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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

HELP: 15" Superdrive or Combo


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cyberprince
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Hey guys. More than a month ago I was told by my local apple store that my powerbook was on its way. However due to continuous delays I am told it might arrive next week at the earliest. At this point I don't know if I can wait anymore. This purchase has been months in the making.

I am told that there is a 15" Combo Drive available and I am considering getting it instead.

One of the reasons why I opted for the SD model is the backlit keyboard which is a feature that I have always wanted in a laptop (for use when all the lights are off). I know I will also be loosing the DVD-RW capability and getting a lower capacity drive and memory (If ever, I will definitely pay for an additional 256MB or 512MB RAM with my savings).

But aside from these above mentioned items what else is the difference? Is there a compelling reason to get the SD over the Combo Drive model.

Will 1.33 GHz vs 1.5 GHz make a big difference?

Here are my common tasks and the programs I will be using.

1.) Webdesign (Dreamweaver)
2.) Graphic Design (Photoshop)
3.) Amateur Video Editing (Final Cut)
4.) Office Applications...lots of work on Word, Excel & Powerpoint
5.) Email & Internet
6.) Page Layout & Design (In Design)
7.) Music (I-Tunes)

Your input and suggestions highly appreciated.
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Macman

 
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the processor speeds wont be a huge difference if you have the same amount of ram in each, more ram always helps, the superdrive is cool if you do videoediting and want to burn dvds, an advantage of the combo drive is faster burning speeds on cdr/rw, I think on combo drive, it can burn up to 52x or something like that, but the superdrive can only burn cdr/rw up to like 32x or so, depends on if you burn lots of cds. the superdrive is extremely useful in backing up your stuff like home folder to a dvd, BTW, ppl dont back up enough, I know osx is great and safe, but you never know.
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cyberprince
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Thanks. Some people have advised about getting a faster drive instead of fussing too much about the Superdrive. What do you think? I'm really considering the Combo because beside from being available for purchase right now. It is also $500 cheaper.

I can use the savings to upgrade.
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Macman

 
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if you burn music cds, and not any video, get the combo drive and add a 512 or more stick of ram, thatll put the speed over that(performance/handling wise) ahead of the superdrive model. if you burn music cds at all, the combo drive will be good since it burns a lot faster.
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cyberprince
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I do burn lots of audio CDs but will surely have to burn some movies, but less frequently. If I decide to get an external DVD-writer later on will that be more cost efficient?

Josh
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Macman

 
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definitely, you can buy an external lacie superdrive for like $170 new with a 1 year warranty,thatd be a lot cheaper alternative.
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cyberprince
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How about the difference between 1.33 and 1.5 GHZ processor speeds?

Some people tell me that upgrading to a faster harddrive and more RAM will make more of a difference?
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if you have a 1.33 ghz processor with 512 mb of ram, and a 1.5 ghz processor with the base 256 mb of ram, the 1.33 will out perform the 1.5 ghz when your running lots of apps at once or running processor intensive apps, if youre juat checking email or something, theres no noticable difference.
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cyberprince
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Will the extrenal drive work with iDVD (with a hack perhaps). I am thinking about the need for a superdrive for backing up & transfering large files and especially for burning DVDs.
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SamR
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I think I've heard about 5x more complaints about superdrives (in any mac) than praises.
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I dont think theres even a hack that allows idvd to use external superdrives, or itunes for that matter.
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cyberprince
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Thanks for the help. I have finally decided on the 15" Combo. I will just upgrade the RAM. The rest I will get later when I find the need too. You are right I should probably get an external drive and a external DVD Writer later.
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UrbanAmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamR
I think I've heard about 5x more complaints about superdrives (in any mac) than praises.
What did you hear about Superdrive? I have it on my 15" PB. So far it worked okay, including burning CDs.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberprince
Thanks for the help. I have finally decided on the 15" Combo. I will just upgrade the RAM. The rest I will get later when I find the need too. You are right I should probably get an external drive and a external DVD Writer later.
I had a freebie external CD Writer and it worked fine on both my iMac 17" 1.25 and PowerBook 1.33., but for reference - my buddy bought an external DVD burner and it did not work with iDVD.

Both my iMac and Powerbook have the SuperDrive and I haven't had any problems with DVD-R's or CD-R's at all.
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