Over the last few years it’s become apparent, of course, that many people building and using PCs are using physical media less and less. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of people that go “Optical Drive free” seem to evangelize it and assume everybody who uses DVDs or physical media is some kind of intellectually incognizant doofus- That Optical Media is Unnecessary in general and nobody needs it, which is of course a very silly statement.
Of course it’s "unnecessary"; a Graphics card is "unnecessary" and a sound card is "unnecessary" and both have been for years, but people still buy and use them; Optical drives are probably more in the camp of the latter than the former since the former is arguably a necessity for "gaming" whereas Optical drives are certainly not- at least not, in general.
But like they said- different people have different needs; or, perhaps, a better term, would be different uses for them.
Just speaking personally, my Main System has both a Blu Ray Burner and a DVD Drive installed. I use the Blu Ray burner for watching Blu Rays, as I prefer physical media, and I’ve found BD-R discs great for making hard-copy backups. Why not use a USB Drive? I have USB drives and external USB Drives/enclosures, but I’ve found them incredibly uneconomical for long term hard backups. With Blu-Ray Discs, if I want a hard copy backup it’s something I want to burn, label, and basically file away. Flash Drives and External Drives wouldn’t work like that- they would constantly be changing alongside the data source being backed up Making them more a redundancy rather than an actual backup solution over a longer term. Another problem is that a good one isn’t cheap. The External Drives Seagate and WD sell are reasonably cheap for the capacity, mind, but- those are dogshit; WD/Seagate both use their shittiest drives and create externals out of them. Sorry but I don’t trust a Seagate Sunfish (or whatever they call their low-end model) or WD Green drive as a safe backup drive anymore than I’d trust the safe deposit boxes of a bank that operates out of the back of a Toyota Tercel. Which makes a good backup drive less economical because it means getting a good enclosure (eSATA and USB 3 is an obvious must here) as well as a good drive.
Space per GB is also better with BD-R (perhaps less with spindles of DVDs).
Another aspect is that I also have a number of older game titles on DVDs. Some are available on Steam, but I’m not about to buy them again. Fuck that noise.
of course, I *could* do all this with an External drive. But because I actually utilize the physical media it is for, it’s not economical time-wise. I use them rather frequently. So it’s sort of like somebody who for some physiological reason never shits saying that having a toilet inside is unnecessary. they are strictly right, but I’m not going to start shitting in a chamberpot or outhouse.
Conversely, it’s not Necessary- My laptop doesn’t have an optical drive, for example, and it’s not affected anything, as it’s not a gaming machine and doesn’t actually keep anything special that I need to backup to start with.