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DVD Writer RoundUp

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the git-on-little-drives dept.

Data Storage 146

CodeHog writes "Got socks instead of the new DVD writer you were looking for this holiday season? Tom's Hardware has a writeup on the latest DVD writers and their 'true speeds'. The conclusions may be surprising: higher speeds won't necessarily do any good as media availability continues to be a problem." From the article: "Despite the stagnation of write speeds for DVD-R and DVD+R at 16x, new DVD writers are regularly being marketed, since performance for other types of writing (RW and dual-layer) is still improving. But as is customary, manufacturers of writers have a lead on media manufacturers. For this article, we visited all the stores to see what types of media are actually available for sale, and once again the result was most enlightening. You can find 16x-compatible -R and +R discs, but in the other formats they simply aren't out there."

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146 comments

Where are the good SATA burners? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14358706)

Yes, you can find some, but they're not avaiable in the same specs the high end PATA versions. Are they that difficult to make? Because it seems like this would be a good way to at least get the enthusiasts buying new drives. I'd like to make my next computer purely SATA based.

Re:Where are the good SATA burners? (1)

Crilen007 (922989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358838)

I bought a SATA plextor and it caused the system not to boot. Plextor said to take it back because it didn't work with that motherboard. (The computer was 2 weeks old)

Re:Where are the good SATA burners? (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359084)

Last time I looked, Intel had the only motherboard chipsets that could support SATA optical drives. They wouldn't work on nVidia and VIA chipsets. That was a while back when Plextor first started sampling their SATA DVD writer and things may be different now, of course.

Re:Where are the good SATA burners? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358900)

Is SATA really worth it? I know it's a pain to route ATA cables, but I simply don't see SATA drives as worth the premium.

I'm curious what Apple used, the latest Powermacs are all SATA, previous iterations had PATA optical drives with SATA hard drives.

Dear White House: +1, Chillingly Seditious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14358913)



Don't attach any more cookiez on my browser:

Read This For More Info [yahoo.com]

P.S. And Fuck off.

Re:Where are the good SATA burners? (1)

Electronik (821589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359066)

Just got the Plextor SATA DVD/CD RW 716SA... very happy with it, 100% compatable with my Intel motherboard and NO MORE PARALELL CABLES! This was an upgrade to my Yamaha SCSI 8x CD writer from 2001... hopefully the Plextor will last me at least 4 years as it's replacement.

Re:Where are the good SATA burners? (2, Interesting)

klui (457783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359213)

I feel SATA drives are good because you don't have to worry about a master/slave drive setup where one drive may hog the bus, whether it's another optical or hard disk. I don't think many companies make them and I'd rather get something like the NEC 4550/3550 or Pioneer 110(D). You can always get an adaptor but that would drive up the cost, sometimes 100+% of what the drive costs.

Re:Where are the good SATA burners? (2, Interesting)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359522)

Well I honestly do not see benefit of SATA just yet, besides it has neater cables and no master/slave annoyance.

It'll be more useful in future with flash-RAM cached HDD's, which will be able to send out data from time to time at speeds that make sense to be SATA.

If ain't broken, don't fix it. Many motherboards have SATA, but buggy implementation. Also SATA isn't much faster than PATA right now. It's still on the PCI bus for most motherboards, while to make full use of its speed it has to be on a separate bus for its own usage (which will happen with future implementations).

This reminds me of a buddy who was absolutely sure that ATA 133 disks are faster than ATA 100. Thing is neither of them fills that bandwidth in actual usage, so it trully and entirely doesn't matter.

Hmmph (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14358710)

They forgot to split the article across 20 pages to increase their ad impressions.

It's the print version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14358714)

So clearly this wasn't submitted by someone associated with the site, unlike the XYZ computing articles.

Re:It's the print version (2, Funny)

1000StonedMonkeys (593519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358733)

Yeah, nothing says good internet neighbor like bypassing a site's advertising when linking on a high traffic site....

