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DVD-Rs go 8x 237

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-lotta-x dept.
DiZASTiX writes "It seems that the next speed level for DVD Writers is here. "The race for Xs is still on and Plextor has gone into the lead with the PX-708A, what Plextor claims is the first commercialized 8X DVD recorder. At this speed, a 4.5 GB DVD+R takes under 9 minutes to record. That is about the same as a CD in just over a minute. What we wanted to know was whether the reliability and compatibility of blank supports suffer from this breakneck speed...""
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DVD-Rs go 8x

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  • I dunno but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:18AM (#7541682)
    Most DVD-R's struggle to work reliably at 4x...
    • Re:I dunno but... (Score:2, Informative)

      by The_Bad_Bob (691779)
      I have a small 1 to 2 DVD duplicator that I never use at anything above 1x. Why? Because even at 1x, every dozen times or so it makes a couple of $1.79 drink costers. At 2x, it does that every other time! Sure, the drives are about 6 months old, but they shouldn't be failing so soon. That is, unless they are tring to boost DVD-R drive sales.
      • Re:I dunno but... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKnightCowboy (608632)
        I have a small 1 to 2 DVD duplicator that I never use at anything above 1x. Why? Because even at 1x, every dozen times or so it makes a couple of $1.79 drink costers.

        That's one of the reasons I've been leery of even buying a DVD-R burner at all. CDs have proved decently reliable, but the technology is over 20 years old. DVDs seem too new to trust my data to. When faced with backing up my PVR's video collection I am torn between trying to back up 4-5 hours per DVD in DivX format or going the more expen

        • Re:I dunno but... (Score:3, Informative)

          by WuphonsReach (684551)
          DVDs seem too new to trust my data to.

          The current crop of DVD+/-R(W) drives are indeed about as mature as the first bunch of CD-R(W) drives were at this point. They're a bit sensitive as to which media you use and the planets have to be aligned properly. For DVD media, I only buy the major brands (Imation sells a 25-disc spindle at around $50) and I've had *mostly* good luck. Lately the drive was failing (lots of coasters even at 1x) but then I rebuilt the box and the drive suddenly became reliable a
        • Maybe some company could create a cradle that you could fit into a CDROM/Floppy drive bay that you could just slide a 3.5in HD into (I'm guessing there would need to be an adaptor for different drives as the IO and power connector placements would differ slightly).

          The cradle would include a system that checked for the existance of a drive at power-up, and if the device wasn't present, the power connector would be disabled until the next power cycle. This way the IDE disk could be inserted at any time safel
          • That thing was invented long ago. I had one in my 486. Remember those keyboard lock keys? Well, it had one of those on it - unlocking it would power down the hard drive and making it removable. The cradle also had a small laptop size fan at the back to stop the disk over-heating.
          • I'm already using something like this - printed on the box is HDD Mobile rack. Costs about USD10 per rack.

            The serial ATA versions would be more interest - hot plug HDDs for the masses. Right now you don't hot plug parallel ATA HDDs.

            Tapes are just too expensive - tape drives are even more over priced. They're only that price because cheap hot plug systems for serial ATA drives aren't around yet or at least not common.
        • Re:I dunno but... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Megane (129182)
          Good drive, good disks, good burn. Using the Pioneer 2X-RW in my G4 Power Mac, and a Pioneer 4X-RW in an external case, not buying mail-order low-ball-priced spindles, and always doing a disc-at-once burn in Toast, I have only had two DVD-R burns out of more than a hundred that didn't verify. (I always run a verify except sometimes when I'm giving the disc to someone else and don't have the time to verify.) One of those two was because the power went out during the burn.

          Plus, unlike CD-Rs, the reflectiv

          • I should probably mention that I haven't burned any 4X discs yet. I haven't been been buying them, because my 2X drive (which I use most of the time) will only burn them at 1X. But any disc I've had that was advertised as 2X, I've burned at 2X.
      • hehehe you're worried about 1.79? Lemme tell you when CD-Rs first came out they cost around 25$ a piece and the CD Burners were *very* unreliable (atleast mine was). I remember my buddy and I got some Maxell CD-Rs for about 6$ a piece from one of those rebate sales at Staples, we burned all our MOD files and thought we'd practically robbed a bank :)
    • I bought the Plextor px708a last week, and I must say that it's amazingly fast. Plextor has a list of supported media [plextor.be] on their site. More media to follow as they still update the firmware.

