Though the distinctions are almost indistinguishable at this point—if that's possible—Memorex made the best 4X DVD recorder I saw from that generation. At least it's the Memorex drive I still use for everyday recording.
Thus I had high hopes for their new dual-format drive when it arrived in the office, boasting 8X recording to DVD±R, 4X±RW, and 24X CD-R/RW, plus 12X DVD-ROM and 40X CD-ROM read speeds. The internal ATAPI drive installed without a hitch on our testbed Compaq 2.6gHz Pentium 4 PC running Windows XP Home, as did the Nero software bundle.
We didn't get a chance to test the 8X speed on DVD-R—that media is still mighty scarce—but we've got piles of Verbatim 8X DVD+R media office and wasted no time in sliding it into the Memorex drive. And boy did it go fast—just over eight minutes per full disc, for those of you following along at home. On the first test, a DVD-ROM disc consisting of one 4.27GB (engineering gigabytes, that is) DV-AVI file, the True8X tore off the burn in 8:17. Subsequent burns, ROM and video, happened just as fast, though typically with smaller filesets, and the DVD-Video discs enjoyed excellent playback in a variety of DVD players.
Using the Create Data Disc test in Nero CD/DVD Speed, the Memorex True 8X, a Partial CAV recorder, started the burn at 6.06X, peaked at 8.19X, and averaged 7.72X over the course of the disc. It clocked in at 8:27 for a full DVD burn.
The Memorex ships with a healthy software package including Nero Express 6 for general burning ; Nero Vision Express 2, a basic DVD authoring tool akin to Roxio's DVD Builder (but still a cut below tools like MyDVD and MovieFactory); NeroShowtime, a software PC-DVD player; PhotoShow Deluxe, a digital image management tool; InCD, for variable-length packet writing; BackITup, for backup applications; Recode 2, for VOB recompression (9-to-5 for non-copyprotected DVD-Videos); and Nero ToolKit for drive speed testing.
System Requirements: 800mHz Pentium 3 (1.8gHz+ Pentium 4 recommended) running Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP, 128GB RAM; DirectX 8-compatible video and sound card; 600MB HDD space for software install; 10GB HDD space for DVD disc creation; one empty half-height drive bay; DMA support enabled