Price Guides August 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Adam Rader on August 7, 2004 10:23 AM EST
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DVD BurnersWith large amounts of data comes the classic dilemma: How do we back up all that data? While CD-R media can be had for a dime a dozen, the capacity leaves a lot to be desired, thus DVD media shows its face to the world. While not a new technology by any means, it has undergone a good number of changes, revisions and tweaks over the last few years to help make it a more viable data backup and transfer option. Now that dual-layer media is finally starting to show up, albeit in a very sparse and costly manner, it makes burning files to DVD all that much more attractive while bringing down the cost of standard DVD+/-R blanks.
This week, the NEC 8X ND-2510A appears to be a solid contender for your hard-earned cash. With full support for all the major media types, including dual layer, it stands out as a great choice for the casual user and enthusiast alike. Alternatively, the 2500A, also from NEC, can save a few bucks while providing essentially the same drive. Activities on many DVD forums show that this drive quite readily accepts and functions with the firmware of the newer 2510A. So, if you feel comfortable with flashing your drive, this becomes a very good option.
One other drive to consider if you prefer slightly faster burn times would be the Plextor 12X PX-712A. As the model suggests, it sports 12X burn speeds that can certainly get your data written more quickly. This comes in handy for anyone who plans to be doing a lot of burning for regular backups or for "mass" duplication of their latest home video creation to send to the family. Keep in mind, however, that this drive does not play nicely with DVD-DL, so don't expect to cram 9.4 gigs onto a DVD without some major compression on your behalf.