has suddenly gone to absolutely insane levels. With 300 gig
drives hitting pavement, the need for additional storage
doesn’t seem to be sputtering down. How many newer games
come in just 1 CD anymore?
If you depend on your hard drive
to save critical information, you could be sail boating
without a paddle. When things get sticky, you better have a
backup plan. And what about that $30 DVD movie you purchased
a few days ago? Yes, the one the dog has in its mouth.
Wouldn’t have been a bad idea to spend a few bucks to back
that one, too?
Gone are the days of storage floppies
and zip drives… CD-RW drives do an excellent job in making
cheap backups and just about every new computer is equipped
with one. As computers and software evolve, so will media.
DVD burner drives are already optional equipment on many
computers, and will probably become a standard within the
next year. Are you ready for a DVD burner? I am, but I want
a damn good one, especially seeing that drives are selling
in the $150-$300 range.
Luckily for me, I have three quality
products on my desk to test, that is, until I’m finished and
they have to be sent back. In this round-up we are going to
take a close look at units from Plextor, Panasonic, and
Pioneer, three heavy hitters.
I spent a lot of time with these drives,
going through about 40 DVD disks in two months. This review
will contain some data on each drive, a few benchmarks, and
some personal experiences. If you are in the market, I hope
I can provide some good information to help you in your
All three manufacturers included their
own software applications for use with the drives. I took
some time to load and use the bundled software but I opted
to use other two programs I feel most comfortable with
instead when benchmarking. A good reason for this is I
wanted an accurate speed indicator when testing burning, not
software speed. And yet another reason, I felt that it was a
good compatibility test for the drives, since many of you
use different software to burn.
In my case I picked Fireburner 2.1.7 for
burning some .CUE files, and Record Now Max v4.5 from
Stomped (Veritas) to burn a lot of backups. Note that all
the burners tested in this review can read/write DVD-R/RW
(Plextor does DVD+R/RW) media and CD-R/RW media.