Frankly, I don’t know. Luckily, the folks over at ExtremeTech might! Let’s face it, when you hear someone say: “Dude, I just got a new PC with a killer CD-RW drive”, you just laugh, don’t you? It’s OK to admit; I do the same. CD’s are so 1990′s, but you don’t have to live in the last century. You can purchase a spankin’ new DVD writer if you know what to buy!
“In 2003, the DVD burner was slow, somewhat creaky, and an expensive luxury. As we left 2004, DVD burners capable of burning dual-layer discs at 4x and single layer +R media could be found for well under $100. With the price of some DVD burners dipping below $50, people interested in preserving their digital photographs, video, and music no longer have price as an excuse. Media costs are lower than ever, too, with single layer +R media as little as $0.50 for media rated at slower speeds (4x). So if you’re worried about the fragility of that hard drive, get a DVD burner and start backing up your digital stuff!
But which drive to get? There are dozens of different drives out there, but most these days are multiformat capable. That is, they can burn both DVD-R/-RW and DVD +R/+RW media. Increasingly common are dual-layer burners, which can burn up to 8.4GB dual-layer +R discs. Dual layer media is still pricey. The cheap discs we’ve found capable of burning at 2.4x speeds cost about $6 apiece. Those prices are starting to erode as the 4x capable drives and media hit the market.”
This is a great round up of various drives and covers the basic usage as a DVD-ROM player as well as a DVD burner. If you want to know the difference between +R, -R, single and dual layer, you need to read more.