T Nation

Purchasing DVD Burner


Gentlemen (and T-Vixens):

Want to buy a DVD Burner for my PC - have never owned one and am asking those of you who own one for input on what brand(s) are good and other features I should look for.

Running a P4-3.2/512K RAM/ XP Pro


Brands to buy / avoid?

Internal or External? If Internal is the install easy or a pain in the ass?

Speed ?

Will I need additional software?

Anything else I should be looking for?


I appreciate your help!


NEC-3500 series

Fantastic drive for (usually) under $40

make sure you get something that supports DL (dual layer) burning.. that is the next wave of things to hit (prior to blue ray and HD of course)

IF you are not computer savy then let someone else put it in.. but it's not tough..

IF you have a USB 2.0 or firewire ports then external is fine and easy to hook up.

You can buy and internal drive put it in an external enclosure that has USB 2.0 ports

IF you only have USB 1.1 then dont even think about getting an external drive.. it wont work (it technically will, but it will be so crappy - the speed isnt fast enough)

so USB 2.0 only, firewire or go internal


Couple things.

Plextor is by far the best, most reliable brand. I wouldn't even consider buying anything else, at even half the price.

Make sure you get one that burns dual layer discs. You may not use that feature for a while until the discs get cheaper, but you'll be happy you have it.

Keep in mind that a standard DVD+R (the + type is more universal than the - type) is not the same disc as a store bought DVD. Hence the dual layer aspect, or you can get some software to ehlp you compress a movie to fit on a single disc. DVD Decryptor and DVD Shrink are necessities, there are many others I'm sure.

Do some research before jumping into it.


I would agree plextor WAS the best name brand.

And i dont think plextor has came down any, but i think everyone else has came UP in quality.

I personally own 3 NEC-35xx series drives and love them. i have burn plenty of stuff and never once had a coaster..

plenty of friends have them to..

go to newegg.com
search for a NEC 35xx drive and look at the feedback.. you'll see plenty of people find this to be a fantastic drive

anything wrong with plextor? certainly not.. but it's expensive.. why pay a bunch of money when you dont have to..

i feel you will not be giving up anything by going with a NEC


Dont mean to hijack but what software did you get so you can burn dvds from blockbuster. The guy at best buy told me a web site to go to but i downloaded it and it didnt work. im sure some of you guys can point me in the right direction.


Just order the Liteon fom Newegg. I've built many systems with the Lite-on CD and DVD burners and never had a bad experience. Comes bundled with Nero CD/DVD burning software and PowerDVD.



Lite-On are one of the biggest manu's of optical drives, hence, good value, maybe the drawer's can be flimsly and noisy but they are excellent value. Plextor are not the best by any means, in fat now they are over-priced but they just did a good 16x DVD burner. NEC and TSST surpass them in value and often equal quality.

Software wise I use Roxio, I bought it ages ago, it does good ISO images so I like it.


I would try to answear your question, but I have no clue what you are talking about might want to try and clarify a bit.


I'd have to agree here. I have a Lite-On 1693S and it burns like a f'ing charm. Burn times aren't fast as they should be but that's probably because of my slow computer - 500mhz, 128mb RAM, and 8GB harddrive.

I got one for $40 during Dec. '05 so they're probably much cheaper now. I've also heard great things about NEC and BenQ.

Oh, if you don't like a loud system pass on this because it sounds like a 747 landing in your driveway...


Plextor used to make the best CD-RW drives, but the DVD-RW drives are overpriced and are not supposed to be that good. NEC and Pioneer are supposed to be very good brands. LiteOn is always good value. I have an HP LiteScribe drive and I haven't had any problems.


Oh that's right... since Plextor is still more expensive than most they must not be as good as they used to be. Same thing can be said for Benz and BMW. Why pay for a BMW when a nice Pontiac will do? I understand the logic. I don't like paying more for no reason either.

But you see I have a reason. I've had at least 15 different CD burners and a couple DVD burners in my lifetime. All numerous brands. The only brand that ever lasted and performed the way it should was Plextor. I have never tried NEC, they may be very good. That's why I told the guy to do some research instead of just listening to our opinions.

The brands I know suck- Sony, Memorex, Teac, HP, and pretty much all generic brands. I have heard good and bad things about Lite-On. They are the Wal-mart of brands. Good enough for 95% of the products you need to buy, but not 100%.


Plextor drives aren't made by Plextor, they will be made by HTC, Lite-On or some other big manufaturer.

In a recent test of 12 DVD burners including Plextor, the Pioneer DVR 110BK came out tops and it was far from the most expensive.


Oh, and another word of advice: the type\quality of media matters more for DVD's than it does for CD's.

Save yourself some hassle later down and get quality media. I prefer Taiyo-Yuden, everyone swears by it and I haven't had a bad Xbox backup yet.

They sell 'em over at www.rima.com for as little as $20 for a 50 pack of 8x DVD-R.