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To Dock or Not To Dock - Optical Drive ?s

X230-X280, X390 Series
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myxomop
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To Dock or Not To Dock - Optical Drive ?s

#1 Post by myxomop » Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:55 pm

Hello TSC,

I am the owner of a X230 which refuses to quit. I will replace it, someday, with an X330. Until then, I'm considering getting a dock, both for the increased # of ports, and for the use of an Ultraslim optical drive. The use of the optical drive will be for low-volume archival purposes. AccurateRip includes the Ultraslims on their list of approved drives (http://www.accuraterip.com/driveoffsets.htm), but that's just a base criterion among what seem like several other important factors. One such factor that has come up in my research thus far is the drive's chipset, with some being far superior to others (RENESAS, Sanyo = good, MTK = bad). I'm wondering if anyone here has extensive enough experience with/knowledge of the Ultraslim optical drives to comment on the chipsets they use, and their overall fitness for use in light-duty archival applications. Note: I am far more interested in accuracy than speed (AccurateRip will cap drive speeds to meet accuracy requirements), and for a drive's ability to read a wide variety of disc types. If an external drive (whether truly external or an internal drive housed in a separate enclosure) is far and away the better choice, I will go in that direction, and perhaps scrap the dock idea altogether. If that ends up being the case, I'm open to suggestions for ideal optical drives, though that question may be better asked in a different forum.

Many Thanks in Advance,

-newmy51
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Re: To Dock or Not To Dock - Optical Drive ?s

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:02 am

If your only 'need' is an optical drive, why not get an external USB DVD-burner?
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myxomop
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Re: To Dock or Not To Dock - Optical Drive ?s

#3 Post by myxomop » Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:06 pm

That's been a consideration. It depends on if an external one would be "far and away the better choice," as already stated in the OP. Also already stated: the optical drive is *not* my only need. Expanded USB ports is another. It would also be nice to have all of that functionality contained within the same "footprint," so to speak, of the X230, rather than have a bunch of things dangling off of it connected via USB cables.
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Re: To Dock or Not To Dock - Optical Drive ?s

#4 Post by mikemex » Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:17 pm

A dock would definitely be nicer and you can get them for next to nothing nowadays. Still, from an economic point of view, external stuff offers more re-usability in case you replace the machine or want to share it with another.

Myself, I don't like USB optical drives very much. They are inherently asynchronous (unlike internal SATA stuff) so they are prone to certain problems. Also, USB emulation seems to never work properly so booting from USB drives for anything important is typically out of the question.
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Re: To Dock or Not To Dock - Optical Drive ?s

#5 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:47 am

Since you are talking about having the optical drive, I assume you specifically refer to getting the Ultrabase Series 3, since the other docking solutions for this system (Series 3 Port Replicator, Mini-Dock, Mini-Dock Plus) do not have the Ultrabay.

The Ultrabase is nice - it provides an additional display output, and USB as well; however, note that all USB ports in the Ultrabase are limited to 2.0 speed.
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