Home News Reviews Forums Shop


benq 1640...lower buffer levels is that normal?

DVD-R/W, DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM

benq 1640...lower buffer levels is that normal?

Postby bluestreak on Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:40 am

hi all,

i'm a complete noob with dvd burners, so please bear with me.
but i did do A LOT of research before deciding on which one to get.

and thanks to the review made by DD, i chose the benq 1640 (fw-bshb)
over the nec 3540.

but i'm having some second thoughts, and thinking of exchanging for
something else.

hope you guys can help clear this up for me.

...ok here it goes, my 5 attempts.

(on all the attempts the media used is memorex 8x dvd-r
and i was making a data dvd of separate movie files totalling 3.99 gigs
write speed set to 'maximum'
and no multisession)

and i did not install Qsuite, it didn't come with the oem package


i my first attempt i did not have DMA on, it burned at 8x and took more than 20 min to complete,
all the while the buffer level was jumping from 80% to 20%
when i checked the disc, it failed

after rebooting, i tried again, this time with DMA on... the buffer level
stayed around 89%... and it burned at 8x
but nero froze when it was 18% complete.
i checked the disc anyway, but again it failed.

so i was thinking maybe i got dud, and decided to bring it back and
exchange for another 1640.
(the s/n are 3 off, so i'm guessing this new one i got is from the same
batch)

so i burn again, everthing the same as above.
i forgot to set the DMA on with this first attempt on the second drive
again it burned at 8x , and the buffer level stayed at about 89%
it took more than 20 min, but the burn was successful.

i figured i'd try it again, but this time with DMA on...hoping to get
a quicker time.
it burned at 8x, and the buffer level stayed at about 89%
it took about 14 min and the burn was successful.

now when i used to burn cd-r, the buffer levels would be about 99%
so when i saw 89% from the 1640, it made me wonder if that was normal.

i don't like the thought, that the brand spanking new burner that i
was so proud of and took forever to research for was...not that great.

i did read somewhere that a lower buffer level could be an indicator that i
might need to defrag the hard drive, because the cpu needs to look for
the info (something along those lines right?)

anyways, i tried another burn, this time using my brother's pioneer 108.
i figure, if the burn times and buffer levels are the roughly the same,
then maybe there is nothing wrong with my 1640.

well i burned the same files on memorex 8x DVD-R with DMA on.
the pioneer burned at 12x and the buffer levels jumped from 98% to
85% ...it took 6min and 30sec to complete and was successful.


so my questions are:
why are the average buffer levels lower on the benq 1640(89%) than the
pioneer 108 (98%)

why did the pioneer burn at 12x compared to the benq's 8x?
(i figure this has something to do with media compatibility)

and does burning at 12x (6.5min) really cut down the burn times to more
than half compared to 8x?(14min)

i want to keep the drive, but the above numbers are making me second
guess my decision

sorry for the extra long post
but thanks in advance to anyone that can shed some light.
bluestreak
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:24 pm

Postby rahzel on Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:57 am

does the buffer STAY at 89? its normal for the buffer to drop to around 89 once in a while, thats because WOPC is enabled by default. But 14min for 8x is too long. Average burn time for 8x is about 8:30ish with the 1640.

the reason why it burns at 12x with your 108 and not with the BenQ is because the 1640 cannot overspeed media at all without atleast firmware BSKB or newer and enabling it with Qsuite 2.0, so it burns all media at rated speeds. I wouldnt recommend burning Memorex media past rated speeds anyway because Memorex DVDR's arent very good in general.

What i would do is update the firmware to BSLB (latest firmware from BenQ) and also, instead of setting the write speed to "Maximum", try setting it to 8x.

you can download Qsuite 2.0 and firmware updates here:
http://support.benq.com/front/BenqMain.asp?MenuHead=128&ShowType=program&FileURL=service/downloadquery.asp&GenMenu=&RootId=

when you flash, make sure theres no programs running (Anti-Virus etc) and set the drive to Master if you havent already. Also, if you have any other optical drives connected to the same IDE cable, disable them incase.[/url]

Edit: also, if you have an nforce chipset motherboard, uninstall the nForce IDE SW drivers.
rahzel
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:31 pm

Postby dodecahedron on Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:58 am

welcome to CDRLabs, bluestreak.

you should defrag you hard drive (as you surmised). did you do that?

burning at 12x who't cut down the time by a factor of 2/3 but by a lesser amount.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie
-- JRRT
M.C. Escher - Reptilien
User avatar
dodecahedron
DVD Polygon
 
Posts: 6865
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2002 12:04 am
Location: Israel

Re: benq 1640...lower buffer levels is that normal?