      I tried it with two different kinds of Verbatim DVD+R 4x (43231,43211). It works at 8 speed (under 9 minutes to burn "backups" of your DVD collection). Burned over 20 disks, zero toasters up until now.

      The PX708a has some Plextor specific goodies to make sure speed of burning is optimized for the media (bad media will slo
  • by c_oflynn (649487) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:19AM (#7541683)
    Thought this was kinda funny:

    from this breakneck speed...

    Kinda like when the blazing fast 166 MHz pentiums come out, you know in a year people will be scoffing at 8x DVD speed ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:21AM (#7541690)
    Who cares about speed? When will we see DVD-9 DVDs, so we can backup copies perfectly, isntead of having to resort to "shrinking" them to fit on a DVD-5? Is it even theoretically possible to burn multi-layer on a consumer device?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:28AM (#7541717)
      Both the minus and the plus consortiums have announced such players, and have them in demo versions.

      Philips intends to release to oem's its dual layer writer around about the same time it releases its 12X drive - which is sometime in febuary. Expect them on the shelves in March.

      (The dual layer writer will only go at 2.4X at first though - and when you're burning a single disc and it takes two hours, you will care about speed.)
      • It seems to me that that will be a good time to buy one of the current drives. Upping the ante like this will surely forced the prices down on the existing tech (I hope).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:30AM (#7541726)
      Wow, doesn't anybody read DVD sites around here? Phillips has already demoed a 16X and in RPMs that's roughly equivalent to a 48X CDR, so it's not all that amazing.
      And as for the dual layers, that's a known quantity as well. The 8.5 dual layer 8 speed drives are supposed to be hitting the shelves before March 04. As for the price on the dual layer media, well that's another issue. Personally, I'm watiting for it though. No hurry. When the media is good and cheap I'll be good and ready.
      And BTW, DVD media production costs for 8X media are currently around US0.30 cents a disc. So, if you're paying fifty cents or more consider how much markup you're forking over.
      • Ok where can I buy 8x media for 50c ? Or even 4x ?
      • If you've ever run a business you know, unfortunately, that the production cost is not the baseline where everything above it is profit. As much as everyone on slashdot loves to believe that CDs should all cost 5 cents, DVDs should cost 25 cents, whatever, there are additional costs involved in bringing products to market.
    • Firmware upgrades (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bonch (38532)
      Not only have they been announced (I've heard dates as early as April 2004), but some burners apparently will only require a firmware upgrade to burn them correctly.

      I guess if it's reading DVD9s with its laser, it can burn them too...it just needs to know how.
  • Advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:22AM (#7541693)
    The present media won't stand it. I've yet to see a 4X writer, standalone or SuperDrive in a Mac, that will be 100% reliable at 4X. And if it's not the media, it's the writing technology.

    This would be a major breakthrough if it works. IF. I'm skeptical.
    • Discs (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You just need to by the right media.

      We've (philips) gotten our drives to >99.9% reliability on all branded 4X media that we have been able to find. 8x media is a lot harder to find right now - you *can* burn at 8x on some 4x media (we used verbatim) but it is, as you say, less reliable.
      The branded 8x media (there are really only two manufacturers, branded by multiple people) are reliable for 8x writing, but you will probvably want to find which of the two works better for your particular drive.

      12x and
  • DVD++R (Score:5, Informative)

    by gmania (687303) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:23AM (#7541697)
    Actually ...

    its DVD+R at 8x and DVD-R at 4x
  • DVD-Rs go 8x (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pingular (670773)
    I still don't understand removable media such as DVDs. You might be able to burn a DVD at 8x, but you can write to a hard-disk many, many times faster than that, and with removable hard-drives you can carry them around much as you would do with a DVD, at less cost. Does anyone know of any reasons why this technology is any better?
    • Re:DVD-Rs go 8x (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tomstdenis (446163)
      DVD/CD's are generally more resistant to being transported. Recall that hard disks have moving parts inside [hmm: make a harddrive system where you only carry the platters around and the motor/controller stay in the computer? Damn patent that idea!].