Re:It's the print version (1)

Splintax (828933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358830)

I still see an ad at the top of the page. :-\

Re:It's the print version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359909)

Interesting. I didn't realize they had print versions on Tom's Hardware, probably because if the regular articles link to them, they're hidden so well that I still can't find them. At any rate, now that I know all I have to do is stick print.html on the end of the URL, maybe I can start reading Tom's articles again without having to devote the better part of a day to going clicky on "next page" links.

Some Advice (5, Insightful)

1000StonedMonkeys (593519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358718)

Never trust a DVD writer review that doesn't take into account burn quality and media compatibility. That's how DVD drives differentiate themselves today.

Re:Some Advice (0, Troll)

spacefight (577141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358756)

Some Advice: Have a quick look at the article before posting; media compatibility is provided as there's a listing of each burning speed for the various different media types.

Re:Some Advice (2, Interesting)

1000StonedMonkeys (593519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358786)

By media compatibility, I mean how well the drive does on different brands of media. This varies greatly between drives, and is one of the most important pieces of information you can have to get the most out of your drive.

Re:Some Advice (1)

kukyfrope (889948) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358981)

Not only that, but the QUALITY of the burn, meaning, how many errors are actually on the disc. This can be checked with Nero CD-DVD Speed [cdspeed2000.com] that comes packaged with Nero. Would you rather have a 10 minute burn with a few thousand errors or a 10 minute and 30 second burn with a few hundred errors? Again, this varies widely by media also.

Re:Some Advice (2, Informative)

ppz003 (797487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358793)

The burning speeds listed are just the maximum possible speeds for each type of media. What the gp was trying to say is how does each burner work with the different chemical types of each media. Not all DVD-R's are alike.

Re:Some Advice (5, Interesting)

ppz003 (797487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358771)

That's what I can't understand about these types of reviews. So what if one drive can write faster than any other if I lose the data a couple years before the other drives' outputs. Maybe people who back up data constantly for a living might be concerned with the speed, but for my money, I'll burn as slow as needed to achieve a consistantly readable disk.

This review would be much more interesting if they showed some quality data with each burner.

Re:Some Advice (5, Informative)

undeadly (941339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358843)

This review would be much more interesting if they showed some quality data with each burner.

Optical storage reviews [cdrinfo.com] at www.cdrinfo.com does this.

Re:Some Advice (1)

ppz003 (797487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358865)

Thanks for the link. I'll definately check this out before I purchase more media.

Re:'definitely' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359840)

'definitely' not 'definately'

getting sick of seeing this

Re:Some Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14360049)

They really can't spell, eh.. makes their stuff less than trustworthy.

Re:Some Advice (0, Redundant)

undeadly (941339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358823)

Never trust a DVD writer review that doesn't take into account burn quality and media compatibility. That's how DVD drives differentiate themselves today.

Indeed, and that goes for media as well. For better reviews that test write and read quality as well, I find Optical Storage reviews [cdrinfo.com] useful. I've no interest in the fastest way to produce coasters when I'm making backups, so I do look at those reviews for both media and burners before I buy.

Re:Some Advice (1, Interesting)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358941)

NEVER trust a DVD writer review that praises plextor? Plextor *USED* to make the best writers, but their 740 series has a VERY HIGH failure rate, and the 716 is actually a remarked Benq drive!

Re:Some Advice (1)

ManOPiano (41829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360400)

NEVER trust a DVD writer review that praises plextor? Plextor *USED* to make the best writers, but their 740 series has a VERY HIGH failure rate, and the 716 is actually a remarked Benq drive!

This is bull. The 716 is the best burner out there, and it did have some initial batch quality issues, but those have been resolved. Benq does not produce that drive.

Re:Some Advice (1)

winwar (114053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360505)

"Plextor *USED* to make the best writers, but their 740 series has a VERY HIGH failure rate, and the 716 is actually a remarked Benq drive!"

