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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | CD-ROM Drives | Rewriteable CD (CD-RW) ]

CD-RW Drives and Software

CD-RW drives are similar to CD-R drives except of course that they employ a very different kind of laser, to enable them to write the special CD-RW media. Like CD-R drives, CD-RW drives are capable of writing in multiple different standard formats, and reading those formats as well. CD-RW drives can also write CD-R media, making them extremely flexible.

There is one significant disadvantage to CD-RW drives, however, compared to CD-R drives: they are basically limited to writing at 2X speeds. Unlike CD-R, the actual writing mechanism is tied to a specific speed, which is currently 2X as specified in the "orange book" standard. In order to create 4X CD-RW, for example, a new standard would need to be created. With CD-R it's simply a matter of how efficiently and effectively the drive can write at a higher speed.

CD-RW drives are managed using software basically similar to that used for CD-R drives.

Next: CD-RW, CD-R and CD-ROM Compatibility

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