CD RW drives and other drives such as CD ROMs, DVD ROMs and DVD RWs have become a crucial component of a computer. Previously the CD ROM drive was not crucial to the life of a computer.
Floppy drives were the main source of data transfer and files were small enough to fit on them. However, today even CD drives are getting out of date and are fast being replaced by the DVD ROM and DVD RW Drives.
What is a CD ROM
Well you most likely know what a CD ROM is used for but maybe you don’t know what it means. CD stands for Compact Disc and ROM stands for Read Only Memory.
A CD ROM holds
data that can be accessed by a computer or a CD player. Music and multimedia CDs have become popular. CDs are often used for installing programs, operating systems and other applications. A common CD holds about 700MB (700 Megabytes) while the DVD holds 4.7GB or 4700 Megabytes.
A CD drive connects to the computer motherboard through two types of cables. The older and more common connection is through the IDE Ribbon cable. Recently SATA (Serial ATA) drives have been produced and will gradually become more common. The benefits of having SATA cables is that they are smaller and the transfer rate is higher.
CD burners can record data to CDs. This is why they are nearly compulsory in the modern computer. If you have a CD burner you can copy disks and backup your files to disk. Windows XP and Windows Vista both come with their own burning software but common utilities such as Nero are quite useful.
On a CD drive there is usually some numbers with a x symbol after it. This stands for times, for example common speeds are 4x, 8x, 16x, 18x, 24x, 32x, 40x and 52x. CD RW drives have speeds like 24x-10x-40x or 52x-32x-52x.
Choosing a CD Drive
As the computer CD drive has become more popular so has the need of actually having one. A CD drive or even a DVD Burner are so cheap that I would recommend at least buying one of these. Personally I like having two drives. I prefer having a DVD drive and a DVD Burner which gives me the option of directly copying a disk. If I want to backup files this makes it incredibly easy.
The option of having a SATA (serial ata) DVD drive is now possible and I would highly recommend this. Not only is SATA faster but the cables are much smaller and easier to connect. If your motherboard supports SATA then for the extra $5 it is a great option.