DVD Burners

With dual-layer media still nearly non-existent, not to mention being very expensive if you can find it, we won't place too much emphasis on DL capability with this guide, even though many drives now come with it as a standard feature or are easily flash-upgradeable to have that capability. Until media for DL burning starts hitting store shelves, and in meaningful numbers, we won't be too concerned about this.

Since our last guide covering DVD burners, not too much has changed, nor have many new or better models hit the market. For this reason, the NuTech 8X DDW-082 gets this week's recommendation for its nearly rock-bottom price and for its burn quality. The NEC-2500A is also a good burner - we use both as our burners of choice in the lab. If speed is an issue for you and you'd like to move up to 12x burning, the Plextor 12X PX-712A is a great choice, but you will pay a premium for that speed boost.

Since there will always be early adopters, Dual Layer drives still need to get a fair mention in this guide. Sony's DRU-700A (or the idential LiteON SOHW-832S) still stands out from the crowd with its media compatibility, speed, and ability to burn dual layer DVDs. Again, only if you are able to procure the prerequisite media. In any case, this drive will future-proof you for a quite bit longer than non-DL capable drives, which is something to keep in mind when looking at the price tag associated with the DRU-700A.
Many have asked why we do not recommend the ND-2510A. As far as our tests have shown, the dual layer capabilities of the ND-2510A are not very great. The drive does not write dependably to dual layer discs yet.


Index Hard Drives: Parallel ATA
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  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, July 17, 2004 - link

    MadAd,

    I agree with you. right now the tables are hard coded into the website so they dynamically update even as the page gets older. We have the capabilities to do as you ask, its just taking some time. Moving the price guide engine from PHP over to .NET is taking us a little while - but dont worry we hear your thoughts.

    XRaider,

    That link should be fixed now, the backend had a hiccup.

    TrogdorJW,

    More drives added.

    Kristopher

    Reply
  • MadAd - Saturday, July 17, 2004 - link

    when o when will you add in a $ per MB column for the drives?

    I mean look at the layout, youve got a shipping cost column that hardly gets used on some pages.

    Why not trash the shipping column, as well as the total column, just put the total price in the price column and colour code it. Black for no shipping (0:00) and say, blue? or bold? to denote that some shipping is included in the price figure.

    That way you can free up 2 columns, still alert people when shipping is included (without having to display a shipping price) and have a free column to put in $ per MB stats :)

    (infact since theres 2 columns freed up, you could still put delivery price, just include it in the final price and save having 2 price columns.

    Anyway, its your website, i dont care how you squeeze it in, just please, the most useful reference statistic you can have for hdds is simply missing right now - buying it and caring about shipping costs comes way later in the decision chain.

    Thanks guys
    Reply
  • XRaider - Saturday, July 17, 2004 - link

    I noticed that the SATA Raptor 74 Gig drive is wrong when you click on the link to Mwave. It brings up the old WD 36GB 360GD Hard Drive. What the deal? :( Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Friday, July 16, 2004 - link

    No one knows about DL compatibility as there isn't enough DL media available yet.

    The ND-2510A is physically identical to the ND-2500A in every way, so theres no reason not to get an ND-2510A if you want DL capability and arguably the best DVD burn quality available. Or you could get an ND-2500A if you don't mind flashing it with firmware for the ND-2510A as all reports so far suggest flashed ND-2500A's are every bit as good at DL burning.

    Given that the ND-2500A is roughly the same price as the NuTech drive, has arguably the better DVD writing quality, and is (unofficially) DL capable, its hard not to recommend it as the top choice. Alternatively if you want manufacturer supported DL capability then pay a little more for the ND-2510A. I'd recommand either before the NuTech DDW-082.
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Friday, July 16, 2004 - link

    One other comment: your list of SATA hard drives seems rather limited. I know Samsung provides 160 GB SATA drives for a relatively low price. I'm using two of them in my home system, in fact. They're just as quiet as the Seagates, and come with a 3 year manufacturer warranty. I'm quite happy with my Samsung drives... they might be slightly slower than other drives, but I can't tell any difference between these drives and my old WD1200JB, other than the lack of noise. Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Friday, July 16, 2004 - link

    You know, I would agree that dual layer isn't really that important on the media side, but we all know prices on the media will eventually drop. If the cost isn't much greater, wouldn't you want a DL capable DVD burner? Sure you would! Which is why I question the choice of the Sony DRU-700A as the alternative for dual-layer support. $172!? Why on earth would anyone want to spend that much on a DVD burner, when a little further down your price list is the $83 NEC ND-2510A. Maybe it doesn't have the same level of compatibility? Anyway, according to Newegg, it is 2.4X DVD+R9 capable (or whatever the official name of dual-layer DVD+R is called). http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductdesc.asp?desc...

    Is there a problem with that NEC drive? Any reason to *not* get it? I figure for the $20 price premium over the NuTech, I get future support for DL media if/when the price comes down. I'm *seriously* thinking of buying the drive, and would appreciate any input you can give.
    Reply
  • KnightOwl - Friday, July 16, 2004 - link

    Something's wrong with the price for the Hitachi 160 GB SATA drive. ZipZoomFly has it in Stock for $96 with free shipping, about $15 less than your indicated price. And ZipZoomFly doesn't even show up in the list when you check prices. Reply
  • araczynski - Friday, July 16, 2004 - link

    dangit, i am shocked and appalled at the lack of a NVidia/ATI chipset comparisons in this article, haven't they been sending you guys enough glossy brochures?!?!?!

    ;) extremely slow day at work...
    Reply

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