Tom's Hardware's 2010 Gift Guide: Part 1, For System Builders

Optical Drive: LG BH10LS30 Blu-ray Burner

us.lge.com
$139
By: William Van Winkle

With the war against HD-DVD now a distant memory, you’d think that Blu-ray on PCs would have become, well, the next DVD. But the 25/50 GB disc technology has faced challenges not encountered by its 4.7/8.5 GB predecessor. After the format war armistice, we had a tiny little global recession accompanied by the rise of cloud-based storage. At the same time, services like Netflix and Hulu have left millions of would-be buyers wondering why they still need to sink big bucks on movies and TV series burned to physical media.

On the other hand, we’ve seen the (latest) rise of 3D entertainment, with this holiday season being the first to showcase a broad selection of Blu-ray 3D options. Ironically, the movie that really kicked off the 3D craze, Avatar, remains unavailable in 3D version on Blu-ray (unless you count the several-hundred-dollar outliers on Ebay). James Cameron must have studied at the George Lucas School of Perpetual Movie Re-Releasing. Instead, we have Resident Evil: Afterlife and the redone Clash of the Titans, renowned as being one of the worst post-production 3D conversions to date. So far, the animated 3D movies have delivered more consistent quality.

Anyway. There are two kinds of people who will want this LG drive: One, those who want 3D Blu-ray and two, those who want local archiving. As for the former camp, if you love home theater PCs, then this is where you want to live. You need Blu-ray, and you need a drive with the modern specs (2x or greater) able to support 3D.

For the storage folks, there’s a compelling argument here. We won’t take you down another digression into backup and archiving strategies. You already know why you should be storing your critical data in a safe, off-site location. Cloud services are an option, but they’re incredibly slow on the upload side—so slow that businesses often just FedEx USB hard drives containing their data backups to the service provider. If disaster hits and you need to perform a restore, downloading your files can take days. With this LG 10x burner, you can fill a 25 GB BD-R disc in about twelve minutes.

This requires a note about media. The good news is that you can now buy a spindle of 4x BD-R media for just over $1 per disc, a huge drop from when BD burners first appeared two to three years ago. A 6x spindle, however, will run just under $4 per disc, and 6x is the fastest media on today’s market. Step into 50 GB (DL) 6x and we’re up to about $10 per disc. The fastest you’re going to see in today’s re-recordable Blu-ray (BD-RE) is 2x, and a single 50 GB platter will run $35.

So we’re not gushing with love for LG’s move to 10x because you couldn’t even record at 8x today if your favorite gift guide model’s life depended on it. Maybe next year. And you might find 10x media by the time you’re ready for a new system. No, we’re praising LG’s drive because it’s a great mix of feature support, forward-looking compatibility, and affordability. Get the drive, stuff some blank media in your stocking, and enjoy a safe, backed-up holiday.

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68 comments
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    Top Comments
  • alexttlyrocks
    I'm only reading this article to look at the chicks
    16
  • LuckyDucky7
    Alternative title:
    Gift Guide Part 1, for Deep Pockets :)
    10
  • Other Comments
  • alexttlyrocks
    I'm only reading this article to look at the chicks
    16
  • rohitbaran
    ^ Keep reading!
    8
  • dogman_1234
    Wait until SB and BD.
    4
  • Anonymous
    Radeon 6870 girl ... someone forgot to photoshop her ^^
    1
  • LuckyDucky7
    Alternative title:
    Gift Guide Part 1, for Deep Pockets :)
    10
  • squanto
    scroll...picture....next...scroll..picture...
    5
  • cangelini
    LuckyDucky7Alternative title:Gift Guide Part 1, for Deep Pockets


    Phenom II for under $100? You must have those pockets that are sewn shut at the top, for decoration! =)
    2
  • Bluescreendeath
    girls > computer parts that we already know about
    5
  • Silmarunya
    Nice review, but I'd have liked to see advice for different budgets. For example, you could recommend a budget, mid range and high end product. For example, I'm currently in the market for a discrete sound card, but don't such an expensive one. On the other hand, I wouldn't be satisfied with a Phenom II X2. It's still a great article, mind you, but it'd have been nice to see some love for every end of the market.
    1
  • Onus
    ntrRadeon 6870 girl ... someone forgot to photoshop her ^^

    No, it's the taint that a Diamond product radiates. They're #2 on my personal "Do not buy" list, right after Belkin.
    1
  • garyshome
    The ps costs as much as the cpu and mb? So much for the budget.
    0
  • sandmanwn
    Quote:
    Ed: You'll have to pardon this little gem missing out on the gift guide photo shoot.

    Off with his head!!!
    1
  • nevertell
    The phenom II x2 555 is some of the BEST bang for the buck. I dropped it in my build, got a quad core running at 3,6 ghz for about 25 $ per core, and I didn't even have to disable any of the powersaving features or anything actually to get it working like this.
    1
  • mi1ez
    Why the hell does the US site work fine and the UK site have it'ss CSS in a twist?
    0
  • tony singh
    Some one gift me please....:)
    1
  • cknobman
    I have no clue what products Toms is actually recommending here, too busy looking and the beautiful product modelers and not the actual products!!!
    1
  • fausto
    Toms needs to spend more money on the holiday Models department. seen much better chicks at Quakecon 2008. No offense to the ladies but some of you are not booth babe material
    -1
  • ta152h
    Bluescreendeathgirls > computer parts that we already know about


    If you're that desperate to see pictures of girls, you're probably right; you must know computer parts better than girls.

    It's pretty sad when pictures of girls gets so much of a reaction. I swear if you get out of the house, you'll actually see them in real life. I'm not lying. You can even say "Hi" to them, and they'll probably even give you a response. I know it sounds far fetched, but I'm really confident about this, so just trust me.
    0
  • ta152h
    faustoToms needs to spend more money on the holiday Models department. seen much better chicks at Quakecon 2008. No offense to the ladies but some of you are not booth babe material


    The pathetic part is, how it's still getting these desperate guys worked up.

    Some of the pictures are just bad too, like the one with the Radeon.
    -4
  • accolite
    TA152H, I'm not desperate... I'm married, but I enjoy a good looking woman more than looking at some hardware components after all we are guys! If you don't your probably a woman yourself or a homo!
    4