      CD/DVD's are horribly weak [-8 defense!] against scratches [cost 18HP!, hehehe]. My laptop for instance has a hard time with most scratches where a desktop cdrom usually has no problem. It's a pain in the ass ...

      Tom
      • by MrDolby (303452)
        "[hmm: make a harddrive system where you only carry the platters around and the motor/controller stay in the computer? Damn patent that idea!]."

        Wouldn't that be called a floppy disk.
    • Re:DVD-Rs go 8x (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PhxBlue (562201)

      I would use something like that as a more portable alternative to tape backup. You obviously can't backup whole hard drives that way, but for most home-user stuff, the few gigs that gives you is more then enough.

    • Re:DVD-Rs go 8x (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seek_1 (639070)
      Because its cheaper, especially for archiving.

      A 50-disc(50*4.5G = 225G) spindle of DVDrs retails for around $65(Cdn). Buying that same capacity from harddrives will easily set you back at least $200, nevermind having to factor in the cost of a USB 2.0 enclosure for the drive.

      There's also the fact that it's much easier to justify redundancy costs with disposable media as opposed to physical drives. (Spending an extra $120 for a redundant drive is quite expensive, whereas spending $30 more to burn everythin
      • A 50-disc(50*4.5G = 225G) spindle of DVDrs retails for around $65(Cdn). Buying that same capacity from harddrives will easily set you back at least $200, nevermind having to factor in the cost of a USB 2.0 enclosure for the drive.

        But then we're back to the old floppy disk method of backup. Swap in disc 34 of 50 please... I have 400 gigs of data I need to back up and I have to consider whether to back it up on 100 DVDs that may fail within 2 years at normal cool storage temperatures due to crappy media o

        • What are you going to do with those two 200GB hard drives? Write to them once and put them in a fire-resistant safe for 2 years? What if they don't spin up 2 years later? And if you use them regularly, what happens when you find out that the data you're backing up got corrupted two weeks ago? Or even two days ago? Hard drives are great for instant backups, but not for archival backups.

          The choice of backup media is entirely dependent on what you're backing up, how much there is to back up, and how badl

        • You have 400GB of dyanmic data? Wow. If it's not dynamic, do it incrementally with more occasional full-backups. It's faster and cheaper
    • DVD players (Score:2, Insightful)

      by yerricde (125198)

      You can't connect a removable hard drive to a TV nearly as cheaply as you can put a DVD Video Recordable disc in a DVD player.

    • Re:DVD-Rs go 8x (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RonBurk (543988) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:44AM (#7541771) Homepage Journal
      1. price: the cost per GB of DVD-R crossed hard disk prices recently, though they are still very close.
      2. durability: DVD is not as susceptible to physical shock and magnetic fields as a hard drive.
      3. movability: more PCs can read a DVD-R than have a slot for inserting a removable IDE drive.
      4. size: when what you want to store fits fine in 4.7GB, a DVD is a much nicer form factor than an IDE hard drive (so far). (e.g., daily incremental backups extending back for a full month.)
      5. movies: I can't create a movie on a hard drive and then stick it in my consumer DVD player (so far).
      However, DVD+RW and DVD-RW would certainly be more attractive for general data use if the operating system actually supported them as random access devices. Don't know about *nix, but Windows does not support such access until the next version (XP supports drag and drop, but simply copies files to a temp area, and then waits for you to tell it to do the One Big Burn).
    • I still don't understand removable media such as DVDs.

      It sounds like a COMP-101 question. :)

      Removable harddisk is faster but not cheaper than removable media. A normal 2x 4.3GB DVD-R only costs at US$1, you can't really find this bargain for hd, in terms of MB/$. Also, removable hd is not really portable. Portability not only refers to its size, it's also refers to the ease of reading those media across different platforms. Even when you say iPod like devices(USB, flash, etc.) could be served as a mova
      • Removable harddisk is faster but not cheaper than removable media.

