DVD-RAM drive vs DVD-RW ?

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I just bought an internal Sony DVD drive at CompUSA ( $25 after rebates
this week) and when I look at it ( with no media in it) in XP, I see
that it's called a DVD-RAM drive. I've only heard that term in home
media decks - to record everyday TV programs/overwrite etc.  I've been
looking around .... via google to




I can't find the answer to this:
1.  In everyday PC use, do I care ?
2.  Are DVD's recorded on my DVD-RW, +RW drives and this new drive gonna
be interchangable etc ?

Anyone with experience using both on same PC ?


Re: DVD-RAM drive vs DVD-RW ?

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It is pretty well a standard DVD +/- burner.  It's just that it has the
added bonus of being able to read and write DVD-RAM disks as well.  Any more
normal disks recorded on the drive will be just as interchangeable.  Windows
defaults to using the DVD-RAM icon if the disk drive accepts them.

There are generally mixed reactions to DVD-RAM disks, but despite their
higher per blank costs they do have some advantages.

1. They are directly handled by Windows XP and the drive when formatted in
FAT32 (the standard PC format - XP does not record any other DVD format
without additional software).

2. They have a rewrite life of 100,000 rewrites (compared with 1000 for

3. Being hard sectored, they have a higher reliability than RW disks written
using Drag-to-disk or InCD (packet incremental format).  DVD-RAM can also be
written using packet incremental format and anecdotal evidence suggests that
it's faster, but the result can only be read on PCs loaded with the
appropriate packet incremental format software.

4. The one disadvantage they have is that the fastest drive is just 5X
(though the fastest disks that I have seen are 3X).

Re: DVD-RAM drive vs DVD-RW ?

M.I.5 wrote:
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Thanks for this interesting info, I never had a chance to explore those

John Doue

Re: DVD-RAM drive vs DVD-RW ?

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Thank you very much for the explanation: I couldn't find that info
anywhere. So it's really the media that has the advantage ...
So THAT's why I've seen DVD-RAM used in the DVD video recorders.
BUT I wouldn't have been able to read those on my " std DVD player" -
thank you.

Re: DVD-RAM drive vs DVD-RW ?

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Ah now, video recorders.  DVD-RAM has an additional advantage in these
machines.  It was the only disk format that supported being able to be
simultaneously played and recorded at the same time (including playing back
the programme being recorded).  I say 'was', because many current generation
machines now support sumultaneous record/play using the more regular DVD-RW
or DVD+RW media.  However, these machines often have operational limitations
or can occasionally screw up the recording bit (although I can see how
DVD+RW machines could do this, I cannot see how DVD-RW machines can - but
they do).  Toshiba are rumoured to have a machine with 2 laser heads, one to
record and one to play.

Re: DVD-RAM drive vs DVD-RW ?

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Further to the above, I should have pointed out that DVD-RAM is capable of
simultaneous record/play at all recording rates, but the DVD+/-RW machines
only support this feature if recording in 'LP' mode or longer (i.e 4 hour or
longer per disk).

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