Differences between dvd-rw and dvd ram

  greigas 20:58 15 Dec 2003

Can anyone tell me the advantages and disadvantages when comparing the two formats? I want to buy a dvd rewriter possibly the lg 4040b which has a ram capability and is multiformat. Is the ram really necessary or will a rewriter with dvd-rw do the job. I understand there are faster dvd-rewriters. I am storing lots of music video, music, photos and general data and want to play dvds on a panasonic dvd recorder.

Tearing my hair out. Yours Greigas

  LastChip 21:52 15 Dec 2003
  temp003 08:04 16 Dec 2003

DVD-RAM is best used for data storage. Its drag and drop is the easiest to use, of the 3 types of DVD recordable disks. If you need to backup data which you need to overwrite regularly, it's particularly useful (like a huge floppy I suppose). But if it's for archiving (that is, save it on to DVD once and for all), then not a great advantage over DVD+ or DVD-.

Also, as a general format, it hasn't really taken off. It comes in a special caddy. With some DVD-RAMs, you can remove the caddy and just put the disk into a DVD drive which can read DVD-RAM. Still, compatibility is not great. If you're making a video on DVD, then definitely use DVD+ or DVD-.

Is DVD RAM necessary for you? From the sound of things, you are archiving your digital data, in which case you don't really need DVD-RAM (but it is still very easy to use). But then the LG can do everything, so it's fine. If you decide not to have DVD-RAM, you can get a dual writer with faster write speeds (the Pioneer 106 or A06, or other OEM versions of it, even though it hasn't got the fastest specifications, writes pretty fast compared with other writers at the same nominal speed). Matter of comparing the price.

  Jester2K II 08:15 16 Dec 2003
  Lead 10:54 16 Dec 2003

If you can buy a drive that works with all the formats (eg the LG you mention) then surely that's a good thing. You may not use DVD RAM all the time, but at least you will have the option.

As far as 'drive A' being faster than 'drive B', I don't think it's as simple as that. Even drives reporting the same speeds will record/read data at different rates. Some will read DVDs quicker than others, but may write CDs slower. It all depends on what you do the most of. The followng link is a review of several DVD burners, with lots of benchmarks and good advice:

click here

To complicate matters even further, you may have the most up to date and (supposedly) fastest drive available, but there won't be many (or indeed any) media available that are compatable. Here's a recent review of a fast DVD Burner:
click here

Whatever you decide, a DVD writer will be one of the most useful pieces of PC kit you will ever buy. Mine hasn't stopped since I bought it! :)

  SEASHANTY 13:59 16 Dec 2003

LG GSA 4040B at Microdirect Retail boxed £97-53 or OEM £86-95 both inclusive of vat. Carriage not included. Better to collect from store if you can.
click here

  LordWoo 20:36 17 Dec 2003

Okay so what's the difference between dvd+ and dvd-.I have noticed ads for blank dvd discs and one has dvd+ and one has dvd- so what is the difference?
I ask because I am thinking of buying a dvd-writer, probably from the next local computer fair so I would be grateful if anyone can answer my question.
yours sincerely,

  keenan 20:45 17 Dec 2003
  greigas 23:42 17 Dec 2003

thanks everyone for your input. In reply to temp003. So in effect what you are saying is that dvd-ram dvd+ and dvd- can be used to store data and be upgraded at a later date in the rewritable format. So if this is the case what advantage has dvd-ram have over the others for data storage? Is it mainly for drag and drop and no other software?
If there is no difference why not just stay with say dvd- for instance?
In my case I would probably want to overwrite once per month.

  SEASHANTY 11:53 18 Dec 2003

You cannot overwrite DVD-R its record once only. You would have to use DVD-RW or DVD+RW. Many people have problems with the RW formats or so it appears from past queries on this forum. With DVD-RAM you can overwrite thousands of times without the disc needing reformatting. Something similar to a spare drive but with a capacity of just over 4GB.

  SEASHANTY 12:03 18 Dec 2003

Panasonic DVD-RAM discs single sided 4.7GB £4-99 and
Panasonic DVD-RAM discs double sided 9.4GB £8-98
available from Panasonic UK click here

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