Optical Drive Price

In the early days of computers, storage was calculated in megabytes and most systems relied on floppy drives. With the rise of hard drives, people could store more data but it ws not very portable. CDs brought digital audio but also the means to provide high capacity portable storage that made it easy to share large amount of data and easy to install applications. DVDs expanded on that by bringing movies and TV shows and capacities well beyond what hard drives could even store. There are the DVD-ROM drive, BD-ROM drive, Blu-ray Disc combo (BD-ROM/DVD±RW/CD-RW) drive, and Blu-ray Disc writer drive are available for PCs. Some optical drive price listed below with brands and models.

Internal DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
Brand & Model Features Price
  Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black) Allows permanently delete the data on rewritable discs
Power saving drive
It is a revision of 90-D4CHVV-UB1080
Drive Type: Internal DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
Write:DVD+R/-R: 24X DVD+RW/-RW: 8X/6X DVD+R/-R DL: 12X
Read:DVD+R/-R(Single): 16X DVD+R/-R DL: 12X DVD+RW/-RW(Single): 12X
Interface: SATA
Random Access Time: DVD – 150ms; CD – 150ms
 

Around $20

  LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B Half-height Internal Super Multi Drive, Max. 24X DVD-R Write Speed
CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW/RAM/ +R/RW +/-R DL M-DISC/+M SL read and write compatible, CD Family and DVD-ROM read compatible.
SATA interface
 

Around $20

  Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive IHAS124-14 DVD+/-RW Drive
DVD+R: 24X
DVD-ROM:16x
 

Around $20

 

External DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive
Brand & Model Features Price
  Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W Optical Drive 429-AAUX USB Slim DVD +/- RW, plug & play disc burning and disc playing solution.
14mm, 200g, Read speed:24x (CD) / 8x (DVD)
Around $25

  USB-C Superdrive External Slot-in DVD/CD Rewriter USB External DVD/CD Drive Burner for latest Mac Pro/MacBook Pro/ASUS U306UA/ASUS/DELL Latitude with USB-C Port (Silver) Plug & Play. Multi Support: CD, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD±R, DVD±R DL, DVD±RW and DVD-RAM, strong error correcting ability, anti-shock and noise reduction technology, low power consumption. MacBook Pro/MacBook which has USB Type C.
Has 4 colours: Silver,Grey,Golden,Rose Gold.
 

Around $65

  ASUS ZenDrive Ultra Slim Mac Compatible External DVD Optical Drive with M-Disc support  (SDRW-08U7M-U/BLK/G/AS) 8X DVD write speed, easy-to-use backup solution.
ultra-slim, 13mm form factor, Android devices
Windows and Mac compatible
Around $25

WikiPedia : In computing, an optical disc drive (ODD) is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives can only read from certain discs, but recent drives can both read and record, also called burners or writers. Compact discs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives. Optical disc drives that are no longer in production include CD-ROM drive, CD writer drive, combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) drive, and DVD writer drive supporting certain recordable and rewritable DVD formats (such as DVD-R(W) only, DVD+R(W) only, DVD-RAM only, and all DVD formats except DVD-R DL). As of 2015, DVD writer drive supporting all existing recordable and rewritable DVD formats is the most common for desktop PCs and laptops.

The most important part of an optical disc drive is an optical path, placed in a pickup head (PUH),  usually consisting of a semiconductor laser, a lens for focusing the laser beam, and photodiodes for detecting the light reflected from the disc’s surface.

Initially, CD-type lasers with a wavelength of 780 nm (within the infrared) were used. For DVDs, the wavelength was reduced to 650 nm (red color), and for Blu-ray Disc this was reduced even further to 405 nm (violet color).

Two main servomechanisms are used, the first to maintain the proper distance between lens and disc, to ensure the laser beam is focused as a small laser spot on the disc. The second servo moves the pickup head along the disc’s radius, keeping the beam on the track, a continuous spiral data path. Optical disk media are ‘read’ beginning at the inner radius to the outer edge.

