Buy Separate CD/DVD burners or Combo Drive?

Hi All,

This is my first posting and I’m definitely a newbie.

I work on a Mac G4 with OSX.2.8 and my CD-RW/DVD-RW combo drive went kaput. I used the drive to create audio CDs, nonprofessional video DVDs, and for data backup.

I want to replace it and the options I’m considering are:

  1. external vs. internal (leaning toward external so whatever I purchase can be used with a PC laptop, too)
  2. combo drive vs. separate CD and DVD burners
  3. Firewire vs. USB 2.0 (does it matter?)

Can anyone offer opinions? Also looking for opinions on the brand.


External drives can have trouble burning above 8X if you don’t have a Prolific 3507 chipset. Otherwise they work for most aplication with no problem

I would avoid the combo drive as they have more problems and few have a wide range of firmwares available. Also, they do not have burn quality as good as dedicated drives. You don’t need two drives if you choose a DVD burner that does both well.

Firewire and USB have the same limitations when it comes to burning. It looks like USB2 would be faster (480 vs 400) but this is not the case. If you get a case made by Plumax, they have the correct chip and make a model that has both connections.

The NEC 3520 is my first choice for currently available drives. It has the best burn quality for my choice of DVD media and is a pretty fair CD burner.

Okay, newbie here. :slight_smile:

Why do they have combo drives if a DVD burner can do both? Also, I didn’t know a DVD burner could burn CDs as well–I thought the process was different?

Having both connections would be ideal. What is your choice of DVD media?

Thanks for all the info.

Personally I use a DVD writer for DVD writing & a CD writer for burning CDs. A DVD writer will not burn with the same quality as a CD writer despite the advise you might be given to the contrary. I have problems with CDs I burn that I play in my car stereo. It’s only by using a CD writer to burn them, along with good quality media that I can get it to work.