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Optical Drives and their types
With many computer components coming down in price, it is now affordable to get that great optical drive that you'd been looking at for a year. Not only are drives getting cheaper, but the technology is getting better, allowing for bigger entertainment and better quality for that DVD or CD. Optical drives now come in a variety of flavors, like internal, external, light scribe, and now those that play Blu-ray discs.
Internal Drives - internal drives are basically those that are within your computer. They sit within a bay slot in the computer case and the opening is usually at the top of the case. On a laptop, they are usually on the right hand side of the computer.
External Drives - external drives are those that sit outside of a computer case or laptop. They function just as an internal drive, but these are usually connected by a USB cord and are portable.
Light Scribe - light scribe is a technology that allows for users to make CD/DVD labels directly on the disc itself. This eliminates the need to use the stick on labels.
Slim - slim drives are just that; slimmer drives. these drives are mostly for either portable USB or for mini ATX computer cases and motherboards.
Blu Ray - Blu-ray is the new media to supersede the standard DVD and is making waves everywhere. There are now options not only on buying the drives, but for new computers, the option is between a standard DVD drive or the Blu-ray.
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Selecting an optical drive for your computer does require knowing what type of things you want to do with it. Most newer computers will have a standard DVD-ROM drive, that allows for the installation of software or games. If this is the type of drive you're looking for, especially if replacing a CD-ROM, these drives are actually very affordable, the minimum being about $19.95 or $29.95.
If you're looking to make CDs or DVDs, then you'll need to look for drives that offer Read and Write abilities (R or RW). The difference between a regular ROM drive and that of a RW is that you can write to a disc (like if you're using it to back up your files or you're making a mix CD), while ROM drives only allow you to read. There are a number of ways to check out different prices for different drives. For example you can easily find prices for computer DVD RW Cd disk drives using these two methods:
Online Method - usually buying online is cheaper as there are deals that go on either every day or every month. The most popular places are Tiger Direct, New Egg, and MWave. For Blu-ray optical drives, the prices at Tiger Direct start at $59.99 and go all the way up to $129.99; regular DVD-ROM drives start at $19.99 and go up to $89.99, while their external drives begin at $29.99 and go up to $129.99. Their prices for light scribe drives start at $49.99 and go up to $119.99. Tiger Direct usually have instant savings deals on various items on the site. New Egg's drives begin at $18.99, while MWave starts at $19.49.
Retail Method - if you want that optical drive right now, then taking a trip up to your local electronics store works. Best Buy, as the largest chain, has their variety of drives beginning at $49.99 and going all the way up to $299.99. These include dual layer, externals, and regular ROM drives.
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Finding common prices and good deals on an optical drive is easy once you do the research. Be sure to check deals both online and within a local store. Sometimes the better deals will be online, but sometimes they may be in the store. The major chains, Best Buy, CompUSA, and Circuit City have websites where you can look up the drives, check if they are in store, and then go and view them in person.