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PC Buyers Guide - 29th April 2002 - DVD and Burner Drives

When it comes to buying new hardware for your beloved system, those who aren't entirely up-to-date on all the latest news or what's Hot or Not often need a bit of guidance to make an informed decision on their all important purchases. In what will be a guide which is updated every two weeks by our newest writer Nick Swan, we present you with the first installment of our PC Buyers Guide.

| Guides | Posted: Apr 29, 2002 4:00 am

DVD Drives

 

There's no point in buying a plain CD-ROM drive now, as DVD drives have fallen in price, and have a 40x CD read speed which is just below the 52x most CD-ROM drives have. Movies are now being released on DVD, which means you can watch them on your PC. If you have a separate DVD player, you should still get a PC DVD player. Some PC games and applications are being released on DVD because they can hold way more data than a normal CD *Thinks of his copy of Commando's 2 which came with three(!) CD's* .

 

There are a lot of quality DVD drives on the market at the moment, but one that stands out is the Toshiba SD-M1612. It reads at 16x, reads CD's at 48x, can read DVD-RAM disks, has a 512KB buffer, has an access time of 85ms and is tray loading.

 

 

Other good brands of DVD drives include Sony and Pioneer.

 

- Find the best price on Toshiba SD-M1612 DVD drive!

 

Burners

 

- LiteOn 40x12x48x IDE CD-RW (LTR 40125S)

 

 

Not too long ago, CD-RW and CD-R drives were hellishly expensive and relatively slow. Times have changed and it's now very quick and easy to make those "backups" of your important software.

 

This LiteOn CD-RW has 40x (Z-CLV) recording, 12x (CLV) re-writing, and 48x (CAV) reading. It supports RAW DAO 96 mode, which lets you burn what was previously unburnable, such as SafeDisk 2. The drive also comes with SMART-BURN buffer underrun to avoid coasters, supports ATA-33, has a 2MB buffer and is tray loading. While the drives' performance is slightly behind other drives on the market, the margin is very, very small.

 

So why does it get recommended as the top of the line burner? Its price is so low that it's impossible to pass up. I have seen these for sale in Australia for less than AUD$300 (about US$150, and take a bit more away because the computer companies like to raise the price a bit). With the extra money, go and buy more RAM, hard drive space, or save the cash.

 

- LiteOn 32x12x40x IDE CD-RW (LTR 32123S)

 

 

This drive is exactly the same as the one above, except it has 32x (Z-CLV) recording, 12x (CLV) re-writing and 40x (CAV) reading. Obviously the performance will be lower, but surprisingly the difference is very small. One thing to note is these drives use the Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) writing method, which means the CD, gets written to at different speeds at different stages. On this drive the first two minutes are at 16x, then the next ten at 20x then 26 minutes at 24x and the rest at 32x. If you write to the whole CD, you get an average speed of 26x; not too shabby.

 

Again the real selling point of this drive is the price. In Australia they are less than $200, which makes them a hard drive to pass up.

 

- Find the best price on LiteOn burners!

 

Further Reading: Read and find more Guides content at our Guides reviews, guides and articles index page.

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