SONY DRU-810A DVD Burner Review


 

Test machine:


For this review we will be using a computer with the following configuration:

Hardware:

Motherboard: Intel 865
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz with Hyper Threading support
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Memory: 512 MB
Video: ATI RADEON 9600XT
Sound: SB Live!
Hard disks: 1X 160GB Seagate Barracuda; 1X 120GB Western Digital

System set-up:

 

The Sony DRU-810A was connected as Secondary Slave and identified itself as SONY DVD RW DRU-810A. DMA (Direct Memory Access) was enabled for all devices.

Software:

Windows XP Professional is installed on the computer along with Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. We will be using the following software in this review:

  

Installation and supported features:


We installed the drive without any problems and here is a screenshot from Nero InfoTool:

From the screenshot above, we notice a 2MB buffer size; missing Mount Rainier and C2 Errors support. The installed firmware version is 1.0a.

And another shot from Nero Burning ROM:

Nero Burning ROM claims Overburn support. We will test this later in the review.

Included Software:


Now it’s time to look at the included software. Notice that we may not use the included software in our performance testing part of the review.

Sony® Software Disc Rev. 6.30W Installation CD:

The Software Disc includes:

  • Nero 6 Sony Edition

  • Nero StartSmart serves as the command center to quickly start all the software of the Nero suite;

  • Nero Burning ROM 6 SE and Nero Express® 6 CD/DVD mastering software for data, audio and CD/DVD writing and copying;

  • Nero VisionExpress 3 VCD/SVCD and DVD authoring software for advanced video capturing, authoring, full video editing and photo slideshow creation. Users can crop, clean up, add special effects to photos and then add transitions and a soundtrack, as well as cut, edit, dub, and turn videos into Hollywood-style masterpieces;

  • Nero InCD® 4 packet writing software for formatting rewritable discs so they can be used like large floppy disks with drag-and-drop capability;

  • Nero ShowTimeTM DVD-Video playing software for viewing DVD movies and personal video projects, along with MPEG-4 compatibility;

  • Nero PhotoSnap/PhotoSnapViewer captures digital photos right from a digital camera or scanner and provides basic image editing as well as a viewer utility;

  • Nero MediaHome streaming media server allows sharing of media files over a home network;

  • Nero Recode2 DVD-Video converter makes backup copies of unprotected DVDs, ideal for making copies of home movie DVDs to share with friends and family. Can also compile multiple DVD discs into a single DVD;

  • Nero BackItUp backup software for complete PC backup, with an easy-to-use wizard interface for multiple backup modes, automatically scheduled backups, and backups spanning several CDs or DVDs;

  • Nero MediaPlayer / Wave Editor management/jukebox software and audio editing software for audio file creation with various filters and effects;

  • Nero Cover Designer disc label creation software for creating individual CD/DVD covers and labels; and

  • Nero Toolkit drive tool software for critical media and drive analysis used by drive manufacturers worldwide.

  • User’s Guide

  • User Support Web Page (links to Sony global user support web sites and Nero AG website)

When you first insert the disk (with Autorun enabled) you will get the Languange Selection screen.

The Menu Selection screen shows three options: Application Install (Nero install), Manual (electronic version of User’s Guide) and User Support Web Page (links to Sony and Nero AG). Next we select the Manual button.

We would like to note that the electronic version of User Guide is less comprehensive than the printed version of Operating Instruction. Now let’s continue with Nero installation.

Nero StartSmart shows a list of Nero applications that are installed. Nero Burning ROM version that came with the disc was 6.6.0.12 and we upgraded to version 6.6.0.16 without any problem. We also upgraded NeroVision Express 3 from version 3.1.0.7 to 3.1.0.16 and Nero Media Player version 1.4.0.29 to 1.4.0.35.

The software identifies as Nero 6 Sony Edition.

Turbo Boost Function:


The default CD-R and CD-ROM read/write speed of the Sony DRU-810A is 40x speed. With a single touch, you can activate the Turbo Boost function, to raise the read/write speed to 48x speed:

⋅         Insert a CD-R/CD-ROM disc into the drive

⋅         Press and hold the Eject button for five seconds.
The busy indicator blinks twice and the read/write speed switches to 48x. (The Turbo Boost function is active.)