        Here in Texas this fall, Fry's was selling Maxtor 160s for $79, $89, and $99 after rebate, depending on the sale date. I bought one at each price point, for my DVArchive, so I could keep my ReplayTV empty.

        Unfortunately, I'm still waiting on those 3 $40 rebates, even though the website claims they got them on September 19th, October 20th, and November 14th. But assuming Maxtor honors its promises, that makes my expenses about 56 cents a

    • by fiddlesticks (457600) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @11:24AM (#7541909) Homepage
      Because I tried to insert my HD (internal and external, mind you!) into my friend's DVD player

      It wouldn't fit, so I got really mad, and hammered it in. It still didn't work.

      Then my friend came back from his vacation, and he wasn't happy. So now I'm looking at these DVD-R things.

    • One of the major reasons is that the media is seperate from the drive that reads it... if your hard drive dies, you're SOL on your data, but if your DVD drive dies, you just get another one.
  • reading (Score:2, Interesting)

    by m_c_rose (102215)
    I find that unencoding takes much longer than burning. While packet writing with a 2.4x seems to be more than fast enough. With the prices of 4x drives as low as they are geting the price point for 8x just wont be worth it for now.

    Sig, You can't handle my Sig
  • buffer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamthemoog (410374) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:23AM (#7541704) Homepage
    8x is a pretty damn fast write speed for a 2MB buffer. I know Plextor have introduced a whole bunch of buffer under-run stuff, but I for one would be happier with a bit more. (especially since my hard drive is so horribly fragmented....)

    8MB wouldn't (shouldn't?) be out of the question for a top of the line product such as this.

    • Re:buffer (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pla (258480)
      8x is a pretty damn fast write speed for a 2MB buffer.

      Agreed... It really surprises me they'd go with a buffer that small. At 8x (just over 11MB/s), the buffer needs to completely refill every 182ms, 5.5 times per second. Considering how often computers seem to "hiccup", just freezing for half a second every now and then, I would not want to trust more expensive 8x media to the odds that one of those random events won't occur during a burn.

      Especially considering the price of these drives, does it see
    • I don't get the 2mb buffer either. Memory is so cheap, that one 32mb chip is probably something like $5. Why keep the 2mb? Even 8mb seems pitiful.
      • --I noticed that too. Thankfully, with cdrecord you can specify a much larger buffer if you want.
        • Re:buffer (Score:2, Informative)

          by lithron (88998)
          Keep in mind that the buffer you specify at the command line is a software buffer, and not nearly as quick as the hardware cache on the drive.

          Nero auto-magically configured itself to use 71 megs of RAM for a cache.. I've still coastered DVD-Rs.
      • by Malc (1751)
        Wouldn't that translate to an additional $50 at retail? ;)
    • I would take any buffer I can get, 8x would be fantastic. However, 8x DVD works out to about 10 MB a second: 10mbps * (1B/8b) * 8 = 80MBps. I would think that all currently sold hard drives and those less than two years old should be fast enough to take it. Those running out to buy a Plextor of all brands probably have a pretty recent hard drive.

      I have to read the article but I would love to see if there is some sort of granularity, whether 5x,6x and 7x are allowed. It really sucks to have to cut your
    • Re:buffer (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)
      Read up on the design of DVD+R it is inherently resistant to buffer under run problems. As in if you get an under-run and have to stop recording, you start recording again without wasting a single byte of space. The DVD-R isn't so well designed, but this drive only does 4x DVD-R.
  • Same "in" longer? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Angram (517383)
    "That is about the same as a CD in just over a minute."

    Well that certainly clears things up.

    I'm guessing what you meant to say was that it takes about a minute longer than a CD to burn, but I don't know how that involves the words "same" or "in."
    • Re:Same "in" longer? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pupp3tM (182264)
      I'm guessing what you meant to say was that it takes about a minute longer than a CD to burn, but I don't know how that involves the words "same" or "in."

      He means it takes just over a minute for the DVD writer to write 700 MB. 4.5 GB in 9 minutes means 700 MB in about 80 seconds, on average.
      Hell, if my 52x burner took 8 minutes to burn a CD, I would be pissed.
    • Re:Same "in" longer? (Score:3, Informative)

      by dirkdidit (550955)
      I think he meant that the burn rate is about the same as a CD that could be burned in one minute.

