It seems someone at Sony decided to start kicking ass and taking names—the DRU-810A beat the crap out of several of our benchmarks and made a daring, if not entirely successful attempt to snatch the gold from Plextor’s majestic PX-716A.
Writing 4.25GB of data to a single-layer DVD+R disc at 16x took 6:08 (min:sec), well behind the swift 5:50 turned in by Plextor’s PX-716A. But the DRU-810A turns in its finest performance writing at 8x to both double-layer DVD+R and double-layer DVD-R discs; DVD+R DL clocked a stunning 15:45 to write 7.5GB of data, two and half minutes faster than the PX-716A.
DVD+RW speeds also got a hefty boost to 8x, knocking out 4.25GB of data in 7:56—at last, rewriteable DVDs have become a practical backup medium. And at a scant 2:50, you can burn a CD-R faster than you can print a label for it.
The DRU-810 supports bitsetting to increase compatibility with set-top players, overburning (a somewhat dangerous way of squeezing a few extra megs onto a disc), and overspeeding, which allows you to burn at speeds higher than the media is rated for, an option only available with specific types of media, listed in the documentation.
Plextor’s PX-716A remains the power user’s weapon of choice with its lower access times, broader range of overspeeding options, and the extremely powerful suite of utilities available in the bundled Plextools software.
We’re a little troubled over the DRU-810A’s extremely high CPU utilization. But Sony’s drive, which is bundled with the excellent Nero suite, breezes past the competition at double-layer disc burning, and would make even the snootiest rig proud.
-- Logan Decker
Month Reviewed: Holiday 2005
+ Vienna: Extremely fast burning to double-layer and DVD+RW discs.
- Vienna Sausages: Few overspeeding options, and rather noisy.