Sony DRU-710A

Sony has produced some very intriguing products over the last few years, particularly since the DVDR format wars started to really heat up. Sony generally takes the most competent recording platform and then rebrands it while working with the original OEM to improve the firmware and write descriptors. The last several iterations of Sony burners are based on LiteOn OEM designs, and the DRU-710A is no exception either.

Up until recently, Sony actually had two product lines: a high speed, single layer line (DRU-5Xx) and a slower, dual layer line (DRU-700). Now that dual layer burners are synonymous with 16X burners, the 5Xx line has slightly given way to the 7Xx series instead.

Sony DRU-710A 16X DVD-/+RW Drive
Interface PATA
CD Write Speed 48X CAV
40X, 24X, 16X, 8X P-CAV
CD Rewrite Speed 24X, 16X, 10X, 4X Z-CLV
CD Read Speed 40X MAX CAV
DVD-R Write Speed 8X, 4X, 2X, 1X Z-CLV
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2X, 1X CLV
DVD+R Write Speed 16X CAV
12X, 8X, 4X, 2.4X P-CAV
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2.4X
DVD+DL Write Speed 2.4X
DVD Read Speed 16X MAX
Supported Modes DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / RAW SAO, RAW SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
DVD-R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD-RW (restricted overwrite)

Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
Access Time CD: 145ms
DVD: 135ms
Buffer 2MB

Just like our DRU-700, the DRU-710 supports booktype setting and error diagnostics from the MediaTek chipset. As you can see above, all of the specifications are identical between the DRU-710A and the LiteOn SOHW-1633.

Click to enlarge.

Product support for Sony is top notch. We have dozens of great experiences when testing Sony's quality control, and their forums, help desk and live chat all surpass anything that the other drive manufacturers in this analysis are capable of.

Click to enlarge.

Sony recorders are almost always the most expensive retail drives in our roundups, and that hurts them considerably in the price analysis. However, if you look for their OEM models in places like NewEgg, you can find much cheaper drives without software.

Like the LiteOn counterpart, the Sony DRU-710A was also extremely noisy and emitted a high pitched whine during the entire burn.

Feel free to download the performance graphs for the DRU-710A here.

LiteOn SOHW-1633S LG GSA-4160B


View All Comments

  • gtanuel - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Just want to add an info about BenQ DW1620 pricing. I bought DW1600 3 days ago at SG$ 98 (that's about US$54-58). After upgrading the BIOS, it's now on DW1620's firmware B7M9. If the physical is the same as DW1620, it's effectively the cheapest 16x among the rest. Reply
  • kernelgui - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    On page 13 where you published the test results with Ritek G05 media the graph heading indicates DVD-R 8X write speeds, however the smaller print below that indicates DVD+R media. Can you perhaps clarify if this table is based on + or -

  • Fionavar - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Thanks for the great review! Just one note of possible mistake - you have the DL R speed of the ND 3500a @ 2.4 when I believe it should be 4x. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Maverick215: Testing 8 DVD drives takes more than just a few days. Our roundup was submitted Mid October and posted Nov 1.

    The zip files are at the bottom of each drive page. Look at the bottom of page 6 for the Benq.

  • Maverick215 - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    KristopherKubicki: Let me see if I got this.
    You say that you tested the most recent firmware available on the Benq. Your previous review was posted September 29th, 2004. The next firmware released was B7K9, files in that zip are dated 9.27.04 and it was posted to benq's US site 9.29.04 (the same day the initial review was released) So if you "... tested with the newest firmware possible" then either
    is outdated or you tested the drive for 'this' roundup 'before' the previous review was released. I'm inclined to think the latter is true based on the features of B7K9. Similarly, "(your) second look at the DW1620 uses the same firmware, although (you) were able to get some better media." I assume you got this media prior to 9.29.04 as well...
    Just trying to figure this out for myself here (btw I can't seem to find the .zip files you refer to). I have no vested interest in any of this, just like to see things clearly.
    Back to the firmware issue. B7K9 introduced a great many write strategies changes.
    I will pick out the media tested that seems to have changed since before B7K9
    Mitsubishi (MCC 03 RG20) DVD-R is now 16x (should put speed about the same as NEC)
    Mitsubishi (MCC 003) DVD+R is now 12x (should be about the same as the RITEK test on the BENQ)
    Ritek (RITEK R04) DVD+R is a 16x supported media
    Mitsubishi (MCC 004) possibly had a write strategy change (uncertain) to make it full 16x; same for (RITEK R03)
    Don't get me wrong I understand you guys can't test the latested of the latest ultra alpha zeta laser tool chain master firmware (yes I made that up as I went) and compile a review/comparison instantly. But I would expect if you are using new material for a new review that you use the latest firmware/software etc that is available at the start of that review/comparison. At the VERY least you could mention that firmware revisions/updates/etc have been made (google is easy to use) and likely improve the results of XYZ. Further mentioning new features have been introduced, such as in B7M9 (released 10.27.04) where high speed (8x) disc quality testing with nero cd/dvd speed has been added (must use latest firmware, with latest software).
    I may not expect to see such things on (insert company fanboy website here) but I certainly expect nothing less than what I suggest from "the leading IT source for hardware analysis and industry news"
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    BTW CDfreaks says the 1.01 firmware is out. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Actually if you look at store pickup it shows in stock (for me) at several places. But no one at those friggin stores ever answers the phone.

    Going out there right now to see, pick up 3 if they have them.

    Thanks for heads up.
  • Dennis Travis - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    The Modesto, Calif Best Buy had 5-6 the night I got mine. I was shocked to see it there. I am glad I bought it. My friend has the 712 and never a coaster after at least 500-600 DVD's and hunderds of CDR's. And the DVD's play on anything in my house including a Sony DVD that hates all burned media.

    Same with the 716a so far.
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    We will test a PX-716A as soon as we get a sample.

  • Warder45 - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Nm they are backordered till the 11th - 17th. I'll have to check my local BB's to see if any of them got it in. Reply

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