Optical Drives are used to read and/or write to removable optical disks like CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMS. Optical drives work by using lasers to read microscopic pits on the surface of optical disks. These pits and their absence represent the binary states of 1 and 0.
Optical drives are slower than hard disk drives or SSDs and they are of smaller capacity as well. Optical disks are non-volatile, permanent storage media.
The different types of optical drives are:
- CD ROM Drive : Reads CDs
- CD Writer: Reads and writes or “burns” CDs
- DVD ROM Drive: Reads CDs and DVDs
- DVD Writer: Reads and writes CDs and DVDs
- Blu ray drive: Reads blu ray disks, CDs and DVDs.
- Blu Ray burner: Burns and reads blu ray, DVDs and CDs.
Before software distribution via the Internet became common place, an optical disk was usually the only way you could install software on a computer system. So optical drives used to be very popular but are no longer as important as they once were.
Next: Power Supply Unit