Griz, I have a Pioneer DVD-115 which is a 16x DVD drive. I have nothing but love for it. I have had absolutely NO skip's etc when whating DVD's (this is partly due to my system since I don't have a hardware decoder cards) but I have also read on many sites that it is a great drive.
I have heard a lot of good things about the Pioneer drives. I have also heard that the AOpen Pro 16X slot-load is very nice as well.
I have read some things on www.cdspeed.com, and decided to buy a Pioneer dvd 105S. it should be almost as fast as the AOpen dvd 1640 pro (pro just means it is slot in, just like the 105 from pioneer).
I ran some tests on the pioneer, and i can't achieve the same speeds as stated on www.cdspeed.com. i don't know if this is because of the dvd disc i used or something else. But it is still a nice drive and a lot cheaper than the Aopen.
One advantage of the pioneer is that you can flash the firmware and then make the drive region free. This, of course, is not without any risks.
The drive is a little bit noisy, but not as loud as the ASUS CDS400 cdrom drive i just gave away. I have an ASUS CDS500 now which produces a lot less noise!
Hitachi DVD-Rom IDE Drive 12X40 is good one around $105.00
If you want better one: Ricoh CD_RW & 4x DVD is also good choice: around $250.00
Sorry this is coming so late, first time in DVD forum.
I recently bought a 16/40 DVD from www.goroyalpc.com and am happy with it. Don’t know how it compares to others. Their current pricing seems really good to me. You can get a Pioneer 16/40 DVD w decoder for $129.99 plus s&h. The only problem with the decoder is that the longer signal path of the video results in slightly worse video quality on the passed through signal (your desktop). I don’t know if all piggyback decoders have this problem. A solution might be one of those ATI graphics cards with built in MPEG decoding. The drive is available without a card for only $81.00.
I have a question. I am getting a Radeon 32MB DDR for Christmas and am also wanting a good dvd-rom drive. The Radeon I have says it has DVD-decoding (i am 99% sure, but i have been known to be wrong), so will that work ok? My system should be able to handle DVD movies without a problem, but will the Radeon?
Also, i have also heard nothing but good things about Pioneers ever since there 8x DVD ROM, so I think ill go with them or Toshiba, very good experience with their cd roms.
Truth is I don’t know. If I understand correctly ATI cards have had hardware decoding for a long time but I have no experience with them. Your system should be fast enough to not even need hardware decoding at all. This stuff is all fairly new to me so I am not claiming to be an expert. Since a separate decoder is reducing video quality (slightly), the Radeon should be the ideal solution.
Since my last post I have read a review of the Pioneer 16/40 and it looks like it is performing ok but is really only running at 11or 12 x not a full 16x. The review also mentions that the drive gets hot which it does. This could be an issue if you are overclocking because it is putting a lot of heat in the box. The review also mentions that it is noisy, which I haven’t noticed. The CD performance is good enough to replace a CD-ROM unless you are spoiled with one of those 5 laser 72x jobs. Another brand might be a better choice in terms of pure performance but can you get one for a lousy 81 bucks?
To play a DVD movie the drive only needs to go 1x. The higher speed is only used for loading DVD software or for “ripping”. If it turns out we are both wrong and you do need a hardware decoder they can be purchased separately for around $45 bucks. Separate hardware decoders are basically just helping your video card like the old 3dfx 3d cards did when they were separate from the 2d card. Hardware decoders are not matched to a DVD and do not need to be purchased at the same time.
I have to agree with Lakedude, if you have a good CDROM drive you only really need a 1x DVD drive unless you are going to rip DVDs, in which case the faster is better. I had a 4x Sony but the tray loading mechanism died, now I have a Toshiba 8x.
Note: A 1x DVD-ROM drive (reading a DVD-ROM disc) has a sustained data xfer rate of 1,350k/s vrs: 150k/s for a 1x CD-ROM
The ATI Rage, Rage Pro, Radeon, and I think even Rage Mobility chips all have excelent hardware DVD decoding on board. As I understand it you can use software decoders instead of hardware decoders but you need a PIII-500 or better and you can't do anything else at the same time.
Pioneer 16x DVD-ROM (I am going to rip of course)
w/ GeForce2 GTS 32MB DDR
w/ Thunderbird 750 @ 1050
The last 2 items I already have (Whats in my computer now.) As you can probably tell I'm not the biggest DVD freak (although I'm not a newbie either,) so would this work and give me good quality and everything for playing DVDs?