      Remember 1x in regular CD's equals something around 150KB/s while in DVD's it's around 1.35MB/s. Those speeds are for typical CD and DVD readers/writers while DVD+R/RW has an even different definition of the speed of 1x.
  • by Selecter (677480) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:29AM (#7541720)
    If you get any fingerprints, scratches, etc on yer disks they are not going to burn anywheres close to the rated drive speed anyways. Most poeple dont get the benefit of higher speed burns becuase they are slobbish :)

    Id like to see two ratings for burnable media. Something like 8X when new and clean, 2X when smeared with grape jam and peanut butter or somethin. :D

    • No reason for them to give any numbers like that. All max speeds for technology are based on an optimal environment. If you put that drive on a 386 with with 2MB RAM, it's probably not going to run at 8X then either.

      If you can't keep your fingers off of your DVD surfaces (or your DVDs out of your sandwiches, as you seem to suggest), you're in no position to argue about the product not performing the way you expected. DVDs normally contain warnings about heat, contact, etc. to make this clear.
  • by Jarnis (266190) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:29AM (#7541721)
    I've had the Plextor drive in question now for bit over a week. Works like charm. Using Maxell's 4x DVD+R discs, which the drive detects to be 'good enough' for 8X, I've now written about a dozen of these with zero problems. It's a Plextor after all, which roughly translates to being the Ferrari of the optical drives...

    So yes, based on my personal experience, while Plextor's 708A costs an arm & leg compared to low end DVDRW drives, it works as advertised and burns at 8X without problems to DVD+R discs. Have not tried DVD-R yet, but according to documentation, it's limited to 4X.
    • Thanks for the info. As to price, I was just checking around the other day, and that Plextor was hovering around $240 -- which was right in line with prices on the newest drives from other companies, most of which are still 4x models!! In which case, buying the Plextor is a no-brainer (at least until LiteOn comes out with a commodity-priced DVD writer :)

      On that note... I burn CDs at 24x regardless of the drive capacity (due to test results I've seen which suggest that 24x is overall the most reliable burn
    • It's a Plextor after all, which roughly translates to being the Ferrari of the optical drives...

      What -- fast but ureliable?

      Seriously, my friend just picked up one of these drives. He can burn discs just fine, but the drive gives I/O errors when reading the discs he just burned. Yes, in Linux and Windows. Yes, the discs read fine in other DVD drives, including set-top players. Yes, he's tried every version of the firmware available.

      So, fine, he probably just happened to get a defective one, and an ex
  • DVD-R vs DVD+R (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mm0mm (687212) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:33AM (#7541734)
    is as sticky competition as VHS vs Beta. No matter how fast they are I won't buy a burner until either of them becomes de facto standard. ...oh yeah, I know a lot of burners burn both formats, but it doesn't matter to me. I mean, what happened to DVD-ROM drives nowadays? Does anyone even remember?
    • Why should you care as long as you get a cheap burner that can burn both formats and both formats are supported by DVD-ROM drives and standalone DVD-players?

      And afaik almost all computers these days come with a DVD-ROM drive, so that is what happened to them.
    • You won't be owning a DVD drive for a while, then. The competition is still going strong. I'm somewhat skeptical that -R/RW will vanquish +R/RW, mainly due to the overwhelming market penetration of the +R/+RW consortium (Philips, Dell, HP).

      On the other hand, -R seems to be the media format of choice for people in the content industry, and -Rs backers are no slouches, either (Panasonic, Toshiba, Pioneer, and sometimes Sony, whose set-top DVD recorder supports -R/RW and +RW but not +R).
      • Sony seems skeptical as well, I just purchased a (very nice, i might add) Sony DRU-510a, and it supports +R/RW and -R/RW, some at 8x and others at 4x. So far, it is a very nice piece of kit, and i recommend it thoroughly.
    • The comparison with VHS vs Beta is meaningless. In that format war the media was physically different. In this case, both media types strive to create written media which is compatible with a third, universal, standard, namely DVD. As long as they both produce DVD compliant discs, what difference does it make (apart from making sure you pick up the right blank media)? The answer is: none. This is a non-issue.
  • by Frodrick (666941) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @10:42AM (#7541767)
    "It seems that the next speed level for DVD Writers is here."