In CD drives initially equal to 150 KiB/s. It was a feature important for streaming audio data that always tend to require a constant bit rate. But to ensure no disc capacity was wasted, a head had to transfer data at a maximum linear rate at all times too, without slowing on the outer rim of disc. This led to optical drives—until recently—operating with a constant linear velocity (CLV). The spiral groove of the disc passed under its head at a constant speed. The implication of CLV, as opposed to CAV, is that disc angular velocity is no longer constant, and the spindle motor needed to be designed to vary its speed from between 200 RPM on the outer rim and 500 RPM on the inner.

Later CD drives kept the CLV paradigm, but evolved to achieve higher rotational speeds, popularly described in multiples of a base speed. As a result, a 4× drive, for instance, would rotate at 800-2000 RPM, while transferring data steadily at 600 KiB/s, which is equal to 4 × 150 KiB/s.

For DVDs, base or 1× speed is 1.385 MB/s, equal to 1.32 MiB/s, approximately nine times faster than the CD base speed. For Blu-ray drives, base speed is 6.74 MB/s, equal to 6.43 MiB/s.

Optical drives, that can read and write CDs, DVDs, and sometimes Blu-ray discs, have been an important part of the PC universe for a long time. But there’s less and less need for them. I haven’t received software on discs in years—and in my job, I have to look a lot of software. I download it all from the Internet. Most users download and stream music and movies these days rather than buy them on a shiny five-inch disc.

PC manufacturers have good reasons not to include the drives. Unlike CPUs and SSDs, optical drives can’t shrink much. They therefore add bulk to laptops, and nobody wants a bulky laptop.

But in my opinion, they shouldn’t disappear entirely. We need ways to access older media. And because they’re read-only, CDs and DVDs just might prove in the long run to be an excellent archival format—if you use the right discs. But that will only be the case if drives remain available.

Optical drives have other advantages. Some programs, such as VeraCrypt, still require them for emergency boot tools. I still occasionally get music on CDs—as gifts or when I buy them directly from the artist at a concert. And when I do get an audio CD, the first thing I want to do with it is rip it to MP3s.

But what if you want a small, light laptop and an optical drive? Make the drive detachable. You can buy an external optical drive for less than $40, and use it only when you’re at home. That’s what I do.

As touched on already, CD, DVD, and Blu-ray make up the three types of physical disc media one can use on a PC or home entertainment system. This media can be relied on for system backups, with the ability to store such objects off-site, not to mention music and film are still distributed on CD and DVD, respectively. Also, not everyone has a 100MB connection to the outside world for stable streaming.

CDs came first, slowly replaced by DVDs for storage aside from music. Blu-ray followed with even more capacity, killing off both DVD and its successor, HD-DVD. When it comes to drives, you have a few options available:

  • CD/DVD rewriter.
  • Blu-ray rewriter.
  • BD-XL rewriter.

Speeds at which drives are able to read and write data to and from a disc depend on the format, the model, and branding. To keep things relatively simple for consumers, manufacturers may not list all format speeds, but this is definitely worth researching if you plan to use a Blu-ray drive for not only Blu-ray discs but also DVDs.

We know there are the different type of drives, but which is the best option for your PC?

CD or DVD

It’s rather difficult to pick up a new CD drive, but to be honest DVD drives are affordable so it really isn’t an issue. DVD drives are not only able to play and write to DVD media, but also CDs. The main difference between CDs and DVDs is the size of available storage. With a CD, you’ll get around 700MB at the most. A DVD, on the other hand, will be able to hold just shy of 5GB (4.7GB) worth of data.

A huge increase in available storage was driven by the need for physical media to house HD movies. This also allows for vastly more content to be stored on the discs, making them ideal for smaller system backups. DVDs can be single- or dual-layered, with the latter supporting up to 8.5GB of data. Not all players and drives will be able to access the dual-layered discs, so be sure to check before parting with any money. It’s easy to check, simply watch out for “DVD+R DL” or “DVD-R DL.”

If you need to throw together a physical package containing a bunch of important files or media, DVD is the way to go unless you have more than around 10GB, whereby Blu-ray would make more sense. Most games of today are also still released on DVD for PCs, which opens up an avenue of physical video game purchases. (Fun fact: Grand Theft Auto V is so big the physical PC version requires a total of seven DVD discs!)

