I've always purchased the 2.4x Verbatim +DL AZO DVDs thinking they may be better quality and last longer, at one point they were also cheaper than the faster blanks. Now the price difference seems to be a wash and at times I've even seen the faster discs go for less at Amazon.
This got me thinking, for PC use is there any advantage to the 2.4x DL blanks or should I be using the 8-10x? Burn time is the least of my worries, I'm more concerned with a good burn that will be around for the longest time possible. I've also dabbled in the much cheaper Verbatim Life series 8x blanks(~1/2 the cost of the AZO line) but they are NOT the quality of the AZO blanks. In the same PC I get a failure rate of ~10% with the Life series(<1% with the AZOs) which I suppose one could consider a savings since the Life discs are 50% cheaper but I do worry about their longevity which is why I really prefer to use the $1+ AZO DLs.
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I can only tell you my opinion. Your mileage (and agreement with my opinion) may vary.
I ONLY buy 2 types of Verbatim DVD+R DL discs:
1) The DataLifePlus inkjet printable ones which are 2.4x speed and only made in Singapore.
2) The 6x-10x ones that you have to write on with a Sharpie (they have a silver Verbatim logo label and some lines for writing) because my experience is that these are ONLY made in Singapore.
My experience is that the slower speed ones, except for DataLifePlus, are usually made in India. I avoid those when possible. I've used them before and they aren't junk (some here disagree) but I did a Nero Data Speed test on identical burns on Made In India DL discs and Made In Singapore DL discs and the Singapore ones had a lot fewer errors in the test. For those who don't know, note that some errors always occur in burns and don't mean that the disc produced is a coaster. The difference in number of errors made me strongly prefer the Singapore discs.
Interesting, I looked at a couple of my 2.4x Verbatim 50 spindles and they both said made in Singapore but note they are probably a couple years old.
I looked on Amazon and both 2.4x and 8x 50 spindles have people questioning where they were made and the answers for the most part seem to be Singapore with a ID of mkm-001 or mkm-003, my older 2.4x show as a mkm-001. Before ordering any I'll have to try and find out if the new ones are Singapore or India made, like you I'd like to stick to Singapore if possible as I've had such good luck with them in the past.
The "2.4x" discs are really 6x discs, and burn best at 4x.
The 8x discs also burn best at 4x.
So that's a wash, too.
The "made in Singapore" 2.4x are best, and it's still manufactured from what I know.
The 8x discs were made in the other locations as the DVD-R and DVD+R.
Again, all I can tell you is that buying any Verbatim DVD+R DL discs other than DataLifePlus that are rated at 2.4x is risky and some may be made in India. I've personally never seen the 6x-10x ones made anywhere but Singapore, which is why I buy those - I know where they are coming from and don't have to worry about it. The lower speed discs can be made in Singapore, but not always. It's just luck of the draw. Please note, to be clear, that when I say "6x-10x" that this is exactly what the label says and I do NOT mean that some discs may be 6x and some may be 8x and some may be 10x - the label says 6x-10x specifically.
I rarely burn DL discs at 4x and NEVER under ANY circumstances do I burn faster than that. I've always burned the 2.4x discs at 2.4 speed.
Interesting what LS said about burn speed, like you I have always burned my 2.4x DLs at 2.4x, I believe it's the only option with my internal desktop burner. The same desktop can burn 16x SL Verbatims at 16x(although I always use 8x and get great results). But when burning the same 2.4x DLs in my laptop it always defaults at 4x.......again I chose 2.4x and always get great burns. The same laptop when I insert a 16x SL Verbatim only shows a top speed of 8x(which is probably the top speed for the burner). What I find odd is why the 2.4x DLs will only burn at 2.4x on my faster desktop drive but show 4x in my slower laptop drive.....
So the consensus I'm getting is the speed doesn't matter so much as the country of origin of the discs, I'll keep that in mind as I'm starting to get low on my Verbatim DLs. I used to stock up on them when they were $35 for a 50 spindle which I haven't seen for a couple of years, looks like now days I'd be doing real good to get the discs for $1 each and more than likely $55 for 50 with the DataLife series being a bit higher than that. I know one thing for sure, I'm not going to be tempted anymore by the $30/50 Verbatim Life series DLs.....the are NOT the same quality and just last night I was playing one I had recorded a while back and it kept locking up during the layer change, I never have this issue with the real AZOs
Laptops use "slim" drives, and the drive max is 8x. Or 4x for DL.
16x media is best burned at 12x. 8x and 4x are okay, but not best. (Trivia: DVD recorders have the biggest issue, writing at less-than-1x realtime. Even Verbatim discs can give errors! TY too.)
Pioneer burners are best, and give true 6x max speeds on "2.4x" media. (Ditto for BD-R, Pioneer is best.) DL media and BD-R media is more touchy that DVD SL or CD-R.
It's not really 2.4x, but 6x media. I never understood the reasoning on this either. Probably red tape. As with everything else, pull it down by a half step for best results. That means 4x.
Sadly, 8x discs have performance issues at a high rate of speed (16x~8x), and don't really perform better than the 2.4x. Even SL 12x (~6x DL) is no good. Part of it is being non-Singapore. Verbatim still oversees all worldwide manufacturing, but the Singapore production has always been more stringent.
If your burner is not great, then even 4x may give coaster. And honestly, everything but Pioneer is not that great for DL.
I second lordsmurf's approval of Pioneer burners for all disc burning. My Pioneer BD burner has worked better and more reliable than anything else I've used. It's the only burner I've got that works reliably with BD-R LTH media for burning or reading.
Thanks LS, that helps a lot. I'll try burning my 2.4x Verbatim DLs in my laptop at the default 4x speed. Unfortunately on my desktop the only choice is 2.4x but even that seems to give me great burns, no coasters and they seem to play just fine in my DVD players.
As for burning 16x media, on my laptop 8x is the fastest it shows and it's what I use, on my desktop I get the choice for 16x but always use 8x. Both my PCs are HP and contain the factory burner. Thanks again for the tips.
jman98, Microcenter is where I got my Verbatim "Life" series 8x DL printable discs. They were $29.99/50 so the price was tempting, I'll be avoiding them in the future as they are NOT the quality of the AZO blanks.
Those Verbatim discs should be very good.