Alright, I actually signed up just to add my two cent's worth here. Hopefully this informaton is useful and doesn't invite a storm of controversey.
dodecahedron wrote:just checked LG's website, absolutely no difference there between the 4167 and 4166 except for LightScribe and DVD+R DL 8x (of course they don't say anything about PCAV/CAV etc.)
i wonder why they 'downgraded' the 16x PCAV of the 4167 to the 16x CAV of the 4166. the 4166 is the newer model, no ?
This isn't a case of a downgrade or upgrade. The two drives use entirely different chipsets. The 4166B uses a Panasonic chipset; the 4167B (and 4163B) use a Renesas chipset. The use of P-CAV seems to be a property of the Renesas chipset. My guess is that the Panasonic chipset used in the 4166B does not support P-CAV. Panasonic chipsets have been used in a few OEM GWA model writers and AFAIK, those all use CAV for 16x writing as well, not P-CAV.
dodecahedron wrote:more questions about the 4167/63/maybe also 66:
4. why DVD+R 8x ZCLV and not PCAV ? (has this been discussed before? i can't remember)
I can't comment on the 4166B but this seems to be something that LG believes in. At the time the 4163B came out, it was the first drive that supported three different types of write strategies for DVD media : CLV, Z-CLV and P-CAV. My guess is it was something the engineers in LG dreamed up. The 4167B seems to have followed this trend. Burn times with Z-CLV at 8x are not shabby anyway.
In the same token, you can ask why other writers use CAV for 16x writes, when P-CAV obviously does 16x writes faster.
Btw, both the 4163B/4167B use Z-CLV for 8x DVD-R and 8x DVD+RW burns as well. I know the 4166B uses it for burning 8x media but which ones, I am not sure. Note that 4163B/4167B does Z-CLV at 6x->8x whereas the 4166B does it at 4x->8x. This is also probably something inherent in the chipsets used.
dodecahedron wrote:5. why no DVD-R 12x ? is this just an omission in the specs or does the drive really not do that ?
Actually, the 4167B does indeed support 12x burns for DVD-R but it is not selectable. If you burn a DVD-R at 16x and the writer finds that it cannot reach 16x, it falls back to 12x. Same behaviour with the 4163B. I know this for a fact because my 4163B is in a computer that for some reason does not allow it to burn at 16x. As a result, it always burns 16x DVD-R discs at 12x. Why LG does not make 12x selectable is something which has been irritating 4163B/4167B owners for some time, seeing as that often produces the best burn quality with quite a few makes of 16x DVD-R discs.
Btw, the 4166B does do 12x burns for 16x DVD-R media (and 12x is selectable). Another idiotic chipset property again?