Pioneer DVR-212

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Pioneer DVR-212
  • Pioneer DVR-212
  • Pioneer DVR-212
  • Pioneer DVR-212
  • Expert Rating

    4.75 / 5


  • It was a reliable and quick performer in our tests, it has a SATA connection


  • The fast burn speeds make it a fairly noisy drive

Bottom Line

This drive has been on the market for a couple of months now, and it's definitely worth considering if you're after a new and fast DVD burner. It was reliable in all our tests, and best of all, it has a neat SATA connection.

Would you buy this?

On the whole, Pioneer's 12th generation DVD burner is one of the best devices in its class. Capable of writing single-layer DVDs at a rate of 18x, and double-layer DVDs at a rate of 10x, it's a very quick burner, and our lengthy test period showed it to be a reliable one, too. It read many scratched discs without any qualms, which means you'll no longer have to use CDs or DVDs as a coaster.

Perhaps the best part about the DVR-212 is that it has Serial ATA (1.5Gbps) data and power connections. It's Pioneer's first SATA-based DVD burner and it means users can finally rid themselves of those bulky, flat IDE ribbon cables. While having it plugged in to the JMicron SATA controller on a Gigabyte GA-N680SLI motherboard, we didn't have any problems installing Windows XP and Windows Vista with this drive. The motherboard detected the SATA burner and proceeded to boot off it.

However, using this controller, and once Windows XP was installed, the drive ran in PIO mode, which ate up plenty of CPU cycles and made life difficult when reading and writing to discs. (It stayed in PIO mode when we connected to the motherboard's nForce 680i SLI controller, too.) We had to update the JMicron drivers in order for the drive to work in DMA transfer mode. The same problem wasn't present in Windows Vista.

As for its write performance, the DVR-212 can burn a 70min audio CD in just 3min 06sec (at 40x). Our 8x TDK DVD-R discs were written at a rate of 16x, and it took 6min 03sec to burn 4.1GB of data to these discs. Using single-layer Verbatim DVD-R discs rated at 16x, the drive was able to write to them at a rate of 18x, cutting the total writing time to 5min 18sec. Double-layer Verbatim DVD-R discs rated at 4x, were burnt at a rate of 8x, where 8GB of data was burnt in 18min 12sec.

The drive read back all of our burnt discs without any major problems. Our 4.1GB single-layer burns were transferred back to our 7200rpm hard drive in 6min 11sec. Using iTunes, the drive took a swift 3min 02sec to rip 70min worth of audio files to 192Kbps MP3s (we tested on a PC with a 3.2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU). It took 19min 07sec to read back 8GB of data from our double-layer DVD-R discs, which is almost spot-on considering the drive has a read rate of 8x for these types of discs. However, the transfer stuttered at the halfway mark during this particular test, which was probably caused by the layer change.

When the DVR-212 is in full flight, the air that's generated by the spinning CDs and DVDs creates a very audible whir; it's definitely not a quiet burner. In our mid-tower ATX case, the drive was stable - hardly any vibration could be detected when the drive spun at its maximum speed.

As this is an OEM drive, it doesn't ship in any packaging (just an anti-static bag), and it may not have any software with it, depending on where it's purchased from. Our purchased test drive came bundled with Nero 7 Essentials burning software, and this is what we used for our writing tests. While our drive has a black faceplate, beige drives are also available.

This drive has been on the market for a couple of months now (at the time of writing), and it's definitely worth considering if you're after a new and fast DVD burner.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?