First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Writes to most formats, interchangeable front bezel, reliable read and write performance
- Not as quick as some other units on the market, especially when reading back burnt DVDs; pricey
The DRU-830A is a solid DVD burner but has a slightly higher price than some speedier alternatives.
Price$ 120.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 7 stores)
The Sony DRU-830A is an internal DVD burner that supports most media available on the market, including DVD-RAM. The DRU-830A also offers interchangeable front bezels, with both a white and black bezel included in the sales package, and is supplied with the popular Nero 7 software suite.
The key specifications of the DRU-830A are the same as most DVD burners currently available, with an ATAPI/EIDE interface and a buffer size of 2MB. For testing consistency, the DRU-830A was installed in a Thermaltake Shark case which has drive rails that hold the drive securely in place. We did note that this was a whisper quiet burner, with no signs of vibration when the drive was spinning. Note that it doesn't burn as fast as some of the other drives we have seen when burning CDs. It burns CDs at rate of 40x by default, instead of 48x. The faster speed can be invoked by holding down the eject button for a few seconds. The difference between the two speeds is negligible, however. At 40x, our CD-R was burnt in 3min 8secs, while at 48x it was burnt at 3min 01sec.
The DRU-830A can burn and read most of the standard DVD and CD formats on the market and although it proved to be a solid and reliable performer in all our tests, it isn't as quick as some other drives we've reviewed recently. For single-layer DVD-R and DVD+R discs, we once again used 4GB worth of video and music files, with just a three second difference in write times at 16x (5mins 53sec and 5min 50sec respectively). Read times were exactly the same at 6min 16seconds, which is much less favourable when compared to the speedy DSW1812P.
The DRU-830A also performed without any problems writing to DL (dual layer) media. The drive is capable of writing to DVD+R DL media at a rate of 8x and to DVD-R DL at a rate of 4x. Our Verbatim discs were detected and written to at these speeds. The difference in burn time between the two double layer formats was almost eight minutes, but both types of media were read back by the drive in almost the same time (18min 4sec and 18min 12sec respectively). Importantly, playing back all burnt data in Nero's CD-DVD speed showed a smooth read curve, and discs were read back on other PCs without any issues.
Overall, the DRU-830A performed well with solid write and read times for all discs and was whisper quiet. However, before deciding take into account that it's not as quick as some other units on the market and has a slightly higher recommended retail price.
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