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In House Review - LG GSA-4167B 16x Super-Multi DVD±RW/RAM

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

In House Review - LG GSA-4167B 16x Super-Multi DVD±RW/RAM

Postby Ian on Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:30 pm

CDRLabs kicks off the week with an in depth look at LG's latest "Super-Multi" drive, the GSA-4167B. LG's new drive not only sports some impressive specs, it supports all major DVD formats, including DVD-RAM. The GSA-4167B is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 6x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds as well as a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. The GSA-4167B also includes features like 48x CD reading and writing speeds, 32x rewriting speeds and a software bundle from Nero and CyberLink.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the GSA-4167B and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does LG's new "Super-Multi" drive have what it takes? Is it the fastest DVD writer around? You'll have to read the review to find out.

[url=http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=276]Image
LG GSA-4167B 16x Super-Multi DVD±RW/RAM[/url]

If you have any comments or questions about this review or the LG GSA-4167B, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below.
Last edited by Ian on Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ian on Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:37 pm

This review should have been published last week but I was waiting to hear from LG about the problems I had with Verbatim's 8x DVD+R DL media. As of right now, I haven't heard a good reason other than that the "media that you are using wasn't available when this drive was being developed thus the media code was not included in the drive.

This really doesn't make sense to me. If you open the DL12 firmware with MCSE and look at the list of supported DVD+R DL media you see this:

Code: Select all
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DVD+R9 Media Codes (9)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEFAULT -8X -00  [       4x,     8x           ]
INFOME  -D01-00  [ 2.4x                       ]
MKM     -001-00  [ 2.4x, 4x, 6x               ]
MKM     -003-00  [       4x,     8x           ]
PHILIPS -CD2-00  [ 2.4x                       ]
RICOHJPN-D00-01  [ 2.4x, 4x                   ]
RICOHJPN-D01-02  [       4x,     8x           ]
RITEK   -D01-01  [ 2.4x                       ]
RITEK   -S01-01  [ 2.4x                       ]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like RICOHJPN-D01 and MKM-003 should work at 4x and 8x. Different media revisions? I dunno..

Thoughts?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:10 pm

Wow... no support for CMC DVD+RDL :o
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Postby Scour on Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:31 pm

Hello!

Great review, Ian :)

The drive seems not to be very fast when reading DVD, but the writing-quality looks good for most media.

C16 and OPTODISCR16 looks bad, but I wonder how the Benq 1640 could read it so fast?
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Postby TCAS on Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:55 pm

Very thorough and good review and analysis, my only comment would that the drive overall rating should be based on its performance not its installation or features. The average user is dealing with performance on daily bases and installation is one time only and features rarely used. Costumer satisfaction is also depend on drive performance not installation or even features.
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Postby ala42 on Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:11 pm

Ian wrote:This review should have been published last week but I was waiting to hear from LG about the problems I had with Verbatim's 8x DVD+R DL media. As of right now, I haven't heard a good reason other than that the "media that you are using wasn't available when this drive was being developed thus the media code was not included in the drive.
Probably this statement was not made by the software developer :)
RICOHJPN-D01, MKM-003 and last but not least DEFAULT -8X -00 use the same speed id value inside the firmware, which is also used for +R/+RW/-R burning at 8x/4x, so I assume the guessed speed is ok. An entry in the speed table is one thing needed, but the implementation for 8x burning might still be missing, incomplete or disabled.
Also your MKM-003 disks might not conform to the standard. We saw the same problem with early Verbatim 8x +RW disks. Could you post the DVD Identifier output ?
LiteOn/Benq/LG/NEC/Pioneer/BTC/Samsung stuff: MediaCodeSpeedEdit tool
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:35 pm

TCAS wrote:Very thorough and good review and analysis, my only comment would that the drive overall rating should be based on its performance not its installation or features. The average user is dealing with performance on daily bases and installation is one time only and features rarely used. Costumer satisfaction is also depend on drive performance not installation or even features.


Well, I think the features of a drive need to be taken into consideration when scoring it out. Especially for drives made by Plextor and BenQ that have HUGE amounts of extra features. But I gotta agree, the ease of installation shouldn't affect the overall score really, but it's a flaw in the current system that all are aware of, and hopefully it will be fixed in due time :)
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Postby Ian on Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:37 pm

TCAS wrote:Very thorough and good review and analysis, my only comment would that the drive overall rating should be based on its performance not its installation or features. The average user is dealing with performance on daily bases and installation is one time only and features rarely used. Costumer satisfaction is also depend on drive performance not installation or even features.


We try to look at all aspects, not just the performance of a drive. Also, not everyone is an "expert". In fact, most of them are probably just normal consumers. For those, a good manual is a must.

I agree though, our ranking system and review layout need an overhaul. There are other things like value that need to be factored into the overall score.

ala42 wrote:Also your MKM-003 disks might not conform to the standard. We saw the same problem with early Verbatim 8x +RW disks. Could you post the DVD Identifier output ?


I thought about that too. Here's the MID for the media I have:

Code: Select all
0000 : e1 0f 32 10 00 03 00 00  00 fc ff ff 00 22 d7 ff   ..2.........."..
0010 : 00 00 03 4d 4b 4d 00 00  00 00 00 30 30 33 00 40   ...MKM.....003.@
0020 : 25 25 37 0c 02 2d 66 02  2d 66 21 23 0d 0e 14 14   %7..-f.-f!#....
0030 : 02 01 01 10 00 21 23 0d  0e 14 14 02 01 01 10 00   .....!#.........
0040 : 04 00 33 7b 5c 02 2b 64  2e 28 1c 0a 0a 20 02 01   ..3{\.+d.(... ..
0050 : 01 00 02 69 63 2e 2a 1c  0c 0c 20 03 02 01 00 72   ...ic.*... ....r
0060 : 84 00 02 53 67 2e 28 1c  0a 0a 20 02 01 01 00 00   ...Sg.(... .....
0070 : 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ................
0080 : 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ................
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Postby ItalianJob on Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:48 pm

Thanks for the review.
You 've found some bad points I hope LG will solve in next fw.