Note: When you open the disc tray, the Turbo Boost function will be deactivated.

Write Technology:


Now it’s time to take a closer look at the write technology used by the Sony DRU-810A:

CD-Recordable:

The Sony DRU-810A uses CAV, (Constant Angular Velocity), to write at its maximum speed of 48X (Turbo Boost function activated). This gives an average speed of 34.77x. Two drives for comparison are found below.

The Samsung TS-E552U uses P-CAV (Partial-Constant Angular Velocity) to write at its rated speed of 40x. This gives an average speed of 34.39x.

The LG GSA-5160D uses Z-CLV, (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity), to write at its maximum speed of 40X in four zones. The drive wrote the last zone at 40.41X and this gives an average speed of 31.70x.

 For comparison we have made the following table: 

CD-R
Disc
Writing

Supported
Write
Speed

Write
Strategy

Start
Write
Speed

End
Write
 Speed

Average
 Write 
Speed

Write
 Time 
Full 80min

Philips
ED16DVDR

48x

CAV

18.98x

42.88x

32.47x

3m:01s

AOpen
DUW1608/ARR

48x

CAV

22.07x

49.66x

37.69x

2m:44s

LG
GSA-4163B

40x

Z-CLV
4 zones

16.01x

40.48x

31.76x

3m:15s

Plextor
PX-716A

48x

CAV

21.33x

48.29x

36.54x

2m:42s

Lite-On
SOHW-1653S

48x

CAV

21.90x

49.55x

37.49x

2m:38s

LG
GSA-5160D

40x

Z-CLV
4 zones

15.98x

40.41x

31.70

3m:18s

Asus
DRW-1604P

32x

Z-CLV
3 zones

16.03x

32.66x

24.92x

3m:58s

Samsung
TS-E552U

40x

P-CAV

21.12x

39.59x

34.39x

2m:53s

Philips
DVDR16LS

40x

CAV

17.80x

40.01x

29.51x

3m:24s

NU
HDW-164

40x

CAV

18.60x

41.28x

31.23x

3m:09s

NEC
ND-3540A

48x

CAV

21.44x

48.17x

36.43x

3m:00s

BenQ
DW1640

48x

CAV

18.31x

47.99x

35.20x

2m:57s

Pioneer
DVR-110D

40x

CAV

17.77x

40.28x

30.05x

3m:19s

Sony
DRU-810A

48x

CAV

18.00x

48.05x

34.77x

2m:59s

As we can see from the table, the Sony DRU-810A is among the fastest drives where it comes to writing CD-R’s.

CD-Rewritable:

The Sony DRU-810A uses P-CAV (Partial-Constant Angular Velocity) to write CD-RW media at its maximum speed of 32x, with an average write speed of 30.03x. Below are some other drives for comparison.

The Pioneer DVDR-110D uses Z-CLV (Zone Constant Linear Velocity) to write CD-RW media at its maximum speed of 32x, with an average write speed of 24.88x.

The NEC ND-3540A uses Z-CLV, (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity writing technology to write at 32X for CD-RW discs, the average speed is 29.75x.

For a better overview we present the following comparison table:

