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In House Review - BenQ DW1640 16x DVD±RW

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In House Review - BenQ DW1640 16x DVD±RW

Postby Ian on Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:59 pm

Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth review of BenQ's new 16x DVD±RW, the DW1640. While affordably priced, the drive features some of the fastest reading and writing speeds available. The DW1640 is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW and 6x DVD-RW writing speeds and has a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. More importantly, it's the first drive from BenQ with the ability to write to both DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media. The DW1640 also includes features like 48x CD reading and writing speeds, 32x rewriting speeds, and support for new technologies like SolidBurn and OverSpeed.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the DW1640 and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does BenQ's new drive have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

[url=http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=270]Image
BenQ DW1640 16x DVD±RW[/url]

As usual, the Digital Dolphin has gone the extra mile when it comes to media testing. If you have any comments or questions about this review or the DW1640, please post them in the forum using the link provided below.
Last edited by Ian on Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Scour on Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:09 pm

Hello!

Great review, dolphinius_rex =D>

A lot of work, I guess.

I don´t have read all, but I´m will do itz :)
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:46 pm

Scour wrote:Hello!

Great review, dolphinius_rex =D>

A lot of work, I guess.

I don´t have read all, but I´m will do itz :)


Heh... this review nearly killed me :lol:

It was worth it though! My only regret is not having access to SolidBurn and OverClock in time to include them in the review. I also wanted to do cascade testing on DVDRW media, but didn't have enough time. It's possible this might be added later though.
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Postby Scour on Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:28 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:My only regret is not having access to SolidBurn and OverClock in time to include them in the review. I also wanted to do cascade testing on DVDRW media, but didn't have enough time. It's possible this might be added later though.


Maybe you can do it when the next Benq (with DVD-RAM) is on the sale
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Postby stix on Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:46 am

Digital Dolphin:
I recently revisited the question of Buying a DVD Burner (Has been a hobby for a couple of years, I don't own one yet) and started researching it. Was leaning toward the new Benq DW 1640 given the way the wind was blowing around here, and almost ordered one a few days ago. Read ExtremeMHz review. Wanted to wait a little longer to see if your review came out, and there it was Thursday morning. Thanks, I'm happy! My DW 1640 is on its way via Fed Ex. Price went up $2 from Wednesday to Thursday on the Beige drive, $4 on the Black. (Did they read the review and then raise the price, or does demand spike when the review comes out and price goes up, or just coincidence?)
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Postby RJW on Fri Aug 26, 2005 4:51 am

Okay a few points I like to make.
Really Nice overview with the PDF this safes me and some other folks much time.

However I have to say that the LAY-out was sloweing down my system to much that I only read half of the results. Maybe I take a look at the rest when I got the other system connected or at another place.
Probally the only thing which is bad when it comes to the current reviews.

Really with this ammount of results it's not funny to load on slow computers or connections.
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Postby Gabe on Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:08 am

Great review, man :D

I see you have problems with some CMC-media? I insert a Memorex DVD-R 4x (burned with LG 4040)with this code: CMC MAG. AF1 and the 1640 didn´t recognize it, tested it with different FW. Do you have the same prob?

But I had no prob with HP DVD+R 8x CMC MAG-E01-000:

http://apparat.ap.funpic.de/viewtopic.php?p=2714#2714

What problem do you had with this media?
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Postby articulate on Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:18 am

Considering the "Lows" that are mentioned (which I would say are not exactly minor points), I don't quite understand how the drive rated a "9" for performance....
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Postby Ian on Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:59 am

RJW wrote:However I have to say that the LAY-out was sloweing down my system to much that I only read half of the results. Maybe I take a look at the rest when I got the other system connected or at another place.


I was waiting for someone to complain about this. #-o Yes.. the review format sucks. We know.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:36 am

Gabe wrote:Great review, man :D

I see you have problems with some CMC-media? I insert a Memorex DVD-R 4x (burned with LG 4040)with this code: CMC MAG. AF1 and the 1640 didn´t recognize it, tested it with different FW. Do you have the same prob?

But I had no prob with HP DVD+R 8x CMC MAG-E01-000:

http://apparat.ap.funpic.de/viewtopic.php?p=2714#2714

What problem do you had with this media?


