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Good looking CD / DVD drive

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First post, by SimonC

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I'm trying to build late 90s early 2000 PC with an awesome look. Front bays are a really important for this and I'm having difficulties to find a good looking CD drive.

This is my best find for the moment, pionner model DVR 109XLB1 :
75796d1455111566-pioneer-dvr-109xlb1-2005r-2016-02-10_14-23-50.png?s=1b7bc8eed1aeb79b12aca890937063ee
Pioneer-DVR-109XLC1-360912254.jpg?good_id=36091&width=500&height=500&view_id=2254

Please vogons, recommend me some nice CD / DVD drives.

Reply 1 of 37, by Jorpho

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Isn't "good looking" very subjective..? I can definitely say that's the most distinctive drive I've seen in a very long time.

If you're feeling both handy and adventurous, it's usually not very difficult to pry off the plastic parts and detail them however you like, or make your own replacements.

(Of course, people generally weren't using 16x DVD drives in the late 90s or early 2000. At the time I still had a drive with a headphone jack, volume control, and pause/play buttons. But that's a whole different issue.)

Reply 2 of 37, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Opticals all tend to be pretty 'samey' but this is one I have with more of a design feel (maybe a bit too new for your period though)

LiteOn DH4O1S BD-ROM.jpg
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Reply 4 of 37, by shamino

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SimonC wrote on 2021-04-12, 20:31:
This is my best find for the moment, pionner model DVR 109XLB1 : https://forum.cdrinfo.pl/attachments/f15/75796d1455111566-pion […]
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This is my best find for the moment, pionner model DVR 109XLB1 :
75796d1455111566-pioneer-dvr-109xlb1-2005r-2016-02-10_14-23-50.png?s=1b7bc8eed1aeb79b12aca890937063ee
Pioneer-DVR-109XLC1-360912254.jpg?good_id=36091&width=500&height=500&view_id=2254

If you like that one there's another model that looks the same which you can add to your search. From a quick look in my drivers/etc archive mine goes by the names DVR-108 and DVR-A08XL. It looks the same, don't know what the hardware differences are from the 109.

Do you care about burning? Note that these do not have firmware support for newer cheaply available discs. This means it will use a generic burn strategy instead of one that's tweaked for the particular disc. If you scan such a disc for burn quality the results might be poor. I think I only checked that for DVDs though, not CDRs.
I have good burn quality results with Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD+R (which are an older disc that everybody put emphasis on supporting) but not the cheap Riteks I bought at Fry's a few years ago. Those same Riteks worked a lot better on a newer drive but the DVR-108 hated them due to the old firmware.
The same situation likely applies to other older drives also. The TYs I mentioned are probably a safe bet for almost anything and might still be available from whoever owns that product line today, but the Japan plant that made them originally has closed.

As far as scanning discs for burn quality - these Pioneers aren't good for that. They aren't well supported by Nero CD-DVDSpeed or whatever that program is called. I tried 1 or 2 other programs but bottom line I found some other drives worked better for scanning burn quality. But the quality of the burns is good if you use discs that they recognize (I just had to check them using a different drive).

Reply 5 of 37, by bofh.fromhell

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imi wrote on 2021-04-12, 21:50:

Pioneer Slot-In

:p

^^ This ^^
Tho ofc its subjective.
Also I kinda like the looks an old Plextor CDR .
Not because they are particularly pretty, but because I know its a really high quality drive =)

Reply 6 of 37, by Horun

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SimonC wrote on 2021-04-12, 20:31:

I'm trying to build late 90s early 2000 PC with an awesome look. Front bays are a really important for this and I'm having difficulties to find a good looking CD drive.
Please vogons, recommend me some nice CD / DVD drives.

That would look OK. I think a Lite-On brand would be best brand if I had to pick one.

Jorpho wrote on 2021-04-12, 20:52:

Of course, people generally weren't using 16x DVD drives in the late 90s or early 2000. At the time I still had a drive with a headphone jack, volume control, and pause/play buttons. But that's a whole different issue.

Exactly ! Here is a few NOS 2001/ 2002 CDRW with headphone jack and volume control. One has pause/play buttons, other does not but either would be more correct if trying to keep late 1990's early 2000's era
[bought from a local thrift store in the last 6 months for $5 each, see price tag]. Both work as if just made ;p

PC Hoarder Patrol wrote on 2021-04-12, 21:13:

Opticals all tend to be pretty 'samey' but this is one I have with more of a design feel (maybe a bit too new for your period though)
LiteOn DH4O1S BD-ROM.jpg

Lite-on used to sell their drives with both a Black and Beige front swappable panel but quit doing that about 5-10 years ago iirc, have some of their CDRW and DVDR drives that included both. Great drives !

