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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  • mkruer - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Stupid question but i must ask, is there a firmware update to the Plextor 708A that allows us to burn dual layer DVD's? I remember there was quite alot of talk about the new drives supporting the feature, but that it was not enabled. Reply
  • deadseasquirrel - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    "Why wasn't the Plextor 8x drive included in this comparison?"

    didja *read* the article??

    Page 5: "Alas, our award winning Plextor 708A, which is also based on the LC897490, is not capable of 8X DVD-R, so we could not include it in this roundup."
    Reply
  • moktaw - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Bought the NuTech 081 several months ago. Firmware upgraded to a 082(at least that's what Nero and DVDInfoPro say with B370 Firmware). This is my first DVD burner. Outstanding product, especially at $80. Burned about 25 discs so far without any coasters. I would love to find the B372 firmware upgrade talked about in the article, Checked NuTech's website this morning and couldn't find it. A typo or do I need to look elsewhere? Thanks for the great discussion. Looking forward to the 16x dual layer burners this summer. Reply
  • Booty - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - link

    Why wasn't the Plextor 8x drive included in this comparison? Reply

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