Need advise


OSNN Addict
18 Dec 2001
I currently have a CD-RW,and a DVD-ROM installed in my pc,I would like to add a DVD Recordable drive,what make should I go for?and out of the two I have installed,which one should I ditch?and which IDE channel should I put each piece on(jumpers etc).
PS.What speed and formats should I be looking at.
Why not get a USB DVD Recorder? Then you can keep all the drives and not worry about IDE channels..

If the USB route is not an option, I would ditch the CD-RW since almost every DVD Recorders I see can also write to regular CD-RW.

As for channels, that will have to be up to you. Regualr IDE (as I recall) has two channels with two devices (master/slave) per channel. I believe that each channel can only talk to one device at a time. So, if you have a DVD and HD attached on the same channel, your file IO between the two would be slower than if you had them attached to seperate channels. By the same token, if you have the two DVD drives attached to the same channel, your DVD to DVD copies will be slower and may require more buffer space. I don't know how valid this is since I only use a DVD and a HD on seperate channels on my current system.

Speed and formats.. hmm...

speed: how much money do you have?
formats: follow this links:
It depends on the quality of the drives. What makes and models?

I'd drop the dvd-rom drive, keep the cdrw. The cdrw drive will probably be faster and of higher quality than that in the dvdrw.
When I got my DVD+RW drive I dropped my CD+RW drive and kept my DVD-ROM as it reads DVD's faster then the DVD burner does and thats more important to me then burning @ like 52x or something. :) Also I would put both the DVD+RW and DVD-ROM on the same IDE channel and then HD(s) on the other. Also you'll probably have to make your DVD+RW master (my TDK said to do this anyhoo).
Id ditch the DVDROM and keep the CDRW for burning and reading standard cds. The DVDRW can play dvds and the speed doesnt mater as much (5x, 12x, etx) I have a 5x on my comp and it plays DVDs fine, no problems.

Thanks for prompt reply people,my CD-R Drive is a BTC BCE48161M(48x16x48),the DVD-ROM is Pioneer,I think I will go for Pioneer again(£120 to spend)but still undecided on what drive to drop,pros and cons for both in your replies.
if i were to buy now, it would be the plextor 8x, it has the best reviews. as far has hooking them up, id ditch the cd burner. as far as what bus and channel, it doesnt matter now days. with the 80 pin cables and dma, you can hook it anywhere you want.


I think i would wait until this summer for the new dual layer drives to come out.
DVD Burner

Thanks for the reply Toretto,can you elaborate on dual layered drives?
A dual layered disc is holds more data. (almost) All the commercial DVD movies you buy from Walmart are dual layer disc.

Take for example DVD quality sound and video. For most DVD movies, 20 minutes of movie time takes up roughly 1 GB of data. So for a 2 hour movie we are using about 6 GB of data.

Now, you you look at most common DVD recorders (DVD-RW/+RW), you notice they only can record 4.7 GB of data. How do movie houses get 6GB of data if you can only record 4.7?

Well, the answer is because they use two layers.

Today, CD's and DVD Recordable media are single layer. They look (over simplified) something like this.

--------- <--Top Label
******* <--Reflective Layer (contains the bumps that hold the data)
--------- <--polycarbonate

That single reflecive layer is what the laser in the drive focuses on and holds that 4.7 GB of data.

In a dual layer format, it addes a layer and looks somewhat like this:

--------- <--Top Label
******* <--Reflective Layer (contains the bumps that hold the data)
--------- <-- Polycarbonte
******* <--semi-transparant Reflective Layer
--------- <--polycarbonate

They add a semt-transparent (translucent, whatever!) layer and basically double the capacity of the disk (it's actually less than double since the translucent layer can't hold quite as much data - I think the dual layer discs can hold 8.5 GB of data). The laser in the drive needs to know how to focus on two spots. Thus you need a drive that supports the dual layer format. Obviously you will also need to buy blank dual layer DVD media to use both layers. You are still supposed to be able to use the single layer media of today on the dual layer drives of tomorrow but will only get 4.7 GB on them.

Last I heard, some dual layer drives are supposed to ship this spring or summer. Should you wait till then or buy one now? Depends. You can also wait for BluRay format drives.. (i'm too tired to explain BluRay - go look it up on google). But by the time BluRay is about to come out, the next thing will be talked about.. It's like way back when i was like.. should I buy that 486dx2 now or wait for the Pentiums to come out. Then I considered going to the P90? naw, the 100's are coming out soon.. then the 100's came out and I was like, naw, I'll wait for the P133. Then the 133's came out and I was like, hmm.. PPro200's.... *drool*, then when those came out, I was waiting for the pentium II's. Then when those came out, I was waiting for the AMD K6's.. then it was the P3's.. and the Athelons.. until finally i looked at myself still running my 386sx20 measuring my speed in Mhz while the world around me had advanced past 1 GHz and thought.. man, I'm a sad.. sad.. fool.

Ugh, it's late and i'm rambling.. gotta go to bed.
Dual Layered

Fitz,thanks for the discription,brilliant.
Plextor or LiteOn DVDRW Drives are great. Get the dual format + - drives.
Also, lose the CDRW drive because the DVDRW can do the same thing. Because if you have the DVD reader and the DVDRW drive, you can straight copy DVDs.
Unless you find that you want a DVD reader on another computer.
I would strongly recommend the liteon drives, both myself and a friend have liteon drives - i have the 812s and he has the 811 and they perform fautllessly, good dvd speed and 40x cd is fastest around on a dvd-r drive - both giving very good burn quality. A snip at 70 pounds too for my 812!
Right people,just bought a LiteOn drive,going to ditch cd-r,will it be a straight replacement job or do I have to uninstall any drivers etc.
xp does all drivers whatnot for you so shouldn't be harder then taking out old drive and then reading how the new drive would like its jumper set (as well as other drive) and then hooking it up and away you go .. xp will take care of the rest. :)
Admiral Michael said:
I myself am going to wait til LG comes out with a dual layer drive.
Hmm.. dual layer is probably gonna be hella expensive and so is the media I'm sure, but yeah would be nice to have one. :)
Admiral Michael said:
I dont need a DVDR right now, I can wait. Rather wait and get the better one.
Yeah probably a good idea, like service packs, best to wait a bit. ;)

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