Ok, Welcome another noob to this terrific forum, and give me an, "AttaBoy," for not starting a new thread asking the same old tired question. (Sorry for jumping in on your thread like this DaStory, but I'm trying to keep the number of new threads to a minimum for the sake of the community.)
I too am faced with the daunting task of selecting a good to terrific burner on a budget. At this very moment in time, the reason that I'm leaning toward a DVD +/- RW drive is simply the price-point. I've been looking hard at the Lite-ons, but there have been a terrific number of updates since the 811-s that I was originaly looking at.
Let me tell you a bit about what I need, and what I'm upgrading from, as well as my financial situation. I'll start with the latter rather than the former.
I am disabled, and do NOT have very much money. (Hence the name, "Joe Dirt." I picked it because I expect to find alot of movie-buffs here where DVD questions are concerned. Not because I'm an idiot like the David Spade charactor. He was kinda loveable too though, so I hope that helps my cause! lol) Being poor does NOT mean I want to buy bottom of the line junk. My Tyan Trinity 1598 mobo and AMD K-6/2 cpu have served me well, as has the 256 megs of 133Mhz rated ECC Kingston memory running underclocked at only 100 Mhz. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) I'm STILL running my original, adn ONLY burner, whish is a Yamaha 4x4x16-S running paired up with a Toshiba 40x reader on an Adaptec 2906 controller. Sadly, it's about time for the mobo, cpu and memory to hit the trash-heap. I'm now building a 2.4 Ghz machine, STARTING with a Celeron CPU, (eventualy to become a real p4 with 512k cache,) in an Intell 865GBFL mobo. I'll me moving my 7200rpm WD 60 gig, and my 8 meg cache Samsung 160 gig drive over their, untill I go entirely SATA.) I'm kinda sorry about my reliance on the Intell Extreem two graphics chipset already, but oh well... sometimes you can only afford so much, adn one of the things I liked about it, it the ability to assign as much as 256 megs to the video memory. Additionaly, I'm running 512 megs of CL2.5 ram that are a matched pair of 256's. What I'm driving at, it I CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY JUNK! I MUST BUY AT THE PRICE-POINT, because it's going to be a LONG time untill I can afford to replace this stuff! (As evedanced by the March 1999 manufacture date on my Yamaha writer.)
Here's why I decided to go DVD.... CAPACITY CAPACITY CAPACITY! Would I like to be able to back up DVD movies for friends in the future? Yes... adn I'd like to be able to do it well... HOVEVER, the majority of what this drive will be used for is backing up large data files. (I own over 3000 albums on LP, but don't take them out very often. It violates NO laws fro me to go check out, "Led Zeppelin 4," from the library and rip a 320K copy of it to use for my listening pleasure, as I also have a mint copy of it on LP. That which I DON'T own, I BUY... but I also rip that so I don't have to abuse my 600+ cd collection either.) 700 megs per disk is just NOT cutting it any longer.
Here are some of my questions........
Should I insist on Mt Rainer support? I haven't used these type of utilities in the past, but I could see it being very useful in the future with DVD-RW disks, and as I understand it, that's the way Microsoft's opperating systems are supposed to be leaning. ONe of the reasons I hate CD, is because when I buy new music, I somtimes have to create another 50 CD project to keep everything alphabetized. I can see where Mt. Rainier support could be VERY useful. I could also just fill 4 gig disk only 1/2 way when re-cataloging if Mt Raier support is too expensive.
What's the newest Lite-on 8X release, and is that actualy the best one to have? (One of the reviews I read questioned some of the Zone-writing stratagies they moved toward, but I'm not even sure it's the newest drive.)
It seems that Plextor drives specificly, and even the Pioneer drives, are quite cost prohibative, however, is there a really GOOD reason I might want to go that way?
Do these new, "NU" drives support RAW mode? Are they as risky a purchase as I seem to think they might be? (Keep in mind people, I may be a noob here, and may be ignorant where optical drives are concerned, but my first computer had only 8k of ram, and as you can tell, I'm a "Hardware Slut." If I had the money, I'd just get a Plextor. The Yamaha drive hit a price-point all those years ago, adn did RW at 4x too, where everyone else's did 1 or 2X RW only.) The in-ability to write in RAW mode has bit me in the butt with the Yamaha drive, and I'd like to avoid that in the future.
It really seems to me that dollar for dollar, the lite-ons are best price-point, buth which model? There are the sohw drives adn others since the 811-s.... Last post in this thread was 13 hours ago...... I'm hoping to hear something soon.
Now for the gratuitous fanny-kissing. The very BEST of the BEST reviews I have read reguarding 8x DVD writers have been here. I've basicly searched different models as well as looked for comparisons, adn you guys seem to be the only ones doing all that. (At least that I can find from Google.) I really hope that sone of the "Powers that be," here at Knowledge will take a special interest and spell some of these things out. I haven't really looked very carefully at the Plextor or even the Pioneer reviews, as at the moment, these drives seem to be twice the price of the Lite-Ons. (I kinda like that I can burn the old CD-R media at "40X" on the lite-on as well, and the actual burn times seem to compare pretty favorably to more expensive drives, though this is obviously going to become less and less of a concern.)
I hope to get an eloquent and well thought-out reply from one of the actualy reviewrs that has USED several of these drive soon. Links to the most relevant reviews wold also be great. I'd really REALLY like to spen under $100 shipped with software, (retail pack?) via www.pricewatch.com from a company that has something less that crappy feedback, and doesn't try to tack on charges for such things as a "Factory warrantee," at $10 when that's SUPPOSED to be INCLUDED in the price of a new drive. (Kinda scares me!) (4.99 testing fee to avoid RMA problems on a retail (not bulk) drive?! Like a high percentage of these drive are defective from the FACTORY?!) Anyhow.....
Joe Freeking Dirt