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  1. #1
    daughter_anna
    Guest
    will a combo drive suffice?
    my first year of college starts in just a couple of weeks. (i'm so nervous but excited out of my mind at the same time) anyway, i am majoring in computer graphics and before school stars, i am planning on purchasing a new powerbook. preferrably the 15inch superdrive.

    but since money is a big issue in this purchase, i was wondering if cutting down to the combodrive instead of the superdrive would be a smart choice. since i'm majoring in computer graphics, will a combodrive suffice? what are the major assetts that a superdrive possesses that a combodrive doesn't? i guess i am willing to put a little more money into getting the superdrive (but that will take me forever), but will it be worth the backlit keyboard? and if i do get the combodrive and save a little more money in the future, could i have my keyboard upgraded into a backlit?

    could i buy the combodrive and save a little money and call it a smart choice? basically, i just want to hear someone say that if money is a very big issue, the combodrive is still a good choice. *sigh* decisions decisions. HELP!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,744
    Specs:
    12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)
    The SuperDrive's sole purpose is to burn DVDs. The Combo drive reads and burns CDs, and reads DVDs; the SuperDrive adds the ability to burn DVDs. This is only important if you:
    - Frequently have to move/share/back up large (up to 4GB+) files.
    - Want to exchange home movies with friends/family who have DVD players
    or
    - Engage in DVD piracy
    I personally almost never use the DVD burning capability of my SuperDrive.

    The backlit keyboard cannot be added after purchase...your PowerBook either has it from the factory, or it doesn't. (Unless you don't mind drilling a few holes and putting in your own lights!)

  3. #3
    Joeytpg
    Guest
    well dude.....in MY personal case....money WAS a big issue, so i couldn't afford superdrive nor backlit, and believe me i'm VERy happy with this combo drive pbook!

    you won't regret it if you cannot buy the S.D.

  4. #4
    MoltenLava
    Guest
    You should definitely get the backlit keyboard. It's a cheap upgrade, and it can't be added later on.

    If you don't know whether you want a superdrive or not, you probably don't need it. If you do need it later on you can always get an external drive and attach it via firewire.

  5. #5
    Icarus
    Guest
    and the backlit keyboard just looks so damn cool. Oh, also very handy I think when you need to type a paper but your roomie needs their sleep.....yes?
    Though the glowing apple might keep them awake...

  6. #6
    Cloudane
    Guest
    what are the major assetts that a superdrive possesses that a combodrive doesn't?
    It writes DVDs (That is all)

    Unless you're going to be creating DVD movies on your course, there is absolutely no reason to buy a Superdrive IMO.

    Another note, I'm not sure how true this is with the most recent models but I read that the Superdrive will only write CDs at something like 8X whilst the combo will do 24X, so you'd actually be better off even though you'd also save a huge chunk of money.

    You can always buy a firewire DVD writer for any rare occasions you may need one anyway, and far cheaper than Superdrive too.

  7. #7

    hype.it's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2004
    Location
    China
    Posts
    738
    Specs:
    Dual 2.2GHz powered by AMD Opteron - *Sends G5 & 8Gb Ram to scrap heap* Yeah! finally switched BACK!
    Quote Originally Posted by MoltenLava
    You should definitely get the backlit keyboard. It's a cheap upgrade, and it can't be added later on.

    If you don't know whether you want a superdrive or not, you probably don't need it. If you do need it later on you can always get an external drive and attach it via firewire.
    Actually, regarding "backlit keyboard". You can buy it as a upgrade later on, but they won't part-ex your old keyboard and you'll be charged for extra for installation.

  8. #8
    daughter_anna
    Guest
    i think i might be leaning towards the superdrive since i'm definately still going to buy ram. did some calculating and the backlit keyboard IS a cheap upgrade. anyone else have any feedback pertaining to this?

    btw, how do you connect wirelessly? i have a cable modem, doesnt that only work for those who have dsl? *confused*

  9. #9
    MoltenLava
    Guest
    You want to buy superdrive since you'll definitely going to buy ram??

    I'm sorry, but I still don't think you need a superdrive.

    Your PowerBook will come with Airport Extreme built in. You can either buy Apple's Airport Express for $130 or so, or go to Fry's and pick up a generic 802.11g router for $50. They work with both cable modem and dsl.

    FWIW, I bought a 15" Powerbook with backlit keyboard and combo drive. I believe that combination is the best value.

  10. #10
    daughter_anna
    Guest
    what is the range on the airport express? (how far can it go) because my cable modem is on the first floor of my house and i want to go wireless so i can be online even if i'm on the second floor.

    and what is the airport extreme base station? MoltenLava, which one of these will do the job?

    thanks for the feedback everyone

  11. #11

    citystar2k's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location
    North Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    178
    Specs:
    12" 1.33 GHz PowerBook w/SuperDrive, 60GB HDD, 1.25G RAM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudane
    Another note, I'm not sure how true this is with the most recent models but I read that the Superdrive will only write CDs at something like 8X whilst the combo will do 24X, so you'd actually be better off even though you'd also save a huge chunk of money.
    The 8x Superdrive is available only on the PowerMacs, Powerbooks come with 4x Superdrive, plus Superdrive is capable of burning cd-r/cd-rw's at up to 24x speed.

  12. #12
    flonejek
    Guest
    The airport express has the same wireless capabilities as the airport extreme (range and stuff), but the airport extreme has a built in dial-up modem. The wireless range should be around 50 metres indoors (through double-brick walls and stuff), and up to 200 metres line of sight with no interference. I'd get the airport express coz its way cooler, and can act as a wireless print server (though the airport extreme can as well).

  13. #13
    Joeytpg
    Guest
    ok ok....a question: so the Airport Express is THE SAME as the Airport Extreme base station?? i mean...i can connect my DSL line in either one of em and use my pbook wireless for internet? ............

    i though that you needed the airport extreme base station to get the A. ex[ress to work...... but i don't need the two???

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