DVD Drive Question

  NotVeryTechie 14:26 08 Feb 08

Hi there

I am currently looking at buying a new laptop. Some of the systems have DVD +-RW and some have DVD Super Multi Drive. What is the difference, what does it mean? What should I be looking at buying? And if I get it wrong and want to change to another drive later (I am looking at Acer laptops) am I going to be stuck and wish I had made a better choice, or can I just replace as you can with a desktop?

Hope you can help!

  Totally-braindead 15:09 08 Feb 08

As far as I know its just a labelling device and they are exactly the same.

What to look for is what types of disks the drives can write to. They need to be able to write to + and - disks and some can write to DVD RAM disks as well which you may or may not want. Some drives can also do Lightscribe which is where, with special disks you can create an image on the disk to pretty it up.

So ignore the name of the drive and look at the specification and see what it will write to.

If you did get it wrong the simplist solution is to get an external CD writer. You can get internal ones but some are more differcult to fit than others.

What you want is a drive that can write to +R and -R disks and DVD RAM if you think you might want that (not interested in this myself as they are a bit pricey ) and if you want to create fancy patterns has lightscribe. Lightscribe disks are a bit more expensive than normal DVDs by the way and I also haven't used lightscribe as it doesn't interest me either.

If you have any doubts at all, post details of what you are considering and I'm sure someone will advise/assist you.

  NotVeryTechie 15:49 08 Feb 08

That's the thing - they don't really give much info! The information given is stuff like "DVD SuperMulti, CD/DVD reader/writer for all types of CD/DVD discs". I don't know what they mean.

  Totally-braindead 16:35 08 Feb 08

Its like a brand thing mate. They think that by calling it a Supermulti it sounds flashier and better. Its advertising thats all.
If you tell me what laptop it is I'll see about more info.
Its almost certainly capable of writing to DVD + and - and RW the rest depends on the model of "superwriter".
Oh one thing that didn't occur to me when I mentioned what disk they write to - dual layer disks - take more info than than standard single layer DVDs.

Either say what laptop you're looking at or give the company a phone or email them and ask.

  Totally-braindead 16:42 08 Feb 08

Just a quick example for you.

Acer Aspire 5310. Acer website click here says dual layer Supermulti writer, as you say no real info on that. Go look at a shop for the same laptop and you get this click here and it tells you it can write to + - RW and DVD RAM.

Perhaps the DVD RAM is what they mean by the Super bit but I've seen loads of writers than can write to DVD RAM and they aren't called super anything. Hence my assumption its advertising.

  Totally-braindead 16:43 08 Feb 08

PS to above it can also do dual layer disks.

  NotVeryTechie 17:04 08 Feb 08

Thank you so much for the great answer. I was looking at the Acer Aspire 7720Z. I think you are right that it is just advertising, and I guess it works if people can't understand what it means, but it sounds good.

  Totally-braindead 18:22 08 Feb 08

The 7720 Z isn't mentioned on the Acer website. No Z listed for whatever reason.

Found it on the seller though click here and it seems to have the same drive as the other Acer I linked to earlier "DVD±RW (+R double layer) / DVD-RAM - integrated" so it'll do DVD + and - and RW and dual layer disks and DVD RAM disks.

Pretty much all you could need on a drive really.

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