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bang for the buck

Postby mrslim on Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:39 am

I want to buy an DVD±RW burner and am looking for the ability to burn DVD and CD media as reliably as possible. Speed is a minor issue for me as I'm not doing vast amounts of this. I'll be burning a variety of things, but mostly computer data along with some music and movies. I'm figuring on an internal IDE drive, but if the price and package are right, I'd certainly consider an external drive so that I can use it with the laptop, too.

My desktop machine into which this would be installed is a 3.5 year old home built box that has an Asus A7V266-E (I think I'm remembering correctly...) motherboard with an Athlon XP 1900+ CPU.

While I'm not expecting to pay the lowest possible price, I'd like to pay less than the Plextor 716 models cost. Ideally, the included software package would be a good one, but I can work with whatever on that.

Let me point out that quality matters here. I'm not looking for bargain basement junk. I want a very well built, good quality drive here and will play what it costs. I'm just hoping to avoid the highest prices out there.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks.
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Postby bobmitchell on Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:58 am

I have the new Plextor PX-740A, which you can get from Newegg for around $75...for the OEM. $82 for the boxed version. I recommend it or the model that it is modeled after...the Benq 1640. Both are very good drives...fast burn and reliable. Can't go wrong with either one.

Bob
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Postby Alektron on Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:54 am

Externals DVD burners always cost $50-$70 more than internals. Depending how much you expect to use it with your laptop, you should decide whether the higher cost is worth it.

If you go with an external, your choices will be limited because your motherboard doesn't have Firewire (unless you have an adapter card). You'll need a USB type DVD burner. Not because I have any experience with it, but because it's nicely priced and convenient, you may want Lite-on's SOHW-1693SX Black for about $110. Lite-on seems to do reasonably well in their designs. Sony sometimes lets Liteon build DVD drives for them, and puts the Sony stamp on it. There are a few other external drive choices, but with the exception of one that burns much more slowly, they are more costly.

If you pick internal, you'll have a lot more choices. Many of them are good performing and nicely priced, but not top quality DVD burners. I think you have to pay more if you want top quality. When I bought my Plextor PX-716SA, I based my choice completely on Ian's review, which seemed to conclude that it (actually PX-716A) was the best drive around. My second choice would've been Pioneer's DVR-A09(XL). Based on Ian's reviews, most of the drives around $50-$70 seem to have some trouble with particular brands of DVD-/+R, so you would need to be selective about that. I think you could be happy with almost any DVD burner if you pick the right media. There are lots of posts about DVD burner and media comparisons if you want to thoroughly research the topic.
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Postby mrslim on Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:48 pm

Thanks for the input, both of you.

I do have a firewire card installed on my desktop machine, so I could go down that road. Because of the higher costs, I probably won't, but as I'd said before, the idea of having access both from the laptop and desktop has its appeal. But it's lot like I'm looking to carry the drive around with me and burn on the go, so it's a luxury all the way. If I have something on the laptop to burn, there's always the network to transfer stuff to the desktop.

The Pioneer drive Alektron mentions has gotten my attention, mainly due to favorable words here and other places. I think there's a $30 rebate these days, so the price is reasonable enough. Would that drive at $80 be a better choice than the Plextor PX-740A/Benq 1640 that bobmitchell mentions?

Do any drives ship with a software package so attractive that it's worth a few more dollars? Do those that ship with Nero always have versions that will only work for the brand of drive it's packaged with?
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Postby mrslim on Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:07 pm

Another thing: I'm not seeing the BenQ 1640 drive on any of the vendor sites. Is it too new?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:48 pm

mrslim wrote:Another thing: I'm not seeing the BenQ 1640 drive on any of the vendor sites. Is it too new?


Right now the BenQ DW1640 is only available through www.ncix.com, which is a Canadian vendor. It will be available elsewhere soon probably.
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Postby mrslim on Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:13 pm

They're charging $51 US. That's not much for a good drive. That's great.
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Postby Alektron on Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:23 pm

I found a couple good deals you can check out of you like:

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 7cbe61c917
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Postby rahzel on Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:33 pm

NCIX.com has the BenQ 1640 on sale right now for 53CDN or 44US. I just picked one up last night =]. If you look at resellerratings.com, NCIX.com has an average lifetime rating of 9.08. They are a very reputable store here in Canada.
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Postby mrslim on Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:57 pm

I see the benq 1604 listed at ncix at $51.07US.
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Postby rahzel on Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:20 pm

mrslim wrote:I see the benq 1604 listed at ncix at $51.07US.

on the main page, click on the sale banner at the top.

sale prices are only listed on the sale page.
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Postby Dartman on Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:26 pm

Well I bought one last night too and it was 51 for me too, the link has 51 also, Maybe you got lucky or we all need to look harder :) less then 70 shipped with the faster option to the US, still not that bad.
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Postby rahzel on Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:38 pm

Dartman wrote:Well I bought one last night too and it was 51 for me too, the link has 51 also, Maybe you got lucky or we all need to look harder :) less then 70 shipped with the faster option to the US, still not that bad.

at NCIX? look here:
http://www.us.ncix.com/promo/promosale. ... gaming2005

i see it listed for 44.07US. I just bought it for 68.48CDN shipped lastnight =].
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Postby mrslim on Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:00 pm

I see it now. Thanks.
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Postby Dartman on Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:36 pm

I do too, thanks for the link, I thought that gaming thing was just a external add, never thought to click it :oops:
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Postby TCAS on Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:58 pm

bobmitchell wrote:I have the new Plextor PX-740A, which you can get from Newegg for around $75...for the OEM. $82 for the boxed version. I recommend it or the model that it is modeled after...the Benq 1640. Both are very good drives...fast burn and reliable. Can't go wrong with either one.

