Spring 2004 DVD Performance Roundup: More DVD Dual 8Xby Kristopher Kubicki on April 28, 2004 7:00 AM EST
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NuTech DDW-082The original NuTech DDW-081 was one of our favorite burners around the lab, since it was cheap and fast. The drive worked superbly for DVD+R, but did not originally support DVD-R media until the newest firmware revisions. The DDW-082 is very similar to the DDW-081, except for the fact that out of the box, it supports 8X DVD-R. Furthermore, the DDW-082 supports "bitsetting" and carries an $85 price tag.
As we looked at in the NuTech DDW-081 review, the DDW-082 is based on the same Philips Nexperia chipset from our last NuTech drive (in fact, the two drives are identical). The Nexperia chipset is one of the most documented chipsets on the internet, but at the same time, least adopted. NuTech stands out from other drives that use the Nexperia chipset, mostly for their ingenuity in squeezing every last drop of performance possible via firmware upgrades. The Nexperia PNX7850 chipset is not even supposed to support DVD-R capabilities, yet Quanta/NuTech engineers seem to have achieved just that. We went and bought a DDW-082 for this review, but you may be able to flash your DDW-081 into a DDW-082.
Below is a quick overview of specifications on the drive. The Nu Tech website has the specifications listed as well:
|Nu Tech DDW-082|
|CD Write Speed||40X, 32X, 24X (CAV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
|CD Rewrite Speed||24X, 16X (CAV)
10X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
|CD Read Speed||40X Max (CAV)|
|DVD-R Write Speed||8X (Z-CLV)
4X, 2X (CLV)
|DVD-RW Rewrite Speed||4X, 2X, 1X (CLV)|
|DVD+R Write Speed||8X (Z-CLV)
4X, 2X (CLV)
|DVD+RW Rewrite Speed||4X, 2.4X (CLV)|
|DVD Read Speed||12X Max (CAV)|
|Supported Modes||DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / SAO 16 & 96
|Supported Formats||DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-DA,
CD-ROM XA, Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
|Access Time||CD: 120ms
As we can see, the CDRW speeds have been increased from 10X to 24X with this burner, a great improvement over the last drive. All other features remained virtually identical, including access time. Mount Rainier support has also been added since the previous DDW-081.
We should mention that the DDW-082 does not support true bit setting capabilities. Although there are some bit setting utilities floating around for the DDW-081/082, they do not set the DVD-ROM bit in the traditional sense. Your compatibility mileage may vary with this drive if you rely on bitsetting.
Another drawback of the DDW-082 is the occasional poor media support. Although the drive has come a long way, we occasionally find cheap unlabeled media that the drive cannot burn (particularly with DVD-Rs).