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

  • Warder45 - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    I think some are forgeting that testing these things doesn't happen over night. Between other reviews, news, etc and normal working hours it could be quite easy to have a new firmware come out after you've already tested.

    For the plextor drive it does seem like bestbuy's website has them in stock for $140 with a $30 MIR. So is the extra's of a plextor worth the extra $30 to $40?
  • Mem - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    I notice with the Lite-On 1633 drive you was for the roundup still had the original firmware,there`s a new firmware "BSOK" update out dated 26th OCT that has "matched more media" support.

    I happen to own the external version and can say it`s very quiet while burning and also in playback mode,the only noisy thing is the tray when ejecting IMHO,btw I think it`s a great burner very low P1/PO errors and no bad burns so far.
  • Dennis Travis - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    What is interesting is I just bought a Plextor PX-716a at Best Buy this last week. It works GREAT so far. Will do more testing but so far it's fast and reliable. It is at UDMA 4 by the way. It flys.

    It came with both a White and Black face and door.
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    er, Nov 8 for PREORDER
    apparently they are still working out bugs

    I note in the specs that the drive will run in UltraUDMA mode 4 or 66MB/sec in addition to PIO
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    looks like Nov 8 for USA
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    I have never seen a 16X Plextor review - care to link one?

    Latest Plextools out today 2.18
  • Mookie13 - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Can anybody comment on the noise level of any of these drives (esp. the NEC, BenQ and Pioneer)? I'd like to throw one of these in a sff and use it as a htpc, so a loud drive spinning sound would really bother me. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Maverick215: Feel free to download the .zip files with all of the disc quality q-tools and nero tests.

    techfuzz: When we tested the drive 2.16 was the newest available.

    As for the BenQ drive, we tested with the newest firmware possible.

  • Aquila76 - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    From page 9 (Sony Review) <<...dual layer burners are pseudonymous with 16X burners...>>

    I think the word you're looking for is 'synonymous', not 'pseudonymous'. A pseudonym means 'a fake name', whereas a synonym means 'basically the same thing'. However, in Sony's case, pseudonym may be more accurate.
  • Belzer - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    I find the average write speed of 11.88x for the NEC on 8x DVD±R MCC media very hard to believe. It would need to support them at max 16x speed to get this average speed and it does not, unless you've used a hacked firmware.

    I also doubt that the Pioneer is faster than the BenQ @12x on 8x MCC DVD+R if you compare the actual write time. Other tests have shown the BenQ to be a good 30 seconds faster than the Pioneer at 12x thanks to PCAV write tech (vs. ZCLV).

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