The upcoming holiday season has us swamped with recordable DVD drives. In the past few weeks, we have seen recordable devices from just about every major player in the optical storage forum. Typically, only about 5 or 6 unique devices exist in the market, making the life of a hardware journalist fairly easy. Unfortunately, right now, there are literally dozens of devices based on dozens of chipsets. We will take a look at some of these chipsets and burners, and see which one is right for this holiday market.

For some of these burners, we have done independent reviews in the past. The Nu Tech DDW-081, Plextor 708A, and ASUS DRW-0402P/D have all received extensive reviews from us. Remember, the ASUS DRW-0402P/D is identical to the industry standard Pioneer 106; and, the Nu Tech DDW-081 and DDW-061 are identical drives with different firmwares. In this review, we will add a few more drives to our existing mix, including Gigabyte's GO-W0404A, the new Sony DRU-530A, and the MSI DR4-A. Furthermore, we went on a shopping spree and purchased newer units from NEC and LiteOn to keep the analysis well-rounded.

Nu Tech DDW-081
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  • Icewind - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Wait, so in the Avg Write Column in your XLS sheet, thats TIME not The actually speed of the burner itself?

    Ok, looking at it, the way you have it labeled it looks alot more like the average speed the burner BURNED at, not the actual time.
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    I apologize if there was a bias away from the LiteOn drive. It was unintentional.

    PXC, alexruiz: The DD0203 was originally supposed to be in this roundup, but I severed the cable taking it apart to look at the chipset :) It will be in the next roundup.

  • pxc - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    What's up with the anti-LiteOn bias in the article? It didn't fail any tests like the NEC 1300A did, but it's trashed from first mention and in the conclusion.

    #15, I can tell you why the DD020x wasn't included: it's junk. I've had one for over a month now and it has the worst media compatibility of any dual format drive. Even the media that generally works will also fail 20% of the time. It would do Optorite no good to have it's buggy drive compared to working drives.
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    My contacts at Plextor told me dual layer media is going to cost upwards of $10. Ill pass. I am more interested in BluRay anyway.

  • artifex - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    I'd be willing to pay more than double the then DVD+R price for DVD+R dual layer media, assuming that hard drive prices haven't gone down much before then.
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Belzer: Thank you for the feedback. I do appreciate your thoroughness and I have corrected a number of errors.

    I do digress concerning the MCC 003 Media, however. Not only does DVD Info Pro identify the media as 4X write, but the Verbatim box art also identifies the media as "1-4X".

    I have all of the images from CDSpeed, so it looks like i will be spending the rest of my friday uploading them and inserting them into the article. :)

    Good to be done with finals ;)

  • alexruiz - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    A little surprised to find that some other available burners were not included:

    1) One of the most popular dual burners WAS NOT included (Optorite DD0203/DD0201) Furthermore, there is already available the 8x "+" version (DD0401)

    2) Another one is the BTC 1004IM, or the big brother, the 8x 1008IM that is supposed to write DVD-R at 8x also...

    Chistpher, can we include the Optorite DD0401 AND the BTC 1008IM for the next review?

  • michec - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    When was this review done? The 8X dual-format Lite-On drive is not a drive that is being anticipated - it's already available. I got mine on Nov 30th at a local computer show. Why bother with reviewing 4x drives when there is a 8x version that is available? What a waste of time and energy reviewing the 4x Lite-On.
  • LoneWolf1 - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    In regards to #8. You may download our entire burn time spreadsheet.
  • Icewind - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Heres a link

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