|We noticed one detail when we shot this photo of the four test candidates: MSI's drives are not as big as the burners from Gigabyte and Asus.
The size of a drive generally doesn't play a role, since the differences aren't noticeable in a tower case. But the trend towards miniaturization and optical and haptic enhancement of the traditional PC is unstoppable, which means that optical drives are being used more and more, even in the smallest PCs like mini-barebones and set-top boxes.
Here it's good to have a drive that's as compact as possible. Not only are smaller components easier to install; they also facilitate the airflow inside the case.
MSI DR4-A and MSI DR8-A
Both also feature good extraction capabilities for digital audio and SVCD. MSI scores very respectably in this area. The 8x version writes to all rewritable's at a speed of 4x - a laudable increase, as it reduces the amount of time it takes to write a complete DVD from around 25 minutes to 15 minutes.
8x burning speed are so far limited to DVD+Rs; the DR8-A can write to minus discs at the customary 4x speed. When recording CDs, the MSI burners support a feature called HD Burn (High Density Burn) that doubles the capacity of a 700 MB blank CD to 1.4 GB.
The DR8-A's performance values all fall squarely within the acceptable range. That's an easy coup in the field of burners we tested, considering it's the newest model. The faster of the MSI burners also comes out ahead of the competition in extracting audio data and SVCDs - none can beat it in terms of overall speed.
Conclusion: MSI DR8-A Comes Out Ahead Thanks To Continuity