheap on Apples' part, also, it makes half of their much touted iLife applications practically useless - iMovie and iDVD.
iMovie? You can use your firewire and pipe back your edited movie with all the special effects and sound track back to a blank tape. Then hook up the camera to your TV.

Also iDVD works with external burners. I have an external burner for $100 bucks that exceeds the specs of Apple's stock burner and it works perfectly with iDVD.
 

yojitani

macrumors 68000
Apr 28, 2005
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This comes up now and again, but I really don't get it. Apple is not the only company that puts combo drives in its lower end of the line products. The lower end Dell XPS', which are really the only Dell laptops that can be aligned with the macbook/macbook pro line, start with a combo and those are $1,200! My point is that this is not just an apple problem. The problem with apple is the upgrade options. It's irritating that apple forces you to take a hit of a couple of hundred dollars/pounds/euros just to have a simple DVD burning device.

It's a bad decision not to allow the upgrade option for the mini though, definitely.

Also, isn't this external HD discussion a bit off track? I mean, I agree that HD's are a better way of backing up info, but superdrives do have their place (burning movies, for example!).
 

whooleytoo

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Aug 2, 2002
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Cork, Ireland.
QCassidy352 said:
I owned a superdrive powermac G5 for a year and have had this superdrive macbook for 3 months... I've yet to burn a DVD, and I don't think I'm alone here.
I've had 3 Macs with Superdrives, and have burnt 2 DVDs (both for other people). If I had spec'ed these Macs myself (and had the option) I'd have left out the Superdrives to save a few euros.