Compare Optical Disc Drives

Compare the 10 Best Optical Disc DrivesAugust 2017

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Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every optical disc drive on the market in the US to determine our top 10 list. In total we compared over 168 optical disc drives, 82 reviews and 147 prices. Last updated 22 August 2017.

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$24.49
Save $16.69 (41%)

#1 LG GH24NSC0

GH24NSC0
The highest rated cd burner under $50
99
Value for Money
Excellent
89
Features
Fully-Featured
90
Overall Score
Excellent
Tray
Internal
DVD
Disc Loading Type
Internal
Optical Drive Type
Aug 2015
Release Date
MCM Electronics $24.49
Overstock $29.68
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$74.00

#2 Apple USB SuperDrive

USB SuperDrive
A good spec but only middle of the road value for money slot loading DVD Optical drive type dvd burner
68
Value for Money
Good
71
Features
Good Features
66
Overall Score
Good
Slot
DVD±R/RW
Dec 2016
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
Adorama $74.00
Amazon US $74.99
Mac of All Trades $75.00
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$59.99
Save $30.90 (34%)

#3 LG GP70NS50

GP70NS50
uk.hardware.info - Excellenthardware.info - Excellent
The top rated dvd rewriter under $100
78
Value for Money
Very Good
75
Features
Good Features
71
Overall Score
Very Good
Slot
DVD-RW
Aug 2015
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
Adorama $59.99
MCM Electronics $59.99
Overstock $63.13
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$42.06
Save $15.06 (26%)

#4 DELL DW316

DW316
A fully featured and excellent value for money tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd (re)writer
94
Value for Money
Excellent
84
Features
Fully-Featured
84
Overall Score
Excellent
Tray
DVD-RW
Sep 2016
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
Overstock $42.06
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$54.99

#5 Samsung SH‑224DB

SH-224DB
A fully featured and great value for money tray loading DVD Optical drive type dvd burner
91
Value for Money
Excellent
81
Features
Fully-Featured
81
Overall Score
Excellent
Tray
Internal
DVD-RW
Disc Loading Type
Internal
Optical Drive Type
Dec 2015
Release Date
Amazon US $54.99
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$40.74

#6 Transcend TS8XDVDS‑W

TS8XDVDS-W
A cheap and good spec tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd burner
87
Value for Money
Excellent
78
Features
Good Features
77
Overall Score
Very Good
Tray
DVD-RW
Dec 2014
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
Overstock $40.74
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$49.99

#7 Buffalo DVSM‑PT58U2VB

DVSM-PT58U2VB
A good spec and good value for money tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd writer
80
Value for Money
Excellent
76
Features
Good Features
73
Overall Score
Very Good
Tray
DVD
Jun 2015
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
Overstock $49.99
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$83.98
Save $41.90 (33%)

#8 Asus SBC‑06D2X‑U

SBC-06D2X-U
A good spec and cheap tray loading Blu-Ray Optical drive type cd writer
73
Value for Money
Very Good
73
Features
Good Features
68
Overall Score
Good
Tray
Blu-Ray
Jun 2015
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
Amazon US $83.98
Adorama $84.95
Overstock $87.99
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$67.97
Save $23.00 (25%)

#9 Asus BW‑16D1HT

BW-16D1HT
A good spec but only middle of the road value for money tray loading Blu-Ray Optical drive type cd burner
65
Value for Money
Good
70
Features
Good Features
64
Overall Score
Good
Tray
Internal
Blu-Ray
Disc Loading Type
Internal
Optical Drive Type
Apr 2015
Release Date
Tech For Less $67.97
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$69.95
Save $17.99 (20%)

#10 HP External USB DVDRW Drive

External USB DVDRW Drive
A good spec but marginally out of date tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd writer
62
Features
Good Features
46
Overall Score
Mediocre
Tray
DVD-RW
Dec 2015
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
Amazon US $69.95
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Optical Disc Drive Buying Guide

Optical disk drives cover a wide range of internal and external devices meant to both read and write a variety of removable media. This means they can be used to both read data from discs (i.e - playing a movie DVD or Blu Ray) and also writing or ‘burning’ data (i.e - creating a music CD from individual mp3s, or permanently writing files to a disk for distribution).

While most computers used to house CD and DVD drives as standard, drastically smaller devices and a move towards cloud-based streaming mean that disc drives are being used less and less. Indeed many modern laptops and desktops no longer contain a disc drive at all.

This means that even though it is legacy tech, it’s still worth keeping a drive handy for those times you want to read the data from an old DVD, burn a disc for a friend, or watch a movie when you don’t have access to Netflix. This guide will explain the major points of consideration when choosing an optical disk drive.

Mounting & Portability

The first important consideration is what type of drive you want to get. While all our drives read and write disks, there are 2 main types - internal and external. It’s important to note that generally speaking internal drives can’t be used outside of computers, and external drives have to be powered via USB, and can’t be mounted inside a desktop or laptop.

Internal drives: These are meant to be placed into the computer body itself and wired directly into the system for power and data. They are used mostly for either replacements, or if you are building your own computer from scratch. Because these drives have to fit into a specific bay, it’s important to make sure you get one that is the right measurements and compatible with your computer. This also includes the correct mounting for the machine you’re wanting to install the drive into.

