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neb



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#265392 19-Jan-2020 22:57
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I recently looked into getting a USB CD/DVD writer for myself and Mrs.Neb's laptops, neither of which come with an optical drive. This is for installing software, archival backups to write-once media, and the occasional burning of stuff to CD/DVD for situations where that's the only thing that works.

Looking at any name-brand USB optical drive I could find, it was like a visit to MOTAT: Y-cables, USB 2.0, mini USB connectors, region-locking, 0.5MB write buffers, these things were all museum pieces from fifteen or more years ago. The only ones that looked like they were created in the last decade are all no-name Chinese brands with who-knows-what efficacy for CD/DVD writing.

Does anyone know of any recognisable-brand USB optical drive that supports USB-C / USB 3.0, non-region-locked, single cable (not a Y cable), and with vaguely capable hardware (i.e. not a 0.5MB buffer)?

Mod edit MM: moved to Desktop Computing

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  #2401895 19-Jan-2020 23:41
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I have this.
https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDR-XD05B-Portable-Blu-Ray-Burner/dp/B00OD39P6A/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1579430416&refinements=p_89%3APioneer&s=pc&sr=1-1

 
 
 
 


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  #2401897 19-Jan-2020 23:49
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BTW the y cable is there if a single USB port doesn’t have enough power to supply the drive. Whether you need the y cable or not depends on the laptop. My surface pro 3 required the use of the y cable. My MacBook did not.

neb



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  #2401899 19-Jan-2020 23:52
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JaseNZ:

Something like this.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/USB3-0-Slim-External-CD-DVD-RW-Writer-Drive-Burner-Reader-Player-For-PC-Laptop/402038370002?epid=18029796967&hash=item5d9b5aaed2:g:0AwAAOSwxR1eH9pw&frcectupt=true

 

 

That's one of the infinite number of no-name Chinese brands that I want to avoid, since I have no idea what quality of DVD they'll produce.

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  #2401900 19-Jan-2020 23:53
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fearandloathing: I have this.
https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDR-XD05B-Portable-Blu-Ray-Burner/dp/B00OD39P6A/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1579430416&refinements=p_89%3APioneer&s=pc&sr=1-1

 

 

I don't really want to pay for a Blu-Ray burner, all I need is a DVD writer at a fraction of the cost.

neb



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  #2401901 19-Jan-2020 23:54
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fearandloathing: BTW the y cable is there if a single USB port doesn’t have enough power to supply the drive..

 

 

Yeah, I know, that's USB circa 2005 or so when all you could get was 500mA.

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  #2401905 20-Jan-2020 01:12
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I would be surprised if a DVD drive could outrun USB 2.0. 1x speed is only 1.32MB/s, so even 16x is still pretty minimal compared to the 60MB/s that USB2.0 can theoretically deliver.

 

 

 

There's not much point in a buffer larger than half a second, either. Remember that although HDDs can have a few tens of MBs, they typically read/write at 100+MB/s, and are much more likely to be seeing random access.

 

 

 

Region unlocked is not likely to come from the big brands. They don't want to annoy the content producers. China doesn't care.

 

 

 

A fast DVD drive is going to draw more than 2.5W, which means it can't compliantly be powered from a single USB port. China doesn't care, big brands do.

 

 

 

The reason they're not better is because DVD is an old format and there's no point making them better except buzzwords.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2401979 20-Jan-2020 09:35
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  #2402193 20-Jan-2020 11:11
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I wouldn't be too concerned about buffer sizes. If buffer under-run becomes an issue you simply slow the write speed down - it's not like you're going to be making a lot of disks. If you want longer lasting, widely compatible disks, it is best not to write at full speed anyway.

 

Back in the day I consistently found that with the same blank media slowly written disks would work in more players than quickly written disks and would retain reliability longer as they aged. I don't know for certain, but I assume the definition of the pits and lands was better when the laser was given more time to do the job. 


