NU DDW-081/082 DVD±R/RW


 










 

Review: NU DDW-081/082
DVD-Writer
Reviewer:
OC-Freak
Provided by: NU Europe
Firmware:
B364
Manufactured: 9. October
2003


NU Europe was kind enough to send us their latest DVD-Writer; The NU
DDW-081, we applied a firmware upgrade to make it dual format which changed the
name to NU DDW-082. NU Tech is a very new brand on the market so we do not know
what to expect from this writer. But we will discover more about this drive as
we test it.


Also thanks to the
NU engineers that listened to my problems and actually fixed a few of them in
the B364 firmware used in this review, also notice that the B364 firmware is
still under development and the support for DVD-R/RW is not yet fully
implemented.


Also thanks to
Memorex for providing some of the media used in this review.


Some short NU New Universe
information:


NU is a very new
brand name but comes from Quanta Storage Incorporated (QSI) the world leader in
making slim optical drives for laptops. If you have a laptop there is a good
chance that it has a QSI optical drive. Here is some company information found
at their web page:



  • Overview
    Nu Technology Inc. is
    founded in May of 2003 by Quanta Computer (one of the best Notebook IT groups
    worldwide) and Quanta Storage Inc. Located in the center of the Silicon Valley; we are an optical storage drive manufacturer. Our
    company is proud to produce a full range of both internal and external,
    Half-Height and Slim optical storage products. Some of our internal and
    external optical products include IDE CD/DVD ROM, CD re-writer, CDRW plus DVD
    combo drive, and DVD writers.

  • Products
    In order to meet the fast
    growing demand of mobile storage devices, Nu Technology has developed the
    world’s first slim DVD writer, and slim CDRW DVD combo drive.
    Our strong
    R&D department and large production capacity is the reason why we get
    ahead of our competitors and produce the world’s fastest slim USB CDRW DVD
    combo drive.
    On top of all, Nu Technology also released the world’s first
    52X combo drive for both internal IDE and external USB interface.

  • Mission
    Our mission is to be the
    leader and transform the industry with external slim drives that offer the
    most advanced technology, along with a user-friendly interface, and stylish
    exterior design.
    Nu Technology is dedicated to offer fast and excellent
    service to our customers. We stand behind our products’ superior quality and
    their unbeatable prices

  • R&D Focus
    NU has 161 employees, of
    whom about 60, or 37%, are in the R&D division. The R&D team is split
    into mechanical design, testing, and circuit design groups. Of the R&D
    team members, 40, or 67%, are dedicated to firmware development (versus 20’“30
    at other Taiwanese ODD producers), and 20, or 33%, to mechanical and hardware
    design.

  • Product Road Map
    NU has been
    dedicated to developing slim-type optical storage disk drives. However, it
    will also engage in halfheight DVD-RW/Combo for desktop PCs to leverage its
    R&D resources and fully utilize its manufacturing capacity. In addition to
    HH ODDs, the company expects to launch portable DVD players in 2003 by
    providing engines (loaded with PCB boards) to Chinese distributors. However,
    we believe that the contribution from new products other than slim ODDs will
    remain small for the next two years. As slim Combo speed migration is likely
    to top out at 24x, the company aims to enhance the product features through
    ultra slim, slot-in, or even expansion into car applications, a segment now
    dominated by Japanese vendors.

Let us go
directly to the specifications of the
drive.


Drive specifications:




These are the
specifications of this drive, found at the NU Global web page:


 
























Dimension


144.2 mm x
41.3 mm x 190.0 mm(cm)


Weight


965g邱10g
(with Bezel)


Introduction


The DDW-081 is
a half-height internal type and an IDE/ATAPI interface DVD+R/RW recordable
drive. The drive is able to write DVD+R/RW discs as well CD-R/RW discs and
can perform as a regular DVD-ROM drive. The DDW-081 has 8X speed DVD+R
disc writing, 4X speed DVD+RW disc writing, 12X speed DVD-ROM disc
reading, 40X speed CD-R disc writing, 10X speed CD-RW disc writing and 40X
speed CD-ROM disc reading capabilities. Furthermore, the DDW-081 supports
all writing methods specified in industry standards and the functions of
writing conform to them.


