Combo drives-worth it?

As a newbie to all this (though I did just burn my first playable DVD), I’m wondering if adding a combo drive to my DVD burner (NEC ND-3520A) is a smart move. Currently I only have my CD-RW to go with the NEC, so is replacing it with a DVD-ROM a smart addition to my system?

Well, you’ll put less wear and tear on the writer if you don’t rip with it. But the price differential isn’t that much anymore. :wink:

Good point, that. Plus, the CD-RW in my black Antec Sonata case is the only non-black component, so the coolness factor is suffering too. :cool:

Don’t worry about wear on the NEC. My rule is never duplicate existing technology. Save your $ for Blue Ray or HD DVD.

At todays prices, wearing out a writer by using it as an “everyday drive” is not the fright that it used to be.

One issue may be in the handling of protections (reading or writing, data or audio) - if the second drive can fill in for the things the first drive is weak on, that’s better.

Having a “second opinion” on a DVD burn is also a good thing.

Given the current pricing though, theres not much to choose between:
DVD-ROM … can be useful to have a non-writing drive that doesn’t need ATIP-hiding if you use backups.
Combo or CD-RW … essential if you want to use Mount Rainier CD-RW, since the support for that in DVD writers is practically nonexistent.
Another DVD Writer … well, they cost no more than a CD-RW did not so long ago - the classic pairing would be a Liteon to scan, for an NEC that can’t, but if the NEC scanning proves acceptable, the reasoning for that pairing rather disappears.

Well, a second burner (a LiteOn, in your example) is not much more than a combo drive, so if what I need is a second drive for primarily for ripping and reading, that might be a better investment. I was originally going to get an LG 4163, but settled on the NEC. I wonder if it might not be a good pairing with the NEC?

I have combo drives paired with my DVD burners on all three of my PC’s. The combo drives rips faster and burn cd’s quicker. I have a Liteon 5232K and an Artec 52X16C. Both are Mediatek chipsets, work with KProbe, and perform very well. I paid ~$30 for each, well worth it for me.

So as not to keep everybody in suspense :rolleyes: , I went for a Rosewill combo that Newegg had for $33. If it proves not to be a useful solution, I’ll let other know my gripes here. Thanks to all who replied!