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Thread: Are optical drives still needed?

  1. #1
    Kremlin Joe drezha's Avatar
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    Default Are optical drives still needed?

    Been thinking this past week or so, do we still need optical drives?

    Mine's barely even used and causes more hassle than it's worth when I take my PC to LAN's thanks to the screw free fixings on my case not working to well with it.

    I think I've used it to install a few games recently but it turns out they were Steam games so I could have just input the code into Steam and downloaded it. Speaking of Steam, it's seemed to become my main reason for keeping PC gaming - games tied to an account I can use on any PC, no discs to move about etc - I'm hooked.

    DVD's are watched on the TV played via a 360 and I've not been particularly bothered to rip them to my PC anymore.

    Even some OS's (linux) can be installed via USB these days.

    I'm considering looking for a caddy to put my current drive in and use it as an external drive (or with 20 external slimline DVD drives on eBuyer), I might even considering getting of those and removing optical media completely from my main rig and rely on an external for the rare occasions it is needed.

  2. #2
    Cat Man Do Droid's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm with you to a degree, but as I type, I've had to connect an external DVD player to a Dell laptop to test the system for an intermittent fault with it freezing. As proprietary software is installed by the in-house team, there is no diagnostic software on a partition and so diagnostics can only be run via an external DVD player as the laptop does not have an integrated drive.

    So, yes, optical drives are still needed I'm afraid. My own home system is also slightly different in that my bedroom PC is also my DVD player, as I haven't ripped movies to the hard drive and got rid of my actual DVD player. I also have an external drive for "in the field" diagnostic work and driver installation, as a lot of company PCs are locked down and only allow software installation via DVD or CD, as USB pens etc are blocked.

  3. #3

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    Just about the only thing i use my Disk Drive for is to (re)install windows and/or linux when needed. Just waiting for the say USB3.0 becomes cheaper and then, i think, you will be able to buy games, films and OSs etc on USB sticks, or something of the likes.

  4. #4
    pure quackers mackerel's Avatar
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    While arguably anything shipped on CD/DVD could easily be put on a USB flash drive, I think the cost will still be higher.

    Recently I had to dig out a USB DVD drive in order to set up a new HD in my netbook. The new laptop's drive got used for creating restore disks and software installs, but arguably that's a one-off operation. I still rip CDs as I get them, as physical CDs still generally work out cheaper than equivalent legal downloads.

    I guess the dodging the issue answer is that optical drives will be around for as long as there is a need for them. Look at floppy disks. I'm still using them at work, albeit only for one piece of ancient kit still in active use. Blu-rays wont be obsolete just yet, as I'd suggest for "normal" people downloading a Blu-ray film will kill a connection for a very long time. As net speeds increase that will of course change too, but the connectivity in this country is over a decade behind the far east in speed/cost so don't hold your breath.

  5. #5
    All Thai'd up!!! TheFiend's Avatar
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    I still have a use for mine...... I have access to a site where I can download Thai films for the wife so I use them to burn discs for her.... Keeps her happy!!!
    45GHz of raw Banana Power!!!! The Banana power!!






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  6. #6
    A Mad Hatter wolram's Avatar
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    You'll be wanting to do away with Hard Drives next ...... oh hang on

    No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it. - Terry Pratchett

  7. #7

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    I am pretty certain that optical media will be finished pretty soon... Most computers will happily boot a USB key these day's... and you can install Linux and Windows off that... and it happens to be much quicker

    The next batch of Games consoles will probably push away from Optical media... and that should be a hammer towards that nail in the coffin for them.... the sooner the better aswell.. Legal downloads can lower in price then

    Let's take over the world with hugs and smiles

  8. #8
    pure quackers mackerel's Avatar
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    To those predicting the rapid demise of optical media as a form of bulk data distribution, I ask do you really think net speeds and costs will improve fast enough to download everything that soon? Instead of HD films or big title games being sent on DVD/BD, is there the capacity in the country for everyone to do multi-GB downloads as matter of routine? Or do you imagine some other physical media taking its place? Holographic storage crystals on standby.

    Or is the definition of "soon" different from mine? I'd say soon would mean a year or two, and I can't see that happening. I'd be looking at beyond a decade. Put another way, I think it'll happen when "next gen" broadband is commonplace and affordable. Taking a rather mainstream example, has the portable mp3 player killed the CD? Not even close after all these years.

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