Combo drive or separate readers/writers?

  OldNick 20:50 01 Jan 2006

I'm looking at replacing the Samsung Combo CD/RW + DVD/R drive in my 5-yr old Dell Dimension 4100. Should I replace with another Combo drive (perhaps one that writes to DVDs as well as CDs) or perhaps 2 drives - one as a multi-purpose reader and one dedicted to burning. I've heard people recommend the latter but don't know why?


  SG Atlantis® 21:14 01 Jan 2006

having one read and one writer.

By using the rom to play disks will help extend the life of the writer, ie you won't be using it all the time, so it won't fail as quickly.

Personally drives are so cheap now, I have two dvd writers.

  ade.h 21:20 01 Jan 2006

I prefer two drives in a desktop, but that is purely for convenience; I often find myself needing to use both drives. I have a all-format combo drive on my laptop and I'm perfectly happy with that. As it's a laptop drive AND a combo, it's CD speeds are not cutting edge, but does that matter? Not really.

I can't envisage any benefit from a performance point of view. If you're one of those people who use Nero for CD burning and you do CD to CD copies, then making an image first and burning from that is apparently more reliable than on-the-fly copying.

I never have the need to make duplicates of discs though. I would not think that it's something that anyone would do regularly unless you make your money from pirating software. And I'm assuming that you don't do that.

  ade.h 21:22 01 Jan 2006

Given the suspect build quality of some of the CD drives that I see, I think SG has a point! My oldest drive is a 7yr old Pioneer DVD-Rom; I would not necessarily expect a new drive to last as long.

  GuZ><0r 21:57 01 Jan 2006

I have a DVD-rom and a DVD-rw drive in my computer and I am glad I chose that. It can make life alot easier for some things. Also if you only have a combo drive and it is used alot, then they can quickly break, aminly because they are not as robust, or so I'm told.

Go for what ever you can afford OldNick, and good luck.

  OldNick 23:24 01 Jan 2006

Am going to go with another combo to kick off with, but as SG points out, CD drives are pretty cheap now so I may well add a second drive for writing (probably CD-R only) in the not too distant future.
Thanks for your comments all


  GuZ><0r 23:42 01 Jan 2006

Before you comit to a certain combo drive, shop around. You can pick up a DVD-RW drive for £30 easily enough.

  Totally-braindead 01:57 02 Jan 2006

I would go with 2 drives, the reason is pretty simple. If one fails you can use the other one till you get a replacement so you can still use the computer. If you have one CD device and it fails you can still use whatever is on the computer but are unable to load up anything new till you get a replacement. Sorry for the bad English but its late, since I seem to be writing gibberish I think its time to go to bed.

  ade.h 15:46 02 Jan 2006

Not gibberish at all! In fact, remarkably lucid for 2am, 26hrs into the new year!

  Stuartli 16:29 02 Jan 2006

A rewriter should be used purely for burning - lifespan is below that of a ROM drive (see the manufacturers' MFU figures for proof.

A CD-RM (or preferably DVD-ROM) should be used for installing software, watching DVDs or listening to audio CDS. Their lifespan is somewhat greater and they are also cheaper to replace.

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