Do You Need an Optical Drive? 4 Reasons For and Against It

Do You Need an Optical Drive? 4 Reasons For and Against It

Optical drives have been phased out from modern laptops, allowing them to achieve a thinner and lighter form. However, PC users can still choose whether to embrace the storage and media revolutions of the decade.

Do You Need an Optical Drive? 4 Reasons For and Against It

Reasons to Buy

1. Play Old Multimedia

If you have old CDs or DVDs, consider keeping them instead of cutting costs. Unless your collection is worth less than a $20 cheap drive, it’s worth it.

Buying CDs from stores can be a cost-effective alternative to music streaming services like Spotify. If you’re not constantly looking for new music, CD music is high-quality and won’t use up network bandwidth.

2. Write to Drives

Although most of us haven’t used disc drives in years, that doesn’t mean they are no longer necessary. Disc drives offer an affordable and tangible storage option that currently has no comparable alternative. There have been cases of computer builders opting for a car with only a CD drive for music and realizing their oversight. Moreover, CD backups will remain a reliable choice for the foreseeable future.

3. Simple Driver Installation

If you’re building a computer for the first time, an optical drive will allow you to install drivers from the provided discs. Online drivers may not be accessible initially, so it’s important to have the network drivers installed for internet connectivity. Having an optical drive on hand simplifies the process.

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Physical copies of Windows 10 remain the most popular legal way to obtain the operating system. If you don’t have the disc, you will need to load the Windows ISO onto a large enough USB drive and then run it during boot. However, this process not only takes time but also incurs a cost. The USB drive needs to have a capacity of over 4GB to store the ISO, and you will likely want to keep it on there for future re-installations. This additional expense is a definite drawback to not having an optical drive.

Do You Need an Optical Drive? 4 Reasons For and Against It

5. Bonus: Is Blu-ray Better than Video on Demand?

The modern Blu-ray drive has aged well considering its competition. Blu-ray drives offer better video and audio quality with greater bandwidth than most internet connections. If you’re in a slow internet area, picking up a Blu-ray reader is a good home cinema or entertainment option.

Reasons Not to Buy

1. CDs and DVDs Are Phased Out

If CDs and DVDs weren’t your thing before, you certainly won’t see them enter your life soon. An optical drive provides only legacy functionality for many, so spending $20 on one is wasteful.

We’re also reaching a point where almost all old video game discs won’t install on Windows 10, and finding a store that sells physical games, even on Amazon, is challenging.

Unless you have a plan to use them, now is a good time to reduce your yearly budget.

Optical drives ruin the clean design of modern cases and make them look clunky. When building your own computer, you may notice that many new cases no longer have support for optical drives.

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3. External Optical Drives

Take a look at the latest external optical drives. They rival SATA in read and write speeds, just through a USB 2.0 connection. Additionally, they make a beautiful and practical addition to a music enthusiast’s setup.

Do You Need an Optical Drive? 4 Reasons For and Against It

If you don’t need one now, you can still be secure long-term knowing that you can always buy a USB optical drive if you really need one.

In the computer hardware market, rising costs and RAM shortages make it acceptable to take shortcuts. For many, investing in a fast computer yields a higher return than buying a costly optical drive.

Still Your Call

Although the market suggests that online technologies will soon dominate, there is still a purpose for an optical drive in the present day. Make sure you have an alternative ready and you can get by without one. What do you use? Let us know below.

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