Never trust someone who gives incorrect information. The Plextor 740 is a remarked BENQ drive (as is the SONY DRU810a). Of course, the BENQ has more features and is cheaper than the rebadged drive, if you can find it.....

The 716 is a nice drive if cost is no object. The BENQ is the best drive for the money (DW1640).

Re:Some Advice (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359090)

Never trust a DVD writer review that doesn't take into account burn quality and media compatibility.

Ding, thank you. My Plextor external firewire DVD burner, which cost a rather pretty penny, claims to have all sorts of dodads to let it write to virtually everything, even lower quality media. "PowerRec" and some sort of angle adjustment widget, the whole 9 yards. 16x write and so on.

Imagine my surprise when:

  • It could burn DVD's at 16x but couldn't burn a CD-R, even the Memorex brand Plextor suggests/includes samples of...at speeds over 8x. And even at 8x, it gets 'hung up' quite a bit. No improvement with several other kinds of media, including HP and Sony...it hangs as soon as it starts writing the lead-in, re-seeking and stopping/starting, eventually returning a "media sense error."
  • It can't read disks anywhere near as fast as it can write them. It'll happily write a 16x DVD. Then when I go to read from it, it starts at what sounds like -almost- 16x, but quickly drops down (and no, I don't mean the usual small variations the drive makes compensating for angular velocity.)

Not exactly what I expected from the drive "techies" all seem to recommend, and the premium end of the market (I think the Sony external drive might have been more expensive, but didn't get as good reviews. How ironic.)

The firmware has been updated about 6-7 times, and each time I've obliged. Most of the time, there's some entry about improving "burn strategy" and "media compatibility", but it still can't burn CD's faster than the 4-5 year old drive in my server box.

Re:Some Advice (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360492)

Not exactly what I expected from the drive "techies" all seem to recommend, and the premium end of the market

Don't be surprised. It's ALL going downhill now. All the great quality brands you could depend on, have turned to crap in the past few years. The expensive Plextor drive you bought was probably manufactured in the same Chinese plant as a $30 NEC drive.

In my experience, just about everything I've bought in the past several years has failed at about the 2 year mark.

What's the solution? I really don't know. Look up some customer reviews on the cheapest units to make sure they work, and then buy it with the 4-year warranty which costs as much as the drive...

(I think the Sony external drive might have been more expensive, but didn't get as good reviews. How ironic.)

Sonys have just been re-badged Lite-Ons for many years now. In my experience, Sony is getting to be the worst of the worst now.

Re:Some Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359877)

Here's my simple advice: NO BENQ DRIVES (nee Philips). I had a DW-1640 which with stock firmware couldn't install Ubuntu from a dvd. I needed a firware upgrade... just to make it work! What are Benq smoking? Buy an LG and be happy.

Re:Some Advice (1)

MagnusDredd (160488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360117)

I want to know how well the drive reads a scratched up disk...

These sites always test how fast these drives are in a controlled environment.

With hard drives, it's understandable since most users use the drive in a controlled environment during normal usage. What I mean by this is; the platters are safely enclosed, and the worst that generally happens is heat build-up or ribbon damage.

Optical drives, on the other hand, do not operate in anything resembling "ideal use" during normal operation. It would be nice to see how well these drives read damaged media. I'm certain that I'm in the majority when I say that I have more than a few disks that are in poor condition.

I own a SCSI Plextor drive that has been nothing short of amazing with regards to reading damaged CDs. It's old and somewhat slow but it has read disks that my Sony, Pioneer, and Aopen drives wouldn't. What's actually more important to me than a minute or two of burn time is that the drive will actually read my disks, scratched or not (within reason). What I'd truly like to know is how these drives would read when subjected to various levels of scratched up media (accuracy, speed, etc).

I'm very curious if the Plextor is still king of the heap in this regard. The problem is that no one tests this.

