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CD-ROM Drives                                    Back Next


You will need a CD type device of some kind.  CD devices are known as OPTICAL STORAGE DEVICES.

SPEED:  This is measured by the rate the device reads (or writes) data compared to real time.  Typically, the faster the read speed, the smoother the operation of the drive.  In writing operations a slower drive can test your patience.  Speed is expressed by using the "X" sign.  A "24X" CD-ROM for instance, or a "16X" DVD drive.

CD-ROM:  These are read-only drives, the basic unit.  Don't waste your money on anything slower than 24X.

Optical drives come in internal and external versions.


CD-RW:  These can read and write to CD-RW or CD-R media, and really come in handy for things like data back up.  Compared to floppy disk or even ZIP disk a CD-Recordable provides a monstrous amount of instant back up.  Floppy = 1.44 MB.  ZIP 100 = 100 MB.  CD-R = at least 650 MB.  THAT IS A LOT OF FLOPPIES!  Remember, that you can only write to a CD-R disc once.  For rewriting data you will need a CD-RW, or CD-Rewritable.  The speed of these drives is expressed by three speeds combined.  Example "24X12X32X" means that this CD-RW drive writes data at 24 times real time, re-writes at 12 times, and reads at 32 times.  If you wanted to use this drive to copy a 60 minute CD it would take about three minutes or so.

DVD:  These are great for movies!  Many DVD movies come with features that can only be viewed with a PC DVD drive.

DVD-R/RW:  The ultimate in removable storage, DVD-R disc come in sizes from 4 to 18 GB!  You can also make your own DVD movies with the correct software and hardware.  Check these out carefully before choosing yours.  There are several different types out there right now.


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