Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Forget the DVD & Save on your New Laptop

I’ve written before about the coming death of the CD/DVD’s for data storage.  While that time hasn’t come yet for desktop there is one realm where CD/DVD players are no longer needed. If you’re getting ready to purchase a new laptop the one place you can really save is by shopping for a machine without a CD/DVD player. Not only will you save cash, but you’ll also save big time on weight and energy consumption.

What about Installing Software?
One of the benefits of a CD/DVD player has been for installing new software that is sold on disc format. In these days of broadband access, it’s more common to install entire applications from the web. If you’re using a home network with any other computer that has a CD/DVD then you already have one. It’s a simple process to set any CD/DVD as a shared device. It can then be mapped to your laptop so it behaves like a local device. Windows 7 makes it even easier.

What about listening to music or watching movies?
My guess is most of you have little devices called iPods, MP3-Players or Smart Phones that store plenty of music and even play movies. Why would you use all the power on your laptop to play a movie off a DVD when you can read it off an alternate digital storage device. If you don’t have one now you’ll be able to afford one by not purchasing a CD/DVD on your new laptop.

Invest the cash you save
I was asked to write an article about saving money. So, you’re saving money by not having a CD/DVD let’s spend it!
The most expensive new option on laptops is the one I recommend the most. More than CPU speed, 64 bits or even memory I encourage folks to choose a Solid State Drive(SSD).  I’m sure I’ll get some arguments and hopefully the future will bring better prices I put a high value on my data now. The cost of data restoration for a normal hard drive will be more than the cost of your laptop. 

The next time you’re on a plane look up at the overheard compartments and check out how much vibration there is even on the smoothest flight. A SSD is more expensive but has no moving parts. It may hold less data but if you’re on a home network you really want to store much of your data on a single networked machine that performs regular backups.

Prices via 9/12/2010

Do you really need 500 GB on a laptop? Two years ago I could only get a 64 GB SSD on my ThinkPad X61. Even with 10 GB used for restoration data I still have 14 GB free. That’s amazing considering I have all my development tools(Visual Studios 2010), photo tools(including Photoshop), video tools and Microsoft Office Ultimate all installed on this system.


While I do store a number of photos and music on my laptop, most of my photos are saved on a network drive which can also be shared by other family members.

If you have other ideas on saving cash on a new laptop let me know.

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Blogger Les Tokar said...

My name is les and I publish a website called The SSD Review at I wanted to commend you on your article and state that its wise advise that many overlook when thinking about an ssd. I have recommended to countless people to throw the ssd in as the main OS boot drive and then to swap the dvd for a large hard drive for storage...

Countless people have thanked me for such and I can point you to an article which has gotten a large response with respect to this on Notebook review if you would like.

6:27 AM  
Blogger nightsmusic said...

While I can appreciate the power consumption, or lack thereof, by not having an internal CD/DVD drive, there is no way I would go without one, even if it was external.

I have tons of old movies on DVD that I've managed to purchase or find over the past few years. For those I had to purchase, it was the only way I could have them. I choose not to store them all on my harddrive because the more I store, the slower my laptop eventually becomes, the slower movies download from the web, the more I am forced to decide which to keep and which to delete.

I burn the to DVD and that way too, I can transfer those I want onto my EVO to watch on long flights since I don't take my laptop with me.

But if I didn't do that, I'd have to try to find them and purchase them every time I was interested in watching them and by the time I've done that half a dozen times, I've paid for at least an external drive.

10:17 AM  

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