When we first heard the announcement that the Pioneer DVR-108 was on sale, but only at a few retail merchants, we jumped. The DVDR scene has been fairly quiet since the introduction of the last round on Sanyo based burners (MSI DR12A, Sony DRU-540A, Plextor PX-712A) and thus, we had been waiting for something really to sink our teeth into. Fortunately, we were able to get our hands on one of the first Pioneer drives to hit the shelves, and we have been working diligently to benchmark that drive, while at the same time, re-benchmarking some of our older drives with new media.

16X, dual layer drives sound incredibly attractive, but since dual layer media still costs several dollars a disc and 16X media exists only in the fantasies of a few hardware manufacturers, we are going to have to approach our testing of the DVR-108D as a 12X review. We have included some DVD DL media for completeness as well. Oh, and the most exciting thing about this drive? It retails for nearly the same price as the DVR-107D, well under $100.

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  • arswihart - Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - link

    Anyone know where to get a retail dvr-108d?
  • Tote Hose - Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - link

    "Without a doubt, this is the best DVD Recorder that we have tested to date. We are looking forward to catching a glimpse of some of the BenQ and NEC solutions in the upcoming weeks, but until we can obtain samples, we have to claim the Pioneer DVR-108D as our recommendation for best DVD recorder."

    I realy cant understand your situation. In Germany we can buy for example the BenQ 1600 already since nearly 1 month (I have bought the BenQ 1610 yesterday). The Pioneer DVR-108D is available since 2 weeks now. Same thing with the 16x burners from Asus, LiteOn, NEC, Philips, Samsung, Sony, and Teac.

    I realy like this site because of the competent and trustworthy tests - and so i'm realy disappointed about the DVD-Burner Section :/

    So if youre looking for realy extensive and up-to-date DVD-Burner tests my hint is:
  • DarthRanger - Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - link

    What about Plextor adding a D/L media DVD writer to their line up? I'm surprised they haven't brought one out by now.
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - link


    Did you do the mouseover image thing? We in fact did these tests multiple times, you are usually just seeing the best burns that came out. Pioneer's burner produced lower errors with faster burns. Those are the only two elements needed to really compare two burners with equal feature sets.

    But then again, The Plextor unit costs $30 more, does not write dual layer discs and cannot read DVD-RAM. Considering the Pioneer can do anything the Plextor can, or better, for 25% less we would have to be foolish to call the Pioneer anything short of the best burner we have tested yet.

  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - link

    Phiro: I think Abit tried a legacy-free motherboard a few years ago and it bombed terribly - it had no PS/2 or serial/parallel ports but was pretty much the same otherwise.

    The same goes with PCIe and AGP; even though Intel is forcefully doing their best to ditch the godawful technology, you have people like Gigabyte and MSI who go off and design an 915P motherboard that bridges AGP through the southbridge.

    Can you name some other technologies that stick around with better, simplier technologies that have been available (for the same cost even!) to replace them for years?

    DVI versus D-sub
    USB versus PS/2 (at least argumentally)
    USB versus LPT

    The list goes on!

  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - link

    A lot of people who might want to buy a new drive don't have SATA support on their mobo, but everyone has IDE.

    I too hope more optical drives become available in SATA as that would be my preferred next choice. If Windows XP SP2 doesn't include SATA drivers as a standard part of the installation, it damn well should.

    I guess the ND-3500A will be a wonderful drive when it is reviewed, its the one I would go for given the trouble free operation I've had with my ND-2500A which hasn't burned a single bad disc (I verify everything). I couldn't care less about 8x or higher burn speeds, or DL so long as they mean more expensive discs and lower quality burns though.
  • Phiro - Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - link

    I should have phrased that last line differently.

    Until every little atapi device switches to a SATA connection inherently, regardless of performance gains, we're not going to see our old IDE headers on our motherboards going away.

    Just like the floppy drive connector. Look how long serial & parallel ports stuck around, PS2 keyboards & mice are STILL being stuck with brand new systems - USB has had legacy support available to all bios makers for a long, long time.

  • arswihart - Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - link

    I really don't know how you are saying this is the best DVD burner by far, it seems the plextor comes out ahead just as many times as the pioneer, and I think they are probably of very similar quality, also, you don't repeat any of your tests, how do I know the plextor didn't just get a bad disk in the single test you run with it, or vice versa.

    Why exactly are you saying the pioneer is easily the best DVD burner you've tested? I'm not convinced at all that its the best, although it seems at least decent.
  • Phiro - Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - link

    I don't want SATA just for performance gains - I want it for the cabling and the simplicity, and I can't wait to ditch the stupid ide headers on our motherboards.

    Every little ATAPI/whatever device going to SATA would make this a reality, regardless if it gets a performance boost.

  • Fishie - Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - link

    SATA wouldn't yield any performance gain because the bottleneck is not the cable speed. It's the speed at wish the laser can read the disc that is the bottleneck.

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