Which Is Better - External or Internal DVD Burner




Can anybody give me the advantages of getting an External DVD RW over an Internal. If by getting the External does this mean I wont have to open up my computer to fit it, an action to be honest I’m quite scared to do!!



I just bought a Sony DRX 830u which is a desk top external unit that easily installs by plugging in a USB cable, it can’t get much easier than that. It also comes with Nero 7 software.

This model can also be used in a vertical position which saves you some desk top space.

I can’t comment on the pros and cons of internal or external but perhaps someone else will be able to help you on that.


You have one less item inside your computer, thus keeping the temp cooler.
You keep a power source open inside you pc for something else.
Your burner is portable.

It would be ideal if you use a USB Ver 2.0 port instead of Ver 1.1 your transfer speed will be faster.

or if you have Firewire it would be even better.

:cool: :cool:


Excellent fellas, just what I needed to know


USB 2.0 is faster than Firewire


The theoretical bandwidth limit of USB 2.0 (480Mbps) is higher than FireWire 400, but the real-life throughput is usually higher for FireWire than for USB and FireWire uses less CPU than USB.

USB 1.1 is totally inadequate for an external DVD burner, because it’s not even fast enough for 1x reading/writing.

Some of my drives are internal and some are external. As long as you don’t burn DVD media at faster than 12x, there’s no real difference between an internal and an external drive.

Depending on your system, your external drive, and your connection method (USB, FireWire), you may or may not be able to achieve 16x and faster reading/writing on an external drive.


AS DrageMester pointed out.

The throughput numbers would lead you to believe that USB 2.0 provides better performance. But, differences in the architecture of the two interfaces have a huge impact on the actual sustained “real world” throughput. And for those seeking high-performance, sustained throughput is what it’s all about (reading and writing files to an external hard drive for example).

Architecture - FireWire vs. USB 2.0

FireWire, built from the ground up for speed, uses a “Peer-to-Peer” architecture in which the peripherals are intelligent and can negotiate bus conflicts to determine which device can best control a data transfer.

USB 2.0 uses a “Master-Slave” architecture in which the computer handles all arbitration functions and dictates data flow to, from and between the attached peripherals (adding additional system overhead and resulting in slower, less-efficient data flow control)

Performance Comparison - FireWire vs. USB 2.0

Read and write tests to the same IDE hard drive connected using FireWire and then USB 2.0 show:

Read Test:

5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 33% faster than USB 2.0
160 files (650MB total) FireWire was 70% faster than USB 2.0

Write Test:

5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 16% faster than USB 2.0
160 files (650MB total) FireWire was 48% faster than USB 2.0

As the performance comparison shown above confirms, FireWire remains the performance leader. And is the best choice for DV camcorders, digital audio and video devices, external hard drives, high-performance DVD burners and any other device that demands continuous high performance throughput.

:cool: :cool:


Bighig250: I have several externals that I use for portability and “emergency use”. There are good reasons to consider buying one as others have mentioned but your burning times will be considerably longer than with an internal. If you plan on doing a lot of backups of commercial movies, this might be something to think about.


Thanks Jeff, interesting point. However the fact that I dont have to open up my harddrive tends me to veer towards opting for the external. A common excuse i’m sure for us newbies??


Hi :slight_smile:
DrageMester pretty much said it all. The only thing to add is that the latest Firewire is even quicker.
USB 1.1 12 Mbits/sec
USB 2.0 480 Mbits/sec
1394a 400 Mbits/sec
1394b 800 Mbits/sec
UltraATA 100 100 Mbytes/sec
SATA 1.5 Gbits/sec

But still not upto internal spec. :stuck_out_tongue: