What are optical drives? Are they worth it in 2022?

Optical drives used to be so popular that almost every computer had one. This innovation is rapidly becoming old; finding a PC with an essential optical drive is turning out to be progressively disruptive.

An optical disc drive (ODD) allows you to play music or watch movies on optical discs like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray. Before we begin how worth it having an optical drive in 2022, we will learn how optical drives work and what their types are. Let’s begin:

How do optical drives work?

Optical drives have a data and power cable that connects to the computer motherboard and a power button that regulates access to the disc tray. In an optical disc, data is encoded in flat areas and stored in the spiral track of the optical disk. The level segments are termed as lands, addressing “1” while the hollows are called pits and address “0”. The fundamental technology behind all optical drives is the same.

Types of Optical Disc Drives

Optical disc drives are divided into two types based on the disc loading techniques they employ:

Tray Load Drive: The disc is loaded into a motorized tray that moves in and out of the computer in a tray-loading mechanism.

Slot-load: The disk is inserted into space in a slot-loading system, and the mechanized rollers inside the drive are used to move the disk in and out.

Three main varieties of optical discs are:

CD: Compact Disc is the first disc-based drive.

DVD: Digital versatile memory, they are the evolution of CD and have greater capacity and performance.

Blu-ray discs: They are the latest optical drives, and they can process a large amount of data.

What are some advantages of optical drive?

Following are the advantages of the optical drive:

  • Optical media have a larger storage capacity
  • They are less expensive and magnetic/electrical disturbances don’t affect them
  • They are small in size and lightweight
  • Data retrieval is quick because optical media access data in random order

Are optical drives worth it in 2022?

Optical drives, which can read and write CDs, DVDs, and even Blu-Ray discs, have long been a part of the PC world. Even though it may appear to be a bad thing, discs are gradually becoming outdated. Optical drives tend to take up a lot of space, making computers big and unattractive. Because of the advancement of better data management methods and storage technologies, optical drives are becoming less widespread. Smartphones do not have hard drives, but they can still play music, movies, and other digital data.

Cloud computing has also exploded in popularity. This resulted in ubiquitous streaming video in the media world, where music, movies, and other content previously supplied on optical discs could be accessed without the necessity of physical media. Optical drives, despite their rarity, have several advantages.

Alternative to optical drives?

Optical drives are replaced by mechanical hard drives which are a lot cheaper now and SSDs. They are often less than $100 and provide faster data access. Solid-State Drive (SSD) technology will also become advanced over time.


Optical drives are comparatively more advanced than that time when floppy disks were popular, but nowadays nobody will prefer such a huge device in the computer as it consumes a lot of space. USBs and SSDs have replaced the optical drives and even cloud storage allows us to store and transfer massive data. We can transfer, recover, and save our data in a very fast way using SSDs, as it’s the latest technology and smaller in size, fast in speed, users only prefer this, and we also have to move with the technology to be updated with the trend.

About the author

Zainab Rehman

I'm an author by profession. My interest in the internet world motivates me to write for Linux Hint and I'm here to share my knowledge with others.