No leeway for this three-way
If you have anything to say to DVD-RAM, say it now. The rapidly increasing speed of write-once and even rewriteable DVD media has DVD-RAM with one foot in the grave, and the undertaker’s looking antsy. Undeterred, LG Electronics has trotted out the 16x Super Multi DVD rewriter that can write to DVD-RAM at 5x speed, as well as to DVD-R/W and DVD+R/W discs.
In a sadly typical state of affairs, 5x DVD-RAM media was not available at press time, nor do we have any indication of when it will be. Writing 4.25GB to a DVD-RAM disc at 3x, however, netted a time of 39:39 (min:sec); so in theory, a 5x disc shouldn’t take much longer than 25 minutes to fill. The write speeds could be even faster, but by default, DVD-RAM writes and then verifies the data. The verification process can’t be skipped, but the additional security is why some folks turn to DVD-RAM for data backup. Unfortunately, LG chose not to support the use of DVD-RAM discs in their cartridges, thus defeating one of the format’s protective features that rendered it so attractive for backup.
The drive’s performance in the more popular DVD-R/W and DVD+R/W formats was, on average, fairly impressive: DVD+R speeds led the way, taking a scant 5:43 (min:sec) to burn 4.25GB to a single-layer DVD+R disc—breaking the previous record set by Plextor’s 16x DVD burner! The Super Multi can write to specific brands of 2.4x double-layer media at 4x speed, burning 8.3GB to a double-layer disc in 26:21 (min:sec). While not spectacular, it’s not embarrassing, either. The Super Multi also supports 8x DVD+RW rewriting, and now that the media has finally arrived, we’re duly impressed with this drive’s speed, writing 4.25GB in a swift 7:34 (min:sec).
If you must have DVD-RAM in your repertoire, you won’t feel bad about owning this LG as either a sole or supplementary optical drive. But it’s not a top performer, and it can’t accept DVD-RAM discs in their protective cartridges. If endurance and fortitude are what you want in a DVD backup, we recommend using TDK’s Armor-Plated recordable discs. --Logan Decker
+ Quadrophenia: Acceptable burn speeds; DVD-RAM support
- Schizophrenia: Acceptable burn speeds aren’t enough. DVD-RAM is moribund.