by Racey Carpenter
Buying an optical drive is a lot simpler than it was just a few months ago. Today’s drives provide the user with speed and flexibility. If your thinking of buying a new drive as an upgrade or building a new computer you should rest assured that this will be one of the easier aspects of your project.
Like with any hardware upgrade you will need to determine your needs. Will you be watching DVD’s, recording CD’s, making home movies to send to the family? Well today’s drives can do everything so don’t worry.
There are three basic drives. First is the CDRW commonly known as a CD burner and will be the least expensive. Burner simply means the ability to write data onto a disc. Next is the combo drive, a CD burner that will play DVD’s but not record DVD’s. Finally there is the super drive (DVD-RW) that will record and play both CD’S and DVD’s but hits the pocketbook a little harder than the others.
DVD-+RW are the recommended drives for data storage/transfer and are sold with almost all new PC’s. These drives are getting faster everyday and are currently posting very high read and write speeds. One aspect of the current DVD burners is the possibility of writing in dual layer mode (r9). The discs for dual layer mode are much more expensive than regular DVDR's but have the ability to essentially double the storage of the 4.7 gig DVDR. Another aspect of DVD burners is the plus and minus associated with the discs, for example DVD+R and DVD-R. This is not that important and you should not worry about the differences when purchasing a drive as both discs will work with any DVD drive. It is noted that DVD+R seems to be running away as the defacto discs used and may be a better choice when purchasing the discs.
Installing the Drive is as easy as taking the old one out and plugging in the new one with the same cords. Depending on your case you may need a small screwdriver to undue the screws on the sides but that’s it. Good Luck and if your unsure go for the DVD Burner, it will be worth the few extra dollars.
CD DVD Burner Reviews: