Several months ago, we took a look at eight DVD dual format burners and threw a barrage of media at them to see who came out on top. We were very happy to crown the Plextor 708A as champion for its ability to recalibrate 4X media on the fly with an 8X write descriptor. Since then, we have had several new drive introductions.

This time, we will approach our roundup slightly different than the previous roundup. As it is a generally accepted fact that there are only a few significantly different designs and chipsets for DVD recorders, we have taken the liberty of mapping which burners are based on which chipsets; you will see similar performance between many drives based on the same construction and chipset. In the case of many of these drives, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is the same.

Today, we have five very widely used chipsets on six popular designs. As you will see, these six design variations encompass almost every 8X dual drive on the market to date.

NuTech DDW-082
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  • CrazeeHorse - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Kristopher, define what you mean by performance. If you mean burn speed, of course it will be similar in different drives that use the same chipset, as their burn speeds are defined by the chipset! However, if you take a wider view,IMO, performance also refers to the burn strategies,media compatibility, media preferences.. all of which can vary from drive to drive, even if they are based on the same chipset. Case in point.. Pioneer 107 and NEC 2500A use the same co-developed chipset. However, NEC allows burning of certain 4X +R media (eg. RicohJPNR01) at 6X, while Pioneer limits them to 4X in their official firmware. NEC's drives have been reported to have problems with some batches of RitekG04 -R media, while Pioneer's drive seems to burn them without any issues.
    So I reiterate.. performance should cover a whole lot of other parameters,besides the ones defined by the chipset.

    Oh,Ian, this is bhairavp from CDRLabs.
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Its OK. The similarities i claimed though were in performance, not features. The operative word is similar also. So yes, in some instances it would be like saying motherboard and and motherboard b perform similarly because they have the same chipset.

    When it comes down to it, if the Memorex, ASUS and Pioneer drives are all very similar (well actually identical), wouldnt you just want the cheapest?


  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Sorry Kristopher, I didn't get your email. Send it again.

    Just to be nitpicky, there are differences between the 2500A and DDW8800, at least cosmetic. The AOpen is missing a head phone jack. The MSI and Sony drives also have their differences. In particular, the Sony is lacking HD-Burn support.

    While those are good examples of companies using the same OEM, I wouldn't say that the Gigabyte (OEM BTC?) performs like the Lite-On 812S just because they have the same chipset. That's like saying this and this motherboard perform the same because they have the same Intel chipset. You Anandtech guys should be able to relate to that.
  • arswihart - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Can somebody tell me what bit setting is and why I should care about it? Thanks
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Ian i sent you an email the other day and you never responded ;)

    There is 0 difference between the NEC2500A and the AOpen DDW8800. Same with the MSI and Sony, and the ASUS and Pioneer. They just use the same OEM so all the components are identical. Manufacturers get really upset when you say stuff like that, but its the truth.

  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    You might want to try KProbe2. It now has separate PI/PO settings.

    I was a little surprised by the "would expect similar performance" comments. While some of drives use the same chipset, there are a lot of other differences (Ex: firmware, pickups, etc) that effect performance.

    Also, when are you going to start including writing times to go along with the average writing speeds? IMO, this isn't the way to show which drive is "fastest".
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    #6: I heard otherwise about using the DDW-061 to DDW-081 utility on the DDW-082 and bumping your 8X burns to 10X. I havent tried it though thats something i will look at after finals maybe.

  • Booty - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    'didja *read* the article??'

    Nope, sure didn't... I skip through parts of most AT articles because they either get too wordy or I just don't have time to read them thoroughly. In those cases, I skip to the conclusion for a summary. My bad.
  • CrazeeHorse - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Number 2 : You can download the B372 firmware from

    Number 4 : Nopes.. you're outta luck.

    Mr Kubicki.. Why didn't you test KProbe @ 4X/8ECC as is being used @ CDFreaks and CDRLabs? The original scanning PI/PO specs call for 1X/1ECC scanning, so Max/1ECC is not going to give you correct results.

    ALso, there is NO hack for making the Nu081 burn at 10X, and their bitsetting utility is perfect. The disc is recognised as DVD-ROM by all the DVDROM drives I've tried, so it seems to work just fine;)
  • l3ored - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    the nutech and toshiba error charts dont come up

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