What's the physical difference? (4, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358737)

I've always wondered what the physical difference was between, say 8x and 16x discs. And if they are physically different are there differences as far as data loss rates? For instance, if one can be written with a faster laser (less energy writing each dot) then are they more suceptable to degrading over time?

Re:What's the physical difference? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14358859)

Track width tolerance. The faster the disc spins, the more it matters.

Dual Layer (4, Informative)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358740)

And we weren't even able to find anybody to sell us dual-layer DVD-Rs!

Wow, really? Where did they look?
http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=dual-layer+DVD -R [google.com]

Re:Dual Layer (1)

klui (457783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359244)

Maybe they meant "we weren't able to find any company to give us 20-30 dual-layer DVD-Rs for us to play with"

Re:Dual Layer (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359800)

Re:Dual Layer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359939)

I've walked into a lot of smaller electronics shops lately trying to find the best price on dual-layer discs. The sales staff keep telling me "we don't have them, they're not that popular yet." Really guys? If they aren't that popular why are Future Shop and Best Buy carrying them? Why is Steve shipping iMacs to average users with dual-layer burners built right in?

ALL about DvD (4, Informative)

earthstar (748263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358772)

On a related note, http://www.dvddemystified.com/ [dvddemystified.com] has all the info about DvD's on its DvD FAQ http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html [dvddemystified.com] .

Also see my journal about Nero 7 DvD burning probs.In short ,stick with Nero Version 6.X

Re:ALL about DvD (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358857)

I recently upgraded from an old plextor CDR-writer + Nero 6 to a plextor DVD-writer + Nero 7. I can honestly say that after the 7.0.1.4 update for Nero, it was night and day for me.

Re:ALL about DvD (sic) (0, Offtopic)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358880)

In English, all letters in an acronym are capitalized. You wrote DvD when it really is DVD.

Re:ALL about DvD (sic) (1)

earthstar (748263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359014)

Well,I do know that,but writing 'DvD' seems to somewhat look like the DVD logo.[for me atleast]

Re:ALL about DvD (sic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14360532)

Douchebag.

cheap = good (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358779)

$40 Lite-On DVD burner. Never failed me. I love it.

Re:cheap = good (1)

SimReg (99053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358799)

Yeah? Where is the Lite-On burner? I guess they didn't pay enough to get the review...

Re:cheap = good (1)

Halthar (669785) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358820)

I want to second this. I have 10 Lite-On drives in my apartment, and not a single one has ever given me problems. For the price they make the best product I have seen where CD and DVD writers/readers are concerned. If I am not mistaken quite a few drives out there are rebranded Lite-Ons (I could be wrong about this, admittedly).

Re:cheap = good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359033)

The NEC in this review is only 40.00.

Re:cheap = good (1)

robgamble (925419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359059)

Yeah, it's just sick how cheap this hardware has gotten! I haven't looked at DVD writer prices in soooo long. Now you can get the NEC model from TFA (actually the next model up) for $38 [newegg.com] . You can pick one up for the price of a video game.

Re:cheap != good (1)

tomcres (925786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359078)

FWIW, cheap is not necessarily good. But LiteOn is excellent. I've owned lots of LiteOn drives of every flavor, and I've been more than pleased with all of them. Then again, there are some expensive drives I've had trouble with, mainly Sony, and I had a Plextor which was a nightmare. I think what it comes down to is the drive manufacturer. Price does not necessarily reflect this, but it would be wrong to say without qualification that cheap is good. Also, realize that some brands are rebadges and sometimes you don't even get the same drive in identically marked boxes. I generally will stick with Pioneer or LiteOn these days (although I've had good experiences with LG and Panasonic, also.. in fact my old LG burner used to do DAE better than my [newer] Samsung CD-ROM drive, which was kind of weird). I used to like Plextor a lot, but after the experience I had with my last Plextor (or series of Plextors, if you count the in-warranty replacements), I'll never buy one again. But in my experience, you really can't go wrong with LiteOn.

