Best DVD Burner?
September 10, 2009 2:00 PM   Subscribe

What's the best DVD burner? I need a new DVD burner, is there any reason I should buy one model over another, or should I just get whatever's on sale today?

I've got a fairly old generic DVD burner that doesn't support dual layer, and I'm looking to upgrade since they seem so cheap these days. Does it matter what model I get, or is it such that I can just buy whatever happens to be on sale today? Are there advantages to a certain brand over another? Basically I just want something that's fast, cheap, and produces good quality burns. Any advice would be helpful.
posted by davr to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any specific model to suggest to you, but you should check out CDFreaks. They do thorough reviews of many different burners, and their forums are full of people doing analysis on different burners.
posted by borkencode at 2:08 PM on September 10, 2009

It used to be that Lite-On mostly occupied the price/value sweet spot, and Plextor made a lot of the best burners. It's been a few years since I bought a burner, though, so I don't know if that's still the case.

If I were shopping for one today, I'd read reviews at CDFreaks (and some of the usual hardware sites--Tom's, Anandtech, etc.), and then I'd read user reviews at Newegg.
posted by box at 2:16 PM on September 10, 2009

A good combination of burner and media is the Pioneer DVR-216D and Verbatim DVD+R DL. This combo has been quite reliable on both PC and Mac using Toast, Nero and ImgBurn, with a coaster rate of less than 1%.

I prefer to purchase Verbatim DVD+R DL part number 95123. They are marked 2.4x, but will burn up to 8x and have a nice clean white label.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:19 PM on September 10, 2009

I usually recommend whatever's on sale at newegg. Today would be this sony for $30. inexpensive and good reviews.

You do need to find out whether your current drive uses SATA or IDE. Older systems (how old is your PC?) use IDE and if you buy a newer SATA drive it may not work, or you may need a new cable. Also check power connectors - I've seen systems with SATA support, but without SATA power connectors. In that case you can get an adapter, but it's something to be aware of and typically easier to just get a matching product from the beginning.
posted by anti social order at 2:25 PM on September 10, 2009

I own the Sony 7240S that anti social order recommends. If SATA works for you, then it's an excellent drive, albeit a little noisy when going at full tilt. An important feature for some people is that it's not riplocked and can do 16x raw DVD reads. This means you can rip a dual layer DVD in about 7 minutes.
posted by buxtonbluecat at 2:36 PM on September 10, 2009

I always check this list out when buying hardware.

Newegg customer choice awards
posted by wongcorgi at 2:51 PM on September 10, 2009

Response by poster: My motherboard can take SATA or IDE, and I have plenty of power connectors and stuff. My old DVD drive was IDE, but SATA is supposedly faster, and the cables are nice and thin too.

Thanks for the tip about riplocked, I hadn't heard about that, ripping DVDs quicker is always nice, my current one takes about 20-25 minutes or so for a full DVD.

As for CDFreaks, I looked through it, but the reviews seemed to be about 20 pages of charts of stuff, too much data for me to digest.
posted by davr at 3:24 PM on September 10, 2009

I've been building computers for a long, long time. Lite-On and BenQ are where it's at.

In fact, lots of "other" brands are rebranded Lite-On's.

Data Point: I've had this current system for !!6 years!!, Lite-On's been in there the whole time, churning out DVD's...hundreds of them...the whole time. Nary a problem.
posted by TomMelee at 5:20 PM on September 10, 2009

I swear by the Ars Technica system guides, as they can get me caught up on the state of the art in a hurry. As of April, they were recommending (at various price points):

$27 Pioneer DVR-216D
$235 Pioneer BDR-202BK

BluRay is overrated. Get the $27 drive and move on.
posted by intermod at 6:33 PM on September 10, 2009

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