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No double-layer SuperDrive in your Mac? Now you can upgrade.
Sick and tired of waiting for dual-layer and double-layer DVD media prices to fall? The discs that hold 8.5GB of data are still pricey at about $1.50 each, but that's less than they cost three months ago, and prices continue to fall. So why not free yourself from the 4.7GB restriction of single-layer DVDs? A multiformat DVD burner like Sony's DRX-830UL/T offers the right combination of speed and price.
You never have to worry if the DRX-830UL/T can read or write to a disc, because the drive supports a vast array of CD and DVD formats, including double-layer DVD+R, dual-layer DVD-R, DVD+R/-R, and CD-R. You can connect to your Mac with either FireWire 400 or USB using the provided cables. You also get Roxio's Toast 6 Lite, a fine disc-burning app, but Roxio recently released Toast 8 Titanium, which means the bundled software is two generations behind the current version.
We tested the speed of the drive using FireWire 400 on a dual 2GHz Power Mac G4 with a single-layer SuperDrive. Predictably, the DRX-830UL/T was faster than the SuperDrive, by a wide margin. When we copied a 2GB file to a single-layer DVD+R disc, the DRX-830UL/T was 39 percent faster than the SuperDrive. When creating a music CD in iTunes, the Sony drive was 22 percent faster. Burning a 6GB video file onto a double-layer DVD+R disc took 33 minutes, which is 10 minutes faster than Sony's previous model, the DRX-820UL/T.
The bottom line. If you didn't get a double-layer SuperDrive with your Mac, the DRX-830UL/T is your chance to move up.
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2 or later, USB or FireWire 400
Good speed. Supports a wide range of optical media.
Bundled Toast software is a couple of generations old.