Drive buying advice needed

Lo all,

I’ve currently got a Sony DDU1221 (12x DVD-ROM) at the moment, and it’s on its way out (its about 2 years old and has been used pretty heavily) - is having trouble playing DVD-movies these days (although that may be software), though everything else about it seems fine ('cept for CDaudio rips, which produce jittery static, but they always have with this drive).

First of all, is there any ways to get a bit more life outta this drive? As soon as I buy some new hardware its usage will go down lots.

I’ve also got an LG 40x12x40 CD-RW drive which (I think) should be good enough to take care of all my cd-r/rw burning needs - it handles most protections (i think) - anyone have anything to say about this drive?

Now, the important part - i’m going to buy two new optical drives for my new system. I’m looking at either a DVDwriter + CDwriter or a DVDwriter + CDR/DVDcombo

I’ve heard a few things about DVDwriter drives and CD-based media compatibility which makes me weary, as i’d like to have a very strong reading device for CDs.

I’m looking between a few drives atm:

Pioneer DVD-106 (or A06 if i could afford it, but over here its $US 240 from my supplier :S)
Sony DRU510A ($US 180)
LG GSA-4040B ($US 165)
Lite-On 411S or 811S ($US 130, $US 160 respectively)

I’m not a fan of SAMSUNG computer components (plus they’re difficult to source here), and i definately won’t consider anything from BTC - i’ve had three BTC drives before, all dead within 3 months and perform sub-par.

My primary purposes for my DVD-Writer will be:

  • reading DVD discs,
  • ripping DVD movies,
  • burning DVD movie rips,
  • ripping PS2 games,
  • burning PS2 rips

By the looks of things i’ll be using (almost exclusively) Verbatim media (4x certified) - Taiyo Yuden is as scarce as green rats in NZ, but at some point i’ll probably want to use the cheapest DVD-R/RW media I can find (funnily enough thats Verbatim atm but it’ll change at some point) so I do need average media compatibility.

From that list above (or if you have any alternate suggestions), could you guys give me some advice about which writer to buy?


If its going to be used primarily for dvd’s, and you want good compatiblity for inexpensive media, the Pioneer is the best choice you’ve listed.

Lite-on’s are reported to be better with cd’s.

Might also look for the Plextor 708. Good reviews from virtually everyone, but might be a bit more expensive.

Yeah… CD’s aren’t really a huge problem, i’ve got my CD-RW.

The pioneer drive here is also quite cheap OEM without software… $US 140ish

I’d probably be buying software anyway i guess…