Pros:Optical drive price

  • Cheap.
  • Support HD media.

Cons:

  • Don’t support Blu-ray.
  • Maximum storage capacity of 8.5GB.

Optical drive prices for internal DVD drives, which can installed inside a PC, will set you back around $19. As for external units, you’ll have to pay slightly more for the casing, which will increase the price to around $27.

Blu-ray

Blu-ray was developed and launched to tackle the issue of even more capacity being needed for higher quality video. 128GB of data can be stored on a single disc, making it a versatile means of storage. While Blu-ray media isn’t supported on DVD drives and is not backward compatible with DVD players, it is possible to load up and write to both CDs and DVDs with a Blu-ray drive.

It can get rather confusing with the differences between each format but note that a Blu-ray drive or player can play anything, while DVD drives cannot load up Blu-ray discs. Finally, there are “combo drives” that can not only read and write to Blu-ray discs and read CD and DVDs but also have the ability to write to the older formats. This is the best option if you plan to read and write to different disc formats, though these drives are slightly more expensive.

Much like DVDs, Blu-ray also has more than a single layer option. There are older single layered discs (25GB), dual-layer (50GB), triple layer (100GB) and finally quadruple layer (128GB). The latter two are available only for BD-XL classified drives. Generally speaking, discs with the Blu-ray logo will be more than capable of handling a full Windows system backup, as well as a vault for personal files. Consoles generally use Blu-ray discs now to house games that are forever growing in size.

Pros:

  • Increased storage (up to 128GB).
  • Support for higher-definition media.
  • Can read and write to CDs and DVDs.

Cons:

  • More expensive.
  • Blu-ray not supported on DVD drives or players.

When it comes to actually buying a Blu-ray PC drive, they are fairly expensive, setting the purchaser back $50 and beyond, depending on features and speed support. We’ll highlight below an internal LG Blu-ray drive that will be able to handle up to 575.44 MB/s (16x) with BD-XL (128GB) Blu-ray discs. It essentially supports the highest capacity of Blu-ray (excluding Ultra HD Blu-ray) and will be super-fast.

An external USB optical drive can be purchased for as little as $15 for those of us who still use them on occasion, and I honestly believe the advantages of leaving them out of modern laptops outweigh the disadvantages.

First of all, internal burners are less expensive; however, they are not portable, require installation and use up an IDE connection. There is some debate over which type is faster, but the speed differences, if any, are negligible. A bigger concern is how the burner and computer are connected.

An external drive transfers data either through a USB 2.0 or 1.1 or FireWire port. So, before buying anything it is important to know what connections the computer already has or what could be added. Although most burners are USB 1.1 backwards compatible, this type of port is outdated and will transfer data much slower than the 2.0 version or FireWire (or IEEE 1394). If the computer does not have any of these ports, a USB 2.0, FireWire, or SATA port can be added to a desktop for less than $50.

Although external burners are more expensive they are portable. Most burners use an external power source and leave IDE connections inside the computer open for other things. This also prevents the computer’s power from being taxed during use.

External DVD burners can be moved from computer to computer or often between a laptop and a desktop.

One additional advantage to an external burner is some computers have problems staying cool when a new device is added, an external burner with an aluminum case generally keeps cool on its own.

Commonly, there are only four IDE connections in your tower, so occupying one for an internal drive may be a deciding factor. You may need to use it for other devices.

Please Note: No matter how inexpensive a single layer burner may be it, is always better to select a burner that can work with dual layers if working with video. Secondly, buffer and underrun protection is important, do not skimp on these features either.

Before purchasing a burner, review the following questions:

  • What kind of port does my computer have?
  • Do I need the burner to be portable?
  • Am I going to upgrade my computer soon?

Additionally, not directed towards internal or external, but regarding burners in general:

  • What kind of media do I want to work with – CDs, DVDs, DVD-RAM, etc?
  • What kind of multi-media software do I need – video, audio or photo editing?
  • Is the burner compatible with the burning software I want to use – DVD Cloner III, 1Click, Clone, etc?

If you have decided that an external is a good choice for your burning needs, see our External DVD Burner Side-by-Side Comparison to quickly find one that fits your requirements.

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