Looking at the bezel of the 540A reminds us of Sony's previous drives with a rack mount look to it. The top half of the bezel is the dark tinted plastic which displays the Sony logo as well as the DVD/DVD+Rewritable and CDRW standards logos.

Click to enlarge.

When we peeked inside the drive we noticed that the circuitry inside the DRU-540A is the same as that of the DR12A. Like the Plextor PX-712A, both drives use the Sanyo LC897491 chipset which support 12x DVD+R burning as well as the AK8584 analog signal processor. The DRU-540A does have a slightly updated cache but remains at 2MB like the DR12A.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Index Features


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  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link Have it reviewed already, along with the Pioneer 16X ; we are just waiting to publish.

  • sgd2z - Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - link

    16X Drive from BenQ, can we have that in your next DVD RW roundup? Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - link

    TrogdorJW: This issue is common among low quality media like the Philips C08 and the VDSPMSAB 001 DVD+R's we tested with the DRU-540A. While forcing write speeds to a lower setting may reduce coaster production for some media, there are those other low quality media that may choke on certain drives no matter what write speeds you force on them. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - link

    Ian@CDRlabs: They did not mention the problem to us. If you can buy it, i dont see why we shouldnt review it.

  • TrogdorJW - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    So do the read/burn problems with cheap media persist if you force the record speed to 4X or even 2X? Obviously, buying a 12X burner and using it as a 4X is sort of dumb, but if you're too cheap to find good quality media - or maybe only too cheap some of the time - then it would be nice to know you can force the drive to fall back to a more compatible setting.

    Example: I have problems with my Lite On 52X CD-RW drive when writing Memorex discs at 52X speeds, but when I write them at 32X they work perfectly fine. Is that common, or do I have a faulty drive?
  • RyanVM - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

  • Ian@CDRlabs - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    According to Sony, there are issues with DVD+RW and DVD-RW media and the 1.0a firmware. I'm surprised they didn't ask you to hold off on this review. Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    #5 & 6: There is a SATA version of the 712A named appropriately PX-712SA/SW and MSI's XA52P has a SATA interface but is said to only work in conjunction with Intel chipsets.

    Sony currently does not have any SATA optical drives, but there is always the future right :)

    #7: The DRU-540A is not Mac compatible.
  • WooDaddy - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    Good review. Is this the latest drive that Sony released? Also, sorta unrelated, is this Mac compatible? Does it have bitsetting support easily available?

    Ok.. more unrelated questions..

    I CAN'T GET TO THE FORUMS!!! Are they down?
    OMIGAWDBBQTGIMSWYMGY!!! (Shake what yo mamma gave ya)

  • epicstruggle - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    #5 is there a dvdrw that does support sata? I know they are coming out, but is there one out now? Reply

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