Asus' 8x Dual Format DVD Burner - The DRW-0804P

Article Index

Burning Times and Conclusion

CD & DVD Writing Time Comparisons
Not just fast, but really, really fast!

Nero CD-R Writing Times:

Although DVD burning will undoubtedly be the primary concern for the buyer, CD-Rs are getting cheaper and cheaper, and are today's floppy disk.  Thus, we started our speed tests using Nero Burning ROM 6 to burn 701MBs of MP3 music files from the hard drive to Memorex CD-Rs rated for 48X.  The CDs were finalized as a non-multisession disc.  When the CD was finished, we wrote down the times for both drives and compared the two:

As we originally reported with in the PX-708A review, Plextor didn't skimp when they finalized the specifications of that drive.  The PX-708A burns CD-Rs at a speedy 40x - apparently one of the few DVD burners to do so.  Therefore, we were a bit disappointed when we found out that the DRW-0804P was rated for 24x CD-R writing.  Burning the exact same set of files on each drive had the Plextor PX-708A coming in nearly 50% faster than the DRW-0804P.

Nero DVD+R Writing Times:

Next, we set out to backup all of the files from a folder on our testing drive.  The assorted large and small files on this drive totaled 4.3GBs, just enough to mostly fill up our Yuden DVD+R discs rated for 8X burning.  Again, we timed burning the same set of files on both drives.

A major obstacle for us in this showcase, was simply coming up with 8X media to use for this exact test.   While we were able to test the Plextor PX-708A in the past, we did so using Memorex DVD+R discs rated at only 4X.  This was accomplished by Plextor's PoweREC technology, which can burn data at faster than rated speeds by carefully monitoring the drive speed and laser strength.  We had hoped for the same with the Asus DRW-0804P, but in this case 4x discs meant 4x writing.  We eventually secured the discs we needed and ran our tests.  As seen in the graph, even though both drives were rated as 8x, the Asus DRW-0804P finished 31 seconds behind the Plextor PX-708A, making it about 6% slower when writing full DVDs.     

Overall, we were impressed by the Asus DRW-0804P.  The drive was constructed well, and the combination of sound insulation and DDSSII made for quiet operation while reading or writing data.  We were also quite impressed with how it fared when compared to Plextor's popular PX-708A in the benchmarks, putting up numbers that were equal to, and sometimes even better than, our previous pick for an Editor's Choice award.  The Asus DRW-0804P even offers an additional improvement over Plextor's model, that being 8x burning of both DVD+R and DVD-R formats.

So what's the downside with the DRW-0804P? Not much, but we did see some high seek times in the Nero CD/DVD Speed tests, especially when compared to the PX-708A.  The CD writing speed was limited to only 24x, which, in and of itself, doesn't seem to be a serious issue.  In fact, Plextor's DVD burner seemed to be one of the few drives we've reviewed that went as high as 40x; most others were at 24x or even as low as 16x.  Four and a half minutes to burn a full CD won't put off too many users.  What we were taken aback by was the full 30 seconds or so longer that the DRW-0804P took to burn a DVD at 8x.  Again, it's not the end of the world to wait the additional time, but it's hard to justify this difference in performance.  This could solely be an issue with the media used, so until we experiment with some other 8x DVD+R media, we won't labor on this too much.

What we're left with is a great performing drive, supporting 8x dual format media, that's hampered by slower seek times and possibly some media issues.  Retailing for about $110 at the time of this writing, we feel confident in recommending this drive to upgraders or first-time buyers looking for a drive to handle all of their CD / DVD burning needs.  The only problem will be finding 8x media, but that will change in time.

We give the Asus DRW-0804P8X DVD+/-R/RW CD-R/RW drive an 8.5 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.


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