I bought a CenDyne 52x24x52 (Lite-On), a BusLink 52x24x52(AOpen), and a Pacific Digital 52x24x52 (Top-G) from Staples and OfficeMax last several weeks. Here is the comparison of them on VCD or Music CD copy. I use single CD-RW for both reading and writing. The software I used were NTI, Nero, CloneCD.
Three of them have the same writing speed - about 2 min to write a 420MB VCD, which is multimedia audow CD. However, Lite-On is much faster on the reading part, about 2 min 30 seconds. The reading speed was also increasing during reading. AOpen and Top-G took about 5 min to read with a constant 8x speed. I don't know how to increase AOpen's or Top-G's reading speed for a VCD or Music CD. Can some one share your experience? Thanks. For a data CD copy, both Aopen and Top-G was as fast as Lite-On, which used the same 2 min.
I tested with various bland CD-R media. Lite-On had big problem to recognize MANY media such as I/OMagic 48x, Philips 48x, Precision 40x, and OfficeMax's ValueDisc. Sometime it took a long time to pick up. Both AOpen and Top-G had no any problem with these media.
AOpen was little bit faster than Top-G, but much noisier.
Conclusion: If I can resolve the reading speed problem with AOpen for music CD or VCD, then AOpen is definitely better than Lite-On ! Please let me know your comments and suggestion to resolve this issue.