Increasing Speed: Disc Manufacturers Falling Behind
In the weeks to come, more and more drives will become available that can write to DVD+Rs at 8x, which means about 11.1 MB/s. However, the problem now is the availability of the appropriate discs, because even DVDs for 4x are still somewhat more expensive. The main reason for this is the small quantities available till now, because cheap spindle packs with 25 or 50 blank discs have been rare up until now.
It may be many weeks until blank discs writeable at 8x become available in practical quantities - and therefore also at an acceptable markup. For holiday giving, the 4x medium will probably be the disc of choice.
Increasing Speed: 8x Burning, But Only Locally
In practice, there is a slight obstacle for 8x burners if large amounts of data are to be burned over a network connection. While CDs up to 52x (7.8 MB/s) and DVDs up to 4x (5.54 MB/s) can be burned without a problem over a 100-Mbit Ethernet connection, in practice the 11.08 MB/s of 8x DVDs exceed the bandwidth possible over common networks.
Anyone who primarily uses the burner for data backup should thus have a gigabit network so as not to unnecessarily slow the write process.
Discs: Imation, Memorex, Verbatim
For this test we wrote to a number of manufacturers, only three of whom showed any interest and provided us with discs for our test lab. However, they are also established brands that had nothing to fear from a comparison.
Currently there are scads of no-name discs available on retail shelves, the quality of which remains to be seen over the course of the coming months. As our test results show, the compatibility promised by all manufacturers is not yet high enough to make buying the cheapest discs without due consideration a good idea.