Memorex's latest internal DVD rewriter raises the ante by adding 16X single-layer DVD-R and 4X double-layer (DL) DVD+R recording speeds to the 16X DVD+R support offered by its predecessor. It's also one of the first drives on the market able to rewrite DVD-RW media at 6X and DVD+RW at 8X. It doesn't support the new dual-layer DVD-R format, but we consider this a small shortcoming in a drive that records DVD+R DL media. Outstanding specs and excellent software bundle aside, the Memorex 16X16X double-layer IDE burner turns in an uneven performance: it's about average for most write tasks but shows surprisingly slow read and rip times.
Installing the drive was a snap, thanks to an outstanding illustrated installation poster that even describes different drive and bus configurations and explains how you'd want to set the rewriter's jumpers in each case. We had our test unit up and running less than 20 minutes after cracking the shrink-wrap.
As with previous Memorex rewriters, one of the best things about this latest model is its Nero software bundle. In addition to the core Nero Express 6.3 module, Memorex provides the Nero Vision Express 2.0 video-editing and disc-authoring application, Nero BackItUp, Nero InCD 4.0 and InCD Reader, and Nero Cover Designer, as well as Nero PhotoShow Elite for editing photos, Nero Media Player for playing audio, Nero ShowTime for playing video and DVDs, and the flexible Nero Recode 2.0 module, which lets you extract video content from multiple sources, recompress it in MPEG-2 or H.263 MPEG-4 format, and burn compilations to a disc or a hard drive. The Memorex 16X16X DL IDE DVD burner includes a stereo Dolby Digital encoder and support for the Nero Digital MPEG-4 format. All of these modules can be updated free of charge to the latest Nero 6.6/Nero Vision Express 3.0 versions at Nero's Web site.
In our CNET Labs' DVD-burner tests, the Memorex 16X16X IDE DL drive produced identical performance figures when recording single-layer DVD+R and DVD-R media, burning a 4.4GB DVD disc in 6 minutes, 23 seconds. This was about average for the 16X DVD-R rewriters we've tested, and only a few seconds behind the other DVD+R results. In the double-layer burning test, the Memorex was the fastest of the 4X drives we tested, though it beat the NEC ND-3500A by only 4 seconds and the Sony DRU-720a by 20 seconds. If you want even faster dual-layer recording, you should consider a next-generation 6X DL model such as the Plextor PX-716A, which beat the 4X units in this benchmark by about 9 minutes. The Memorex's RW write performance was impressive. It took 10 minutes, 12 seconds to write 4.22GB of mixed data files onto DVD-RW media, only 4 seconds slower than the blazing Sony DRU-720A. The Memorex unit's 7-minute, 14-second DVD+RW recording figure was the best we've measured. The drive's CD rip/burn times were on a par with its competitors' as well. The Memorex 16X16X DL internal drive's weakness is in reading and ripping discs. Its 9 minutes, 49 seconds and 9 minutes, 50 seconds for DVD+RW and DVD-RW read times, respectively, were the slowest of any internal drive in its class (though some of the drives were only marginally faster). The drive is even more disappointing when it comes to DVD ripping. It ripped a single-layer disc in 15 minutes, 59 seconds, more than 6 minutes slower than the next-slowest drive. It took 30 minutes, 46 seconds to rip a DL disc, more than 13 minutes slower than the next-slowest drive. Only the NEC drive was slower.
|4.4GB DVD Video burn test||4.4GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)|
|7.9GB DVD Video burn test||7.9GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)|
|74:35 CD Audio burn test||74:35 CD Audio rip test|
|4.22GB RW write test||4.22GB RW read test|
Memorex offers a one-year warranty for the 16X16X Internal IDE DL drive. Live tech support is available Monday through Friday via a toll-free number, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT. Firmware downloads, FAQs and installation tips, documentation (including downloadable manuals and quick-start sheets), warranty registration and replacement requests, rebate status, e-mail tech support, and other resources are available online.