DVD-RW+ DVD-RW- CD-ROM DVD-RAM What does it all mean?

By gamerex ยท 5 replies
Jul 22, 2008
  1. :( What is with all the odd terms in CD's and DVD's like the "+" and "-" and the Stuff like RW and RAM and ROM
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  3. surfersaiyan

    surfersaiyan TS Enthusiast Posts: 100

    The 'Computer Hardware Acronym List' is helpful in listing the terms but doesnt have enough detail, just acronym & full title.

    As far as RW, RAM and ROM go.. they are fairly well explained by the list:

    R = Recordable (a cd or dvd which can be written or 'burned' only once)
    RW = ReWriteable (a cd or dvd which can be written and then erased & re-written)
    ROM = Read Only Memory (a cd or dvd which can be read but not written)
    RAM = Random Access Memory - this is a tricky one. As far as DVD-RAMs go the name is a bit misleading, and some ppl with think of normal RAM immediately but basically you should think of DVD-RAM as a DVDRW but with more features and advantages.

    If you wanna get a better grip on it try this:


    or just wiki the bugger!!
  4. gamerex

    gamerex TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 151

    Thanks. Great stuff.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    In practice almost nobody uses DVD-RAM. So if you are looking for a new drive and it doesn't have that I wouldn't be concerned. You'd know if you had a use for it.
  6. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    My only comment/clarification is the R and RW can mean something a little different if it is not associated with a DVD, but instead with a DVD device on a PC. In that case, the R stands for Read only and that means that the DVD device will only Read DVD's that you put into it. A DVD RW means that the device can not only read DVD's but can also Write to them.
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