Re: Suggestions & ?'s about optical drives
First of all, choosing to have an optical drive or not is 100% up to you. you know what you need and what your situation is there so if you buy all your games via disk and not buying through Steam/Origin/whatever then you do need one. I probably differ from most here in that my main rig at home DOES have a drive so I can back up some disks I have.
So now to answer your questions:
'1: Can a Blu Ray drive also be used as a basic optical drive?
Simple answer is yes. Longer answer, a Blu Ray drive IS an optical drive. To my knowledge, all Blu Ray drives for a computer will read and CDs and DVDs and most that I've seen will burn those as well regardless if they can burn Blu Rays.
2: Does a Blu Rau burners drive differ from a Blu Ray drive by lets you burn/copy files from your PC onto a disc?
Depends on the OS. Windows 8 should let you burn natively without any third-party software however older versions would need a program to help you burn to the Blu Ray player. If you want to do this, you will need the drives capable of burning.
3: Is external or internal the better choice? Or does it not matter?
Personal choice here. I tend to not like anything external as the external interface is just one more thing to die on me.
4: Any rec. brands/models? I've read a lot of positive thinks about LG Blu Ray burners w/BDXL. Same with Pionner/Panasonic.
I have an LG reader that I'm very happy with, don't have any experiance with others.
5: When choosing a Blu Ray drive I assume I want to look @ speeds of writing/burning?
Generally, they should all be within the same speed range, even one that burns 1x or 2x faster won't be that big of a noticeable difference when burning a very large disk. While I rarely say this, you're best bet when choosing a drive is going to be the reviews of the drives in your price & feature range.
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