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Thread: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

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    DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    I'm getting a new system and doing my research. It will be a Dell. The tech helping me advises get a DVD RW. I've done a search and read all the posts, but some of them are pretty old so I need to ask the questions again, for today's technology.

    I want to be able to copy CDs. Plain old CDs bought at a store. Just make a copy, use it, put away the original. If the copy ever fails, make another copy from the original. These copies will be played on a stereo with a CD player. Nothing fancy. Will a DVD RW drive copy CDs? I don't have a DVD player and am not into downloading music or anything video.

    Then I want to be able to make backup data disks. You know, copy all my data, drivers, and downloaded applications to disk in case the hard drive fails. The data backup disk will only be used on my system. I won't be burning anything for anyone else to use.

    The Dell I'm "building" is the Dimension 4600. The "CD or DVD Drive" selections are pretty confusing. In fact, I gave up and checked the "Single Drive: 48x CD-RW Drive" choice. The other choices are "Single Drive: 48x CD-RW / DVD-ROM Combo Drive", "Single Drive: 8x DVD+RW Drive", and "Dual Drives: 8x DVD+RW Drive + 16x DVD-ROM Drive". A few choices say only "DVD-ROM".

    I just went back and took out all the "-'s" and "+'s" from everything but the quoted descriptions copied from the Dell site. Is there still something different about minuses and plusses in these drives? I'm willing to throw money at a DVD RW if it is the better choice and will handle CDs. What do youz think?

    Thanks,
    Kris <img src=/S/surrender.gif border=0 alt=surrender width=31 height=23>
    Kris

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    This site may shed some light on your predicament.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Hi Kris,

    ~to complement the excellent link posted by John~

    First things first. Any DVD writer is capable of creating a CD, using the correct medium of course.

    IMHO, a DVD+/- writer would be the sensible option. Considering you'd still be able to burn CDs as well as DVDs, it's also the most flexible option.

    Making copies of CDs is made far easier by having a second drive, even if just a plain old CD-ROM drive, although with prices being as low as they are it may be worthwhile investing the extra $10 or so to buy a CD-RW drive in case your other drive should ever fail. You can get away with using a single drive as both 'source' and 'destination', but obviously it's a lot quicker and smoother with two.

    As far as the DVD+ or DVD- debate goes, if you're worried about which to choose a dual-format burner may be the for the best. Doesn't seem to cost much more.

    You said that you've "...checked the "Single Drive: 48x CD-RW Drive" choice". Does this mean it's now too late to get a DVD writer drive installed at the time of ordering? If you want to buy one independently and feel like fitting it yourself, post back and I'm sure you'll find many offers of help to talk you through the process. Bare in mind, however, that opening the cover to your brand new Dell may invalidate the warranty <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>

    <img src=/S/baby.gif border=0 alt=baby width=15 height=15>

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Hi Marlowe and John,

    Thanks for the excellent link. Although I'm not sure I followed ALL of it, I did see some answers. No, it is not too late to make a better decision. I'm just "building" a system on the Dell site. Haven't ordered yet. Here are ALL the Dell choices:

    All DVD Drives include Cyberlink PowerDVD LE. All CD-RW drives shown below include Sonic RecordNow. All DVD+RW drive shown below include Sonic RecordNow and MyDVD LE.
    Single Drive: 16X DVD-ROM Drive [subtract $20]
    Single Drive: 48x CD-RW Drive (no charge)
    Single Drive: 48x CD-RW / DVD-ROM Combo Drive [add $39 or $1/month1]
    Single Drive: 8x DVD+RW Drive [add $100 or $3/month1]
    Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 48x CD-RW Drive [add $29]
    Dual Drives: 8x DVD+RW Drive + 16x DVD-ROM Drive [add $129 or $3/month1]

    Which one do you recommend? I am not one to crack the cover. Definitely not afraid to install and configure software, but hardware is not my thing. With this new system, I'm putting money into speed, memory, and hardware, the things I can't do myself.

    It doesn't look like they mean "dual format" (plus and minus) drives. Looks more like they are indicating "dual drives" as in you get two of them. Looks like I think I want a DVD RW drive and a CD RW drive but that choice is not available. Or maybe DVD RW and CD ROM, but that's not there either. Is the $129 choice really the best, just to copy a few music CDs and backup data?

    Thanks loads,
    Kris
    Kris

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Kris, I would go with your current selection (48XCD-RW). If you find at a later date that you absolutely can't live without a DVD drive, investigate and purchase a good multiformat DVD drive (even if you have to have it installed).
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Kris

    I got a Dell 8300 in February, and got a DVD-RW drive (Dell didn't do the "+" version at the time) and a DVD-ROM drive. This enables either CDs or DVDs to be read or written. For maximum backup/redundancy/cost, get two DVD-RW drives!

    This is what we get offered in the UK:

    48x/32x/48x/16x CDRW/DVD-ROM combo drive
    16x DVD-ROM & 48x/32x/48x CD-RW (+
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Personally I prefer having a DVD writer in a system wherever possible. I'm not sure how Dell's drives stack up, but I recently purchased a Plextor PX-708A drive and I absolutely love it. Being able to burn DVD media is a huge step forward, whether you use it for system backups or want to create home movie discs. With today's mongo-large hard drives, backing up to a rewritable DVD is a great way to protect your information at a reasonable cost. Pair a DVD writer with a second hard drive, and you've got an excellent backup solution. The hard drive can serve as a mirror of your data, and then periodically you can back up to a DVD to store the information offsite (or simply outside the case).

    I don't really see a need for two DVD drives unless you plan to start pirating movies, which of course is not highly recommended due to the fact that it's illegal. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> A standard CD drive should be plenty sufficient as a secondary optical drive, enabling you to copy from one disc tray to the other. There is not much software being released on DVD currently so being able to read and write to that format at the same time is not a very pressing issue. To be fair though, since all DVD drives can read CD media, having one just makes the system that much more versatile.
    -Mark

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    I really want to thank everyone for the advice, suggestions, and "training". I'm retiring in the fall and this system is meant to be my last major upgrade, since the bottom will be dropping out of my income. There's no hurry to do anything right away, but I'll have it done around the end of the summer. Hope Dell still has some decent discounts then. I'm keeping both of these recommendations in mind. If dollars will allow, I'll get the 2 drives. I've got to pay them 399 smackers for Office 2003 Pro!

    Thanks again!
    Kris
    Kris

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Kris,
    Not really on Office. Just about everybody can buy the Office Student/teachers edition at retail for $149 USD (or a little less if you find a sale). The retail stores almost never ask if you really qualify. Plus, the qualification can really be stretched to include almost anyone.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Hi Joe,
    I hope I'm wrong, but I believe that version of Office only has Word and Excel. I don't intend to use Outlook at home, but I need Access and PowerPoint. I could really get along with just Word and Access. Wish they would let us mix and match so we could save some money.
    Thanks,
    Kris
    Kris

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    Re: DVD-RW vs CD-RW

    Kris,
    The student/teacher edition contents are the same as the standard edition: Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Word. If you must use Access you're correct about needing the Professional Edition. Don't know how this would fly but according to the MS site you can get the Access upgrade for $109 USD list. That plus the $149 USD for the student/teach edition is still cheaper than the upgrade price for the Pro edition. You also don't get Publisher, Business Contact Manager, and support for XML & IRM content creation and authoring. But if you don't need that stuff you potentially save $70 USD (at list prices).

    Joe
    Joe

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