CD-RW
Disc
Writing

Supported
Write
Speed

Write
Strategy

Start
Write
Speed

End
Write
 Speed

Average
 Write 
Speed

Write
 Time 
Full 80min

AOpen
DUW1608/ARR

24x

Z-CLV
3 zones

16.01x

24.03x

22.06x

4m:17s

LG
GSA-4163B

24x

Z-CLV
2 zones

16.01x

23.80x

23.35x

3m:54s

Lite-On
SOHW-1653S

24x

Z-CLV
2 Zones

15.98x

23.97x

22.57x

4m:19s

LG
GSA-5160D

24x

Z-CLV
2 zones

15.99x

23.99x

23.31x

3m:55s

ASUS
DRW-1604P

24x

Z-CLV
3 Zones

15.96x

24.00x

22.46x

4m:07s

Samsung
TS-E552U

32x

P-CAV

21.07x

31.87x

30.26x

3m:05s

Philips
DVDR16LS

24x

P-CAV

17.77x

24.01x

23.15x

3m:58s

NU
HDW-164

24x

P-CAV

15.39x

23.93x

23.16x

3m:49s

NEC
ND-3540A

32x

Z-CLV
4 Zones

20.11x

32.03x

29.75x

3m:32s

BenQ
DW1640

32x

P-CAV

21.26x

31.96x

30.33x

3m:10s

Pioneer
DVR-110D

32x

Z-CLV
3 Zones

15.87x

32.01x

24.88x

3m:47s

Sony
DRU-810A

32x

P-CAV

21.34x

32.63x

30.03x

3m:05s

As we can see from the table, the Sony DRU-810A speed wise, is once again very fast when writing CD-RW’s.

16X DVD+R/-R Writing speed:

The Sony DRU-810A uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R at the maximum supported speed of 16x. This gives an average write speed of 11.55x and a writing time of 5 minutes 43 seconds.

The Sony DRU-810A uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD-R at its maximum speed of 16x. This gives an average write speed of 11.38x and a writing time of 6 minutes and 9 second.

Below are some write graphs from some other drives for comparison.

The Pioneer DVR-110D uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R at the maximum supported speed of 16x. This gives an average write speed of 11.58x and a writing time of 6 minutes 9 seconds.

The NEC 3540A uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R at 16x. This gives an average writing speed of 11.81x and a writing time of 5 minutes and 58 seconds.

The Philips DVDR16LS uses CAV, (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R at 16x. The average speed is 11.33x and total writing time is 6 minutes and 8 seconds. The average speed is lower and the writing time is higher than it could have been due to the Walking OPC generation 2 using some time to constantly adjust the writing quality. We could see this as constant dips in the speed curve.

The LG GSA-5160D uses Z-CLV, (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) to write DVD+R at 16x. The average speed is 11.60x and total writing time is 6 minutes and 12 seconds.

The Pioneer DVR-110D uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD-R at its maximum speed of 16x. This gives an average write speed of 11.59x and a writing time of 6 minutes and 1 second.

The LG GSA-4163B uses P-CAV, (Partial-Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD-R at 16x. The average speed is 12.90x and total writing time is 5 minutes and 20 seconds.

The Samsung TS-H552B uses CAV, (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R at 16x. The average speed is 12.03x and total writing time is 5 minutes and 58 seconds. Below, we made a comparison table:

16x
DVD±R
Disc
Writing

Supported
Write
Speed

Write
Strategy

Start
Write
Speed

End
Write
 Speed

Average
 Write 
Speed

Write
 Time 
Full 4.38Gb

Philips
ED16DVDR

16x +R
8x ‘�R

CAV
Z-CLV

6.69x
4.02x

16.00x
8.12x

11.98x
7.10x

5m:52s
9m:32s

Aopen
DUW1608/ARR

16x +R
8x ‘�R

CAV
Z-CLV

6.69x
4.01x

15.90x
8.04x

11.90x
7.31x

6m:51s
9m:08s

LG
GSA-4163B

16x +R
16x ‘�R

P-CAV

7.30x
7.31x

16.01x
16.01x

12.87x
12.90x

5m:34s
5m:20s

Lite-On
SHOW-1653S

16x +R
12x ‘�R

CAV
P-CAV

6.66x
5.40x

16.02x
12.04x

11.97x
9.61x

6m:01s
7m:33s

LG
GSA-5160D

16x +R
8x ‘�R

Z-CLV

6.00x
6.00x

15.88x
8.01x

11.60x
7.80x

6m:12s
8m:02s

ASUS
DRW-1604P

16x +R
16x ‘�R

Z-CLV
4 Zones

6.01x
5.99x

16.04x
15.84x

10.29x
10.32x

6m:48s
6m:53s

Philips
DVDR16LS

16x +R
8x ‘�R

CAV
P-CAV

5.80x
6.70x

12.18x
8.01x

11.33x
7.80x

6m:08s
8m:12s

NEC
ND-3540A

16x +R
16x ‘�R

CAV
CAV

6.70x
6.69x

16.06x
16.07x

11.81x
11.80x

5m:58s
5m:52s

BenQ
DW1640

16x +R
16x -R

CAV
CAV

5.70x
5.32x

15.95x
15.99x

11.53x
11.41x

5m:44s
6m:06s

Pioneer
DVR-110D

16x +R
16x -R

CAV
CAV

6.27x
6.32x

15.87x
11.80x

11.58x
11.59x

6m:09s
6m:01s

Sony
DRU-810A

16x +R
16x -R

CAV
CAV

5.68x
4.99x

16.05x
15.94x

11.55x
11.38x

5m:43s
6m:09s

From the table above, we can see that the Sony DRU-810A is among the fastest drives in writing DVD+R and DVD-R.

8X DVD+R DL writing speed:

The Sony DRU-810A supports 8x writing speed on DVD+R DL media.

The Sony DRU-810A uses P-CAV (Partial-Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R DL at 8x. The average speed is 7.18x and total writing time is 15:52 minutes. Very fast!

4X DVD-R DL writing speed:

The Sony DRU-810A supports 4x writing speed on DVD-R DL media.

The Sony DRU-810A uses P-CAV (Partial-Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD-R DL at 4x. The average speed is 3.76x and total writing time is 29:47 minutes. Pretty slow in this area considering other new drives can write DVD-R DL up to 8x speed (ie. Pioneer DVR-110D).

8X DVD+RW writing speed:

The Sony DRU-810A uses Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) to write DVD+RW at 8x. The average speed is 7.64x and total writing time is 7:40 minutes.

6X DVD-RW writing speed:

The Sony DRU-810A uses CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) to write DVD-RW at 6x. The average speed is 5.92x and total writing time is 10:19 minutes.

Book type (bitsetting):

The Sony DRU-810A supports bitsetting, and as default will write DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL media with DVD-ROM book type.

With Nero CD-DVD Speed, we can see in the "Book Type" column in Drive Settings area that all disc types are currently bitset to DVD-ROM. When a disc is inserted in the drive, the Disc Settings area will show the Book Type. Screenshot above shows that there is a DVD+R DL disc in the drive tray and it shows that "Current book type" is set to DVD-ROM.

When you insert a DVD+RW disc, the "Set" button is available and we can change the Book Type without having to re-burn the disc.

Another way you could check if your discs are really written with DVD-ROM Book Type is by observing the Disc Info tab. You should see something similar to the following:


DVD+R DL with book type DVD-ROM

 

Summary ‘� Write Technology:


Let us look at the summary of the Sony DRU-810A write technology and speed in the table below:

Disc
Type

Spec.
Write
Speed

Write
Strategy

Start
Write
Speed

End
Write
 Speed

Average
 Write 
Speed

Write
 Time
Full Disc

Overall
Write
Speed

CD-R

48x

CAV

18.00x

48.05x

34.77x

2m:59s

Fast

CD-RW

32x

P-CAV

21.34x

32.63x

30.03x

3m:05s

Fast

DVD+R

16x

CAV

5.68x

16.05x

11.55x

5m:43s

Fast

DVD-R

16x

CAV

4.99x

15.94x

11.38x

6m:09s

Fast

DVD+R DL

8x

P-CAV

5.13x

6.09x

7.18x

15m:52s

Fast

DVD-R DL

4x

P-CAV

3.22x

4.02x

3.76x

29m:47s

Slow

DVD+RW

8x

Z-CLV

5.98x

7.97x

7.64x

7m:40s

Fast

DVD-RW

6x

CLV

6.00x

6.06x

5.92x

10m:19s

Fast

The Sony DRU-810A is among the fastest drives in writing various kind of CD and DVD media compared to other drives. Our tests shows that the drive is able to reach the specification write speed easily. The only downside is the support of DVD-R DL at 4x write speed where we can find other new drives that supports this type at 8x speed (ie. Pioneer DVR-110D).

Let’s continue to the next page where we will examine the reading performance…