If you're fussy about your drive's appearance then you will appreciate the extra bezel that Gigabyte supplies with this drive, which allows you to dress it up in either black or white. For extra funkiness, you could mix and match the tray plate with the main bezel and become the only kid on the block with a black AND white burner!
Aesthetics aside, this inexpensive unit provides excellent DVD write performance, using the CAV method, but slightly sluggish read performance compared to the other drives in the review.
It was also the only burner in the review to mysteriously change from using Ultra DMA mode, to PIO mode. This was perhaps due to the drive having a problem reading one of our pressed discs, and it took us a few system restarts to get the drive working in DMA mode again. For the record, using PIO mode with this drive, even on a powerful system, really made for snail-paced burning and used up to 100 per cent of our system CPU.
Software-wise, the drive comes with Nero Express 6 and PowerDVD. That's fantastic value considering this drive can be found under $100.
Verdict: Even though we did experience some problems with the data transfer mode of the drive, it still produced solid results that make it worth considering, especially if you're on a budget. Its DVD+R performance was the fastest in the review and its CD performance was solid. It was a little slow in its completion of a DVD+R DL burn, so if you're after killer double-layer performance then you should consider one of the faster drives in the review.
Specifications: 2MB buffer, 170mm depth, 16x DVD+R, 4x DVD+R DL, 16x DVD-R, Nero Express 6.
Phone: (02) 9748 7725
URL: www. gigabyte.com.tw