Hard drives

How to Buy a Rewritable DVD Drive

Introduction

DVD-Rewritable Drive Buying Guide graphic

All the talk about the next wave of optical formats--Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD--might make you think that the venerable DVD-Rewritable drive is passé. Not so fast: DVD burners, and the media you use with them, remain a vastly less expensive option for writing discs than those costly new formats. Plus, you can get superior performance from a dedicated DVD burner: The write speeds top out now at 20X.

Rewritable DVD's advantages over CD-R are long established: Single-layer DVD media lets you store up to 4.7GB on a disc, while dual-layer (also referred to as double-layer, for the DVD+R format) media lets you pack up to 8.5GB on a single disc. Like CD-RW drives, rewritable DVD drives support both write-once and rewritable media; write-once discs are best for creating movies playable on standard DVD players and for data archiving, while rewritable discs are well suited for regular file backup.

The Big Picture
Formats, speeds, compatibility--which to choose? We'll introduce you to the basics of rewritable DVD drives. more

The Specs Explained
Whether you're shopping for the fastest or the most economical rewritable DVD drive, use these specifications to compare the various DVD burners. more

Rewritable DVD Shopping Tips
Whether you're shopping for the fastest or the most economical rewritable DVD drive, use these specifications to compare the various DVD burners. more

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