Fall 2004 DVDR Roundup: Dual Layer and 16X DVD+Rby Anand Shimpi & Virginia Lee on November 1, 2004 12:05 AM EST
- Posted in
Performance/Features ConclusionLooking back to page two and three of this analysis, we wanted to give a quick reference chart to detail as much information as we could about the various burners in our roundup. Below, you can see how our burners performed under media in general. The DVD+R media listed is 16X MCC 004, the DVD-R media is 8X Ritek G05, DVD+DL media is 2.4X MKM 001, DVD-RAM media is Prodisc 3X, and CDR media is 48X Fujifilm.
All speeds given as averages unless stated otherwise.
|Pioneer DVR-108D||NEC ND-3500A||BenQ DW1620||MSI DR16-B||LiteOn SOHW-1633S||Sony DRU-710A||LG GSA-4160B||NuTech DDW-163|
|80min CDR Read Speeds1||31.67||36.53||31.40||31.41||30.30||30.32||32.80||31.59|
|80min CDR Write Speeds1||24.95||36.43||29.20||29.84||32.36||32.28||29.15||29.68|
|DVD-R Read Speeds2||9.38||11.88||6.25||6.25||7.72||6.09||7.73||6.26|
|DVD-R Write Speeds2||10.01||10.22||9.31||9.13||7.81||7.07||7.81||7.71|
|DVD+R 16X Read Speeds3||9.39||6.25||6.24||6.25||6.15||6.15||6.21||6.24|
|DVD+R 16X Write Speeds3||10.00||12.03||11.38||10.46||11.90||11.90||11.24||10.38|
|DVD+R DL Read Speeds4||5.70||3.40||6.04||Coaster||6.17||Coaster||6.17||6.02|
|DVD+R DL Write Speeds4||4.00||4.13||2.35||Coaster||2.40||Coaster||2.41||2.34|
|DVD-RAM Read Speeds5||1.95||-||-||-||-||-||3.01||-|
|DVD-RAM Write Speeds5||-||-||-||-||-||-||1.43||-|
|CD Seek Time in ms6||131||125||94||94||97||97||113||95|
|DVD Seek Time in ms7||134||128||95||95||100||101||102||94|
2 8x 4.5GB MCC 02RG20 media
3 16x 4.5GB MCC 004 media
4 2.4x 8.5GB dual layer MKM 001 media
5 3x DVD-RAM Prodisc media
NEC's dominance of CDR burning came as no surprise. The Achilles heel of the Pioneer 108D is its CDR write speeds.
So, with all of the numbers that we have presented, what do they mean? Where does each of the eight 16X burners stand on the charts? As we presented on our chart above, there are a few drives that have the features and performance levels that put them towards the top. We mentioned earlier how Pioneer and NEC were the most matured drives, since they've been out for about 3 months now. Pioneer and NEC have had more time to test their drives with a long list of media, and have put out firmware updates to resolve some of the compatibility issues when first released while the manufacturers of the newer drives are just beginning to realize what works and what doesn't regarding compatible media.
For media compatibility, it is obvious that there are 3 units that come out on top: Pioneer's DVR-108, NEC's ND-3500A, and LG's GSA-4160B. All three units wrote to media of quality ranging from low to high in all formats including - R/RW, +R/RW, and +R DL.
It is obvious that performance is no problem for these 3 models, and what really makes them stand out from each other is their features. Seven out of the eight drives implemented the bit setting feature. We discussed earlier how setting the "Book Type" of the media increases its compatibility with set top DVD players. All three of our top competitors have this feature, but the 108D can only perform bitsetting automatically on DVD+R DL media. That knocks Pioneer's DVR-108D out of the race for the best burner, but keeps LG's GSA-4160B in the running for its DVD-RAM read/write capabilities. Pioneer may have stayed in the race for its DVD-RAM capabilities, if only it had write capabilities as well as it did read capabilities.
Finally, with the NEC ND-3500A and LG's GSA-4160B going head to head, we looked at the difference in features between the two and realized that the GSA-4160B's DVD-RAM read/write capabilities are not really useful in applications for the common end user. We feel the bitsetting function should take priority over DVD-RAM features, since it increases compatibility with set top boxes instead of creating another option to support. In the end, NEC's ND-3500A comes out on top to win the prize in both performance (fast read/write speeds, great quality of burns) and features (bitsetting, high DL write speeds). Though Pioneer's performance is just as impresseive, it is lagging behind in write speeds.