Fastest BD-R writes; fast DVD rips; competitive price.
It's not the fastest at BD-RE writes.
In our July issue, we reviewed
OWC’s Mercury Pro 8x Blu-ray External
and found the drive’s performance puzzling. In short, the Mercury Pro’s BD-R write speeds belied its 8x rating, with the drive taking nearly an hour to fill a 25GB disc with data, compared with the 22-plus minutes it took LG’s 6x GBW-H20L. It got us wondering whether the issues were more the fault of OWC’s external enclosure or the Pioneer 8x Blu-ray drive at its heart.
This month we were able to answer that question as we tested Pioneer’s BDR-2203, the same drive used in the Mercury Pro. We immediately cut to the chase, testing the BDR-2203’s BD-R write performance. While the Mercury Pro was incompatible with the Nero DiscSpeed app we use for our optical drive tests—forcing us to use Nero 8’s Burn Express instead—the BDR-2203 had no such problems. Using DiscSpeed along with 4x Verbatim media, the drive wrote 22.5GB of data to a BD-R disc in 14:56 (min:sec)—a Lab record!—maintaining 8x speeds through much of the job. With rewriteable media, the drive’s performance wasn’t quite as impressive. The BDR-2203 held a steady 2x speed when filling a 25GB BD-RE disc, for a time of 45:35, much like the Mercury Pro—and 15 percent slower than the LG GBW-H20L’s BD-RE write time.
|Pioneer BDR-2203 ||OWC Mercury||LG GBW-H20L |
|DVD Write Speed Average ||11.64x||11.52x||12.07x|
|DVD Read Speed Average ||11.93x||11.96x ||9.10x|
|Access Time (Random/Full)||173/365ms ||169/357ms ||100/175ms|
|DVD Ripping ||10:06||10:49||15:19|
|Time to Burn 22.5GB to BD-R (min:sec) || 14:56 ||52:17*||22:16|
|Time to Burn 22.5GB to BD-RE (min:sec) ||45:35||45:19*||39:35|