Long time optical drive manufacturer, Pioneer, is releasing a 12X Blu-ray writer,showing that speed is still the driver that causes people to take a look, and possibly buy.
Though the speed is something to allow a certain amount of brand braggadocio, I tend to wonder how many, considering the size of the data committed to one of these discs, and the raw disc cost, will actually use the unit at the 12X speed. Rather than seeing statements concerning ultimate speed, I’d much rather see statements concerning the reliability of the burns, over a number of different brands of media, and readability, over a smattering of other writers.
For next month Pioneer is preparing the release of BDR-S05J-BK, its first Blu-Ray disc writer capable of a burning speed of 12x. Seen below, the internal drive has a SATA connection interface, 4MB of buffer memory, the PowerRead and PureRead 2 technologies, and write speeds of 12x for BD-R/-R DL, 6x for BD-R LTH, 2x for BD-RE/-RE DL, 16x for DVD-R/+R, 8x for DVD-R/+R DL and DVD+RW, 6x for DVD-RW, 5x for DVD-RAM, 40x for CD-R and 24x for CD-RW.
The Pioneer BDR-S05J-BK will hit Japanese stores with a price tag around $417.
One more thing about this writer – I’d like to see a larger buffer on the drive, I have stayed with some of my older burners (none of them are Blu-ray, but the fact is that the trend holds) because they include the larger cache memory buffers, which allows a fast machine to have that extra margin of safety, to not turn out a coaster. It is as if the phrase ‘buffer underrun’ has been eliminated from the computing vernacular. It has not.
The greater the number of processes running on a machine, the greater the chances that buffer underrun will occur. I think that any Blu-ray writer should include at least 32 MB of buffer, and any company selling a product for $417 (about…yeah!) can chip in the extra few cents to include the larger chip.
That being said, I’m sure that, stacked up against its peers, the Pioneer drive works very well, as Pioneer was, after all, a pioneer in optical drives.