Price Guides End of August 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Adam Rader on August 27, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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IntroductionIt seems as if prices are on the rise across the entire PC technology board lately. Recent jumps in prices on CPUs, long-term upward trends in memory, and now, hard drives are following suit. DVD burners, fortunately, seem to be on a somewhat lower incline at least for the time being.
Be certain to take a look at our RealTime Pricing Engine to see some of these trends for yourself and to find the absolute latest pricing information for optical and magnetic storage alike.
DVD BurnersSince our last guide covering the subject at hand, we have seen a few new DVD burners hit the market promising speeds of up to 16X. Regrettably, it seems that these drives suffer in a similar fashion as their Dual Layer counterparts in that media supporting speeds of up to 16X is difficult or impossible to find at most retailers. This, of course, will change rather quickly while it does not seem that dual layer media intends to make a hot pursuit. Dual layer discs, when found, tend to cost upwards of $12 for quality, brand-name blanks. That price is a bit difficult for most to swallow considering the ideal capacity is only 8.5 GB. To top that off, it's still too early to say whether or not DVD media suffers from the same gradual data loss that CD-R media has been proven to have in some cases. The market still has a bit of work ahead to bring media up to spec and prove itself to be a reliable and cost-effective data transfer and backup solution, specifically in the dual layer area.
However, don't let the stiff words of 16X and Dual layer media turn you off from buying a good 16X drive. In fact, the two best drives we have seen at the AnandTech labs are the NEC 3500A and the Pioneer DVR-108D. Our Pioneer review will show up tommorow and, as a bit of a teaser, it completely dominates the PX-712A in burn speeds and write quality. The Pioneer definitely gets our recommendation for this week's Optical Storage Price Guide.