Re:cheap != good (1)

greed (112493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359893)

I've got LG for my cheap writer, after being quite happy with their CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives. It's worked a treat. My first DVD burner was a Pioneer A04, mainly 'cause of Mac OS compatibility. By that same logic, I replaced the A04 with a 110D, which isn't Mac OS officially supported--but it no longer matters, because Tiger doesn't care as much and I know about PatchBurn now anyway.

The LG has been more reliable at linked packet writing than the very slightly more expensive Pioneer 110D. Both of them do Disk-At-Once nicely. I recently switched backup media to DVD+R from -R, and upgraded the Pioneer's firmware, and put them both on USB 2.0 instead of FireWire, and they both work well now. Something about the Pioneer and my cheapo USB + FireWire cages was resulting in complete FireWire bus hangs.

So LG, despite being Goldstar + some other companies, is gaining marks in my books.

Re:cheap = good (1)

SydBarrett (65592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359410)

I've had 2 liteon drives (both cd-rw) die on me. Each lasted about 9 months at the most and both dies from some mechcanial problem, since right before they died, they made some wierd grinding noise. They also got pretty hot quickly too. Right now I have a NEC dvd writer that runs much cooler for about the same price as the old liteon drives.

Re:cheap = good (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359560)

> Lite-ON

Ugh! Dell uses them in computers, and some models have a near 100% failure rate! Do some research before recommending garbage like that.

As an example, in the last batch of 480 computers we bought from Dell, we've replaced almost 600 Lite-On DVD/CDR drives. That's more than 1 per computer. The only reason we haven't replaced more than that is that we've started replacing the drives with Sony's that we pay for out of our pocket rather than using the Dell 3 year on-site warranty we paid a lot of money for. Dell doesn't give a damn about their customers, so they continue to screw us over by continuing to use those pitiful drives, so we had to pay for our own drives out of our pocket.

Re:cheap = good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14360622)

I bought the lastest and greatest from NEC a year ago, and the first one never worked properly, so I returned it after a few days. I got an identical one from the same shop, and after four or five days it just died. Around the same time, two of my friends also bought NEC and they also died (two others also bought, though they did not die).
I bought a Lite-ON drive instead, and since then I've been burning around 75 DVDs a month with it, and not a single hiccough, it's stable as HELL. Lite-ON rocks! :)

LiteOn = KProbe (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359915)

Lite-On is also one of few brands for which you can actually verify the burn quality. Well, you can if you believe in Kprobe [kprobe2.com] .

Mt Rainier ?? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14358781)

None of the drives reviewed have Mt. Rainier functionality. I thought that was to become ubiquitous by now. Aren't Mt. Rainier error recovery aspects the only way DVD can compete with DVD RAM for data discs?

Re:Mt Rainier ?? (1)

Phoenixhunter (588958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358958)

I think this is yet another case of manufacturers focusing on speed, rather than rounding out functionality. That said, we've hit the max speed for DVD reading/writing at 16x, so maybe we'll see some traction there.

Hmmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14358817)

Still, who's interested in burning to dual-layer when the price of two single-layer DVDs is well below the cost of one dual-layer?

People who want to make totally legal Fair Use backups of games they get from blockbuster of course.

Re:Hmmm (1)

MCraigW (110179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358988)

Still, who's interested in burning to dual-layer when the price of two single-layer DVDs is well below the cost of one dual-layer?

If you have a file that is larger than a single-layer DVD, it is much more convenient to back up to one dual-layer than to two single-layer DVDs. Like a Ghost of a drive for instance.

What about noise? (1)

SCO STINKS (858283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358824)

When I build computers I tend to prefer drives that do not sound like jet engines while running. I recently purchased a lite on dvd burner that was louder than a vacume cleaner. NEC seems to do the best job at making quiet drives.

