Introduction

Sony has a track record for switching chipsets as they move along from model to model. The DRU-540A used the same Sanyo chipset that is used in the PX-712A. Upon entering the 16x game, Sony switched to MediaTek as its supplier for the servo controller and analog signal processor for the DRU-710A/720A units. Now, Sony has changed their chipset to that used in BenQ’s DW1640 as well as Plextor’s PX-740A.

This may turn out to be a good thing, since the DW1640 and PX-740A drives performed very well in all areas. But we all know that the performance of a drive depends on not only its hardware, but also its firmware. The DRU-810A comes with the 1.0a firmware, which is also the latest and the one that we used in our testing.


Click to enlarge.

Past Sony drives have not done so well with our line of test media. The DRU-710A had been burning DVD+R double layer coasters during our Fall 2004 16x DVD roundup, and in our Summer 16x DVD roundup, the DRU-720A performed better than the DRU-710A, but not well enough to earn it a Top 3 spot on our list.

With this new chipset, we see good things for the DRU-810A. Enough of this jabber - on to the benchmarks…

Special thanks to Marken Communications for supplying us with Verbatim brand test media.
Special thanks to Antarra Communications for supplying us with Ridata brand test media.


Sony’s DRU-810A
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  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    quote:

    They're $30 items, do they need to be reviewed? Doesn't seem worth the effort.

    Perhaps because no-one wants to spend $90 going through THREE burners or $120 through FOUR burners before finding the ONE burner that has broad media compatibility with few recording errors, at a decent speed.

    Some burners work great --with two brands of media only, and are horrible with the rest. Some burners don't work at their claimed max burn-speed with 90% of the high-speed media out there. Some burners write media well, but read it poorly. And since blank media is rarely manufactured by the vendor on the label (i.e. Verbatim, who has used MCC, Moser Baer, Taiyo Yuden, and perhaps others to supply their media, and this is similar to other vendors' track records) how do you know what media you're getting? The only solution is to get a burner that does a good job with most media.

    I don't know about you, but I think reviewing a $30 burner is definitely worth it. And by-the-way, I don't think I've seen a quality burner for less than $40 at this point, and for me that's still money I don't want to piss away.
    Reply
  • GoatMonkey - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    I had been wondering about these questions for a while. Whatever happened to the dream of having a system with no more regular ATA? Why is nobody except Plextor using SATA for the connection?

    I think I know the answer now that I own the Plextor SATA DVD burner. Virtually no motherboards support it. The drive worked fine for a while, but apparently something changed that doesn't allow the drive to work anymore. It passes the internal test burn, but won't do anything in Windows except read discs.

    Maybe if some other companies would make drives like this there would be some BIOS patches to motherboards to allow them to work. Really annoying. I don't want the big fat ribbon cables anymore.

    Reply
  • RyanVM - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    Have you tried getting in touch with Plextor? For as much as you paid for that drive, I'm more than willing to bet they'd replace it.

    That being said, I'm still waiting for AT to review the PX-716(S)A. How that drive has been out for so long and not gotten a review from them is beyond me.
    Reply
  • nullpointerus - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    I once heard from a tech support rep that while SATA supports removable media drives, there is no standard for media change notification. If that's true, then I don't see how there can be a SATA media-burning standard.

    Maybe Anandtech could look into this and post a blurb about it in their next DVD burner roundup? I'm sure many people would be interested.
    Reply
  • Niv KA - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    The only thing I have from Sony in my house is an old PS1 and a very old camera(Hi8) that I got from my father when he bought a new DV camera. The PS1 I am happy with,exept it has not been turned on in 2 and a half years(my fault, no time), and the camera, well it works and that is all, I use it frequently, but it is because I can't aford anything better. Reply
  • deathwalker - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    Well lets see here...Sony $100+, Benq $40...hmm..once again as is the case all the way across the various product lines, Sony trys to command a premium for their name. Bah..humbug. The very reason I don't have any sony products in my home. There products are general OK..but a lot of companies make OK products and for much less $. Reply
  • Stefan - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    Sony has matched the performance, but I still say that the BenQ 1640 is the best drive available. It has all around great performance and is one of the least expensive units on the market. Reply
  • Darkmatterx76 - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    all that and no lightscribe... *sigh* I've been waiting for a good drive with everything plus lightscribe... Reply

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