I'm thinking to buy a LG to second my BenQ 1620. Waiting for internal LG 4166 or 4168 for good & fast 16X writes, 8X DVD+RW, DVD-RAM & lightscribe... Some little things that my BenQ lacks.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:50 pm

ItalianJob wrote:Thanks for the review.
You 've found some bad points I hope LG will solve in next fw.

I'm thinking to buy a LG to second my BenQ 1620. Waiting for internal LG 4166 or 4168 for good & fast 16X writes, 8X DVD+RW, DVD-RAM & lightscribe... Some little things that my BenQ lacks.


Don't bother with the DW1620... go for the DW1640 :wink:

But if you want Lightscribe, then wait for the DW1655. I'll be reviewing it shortly I hope (and by shortly, I mean it should be ready in a few months :wink: )
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Postby Scour on Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:40 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:
Don't bother with the DW1620... go for the DW1640 :wink:


You know I like the Benq 1640 :D

But if I want a second writer I would go for an other manufacturer, not again Benq.
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Postby Ian on Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:01 pm

ItalianJob wrote:I'm thinking to buy a LG to second my BenQ 1620. Waiting for internal LG 4166 or 4168 for good & fast 16X writes, 8X DVD+RW, DVD-RAM & lightscribe... Some little things that my BenQ lacks.


Has anyone actually seen any official info on the 4168? From what I can gather, that model name was pure speculation. As it is, there are a number of cases where the 4166 out performs the 4167.
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Postby Scour on Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:30 pm

Ian wrote:Has anyone actually seen any official info on the 4168? From what I can gather, that model name was pure speculation. As it is, there are a number of cases where the 4166 out performs the 4167.


LG had announced the 4168 long time ago. Now I guess that it was renamed to 4166, because the 4168 should do LS.
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Postby Ian on Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:55 pm

LG needs to make up their minds about the name of their drives. The 4167B was originally going to support LS too. #-o
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Postby ItalianJob on Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:31 am

4168 doesn't exist yet but you can buy it on this new french site :
http://boutique.3dchips-fr.com/product_ ... ts_id/2817
:lol: IT'S a mistake... :wink:
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Postby Scour on Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:57 pm

ItalianJob wrote:4168 doesn't exist yet but you can buy it on this new french site :
http://boutique.3dchips-fr.com/product_ ... ts_id/2817
:lol: IT'S a mistake... :wink:


Looks like the older LG´s, from 4040 to 4163.

But I guess it´s a 4166
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Postby Justin42 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:33 pm

Ian wrote:
ItalianJob wrote:I'm thinking to buy a LG to second my BenQ 1620. Waiting for internal LG 4166 or 4168 for good & fast 16X writes, 8X DVD+RW, DVD-RAM & lightscribe... Some little things that my BenQ lacks.


Has anyone actually seen any official info on the 4168? From what I can gather, that model name was pure speculation. As it is, there are a number of cases where the 4166 out performs the 4167.


Sheesh, I just saw this after placing my order for a 4167. What do you mean by "out performs"? Spec-wise, or better burning quality?
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Postby Ian on Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:04 pm

Spec-wise. The writing quality of the 4166 isn't as good as the 4167 yet. LG doesn't seem to be in any hurry to fix it either. #-o
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Postby Justin42 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:12 pm

Ian wrote:Spec-wise. The writing quality of the 4166 isn't as good as the 4167 yet. LG doesn't seem to be in any hurry to fix it either. #-o


Oh, ok. Thanks for clarifying that. Since Lightscribe doesn't interest me THAAAAT much, it's good to hear. (although not good for those that want LS!)
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Postby steven2874 on Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:09 pm

Thanks for the well written balanced review. I recently bought one and really appreciate the FAST burning.
One point concerning DVD-RAM. I use this as a virtual min- HDD without any packet writing software (always seems to cause probs on my systems). I just format the RAM discs to FAT32 in XP. Works fine for me.
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LG GSA-4166 firmware 1.01

Postby ItalianJob on Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:52 am

LG GSA-4166B firmware 1.01 is available at cdrinfo.

Till it's not on LG site, consider this as an unofficial firmware.
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Re: LG GSA-4166 firmware 1.01

Postby Ian on Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:15 am

ItalianJob wrote:Till it's not on LG site, consider this as an unofficial firmware.


Yeah, this was extracted from a newer version of the drive. I'll give it a try anyway. It's gotta be better than the 1.00 firmware.
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Re: LG GSA-4166 firmware 1.01

Postby ItalianJob on Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:52 am

1.00 : 2005-09-09
1.01 : 2005-10-18
I hope it will stay so :D

Image

Firmware 1.01 seems to enhance the initial specs :
DVD-R DL 4X => DVD-R DL 6X
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Dec 24, 2005 4:31 am

maybe a silly question, but:
the review says it doesn't let you set the booktype of DVD+RW discs. does that mean that they are burned with booktype of DVD+RW or booktype of DVD-ROM ? (i assume the first is the right one).
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Postby Ian on Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:57 am

dodecahedron wrote:maybe a silly question, but:
the review says it doesn't let you set the booktype of DVD+RW discs. does that mean that they are burned with booktype of DVD+RW or booktype of DVD-ROM ? (i assume the first is the right one).


Yep, they're burned with a booktype of DVD+RW.
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