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
TAO
SAO / SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
MultiSession
Mt. Rainier
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-DA,
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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  • CrazeeHorse - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Kristopher, define what you mean by performance. 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! However, if you take a wider view,IMO, performance also refers to the burn strategies,media compatibility, media preferences.. all of which can vary from drive to drive, even if they are based on the same chipset. Case in point.. Pioneer 107 and NEC 2500A use the same co-developed chipset. However, NEC allows burning of certain 4X +R media (eg. RicohJPNR01) at 6X, while Pioneer limits them to 4X in their official firmware. NEC's drives have been reported to have problems with some batches of RitekG04 -R media, while Pioneer's drive seems to burn them without any issues.
    So I reiterate.. performance should cover a whole lot of other parameters,besides the ones defined by the chipset.

    Oh,Ian, this is bhairavp from CDRLabs.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Its OK. The similarities i claimed though were in performance, not features. The operative word is similar also. So yes, in some instances it would be like saying motherboard and and motherboard b perform similarly because they have the same chipset.

    When it comes down to it, if the Memorex, ASUS and Pioneer drives are all very similar (well actually identical), wouldnt you just want the cheapest?

    Kristopher

    Reply
  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Sorry Kristopher, I didn't get your email. Send it again.

    Just to be nitpicky, there are differences between the 2500A and DDW8800, at least cosmetic. The AOpen is missing a head phone jack. The MSI and Sony drives also have their differences. In particular, the Sony is lacking HD-Burn support.

    While those are good examples of companies using the same OEM, I wouldn't say that the Gigabyte (OEM BTC?) performs like the Lite-On 812S just because they have the same chipset. That's like saying this and this motherboard perform the same because they have the same Intel chipset. You Anandtech guys should be able to relate to that.
    Reply
  • arswihart - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Can somebody tell me what bit setting is and why I should care about it? Thanks Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Ian i sent you an email the other day and you never responded ;)

    There is 0 difference between the NEC2500A and the AOpen DDW8800. Same with the MSI and Sony, and the ASUS and Pioneer. They just use the same OEM so all the components are identical. Manufacturers get really upset when you say stuff like that, but its the truth.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    You might want to try KProbe2. It now has separate PI/PO settings.

    I was a little surprised by the "would expect similar performance" comments. While some of drives use the same chipset, there are a lot of other differences (Ex: firmware, pickups, etc) that effect performance.

    Also, when are you going to start including writing times to go along with the average writing speeds? IMO, this isn't the way to show which drive is "fastest".
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    #6: I heard otherwise about using the DDW-061 to DDW-081 utility on the DDW-082 and bumping your 8X burns to 10X. I havent tried it though thats something i will look at after finals maybe.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Booty - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    'didja *read* the article??'

    Nope, sure didn't... I skip through parts of most AT articles because they either get too wordy or I just don't have time to read them thoroughly. In those cases, I skip to the conclusion for a summary. My bad.
    Reply
  • CrazeeHorse - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Number 2 : You can download the B372 firmware from www.rpc1.org

    Number 4 : Nopes.. you're outta luck.

    Mr Kubicki.. Why didn't you test KProbe @ 4X/8ECC as is being used @ CDFreaks and CDRLabs? The original scanning PI/PO specs call for 1X/1ECC scanning, so Max/1ECC is not going to give you correct results.

    ALso, there is NO hack for making the Nu081 burn at 10X, and their bitsetting utility is perfect. The disc is recognised as DVD-ROM by all the DVDROM drives I've tried, so it seems to work just fine;)
    Reply
  • l3ored - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    the nutech and toshiba error charts dont come up Reply

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