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PC Buyers Guide - October 2002

By: TweakTown Staff | Guides | Posted: Oct 12, 2002 4:00 am

DVD Drives


There's no point 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, which all sell for a very reasonable price. I recently got a recommendation for the Asus E616 DVD-ROM, which reads DVD's at 16x, CD's at 48x, and has a 512KB buffer. The thing that stood out about this drive is the fact that it is relatively easy to reset the region counter on the drive, which means you can play DVD's from all regions and number of times on the drive. But because we are very law abiding and always purchase the DVD's we watch, we wouldn't need that feature would we?


Other good brands of DVD drives include Sony, Pioneer and Toshiba.


- Find the best price on Asus E616 16x/48x DVD Drive!




- LiteOn 48x12x48x IDE CD-RW (LTR 40125S)


Times on list: One


LiteOn's website for this product



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


This LiteOn CD-RW has 48x (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 AU$135 (about US$70 and take a bit more away because the computer companies like the raise the price a bit). With the extra money, go and buy more RAM, hard drive space, or save the money, or even better, send it to me.


- LiteOn 40x12x48x IDE CD-RW (LTR 32123S)


Times on list: One


LiteOn's website for this product



This drive is exactly the same as the one above, except it has 40x (Z-CLV) recording, 12x(CLV) re-writing and 48x (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 2 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 to shabby.


Again the real selling point of this drive is the price. In Australia they are less than $110, which makes them a hard drive to pass up.


- Find the best price on LiteOn burners!


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