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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  • g33k - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Yup, it looks like you might be better off buying a last gen drive. It might take a while for the firmware updates that may improve these drives.

    From the looks of it, NEC and Pioneer are no longer the best drives. BenQ has that title now.
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Doesn't look like ANY of these drives are worth buying with so many errors.

    SOD, DD. Rushed to market CRAP !!!
  • quadcity - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    "Special thanks to BenQ for supplying us with the DW1640."
  • nutxo - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Where did they acquire a benq 1640?

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