Best burning combos: speedy CD/DVD drives and great software packages

Getting a great CD/DVD burner is only half the battle when it comes to having a winning disc-creation package.

Though most optical drives come packaged with burning software, that software usually includes just a basic subset of features. If your creative urges outpace the capabilities of the limited software and you need more-advanced features, you should spring for the full versions of disc-authoring software, such as Nero or Roxio Toast.


Iomega Super DVD Writer
Iomega Super DVD Writer
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For fast ripping and burning at a reasonable price, the Iomega Super DVD Writer 16X16 is hard to beat.

Basic specs: Supports CD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW and DVD+R DL (dual layer).

Sony DRU-800A
Sony DRU-800A
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The Sony DRU-800A is an overall decent performer in a small package.

Basic specs: Supports CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD+R DL (dual layer) DVD-R DL (dual layer)

Nero 7 Ultra Edition
Nero 7 Ultra Edition
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Nero 7 adds significant new features to this already impressive suite, furthering its reach to the living room and giving users a true bargain.

Basic specs: Nero Home app lets users play media with remote control, support for 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound, HDV, and high-definition discs, advanced back-up options

Toast Titanium 7
Toast Titanium 7
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Even with no serious competition, Roxio Toast stays on top of its game by adding important new features and beefing up old ones. It's a must-have for Mac users.

Basic specs: Saves large folders or files across several CDs or DVDs, view and convert DivX movies or burn iMovie files into DivX, creates sophisticated slide shows, iLife browser makes it easy to find media files

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