Postby thegdog on Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:30 pm

bluestreak wrote:so my questions are:
why are the average buffer levels lower on the benq 1640(89%) than the
pioneer 108 (98%)

One reason that the buffer levels may fluctuate more is that the BenQ drive is UltraDMA 2 whereas the Pioneer is UltraDMA 4. I noticed this with my BenQ1640 and my Lite-On SOHW-832S (also UltraDMA 2) compared to my NEC 2500A (UltraDMA 4).

The UltraDMA 2 drives have their buffers fluctuate a lot during the writing process if you do something else during the burn. Both my Lite-On and BenQ drives do it. The NEC drive never did it.

Defragmenting your hard drive should definitely help, as well as making sure you don't have a lot of background programs running, especially those that might be accessing the hard drive (such as virus scanners that scan in the background all the time, or the Office FastIndex - I think that's what it's called - feature).

bluestreak wrote:why did the pioneer burn at 12x compared to the benq's 8x?
(i figure this has something to do with media compatibility)

Probably. The BenQ 1640 firmwares don't really allow for any media to be written at faster than rated speed. The newer firmwares add support for more media, but I would recommend the following:

Install firmware BSLB and run QSuite to set the ability to overspeed. You should be able to write most 8x media at 16x, though your results may vary. I prefer writing 8x media at 12x because its only about 20-30 seconds slower than 16x and the write quality is more consistently good.

bluestreak wrote:and does burning at 12x (6.5min) really cut down the burn times to more
than half compared to 8x?(14min)

When I burn at 8x on the BenQ, it takes about 8.5-9 minutes to write a full disc (4.37 GB). At 12x, it takes about 6.5-7 minutes. (Note that I mostly use DVD+R media. DVD-R media might be slightly different.)
thegdog
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:38 am

Postby bluestreak on Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:02 pm

hey guys, thanks for the responses

when i did all the burns, there was no other program running in the
background.
also, i don't have Qsuite installed, would that help the 1640 in quicker
burn times?

out of curiosity, i tried another burn with the 108, again using the same
media (memorex 8x dvd-r) and same files.
this time i set the write speed to 8x, instead of 'maximum'

here's the comparison:

benq 1640
-burned at 8x
-buffer level around 89%
-took 14 minutes for successful complete burn

pioneer 108
-burned at 8x
-buffer level around 95%
-took 7.5 minutes for successful complete burn

everything was the same, the computer, the media, the files
and yet the 108 just seems better for this test.

as much as i want to keep the 1640, after all the great reviews about it.
(and i actually like the clean oem black bezel look)

i think i'm gonna exchange for something else
Last edited by bluestreak on Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
bluestreak
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:24 pm

Postby Ian on Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:09 pm

Before exchanging it, I'd try other media. The way it sounds, the DW1640 is writing to those Memorex discs at only 4x.. probably due to poor quality.
"Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt." - Steve Jobs
User avatar
Ian
Grand Poobah
 
Posts: 14882
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 2:34 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Postby bluestreak on Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:13 pm

hey Ian, thanks for the quick response.

i've done 4 burns with the 1640, and all those times the write speed
was set at 'maximum'

and during the burn process, nero showed it burning at 8x

just thought of this, is it possible i just got another dud?
the s/n of both the 1640s i got were off by 3...so i'm guessing
they're from the same batch
bluestreak
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:24 pm

Postby Ian on Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:51 pm

Setting it at 8x doesn't mean a thing. If the drive thinks the writing quality isn't up to par, it will slow to 4x.

By default, Nero doesn't give an accurate representation of the writing speed. It shows the chosen speed and not the actual speed. There is a reg hack though that will allow it to show actual speed though.

Like I said before, get some other media. Pick up something that's made in Japan.. or at least some Verbatim's and give it another try.
"Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt." - Steve Jobs
User avatar
Ian
Grand Poobah
 
Posts: 14882
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 2:34 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Postby rahzel on Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:08 pm

yeah because 14 minutes is the average burn time for 4x.

this probably isnt likely, but maybe your memorex discs are only recognized as 4x in the BenQ drive for some reason.

if they are only burning at 4x, again, updating the firmware might fix the problem.
rahzel
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:31 pm

Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:23 pm

rahzel wrote:yeah because 14 minutes is the average burn time for 4x.

this probably isnt likely, but maybe your memorex discs are only recognized as 4x in the BenQ drive for some reason.

if they are only burning at 4x, again, updating the firmware might fix the problem.


