There are two kinds of optical disks: compact discs (CDs) and digital video disks (DVDs). CDs hold 700 MB of data, or about 80 minutes of digital audio or video. DVDs are typically used to store movies because they hold about 10x the information.
CD ROM: A read-only drive ? it does not record. 52x means it reads really fast (technically, it means ?52 times the speed 150KB/second?)
CD-R: Read discs or create your own. 48x12x48x means it reads at 48x, writes at 12x to 48x, depending on your drive settings and disc.
CDRW: This can read or write to disc, with the added benefit of reusing discs (at least those marked as RW).
48x12x48 means it reads at 48x, writes at 12x to 48x, depending on your drive settings and disc.
DVD ROM: A read-only drive that does not record.
DVD-R/+R: Reads and writes to DVD discs. The ?R (?minus-R?) and +R (?plus- R) represent the two standards in DVD writing technology.
DVD-RW/+RW: Reads and writes to DVD discs, plus it can rewrite to appropriate RW discs. As above, the ?RW (?minus-RW?) and +R(?plus-RW?) represent the two standards in DVD rewriting technology.