The two things that help create a great performing DVDR drive are the hardware (laser, DSP, motor, etc.) and the drives' firmware. A drive's firmware can be the final deciding factor of its overall performance, or even the performance of a single area.

It is difficult to benchmark a DVDR drive for that reason. Firmware can change once a year, or even as quick as once a day, depending on the team in charge of testing the units. Therefore, performance can change drastically from year to year, or day to day.

We have taken 6 units from 6 different manufacturers and tested two brands of media on them, including DVD+/-R, RW, +/-R DL, and CDR. The drives are BenQ's DW1640, LG's GSA-4163B, NEC's ND-3540A, Pioneer's DVR-109D, Sony's DRU-720A with updated firmware, and Toshiba's SD-R5372.

We updated the firmware on all of these drives at the time that we tested them. Note that there may be new versions of the firmware released since then. Henceforth, we cannot gaurantee that our benchmarks will have used the latest updates at the time of publication.

Our benchmark results show each drive's performance with the specific firmware installed, but also how each drive should perform compared to the other drives. Take a look at our results...

Special thanks to BenQ for supplying us with the DW1640.
Special thanks to Sony for supplying us with the DRU-720A.
Special thanks to Marken Communications for supplying us with Verbatim brand test media.
Special thanks to Antarra Communications for supplying us with Ridata brand test media.

The Test
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  • sprockkets - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    In a way yes, 23#, where are the pics of the drives and the insides if you like that stuff like the last review? Just a media test?

    If you like verbatim that is Mitsubishi Chemicals. An 8x dvd+r disc from Memorex came up as MBIPG101/R04.
  • valnar - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Compared to the quality reviews and puts out, this review was next to worthless.
  • vaystrem - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    You're using PlexTools - why no comparison to Plextor DVD burners?
  • semo - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    #17, from what i read, the dw1640 is not yet available in the us (just barely made it to the uk recently). if you really want one you can get the plextor 740. it's a 1640 with a plextor badge (hence the higher price).
  • nserra - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    What no PRINCO media, useless review!
  • yacoub - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    And yeah, FWIW, I only buy Memorex or Sony media, and I usually burn at one or two speed notches below the max listed for the drive.
  • yacoub - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Welcome to rock-bottom competition where items are cheap and completely worth what you pay for them - ie 'not much'. What a pile of crap.

    Also would have liked acoustic tests of the drives - are any of them louder when reading different media? Some drives can be very loud when reading a DVD-ROM and that's bad if you want to play a movie on your PC.
  • danidentity - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Is the DW1640 even available for sale yet in the U.S.?
  • xsilver - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    isnt the errors going to be much lower on a new drive but burning at lower speeds -- I dont think buying an old gen drive is a good idea
  • Bozo Galora - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    I agree - no Tayo Yuden - review is useless.
    I dont need 16X media - I use made in Japan 8X +R Fujifilm TY002 and burn at 16X reliably with Pioneer 108-109 and Plextor 716A.
    8X Fujifilm -R MIJ TYG02 always burns at 12X
    Anyone buying cheap crap Taiwan media deserves what he gets.

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