Below is a quick overview of specifications on the drive:

 MSI DR8-A DVD-/+R Drive
Interface IDE
CD Write Speed 40X, 32X, 24X (CAV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Rewrite Speed 24X, 16X (CAV)
12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
HD-CD Write Speed 24x, 18x (CAV)
12x, 6x (CLV)
CD Read Speed 40X Max (CAV)
DVD-R Write Speed 4X, 2X, 1X (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 (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 (random)

CD-ROM XA, Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
Access Time CD: N/A
Buffer 2MB

Unfortunately, like the MSI DR4-A, access time on the DR8-A is quite high. The 8MB buffer of the DR4-A has also been downgraded to a 2MB buffer. Compared to other burners that we have reviewed, the access time of the DR8-A is one of the highest; lower times are better.

The DR8-A has very similar specifications to the Plextor 708A. However, the DR8-A supports HD-BURN, an underrated technology in our opinion. Nero, which was bundled, supports HD-BURN. You can read more about the technology here (no, we don't understand the cartoon that much either).

Click to enlarge.

The DR8-A is also unique in the fact that it supports 99-min and 90-min CDRs (both read and write). Several burners, including the NEC-2500A, do not support 99-min CDRs.

Index Tech Support


View All Comments

  • jonahXP - Thursday, April 15, 2004 - link

    "Before our 8x dual DVD roundup..."

    When will this article be online? I'm looking forward to reading it before I buy a DVD burner.
  • richardkenward - Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - link

    I bought one of these drives in the UK a month ago and had nothing but trouble from the start and MSI were no help. On Verbatum data life CD's it starts writing about 1cm from the centre. I write image files on this writer and want them to be read on both PC's and Macs. The CD's have been unreliable on the PC's and failed on the Mac...well only a few images open then one will totally lock it up. The write veridfication always shows up errors. A trial DVD write was sucesssful but took perhaps an hour to complete!

    Tried a TDK R74 CD and the write started in the centre but the image files opened sooo slowly on the MSI drive, and the CD was not seen at all on the Mac! BTW latest firmware was installed and no improvement seen.

    Supplier has sent a replacement and much the same result. Has suggested that I need to update the Chipset on the M board and install SP 4 inplace of 3 on the win2k computer I am using with the MSI drive. Surely this should not be necessary? BTW this box has been running a PlextorW2410TA perfectly for ages, and was only changed to get the facility to burn DVD's.

    Thanks for reading. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Ian@CDRlabs - Sunday, April 11, 2004 - link

    You had it finished back in February? Why the wait? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, April 11, 2004 - link


    We had the review finished before the 130D firmware came out. We have a nice sized roundup coming up with the MSI retested at the new firmware.

  • Ian@CDRlabs - Friday, April 9, 2004 - link

    After reading it over, I have a couple of other comments.

    While MSI claims that the DR8-A supports 99 minute discs, it really doesn't. It can recognize discs up to 93:58 in size and overburn to about that limit as well.

    Kristopher you also make it sound like the NEC 2500A cannot write to 4x DVD+R media at 8x. It can.. just not as well as some drives, like the DR8-A.

    Any reason why you didn't use the 130D firmware?
  • Ian@CDRlabs - Friday, April 9, 2004 - link

    ViRGE brings up a good point. However, the error correction HD-Burn uses is not CIRC (nor is it overburning). It's a more efficient algorythm that requires less disc space for error correction info. Even then, I do have to agree with some of the people at CD Freaks. The quality of the written data is questionable with some media. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, April 9, 2004 - link

    Virge: Youre not really halving the error correction, youre halving the tolerance for error. However, this isnt much different than people who overburn their CDs either. In some cases it may make more sense.

    Whether you want to use it or not is entirely determined by the user of course. For noncritical data, it is a nice convienence.

  • MadAd - Thursday, April 8, 2004 - link

    I take it HD-Burn disks will only play in compliant drives and not in any old cd-rom? I cant seem to find the answer on any of the links given.

    #3 ... Perhaps half the error correction wouldnt be so bad if we are talking about cds of mp3s?
  • ViRGE - Thursday, April 8, 2004 - link

    I don't think it's really a good idea to call HD-Burn a good feature on this drive. Why? Take a look at this post from CD-Freaks(http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/6823)

    HD-Burn will just *halve* the pit length on the CD, so double the data (and effectively half the error correction).

    Now I don't know about you, but CDs are bad enough as is as far as integrity goes. I'm not about to try to halve the error correction, even for another 700MB of space.
  • kuk - Thursday, April 8, 2004 - link

    I'm afraid of Mr. CD-R ... I think he'll eat my CD collection at night. Reply

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