Unfortunately, I used my last CMC MAG AF1 on my previous review, so I had no more for use in this review (and it's not available for purchase anymore). As for CMC MAG E01, I some INCREDIBLE results from it for the most part... although the quality of CMC can vary quite a bit! The Memorex Director's Cut media I tested wasn't able to even finish the burn without failing! So I suppose you could say I received my best and worst scores (or very close to them at least) from CMC MAG E01 :wink:
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:52 am

articulate wrote:Considering the "Lows" that are mentioned (which I would say are not exactly minor points), I don't quite understand how the drive rated a "9" for performance....


So why did I give it a 9, and give it an award, despite:

Questionable writing quality when recording some DVD-R media at 16x
Questionable writing quality with some DVD+R DL media
Poor CD-RW writing quality with Ultraspeed+ CD-RW media
Has a 2048KB buffer
Documentation could be better
Doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format

???

I'll break it down for you:

Questionable writing quality when recording some DVD-R media at 16x :
Poor CD-RW writing quality with Ultraspeed+ CD-RW media

These are probably the two most legitimate problems the drive has right now. With the case of Ultraspeed+ CD-RWs, I don't consider it a huge issue however, since the user base is VERY small, and most people generally use 12x or 24x CD-RWs, which this drive can handle ok (not great, but ok). As for 16x DVD-Rs, it is deffinately something I'd like to see improved! What worries me the most is the problem with TY's 16x DVD-Rs... but what worries me even MORE is the fact that this media seems not well supported in several other drives as well :o


Questionable writing quality with some DVD+R DL media:
Really, the drive performed as well or better then most other drives on the market in this area. Face it, Ritek media sucks for DVD+RDL, and Ritek made Ricoh isn't much better. Verbatim media performed a *LOT* better when not overclocked to 4x it's rated speed (2.4x media overclocked to 8x), however even when burned this quickly, it still worked. Stick to something more reasonable like 4x and you'll see much better results :wink:

Has a 2048KB buffer:
Really... this is more of a joke almost. Only Plextor has anything different, and it's not like it matters much anyways anymore.

Documentation could be better:
The documentation DOES suck... but doesn't affect performance :wink:

Doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format:
Haven't seen to many drives that HAVE.... and again, this isn't a performance issue.

Now.... what REALLY made me give this drive a 9 (and actually, I was borderline giving it a 10 for some time!) was the fact that out of more then a hundred different media types and brands burned, only a VERY small amount could not be read back on the drive!! It's not like your average review, where only 15 or 25 or even 50 discs were tested... I did over 150 recorded burns on this drive to come up with my opinion of it. And on top of that even, the drive is also a power house when it comes to transfer rates on media.

I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who reviewed this drive who was NOT impressed with it! :wink:
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Postby articulate on Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:01 am

...thank you for enlightening me, and for the very painstaking and passionate review! =D>
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Postby RJW on Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:30 pm

Ian wrote:
RJW wrote:However I have to say that the LAY-out was sloweing down my system to much that I only read half of the results. Maybe I take a look at the rest when I got the other system connected or at another place.


I was waiting for someone to complain about this. #-o Yes.. the review format sucks. We know.


See it from the positive site it's the only point I can complain about. :o
Also it seems that the main slow down was caused by fragmentation.
But befor blaimeing me for maitainening the old system bad. That page was the only one which performed that frustating.
Currently the loading is acceptable again but still it's something that wouldn't require that much work to fix or am I overlooking a mayor issue here.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:47 pm

RJW wrote:See it from the positive site it's the only point I can complain about. :o
Also it seems that the main slow down was caused by fragmentation.
But befor blaimeing me for maitainening the old system bad. That page was the only one which performed that frustating.
Currently the loading is acceptable again but still it's something that wouldn't require that much work to fix or am I overlooking a mayor issue here.


Well, If all I did was post links to pictures, instead of having thumbnails as well, then the loading time would probably be less then half as long.... but less data would be easily accessible.

At the same time... I can't even IMAGINE loading the performance page on a 56K modem! :o
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Postby Scour on Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:52 pm

RJW wrote:
However I have to say that the LAY-out was sloweing down my system to much that I only read half of the results.


