The Taiwan Connection: 4 DVD Burners From Asus, Gigabyte and MSI

Burning Hot Competition: DVD Writers From Taiwan

Current 4x DVD burners have been affordable for some time, and now more and more devices with a write speed of 8x are hitting the market. So far these media are still rare, and the write quality is not always optimal, either.

The only sensible alternative right now is to stick with tried-and-true equipment and voluntarily limit yourself to 4x write speed. This lets you fill up a 4.7 GB DVD+R or DVD-R in less than 15 minutes: an acceptable result if you compare it with the time it takes to back up the same amount of data on 7 CDs at 48x.

For several years now, the growing Chinese market has encompassed the market for optical drives as well, so it's no wonder that more and more manufacturers are having their DVD-ROMs and DVD burners produced in China at lower cost. Taiwanese producers are in an especially good position, since many of the big names already have large-scale factories set up to make motherboards, graphics cards and other components.

We pitted the latest burners from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI against the big-name competition.

Production of optical drives at Asus' plant in Suzhou near Shanghai.