Articles: Storage
 

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If there is anything “high-end” in the world of optical drives, it is the DVD-burner species. These devices are universal in the full meaning of this word. They are the last link of the optical drives evolution chain: from CD-ROM and CD-RW to DVD-ROM and DVD/CD-RW combos. It’s quite natural that we have to pay a price for this widest functionality. In our case, we had to sacrifice the fastness of certain functions, which are secondary for any DVD-burner: it is slower reading or burning ordinary CDs and mediocre DVDs reading. Anyway, these slight drawbacks should not obscure the main advantage of any DVD-burner: its ability to write up to 4.7GB of information onto one medium. This data amount corresponds to the total capacity of 6.5 standard compact discs. That’s quite a lot. Thus, you can use a DVD-burner for information backup, storage of MPEG-4 movies or your collection of audio files. You can even copy your favorite DVD-movies to your own discs.

However, there is another side to the picture. As usual, you have to pay for all good things in this world. In our situation the devices we have just mentioned are still pretty expensive. A typical DVD-burner will cost you about $200 or even more. And certainly, not every PC user is ready to spend so much money without weighing all cons and pros in advance. So, this review is intended to help those of you who have the money and are willing to exchange it for the ability to write DVD discs. Today, we will review ten models from several manufacturers. Before we start our roundup, we have to apologize for different level of detail in the models descriptions, because not all DVD-burner makers provide full technical info on their corporate websites.

DVD-Burners Specifications

First of all, take a look at a comparative chart including all the models we are going to review today. It will give you an idea of what the manufacturers actually promise us:

 

Mitsumi
DW-7801 TE

NEC ND-1100A/GEF

Pioneer
DVR-104/WB

Pioneer
DVR-105

Pioneer
DVR-105BK

Interface

ATA/33

ATA/33

ATA/33

ATA/33

ATA/33

Write speed

DVD+R: 4x
DVD+RW: 2.4x
CD-R: 16x
CD-RW: 10x

DVD+R: 2.4x, 4x
DVD+RW: 2.4x
CD-R: 4x, 8x, 16x
CD-RW: 4x, 10x

DVD-R: 2x
DVD-RW: 1x
CD-R: 8x
CD-RW: 4x

DVD-R: 1x, 2x, 4x
DVD-RW: 1x, 2x
CD-R: 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x
CD-RW: 4x, 8x

DVD-R: 1x, 2x, 4x
DVD-RW: 1x, 2x
CD-R: 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x
CD-RW: 4x, 8x

DVD-ROM
read speed

12x

12x

6x

12x

12x

CD-ROM
read speed

40x

40x

24x

32x

32x

Buffer size

2MB

2MB

2MB

2MB

2MB

DVD-ROM average access time

140ms

140ms

200ms

140ms

140ms

CD-ROM average access time

120ms

120ms

180ms

130ms

130ms

Supported media formats

DVD-ROM,
DVD+R,
DVD+RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
Video CD,
Photo CD,
CD Text,
CD-i,
Multi-session

DVD-ROM,
DVD+R,
DVD+RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-Audio,
CD Extra,
Video CD,
Photo CD,
CD Text,
CD-i,
Multi-session

DVD-ROM,
DVD-R,
DVD-RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
Photo CD,
CD Text,
Multi-session

DVD-ROM,
DVD-R,
DVD-RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-R,
CD-RW,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
Photo CD,
CD Text

DVD-ROM,
DVD-R,
DVD-RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-R,
CD-RW,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
Photo CD,
CD Text

Weight

1.06kg

1.06kg

1.1kg

1.1kg

1.1kg

Dimensions, mm

148x42x198

148x42x198

148x42x198

148x42x198

148x42x198

Approximate price

$220

$187

$202

$250

$261

 

Pioneer
DVR-A05

RICOH RW5125A

Sony
DW-U10A

Sony
DW-U12A

TEAC
DV-W50E

Interface

ATA/33

ATA/33

ATA/33

ATA/33

ATA/33

Write speed

DVD-R: 1x, 2x, 4x
DVD-RW: 1x, 2x
CD-R: 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x
CD-RW: 4x, 8x

DVD+R: 2.4x
DVD+RW: 2.4x
CD-R: 12x
CD-RW: 10x

DVD-R: 1x, 2x, 4x
DVD-RW: 1x, 2x
DVD+R: 2.4x, 4x
DVD+RW: 2.4x
CD-R: 4x, 12x, 16x, 24x
CD-RW: 4x, 10x

DVD-R: 4x
DVD-RW: 2x
DVD+R: 4x
DVD+RW: 4x
CD-R:24x
CD-RW: 16x

DVD-R: 4x
DVD-RW: 2x
CD-R: 16x
CD-RW: 8x

DVD-ROM
read speed

12x

8x

8x

12x

12x

CD-ROM
read speed

32x

32x

32x

32x

32x

Buffer size

2MB

2MB

8MB

8MB

2MB

DVD-ROM average access time

140ms

140ms

200ms

200ms

140ms

CD-ROM average
access time

130ms

120ms

160ms

160ms

130ms

Supported media formats

DVD-ROM,
DVD-R,
DVD-RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-R,
CD-RW,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
Photo CD,
CD Text

DVD-ROM,
DVD+R,
DVD+RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
CD-ROM XA,
Bootable CD,
Photo CD,
CD Text,
CD-i

DVD-ROM,
DVD-R,
DVD-RW,
DVD+R,
DVD+RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
Video CD,
Photo CD,
CD Text,
Multi-session

DVD-ROM,
DVD-R,
DVD-RW,
DVD+R,
DVD+RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-DA,
CD Extra,
Video CD,
Photo CD,
CD Text,
Multi-session

DVD-ROM,
DVD-R,
DVD-RW,
DVD+R,
DVD+RW,
DVD-Video,
CD-ROM,
CD-Audio,
CD Extra,
Video CD,
Photo CD,
CD Text,
CD-R,
CD-RW

Weight

1.1kg

1.2kg

1.1kg

1.1kg

1.1kg

Dimensions, mm

148x42x198

146x41x196

146x41x192

146x41x192

148x42x198

Approximate price

$255

$247

$338

$350

$253

Now let’s check if the claimed specifications correspond to the real state of things.

 
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