Optical Drive

By Jason Cross  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Build It: Last year's $800 gaming PC was a bargain, but had significant compromises. This year's model is an $800 hot-rod gaming rig that offers impressive performance. What a difference a year makes!


In order to come in around the $800 mark, we had to cut a few corners somewhere, and the optical drive is one place we targeted for trimming. The 16X Lite-On DVD drive we used is by no means a bad drive, and for around $30 it's a fantastic value. As more games start to be published in DVD-ROM format (and it's about time), it's a good idea to have a DVD drive in your PC. It's also a good idea to have a burner, and sadly, this is a read-only drive. If we had to recommend an upgrade to spend a bit more on this system, we would start with suggesting an optical drive that can at least burn CDs, if not DVDs. It's not strictly necessary for gaming, but it's useful for making backups and the like. 

Product:Lite-On SOHD-167T


Price:$30 ( check prices)

Pros:Cheap; relatively fast.

Cons:No burning capability; a bit on the loud side.

Summary:It’s a cheap optical drive with pretty good performance, but spending more for a CD or DVD burner is certainly worthwhile.


Jason Cross Jason was a certified computer geek at an early age, playing with his family's Apple II when he was still barely able to write. It didn't take long for him to start playing with the hardware, adding in 80-column cards and additional RAM as his family moved up through Apple II+, IIe, IIgs, and eventually the Macintosh. He was sucked into Intel based side of the PC world by his friend's 8088 (at the time, the height of sophisticated technology), and this kicked off a never-ending string of PC purchases and upgrades.

Through college, where he bounced among several different majors before earning a degree in Asian Studies, Jason started to pull down freelance assignments writing about his favorite hobby—,video and computer games. It was shortly after graduation that he found himself, a thin-blooded Floridian, freezing his face off at Computer Games Magazine in Vermont, where he founded the hardware and technology section and built it up over five years before joining the ranks at ExtremeTech and moving out to beautiful northern California. When not scraping up his hands on the inside of a PC case, you can invariably find Jason knee-deep in a PC game, engrossed in the latest console title, or at the movie theater.


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