Conclusions

Our recent roundup made us think long and hard about the performance of many of today's drives. We were mildly surprised on how few designs really exist in the DVD recorder market; the choices are fewer than you think.

Like with any roundup, the ultimate equalizer is always the price. Is there a need to buy a $300 burner if a $100 one performs almost the same? The newest drive in our review, the Gigabyte GO-W0808A, has not even hit store shelves yet, but when it does, it is expected to cost around $115. The Toshiba SD-R5272 cost us $93 last week, while the NuTech DDW-082 and the NEC 2500A cost about $85. Our most expensive drive, the Sony DRU-530A retails for about $140. Obviously, the lower priced drives have a slight edge over the more expensive drives. In the case of Sony, we proved that while their cost is high, it clearly pays off in the Tech Support benchmark.

When we first set out to do this roundup with NuTech DDW-081 firmware upgraded to a DDW-082 (with the B364 firmware), the drive was almost unusable. We went out and bought a DDW-082 instead, and then flashed our drive to the B372 firmware. The difference was night and day concerning media support and errors. Incredibly, this drive went from one of our worst performers to our best performer with simple firmware upgrades. Another great feature of this drive is the supported 8X write strategies on 4X media. The fact that this drive is also the cheapest drive in our roundup makes NuTech's DDW-082 a true underdog champion. The DDW-082 deserves our editor's choice award for this roundup.


There are some exciting drives on the way. 16X NuTech drives should be here before the summer (Dual Layer compatible). Plextor's 12X drive is already starting to show up here and there (CyberDrive already has a 12X drive based on the same Sanyo chipset). MSI and Plextor both have SATA drives on the horizon, and Philips and Sony both have Dual Layer DVD recorders of which we should see samples in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned for more DVD reviews!

Special Thanks to Sony and Verbatim for providing media for this review.


Write Quality
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  • rlrus - Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - link

    Nu has posted the official firmware upgrade B373, I hope this one is as good or better than the unofficial B372. I bought this drive and hope I have as good results as Anand Tech. With it's ability to write 8 times on 4 times Media and it's speed and error rate being almost as good as the more expensive drives it seemed a bargain. Reply
  • mcveigh - Sunday, May 2, 2004 - link

    21:

    the Nu models do as well or better than everyone else and at the lowest price point.

    why shouldn't they win?
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, May 1, 2004 - link

    Jeff7181: I think there is a way to get it to scale proper. I will do that for the next review.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • QuaiBoy - Friday, April 30, 2004 - link

    Seems to me that all of the DVD writer reviews lately on Anandtech seem to favor the Nutech product. I don't see a reason from these results to pick that drive over any of the others. There's nothing that makes it anything special, and it certainly doesn't deserve an award over the other drives.
    Another vote for total write times and for not claiming that all drives with the same chipset will perform similarly. Too many variables. At least test with more media types, like TY and Optodisc. Cheapies like Princo appeal to many as well.

    -Evan-
    Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, April 30, 2004 - link

    The Write Quality graphs are very misleading/hard to read since they are all on different scales... makes on look like crap until you realize you're looking at a 0 - 10 scale rather than 0 - 70. Anything you can do about that or are you just stuck displaying what the crappy software showed you? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    This was all commented on in the article. The 708A and the 2500A also use radically different pickups and servos. But then again, i never claimed those two were similar in the review either.

    Belzer: most of those drives i pointed out were clearly rebadges.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • CrazeeHorse - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    Belzer,yes. Maybe I should have rephrased my statement, as MAXIMUM burning speed. Yep, it also depends on the burn strategy employed.
    Reply
  • CrazeeHorse - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    Belzer,yes. Maybe I should have rephrased my statement, as MAXIMUM burning speed. Yep, it also depends on the burn strategy employed.
    Reply
  • CrazeeHorse - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • Belzer - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    "If you mean burn speed, of course it will be similar in different drives that use the same chipset, as their burn speeds are defined by the chipset!"

    Uhm, no! Burn speed also depends very much on the write strategies implemented in the firmware. For example NEC ND-2500A and Pioneer DVR-A07 use the same chipset. The NEC uses a 4x-6x-8x Z-CLV technique for 8x burns, the Pioneer uses a 6x-8x Z-CLV technique and is faster.

    Drives with the same chipset can have very different properties, only complete rebadged drives will have the same properties.



    Reply

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