I’ve got an old 36x CD drive that acts up sometimes. I would like to replace it. Right now I’m kinda interested in a CD-RW/DVD combo drive. Anybody ever used one of these? If so, any recommendations or warnings?
My recommendation would be not to get one.
If you have two drive bays free, then I’d get a DVD and a CDRW separately for two reasons:
It might very well be cheaper. I know you can get a CDRW for like 40-50 bucks these days from Lite-on or Pacific Digital. DVD is probably more like 100 right now I think. What’s the price of the combo?
They’re independent of one-another. If one fails, you only have to replace half of the pair.
So it’s not really any more expensive than some of the other 48x CD burners.
You can get a DVD Rom for like $50 too. You’re looking for both at around $100. Less, I’d wager, than a combo drive. Plus you’ve got some redundancy if one stops working. The only concern is how many IDE devices are you already using and will you have room for 2 more. Most motherboards will only support a total of 4 devices. Unless you have one with a built in raid controller in which case you can double that number. The best reason to get a combo would be if you already have 3 HDDs and don’t want to get a PCI ATA controller (or perhaps don’t have a free PCI slot either).
I’d go for two as well. Given that most games use crappy Safedisc copy protection these days you may find the game will need to be switched to the 2nd drive. If you only have one drive your stuffed unless you are a frequent visitor of www.gamecopyworld.com.
I’m not going to comment on whether you should go with one or two drives. However, if you decide to go with a combo drive, this one from LG is pretty good at $80 from Multiwave (retail box too). I have one and it’s been really nice, even though I’ve only burned one CD so far. The DVD playback is very good. A friend of mine has the slower version of the same drive (8x CD-R, etc). He swears by it and claims not to have ever had a bad burn with it.