    Of course it is - I just bought a 4x DVD burner yesterday. 8+(

    • I hope you kept your reciept.
      • Why would he have grounds to return it? Unless the store has a "no quibble" returns policy (and then I would say you are abusing it).
        • Re:Always the way (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Angram (517383)
          He/she is not satisfied with the product. Simple as that. It's not an abuse; the person bought the product believing it was the best offered product in its class, but has found it not to be. Few stores only accept returns on broken items, and many (most?) large chains only ask as a matter of gathering consumer feedback on inventory.
        • If the store has a no quibble policy it's not abuse.
          Abuse would be if he only needed the drive to burn a bunch of discs for the weekend and then returned it. In this case he's not satisfied with the drive.

          Stores that offer this (Futureshop in Canada) do so with the intention that you'll buy a product even if you're not sure that you really want it. After all you can always return it in if you don't like it.. but in the end most people don't return it.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @11:05AM (#7541829) Journal
    Personally I want more space on a DVD. I'm quite happy to wait twice as long if I can store more. In terms of a backup solution

    Your typical HD costs 200 pounds for 250GB.
    Removeable caddy for HD costs 10 pounds
    One-off caddy container for PC is 15 pounds.

    A DVD-/+/RW/RAM drive costs 105 pounds.
    A DVD-RW holds 4.5GB and costs 17 pounds for 5 (=22.5 GB)
    Total cost of 250 GB DVD media is (105+187 =) 292 pounds.

    So, the DVD just about scrapes home as cheaper during the third 250 GB. You may be able to get something off if you buy your DVD's in larger bulk - those prices were all I could see offered, and they're the cheap end as well. The "branded" names make the argument even stronger since "Sony" DVD-RW's are 22 pounds, not 17...

    On the other hand, you now have 165 DVD's with your data on somewhere. At that rate, it's surely better to have 3 HD's and a caddy slot on your PC ? In an emergency, you can even get by for a day or so using the data live off the disk.

    If, however, you want to pirate DVD's and play them in your home cinema, then sure, that extra 7 minutes you'd have to wait over a 4x drive would seem an eternity...

    Simon.
    • I'd find a better dealer if I were you... Hint: Don't shop at PC World.

      250GB is cheaper at 2*120GB which will set you back 114+VAT.

      Branded DVD-RW is *much* cheaper then you suppose - retail price for is 8 (inc vat) for 5 branded traxdata.. unbranded stuff you can get for 5 for 5. If you don't need RW (why should you? it's for backup) then you can half those figures.

      A dual format +/-RW drive will set you back ~80 inc. vat.
      • All the prices save the media were from DABS online. The media was the best prices single-page ad I saw in the back of computer shopper.

        I did *say* you could get them cheaper...

        I was using RW rather than R to level the playing field. The HD can rewrite, and some people rotate their backups in cycles...

        Simon
    • Somebody is going to have to do a rethink when SATA replaces PATA. The removable carriers for SATA use the SATA disk's data and power connectors rather than a specially designed and built connector for the task. The plug/unplug duty cycle for SATA disks is rather low, similar to what scsi SCA connectors are, not the 10's of thousands that a PATA carrier was rated for.
      • Typically it's the caddy that takes the brunt of any plugging/unplugging - the caddy receptacle mounts in the PC case, and the caddy plugs into that. The disk plugs into the caddy.

        At least, in all the ones I used to use at the MoD.

