Introduction and Construction

A few weeks ago, we dangled a little DVD Dual Layer primer (teaser?) for all of you who are looking forward to the technology.

Even though we received a preproduction sample from Sony, we have a generally good idea which media will be bundled in the final version of the drive. To no surprise, most of the Nero Express suite will ship with the final drive. This includes Nero Express 6, InCD 4, ShowTime, ImageDrive, WaveEditor and the Nero Toolkit.

The faceplace of our preproduction drive looks identical to the DRU-530A. Our press guide claims that the final version of the drive will also ship with a black replaceable faceplate. Unlike the Gigabyte GO-W0808A, there is no forward headphone capability.

Our largest surprise came when we noticed the chipset in our DRU-700A was the same found in the Gigabyte GO-W0808A, the MT1818E. This little chipset has been with DVD burners for a long time; the only real upgrades that have occurred since DVD+R 2X has been upgrades to the analog controllers and pickups. The same innards are found in the Lite-On LDW-812S.

Below is a quick overview of specifications on the drive:

 Sony DRU-700A DVD-/+R DL Drive
Interface IDE
CD Write Speed 40X, 32X, 24X (P-CAV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Rewrite Speed 24X (Z-CLV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
HD-CD Write Speed 24x, 18x (CAV)
12x, 6x (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+R DL Write Speed 2.4X (CLV)
DVD Read Speed 12X Max (16,620KB/s) (CAV)
Supported Modes DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
DVD-R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD-RW (restricted overwrite)
DVD+R Dual Layer

Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
Access Time CD: 160ms
DVD: 200ms
Buffer 2MB

Although the labeled access times are slightly higher than normal, most specifications on this drive are identical to the Gigabyte GO-W0808A shown from our roundup last week.

Click to enlarge.

DVDInfo Pro correctly identifies the DVD+R DL capabilities of the drive.

Click to enlarge.

Burn Tests CDR Media


View All Comments

  • MysticMan1 - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    I have the Sony DRU700A drive deals posted in the Anandtech "hot deal" forum here:

    FYI: Here's a quote from Philips, who created the DL format. Quote: (According to Philips it will not be possible to upgrade existing 8x DVD recorders to DL layer recorders, contrary to what some rumours are saying. In theory the laser power of an 8x drive is strong enough to handle DL but the problem is, is that the OPU (Optical Pickup Unit) of the drive is often not good enough. This will lead to quality problems. However, some drives with good OPUs could, in theory, be upgraded although they’d have to be handpicked)
  • Adul - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    mmm looks up his dvd burner model :D Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link


    fairly likely. As we mentioned in the review we firmware upgraded our GO-W0808A to DL.

  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    According to Sony, its $199.99 right now. Reply
  • hahher - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    what about price of this burner? price of other burnes (lite-on)?

    since components are similar to other current burners, how likely is it to see firmware upgrades to DL?
  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    Hmm.. maybe you should ask the author Karr. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    Ian@CDRlabs: Not officially.

  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    KProbe2 does support PI/PO error testing (or BLER as you call them) for DVD+R DL. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    First of all, finding Dual Layer DVD media will likely take some time. Even though it isn't hard to find DVD+R/DVD-R media now, finding quality media for a reasonable price is still a gamble, much like CD-R media was in its earlier days.
    Secondly, if this drive has different pickups then it isn't "essentially the same as the Gigabyte" DVD writer. To write to the second layer of a dual layer DVD, more sensitive mechanisms are needed, and obviously this was done. Just because two DVD writers have the same chipset does not mean they will burn the same; if they have a different pickup mechanism, the drives will likely differ in performance. This has already been proven by the NEC 2500A and Pioneer 107D, which both use the same chipset but do not have exactly the same performance.

  • Gromis - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - link

    My feeling while reading ths: "poor those who bought DVD-RAM drives..." Reply

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