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Superdrive: is it possible to remove it completely?


I have a Macbook Pro mid 2012. I'd like to lighten my laptop by switching to an SSD drive and.. remove superdrive.

Is it possible to do that? I mean, get rid of the whole superdrive without having any trouble.

Hope you can help me.

A. Marengo

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You do realize there is a limit of how much you can lighten your system by. If you find its getting too heavy for you to carry, you may want to look at getting a newer lighter weight system than trying to lessen this one by a few ounces.

  • A bare HD is about 4 Oz
  • A bare Optical drive is likewise about 3 Oz

As to swapping out the HD for a SSD while it does have its merits there is a bit of give and take here.

You gain a couple of ounces in weight and you gain in longer up time on battery and faster loading. But, you loose on storage space. If you need more storage you'll end up carrying an external drive and they often need power which can negate the weight and power saving you had in your vision.

As to taking out the optical drive, I don't think it offers enough gain here to take it out and then you need to think about the void it has created. An open slot will allow air and dirt to enter. The internal air flow was designed with the drive in place, you'll then need to close the slot with something.

I think you'll do better off getting an Air or the just announced MacBook you'll gain the weight saving due to its design from the get go than trying to lessen this one by the few ounces.

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I did the same on my late 2011 MacBook Pro 15'.

Many people say the enlightening process is not relevant, but it's wrong.

I'll give you my exact numbers:

MBP: 2555 g.

Super Drive: 127 g.

Stock Toshiba HD 500Gb: 103.5 g.

SanDisk Ultra II 240 Gb SSD: 36 g.

-------- Super Drive removed, and HD replaced with the SSD ----------

Final weight: 2360 g. (92% of the original weight)

Total reduction: 195 g. (8% lighter)

The most will depend on your SSD's weight but they are generally very light.

Not bad, considering the latest Retina MacBook Pro 2015 weighs 2040 g. (after 4 years of progress).

Note: I did not count the 3 screws I removed and the Super Drive connector (sort of a rubber cap).

As you can see, doing this operation is relevant, I personally feel the difference when I carry it around. Another big advantage of removing the Superdrive is getting rid of that annoying mechanical noise at startup, and allowing more internal volume for air circulation. Thanks to the SSD, when the fans are not spinning you will have a 100% silent machine.

If you really can't live without burning DvDs (I doubt so) you can get a $15 USB enclosure for the Superdrive you dismounted and make it external.


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