        Simon.
  • by ToKsUri (608742) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @11:11AM (#7541841)
    I've always had the impression that gradually incrementing the speed of CD/DVD writers (and other products) is just a matter of marketing and not of actually beeing posssible to offer the technology.
    When CD Writers started going up from 8x, 12x, 16x, 24x, 32x, 40x, 52x.... it seemed ridicolous! I simply thought the 52x technology was already available when the 8x was out in the stores.
    I know that increasing the writing speed is probably not just making the CD spin faster.. but then, what else is it?
    It looks like as if with the DVD, everything is repeating. Can someone give me a reason why DVD writers are not faster already apart from marketing reasons and companies just wanting us to buy all different speeds? Is it actually impossible to have faster DVD writers at market price right now? or is it a technical impossibility?
  • by pacc (163090) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @11:12AM (#7541846) Homepage
    Here is a story about how laser output, drive speed and media properties is related in getting faster DVD writers:
    http://neasia.nikkeibp.com/nea/200311/co nele_27449 0.html
    • Fascinating article. This is the kind of thing I've been looking for relative to high speed DVD writing, and understanding the real difference between each of the standards with their advantages and disadvantages.

      It's a shame your introduction isn't quite a good "sell" of the quality of the article, for example I quote:

      16x is without doubt the next target for recording speed, but there are a variety of technical issues to be overcome first. These can be broadly categorized into three areas. The first is

  • Reliability=dvd-ram (Score:2, Interesting)

    by olddoc (152678)
    If you really want reliability go with dvd-ram in a cartridge. There is built in error checking as you write and no software is needed. Just mkfs /dev/hdx and mount and go.
    Unfortunatly this format hasn't caught on and the latest LG 4040B drive doesn't support dvd-ram with the protective cartridge. It does do dvd-r +r -rw +rw cd-r and cd-rw. Maximum PC mag states it can write a 4g dvd-ram at 3x in 20 minutes and every bit of your binary file *will* be there.
    • You know, I've heard the DVD-RAM argument before. Since I do this for a living right now, let me mention that most people have no idea what they're buying as far as blanks go, nor as to how they treat them.

      All media, including +R, -R and -RAM, need to be stored and treated properly. This means: being handled along the edges, using water-based ink pens and not labels with glue or solvent-based inks (and IMO writing along the clear spindle portion of the writeable and instead labeling on the case and ma
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @11:26AM (#7541912) Journal
    I bought a 4X when they dropped to $125, and am pretty happy with it. I won't spring for a faster drive until I can get a DVD-9.

    But to my real question: How fast will they go? Most seem to be married to the 33MHz IDE spec on which all removable media are based. IIRC that's one byte (8bit parallel) at 33MHz...or about 25X (118GB/hr) with the bus completely saturated. So, without moving to IDE100 or IDE133, 20-22X seems to be a limiting factor.

    Someone above mentioned that 16X DVD speed has the same rotational velocity as a CD at 48X. Now, since 52X seems to be the CD-R limit based on the likelyhood of media disintegration that would seem to limit the DVDs to about 17X.

    I suppose there is the proposition that a two laser DVD-9 could overcome the rotational velocity bottleneck by writing to both layers at once, given that the file layout cooperates. And if writing a DVD-18 becomes a possibility (unlikely), then a four laser system could write all four layers at once. But this requires moving the CD/DVD devices beyond the UltraDMA mode 4 they seem limited to.

    So...where will the DVD speed end?

    • I was just having similar thoughts, based on "8x DVD write is about the same as 48x CDR write": what speed is that DVD RPM'ing at?? at what point will the DVD disks start to shrapnel, as has been demonstrated with CD disks starting at around 56x?

    • Base speeds:
      1x CD speed = 150 KB/sec.
      1x DVD speed = 1350 KB/sec.

      Current speeds:
      52x CD speed = 7800 KB/sec.
      8x DVD speed = 10800 KB/sec.

      If 8x DVD thruput is possible at the speed above then you might think that thruput would be possible with CDRs as well. After all, 10800/150 = 72. Why aren't there 72x CD-Rs? DVDs use a finer focused laser, packing the information tighter on the disc and requiring lower rpms. For a CD-R to be written at a comparable speed (thruput) it must run at a faster speed (rpm).

      Just
  • I tossed a black PX-708A into my new box on Friday, and had to give it a few tests.

    Does it write at 8X? You bet. 4.38 gigs barely took 8 minutes. 5 DVDs and no failures. My only beef is the drive is a bit noisy. It is definitely the loudest component, by far, in my system.