Features And
Benefits


(1)
Half-height, Tray-load Type DVD+R/RW Drive
(2) Support 12 cm / 8 cm
Disc
(3) Maximum 12X (16.22 Mbytes/sec, DVD) / 40X (6,000 Kbytes/sec,
CD) Data Transfer Rate
(4) 8X DVD+R Disc Writing Speed / 4X DVD+RW Disc
Writing Speed / 16X DVD Disc Reading Speed / 40X CD-R Disc Writing Speed /
10X CD-RW Disc Writing Speed / 40X CD-ROM Reading speed
(5) Support
Disc-At-Once (DAO) / Session-At-Once (SAO) / Track-At-Once (TAO) / Fixed
& Variable Packet Writing for CD
(6) Support Disc at Once,
Multi-session (DVD+R), Packet Write, Sequential Write, Random Access Write
(DVD+RW) & DVD-Video for DVD
(7) 120 ms Random Access Time
(8)
IDE/ATAPI interface (compliant to ATA/ATAPI-5)
(9) DVD-ROM (DVD-5,
DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-18), DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM/XA,
CD-i, Karaoke CD, Video CD, Multi-session Photo CD, Enhanced CD, i-trax
CD, CD extra, CD Plus, CD-Text, CD-R and CD-RW Discs Compliant
(10)
Support Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP
Operating Systems
(11) MPC level 3 compliant
(12) MMC2 / Mt. Fuji
Command compliant
(13) Mt. Rainier supported
(14) PC 2001
Logo
(15) CSS (Content Scramble System) supported
(16) RPC II
(Regional Playback Control Phase II) supported
(17) Motorized Tray Type
Automatic Load
(18) Electrical Button / Software / Emergency
Ejection
(19) MTBF 60,000 POH
(20) Support Ultra DMA mode2,
Multi-word DMA mode 2, and PIO mode 4
(21) Flash ROM supports On Line
Programming Capability


Leading Edge
Technology


Mt.
Rainier(F/W not ready)
Mt. Rainier,
also known as EasyWrite, is a format specified by Microsoft, Sony, Philips
and Hewlett-Packard to allow an optical disc to be used exactly like a
floppy disk. That is, being able to read from and write to the disc from
within any application you use, without the need for special burning
software. Mt. Rainier differs from traditional packet writing software in
that it performs most of the tasks (such as background formatting and
handling defect management) in the hardware of the drive itself, making
the system far more robust, and relieving the operating system from these
tasks. Mt. Rainier will be a standard part of the forthcoming Microsoft
Windows version, called Longhorn. Mt. Rainier capability is available for
CD-RW and DVD+RW only. Look for the EasyWrite logo on the front of the
drive to determine if it is Mt. Rainier compliant.

Two-way
Compatibility
Two-way compatibility is the basic philosophy for DVD+R
and DVD+RW. It means that existing DVD-Video discs can be played on a
DVD+RW recorder (or that existing DVD-ROM discs can be read on a DVD+RW
drive), and that the recordings you make on DVD+R and DVD+RW discs can be
played on existing DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives.


Minimum
Systems Requirements


Basic system
requirements:
PIII 450 CPU and higher, 128MB memory and
higher.
Windows 98SE/ windows ME/ Windows 2000/ Windows
XP


Recommended
system requirements:
PIII700 CPU, 256 MB memory.
Windows 98SE/
Windows ME/ Windows 2000/ Windows XP


Warranty And
Service


Warrants your
DRIVE against any defect in material and workmanship, under normal use,
for a period of one year following its date of purchase. In the event this
product is found to be defective within the warranty period, NU will, at
its option, repair or replace the defective unit.

This warranty is
void if:

The device is operated or stored under abnormal use and
maintenance conditions.
If the unit is repaired, modified or altered,
unless such repair, modification or alteration is expressly authorized in
writing by NU.
If the unit is subject to abuse, neglect, lighting
strike, electrical fault, improper packaging, or accident.
If the unit
is installed improperly.
If the serial number of the unit is defaced
or missing.


To us this table
seems quite messed up and slightly misleading. One place there is 16x
DVD-Reading performance mentioned as well as Mount Rainier
(yes it states that F/W is not ready one of the places it’s
mentioned).


With the B364
firmware we use there is the following improvements/changes from the
specifications shown above:


        
Now supports 24x
CD-RW writing speed
        
Supports 4x DVD-R
writing speed
        
Supports 2x DVD-RW
writing speed


But there is still
no Mount Rainier support, a bit disappointing since this drive was introduced in
September 2003 so they have had plenty of time to add Mount
Rainier support to the firmware. But there is light in the tunnel; NU plans to
add Mount Rainier in a firmware that is going to be
released in April.


Specification-wise
it seems like a very good drive, but read on to find out if it really
is.


Test machine:




For this
review we will be using a computer with the following configuration:


Hardware:


        
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-8KNXP with Intel
i875P chipset.
        
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2,8GHz
800MHz FSB with Hyper Threading support.
        
RAM: 1Gb PC3500
DDR
        
GFX: ATI Radeon 9800
pro
        
Sound: SB Audigy 2
        
Hard disks: 2 x Seagate Barracuda
ATA IV 80Gb in RAID 0 on the i875P S-ATA RAID controller.


System
set-up:


 


The NU DDW-082
was connected as Primary Master (Incorrectly shown by this picture due to an
extra IDE controller in the computer) and identified itself as NU DVDRW DDW-082.
DMA (Direct Memory Access) and autorun was enabled for all
devices.


Software:


Windows XP
professional is installed on the computer along with Service Pack 1 for windows
XP. We will be using the following software in this review:


        
Ahead InCD v 4.1.5.10
        
Ahead Nero Burning ROM version
6.3.0.3
        
Ahead Nero CD/DVD Speed
v2.11.4
        
Ahead Nero InfoTool v2.07
        
Slysoft CloneCD v4.3.2.2
        
Exact Audio Copy v0.95 prebeta
3
        
K-Probe v1.1.29


Head on to
the next page and find out what’s inside the
box…