I've seen Memorex 8x DVD+Rs held back to 4x before. CMCMAGE01. It was the Director's Cut style discs... and they SUCKED. This was on the DW1640 as well.
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

The Progression of Computer Media
User avatar
dolphinius_rex
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 6923
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2003 6:14 pm
Location: Vancouver B.C. Canada

Postby thegdog on Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:30 pm

Ian wrote:Before exchanging it, I'd try other media. The way it sounds, the DW1640 is writing to those Memorex discs at only 4x.. probably due to poor quality.

My Memorex 16x DVD+R media will only burn at 8x on my BenQ 1640, even with OverSpeed enabled. I've tried clearing the drive memory, but it seems like the BenQ drive just doesn't find the media stable enough to burn faster.

Could definitely be the same for the 8x discs as well.
thegdog
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:38 am

Postby thegdog on Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:33 pm

Ian wrote:By default, Nero doesn't give an accurate representation of the writing speed. It shows the chosen speed and not the actual speed. There is a reg hack though that will allow it to show actual speed though.


Here is the hack:
1. With Nero closed, go to Start | Run and type REGEDIT and press Enter

2. Go to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ahead\Nero - Burning Rom\Recorder"

3. Go to Edit | New | DWORD Value

4. Rename "New Value #1" to "ShowSingleRecorderSpeed"

5. Click on it and select "Modify"

6. Now set the value 0 to 1

7. Launch Nero.

Now Nero will show the actual burn speed as it burns. You will see it bounce all around.
thegdog
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:38 am

Postby dodecahedron on Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:04 pm

instructions for the registry hack can be found in the FAQ.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie
-- JRRT
M.C. Escher - Reptilien
User avatar
dodecahedron
DVD Polygon
 
Posts: 6865
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2002 12:04 am
Location: Israel

Postby bluestreak on Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:09 am

hey all, thanks for all the input.

well, i tried another burn using fujifilm 8x dvd-r on the 1640.

and you guys were right, it was the memorex that was giving
the 1640 problems.

the fujifilm media burned at 8x and successfully burned with about
89-94% buffer level in about 8 min.

even though that's not as quick as the pioneer 108, i've decided to keep
the 1640.

i'm just happy it's not a dud, and i don't have to sweat about returning
it and choosing something else.

only thing is, i had to waste 6 discs.
well at least i have a bunch of backups.

on a side note, is there media that i should be looking at for this burner.
i always figured i would be getting memorex because they usually
go on sale at futureshop or best buy.

and i only got fujifilm because i was told to try other media.

is fujifilm considered good quality, what about sony?

there isn't much selection at FS or BB

well, thanks again for all the input.
bluestreak
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:24 pm

Postby thegdog on Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:24 am

bluestreak wrote:is fujifilm considered good quality, what about sony?

FujiFilm media that is made in Japan is considered good quality (as that usually means its Taiyo Yuden media). The Fuji TY media is quite good for the price. I did buy some made in Taiwan Fuji media (DVD-R) and it was just horrible.

In general, media made in Japan tends to be of higher quality than media made in Taiwan.

You can get often get better deals online than at Best Buy.

And I've heard good things about the Sony media, but read enough forum posts and you'll hear plenty of good and bad about pretty much anything. :)
thegdog
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:38 am

Postby rahzel on Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:43 am

thegdog wrote:
bluestreak wrote:is fujifilm considered good quality, what about sony?

FujiFilm media that is made in Japan is considered good quality (as that usually means its Taiyo Yuden media). The Fuji TY media is quite good for the price. I did buy some made in Taiwan Fuji media (DVD-R) and it was just horrible.

In general, media made in Japan tends to be of higher quality than media made in Taiwan.

You can get often get better deals online than at Best Buy.

And I've heard good things about the Sony media, but read enough forum posts and you'll hear plenty of good and bad about pretty much anything. :)

MIJ Fujifilm media is always TY media AFAIK, but theyre becoming more rare in North America.
rahzel
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:31 pm


Return to DVD Writers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

All Content is Copyright (c) 2001-2017 CDRLabs Inc.