Are Cheap DVD Burners Worth the Trouble?

pschmid

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There are noticeable differences in performance between various low-end $40 DVD burners. Our tests of five devices from LG, Pioneer, Samsung and Sony show what you can expect.
 

Phrozt

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STOP WRITING REVIEWS

Crickey, you are HORRIBLE.
- You fail to incorporate one of the newest leading names that people use more and more of everyday: Lite-On.
- You use NEC, which practically no one uses for DVD drives.
- You don't mention price other than bundling thim all as "low end $40 DVD burners."
- You don't use a high end burner as a control for what all the "low end" burners should be trying to achieve.

GO BACK TO 7th GRADE SCIENCE AND LEARN WHAT CONTROL AND VARIABLES ARE
 

bourgeoisdude

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There are noticeable differences in performance between various low-end $40 DVD burners. Our tests of five devices from LG, Pioneer, Samsung and Sony show what you can expect.
Mine is in my sig. I have had no problems so far, but I must admit I still rarely use it to burn DVDs (I get most experience trying to use DVDs from someone else's burner or whatever--no, it's not copyrighted stuff either). The four I've made work fine...well there's an issue with the one, which I'm fixing to get to.

Here is my personal experience with DVD burning: The one time I burned a DVD at 16x, I had difficulty reading it in certain DVD drives. Oddley enough, the others that I burned at 8X even use the same media as that other but they all work fine in all players (all are DVD+R media certified up to 16x by the way).

Take your time writing discs and they seem to last longer and work better--that's just as true with DVDs IMO than it is with CD-R's.
 

bourgeoisdude

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Ever heard of constructive criticism?

Only saying even if that is how you feel, putting it that way does nothing but cause anger/hard feelings and does nothing positive. Explain that you would have preferred if he used more brands, etc., and he might actually listen.

Of course, you don't HAVE to take my advice, but if you want people to be influenced by your opinion, give this a try. You'd be surprised that people might actually listen/agree with you.
 

tekzor

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Ever heard of constructive criticism?

Only saying even if that is how you feel, putting it that way does nothing but cause anger/hard feelings and does nothing positive. Explain that you would have preferred if he used more brands, etc., and he might actually listen.

Of course, you don't HAVE to take my advice, but if you want people to be influenced by your opinion, give this a try. You'd be surprised that people might actually listen/agree with you.
Any font above 12 makes people feel important, let him be.
I'm surprised caps lock wasnt used :(
 

pmr

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I would like to know the speed/writing error ratio from the drives, the difference between these cheap ones against others like Plextor and tests in several media including cds also.

What a cheap ass review.
 

sunangel

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Interesting?

I have both the LG drive and the Samsung SATA drives. I will now swear by the Samsung SATA drives. They are absolutely dead quiet (during reading and writing) and will reach their maximum read and writes by the end of the read and write sessions. The SATA interface didn't increase speeds overall, but if you are using two drives at the same time you can read or write to both drives at the same time without slowing down the other, like in the case of both being on the same IDE channel. I believe the IDE channel will only support read/write speeds of 8x each if two drives are going at the same time.

I am not so sure this drives in this article were tested properly. I certainly fail to see how the SATA drives performed so poorly in some of the test. There certainly must have been other influences to the OS that was impacting the performance.
 

Boney_T

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Are Cheap DVD Burners Worth the Trouble?
What made this review catch my attention, was the statement that apparently cheap DVD-burners are trouble, but perhaps their low price could make up for it.

I've had some pretty annoying experiences with dvd-burners myself, so I could relate to troubles such as inability to recognise media, or burning errors. As a consumer always looking out for a hardware upgrade, I'm keen on knowing what kind of troubles I can come across when buying a cheap product, and (more importantly) what troubles I can avoid by buying a more expensive one.

So, I wonder, what trouble it is you are referring to in the title of your review? And can this trouble be avoided by choosing a different brand of dvd-burner? If so, which?
 

sailer

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I would have liked to see an ASUS drive included, as I bought one recently, but I realize that the test wasn't meant to be all inclusive. Other than that, I really didn't see much that indicated price verses performance and such. And I didn't see anything that would particularly guide me in a DVD burner purchase.
 

rockowastaken

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It seems very strange that the LG had the best time for importing audio CDs, creating a DVD, and DVD load and recognition, yet double the time to decrypt an ISO? How many times was that test performed?

The conclusion of the review doesn't match your dramatic headline. What drive in that pack is so bad that you would recommend we not buy for $40?? And what "trouble" were the $40 drives causing? :?
 

nukemaster

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STOP WRITING REVIEWS

Crickey, you are HORRIBLE.
- You fail to incorporate one of the newest leading names that people use more and more of everyday: Lite-On.
- You use NEC, which practically no one uses for DVD drives.
- You don't mention price other than bundling thim all as "low end $40 DVD burners."
- You don't use a high end burner as a control for what all the "low end" burners should be trying to achieve.

GO BACK TO 7th GRADE SCIENCE AND LEARN WHAT CONTROL AND VARIABLES ARE
Well thats not nice at all

First off, Light-ON is not a NEW company they have been around for many years. Should they have included it? Short answer yes

There are plenty of people with NEC drives out there. My only gripe with NEC in the past was a total lack(there where some but not many) of firmware updates.

I assume the prices on all are within 5$ of one another so 35-45 depending on where you shop. How can you give a definitive price when you can get it for 35 one place and 40 or more somewhere else.

