I have a Dell Dimension desktop computer that is 4 years old but still works well. The DVD burner that came with it was an NEC 1100 and it never worked as advertised (I found one type of disc it would burn and it only would do those occassionally). I need to buy a new burner for my computer. This burner will be used primarily for backing up digital image files but I will also use it to burn DVDs from a video camera and also back-up DVDs. I will likely replace my computer in the next year or two so hesitate to sink too much money into a burner (I don’t want a piece of junk that doesn’t work though…I already have that in the NEC 1100 so whatever I have to spend to get something that works well) I’m torn between internal and external–I realize internal would be a bit cheaper but external would be easier to set up and I could also transfer it to another computer when this one dies. I admit I’m a bit scared of installing the internal one as well–I’m a surgeon so I’m not a totally idiot and I know computers pretty well but I have never opened it up and installed a new drive. I’ve been told it is easy and would be no problem to do it. I was leaning internal since I saw they were only $30 for what seemed to be quality drives but saw another thread about the Lite-On external at Circuit City for about $50. Can someone please give me some help with this decision? I want to hurry up and get one but don’t want to be stuck with something I’ll regret later. Thanks for the help!
From the sound of things, virtually any drive you might buy should eclipse the performance of the last drive you describe. IMO the debate is mostly about the finest points of DVD burner performance. They will perform well enough for you that the old PC will be more of a bottleneck than the new burner - so much so that I would be surprised if your system could tell much of any difference between any of the major brands of burners.
Don’t fear the install. Just open the case, remove the old drive and take note of its jumper setting (3 positions possible). Jumper the new drive the same way as the old one was, then hook up the cables and power supply. 2 screws on each side typically hold the drive in. Might be some minor variation in cases especially with Dell/compaq/gateway - they like to make up their own mounting hardware. Once you’ve done this install, you’ll look back and laugh, wondering why you didn’t do it long ago.
To install a new DVD drive into this aging computer, any DVD burners in the market now would be too good for it that you won’t even notice any slight bit of problem, as the max speed you can burn would be 8x that I would say 4x is the best for this system. In this case just grab the brand that you like.