More commonly called CDs, CD-ROMs are a type of data medium. CD-ROM drives are a read-only drive type designed to read data encoded on a CD and to transfer it to a computer or machine.
Unlike other drive types that can also write onto data devices, CD-ROM drives can only read and copy data, not actively interact with it and delete or edit it.
Technipages Explains CD-ROM Drive
While other CD-reading enabled devices like audio compact disk players can play music stored on that disk at 1:1 speed, CD-ROM drives are specifically optimised to locate and copy data on CDs at high speeds. Music players only need to find the beginning of audio tracks, at which point they play sequentially.
That said, CD-ROM drives are still significantly slower than computer disk drives. Exactly which speed they can achieve is usually expressed via multiples of the original CD-ROM specification. That was 150k per second – typical modern drives achieve around 24 times that. This will be written as 24x, usually. Software enhancement of CD-ROM drive hardware is possible but depends on the manufacturer. Some have claimed up to 100x the speed of the original 150k, but most are significantly below that.
Next to more modern formats like DVD or Bluray drives, the usage of CD-ROM drives has diminished significantly, and is no longer standard in modern computers or devices.
Common Uses of CD-ROM Drive
- CD-ROM drives are read-only drives.
- Compared to Bluray drives, CD-ROM drives are quite outdated now.
- The speed of a CD-ROM drive is generally expressed in multiples of the original 150k per second standard.
Common Misuses of CD-ROM Drive
- CD-ROM drives can be used to burn content onto CDs.