Sony Electronics is one of the biggest names in all forms of technology having to do with home theater, personal audio and video, as well as personal computing. It has a reputation for producing outstanding products that keep up with current standards and technologies as well as designing their own standards and technologies to compete with the rest of the big industry names in all fields.

One type of product Sony has made a permanent mark in is optical media. It has produced everything from simple CD readers to the latest dual layer DVD writers. Besides keeping up with up and coming technologies Sony consistently works to improve products which are already on the market.

Dual mode burners have been out for a while and have been improving both in quality and speed. Recently we received a sample of Sony's new 12x DVD+/-RW burner, the DRU-540A. Though not the first 12x drive released to the world we believed it would be a great competitor due to Sony's reputation. The first 12x capable DVD+/-RW was Plextor's PX-712A capable of writing DVD+R discs at 12x speeds. The second 12x burner we looked at was MSI's DR12A.

So how will this new 12x burner perform compared to the other two? We know you can't wait so we have run a few benchmarks with various types of media to compare reading and writing performance across all. Take a look at what we found...

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  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link Have it reviewed already, along with the Pioneer 16X ; we are just waiting to publish.

  • sgd2z - Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - link

    16X Drive from BenQ, can we have that in your next DVD RW roundup?
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - link

    TrogdorJW: This issue is common among low quality media like the Philips C08 and the VDSPMSAB 001 DVD+R's we tested with the DRU-540A. While forcing write speeds to a lower setting may reduce coaster production for some media, there are those other low quality media that may choke on certain drives no matter what write speeds you force on them.
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - link

    Ian@CDRlabs: They did not mention the problem to us. If you can buy it, i dont see why we shouldnt review it.

  • TrogdorJW - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    So do the read/burn problems with cheap media persist if you force the record speed to 4X or even 2X? Obviously, buying a 12X burner and using it as a 4X is sort of dumb, but if you're too cheap to find good quality media - or maybe only too cheap some of the time - then it would be nice to know you can force the drive to fall back to a more compatible setting.

    Example: I have problems with my Lite On 52X CD-RW drive when writing Memorex discs at 52X speeds, but when I write them at 32X they work perfectly fine. Is that common, or do I have a faulty drive?
  • RyanVM - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

  • Ian@CDRlabs - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    According to Sony, there are issues with DVD+RW and DVD-RW media and the 1.0a firmware. I'm surprised they didn't ask you to hold off on this review.
  • PuravSanghani - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    #5 & 6: There is a SATA version of the 712A named appropriately PX-712SA/SW and MSI's XA52P has a SATA interface but is said to only work in conjunction with Intel chipsets.

    Sony currently does not have any SATA optical drives, but there is always the future right :)

    #7: The DRU-540A is not Mac compatible.
  • WooDaddy - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    Good review. Is this the latest drive that Sony released? Also, sorta unrelated, is this Mac compatible? Does it have bitsetting support easily available?

    Ok.. more unrelated questions..

    I CAN'T GET TO THE FORUMS!!! Are they down?
    OMIGAWDBBQTGIMSWYMGY!!! (Shake what yo mamma gave ya)

  • epicstruggle - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    #5 is there a dvdrw that does support sata? I know they are coming out, but is there one out now?

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