became the latest player to jump into the nascent 10X CD-ROM drive market, announcing at PC Expo that it plans to deliver the new technology starting in July.
While 6X and 8X CD-ROM drives are still the norm in multimedia
PCs, a handful of 10X drives have hit the market. Pinnacle Micro is currently
shipping its internal 10X drive for a retail price of $239, while Pioneer announced in early April that
it will ship a 10X CD-ROM drive in the third quarter.
Don't expect to see any sudden improvements in game play, though, from the
faster drives. Most CD-ROM titles have only been written to take advantage
of double- and quad-speed drives. In the short run, only users who have
very large files to
download will see the most improvement.
The rate of change in the CD-ROM market is fast approaching that of the
processor market. This latest generation of CD-ROM drives has been
introduced less than six months after 8X drives appeared. Even Acer isn't
keeping up with the changes; a company spokesperson said that they were
still "migrating" toward 8X CD-ROM drives in home PCs.
Initially, the drive will have a list price of $199 and be available
only as an internal model for sale through select hardware vendors.