Unfortunately like asking what would be the best DVD-ROM drive, there are different things to consider when comparing the read-back performance of different DVD writers.
A few questions off the top of my head include:
[li]Can it easily be made region free to read international movie discs?
[/li][li]What speed can it read CD-R’s and CD-RW’s?
[/li][li]What speed can it read DVDÂ±R’s, DVDÂ±RW’s, etc?
[/li][li]Can it read DVD-RAM?
[/li][li]Does it limit the read-speed of DVD-Video media?
[/li][li]How well does it handle Digital Audio Extration?
[/li][li]How well can it read dirty / scratched discs?
[/li][li]What is its seek performance with CDs and DVDs?
[/li][li]Can it play / rip most copy-protected Audio CDs?
For example, a drive that may have very good seek performance on DVD+R/RW media may have slow seek performance on DVD-R/RW media. A drive that can read DVD-RAM may have a severe speed lock on reading DVD Video and recordable discs. A drive that can read poor quality discs may have problems with Digital Audio Extraction. The list goes on…
When it comes to read speed, from what I have read around, the NEC 4550 and 3540A include a few of the fastest readers, particularly when it comes to reading DVDÂ±RW media. However, it is worth taking the above factors into account if it is not just reading speed you are after.