I don't have hundreds to spend on cream of the crop. I am looking 40-60 dollar price range. I wont be burning up DVD/CDs like Disco Inferno, just want a reliable stable drive, easy install I use SATA HDDs. And CDROM works. And here are a few models looking at:
ahh luxary of low priced retail. And I know LITE-ON is a good manufactuer. I know also PLEXTOR... but they are pretty expensive. I prefer Retail, last OEM granted was cheap but lasted a week. NEC model supposed me a bes buy and top rated burner/rom, but its OEM so not sure how much trust this one... Out of these 2 which like better? Or other suggestions in price range?
I have the NEC ND3550A. I would not recommend it for one simple reason- it has serious issues reading burned CD's written at any speed and on any media by my Lite-On. Since the majority of burners out there are rebranded Lite-On drives, you're bound to run into problems eventually.
Get that Lite-On. Lite-On owns in terms of compatibility.