The Sony DRU-810A worked well for more than a year and when it recently died the replacement from the Staples warranty was the DRU-830A, upgraded to SS23 firmware. All that was done for installation was a hardware swap since they both were Sony brand. But after working with Sony tech support it was discovered that Norton Anti Virus MUST be disabled in order to get good burn speed. This drive has amazing burn speed (better than 18X).
But the read speed is very poor. For example if about 1 GB is written to a TY DVD-R16X the total write time is under 3 minutes using Nero 7 with all the latest updates. But the verification time is over 22 minutes, i.e. it's reading at 1X. Sony tech support has given up on me. The last comment was it's something in the drive. They offered to look at it but that's going to take a week or two and I need a working drive now.
After spending the last few days reading reviews on DVD burners it's clear that at best the DRU-830A can only read at 12X, no matter that the box says it can read at 18X. So do I just have a bad drive and should get a like kind replacement, or should I buy a better drive?
My priority for a new drive would be one that can read and write high quality data at a high speed. Performance like the 810A is OK, but they are no longer available. I.e. 16X with ability to read not so good disks and write good data is more important that running at 18X or 20X.