Pioneer DVR-116D multi-format DVD rewriter
Turning the burn dial up to 11
Review The current maximum write speed on a DVD±R is 16x, so Pioneer’s 20x drive has to be doing something special. Using 16x media, you should be able to see up to 25 per cent extra read and write speed.
When recordable CD was introduced, it moved quickly from single-speed to 54x and beyond, but recordable DVDs haven’t accelerated at nearly the same rate. That’s because the rotational speeds and data transfer rates were faster from the start, with 1x DVD being equivalent to 9x CD. A 20x DVD is, in data transfer terms, as fast as a 180x CD would be, if CDs ran at 180x.
Pioneer's DVR-116D: 25 per cent faster than the highest standard speed?
DVD±R/RW drive speeds have levelled off at 16x and the relevant standards don’t define anything faster than this. However, some companies, including Pioneer, have developed proprietary technologies which they claim enable them to exceed this speed. The DVR-116D claims 20x speeds using media rated for 16x use. Don’t go looking for 20x media - it doesn’t exist.
In passing, we’ve never understood why the DVD-Ram specification hasn’t caught on more. It’s much more robust as a back-up medium than DVD±R/RW, supporting up to 100,000 rewrite cycles, as opposed to around 1000. DVD-Ram is big in Japan but never won popular support over here.
Additionally, once DVD-Ram discs are formatted, Windows sees them as regular external drives – like a Flash drive or HDD – so you can read from and write to them without third-party software – no InCD or Nero needed. Yet there are still plenty of new DVD rewriters, like this one, which don’t support the standard.
No DVD-Ram support
Internally, the DVR-116D has a 2MB memory buffer, which should help its write speed. Pioneer claims the drive is quieter than rival products, thanks to a redesigned internal mechanism. Under test, there was less of the usual wind ‘swish’ when the disc was up to full writing speed than on our reference drive.
DVD-RAM RIP (almost)
Why DVD-RAM never caught on? Easy -- the format has nothing else in common with DVD other than those three letters. DVD-RAM is recorded totally different at all levels and a disc does not resemble a DVD-ROM disc at all. That may be fine for archiving but not for sharing.
Comment:: single-speed to 54x and beyond
And shortly dropped back to 48. A CD disintegrating at 54x is like a hand grenade. It totally demolishes the drive and sometimes the machine. A 20x single read/write head speed on DVD should use similar rotational speeds. Hand-grenade in my case redux?
Disclaimer - I am old enough to have witnessed what happens when an idiot operator tries to pull the spindle on one of those ancient Vax 5MB drives with changeable disks without stopping the disk first. The holes in the door of the computer rooms and the shards sticking out of the wall on the side of the corridor were not a pretty sight...
Sorry, I can't believe a Tech hardware reporter doesn't understand CAV on DVD writing and really believed that a 20x DVD writter would be 25% faster than a 16X speed writer!!!
native DVD-RAM support
Has anyone ever got DVD-RAMs to work with Windows without third party software? I always use Nero in-CD
Misleading article and a poorly formed conclusion
As others have noted, this article is a little misleading.
Firstly the limit in speed is due to the physical limits of the spinning discs; it's not going to be any different to CD given the manufacturing processes, materials and dimensions are near identical. As James says, a 16x DVD = 48x CD (in terms of spindle speed) and a 20x DVD = 60x CD - nowhere near the claimed 180x which would be impossible with standard discs.
Secondly, and far more importantly, less than 25% of the disc was written to - Pioneer even commented on this result and yet you failed to re-test with 4GB or so to fill the disc.
The result of this is that you cannot form a proper conclusion until proper empirical testing has been carried out.
El Reg normally have such consistently good reviews and news, I feel somewhat let-down in this instance - perhaps you can (and should) re-test with 4GB of data to the disc?