I have the ND-3540A, and it rocks. (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358834)

First, thanks to the article submitter for supplying the "printable" version of the article and aleviating us from having to click through 20 "pages" of reviews.

Second, I own a black ND-3540A that I got from Newegg three months ago for $38.00. It is very nice and replaced a generic CD-RW drive that was just terribly loud. Newegg doesn't stock the ND-3540A anymore. However, they do have the ND-3550A for about $40.00, which is a very good price (you better hurry because they are limited, 500 to a customer :).

Anyhow, I use this thing on Debian Sarge with a slightly customized kernel and dvd+rw-tools. It works very nicely and, IME, burns at the advertised speed, which let me burn a downloaded episode of that new Star Trek fan-based production (I forget the name, exactly) that is only available online. Of course, in addition to burning at the advertised speed, it is much quieter than many other drives I have used. I definitely recommend it, especially if you are a *nix user, as I have encountered no problems at all with it in that respect.

Re:I have the ND-3540A, and it rocks. (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359023)

I have wanted a dvd burner for years but i could never decide what one to get, i wanted to get the best one for the money and i didnt want to do any detailed researching (im lazy)

So i see this article, i scroll to the conclusion part of the article. The two winners, the ND-3540A and the toshiba that isn't out yet. I do a quick search for ND-3540A, wow only $44

A few minutes later, and I just ordered my first DVD burner!

Thanks slashdot =P

Second (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359125)

I second this.
The ND-3540A has been great for me so far, and you just can't beat the price.

Re:Second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359969)

I'll second your second. NEC makes some good drives right now.

I've had a 3520 for a year or so -rock solid, perfect burner. It was so good, I put that burner in a computer I built for someone as a gift, because I knew it was totally proven and reliable and wouldn't need support.

Also have a 3540 in another PC and it seems to be working just fine with admittedly low miles. And I recently got a 3550 to replace the 3520. This one broke Nero 6.xx.18 so I haven't actually burned anything with it. Hoping for the best.

I used to be a Liteon buyer but my last Liteon 16x burner ceased wanting to write CD-Rs after six months of age. A friend has had similar problems with his Liteon 16x drives and total failure on a 4x and 8x. He's also switched to NEC and had zero problems.

Re:I have the ND-3540A, and it rocks. (1)

Peter H.S. (38077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359293)

...I definitely recommend it, especially if you are a *nix user, as I have encountered no problems at all with it in that respect.

Being able to flash it from Linux was the deciding factor when I bought the NEC ND-3540A. See http://binflash.cdfreaks.com/ [cdfreaks.com]

Never had the the chance to try it since the drive went dead after less than 4 months, having burned less than 10 discs in total. Perhaps it died from underuse? Well...

--
Regards

Re:I have the ND-3540A, and it rocks. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359411)

I've had some pretty good luck playing some fairly well scratched up DVDs from Netflix using my 3540. The same DVDs didn't play or skipped in a couple of other players.

Author read results backwards! (0)

harryk (17509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358860)

Is it me, or is the author of the article reading the times backwards. When measuring seem times in ms, smaller is better, meaning it took less time to find a segment of data. He states the Toshiba had the best times in the first two result graphs, yet they have the HIGHEST seek times...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the author needs to double check is verbage, and think about how he's testing...

harryk

Re:Author read results backwards! (1)

harryk (17509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358883)

Never mind, I mis-read the results, stupid assumption on my part to believe the order he tested in was the order in which they were originally listed in the article. Oh well...

harryk

Support (manufacturer/store) is also important (1)

dusanv (256645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358922)

I just got a Pioneer 110D from a sneaky local store [headwaycomputer.com] . It died 20 days later and as it turns out the store will only warranty their stuff for 2 weeks (nasty, that's posted nowhere and it's not on the receipt). Now, I'm trying to get Pioneer to fix it but they are saying that they have none in stock and are urging it me to deal with the store. The store in the mean time reversed their stance and is now offering to exchange the drive for $20 ("shipping" to the distributor). Anyway, a whole lot of fun. Last Pioneer I buy...

