Pioneer DVR-S606 Review

The DVR-S606 looks great, is incredibly quiet and seems to be well thought through.
The DVR-S606 looks great, is incredibly quiet and seems to be well thought through.
The DVR-S606 looks great, is incredibly quiet and seems to be well thought through.

Highs

  • Fast and reliable writing speeds
  • supports both USB and FireWire interfaces

Lows

  • No support for Apple operating systems
Home > Product Reviews > Blu-Ray and DVD Burner Reviews > Pioneer DVR-S606 Review

Summary

Pioneer’s DVR-S606 has what a lot of other DVD writers on the market seem to be lacking; substance. While the DVR-S606 is not the fastest DVD writer on the market, you really get a lot for your money. The Pioneer DVR-S606 has a good software package, USB and FireWire cables that support both the larger and mini inputs (found on most notebook computers), and both write-once and rewritable media boxed with the drive; not to mention FireWire pass through for daisy chaining devices. The DVR-S606 looks great, is incredibly quiet and seems to be well thought through. The only improvement we would like to see is support for Apple’s operating systems. So before purchasing a DVD writer based solely on its writing speed, ask yourself if an extra minute is really worth purchasing an 8X external drive over the DVR-S606; if it is, then you will be sorry.

Introduction

 

Let’s face it, the phrase “good things come to those that wait” isn’t often true in consumer electronics. Cutting edge products coupled with a ridiculously fast 6 month product cycle keep us on our toes and force us to look far into the future to see what new stuff is coming down the pipe before we make our purchase. We usually have to look forward to incremental upgrades and minor improvements between new models and their older siblings. Wouldn’t it just feel good to know you made a good purchase on a reliable product without having to wonder if something better will replace it in a few months? Enter the Pioneer DVR-S606 +/- DVD writer. Priced at $299, those looking for a stylish and reliable DVD writer will find the Pioneer DVR-S606 extremely appealing and long lasting.

Features and Design

While Pioneer might have been late bringing the DVR-S606 to market, we can honestly say it has been worth the wait. Sure, Sony and Plextor are introducing 8X DVD writers at the same time Pioneer introduced their DVR-S606 4X DVD writer, but there is little difference between 4X and 8X speeds. We are talking a mere minute in writing times for most instances between the two speeds.

The DVR-S606 features the following writing speeds: 4X DVD+R, 2.4X DVD+RW, 4X DVD-R, 2X DVD-RW, 16X CD-R, 10X CD-RW. The DVR-S606 has a 2MB buffer. Included in the DVR-S606 package is: the user manual, eject pin, FireWire cables (6-6pin, 6-4pin), USB cable (A-miniB), Video Studio 7, DVD Movie Factory 2se and Nero Express. Unfortunately Pioneer has not included any Apple software in the package, and there is no claim for Apple support either.

Pioneer DVR-S506 compared to Plextors 708UF
The PX-708UF compared to Pioneers DVR-S606

The DVR-S606 is quite a stylish drive. The casing is painted a shiny silver and the drive itself is black with a neon blue LED. Located on the front of the drive is the eject button; there are no volume controls or audio inputs. On the rear of the drive is where you will find one USB 2.0 port, two FireWire ports (one used as a pass through for daisy chaining devices) and the power switch. We were glad to see that no toggle switch was needed to change between the USB and FireWire inputs. The Plextor PlexWriter 708UF drive made you toggle a flip to switch between the two interfaces, and we thought that was kind of odd. We liked seeing the FireWire pass through so you can add other FireWire through the DVR-S606. Audio and video editors that often carry a lot of external devices will be especially pleased by this.

We would have liked to have seen support for Apple’s operating systems and Roxio’s TOAST included with the package; this hurt the DVR-S606’s overall score.

If you are looking for the ultimate portable DVD writer, we would recommend having a look at Pioneer’s new DVR-SK12D DVD writer. It supports both +/- DVD formats, USB and FireWire, but writes at slower speeds than the DVR-S606 drive. But the drive itself is no thicker than maybe 5 CD’s, it uses a laptop DVD writer for the internal drive.

Performance

The first thing you should know is that the DVR-S606 is not the fastest external writer on the market, but it is pretty close. In our writing tests is trailed the Plextor 708UF by a very small margin, but in our other tests, it often lead both the Plextor 708UF and 504UF drives both in read and seek time performance. CPU usage was significantly lower than both Plextor drives despite having the same 2MB buffer.

System Configurations:

Windows XP Pro SP1; AMD Athlon 1700+; Abit AT7 Max 2 motherboard; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; PNY GeforceFX 500 video adapter.

Use and Testing

 

The first thing you should know is that the DVR-S606 is not the fastest external writer on the market, but it is pretty close. In our writing tests is trailed the Plextor 708UF by a very small margin, but in our other tests, it often lead both the Plextor 708UF and 504UF drives both in read and seek time performance. CPU usage was significantly lower than both Plextor drives despite having the same 2MB buffer.

We had no trouble installing the DVR-S606 using either the FireWire or USB interfaces. Windows XP recognized the drive right away and installed the appropriate drivers. We did not test this unit on Windows 2000, 98 or Apple operating systems. If you have tried this drive on an Apple system and know that the latest Roxio TOAST recording software will support it, please post a mention of this in our forums or under the user review section of this review.

Even though Pioneer does not mention any sort of “burn proof” technology on their drive, we failed to burn a single bad disc from the 4 different brands of media we used. We also experience no problems multi-tasking. We were able to check e-mail and surf the web while recording media with no problems.. The DVR-S606 really excelled at recording audio CD’s when compared to the two other test drives.  

Please click on the performance tab and link located at the top and bottom of this review for benchmarking results.  

 

Conclusion

 

Pioneer’s DVR-S606 has what a lot of other DVD writers on the market seem to be lacking; substance. While the DVR-S606 is not the fastest DVD writer on the market, you really get a lot for your money. The Pioneer DVR-S606 has a good software package, USB and FireWire cables that support both the larger and mini inputs (found on most notebook computers), and both write-once and rewritable media boxed with the drive; not to mention FireWire pass through for daisy chaining devices. The DVR-S606 looks great, is incredibly quiet and seems to be well thought through. The only improvement we would like to see is support for Apple’s operating systems. So before purchasing a DVD writer based solely on its writing speed, ask yourself if an extra minute is really worth purchasing an 8X external drive over the DVR-S606; if it is, then you will be sorry.