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by convention CD#1 should have all necessary files to get you up and running with gnome or kde. then you use yum to install additional packages. to my surprise, CentOS does not do this. so, i switched to netinstall. worse, netinstall is not preconfigured with repositories. you have to do this manually. it took me a while to figure it out.
With the netinstsll, you can download the full version and either copy the contents to a suitable directory or mount the iso liek a drive. You can then use the netinstall to boot a system and use the mounted full version to supply all the code. IT can be referenced as an nfs mount, http, ftp, etc.
Why? Well a far from exhaustive list I'm sure, but:
You can put the netinstall on a CD if you don't have a DVD drive or writer
I'm sure you could put it on a USB drive
You could easily adjust the packages on the master version to provide the latest or modified or old standard or anything else
Plus I'm sure many more.