Did they use the same media for all their testing? (3, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14358937)

After all, I've seen huge differences for both CD-R and DVD+R performance caused by using different brands of media. I've even had outright failures while using Maxcel brand media (ymmv, that's just my experience).

In the CD-RW and DVD-RW arena, I'll be slower to judge as I haven't seen the same kind of variances; then again, once I've purchased RW media, I don't need to purchase more so I haven't seen a wide variety of brands in this area. I suspect that a similar situation exists.

I haven't even touched DL-R or DL-RW yet - the media costs are prohibitive. Who wants to pay 8-10x as much per platter for a medium which only delivers around 1.8x the data density?

In the end, I'm not too sure I care so much about write times (hey, I can spare a few extra seconds when I burn a DVD or CD - it's not like I do so for a living), so much as data reliability, medium durability, media cost and compatibility.

Bottom line - while the drive is important, it's nothing without the media; so long as the drive functions correctly, it seems likely that there's more to be gained by selecting the proper media for use in the drive.

Strange things... (5, Interesting)

yuretz (934955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359048)

I've noticed that strange things happen with storage technology. First we had 5.25" floppies. I used the same 5.25" floppies for months and had no troubles with bad sectors and unreadable files. Than 3.5" appeared and we have just realized that old-style floppies are not reliable and loosing data due to disk error is really easy. 3.5" disk was hard to damage and could be used for months or even years. After that, the era of CDs/CD-R/CD-RW began. Diskettes again appeared very unreliable. At some moment, I've realized that I'm not sure that I'll be able to read data written on the floppy I bought yesterday! But, CD-R or CD-RW seemed everlasting and very, very, very reliable storage medium. There was no such thing like unreadable CD. The CD drive speeds was growing, but the quality and reliability was going down! Now we have DVD era, and when I burn a CD with my CD-RW, I always check that the data was written correctly and can be read. Sometimes, I have even to burn a disk two times to be absolutely sure. Probably the DVD storage medium will have the same fate. Will it ever end?

Re:Strange things... (2, Informative)

klui (457783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359281)

Stop using cheap (rather than inexpensive, but good) media. Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim are good brands.

Re:Strange things... (1)

yuretz (934955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359404)

I know nothing about Taiyo Yuden, but I agree that Verbatim is really good, and I use the their CD-R/RW regularly. Nevertheless, I think the problem is not in media, but in manufacturer's market strategy.

Re:Strange things... (1)

ShavenYak (252902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360348)

In related news... after Gillette released the Mach 3 razor, the quality of replacement blades for their older razors went down. I don't think it is a conspiracy to sell the new stuff, that's just a fortunate side effect (from Gillette's perspective). It's really because they quit investing in upkeep to the production lines for the old stuff.

"True speeds" (1)

texaport (600120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359085)

Tom's Hardware has a writeup on the latest DVD writers and their 'true speeds'

Would someone tell them 14:03 and 14:06 are not four times faster than 6:09 timings? A "true speed" 8X works for me.

And I delved far enough into the meat of the article to see that they mixed up captions and pictures for +R and -R at 16X

Arn't you using your optical drives less and less? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14359220)

I don't know about you but I use my optical drives less and less. It's a whole lost easier to transfer files on flash memory. The only reason to keep an optical drive is because game and music publishers insist on distributing content in this old-fashioned way.

Re:Arn't you using your optical drives less and le (1)

juhaz (110830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360158)

For small files, yes. But DVD sized flash is still quite expensive, and read/write speeds of many flash memories tend to be rather low, I wouldn't be surprised if optical drives are sometimes faster in gigabyte range.

