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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Monday, July 16, 2007
DVD Burning, Speed vs Quality

1. Introduction

Today we will look into the matter of how much does the writing speed of a DVD recording session affect the disc's writing quality. For this test, we used two separate DVD-recording drives with 20X maximum DVD writing speeds (HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GSA-H55L 1.00 & LITE-ON DVDRW LH-20A1P KL05) and two discs from each format (DVD±R) as follows:

  • Verbatim's MCC 03RG20 (DVD-R)
  • Taiyo Yuden's TYG03 (DVD-R)
  • Verbatim's MCC 004 000 (00h) (DVD+R)
  • Taiyo Yuden 's YUDEN000 T03 000 (00h) (DVD+R)

Obviously, a more complete test would require the inclusion of more drives and media brands, in order to statistically produce more conclusive results regarding the influence of burning speed on the writing quality. However, we consider that the results of this review will if nothing else, be interesting to say the least.

The discs from the CD DVDspeed writing sessions with the LG drive, were read on the LITE-ON drive and vice versa. The reason being that each drive is well suited to reading its own burns, as well as having the capability of correcting the errors that are caused by its own recording sessions, according to our experience with some previous tests.

So, producing a series of flawless graphs, which is what in the main occurs when each disc is read with its own burner, does not really contribute to our aim in this review. Furthermore, writing quality is also about how well a burnt disc can be read by a large cross section of drives. As well, we needed our tests to be as consistent and reliable as possible, since even the slightest difference in the writing quality of the same brand disc at two different speeds can be pretty important here.

Apart from the discs and optical storage drives that are mentioned above, we also used the Nero CD DVD Speed Software and of course the DaTARIUS Analyser 2X to measure each disc's writing quality.

The pages of this review are sorted by disc and drive combination, and each one contains the results produced from recording the DVD media at 4X, 8X, 16X, 18X and 20X writing speeds, which are the most frequently used by everyday users.

Below are the two drives used in our tests. Both have been reviewed in our labs.


Read more about this drive, as reviewed on


Read more about this drive, as reviewed on

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