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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  • rms - Saturday, December 13, 2003 - link

    Why was there no identification/information on the physical drive used in these products? I'm disappointed.

    rms
    Reply
  • artifex - Saturday, December 13, 2003 - link

    Have you noticed that if you rip the ISO with DVDD, you need to burn it with that? I had trouble reading a DVD that I burned using Nero, but when I went back to DVDD for the burn it worked fine. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, December 13, 2003 - link

    I use K3B and DVDTools for linux as well. Nero is good, depends on what you end up doing with it though. For ISOs and GIs, DVD Decryptor and Alcohol 120% are my particular choice of poisons.

    Cheers,

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Saturday, December 13, 2003 - link

    Haha, for some stupid reason that Sonic Software that came with my Lite On DVD+RW only drive said a new disc was already full or something stupid. Used nero from my other drive and works fine. Nero rocks, of course, under linux with SuSE and K3B and DVDtools it works fine too. Burns for me took around 13.5 min. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Belzer, I emailed Nic about it. I was in fact using 2.24

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • artifex - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Hmmm turns out my drive is identical to the BTC 1004IM. What can I say? I don't see any drives using that base in the comparison either, though I hardly feel prejudiced against, like the Lite-On people :)

    Anyway, looks like it does what I need it to, even has Mount Rainier support (My RW5125A didn't according to DVDinfoPro), for 1/2 the Plextor or Sony, so I should live with it for a while, right? I mean... I'm used to burning DVDs at 2.4x anyway, and now I can use the - formats (yuck, if I have to).
    Reply
  • Belzer - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Kristopher: I think the MCC 003 should be identified as 8x in the latest (2.24) version of DVDInfoPro too. Reply
  • artifex - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Jeez, over $10? They must have a built-in Hollywood tax planned.

    I decided I couldn't wait. Fry's had a weird "Emprex" +- brand on sale for $90 before tax here in Dallas. I figure for under $100, I'll not worry about burning it up before Blu-ray... or whatever competes against it.

    I'll let you know how it works... so far I see the websites on the box don't have any info on the drive :( It does seem to have a reasonably complete set of software, though. If nothing else, I can use it a little while and exchange it.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Belzer: Youre probably right. In DVD Info Pro, I got this (14)

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/storage/roundu...

    Looks like the discs are just ahead of their time ;)

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Belzer - Friday, December 12, 2003 - link

    Thanks for the update, Kristopher! Sorry if I sounded rude in my last post.

    About the Verbatim media:
    MCC 001 = 2.4x, MCC 002 = 4x, MCC 003 = 8x

    Check Philips' list with approved media:
    http://www.licensing.philips.com/services/db/midco...

    or check this thread:
    http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13821

    or check Plextor's list of compatible media:
    http://www.plextor.com/english/support/media_708Co...

    or check for yourself with DVDIdentifier:
    http://dvd.identifier.cdfreaks.com/

    Verbatim probably hadn't the new 8x box art available yet so my guess is that they put the sample discs they sended to you in an old case.
    Reply

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