by January 2, 1999 0 comments

Luxury, or necessity? This used to be
frequently asked about CD-ROM drives. But no more.

cd-drive.jpg (6221 bytes)Two things
have contributed to this. First, most of the software is being distributed through
CD-ROMs, including 2 MB and 4 MB packages. For the vendor, it is cheaper to make CD-ROMs
than floppies, plus, the media corruption associated with floppies is not there.
Simultaneously, prices of CD-ROM drives have fallen so drastically that the majority of
PCs shipping today come with a CD-ROM drive.

Which drive should I buy?

The two differentiating factors
between CD-ROM drives are–the interface and the speed of the drive. In interfaces you
have two choices–ATAPI (AT Attachment Packet Interface enables EIDE which is used by
the hard disk, etc, to support CD-ROM drives and tape drives) and SCSI. Of these, SCSI is
costlier (plus it needs a SCSI card or a SCSI motherboard on you machine), and is normally
used only on high-end workstations and servers. That brings our choice down to ATAPI
drives. In the market you’ll normally find ATAPI drives, unless you specifically ask
for SCSI drives.

Coming to the speed, the popular ones
available today are 32x, 36x, and 40x. If you look around hard, you may find some 24x
drives also. Frankly, there is nothing much to choose between these speeds. Your software,
or video clips are not going to run any differently. So, choose the drive that offers you
the best price.

You could also buy a CD-ROM drive as
part of a multimedia kit, including the drive, a sound card, and speakers. Buying them
separately gives you the option of mixing and matching. And you may sometimes get better
prices.

DVD usage is still not widespread. And
the drives are on the costlier side. So, a DVD drive is definitely not for the cost
conscious or the corporate buyer.

Watch out!

When buying the CD-ROM drive, ensure that you get the
cable for connecting the drive to the system, and screws for securing it to the cabinet.
Some drives come with an audio cable. Else, you may have to buy one separately.

Model Speed Price (Rs) Vendor

Acer 36X

36x

2,500

Fortune Marketing

Creative Infra 5400

36x

2,700

Fortune Marketing, Royal Computers

Creative Infra 6000

40x

2,950

Fortune Marketing, Royal Computers

LG 36X

36x

2,700

Aditya Promoters, Fortune Marketing

LG 32X

32x

2,600

Aditya Promoters, Fortune Marketing

Samsung 32X 32x 2,500 Samsung, Royal Computers
Note: Creative drives come with remote
control

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