Why don't gaming laptops have CD/DVD drives anymore?
Laptop Questions

Why Don’t Gaming Laptops Have CD/DVD Drives Anymore?

Why don’t gaming laptops have CD/DVD drives anymore? I’ll explain why and see what models still have optical disc drives going into 2020 and beyond.

This might seem obvious, but I get asked this question quite often, so let’s discuss why some regions around the world still rely on this outdated technology.

Size matters

Size is of course the most obvious reason that they’ve essentially disappeared. A CD/DVD drive takes up a lot of physical space.

ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE CD Drive
ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE CD Drive

The disc alone requires at least 12cm x 12cm or 4.7″ x 4.7″ of physical space.

As laptops are made to be portable devices, space is extremely valuable real estate. In most cases, that space is much better utilized for more people with other more modern features.

It’s an old, dying medium

A lot of the world simply doesn’t use CD/DVD drives anymore, that’s just the way technology goes. I have been told by some laptop manufacturers that regions like India still have a high demand for CD/DVD drives.

I’ve heard that due to the combination of many areas having slow Internet speeds, and the fact that it’s so easy to come by movies on CD/DVD, many people in such regions still want to be able to play this media through their laptops.

Unless companies take this into considerations within those specific markets, you’re probably not going to have very much choice when it comes to buying a new gaming laptop if you want a CD/DVD drive.

But I really need a CD/DVD drive in my laptop!

You can still buy external drives that connect via USB for about $20. Just buy one of those and plug it in when you need it.

This is the best solution you’re going to find if you need a modern gaming laptop. There are still some laptops that have a CD/DVD drive present, primarily in the business/enterprise space. For the most part however, you’ll be limiting yourself to shopping older models.

Here is a list of some modern laptops that still have the drive present if you require portability and don’t want to also carry the external drive with you.

The only gaming laptop in the last 4-5 years that I’ve tested with a CD/DVD drive was the ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE. I’ve covered more than 150+ laptops in that time, so the fact that this was the only one with support for optical media is telling.

The fact is, most of the world has moved on. The reasons above explain why we don’t see gaming laptops with CD/DVD drives anymore. In most regions they’ve been left in the past, where they belong.


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  • CodgerFace

    Glad that spindle of CD-R discs you still have finally came in handy.
    😂 I have a 100ct spindle of DVDs that’s still 2/3 full. Mistakes were made in 2008…

    • Jarrod

      So I legitimately still need them, my 1999 car has a 6 stacked CD player and when I want new music I need to use one 😎 I also had a stack of 10 DVDs for years, but I realised it wasn’t opened so didn’t use it for the video haha

  • DoomDude

    If you reject physical media then you are a cuck. With physical media they can’t be changed, altered or deleted. However, with digital media you only rent from shady companies that can censor or alter media to remove ‘problematic content’ or up date to ‘modern sensibilities’. Even worse they can be outright removed and if you don’t have a physical backup it’s gone forever. Taking optical drives out of laptops was a huge mistake and just caters to lazy morons and cucks who don’t care about ownership. Though perhaps this was by design “you will own nothing and you will be happy”

    • Jarrod

      I reject having 1/4 of my device essentially being unused space lmao. If I seriously wanted to use dated media then I have the option to buy a cheap USB drive, it makes no sense to force everyone to have it built in.

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