I know, what you mean. With a 56k-Modem the site is so slow that I had seen not all pictures, because my browser shows ready before it can load all pics.
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Postby burninfool on Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:22 pm

Great review Dolph.
As for CMC E01:they work great with my DW800A and DW1640...very low PIE/PIF and never a coaster.Also for those that are considering the DW1640:since all BenQ's are based on the Philips chipset they have and probably always will do better with +R.
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Postby Ian on Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:30 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:The Memorex Director's Cut media I tested wasn't able to even finish the burn without failing!


These have that scratch proof coating right? I wonder if that was the problem.
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Postby Wesociety on Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:35 pm

What? No 4x or 2x DVD media tested?
Just kidding...
Insane amount of media, testing and time put in.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:07 pm

Ian wrote:
dolphinius_rex wrote:The Memorex Director's Cut media I tested wasn't able to even finish the burn without failing!


These have that scratch proof coating right? I wonder if that was the problem.


That's possible... the Maxell Pro and BQ media both have scratch proof coatings and they didn't perform as well as the Maxell 8x DVD-R Plus series, or regular consumer grade, both of which do *NOT* have a scratch proof coat. I'm willing to bet it's partially a problem recroding through the layer, and partially memorex/CMC screwing the layer up!
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:08 pm

Wesociety wrote:What? No 4x or 2x DVD media tested?
Just kidding...
Insane amount of media, testing and time put in.
=D>


I tested lot's of 4x DVD-Rs, and some 2x DVDRs... but I didn't include the pics, since I knew 56K'ers were going to be reading it. I'd be happy to forward you all the pics however if you want :wink: (or you could just look at the PDF I made and released previously).
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Postby stix on Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:26 pm

re: review format, slow page loading :( etc.

I use a 56K dial-up modem. No big deal.

Waiting a few minutes is a small price to pay for free access to a very thorough review that must have taken hours to produce.

I want to read a very well done piece of work, I take the time required.

8)
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Postby MonsterMan on Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:44 pm

Ian wrote:
RJW wrote:However I have to say that the LAY-out was sloweing down my system to much that I only read half of the results. Maybe I take a look at the rest when I got the other system connected or at another place.


I was waiting for someone to complain about this. #-o Yes.. the review format sucks. We know.


Me, perhaps? :wink:

I'm still on dialup...but not for long! My new rig is done* so I can start spending on other things.

I just got a Samsung TS-H552U DVD+RW drive (in place of a cheap combo drive). Fast & quiet. Don't care about burn quality on that one. But, I will be adding another drive. Either the 1640 or a Plex 716SA (I like the SATA drive!)...

*=And how shall we say, umm, "FAST!!!" Me likey the Athlon 64 3700+!!!
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:09 pm

I just want to say thank you to everyone's incredible compliments! I'm really touched by all of your support, and promise to keep up the quality you've come to know and expect from me, in my future reviews!! :D

My goal is to offer drive reviews that will have something of interest for anyone, no matter where in the world they are located! And to that end I try to include as much international media as I can! :) And I'm always acception donations of media to this end as well :wink:

And yes... this review did take a long time to make... roughly 40 hours weekly, for about 8-9 weeks. At over 150 burns, and roughly 3 hours of testing per disc, then add the transfer rate tests, and the time taken to write and edit the actual review.

FYI... next time I'll be keeping it closer to ~100 burns I think.... 150 nearly killed me :lol:
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Postby Scour on Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:28 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:
FYI... next time I'll be keeping it closer to ~100 burns I think.... 150 nearly killed me :lol:


:)

Yes, you can begin with 8x-media, because 2x and 4x-media is getting rare, except some Infosmart-media :-?

Maybe you only scan with a Benq and a Liteon-drive, the graphs are easier to read (for me), and you save much time.

Can you tell us, what´s the next drive you want review?
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Postby Qyngali on Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:25 pm

Nice review, just a small correction/addendum. It does report C2 errors with Nero CD/DVD Speed, but not with EAC. This was confirmed by Erik Deppe over at the cdfreaks forum.

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