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  #2402301 20-Jan-2020 12:49
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SomeoneSomewhere:

I would be surprised if a DVD drive could outrun USB 2.0. 1x speed is only 1.32MB/s, so even 16x is still pretty minimal compared to the 60MB/s that USB2.0 can theoretically deliver.

 

There's not much point in a buffer larger than half a second, either. Remember that although HDDs can have a few tens of MBs, they typically read/write at 100+MB/s, and are much more likely to be seeing random access.

 

 

The USB 2.0 was more a general thing in that 3.0 and C are associated with higher power draws, so they'd be the expected thing on a DVD writer, not an out-of-spec 2.0. Admittedly the vast majority of USB C cables are USB 2.0-with-a-C-connector, but you can at least get enough power that you don't need to muck around with Y cables. What's really annoying is that some Y cables need both cables plugged in even if they're connected to a port that can supply amps of power.

 

 

Side-rant: The computer industry really is great at shooting itself in the foot with gratuitous incompatibility. They've finally got a one-size-fits-all connector, USB-C, and then they overload it with half a dozen or more incompatible cables where this type of cable works but this other near-identically-marked, identical-looking cable doesn't. I'm talking USB 2.0 "USB-C", USB C 3.1 Gen1, USB C 3.1 Gen2, Thunderbolt passive, and Thunderbolt active, all of which are incompatible, use the wrong cable and all you get is power and USB 2.0 but the thing you got the cable/device for doesn't work.

 

 

The point with a decent-sized buffer is that any glitch anywhere can end up relying on underrun protection just to get the burn done, Windows 10 seems to be really good at making things lock up sometimes for seconds at a time with no obvious cause before they suddenly unfreeze and resume again (try alt-tabbing between windows rapidly and repeatedly with one or two slightly memory-hungry apps open, for example, e.g. Firefox and DevStudio), so I'd rather the drive have a bit of run-on capacity than to keep relying on the BURN protection to smooth over glitches.

neb



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  #2402302 20-Jan-2020 12:50
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tripper1000:

I wouldn't be too concerned about buffer sizes. If buffer under-run becomes an issue you simply slow the write speed down - it's not like you're going to be making a lot of disks. If you want longer lasting, widely compatible disks, it is best not to write at full speed anyway.

 

 

Yep, I always do that since I'm aiming for long-term archiving. The issue isn't so much that but concerns about the input data stream stalling, see the previous post.

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  #2402308 20-Jan-2020 12:58
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IMO this is a bit like complaining that no one makes USB Floppy drives or ZIP drives with USB C on it. Dead media, why put any more development into it?





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  #2402309 20-Jan-2020 12:59
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Just get this or something comparable for around the same price.  They're all basically the same, and if you don't know what the specs mean then they're not anything you need to be concerned about.  You just need to know that the outcome is the same - data you want to put on a disc goes on the disc.  https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/DVWVER3292021/Verbatim-98938-External-Slimline-Mobile-CDDVD-Writ 


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  #2402329 20-Jan-2020 13:27
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neb:
JaseNZ:

 

Something like this.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/USB3-0-Slim-External-CD-DVD-RW-Writer-Drive-Burner-Reader-Player-For-PC-Laptop/402038370002?epid=18029796967&hash=item5d9b5aaed2:g:0AwAAOSwxR1eH9pw&frcectupt=true

 

That's one of the infinite number of no-name Chinese brands that I want to avoid, since I have no idea what quality of DVD they'll produce.

 

Probably just as good as any named brand that has the same parts inside as is.





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  #2402391 20-Jan-2020 14:22
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I notice they infrequently state the specs of the pre-built external drives so buying the case and drive separately and assembling it yourself (pretty easy) maybe the way to ensure you get a drive with known/acceptable specs. Being that USB powered writers are always laptop drives in a case, and DVD writing was always a bit of an after thought on laptops you may be on a harder road to performance than if you were looking for a desktop/ATX style writer. 


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