No really; it is shocking loud.
I purchased this DVD drive from a reputable trader up Oxford Circus. I haggled with the guy, so prices may vary as widely as £15-£30. I got mine for £18.25 and two euro cents. My previous DVD drive, an ASUS 8x writer gave up the ghost last week.
Is exactly as it looks in the picture; it's a little smaller than you'd imagine though - about 6"x8" (inches that is) and about 3" deep. It has lots of writing and is generally very informative, although there does appear to be some 'Engrish' on section 2 of the notes with 'This case remains when an adapter is used'. Probably not, it just seems weird and out of context. Maybe someone else knows. The important thing is this; it tells you exactly what speeds you can anticipate from your brand spanking new DVD drive.
22x DVD +/R (pretty fast)
12x DVD RAM (yah, that's pretty fast too)
12x DVD+/-R DL
8x DVD +RW
6x DVD RW
40x CD R
32 D RW
& it features Label Flash technology: You will need the incredibly expensive disks for this; what it does is burn an image into the label side of your Labelflash disk. I think it's a propriety technology from Yamaha. It's quite clever when you consider that IT IS ALL DONE WITH LASERS.
The drive itself:
Weighs next to nothing. The box says it weighs 700gm, I reckon it's more like 500gm without the box. It actually seems like a flimsy little box with a bit of cheap plastic on the front. Do try to resist shaking it. It is just a laser, a lens, some cheap plastic and a rubber band. (It really is).
In the box:
First you get the drive, then you get the software then you get the instructions. The drive is protected by kinda cool egg box style cardboard. It all seems very cut price. You get a disc of bog standard software. It's naff software really, but always useful to leave lying around.
Ease of installation:
Um...Really easy. Two wires go in; one for power (its shaped like a D and has many names) and your IDE cable. All new DVD drives come their jumper settings put to cable select as standard. If you do not know what this means, do not worry about it - it will really make things complicated. I used to own a computer repair shop. Trust me. That will be £40 plus parts please.
Turning it on:
Everything went quiet. The lights dimmed and flickered. In the distance a wolf howled, thunder crashed and lighting flicked across the sky. I turned the TV off. Nothing much to report. Automatically recognised by all operating systems from Windows 98 (get over it, it was almost 20 years ago) to Windows Vista, and friends tell me it works with Mac and Linux too. Universal architecture indeed.
I popped a DVD in the drive and then...Was it a tiny hamster X-Wing warming up? That would really have been quite spectacularly awesome if it was. It was the DVD drive; because it is set to automatically read at it's MAXIMUM speed, that DVD is revolving at an incredible rate - I would love to write about the rotational momentum more but you will have to accept my word for it; it is going round really fast. The faster it spins, the more noise is created in a fan effect. You can insulate the drive with padding but then it'll probably catch fire and lasers will shoot out everywhere irradiating everyone in the house.
It is really, really loud. This is a common feature with all fast DVD writers. In my Battle Station it sounds like a hoover. I checked the sound out from rooms adjoining mine and it was easy to hear the drive. It is a common complaint even though the drive itself proclaims to be super quiet and designed for quiet operations (weird use of language again).
It does everything it claims too. I checked the drive through Nero Drive Tools and it hits all the marks that it proclaims to. It reads and writes at a very, very fast rate.
For £18.25 I have made out like a bandit and will probably get at least one thousand good DVD burns out of this writer before it gets junked. I'm really pleased with it.
PROTIPS FOR THE CROWN:
Is your DVD drive very loud? Follow Zombietheo's instructions for DVD drive pleasure - This applies to all DVD Drives. Ready?
1) What you need to do is this: Update your DVD drives firmware first - go to the manufacturers website and follow the instructions. There is always at least one firmware revision for any optical media device.
2) Download a copy of NERO DRIVESPEED or use the one that comes with your Ahead Nero. Go to tools in your start menu and have a go at turning the drive to silent - you can change most of the read speeds there. You can change the speeds at any time and it is easier to do than you think.