The Updated DRU-720A

Visually, the DRU-720A is not much different than the past few models that Sony has put out. The bezel is white in color with the tray bezel being the trademark translucent gray with a silver Sony logo printed at the center, and DVD and CD standards logos printed in blue along the bottom of the tray's bezel. Sony does include an extra all-black bezel for those with black computer cases.


The physical dimensions of the DRU-720A are identical to those of the 710A, which leads us to predict that aside from an updated chipset, everything else between the 710A and 720A is the same.

Chipset Information

The DRU-720A uses an updated version of the MediaTek chipset used in the 710A as well as the Lite-On SOHW-1633S. The chipset is, again, mounted on the underside of the circuit board and contains the MT1828E servo control and the MT1816E ASP (analog signal processor). The newer chipset version allows for 16x - R write ability (up from 8x on the 710A), 8x +RW write ability (up from 4x), 6x - RW write ability (also up from 4x), and a +R dual layer write speed of 4x (up from 2.4x).

Upon opening the drive, we first saw the ROHM Co. BD7902FS IC for the drive's motor as well as the Hynix DRAM module. To get to the backside of the circuit board, we had to disconnect two of the cables from the board. Obviously, we do not recommend doing this at home, since it may damage your drive. That's what we're here for!

Take a look at the DRU-720A's manufacturer's technical specifications in the table below.

 Sony DRU-720A
Interface PATA
CD Read Speed 40x
CD-R Write Speed 8x, 16x, 24x~40x P-CAV
48x CAV
CD-RW Rewrite Speed 4x, 10x, 16x, 24x Z-CLV
DVD Read Speed 16x
DVD-R Write Speed 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x CLV
8x, 12x P-CAV
16x CAV
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x CLV
DVD+R Write Speed 2.4x, 4x, 8x~12x P-CAV
16x CAV
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed 2.4x, 4x, 6x CLV
8x Z-CLV
DVD+DL Write Speed 2.4x, 4x CLV
Supported Modes Packet, TAO, DAO, SAO, RAW SAO, RAW DAO, RAW SAO 16, RAW SAO 96, RAW DAO 16, RAW DAO 96
Access Time 140ms (CD 48x)
135ms (DVD 16x)
Buffer 2MB
Dimensions 5.75x1.63x6.75 inches (WxHxD)
Weight 2lbs.

To further confirm these specifications, we grabbed a screenshot from Nero's InfoTool v.3.00.

This version of InfoTool has added detection for a handful of drive read and write capabilities. Among them are DVD-R DL read/write capability and BD-R/RE/ROM (Blu-Ray disc) read/write capabilities. It looks like Nero, Inc. is getting a head start on the new generation of optical media!

We have also taken a screenshot from DVD Info Pro's scan of the DRU-720A.


Click to enlarge.

The makers of DVD Info Pro have also added checkboxes for their list of capabilities, but Sony will not take advantage of them this time around. The DRU-720A has all of the features required by typical home users.

Sony has also included the standard accessories: a black replacement drive bezel, a pin to aid in installation of the replacement bezel, a 40-pin IDE cable to connect the drive to the motherboard, the full Nero 6 Software Suite, and detailed instruction manuals for the DRU-720A. Sony is also well known for its exceptional customer support.

Index Write Time/Quality Test - DVD+R 16x Media
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  • semo - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    #14
    "I used to make my own cdrw/dvdrw cases with custom inserts but after realizing how much time and ink I was waisting I finally went back to the sharpie route."
    that's why i want lightscribe, so i don't have to waste too much time. it can burn the label all day, i don't care, i'm away most of the time anyway and i almost never use the cd/dvd after i burn it.

    and "Take a art class or two and become more talented with a sharpie :)"
    would you say something similar to this to someone who wants a printer?
    Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    #15: Our next roundup should include all of the highest speed media supported by the competing drives.

    #16: Sometimes. Although, there are brands of media out there that just do not work well with certain drives/firmwares.
    Reply
  • bjtag - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    If you write at slower speeds are the errors less?
    Reply
  • Hemispasm - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    Good review. Some more media scans would have been nice (and informative) though :) Reply
  • dgkulzer - Monday, March 7, 2005 - link

    #2 - I was under the impression that all Sony drives are now made by LiteOn. At first it was just the cdrw drives but now the dvdrw are also.

    #3 - Take a art class or two and become more talented with a sharpie :) I used to make my own cdrw/dvdrw cases with custom inserts but after realizing how much time and ink I was waisting I finally went back to the sharpie route.

    My first couple of dvdrw drives were Sony and I had great luck with them but when I got a new black case I decided to get a new drive and the dvr-108 was on sale so I got that. I don't care for DL much yet and will not be interested until the price of the media gets to about 1/10 its price now.
    Reply
  • WooDaddy - Monday, March 7, 2005 - link

    Is there a place that sells DL media for less than $7 yet? DL burner is a nice feature.. if you can use it and it's affordable. Personally, I still like my ND3500A with 2.18 modified FW. Burns TDK, Sony and Fuji DVD+/-R 8x media at 16x flawlessly. I'll need another burner soon so I'll be looking forward to Purav's next review.

    Keep up the good work guys!
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, March 6, 2005 - link

    bofkentucky: we have a second 16x roundup in the next few weeks.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • bofkentucky - Sunday, March 6, 2005 - link

    I would have liked to have seen the this up against the 8MB cache Plextor's. Are there plans for an optical shootout in the future. Reply
  • ND40oz - Sunday, March 6, 2005 - link

    How about they test the 720 next to the old 710 with the latest firmware since it brings it up to the 720s specs. Reply
  • semo - Sunday, March 6, 2005 - link

    meant to say media are lagging behind as usual
    [rant]why the hell isn't there any edit button in here[/rant]
    Reply

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