Recommendations for DVD-RAM cartridge drive?



Does anyone currently use a drive that accepts DVD-RAM cartridges or recommend one or where to buy one? I’m looking to use DVD-RAM revision 2.0/2.1 type 4 cartridges (9.4 GB double sided with removable disk in a cartridge).

While I’m at it, any recommendations on media as well? I found the above 3x (2.0) disks by Verbatim on rima.

As far as I can tell, Panasonic appears to be a popular choice but there’s no subforum for Panasonic here. I base my DVD+R/RW decisions on information I find here so I’m hoping to find info on a good DVD-RAM drive as well. :slight_smile:

I have a Pioneer DVR-111D drive already that supports 5x DVD-RAM but only for plain disks. Since I’m using this as part of a backup, I’d like to always keep the disks in cartridges rather than risk scratching them by taking them in and out of cases.


I’ve never seen or heard of any DVD drive that uses cartridges. Only the very CD burner that use cartridge


Panasonic SW-9574S and Panasonic SW-9574-C accept DVD-RAM in cartridges, but they are quite expensive. (here you can find also 2-5× Panasonic DVD-RAM media in cartidge)


First, apologies for resurrecting a stale thread, but the topic and hopefully, my reply are still relevant.

I may still post this as a new thread, but I have a Toshiba RD-XS32 dvd burner w/80gb HDD that may have a failing drive. The drive is a Toshiba SD-W3002 and it does take DVD-RAM [I]cartridges![/I]

So when I got a recommended substitute LG GSA-H42N, I was surprised that it does not take cartridges.

I’m looking at all these specs for DVD drives that do DVD-RAM and there is NO MENTION as to whether they can take cartridges?

So my question is: How do you tell if a super multi DVD burner takes cartridges?

From the drift of this thread, there are no such animals!

Since RAM is the ultimate in every category except price, I find it hard to believe that the cartridge would be essentially abandoned.

Is this actually true and if yes, how can that be?



That’s just the way it is. Sorry for you.

Can you not just take the discs out of the cartridges and use regular jewel cases instead?

I use DVD-RAM discs quite often for my back up discs. I have 5X and 12X RAM discs.


Wow, I wonder if DVD-RAM is actually [I]growing[/I] in popularity???

Here is a fresh new Buffalo drive that takes cartridges:

NOTE: It’s ironic how they say it is backwards compatible with older, cartridge based DVD-RAM media. Hummmm. If everyone has dropped it from their drives, why is Buffalo resurrecting it?

I still think cartridges are the ultimate.


DVD-RAM does, but their non-delivery policy of 12xDVD-RAM media outside Asia brought DVD-RAM a headshot… :frowning:


yeah i had to order mine from New York,USA and they were shipped to me from Japan to USA. The Maxell 12X are very expensive here in USA but i can get them when needed.


Hey hey, you lucky rolling56!! :smiley:


At long last after an absence of about 4 years, Panasonic drives that take Cartridges are available again in the UK. I was beginning to get a bit concerned in case my two old Pnasonic LF-D521’s packed in. I must have about 100 cartridges containing all kinds of backups including photographs and videos I have taken. Never had one single problem with DVD-RAM apart from a few XP problems recognising the drive, solved by installing Panasonics drivers instead of Pinnacles.

I bought a Panasonic EIDE Bare (Tray/Cartridge) SW-9574-C from for 81UKP plus postage. Marked Panasonic manufactured for Matsushita March 2007. I’ll probably buy another shortly. Expensive, but there’s no alternative and still about half of what I paid for the retail D521’s years ago (still working perfectly I might add).

Biggest surprise of all was that Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD (formerly by VOB) recognised the drive without any problems. The last update for this software was Oct. 2004. They did change the date later, but the s/ware was the same v8.3.0.8 Sadly Pinnacle no longer support this. It was better than Panasonics because it let you Defrag the disc and had an Icon on the screen that you just dropped files onto.

Using drag and drop in Explorer I get about 2,500 kbps with 5x media. This is twice as fast as the 521 with 3x media. That’s about 150mb/min. fast enough for me.

Full Format used to take 58 mins. I’ve not timed the new drive, but it seems to do it faster. I format on my spare computer, so I just leave alone to finish.

Sean B


I have some 12X Maxell DVD-RAM discs but i have not seen them in cartridges. I also have some 5X Panasonic DVD-RAM discs but they are not in cartridges either. I have seen DVD-RAM discs in cartridges though.

What speed are these cartridge DVD-RAM discs you use and what the heck is so good about using them?


The main advantages are:

1): Use like a large floppy, no fiddling about with jewel cases etc.
Can be handled fairly roughly and put into drive quicker.
Quicker all round.

2): Media can be double sided and cartridge stops fingerprints and dust.
Better for achival purposes. More reliable… no disc damage.

Sean B


I guess you can put them in the cartridges if you want.

I use DVD-RAM discs for my back ups.


I am currently looking for a cartridge-type RAM drive, seems from looking through this forum the latest offering from Panasonic is the SW-9576-C

I would have preferred a slot-loading cartridge instead of tray-loading but It seems I have no choice.

Only website I have seen that has this model is

Can anyone comment on the reliability of the Panasonic drives? Id presume Ill be using Panasonic media in them, it’s use is purely for large compressed data backups.


yeah know i just had a thought…What kind of quality burns do these drives get?

Anyone know what chip they use?


DVD-RAM is supposed to have better error correction than other formats so comparing burn quality doesn’t give the full picture.

I’ve never had a single problem reading from DVD-RAM.

My 9574-C is marked “manufactured for Matshita” so it’s made by someone else, quality seems just as good though. Panasonic 2/4 speed CD writers used to be made by Sanyo?

Sean B


The specs identical to the 9574?

Google gives another UK site:

They also have a Firewire/USB version. I Wonder if that’s somthing they’ve put together them selves. are very good and efficient, next day if you want or in my case 9am Saturday (ordered Tues. Sat. del. specified). Received about three personal emails from them, quick answer to mine. They will also use Royal Mail… I hate carriers especially the one span use.

Sean B


Yes i know that. The drive is supposed to burn DVD’s etc…also. I was just wondering how well it performed in burning CD/DVD’s.


I have both the SW-9574-C and the SW-9576-C. For me there is no real difference. I do not burn CDs or DVDs with this very expensive drive. Even my Plextor drives where cheaper than these two drives. I paid 135EUR for my SW-9574-C and 120EUR for my SW-9576-C. The lower price was the reason I got this one. In Germany there are not a lot stores selling this particual drives, maybe 3 or 4 shops. I got mine at “Computeruniverse”. They had both in stock and so I got the cheaper one since I do not burn other stuff than DVD RAM.
Since I make my backups with this cardridge drive I bought a second one in case one drive dies.
Both drives work in the same way very good with my Panasonic DVD RAM cardridges. I use only double sided cardridges. The drives work perfect with Prolific 3507 and GL811 and Oxford 911 USB Firewire Chipsets in case the drive should be in an external case.
There is one negative point on this drives. There are no firmware updates available. Since Panasonic sells this drive as OEM it is the same like a DVD burner in an Notebook. You have to live with the firmware you have…
At all the drive is a must have if you want your DVD RAM in a palstic cover to protect them. I like it very much. But in my opinion the drive is not really usable as CD/DVD burner. It can burn DVDs and CDs but most burner do this job better