Bob


When you can buy the original drive for less $50 then why on the earth some one buys the repackage of the same drive for $72 to $80?. Deosn't make any sense unless we are so bogged down with name Plextor.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:16 pm

TCAS wrote:
bobmitchell wrote:I have the new Plextor PX-740A, which you can get from Newegg for around $75...for the OEM. $82 for the boxed version. I recommend it or the model that it is modeled after...the Benq 1640. Both are very good drives...fast burn and reliable. Can't go wrong with either one.

Bob


When you can buy the original drive for less $50 then why on the earth some one buys the repackage of the same drive for $72 to $80?. Deosn't make any sense unless we are so bogged down with name Plextor.


because a lot of people... probably 90% or more, of the people who buy DVD burners, do not visit sites like CDRLabs and learn about OEM's and things like that. What THEY see is a PX-716a with a smaller price tag :wink:
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Postby Alektron on Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:46 pm

I agree with you, Dolphinius. I doesn'tmake sense to pay $20 extra to re-badge a DVD drive. The only advantage a I can think of to re-badge is that you get technical support from a different company. I'd be willing to bet that Plextor has better technical support than BenQ. I got speedy answers from Plextor USA when I needed them. Personally, I would only pay $5 extra for that, though.

MrSlim, did you see the $40 Toshiba DVD burner that I posted about?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:21 pm

Alektron wrote:I agree with you, Dolphinius. I doesn'tmake sense to pay $20 extra to re-badge a DVD drive. The only advantage a I can think of to re-badge is that you get technical support from a different company. I'd be willing to bet that Plextor has better technical support than BenQ. I got speedy answers from Plextor USA when I needed them. Personally, I would only pay $5 extra for that, though.

MrSlim, did you see the $40 Toshiba DVD burner that I posted about?


Well, I believe Plextor does tinker with the firmware themselves to some degree... so it's possible for the drive to have some better support in some areas. But we also know that Plextor removed the media testing feature in their firmware... so they are not all candy and milkduds :wink:
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Postby mrslim on Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:22 am

I didn't see the $40 Toshiba burner, Alektron. I just received the BenQ 1640 from NCIX, though. It was the one on sale for $44. With shipping, it ended up costing $60, a rather pricey difference. I haven't even had a chance to install it.

It arrived very quickly. I think I ordered it Thursday night or Friday morning and it arrived on Monday AM, though I wasn't here to receive it.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:51 am

mrslim wrote:I didn't see the $40 Toshiba burner, Alektron. I just received the BenQ 1640 from NCIX, though. It was the one on sale for $44. With shipping, it ended up costing $60, a rather pricey difference. I haven't even had a chance to install it.

It arrived very quickly. I think I ordered it Thursday night or Friday morning and it arrived on Monday AM, though I wasn't here to receive it.


Well, I've never seen a Toshiba burner that wow'd me in performance... I think you deffinately made the right choice. I'm sure once you've had the chance to try the drive out, you'll agree with me 100%

Don't forget to upgrade to firmware version BSJB :wink:
Punch Cards -> Paper Tape -> Tape Drive -> 8" Floppy Diskette -> 5 1/4" Floppy Diskette -> 3 1/2" "Flippy" Diskette -> CD-R -> DVD±R -> BD-R

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Postby bobmitchell on Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:38 am

I have read many reviews on many sites over the years. I don't buy because of the name Plextor...I bought the rebadge because of Plextor's tech support and the fact that the company has done well by me over the years. I have had a few problems over the years, and never had a problem getting Plextor to take care of it. I have no problem with Benq, but from others that I have read...getting a replacement drive takes forever and oftentimes returned e mails take a week or so. I dial an 800 number talk to a live person and have a resolution in no time. I don't feel cheated purchasing the rebadge...Plextor's firmwares are right up to snuff and the tech support makes the difference for me.

I did make an informed decision...

Bob
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Postby mrslim on Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:40 pm

Sounds good, Bob. That $20 savings starts to look pretty trivial once we spend needless hours hassling with what should take a few minutes.

I see that I inadvertently ordered a black bezel 1640 instead of beige because that was what the discounted price was for and I didn't pay attention. Dammit.

What happens if the 1640 gets flashed with Plextor 740 firmware?

I have an old Plextor 2410 CD-RW drive, a Pioneer 106 CD/DVD non recordable drive and the new BenQ 1640. I'm probably going to end up removing one of the two older ones. Any thoughts on which it should be?
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Postby Dartman on Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:11 pm

Well they went ahaed and gave me back 7 bucks after I asked about the sale price but my drive hasn't showed up yet and I ordered the faster shipping. Hopefully just a hickup and it'll show up tomorrow or the next day, it's happend to me before on a payment that should have taken 2 to 3 days and ended up taking 10. I can say Canada post tracking is useless as all it says is order recieved electronicly and no other updates since. [-o<
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:21 pm

Dartman wrote:I can say Canada post tracking is useless as all it says is order recieved electronicly and no other updates since. [-o<


Once it gets across the boarder nothing will happen... but that's pretty normal for Canada Post tracking anyways :roll:
Punch Cards -> Paper Tape -> Tape Drive -> 8" Floppy Diskette -> 5 1/4" Floppy Diskette -> 3 1/2" "Flippy" Diskette -> CD-R -> DVD±R -> BD-R

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