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Best DVD Burner for around $100

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   JonS


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Posted December 23 2004 - 11:19 AM

Recently my pile of crap I/OMagic drive just stopped working. It still recognizes/burns CD's but not DVD's. And because of a few other recent problems with it I figured it was at it's end so I'm starting to look around for a new burner but like everything, half the reviews will say something is total shit and the other half will praise it as the best available. Through hours and hours of exhausting research this is the best I've been able to come up with in my price range.


I'd appreciate any opinions on this drive or any suggestions for others. Thanks!

Oh yeah, basically I just want something that will burn DVD+R or DVD-R at 4X, nothing extravegant.
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#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Christian Behrens

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Posted December 23 2004 - 11:57 AM

I would always only buy a burner with decent firmware support, as burn strategies are encoded in the firmware for different blank CDs/DVDs. Thus, regular firmware updates by the manufacturer are a good thing. Plextor is definitely a very good brand for burners. Pioneer, NEC and Sony are others I would look at, personally. Having said that, my computer mag consistently finds that even the best burners are only good with some blank DVDs, not all of them. So you're really looking at finding the combination of burner and blank DVDs that works best. Good luck! -Christian
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#3 of 12 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted December 23 2004 - 12:50 PM

I've been pleased with my NEC ND3500A. I got it at eWaggle, and I believe I got it at their current price, $77 + shipping, and it comes with an eWaggle.com DVD-R and Nero. I tried to burn CDs at speeds faster than 8x, but I always got a buffer overrun error. It may be my media (Sony), I'm not sure. However, I have yet to make a DVD coaster, and I've burned more than 40 DVDs at 8x (TDK DVD-Rs).

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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   ScottHH


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Posted December 23 2004 - 01:06 PM

I have a Sony DRU-510, I bought it from Newegg, at the time it was rated very highly, and I've been very happy with it. If I were getting one today, I'd seriously consider the Sony DRU-710, It's $90 at newegg and can write to dual layer media for when that stuff comes down in price.

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Chris


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Posted December 23 2004 - 02:44 PM

Plextor is very nice, and they do a very good job with their product. Best under $100? Probably close to it. Then again, most are so even any more, it doesn't make a huge amount of difference as to "best". The Pioneer DVRA08XL is a very good drive. If you can hold off for just a very short while, at the end of January, 5 new drives roll out with 16X, DL support + SATA.
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#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted December 23 2004 - 04:42 PM

I've always used Lite-on drives because they are easy to make region-free. I don't really know how they compare to the other brands, though.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   JonS


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Posted December 23 2004 - 04:46 PM

Taking into account Christian's comments about finding a good writer/media combo, Chris' comments about there not really being a "best" and the overall approval for Plextor, I am definately leaning towards it. Thanks to everybody that helped...though there is still time for me to be swayed with any major DVD writer revelations.Posted Image
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#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 24 2004 - 02:29 AM

I own a Sony DW-D18A dual layer multi-format (DVD+-R/RW, CD+-R/RW) that has worked very well. I purchased it for about $70 from Newegg a few months ago. I have not tried any dual-layer DVD's with it yet, though. I've only used CD-R and DVD-R's -- that's all I have on hand.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted December 24 2004 - 07:31 AM

NEC makes the fastest drive right now in the 3500A.

I paid $70 thru Newegg including shipping for mine and I got EZ Media creator as well included.

Here is a link regarding a recent test:

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Jeremy Anderson

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Posted December 25 2004 - 01:27 AM

NEC3500A for me (with the black face, also available in standard beige or silver). Paid $68 plus shipping for it at Mwave.com. I haven't found any media that actually burns at 16x, but the cheap Unidisc DVD+R's that I use burn at 12x and I haven't coastered a single disc. There's also an easy to find hacked firmware that unlocks the DVD ripping speed, makes it region free, and updates the burn strategies. It also has the added bonus of automatically locking the booktype for DVD+R's to DVD-ROM, which makes them compatible with just about any DVD player I've come across. My Panny RP-56 player plays every disc I burn without a hitch (though it won't play DVD-R's without stuttering). It also burns dual-layer DVD's if you have the media. I regularly burn CD-R's at 32x with generic media, giving me a full CD in under 3 minutes (without a single coaster). One thing of note: I installed the same drive in my boss' machine, which has a motherboard with a VIA chipset. For some reason, the drive wouldn't work right with an 80-pin IDE cable (it coastered CD's unless you burned under 12x)... but using an older 40-pin cable made it work fine. Just figured I'd mention it for anyone having problems burning discs.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted December 25 2004 - 03:24 AM

I just purchased an LG GCC-4160B, but unfortunately the DVD burning capabilities don't work. And I don't believe it's the drive itself, but more likely the SiS651 chipset on my Shuttle's mobo. There have been complaints about this in the past. I may need to upgrade the board... Yes, all drivers and BIOSes are up to their latest versions, including the DVD burner itself (version A302).

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted December 25 2004 - 08:43 AM

Verbatim now sells DVD+Rs that burn at 16x. My uncle bought some, but I'm haven't heard from him on whether he's tried any of them yet.


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