Update (06.05.04) - After a year and a half of faithful service, my DRU-500a stopped functioning this past May. She was replaced with an NEC 8x DVD+-R. Rest in peace, my burning friend. Rest in peace.

As of now (and probably for a while), this is the mack daddy of DVD-R. The Sony DRU-500a is a burner that not only can burn DVDs, but supports all of the DVD-recordable formats. When Sony looked at the two major formats, Plus (DVD+R, DVD+RW and Minus (DVD-R, DVD-RW, they decided that rather than choose one and alienate a different crowd for any reason, their latest burner would support both. Hence, the DRU-500a was spawned as the world's first DVD+/-RW burner, and is so popular that it recieved CNet's Editor's Choice award.

Write Speeds

  • DVD-R (4x/1x)
  • DVD-RW (2x/1x)
  • DVD+R (2.4x)
  • DVD+RW (2.4x)
  • CD-R (24x max)
  • CD-RW (10x/4x)
The drive can also read DVD-ROM at 8x max, and CD-ROM at 32x.

Requirements: Pentium II 400MHz (MyDVD: Pentium III 600MHz] or faster, Windows 98SE/2000Pro/ME/XPHome or Pro, 128MB (Windows XP: 256MB) RAM, 1GB (MyDVD: 10GB) free HDD space.

Included Software: Veritas RecordNow, Sonic MyDVD, Showbiz, Veritas SimpleBackup, PowerDVD XP, MusicMatch

Though the drive can initially burn DVD+ media at 2.4x, a free firmware update upgrades that speed to a whopping 4x, and is available at http://sony.storagesupport.com/freeupgrade/

This model is now obselete, as Sony released the DRU-500AX. It requires no firmware upgrade for the full 4x speeds, and otherwise is essentially the same burner.

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