Whatever works. (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359316)

My burner just bit the dust (unburnt ring in middle sometimes, two years old), and I just got the best rated on on newegg ("beige" model since the black was out, same burner though). Good enough for me w/ it only costing $40.

how about noise? (2, Insightful)

escay (923320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359492)

it's about time the decibel level of drives is also looked at - what now with super silent SATA HDs and PSUs, the loudest component turns out to be the DVD drive. currently the user reviews from newegg are all we have for noise levels of the drives...

Re:how about noise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14360030)

you can get spin limiter utilities that prevent the drive from spinning up to max speed which dramatically reduces the noise and for lots of activities such as viewing dvd movies and stuff has zero impact on performannce

Majoritatively (1)

floodo1 (246910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359569)

<i>As you can see from this review, problems continue in terms of media availability for DVD writers - perhaps more than ever. ...
For this article, we visited all the stores to see what types of media are actually available for sale, and once again the result was most enlightening. You can find 16x-compatible -R and +R discs, but in the other formats they simply aren't out there.</i>

I wonder how many people practically use anything besides +/- R???

<i>Makers should be honest with us and change statements like "Writes at 16x" to "Writes at up to 16x."</i>

umm DUH! i thought that was common knowledge :(

finally one last complaint: the make comments like "Though we used media certified at 16x and recognized as such by all the writers, we never attained a speed of 16x." they have graphs showing time. How does time correlate to speed? they never bother to mention that.

just another shameful example of how poor quality toms hardware is nowadays :(

ps- why no benq review? and like EVERYONE else said, burn quality is important to a very large group of people.

Mt Rainer & DVD+RAM ? (1)

Vladimir (98464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359698)

To me it looks like the current DVD drives reached the reasonable limits at DVD+/-R and RW. The write speed is only x2 better than that of x4 drive, so not much reason to upgrade. The DL is unlikely to matter, as media is very expensive and higher capacity drives are on the way. However, what happened to the MtRainer/EasyWrite support? None of the drives still support it? Looks like NEC 4550 does support DVD-RAM, but the drive is still not available in the US and it's not clear how it will compare to DVD+MRW in terms of usability. For example, it would be cool to boot from Knoppix, customize it a bit (small things like wireless keys, printers, proxies, NIS, etc.) and keep configuration right on the same media.

BDR-101A (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14359941)

The BDR-101A is the best optical recorder and it hasn't even hit stores yet. If you're wondering why we're still discussing DVD recorders, maybe it's because BDR-101A is depressing DVD recorder sales.

cdrinfo.com (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360008)

Highly conclusive, a large plethora of extensive tests, and an easy-to-read rating system on the last page of every review. they have sections for DVD recorders by speed, or just DVD+rw DL writers, plus several other optical formats (cdrw, combo, blue laser ...).

Take a look at the CDRinfo Optical Storage [cdrinfo.com] section.

frost pIst (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14360215)

THEi FAILURE OF

What about reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14360219)

I find most reviews of CD/DVD-ROM/R/RW only partly usable, because they always focus on speed. But it is hard to find information on reliability, because it is difficult to measure whereas speed is easy to measure.

I mean reliability when reading (how well does the drive read marginal media) and reliability when writing (how long will the recording last and if the marginal readers be able to read the media). This depends on the quality of CD/DVD blanks also, but more reliable drive will also make better quality record on the media.

Personally I am willing to sacrifice the speed and pay some more for a drive which is better in this regard, but it's hard to find the data which drives are better.

Media Problem (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360615)

How many people own very high speed DVD writers? Single digit percents? If you're making media, and your exisiting line is already quite profitable for the 90%+ writers already out there, you don't have a lot of incentive to push out the new stuff yet.

How do they test? (1)

jtgd (807477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360638)

How do the manufacturers test their drives for these higher writing speeds if there is no media available? Is there sample media available only to them, or do they simply trust that when the media arrives it will work?

Pitiful (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14360649)

A useless set of near numbers. Just a few media types, poor tests, a waste of time. Tom has gone way downhill.

    PenGun
  Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !
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