Which combination is better? (DVD/CD)

I’m building a new computer and will be getting my first DVD burner. The motherboard I will be using has 4 IDE channels (it has RAID that I will not be using). I want to be able to duplicate DVDs and CDRs. Which is the better choice?

1 - A DVD-R/RW burner which also burns CD-R/RW and a DVD/CD combo player (for example, the Pioneer DVR-104 and the Pioneer DVD-116t).

2 - A DVD burner and a CD-R/RW combo drive (the DVR-104 and the Plextor PX-320A).

3 - A DVD burner, a CD-R/RW burner and a DVD/CD combo player (the DVR-104, the Plextor PX-W4012TA and the DVD-116t).

And finally, are there better choices than the Pioneer and Plextor models?

Thank you.

I would go for the second option. Then you have a nice dvd-recorder, nice cd-writer and a nice dvd-reader. You can read a review of the plex combo on the mainpage (in case you didn’t know).

I would be sure to have a dedicated reading drive, not burner, as a source drive. I can’t speak to the DVD’s, but the CDRW burners are not always good readers.

I beg to differ. If you’re not just interested in speed (and even if you are) CDRW generally offer better reading. First off, almost all of them can read CD+G and CD Text, many read UPC code thing. If you want to make an exact copy of a disc, reading from CDRW is a much better choice. They all support high speed ripping these days and C2 error reporting. The same can’t be said of CD-ROM drives. And from my perspective, CD-ROM drives have lately become “genericanized”, no one really looks at the features or cares. People only care about DVD and CDRW drives, all CD-ROMs have the same features anyway… and with CDRWs at $50 and below these days even for fast models, there’s really no reason to use a CD-ROM instead of a CDRW. Sure, you could save $20 buying a brand new CD-ROM, or $50 using one you already own, but a CDRW just gives so many more options for so little a price.

So the concensus is that I should go with two drives: the DVD burner and the CDRW/DVD combo unit?

Are the Pioneer and the Plextor the best solutions?