A closer look at high-speed DVD drives

By Justin Mann on January 2, 2006, 4:30 AM
One piece of technology that we often neglect in our systems is the very useful optical drive. Even as a professional system builder, I find myself often simply getting whatever DVD burner drive looks coolest at the time, with no real research going into my selection. After all, many of us assume that 16x DVD-R means that it does indeed peak at 16x. Not always the case. THG has a great look at various new DVD drives in order to rate exactly how fast they can rate as oppose to their claimed speeds.

Some of the results are quite surprising. On a DVD-R disc, there was a write time difference of nearly three minutes! That's a 50% difference in write times. And, despite 16x media being available in and + formats, only + was able to achieve anywhere close to that actual speed. Though in most tests the drives were on par with each other, there are a few cases where it's simply not so.




User Comments: 11

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cyrax said:
Wow, this very useful.I'm actually planning to buy a burner this week. Benq burners have been the most reliable for me so far, its interesting to see the veried performance from each type.
Nic said:
I feel that it is more important for a burner to achieve good read/write ability with large variety of media, rather than be the fastest writer. Many DVD writers handle CDs poorly. Many times I've had damaged discs that will be read by some drives and not by others. Likewise when recording. This review doesn't cover that aspect, and concentrates on speed alone. An interesting read, but not worth basing any buying decisions on.
MonkeyMan said:
This is awesome, this new DVD drive is super fast!!!! I'm going to be sure to get one, because the data processing time on this one is going to be phenomenal!!!!
mentaljedi said:
I'm not interested in speed when it comes to burning rather quality. As you know, +R and -R are not rerecordable so if you blow it, thats it. Obviously, speed is great but i wouldn't like to sacrifice quality. If you want to know in detail about the dvd-drives out there check this site: [url]http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/11/02/10_dvd_burners/[
url]I would highly reccomend it.
Bartzy said:
Sometimes Media labels have different performance on various burners, but 3 minutes is just too much. Maybe some burner failed in a specific tests only because of incompatibility to the tested media label.Further more, x16 is quite expensive at the moment. If someone buys it, and his burner is working almost the same as x8, it's not right and I think manufacturers should have some good explanations.
boril said:
[b]Originally posted by mentaljedi:[/b][quote]I'm not interested in speed when it comes to burning rather quality. As you know, +R and -R are not rerecordable so if you blow it, thats it. Obviously, speed is great but i wouldn't like to sacrifice quality. If you want to know in detail about the dvd-drives out there check this site: [url]http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/11/02/10_dvd_burners/[
url]I would highly reccomend it.[/quote]10x for this aritcle for moment I felt misarable with my Lite-On :) It's nice to know that NEC are making one of the best DVD burners since their crappy CD burners which couldn't make overburn CDs.
luismigilbert said:
maybe if you use a specific software with a specific drive you could obtain better performance from drives...i agree with Nic , i'll choose a great read/write/compatibility combination from a drive..
otmakus said:
I also agree with Nic. Most people buying a DVD burner will have read/write compatibility as their main deciding factor. Even 3 minutes difference in writing time isn't that great for us average folks who use it to burn MP3 or movie collection. But one other important factor is the durability. There are stories about DVD burner brands which died after being used less than 100 or 200 times. Although DVD burners are now relatively very cheap, we still want it to last as long as possible.Anyway, I guess in a year or two, there will be an article like this one in Techspot about blu-ray or HD-DVD burners.
Kaleid said:
If you have trouble burning discs try searching for a new firmware for the drive(s).Most of the time I purchase TDK or verbatim and for some reason the quality of the burnings were rather low, meaning that about 5-10 percent of the burnings failed. I solved this by a firmware update and now everything works alright.I burn with 6x if I'm in a hurry...most of the time 4x since I prefer the computer to be as silent as possible.
raystorm said:
I'm not really concerned with speed at all. I'm more concerned with compatibility and reliability. My NEC drive is great and I just use good ol' Taiyo Yuden discs and I'm all good. It may not burn at light speed (or 16X :) ) but I never had one bad burn and thats important.
Arcanum said:
I can only think of one 'job' where you would be concerned to burn DVDs as fast as possible, and it aint exactly legal.I don't care if my NEC 2510A burnt the whole DVD in 15 or 20mins, what I look for is reliability...Any burner that proves itself as very compatible, being that media burnt with it are reproductable on a lot of PCs/DVD players etc. and burns with little errors as possible gets my money.I don't care if it takes 50% longer, if it's 50% more compatible or with less errors.Sure, there will always be cheapos that perform horribly and have horrible quality/compatibility with that, but as long as you stay to good brands, you shouldn't have these problems.Having said that, this round up is pretty good for making people's life easier and I just love to read these articles although I don't need to buy a new DVD burner, just to see whats happened in the optical drives department :)
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