[QUOTE=a.wiseman;2163560]Meanwhile I spotted the Sony DRU-190S retail kit at my local computer shop for just under Â£30. I then noticed my next contender, the [B]Sony DRU-V200S-BC[/B], which is apparently a better drive.[/QUOTE]
According to this thread the Sony DRU-V200S is a rebadged Optiarc AD-7200S. The AD-7200 series are very popular on CDFreaks at the moment (read Wendy’s review to see why). The Samsung SH-S203 series would also be a good choice (reviewed here), it was many people’s favorite before the AD-7200 came along.
I have both an Optiarc AD-7200A and a Samsung SH-S202N (PATA version of the 203). The Samsung is noticably quieter than the Optiarc and sounds much smoother.
I have been using the Samsung for over a year and it is the first DVD-Ram drive that has never given me any problems. In fact it managed to rescue 5 DVD-Ram discs (4 of them brand new Verbatim 5x speed) that I had written off after being made completely unusably by my Sony DW-G120 (rebadged Lite-On). My Optiarc is only a few weeks old and I have not used it enough with DVD-Ram discs, but no problems so far.
If my memory is correct, both the Sony/Optiarc and Samsung drives will read 3x speed DVD-Ram discs at 5x. Most other drives (like your LG) will only read 3x discs at 3x. Also they both use CLV to read & write 5x speed DVD-Ram discs, most other drives use P-CAV and are slower for the first 1.5GB.
[QUOTE=mciahel;2164903]No. The Panasonic 3x DVD-RAM discs are excellent media. [/QUOTE]
I have been using 3x (& 5x) speed DVD-Ram discs made by Matsushita (Panasonic’s parent company) for nearly 4 years, and in that time I have never had a fault with a disc. Even the oldest ones are still going strong. Before I got the Samsung I experienced a lot of problems with a number of drives, but despite their best attempts I never actually lost any data from a disc. Maxell’s DVD-Ram discs should be just as good, but avoid discs made by anyone else.
In real world use (InCD packet writing, write & verify on) I find 5x speed discs almost twice as fast as 3x discs. But they are only rated at 10,000 overwrites (3x discs are rated at 100,000). Even so I have yet to wear one out. If you want to try some 5x discs they are difficult to find in the UK, and I have only ever seen Verbatim branded discs. You might find them on amazon.co.uk, but cclonline.com appear to have stopped stocking them. I have just found a website called dvd-and-media.com which has them at a good price, but I have never bought anything from them before. If you want Maxell’s 12x DVD-Ram discs then you will probably have to go to Japan.