Price Guides November 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Adam Rader on November 6, 2004 12:00 PM EST
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IntroductionWelcome back for the latest storage price guide. We haven't seen too many changes lately when it comes to storage price and this includes both hard drives and optical media. It seems as though storage has all but hit a roadblock on cost per gigabyte and the only place where there has been any change worth mentioning has been in the area of DVD storage. Our recent 16X roundup took a look at eight of the latest and greatest burners around and came out with a definite winner. This guide will also check in with hard drive prices to see if there are any deals out there worth looking at.
Be sure to visit our RealTime Pricing Engine for up-to-date pricing on everything mentioned in this guide and much more.
DVD Burners16X DVD burners are becoming as affordable as anything these days and that bonus does not have to come with any performance or quality deficiencies either. With the days of non-stop coaster burning CD drives long gone, we have all come to expect reliable burns the first time, and every time. This mindset is easily transferred to DVD burning and the drive and media manufacturers know this. That is why DVD burning hasn't suffered as greatly from poor burn quality as CDs once did, and the ability of drives and media to perform successfully, burn after burn, is getting better each time that a new drive comes out, it seems.
Long story short, the NEC ND-3500A, which can be had for less than $70 shipped, takes the cake as the best burner available for a more than reasonable price. The 3500A managed to come out as a very well-rounded drive in terms of media support, desireable lack of coaster creation, and it did so at the lowest price point of any other drive in the roundup. All things considered, older 8x or 12x drives aren't even really worth buying, since they are most often priced near or above the price of this NEC and perform noticeably slower.