Here's our Hardware Tip for.. December 22, 2000
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Optical Recording Drives--Part 4 of 4
You can save around $100, sometimes a little more, by opting for an internal CD-RW or DVD-RAM drive rather than an external drive. The extra casing and shielding costs more to manufacture, and the drive makers pass this cost onto the consumer. If you have a spare drive bay and you aren't concerned with using your recording drive on more than one PC, buy an internal drive.

Consider the following issue, however. You may need to use one drive to archive the data of several systems you don't have networked, or you may want to share DVD-RAM data between two nonnetworked systems, one of which doesn't have a DVD-RAM drive--they are still fairly uncommon on PCs. In that case, look for an external drive. This will let you quickly detach the drive from one PC and reattach it to another.