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
TAO
SAO / RAW SAO, RAW SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Multi-Session
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
DVD-R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD-RW (restricted overwrite)

CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-DA,
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
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  • Sabresiberian - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    #15 DL is important to me because I know the price of media will drop and I want the drive I buy to be as useful as possible for the longest time possible. I might be buying it today but I will be using it tomorrow :) Overall you make some good points :)

    I think this is a difficult time to do this kind of article, because other improved versions will be available before the end of the year. For example, the Plextor 716A will be released with SATA capabilities.

    I think its wierd that you couldn't get the Plextor drive in time, as I know this product has been reviewed by others.
    Reply
  • southernpac - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    A recent (17 August) article in PC World advised extreme caution when buying an OEM (versus retail) DVD burner. It said that OEM units "carry no manufacturer's warranty, lack burning software and are ineligible for firmware upgrades" (therefore costing more in the long run). Many examples were given. I would appreciate advise as to whether this is percieved to be a real concern. If so, NEC has no retail outlet - how would you buy a non-OEM unit? Reply
  • southernpac - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    A recent (August 17th) PC World article advised extreme caution when buying OEM vs. retail DVD burners. It claimed that OEM versions carry no manufacturer's warranty, lack software and are ineligible for firmware upgrades (therefore actually costing more in the long run). Many examples were given. I would appreciate some advise as to whether this is percieved to be a real risk. If so, NEC has no retail outlet - how would you buy a non-OEM unit? Bill Reply
  • Gatak - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    How about overburn tests? I have many times wanted to burn 50-100MB more than a standard single-layer disk but failed because my drive or software won't do it. Reply
  • Codyman - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    I'm kinda wondering if a PX716A couldn't get crammed into this test somehow. Been waiting for this review in hopes that it would've been in this test and I haven't been waiting the extra couple months for nothing. Reply
  • danidentity - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    I'd like to see a list of recommended media for different speed grades (4x, 8x, etc.) for different burners. Reply
  • techfuzz - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Why weren't the firmware on all the drives tested brought up to at the very least the most recent officially released version? For example, NEC's current official firmware is v2.17 where the v2.16 used in this roundup is the original firmware as-shipped from the factory?! Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    firmwares are on www.cdrinfo.com Reply
  • ecouser - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Doesn’t Samsung make a Dual Layer DVD burner? If so why isn’t it in this roundup? Reply
  • MIDIman - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Yay! I'm a winner! I was waiting for this article, but couldn't wait long enough, and picked up the NEC two weeks ago. Couldn't be happier.

    Here's hoping for better Ritek 8x/16x support...
    Reply

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