Even though this drive technically supports 48X CD burning, Sony throttles it to 40X straight out of the box, citing reliability and safety concerns when the disc spins at very high speeds. Having experienced high-speed disc-shattering firsthand in the past using a burner from a competing brand, this throttling is fine by me.
- Fast burning
- May be somewhat unstable at higher speeds
This drive was solid in all of our tests, and is definitely worth considering.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
In fact, at 40X, a CD will only take a few seconds more to burn than at 48X, so there is really no substantial gain when burning at the higher speed. If you do want to burn (and read) at the highest speed, then you will need to keep your finger on the eject button for 5 seconds until the green light flashes. In any case, when we did this, the maximum speed we could use with our 52X rated CD-Rs was 40X.
Moving on to its DVD performance, the Sony performed quite well when burning DVD+R and DVD+R DL media. Writing at 16X, our test DVD+R disc completed its burn in only 5 minutes and 46 seconds, while a double layer disc took only 26 minutes and 46 seconds. Its DVD-R write and read performance was slow, however.
At its highest burn rate, this drive uses the CAV method to burn DVDs, while PCAV is used on slightly slower speeds and CLV on discs that cannot be burnt higher than 6X. CLV is also used to burn double layer discs.
The Sony has a fairly stylish front bezel and does not make too much noise when in full flight. Its short depth also makes it a very good choice for a small form-factor PC.
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