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OWC Has Optical Options for Your ‘Optical-Less’ Mac


Over recent years, Apple has slowly phased out optical drives from its Mac lineup. In fact, the non-Retina MacBook Pro is the only Mac that currently ships with an optical drive. And even if you have a MacBook Pro with an optical bay, you can choose to add a second drive in its place via the OWC Data Doubler with some models.

But owning a Mac without an internal optical drive or opting for more storage and performance with the OWC Data Doubler plus a second hard drive or SSD doesn’t mean you can’t still get the benefits from an optical drive. And luckily, OWC has the right solution for your optical needs!

There are a lot of ways owning an optical drive can make your digital life easier. Obviously, optical drives are great when it comes to making easy and affordable to back up files for long-term storage. But there are many other benefits such as installing disc-based software, ripping audio CDs instead of re-buying digitally, sending files without network access, or sending pictures and videos to family members for cheaper and more permanent access. And with Blu-ray disc capacities up to 128GB, you can fit a ton of data on a single disc.

With OWC’s range of high-performance internal and external optical drive upgrade/replacement solutions, you can burn CDs, DVDs and BD-R discs. You can even get the ultimate all-in-one for high capacity drive, media reader and Blu-ray optical drive with the miniStack MAX. And once you get your optical drive from OWC, we can show you how to burn your HD movies to Blu-ray disc using Toast and how to play Blu-ray movies on your Mac without converting them first!

So check out OWC’s internal, and portable and desktop external solutions and opt to bring optical back in to your digital life!

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  • Will I be able to run the OWC SSD firmware updater cd from this? I have an iMac 9,1 with Data Doubler and OWC Mercury Electra 3G 240 GB.

  • I have been using these optical drives from OWC for years both for myself as well as for others. I have bought both complete units and enclosures only into which I put my own drives. Most of the ones I have used have been IDE but I just bought a SATA unit and find it’s even faster than my IDE drives. Although my 2011 iMac has an internal optical drive I rarely use it as the externals are so much faster.

    These are great products.

  • People still use discs? ;-)

    I actually have an OWC optical drive enclosure. It has been sitting on the shelf UNUSED for over 2 years now.

    • You bet optical discs are still useful! We use single-sided blu-ray discs for backups — at the rate of about 2-3 discs per week. At about $0.35/disc (for about 23 GB of actual storage), it’s about the cheapest of the esily-long-enough-lasting media.

      BTW, I’ve been a long-time (over a decade) customer of Other World Computing (aka macsales, etc.) and they remain one of my primary “go to” stores.

      For burners, we use a pair of the burner cases pictured in this article (attached via FireWire 800, one via a ThunderBolt adapter). They both contain good ol’ Pioneer burners and work flawlessly (mostly use them via Toast) — one is approaching 2 years old and the other is about 1 year old.

      FYI, we gave up on the internal burners in Macs _many_ years ago. They tend to be very light duty, rather slow and not very reliable (too many “coasters” burned).

      E.G., if I rip music CDs via iTunes on my 3.4 GHz Core i7 27″ iMac using the internal optical reader/burner, I get a rate of 4-5x — and it basically “hangs” if there are any errors. However using any of the 4 external Pioneer burner/readers I have, including a 5-year old DVD-only burner, the burn rate is 15-17x and, using the external/Pioneer units, I’ve never had the process “hang” due to bad music-CD media.

  • there ARE plenty of IDE-to-USB and/or SATA converters out there….i have one that is over 4 years old & still works great for getting older drives (optical & HDD) to work with machines that no longer have IDE connectors…

  • I have 3 older Macs that are PPC and no longer run but the optical drives in them are fine. Why is there no longer an option for an external IDE to USB for those drives? All I see anymore are SATA external boxes and I’ve never even seen a SATA DVD drive in a Mac desktop.