2689 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 2, 2008 7:09 PM by cgeiber
For general usage, there is no real benefit to be had by using other than combo burners.
As you have seen, DVD-R speeds of 16x, 18x, and 20x are common place now. Because of this, media has also changed to accomodate the faster burning capabilities.
This is a main issue to be considered, because many problems are typically media related. The newest media has difficulty on older burners, so the first advantage of a new burner is to gain reliable compatibility with new, faster rated media.
Installing a new 18x drive, though, doesn't necessarily mean that you will be able to burn that fast. In your machine, good, reliable burns, will typically max out at 10x, with 12x being possible, 8x the most capable and reliable. This is simply due to the architecture of the older machine.
Does this mean that you should only get an 8x capable burner? No. One, there are few slower models available, and the media compatibility issue will be a problem.
In choosing a model, your most pressing concern is compatibility with your software. With Tiger, 10.4.6 and beyond, all the Pioneer models have native support. In Leopard, support has been broadened, as well.
Burners from Pioneer, LG, Samsung, Sony, among others, are the most commonly referenced burners. For reliability, compatibility, and proven performance, I can easily recommend the Pioneer DVR-112.
If you have interest in what others are using, in machines similar to yours, as well as user reports, check the Xlr8yourMac Drive Compatibility Database.
One thing to consider regarding leaving the old drive in...
I am using the a G4 with Dual 867 as well. I originally had a combo drive that I left in along with a new Super Drive I added. After some time all sorts of bizarre things began to happen kernel panics, files not copying correctly etc. This was all with the good drive. After a lot of searching It was recommended that I disconnect the combo drive and the problems were solved. If your original drive is acting up disconnect it to avoid similar frustrations. See link for the old posts http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=973597&tstart=0