CDRW or Zip Drive?

I am considering a PC purchase in the near future. I notice that Dell doesn't offer a CDRW and Zip drive combination (it's one or the other). Seems to me that the zip drive would offer more conveinence as far as compatibility of use with other computers (i.e. taking from home and using at work or elsewhere), but the CDRW offers more storage capacity at a significantly reduced cost per disk purchase.
My question for the group is... Which of the two offers the fastest access times?
Sure wish Dell offered both on a PC, but their technical support said that it was "a cabling issue" that didn't allow them to install both on a single PC.  Your thoughts?


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A couple key points...
The CDR would actually be more "compatible" with other systems in a read situation ie: distributing info. Any PC with a CD or DVD would be able to read the disk you burn and at $2/CD thats not bad !
The ZIP drive would definately offer MUCH faster performance on writing data out to disk being that the CDR would most likely be a 4speed write (very slow !) but then on the read side again (reading from the disk) the CD may outperform the ZIP drive.

Honestly I like the CDR more because of capacity and higher level of compatibility with others. The only gain with the ZIP is quicker writing ability.

You really have to weigh the choices depending on how you are going to use it. If you need to have portabilty both ways then your choice is made I think.

If your home PC has a CDR and office a ZIP then you can make your home data readily available for the office but NOT the other way around right ?

But if you want to burn say music CDs for freinds then the ZIP wont do either. Of course there is another alternative (at a price of about $99) thats get the CDR internal and buy an external ZIP drive of both worlds !

Hope I confused you enough to make a decision !
Good Luck !
Think of it this way.  Just about every computer has CD-ROM.  Moreover, there are more CD-ROMs on a computer than ZIP drives.  Therefore, CD ROMS are more accessable than ZIP drives, not to metion more storage capacity and music CD copying ability.  Hence, I strongly recommend CD writer or rewriter over ZIP anytime, if I were to choose one of two.  Also, if you decide to go with CD writer, use Adaptec's Easy CD Creator program.  They are the best CD copier you could find.  Go to and learn about the product.  You could try trial version to test them out.  Good luck.

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CDRW all the way, I lubba it.
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Strange that Dell has an issue with having both a CDRW and a Zip drive. One of my Dimensions has a CDR and a Zip drive and I have no problems with it. I have another computer with both a CDRW and a Zip on the same IDE channel and also have no problems with it. Perhaps you might want to consider getting the Dell with just one of the two, and adding the other one later. I have 2 Dell desktops and have swapped hardware into both of them (CDR, Zip, Jaz, Video card, modem, SCSI cards, sound cards, etc.) without any problems.
Consider Quantex...they'll put both into one machine and keep it reliable.  Plus, Quantex is on average to be cheaper, better quality, and better customer support.  If a Zip is what you need, great.  I love my zip drive.  But if you get the Dell and buy an external Zip, you'll be damned either way, since the parallel version is about as slow as writing CD-R's at 4x, and the SCSI version requires you to break warranty by installing a SCSI card...but yields optimum speed.  CD-R is by far the best format for total compatibility and storage size...and I have to differ on the opinion of Adaptec Esy CD creator.  Get Nero.  It's as easy to use as Easy CD, but it writes MUCH more reliably, especially audio.  I can't even begin to count the number of coasters Easy CD created for me
I too am interested in the subject but only to the extent of which CDR-RW to get.
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