How to Build a Green Instant-On PC
Optical drives have almost become a commodity on today's market, ranging from low-priced do-all, be-all units to higher-priced advanced units. We set out to make our instant-on green PC as feature-rich as possible. With that in mind, we wanted to incorporate support for Blu-ray discs, yet still have the ability to burn DVDs and CDs.
We chose to install a pair of SATA-based optical drives to meet those goals. The advantage of having a pair of drives as opposed to a single drive are many. First off, today's multifunction drives that support Blu-ray along with DVD-R capability are still very expensive, making a dual-drive solution somewhat more economical. Having two drives allows workers to more easily copy disks, or watch a movie or play music while using the second drive to perform other duties.
Finally, a dual-drive arrangement makes life much easier for the budding video producer, who has to import video while burning DVDs.
For Blu-ray support, we chose a DH-401 Internal 4X BD-ROM drive from Lite-On. The DH-401 has a street price of around $130 and offers a SATA connection. The DH-401 proved to be an attractive addition to our system. The drive features a black bezel that matches the design of the NZXT Tempest case. Performance-wise, the DH-401 worked as expected and was able to read Blu-ray disks with ease. The drive also worked fine with a variety of DVD and CD media. For a burner, we chose a Lite-On iHAS-120, which has a street price of just under $25. Although very inexpensive, the iHAS-120 features a SATA interface and supports all major formats of DVDs and CDs.
The drive features a technology called "SmartWrite," which automatically determines the optimal writing strategy for the media inserted. The unit also looks good in the NZXT system case, thanks to the included black bezel and clean front panel. Lite-On bundles in a copy of Nero 7 Essentials and includes mounting screws and a SATA cable.