NuTech DDW-082

The original NuTech DDW-081 was one of our favorite burners around the lab, since it was cheap and fast. The drive worked superbly for DVD+R, but did not originally support DVD-R media until the newest firmware revisions. The DDW-082 is very similar to the DDW-081, except for the fact that out of the box, it supports 8X DVD-R. Furthermore, the DDW-082 supports "bitsetting" and carries an $85 price tag.

As we looked at in the NuTech DDW-081 review, the DDW-082 is based on the same Philips Nexperia chipset from our last NuTech drive (in fact, the two drives are identical). The Nexperia chipset is one of the most documented chipsets on the internet, but at the same time, least adopted. NuTech stands out from other drives that use the Nexperia chipset, mostly for their ingenuity in squeezing every last drop of performance possible via firmware upgrades. The Nexperia PNX7850 chipset is not even supposed to support DVD-R capabilities, yet Quanta/NuTech engineers seem to have achieved just that. We went and bought a DDW-082 for this review, but you may be able to flash your DDW-081 into a DDW-082.

Below is a quick overview of specifications on the drive. The Nu Tech website has the specifications listed as well:

 Nu Tech DDW-082
Interface IDE
CD Write Speed 40X, 32X, 24X (CAV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Rewrite Speed 24X, 16X (CAV)
10X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Read Speed 40X Max (CAV)
DVD-R Write Speed 8X (Z-CLV)
4X, 2X (CLV)
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2X, 1X (CLV)
DVD+R Write Speed 8X (Z-CLV)
4X, 2X (CLV)
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2.4X (CLV)
DVD Read Speed 12X Max (CAV)
Supported Modes DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Mt. Rainier
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
CD-ROM XA, Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
Access Time CD: 120ms
DVD: 120ms
Buffer 2MB

As we can see, the CDRW speeds have been increased from 10X to 24X with this burner, a great improvement over the last drive. All other features remained virtually identical, including access time. Mount Rainier support has also been added since the previous DDW-081.

We should mention that the DDW-082 does not support true bit setting capabilities. Although there are some bit setting utilities floating around for the DDW-081/082, they do not set the DVD-ROM bit in the traditional sense. Your compatibility mileage may vary with this drive if you rely on bitsetting.

Another drawback of the DDW-082 is the occasional poor media support. Although the drive has come a long way, we occasionally find cheap unlabeled media that the drive cannot burn (particularly with DVD-Rs).

Index Gigabyte GO-W0808A
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  • rlrus - Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - link

    Nu has posted the official firmware upgrade B373, I hope this one is as good or better than the unofficial B372. I bought this drive and hope I have as good results as Anand Tech. With it's ability to write 8 times on 4 times Media and it's speed and error rate being almost as good as the more expensive drives it seemed a bargain.
  • mcveigh - Sunday, May 2, 2004 - link


    the Nu models do as well or better than everyone else and at the lowest price point.

    why shouldn't they win?
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, May 1, 2004 - link

    Jeff7181: I think there is a way to get it to scale proper. I will do that for the next review.

  • QuaiBoy - Friday, April 30, 2004 - link

    Seems to me that all of the DVD writer reviews lately on Anandtech seem to favor the Nutech product. I don't see a reason from these results to pick that drive over any of the others. There's nothing that makes it anything special, and it certainly doesn't deserve an award over the other drives.
    Another vote for total write times and for not claiming that all drives with the same chipset will perform similarly. Too many variables. At least test with more media types, like TY and Optodisc. Cheapies like Princo appeal to many as well.

  • Jeff7181 - Friday, April 30, 2004 - link

    The Write Quality graphs are very misleading/hard to read since they are all on different scales... makes on look like crap until you realize you're looking at a 0 - 10 scale rather than 0 - 70. Anything you can do about that or are you just stuck displaying what the crappy software showed you?
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    This was all commented on in the article. The 708A and the 2500A also use radically different pickups and servos. But then again, i never claimed those two were similar in the review either.

    Belzer: most of those drives i pointed out were clearly rebadges.

  • CrazeeHorse - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    Belzer,yes. Maybe I should have rephrased my statement, as MAXIMUM burning speed. Yep, it also depends on the burn strategy employed.
  • CrazeeHorse - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    Belzer,yes. Maybe I should have rephrased my statement, as MAXIMUM burning speed. Yep, it also depends on the burn strategy employed.
  • CrazeeHorse - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

  • Belzer - Thursday, April 29, 2004 - link

    "If you mean burn speed, of course it will be similar in different drives that use the same chipset, as their burn speeds are defined by the chipset!"

    Uhm, no! Burn speed also depends very much on the write strategies implemented in the firmware. For example NEC ND-2500A and Pioneer DVR-A07 use the same chipset. The NEC uses a 4x-6x-8x Z-CLV technique for 8x burns, the Pioneer uses a 6x-8x Z-CLV technique and is faster.

    Drives with the same chipset can have very different properties, only complete rebadged drives will have the same properties.

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