Best IDE DVD Burners

Create CDs or DVDs on desktops using an older IDE interface

Laptop with DVD drive
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The IDE drive interface has long been replaced by the SATA. As a result, it is very difficult to find any drives as they are almost all out of production. This list is comprised of some of the last drives that are currently available but will likely disappear soon. Please keep this in mind if you do happen to have an older desktop PC that still uses the older IDE interface. Here are some of the last remaining options for those that would like a DVD-based drive for their PC.

Best High Speed - Lite-On LH20A1P186

Lite-On LH20A1P186 20x DVD Burner

IDE drives essentially went out of production back when 16x speeds were pretty much the norm. After that, SATA drives continued to push speeds all the way up to 24x. If you really need a lot of speed, then the Lite-On LH20AP186 is probably the fastest that can be found. It offers speeds up to 20x for DVD plus or minus Recordable media. The drives rewrite speeds are slower with 8x for DVD+RW and 6x for DVD-RW. The downside here is that it is not as fast when it comes to CD media topping out at 48x read and write speeds.

Best LightScribe - Memorex 20x LightScribe

Memorex 20x LightScibe DVD Burner

LightScribe was a feature that allowed optical drives to burn labels directly to compatible media. The media is quite hard to find these days but for those that want to have this ability, there are still a number of older drives out there that support the feature. Memorex is a company that was synonymous with older magnetic tape storage. The company also produced a number of drives including this one. It does support the writing of DVD media up to the 20x speed but the performance is not as good as the Lite-On drive. One downside is the odd color scheme that Memorex decided to use ​the silver drawer and black front panel giving it a two-tone look that will pretty much not match any PC case these days.

Best CD Speeds - Lite-On SOHC-5232K

Lite-ON SOHC-5232K DVD Combo Drive

Many people still use their DVD burners for recording and playback of CD media. With the rise of DVD burners, many drives started to actually drop their CD speeds down as they focused on the higher capacity and flexible DVD format. If you want blazing fast audio CD recording or ripping of media to your PC, then the Lite-On SOHC-5232K offers amazingly fast 52x speeds for all CD media. DVD speeds were still respectable for the drive with 16x speeds for the majority of the DVD read. It should be noted however that this is really a combo drive and does not have any DVD writing capability. Still, for those that want it mostly for CD media, this should not be a problem.

Most Reliable - Plextor PX-708A

Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD Burner

Most optical drives these days are extremely inexpensive. To help make them so affordable, companies use fairly basic parts that don't always have great reliability. Plextor is a company that made a name for itself by producing some solid performing and long last optical drives that could run for years and years with heavy use. The PX-708A is one of the last IDE drives they produced and while it does not offer great speeds, it was very reliable. Just don't expect much in terms of speed as it was only 8x for DVD+R media and 4x for DVD-R. Rewrite speeds were half of those. At least it offers some decent CD speeds at 40x.

Best Alternative - SATA to IDE Adapter

StarTech IDE to SATA Converter

IDE has not been used for some time. Because of this, it is very hard to find new optical drives that use the older interface. The opposite problem existed for those when SATA first came out. They needed a way to use IDE drives with their computers. Because of this, IDE to SATA adapters were created. This allowed older devices to work with newer equipment and vice versa. A small board like the one from StarTech simply plugs into the SATA ports on a brand new drive and offers IDE pins for use with the older style ribbon cables. The cost of this plus a new SATA DVD burner or even a Blu-Ray Burner can be less than an older IDE drive.

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