Worth getting the MBA Superdrive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Spyharpy, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Spyharpy macrumors member

    Spyharpy

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #1
    I'll order a MBA 13" next week and seriously considering also getting the MBA Superdrive. I've read that you can use Remote Disk to install software but what about huge packages like Photoshop and Office? I know you can also create an ISO run it off a thumbdrive. I also plan to install Windows 7. I'm thinking that it may be much faster and an easier process just by going with the Superdrive. Has anyone compared how much difference in speed there is between the two when doing a large software install? My other concern is with installing installing Windows 7 and Office. I'm just thinking it's going to go better with the Superdrive. It doesn't cost much to buy but if it will save me time and possible frustration, it may be worth it.
     
  2. elwood58 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I bought the MBA Superdrive, more out of a desire than need. Just about any Optical Drive you have laying around will do the job. If planning to use Optical Disks in the field, it is certainly nice to have the small formfactor, and USB powered capability of the Superdrive.

    There are a number of others here who have purchased third party, USB powered, optical drives. Where the MBA Superdrive can only be used on the MBA and MacMini, these third party products are designed to work with any system.
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    Without the Superdrive you need a workaround to install Windows 7 since Boot Camp won't work with a shared DVD drive. Windows' installation reboots a few times during the process and needs to access the drive.
     
  4. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68000

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #4
    Microsoft offers isotool software to set up Windows 7 to boot/install from a USB memory stick. They did this due to all the netbooks out there. (See, the MBA did benefit from netbooks. :D )
     
  5. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #5
    The superdrive is 79$. Newegg.com has 50 models of Slim DVD burners under 75$.
     
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    I feel that it is much smarter to buy an external Blu Ray drive for use with any of your computers. While right now it will not play Blu Ray on OS X, it will play Blu Ray on Windows 7 and is backwards compatible and will write DVD and CDs.

    I see them on eBay in the $70 range and sometimes cheaper. They are super slim and seem to be nice and dependable. They are not aluminum, but they are a heck of a lot more productive and future proof by being able to also read Blu Ray disks. And if you're considering installing Windows 7 it's an even bigger advantage of playing Blu Rays now on your MBA. And you can use it on your other computers too.
     
  7. gammaknife macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #7
    Good idea. any idea of a good model from amazon? Thx
     
  8. Spyharpy thread starter macrumors member

    Spyharpy

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #8
    Thanks for all your replies. Definitely getting an external drive and will consider the Bluray option.
     
  9. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #9
    I agree with Scottsdale's suggestion that an external BD player/burner is a better choice than a Superdrive. I bought a Superdrive with my MBA last month but never opened it and returned it to the Apple Store for credit last week. The idea of being able to play BDs in the Windows VM on my MBA, though, is really intriguing. I am going to look into it.

    I didn't need the Superdrive to setup the MBA after all because I discovered that I could migrate my old MBP's setup to my new MBA by using the MBP's Time Machine backup on my Time Capsule. I just hooked up the MBP to the Time Capsule and used the Migration Assistant overnight to restore the MBP's backup to the MBA. When I checked the next morning, the new MBA looked just like the old MBP and I was a happy camper.
     
  10. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    #10
    I think it is not as easy as expected.

    I've read on the Windows on Mac forum, you need to use VM to boot the USB and a workaround method to install it on a bootcamp partition. I'm afraid you can't install it off the USB like in other netbooks.

    I am still not sure if I will be able to install Windows 7 on the MBA successfully, without an external optical drive. :(
     
  11. Corax macrumors 6502

    Corax

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    #11
    I've bought the Apple superdrive. Really worth it, because it only has and only needs 1 USB-cable. Others need more connections and aren't practical cable-wise for the Air.
     
  12. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #12
    You can share a drive off another machine on the network and use it to do what you want. There is a video of someone doing it on youtube.
     
  13. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    #13
    How about this? (the quote below)
    I assume a "shared DVD drive" is like the "remote drive" function. :confused:

     
  14. Corax macrumors 6502

    Corax

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    #14
    There has to be another computer to be able to do that...
    But when you have à second machine, it's easy.
     
  15. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #15
    The Achilles heel of the external Apple superdrive is the point where the cable enters the case. If you get one be careful not to wind that cable too tight or the cable will break. It doesn't take too much bending to break the cable. Like the early gen. magsafes and ac adapters.
     
  16. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #16
    Not true at all. Many drives much cheaper work fine with only 1 USB cable.
     
  17. nfl46 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    #17
    Yep! Get it! I used it to burn music cds ALL the time! It is a MUST have for me. I definitely need it to burn audio cds and DVDs!
     
  18. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000

    wirelessmacuser

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Planet.Earth
    #18
    I agree with this well thought out post.

    The only reason to buy one from Apple is if you prefer the aesthetics, don't mind the premium price, and like having all Apple gear.
     
  19. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    #19
    I went to Sydney Apple store today and asked a staff if I can install Win7 on MBA with USB. He said yes you can use bootcamp to do that now.

    hmm...
     
  20. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in stasis
    #20
    this is very helpful, thanks gwsat. I finally looked at the new Airs this morning at the 5th Ave NYC store and asked about loading Office. The fellow kept pushing the Superdrive but I knew there had to another way to do this. I can wait for Office 2011 until the job gets the huge discount because I know I can use that version across more than one machine.

    I have to say the 13.3 Air looks tiny!!! The 2010 13.3 MBP I had seemed much, much bigger to me. If I get an Air it will probably be the 13.3 version.
     
  21. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #21
    If all you are trying to do is install Office 2011, there are plenty of ways to do that without the Superdrive. You can "share" a DVD from another Mac or PC. The only major program "sharing" doesn't work with is Windows (without workarounds). Or you can install it on your existing Mac with a Superdrive, and use Migration Assistant.

    Activation on Office 2011 is online and is based on your product key, which you enter in manually. It isn't dependent on using a specific program DVD to install it. If you have 10 Macs and 10 Office licenses, you can use one DVD to install them all, and just enter in the different product keys manually.
     
  22. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #22
    Apple DVD or CD Sharing for Windows enables remote disc sharing, system software restoration, and wireless migration with MacBook Air.
     
  23. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #23
    It works with a Windows PC, but you can't use it to install Windows through Boot Camp.
     
  24. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #24
    I was wondering about that. I only want a portable BD player that can be powered by the USB connection alone. I don't want one that requires the user to connect both a USB connection and an AC adapter.
     
  25. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #25
    There are plenty. Just do your research. Most do come with both connectors and an AC adapter port to accomodate PCs that have lower voltage USB ports or unpowered ports but can still draw their power from the same port they use for the data and thus require only 1 USB connection like the superdrive.

    There's nothing magical about the Apple superdrive, it's just a marked up 3rd party drive without an eject button.
     

Share This Page