Yes the should have run a control burner, however there are nicer ways to say this. Such as, "It would have been nice to see how a 100$ plextor compares to the burners in the review"
--------back on topic--------

Interesting to see how slow the Samsung was for CDDA extraction. Was that with the latest firmware? Was there other software to try? Windows Media Player? Exact Audio Copy?

EDIT


had to
 

phrygius

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- You fail to incorporate one of the newest leading names that people use more and more of everyday: Lite-On.
- You don't use a high end burner as a control for what all the "low end" burners should be trying to achieve.
Agreed (though Lite-On isn't necessarily new; they've been private labeling drives for a long time).

I'm also unhappy with the title of this article "Are Cheap DVD Burners Worth the Trouble?" One would assume, based upon the title selection, that the author(s) was able to uncover some kind of problem with some or all of the drives which would make them more difficult to install, operate or enjoy than their more expensive brethren.

That obviously was not the case.

The title of this article is therefore entirely arbitrary or specious at best.

Were I titling this piece :wink: I might have gone with "Reasonable (but not Cheap!) DVD Burners." Maybe better: "Cheap or reasonable ODDs?"
 

runswindows95

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I have to agree with bourgeoisdude. Generally, when I burn a DVD or a CD, I drop the speed to a low setting anyway. I have noticed a HUGE difference when burning at max speeds and the lowest speeds. Also, I never made a coaster when I burn at the lowest speeds. I can wait for my DVD backup to burn. I don't need it within 4 minutes.

Overall, are $40 drives worth it? I had my $40 Memorex drive for 2 years now. No complaints as of yet.
 

d0000h

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I would like to know the speed/writing error ratio from the drives, the difference between these cheap ones against others like Plextor and tests in several media including cds also.

What a cheap ass review.
Agreed. How does benchmarking speeds answer the question "Are Cheap DVD Burners worth the Trouble"? Unless I suppose you are buying one specifically for burning 100's of DVDs in a short time period. But then wouldn't you want to know if the burns were all good quality?

P.S. Considering LG lead all (almost all) tests but gave miserable results in the DVD rip test, what did LG say about this strange issue when you contacted them? Seems like a software/firmware issue to me...

-Deuce-
 

CompTIA_Rep

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This is a stupid review all together. There were hardly any facts just stipulation and an unlabeled graph(db noise anyone?)



Gee wizz where are the other more popular and thus, more likely to be purchased drives from... uh.... um.... LITE-ON???

Missing:

Lite-On
A-open
Asus

Would have loved to see the control (plextor, the claimed best burner available)


How worthless are your tests when there is no control?

"This drive can decrypt a dvd in 9 minutes".

Wow? What does that mean, not much in the scheme of things.


This drive decrypts a DVD in 9 minutes, the fastest in our test group. This is compared to the 2.5 minutes using a high end Plextor DVD drive.


That is useful information. This means that the $40 dvdr/w set you tested do not reach the quality or speed or w/e of the more expensive alternatives.


Toms hardware has great forums, but the reviews have been lacking for quite some time.
 

CompTIA_Rep

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d00000h.

It is more likely that LG locks the read speed for DVD's resulting in poor rip speeds. This is common and why I use plextor drives for that purpose.
 

jediwraith

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- You use NEC, which practically no one uses for DVD drives.
There are many who use NEC drives.

There are gems to be found in the below $40.00 catagory like the now mostly unavailible NEC ND-3550A. This is a great drive on the cheap, especially running Liggy & Dee's RPC1 1.Y6 firmware.
 

DirtyD

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I have an old Samsung drive that burns DVDs quite well. I cannot imagine that by virtue of being "cheap" that the drive would not do it's intended job. I mean I know you get what you pay for, but nowadays, if you pay $40 for a dvd burner, thats probably going to be a fairly good burner.

It seems as though the problems I have experienced on ANY burner has been with the media, not the burner itself. So buy better media and burn slow if need be. Always worked for me.

Just my 0.02¢
 

sunangel

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[code:1:d6362d9b41]There are gems to be found in the below $40.00 catagory like the now mostly unavailible NEC ND-3550A.[/code:1:d6362d9b41]

I for one lost my liking of that drive. The ones I had were extremely loud, even at idle speed (1-2x). However, I did think they were the greatest until I bought my first LG drive. LG was my first experience with a totally silent drive. It had great read speed and at the time would burn at 8x flawlessly on Ritek, TDK and Sony media.
 

djgandy

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hmm

I was expecting to see drives burning media etc. Seeing which drives are fussy etc.

We all know drives burn discs, and im not burning 1,000,000 discs a day so an extra minute is not a problem for me.

Worth the trouble....what trouble? Trouble to me is when the drive doesnt recognise the media or burn to it, not how long it takes.

As with everyone else, I was expecting to see liteon here. They are one of the biggest makers of drives after all.
 

spanner_razor

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I felt it gave a good overview of drives tho liteon are definitely contenders in the cheap drive war.
However I felt that the review was a little pointless or at least the title was. Those drives are all cheap, the reccomended NEC drive is 25 quid, how much cheaper do you want, it's not like any drive is expensive, just get the fastest NEC and have done with it.
 

ikjadoon

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My Lite-ON is kick-ass, 20x with Lightscribe.

Tad loud when accessing at first.

~Ibrahim~
 

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