    What surprised me though is Tom's Hardware used the 1.01 firmware, when drives have been shipping with 1.02 for some time, and that 1.03 has been available for over a month. The performance improvements are small, but enough to edg
  • Just remember (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sandbagger (654585) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @11:38AM (#7541971)
    Hi: When backing up your p()rn, write the date on the disc and transfer it again in under two years. Disc rot on a DVD-ROM is like disc rot on a CD-ROM, only better.
  • by iceT (68610) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @12:36PM (#7542293)
    instead of making FASTER DVD recorders, how about fixed this whole 'this burner only works with these media'.

    For CDRW's, I can get any media and it will work...

    But DVD-RW/+RW drives (especially the newer ones) seem to only have a limited number of types of media that work on them...

    How 'bout we fix THAT before we go for Speed?
  • While plextor was the first to release this, they are no longer the only one! Philips DVDR824P [hardwarezone.com] is available as well as Memorex's 8X entry [dvd-recordable.org].

    Sony is also releasing the DRU 530A in Decemeber [zdnet.co.uk] at about the same time as the Pioneer DVR-A07 [designtechnica.com] and Cyber Drive 8X DVD+R drive [dvd-recordable.org].

    Pretty soon we'll see 16x DVD recording speeds [eetimes.com].
  • I had to order one (under protest) for our FreeBSD guys, all the while insisting the Pioneer was a better drive.

    The Plextor wouldn't work *AT ALL* under BSD. Works like a champ under Windows though.

    The Pioneer works like a champ under both.

    (Also, is this news? I ordered this thing over a month ago... slow news day at /.?)
  • by retro128 (318602) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @02:35PM (#7542832)
    The write speed of an 8X DVD is about 11MB/sec, right? Does anyone have problems with their hard disks keeping up with that speed, especially when they are doing other stuff in the background?

    What is the point of a 2MB buffer on this thing? It would run out in 1/5 of a second....
    • I struggle to manage 4x burns across my network, which is admittedly probably more to do with a cheap switch than anything else. Judging by my experiences with 52x CD-R burns, I would suggest an 8x burn is going to give most PCs a real workout. I'd rather reduce the burn speed than watch it bounce off the bottom of it's buffer whilst the BURN-proof light flickers merrily away...
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @02:37PM (#7542844)
    ...but the focus is in the wrong area.

    They're wasting time making the 8X DVDs when what we really need are DVD9's.

    So I can write a DVD in 9 minutes, great. Nothing is more annoying than trying to copy a movie/game that can't fit on a 4.7GB DVD and being presented with the choice of: "Compress it to fit on one DVD and have it look like ass, or span it across two DVDs"
  • by Psyko (69453) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @03:43PM (#7543203)
    I've got one of the plextor PX-708a's and have been using it for about a month and a half now. I've been very impressed with this unit for a couple of reasons.

    When I purchased it, it was the same price as 4x dvd burner/combo burner drives at the time.
    Covered all formats (like a good combo drive should. DVD_+R/RW, CD-R/RW).
    Still had a high burn speed for cd's (40x), quite a few of the high speed combo burners I was looking at would only cut a cd at around 24x.
    It's offered with a white or black faceplate (I picked black to match the new pc I had just built) :P

    This is the first plextor drive i've owned, usually staying in the yamaha camp. It came with 1-8x DVD+R and my attempts to purchase more at fry's/staples/compusa all failed miserably. Once that one was gone, I started trying to burn 4x rated dvd+r's at 8x and have gone through a couple of 10 packs with no problems. I use this unit in a winxp machine, with Nero Ultra to burn it (I didin't even look at the software that came with it, I think it was a plextor branded app) and have been very happy with it overall.

    I started reading this thread and started seeing the usual "But why, 8x is too fast" bla bla bla type stuff, but until we get to the generation 4+ of these devices speed is still going to be the selling point of dvd burners. Remember when the 4x cd burners came out? People were saying they're a waste of money and you don't need something that fast then too. But now, we're at the point where you can pretty much just go and buy a new cd burner without checking the speed and you've still got something screaming fast and rock solid. So stop bitching about device enhancements.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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