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Does the opitcal drive matter?
http://silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=49027
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Author:  Quitch [ Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Does the opitcal drive matter?

These days there are only three scenarios where I see optical drive access occuring

1. Installing.

2. Watching DVD.

3. Burning.

The first isn't important in terms of noise since the idea with an install is to get it over and done with. The third you can control the speed of the burner in any good app. It's the second one I don't know much about, does this vary from drive to drive, or are they all smart enough to play at low speeds? Is there much of a difference in how much noise escapes each drive? Is there much of a difference between slot and tray drives?

Author:  jhhoffma [ Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:02 am ]
Post subject: 

Many drives can be controlled by using a tool like Nero DriveSpeed to slow down the drive when reading a DVD. Note that this will apply to ALL DVDs not just Video-DVDs. You can always change the speed in the tool, but it cab be a hassle every time you want to install something.

Author:  Quitch [ Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:56 am ]
Post subject: 

But how do drives handle this? Do the apps request a certain speed, so I play a DVD in Windows Media Centre and it says "Low speed, please." or does the DVD drive firmware handle it?

Likewise, is there any meaningful difference between the noise of slot and tray solutions?

Author:  jhhoffma [ Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:05 am ]
Post subject: 

AFAIK, both. The app will request a data type and the firmware will adjust speed accordingly. I think Nero DriveSpeed works by telling the drive(s) that all requests are of a particular type (DVD-Video) that will not speed up the drive like normal DVD-ROMs will.

A year or so ago the quietest drives were slot loaders, as the tray mechanism caused a lot of vibration when the drive was at full speed, but if you buy a moderately quiet drive and keep it slow, it shouldn't matter too much.

Author:  cercle [ Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  CDRINFO

hi cercle here,you should give a glimpse at this site,it's in UK! :D OPTICAL matters,you said it,cdrinfo will tell you what to buy ,to do about burning or extracting bits.About nero ,it asks you the speed you need ,you may find also,some software made by nero for professionnals use :test of qualities.. :oops: sorry ,my mother tongue is not english so i hope you read /understand what i said,CDRINFO.COM,Good bye :wink:

Author:  lm [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does the opitcal drive matter?

Quitch wrote:
These days there are only three scenarios where I see optical drive access occuring

1. Installing.


Happens so rarely it should not matter.

Quitch wrote:
2. Watching DVD.


Instead of letting your drive scream for the whole length of the movie, you can buffer the movie to hard drive in couple minutes before the movie, while you are preparing yourself some snack food for the movie experience.

Quitch wrote:
3. Burning.


Hard drive space is 8.7GB/EUR if you buy the western digital 640GB. So you can store the equivalent of 80 DVD disks on such single drive with much less hassle.

Quitch wrote:
The first isn't important in terms of noise since the idea with an install is to get it over and done with. The third you can control the speed of the burner in any good app. It's the second one I don't know much about, does this vary from drive to drive, or are they all smart enough to play at low speeds? Is there much of a difference in how much noise escapes each drive? Is there much of a difference between slot and tray drives?


You forgot the 4th: Some programs require their original DVD in the drive when they are being run. This is braindead and should be forbidden. Just look at Steam to see how to do it right. But luckily it is often possible to use virtual dvd images instead.

Author:  dmc [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:29 am ]
Post subject: 

Just my personal experience, I'm generally happy with desktop DVD players, but on my laptop (HP), the high pitch noise is a real nuisance, and as there's limited HD space, copying DVDs is not an option.

Author:  kel [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:47 am ]
Post subject: 

As for watching dvds: under linux you can simply open a terminal and enter "sudo hdparm -E1 /dev/scd0" (replace /dev/scd0 with your actual dvd device) this limits the speed of the drive to 1x - you can also use -E2 (i.e. 2x speed) to be on the safe side, -E1 can rarely leed to stutters if the drive has difficulty reading a dvd. Some dvd player software even allows you to set the slowdown in their preferences.
I'd assume there's similar apps that can slow drives down for windows or osx?

Author:  Cryoburner [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does the opitcal drive matter?

Of course, most people don't want to memorize hundreds of abstract terminal commands just to do things like that, which is one reason why desktop Linux isn't more popular. : )

In Windows, you can use a utility like Nero DriveSpeed to limit read speed, as was mentioned in the second post. You can set it to load every time your computer boots, but I just keep a link to it in the quick launch bar and run it when needed. I think this is the most recent free version.

As for the original topic, I feel the accoustics of optical drives are important, though though not vital for everyday desktop use. I do think that drive manufacturers should continue to strive for making their drives quieter though.

Author:  Quitch [ Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:27 am ]
Post subject: 

Are there any front runners or is it a bit of a lucky dip?

Author:  Stumbles [ Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yes, I'm also interested if anybody can recommend a quality, quiet optical drive.

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