DVD Write Performance

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-01-23 Print this article Print

We tested DVD write performance in two ways. The first method was to burn a DVD video disc capable of playing in a consumer DVD burner. The second method was to use the DVD recorder in packet writing mode, so we could drag-and-drop data onto the disk. We used NeoDVD 4.0 to generate the DVD video files from a set of video clips. The video clips ranged in size from 192KB (yes, kilobytes) to 397MB, for a total of 3.93GB. The compression process generated actual MPEG-2 encoded files in the DVD video-compatible VIDEO_TS folder of 1.26GB. This was the folder used to burn to DVD disc. To maintain consistency, we used Nero Burning ROM to actually burn the DVD disc.
Note that the Pioneer drive could not burn to DVD+R/RW media, but we compared its DVD-R results to the Sonys results in burning both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW media. Its no surprise that the Pioneer is a better tool for creating DVD-R/RW discs. In fact, the Sony was only capable of burning DVD-RW media at 1X speed, although it performed somewhat more credibly as a DVD-R burner. Another interesting point is that the Sony is better at DVD+RW (rewritable media) than the Pioneer, but the Pioneer performed better on its own record-once media than the Sony did on DVD+R. We used a folder with 893MB of mixed data, with file lengths varying from a few kilobytes to tens of megabytes -- 1470 files in all, some in the root directory, some in folders. When it came to packet writing performance to rewritable DVD media, the Sony won hands down using DVD+RW media (we didnt test with DVD-RW discs). The Pioneer took nearly two hours to format a DVD-RW disc suitable for packet writing. This was in contrast to the roughly ten minute format time for the Sony drive using DVD+RW. In addition, the actual packet writing time took considerably longer on the Pioneer.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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