CD-RW, DVD-RAM drives hit higher speeds

CD-RW, DVD-RAM drives hit higher speeds


Those CD-Rewritable and DVD-RAM drives you've always wanted might be coming your way faster than youthought.

Have you been waiting for CD-RW drives to become faster and cheaper, and for those long-awaited DVD-RAM (rewritable DVD) drives to become more available? If so, you'll want to hear about Creative Labs' latest generation of drives, announced last week.

The company says both the Blaster CD-RW 6424 drive and Blaster PC-DVD RAM will be available by the end of September. Prices remain high: an estimated street price of $US249.95 for the CD-RW and $599.99 for the DVD-RAM.

Hitting higher speeds

The Blaster CD-RW 6424, an internal Enhanced-IDE unit, increases the write speed of its successor from 4x to 6x for CD-Rs and from 2x to 4x for CD-RWs. It reads standard CD-ROMs at 24x.

Included with the CD-RW 6424 is Ahead Software's Nero CD-writing software and Prassi Software's abCD packet-writing software for CD-RW discs. The drive also comes with a single blank CD.

On the DVD side?

The Blaster PC-DVD RAM can store 5.2GB on double-sided DVD media (2.6GB on each side). It can also read DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, CD-Audio, CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW media. It comes with a single Type 1 DVD-RAM disc, which, after writing, can be read only by Creative Labs' PC-DVD drives.

Type 2 DVD media, which are expected to be widely available by late this year, can be read by any DVD drive.

The drive is shipped with a single Type 1 double-sided DVD-RAM disc. Creative offers five-packs of the media for $US199.95, and single double-side DVD-RAM discs are generally available at computer dealers for about $40 each; single-sided media are generally available for about $30.

The Creative PC-DVD RAM drive is an internal SCSI unit. A required add-in SCSI card is not included in the price.

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