NEC ND-4570A (2005, 16x)
The first (and oldest) drive in this article is NEC’s ND-4570A. The device was sold in 2005 and was one of the first 16x DVD burners. It supports DVD+R and DVD-R media, which is mandatory today but wasn’t necessarily a must-have feature back then. The 2MB buffer was standard in 2005, as it is today.
However, the ND-4570A is based on an UltraATA/33 interface. These days, legacy ATA has been largely replaced by Serial ATA for various reasons, convenience being the most notable. NEC doesn’t provide any firmware updates for this drive, and the listed specifications are rather sparse. The data sheet withholds information like buffer capacity and power consumption, but it tells you that the activity LED is green. Fortunately, the compatible media list at least appears to be complete.
DVD-5 write performance starts at just over 6x and increases to almost 16x. The RPM speed is slightly reduced at the end of the burn process, since the outer disc areas suffer from more vibration. A 4.7GB DVD-R burn took 6 minutes and 18 seconds.
We also measured power consumption and found that this old drive requires more power than its two younger competitors. However, the difference isn’t significant.