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Reply 7 of 37, by imi

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bofh.fromhell wrote on 2021-04-13, 00:35:
^^ This ^^ Tho ofc its subjective. Also I kinda like the looks an old Plextor CDR . Not because they are particularly pretty, bu […]
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imi wrote on 2021-04-12, 21:50:

Pioneer Slot-In

:p

^^ This ^^
Tho ofc its subjective.
Also I kinda like the looks an old Plextor CDR .
Not because they are particularly pretty, but because I know its a really high quality drive =)

yeah, for function I would pick a plextor as well, but going purely for looks a slot-in drive was just all the rage back then ^^

Reply 8 of 37, by JidaiGeki

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Those Pioneers are very nice OP, but what does an awesome look mean? I would have thought it necessary to try to match the case design. Those drives would go very nicely with Lian Li brushed Al cases.

For other options, a modern looking case or Shuttle XPC with a Perspex front might be matched with the Sony DRU720A. I have a TDK drive with a blue tray front that matches some blue trim bits on another ATX case as well (model AI-481648B), but it’s not a great looking drive.

Last edited by JidaiGeki on 2021-04-13, 15:27. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 9 of 37, by vetz

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imi wrote on 2021-04-12, 21:50:

Pioneer Slot-In

:p

Why didn't slot-ins catch on? They are extremely convenient in my opinion.

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Reply 10 of 37, by bofh.fromhell

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vetz wrote on 2021-04-13, 08:22:
imi wrote on 2021-04-12, 21:50:

Pioneer Slot-In

:p

Why didn't slot-ins catch on? They are extremely convenient in my opinion.

Price probably.
Also there were worries that disks would get scratched, tho that could possibly be the competitors being salty.

There's also the noise, since you dont have a sealing door more noise will leak out.
Tho thats a minor issue since no high speed optical drive is silent =)

I believe they did a lot better in laptops.

Reply 11 of 37, by digistorm

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I had one long ago, and as far as I can remember there was a shutter behind the felt that prevented you from inserting a second disk. So that would not have made more noise.

Reply 12 of 37, by fool

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I like this Philips model. I dont remember the exact model I have. It has a cool horizontal blue led. It's not very beautiful, but stands out from generic mass.

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Reply 14 of 37, by weedeewee

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elfoam wrote on 2021-04-13, 14:27:

Plextor and Pioneer slot drives were what all the rich kids had in those times. I'd be finding a Plextor, SCSI version of course.

a plextor slot loader ? I think you mean cady .
edit: mmmh plextor actually has a slot loader.

Reply 15 of 37, by SimonC

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fool wrote on 2021-04-13, 14:08:

I like this Philips model. I dont remember the exact model I have. It has a cool horizontal blue led. It's not very beautiful, but stands out from generic mass.

This looks great thanks for the suggestion. Just found one for sale, also the iomega drive below looks interesting :
image.png

Pioneer slot in models look really good also. It seems there is a black version of model Pioneer DVD-106S, but in the end I like the white version better :
37511DVD-105S_big.jpg

I find it funny everyone mentions plextor being the best quality and out of all the drives I have lying around, it is the only one that does not seem to work 😁 (it powers on but not detected through IDE)

Reply 16 of 37, by Anonymous Coward

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The Japanese drives all had nice looking bezels. The designs were mostly carry over from the early 90s. Of the Japanese drives, Sony probably had the ugliest ones.
The Taiwanese and Korean ones always had a funky cheap look to them.
I think slot loaders had a tendency to scratch the hell out of discs when the eject mechanism began to fail. I've seen the same thing happen with car stereos.

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Reply 17 of 37, by henk717

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For me i ended up picking the NEC ND-2500A (Try find the ND-2510A instead, same drive but better calibration i used a firmware mod to get dual layer functionality but the 2510 will have it out of the box). Why this one? Because it has that perfect plain generic cd-drive look that fits the older build asthethic but still gets you dvd burning functionality.
yClnHJ9.jpg

Reply 19 of 37, by Unknown_K

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The creative drives are nice for old vintage gear since they were made during that period of multimedia upgrades.

I wish I had purchased a bunch of Plextor SCSI drives when they were being blown out online.

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