Don’t read this if you don’t want a cheap (under $200) DVD burner

Long ago, I used to hunt for killer prices on computer equipment, and when I’d find something good, I’d post it here. It seemed to be a fairly popular feature. I haven’t done that in a long time, mostly because I haven’t been in the market for anything.


So today, when I noticed a couple of DVD+RW drives under $200 on Compgeeks.com’s DVD Drives & Kits Category Main Page, I debated whether I’d link it. Finally I decided I would. It’s about a $50 discount over retail.

These are DVD+RW drives. There’s a war between the dash-r and plus-r standards. Both create discs that are readable in your regular DVD-ROM drive. Dash-r disks are a little less expensive. Plus-r disks are compatible with a slightly wider variety of DVD drives, and the rewritable disks are more convenient, but they cost more.

Your best bet really is to buy a dual-standard drive, one that does both. Then you can take advantage of compatibility when you need compatibility, and you can take advantage of cheap dash-r disks under those conditions when those work fine.

But the plus-r drives cost a lot less, because they’re suddenly the second-most desirable type of drive on the market, not the most desirable drive on the market like they were last summer.

If you’re willing to live with that, you can get a new NEC for $199 or a refurb HP for $170.

If you’re looking for a cheap computer to run Linux on, you can find several on the Systems & Servers Category Main Page. You can snag yourself a P2-400 for as little as $65. Higher-end PCs are available too, if you’re looking for more speed. Some of them come with an operating system and some don’t. Many of them don’t come with a keyboard and mouse, but you can get those from them too.

I don’t unconditionally recommend everything ComputerGeeks.com sells. I’d be very wary of their memory, unless you need SIMMs for a very old PC, because commodity memory can be flaky. They have some of the best prices on ATX cases I’ve ever seen, but cheap power supplies lead to unstable systems and cheap cases can cut you up when you’re working inside them.

But I’ve bought keyboards, mice, hard drives, CD-ROM and CD-RW drives, SCSI cards, motherboards, and systems from them over the past five years, and their service has always been great.

5 thoughts on “Don’t read this if you don’t want a cheap (under $200) DVD burner

  • May 17, 2003 at 11:37 am
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    I’m actually looking for an inexpensive but decent case for my Asus motherboard with the 1.2 GHz Duron. You still like the Foxconn case you wrote about several months ago ? I was thinking of the Foxconn Super Case Model# PC-132 w/350W PS over at Newegg (free shipping, too), but this one over at Computergeeks looks good, too.

  • May 17, 2003 at 12:35 pm
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    It’s hard to go wrong with Foxconn. I still like every Foxconn ATX case I’ve seen.

    The case at Compgeeks you mention looks good in the picture and the price is really good, good enough that it’s not a tragedy if you end up having to replace the power supply with an Antec or something else.

    You want my honest opinion? I’d be tempted by it. I might even take a chance on it. But with recent AMD CPUs being picky about power supplies, a Foxconn is a safer choice. (See why I didn’t make it as a salesman?)

    Now when the time comes for me to build a system around my spare AOpen Socket 7 mobo, I’d buy that case or something like it–Compgeeks always has something like it.

  • May 17, 2003 at 3:01 pm
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    I’m going for the Foxconn then. Good reviews 😉 and can’t beat the free shipping…

  • May 17, 2003 at 6:23 pm
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    I put a pc together with parts I bought from Computer Geeks. The technology was a year behind but it was what I wanted and the price was great. I was amazed at how well the parts were packed for shipment. They care about what they do.

  • May 27, 2003 at 8:17 pm
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    I’d like to know the answer also? ie which format to buy?

    from slashdot news:

    DVD Recording – Is There a Winner Yet? currently have a CDR that I’ve been able to use to save both VCD and SVCD. Unfortunately I have a very old DVD player that will only play VCD’s. So I decided that it’s time to look at recording to DVD, but what is the right answer? Has any format won? I just got back from Fry’s and I could get either -R/-RW or +R/+RW and there were even drives that did all of the formats. This is all well and good, since I’ll have to buy a new DVD player to play any of them, but which format is most widely accepted? Even if I get a drive that will record in any format what do most DVD players accept? Sure I can make sure that my DVD player will play whatever format I produce but what about my parents and friends?”

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