Computer without a CD/DVD drive?

I had a thought today and I’d like to see what other people think.

I’ve been thinking about getting a new computer, in the “I won’t have the money for a while, nor will some of the parts I want be available for at least another few years, but I like thinking about it so I might as well plan it out years in advance” sense.

One of the things I’m thinking about is not getting an internal CD/DVD drive. Instead, I’d just get an external drive hooked up with USB or eSATA or whatever. This could provide:

  • Lower power usage—I don’t know how much here, but I suspect it’s some. Also, sometimes I’m too lazy to remove a cd, and then it spins up every once in a while.
  • Faster boot—fewer components to scan means faster. Especially when I leave an audio CD in and the drive has to spin up to see if it can boot from it.
  • Fewer cables inside—easier to work with and improves airflow.
  • Frees up a 5 1/2 inch bay for something else, if I ever need it

The downsides would include it being in the way on my desk or a pain to get out when I need it, and not being able to boot from it (maybe?).

What do people think? Worth it? How often do you use your drive? Anyone have actual numbers on power usage?

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One Response to “Computer without a CD/DVD drive?”

  1. Espen says:

    Bad idea, IMHO :)
    1. Lower power usage; Considering the drive is in standby 99% of the time, and probably uses <1W when it is, I’d say this is too marginal to care about.
    2. Faster boot; set up your BIOS properly and this won’t be a problem :)
    3. Fewer cables inside; by far the best argument for going for the external option if hour ask me. Especially considering most CD/DVD-drives are still hanging on to those horrid IDE cables. Sure, you can get them in non-brick-wall-shapes, aka. round, but they’re still a bitch to work with. And don’t even get me started on the whole master/slave situation
    4. Frees up a 5 1/2 inch bay; I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone, no matter how big their case is, that’s run out of available 5 1/2 inch bays ;)