External drives: These drives are meant to be plugged into a computer (usually via USB) to serve as a temporary drive when one is needed. These drives tend to be more expensive than internal drives, but can be used with any computer. They are especially useful for laptops, since the current trend in ultra-thin laptops mean that most modern models don’t have a drive built in. Because external drives are removable, they can be easily stowed away until needed, making them helpful if you only need to read a CD/DVD occasionally. They are also very portable, making them good for watching movies or accessing data on journeys where you may not have access to a stable net connection.

Media Support

There are 3 main types of optical media supported by the disc drives on our site - CD, DVD and Blu Ray:

CD: Traditionally used for music, and while rather a legacy format, there are so many CDs in circulation that you are bound to need to access one at some point. All disc drives will read and write CDs, but the downside is they hold the least information of the 3 types.

DVD: DVDs are generally used for movies, since they are higher density, so can hold far more data than CDs. DVDs are still widely used for movies and video games, and can also hold a large amount of information, making them useful for backing up lots of files. Nearly all of our drives support both CD and DVD read writing.

Blu-Ray: The newest and highest density of optical media on the market, Blu-Ray discs can hold an enormous amount of data in a single disc. They are primarily used for very high-quality movies. However because they are a new format, Blu-Ray writers are far more expensive than CD or DVD-compatible models. Moreover, not all drives support Blu-Ray reading or writing, meaning that you may find other users are not able to read the data on the disc.

Read/Write Speedas

Finally, read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the disc. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be burnt to the disc, or read from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.

Optical Disc Drive Retailers, Prices and Features

Dvd Writer Prices

We currently list 61 dvd burners ranging from $0 to $128. A new dvd writer costs on average $18 and 80% of cd burners are priced between $0 and $74. The most expensive optical disc drive that we found is the HP 652241-B21 at $128, and the cheapest is the LG GP67EB60 at only .

Cd (re)writer Brands - Price Range

The average price of Buffalo cd rewriters is $80 which is the highest average price of all dvd (re)writer brands. Buffalo cd rewriters start at $50 and the most expensive Buffalo dvd (re)writer costs $110.

Lenovo optical disc drives start at $0 and the most expensive Lenovo cd burner costs $114. The second highest average cd burner price out of all brands is Lenovo optical disc drives with an average price of $63.

Transcend dvd burners start at $41 and the most expensive Transcend cd (re)writer costs $41. The average price of Transcend dvd burners is $41 which is the third highest average price of all cd (re)writer brands.

Cd Burner Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 3 expert 0 reviews available online and used this data to determine the average rating for each brand of optical disc drive. Asus is the top rated optical disc drive brand with an average rating of 81%. Philips is the second best brand with 0% and Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the third best brand with 0%.

Biggest Cd Burner Retailers

We found 10 current offers for dvd rewriters from Overstock making it the biggest cd writer retailer. That is much bigger than the second biggest retailer, Adorama for whom we found 5 current offers for dvd rewriters. The third biggest retailer is Amazon US with 5 current cd writer offers.

When Are Most New Dvd Rewriters Released?

Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any prominent trend in the release month for new cd burners. February was the biggest month in 2016 for new optical disc drives, with eight new optical disc drives released that month. In July 2015 16 new dvd rewriters were released making it the biggest month that year for new optical disc drive releases. 29 new cd writers were released in June 2014 making it the biggest month that year for new dvd rewriter releases.

How Fast Do Dvd Burner Prices Drop After Release?

In the first 6 months after release, dvd rewriters drop in price by 54% on average. On a typical new cd writer costing $10, by waiting 6 months before buying you could save on average $5.

Disc Loading Types

Type of mechanism by which the optical disc is loaded into the product.

Tray is the most frequently found disc loading type amongst new cd (re)writers. We found 80 cd (re)writers that are cd rewriters that have a tray loading. The second most frequently found disc loading type amongst new cd (re)writers is slot. We found 18 cd (re)writers that are dvd writers that have a slot loading.

Internals

Optical Drive Types

We found 328 dvd writers that are cd (re)writers that have a DVD Optical drive type, which makes this the most common optical drive type amongst new dvd writers. DVD-R is the second most common optical drive type amongst new cd burners. We found 149 cd burners that are cd rewriters that have a DVD-R Optical drive type.

CD Read Speeds

This measures how quickly the optical drive can read information from a CD.

Comparing all cd burners, the CD read speeds range from 14x to 48x. The CD read speeds of the majority of dvd writers range from 23x to 26x. The LGBE16NU50, which is on sale for $0.00, has the fastest CD read speed and is a 48x CD read speed cd (re)writer. The cd rewriter with the slowest CD read speed is the LGBE16NU50, which is a 24x CD read speed dvd burner and is priced at $40.74.

Faster read speeds mean that the data on the disc can be accessed quicker, making every operation faster and meaning less time is wasted waiting for the disc to load.

Biggest Cd Rewriter Retailers

We found 10 current offers for cd burners from Overstock making it the biggest cd burner retailer. That is much bigger than the second biggest retailer, Adorama for whom we found 5 current offers for cd burners. The third biggest retailer is Amazon US with 5 current cd burner offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Dvd Writers?

With the cheapest price on 6 dvd burners, Overstock is most frequently the cheapest cd burner retailer.

Proportion of Dvd (re)writers for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Overstock most frequently has the cheapest cd burner prices (found to be cheapest for 60% of its cd writers).

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