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DVDRW208 - Philips

Mysteries Of The CDRW and Back Ups Revealed
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By including the DVDRW208 in this review, we were taking a chance as to what might happen. This Philips drive supports the ever-troubled DVD+RW format, but since this isn't the focus of this article, we will not dwell on the issues with the current DVD+RW format. However, that said, it does appear that as fast as this drive made its entrance, it will just as quickly make its exit, when it is replaced by a newer Philips DVD+RW drive that will finally deliver on its promise of DVD+R media.

Speed - CDR / CDRW / READ 12X/10X/32X
Interface ATAPI/IDE
Firmware Version 1.34
Best Write Mode RAW-DAO 96
Best Read Mode RAW+96
Best Audio Read Mode RAW+96
Buffer-Underrun Technology Yes
Correct EMF-Encoding Yes
Street Price (USD) Under $399

The DVDRW208 has spent a lot of time in our labs and overall, our impression of the product and the format have been positive (unlike a lot of other people who have looked at the DVDRW208 - or similar DVD+RW drives). We have not personally experienced the compatibility problems that many others have found with the equipment. With the exception of a few laptop DVD-ROM drives and desktop DVD-ROM drives that were older and not compatible with the DVD+RW format, we have not experienced any compatibility problems. (Yes, that is right... all of the set-top DVD players that we have have been able to play DVD+RW discs with no problem.)

As you can see from the Nero Speed Test Results, we had reason to be puzzled by the performance of the drive, but since it is primarily supposed to be a DVD writer, you will have to decide whether to look the other way. The CPU usage at 8X was also 39%, which may, or may not, be a cause for concern.


Nero CD Speed Test results for the DVDRW208.

The drive still managed to handle two out of our four test discs, which, for a DVD+RW drive, really isn't bad. We thought that the additional properties that a DVD+RW drive would bring to the table might make it a better choice for back ups, but from what we observed here, this just isn't the case.

Overall this is a good drive that has been dependable in our testing with its blazing 2.5X DVD+RW write speed, which we can say is truly exceptional. The DVDRW208 in CDRW mode was more of a mixed bag, with mixed and sometimes confusing performance results. Still, it does appear that Philips is doing something right, because even through all of this, the drive was still able to handle two of our four test discs, which was amazing considering that it is a DVD+RW drive, after all.

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