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

  • Maverick215 - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    1) where are the 8x disc quality tests, it seems you only did -r, 16x, and DL
    2) who cares about DL at $10 a disc I have to quote you, "read/write capabilities are not really useful in applications for the common end user."
    3) who cares about 16x
    a)it's not readily available
    b) will likely be more expensive when it is
    c) no realized speed improvement (your review states 11.9x max for 16x and 11.88 max for 8x media @ 12x (again we don't know the burn quality of this 8x@12 burn but you gave the result)
    given these I'd have to say "read/write capabilities are not really useful in applications for the common end user." again.
    And to just take one drive here, the benq, you used a BETA firmware, it might be fair if you used a BETA of a upcoming release, but you used a BETA that is 3 public releases and atleast 5 weeks old. you consider NEC more mature, why not give Benq etc a chance to mature? At the very least you could say all burners were updated as of xyz date, at least we would have a reference point. And we could then understand that infact you started doing this comparison 5 weeks ago.
    That minor point aside. If you really care what is applicable to the "common end user" then why not more 8x media with the price of said media and then that media's burn quality tests(16x has a use here in comparing burn quality). 8x is what's most readily available, 8x@12x is comparable burn speed to 16x.
    Sorry but this review just leaves me with an empty feeling. Perhaps I am alone in my opinion, but I can live with that.
  • Reflex - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Nice to know I made the right choice a month and a half ago when I grabbed the 3500A. It wasn't anything more than me looking for a bargain for a Media Center PC, so I just lucked into the best drive it appears.

    BTW, where do you find the latest firmware for this stuff? And are there any good reccomendations on softare, seeing as OEM drives don't come with it usually...
  • AkumaX - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    don't really care about speed, but which burner has the best COMPATIBILITY and RELIABILITY in terms of burning? the 108D or the 3500A or something else? Reply
  • mkruer - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    So I take it DVD+R/RW won the format wars. BTW that would be a good article in itself. Why IS there a difference between the two formats (that’s -R vs +R) Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Most of the drives we reviewed are the OEM versions - they pretty much all look identical (flat, beige/black, one button).

  • PuravSanghani - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    OCedHrt: Errors have been fixed for your viewing pleasure :) Reply
  • Operandi - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    xsilver: If the drive is a re-badge then just say so in the artical, I don't think a picture is required.

    My point is simply that if your going get pics of the drives you should be taking pics of the portion people will be looking at. Other pics are fine but not geing bezel shoots dosn't make any sense to me.
  • OCedHrt - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    Hmm dunno how to edit. The CD-R write speed for the Pioneer between the graph and the table at the end is also different. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    The description for the Ritek G05 read test doesn't match the graph at all. One of them is wrong. Reply
  • xsilver - Monday, November 1, 2004 - link

    I think the circuit pcb thing is a good idea -- some drives a just rebadges of other drives? (asus?) so to tell you look that the pcb / insides Reply

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