ASUS DRW-1608P

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ASUS DRW-1608P

Pros

  • Great double layer burn speeds, fast read times

Cons

  • Slow-ish CD ripping, unreliable results at high speeds

Bottom Line

This burner had multiple failed burns with double layer media and CD media at the highest rated speeds. Its inability to determine automatically the best writing speed for the inserted media means the chance of creating 'coasters' is high.

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This silent runner from ASUS has one of the fastest speed ratings for double layer burning: 6X. This means it should be capable of burning up to 8GB of data in about--or even under--20min. However, in our tests we found that the drive could not handle that maximum speed with our 2.4X Verbatim media, even though it detected that 6X was achievable through Nero. It produced two expensive coasters (unusable discs) just as Nero was about to start burning to the second layer of each disc. Slowing the speed down to 4 let the drive complete a double layer burn without problems.

Once burnt, the disc was read back perfectly by the burner, but it was not readable in our Pioneer 106D DVD burner. The lack of a bitsetting tool on the ASUS Web site means that you cannot make double layer discs compatible with older drives.

The CLV write method is used to create double layer discs, while CAV is the preferred method for high-speed single layer burns.

DVD+R performance was surprisingly slow at just over seven minutes. It had some trouble burning at the highest CD-R speed, where it produced a couple of coasters during our tests.

On a positive note, this drive did have very good DVD+R read times, and its reading capabilities were solid overall. This drive can be purchased relatively cheaply, and it comes with some Ulead video editing software (MovieFactory 3 Suit SE) and an IDE cable.

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