Home News Reviews Forums Shop


In House Review - Samsung SH-S203B 20x DVD±RW/RAM

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

In House Review - Samsung SH-S203B 20x DVD±RW/RAM

Postby Ian on Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:09 pm

Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth look at Samsung's new Serial ATA equipped "Super WriteMaster" drive, the SH-S203B. This highly anticipated drive features some of the fastest reading and writing speeds available. The SH-S203B is capable of 20x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW and 12x DVD-RAM writing speeds and has a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. On top of that, it's the first drive to offer both 16x DVD+R DL and 12x DVD-R DL writing speeds.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the SH-S203B and see how it compares to some of the 18x and 20x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does the SH-S203B have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

[url=http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=306]Image
Samsung SH-S203B 20x DVD±RW/RAM[/url]

If you have any comments or questions about this review or the Samsung SH-S203B, please post them in the forum.
Last edited by Ian on Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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 DrageMester on Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:33 pm

Thanks for the review, Ian. =D>

It looks like an interesting drive, but unfortunately I don't have room for a SATA burner in my current setup.

You mention "only a 2048 KB buffer" as one of the lows of the drive. I don't know of any current DVD burner that has a larger buffer than this, do you?
Only a few earlier generation burners have had larger buffers (e.g. the Plextor PX-716 and PX-712 series), so I'd consider 2048 KB to be a normal sized buffer and neither a high nor low of this particular drive.
Pioneer DVR-112L, LiteOn SHM-165P6S, Pioneer DVR-111L, BenQ DW1655, Plextor PX-760A
LiteOn LH-20A1P, Optiarc AD-7203A, Matshita UJ-840S, Sony RDR-HX910, Sony RDR-HX750
User avatar
DrageMester
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:13 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby MediumRare on Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:16 pm

Good review (as always), Ian.

2 things come to mind while reading it:
- another drive that manages to write a DVD significantly faster than it can read. it. Wouldn't you think that the manufacturers would jump on the chance to have a unique property like 20x reading speed? :roll:
- the drive supports Mt. Rainier. =D> What practical consequences does that have? Does it only work together with InCD (like MRW CD-Burners)?

G
User avatar
MediumRare
CD-RW Translator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2003 3:08 pm
Location: ffm

Postby SithTracy on Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:24 pm

DrageMester wrote:so I'd consider 2048 KB to be a normal sized buffer and neither a high nor low of this particular drive.
Agree... and I still have a PX-716A... But I also have three SH-S203B's and it is an excellent drive. It did take a driver update from Intel (Matrix Storage Manager) for me to really appreciate this drive... I use it in AHCI mode. I put one in a Galaxy Metal Gear eSATA/USB box (5202AUAS) so I could use it @ work too. I also tried in on the Jmicron e-SATA port on my PC and it worked great (hot plugged in AHCI mode on that too).

My latest SH-S203B shipped with Nero Express v7.9.6.4, not that I'll bother using it.

Great review Ian.
User avatar
SithTracy
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:18 pm
Location: S.E. WI, U.S.A.

Postby Ian on Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:39 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys.

The comment about the buffer is just wishful thinking. As you guys pointed out, we haven't seen a drive with a buffer larger than 2MB in a number of years. Even if it was bigger, its not really going to give you more than a few milliseconds when the drive is writing at 20x.

I'm hoping that a company like ASUS comes out with a drive that can read as fast as it writes. They already have a pair of DVD-ROM drives that can read at 18x.

Mt. Rainier support isn't going to give you much. It was never built into operating systems so you're still going to need some 3rd party software like InCD, DLA, etc. I'm really surprised that Samsung is still including support for it in their drives. Maybe they read that one guy's petition? :wink:
"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 Ian on Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:40 pm

Also, if you're wondering why I didn't include 8x DVD+R DL media from Ridata or Philips (CMC) in this review, its because they were both limited to only 4x. :cry: Actually, that's probably a good speed for them.
"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 DrageMester on Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:27 am

Ian wrote:I'm hoping that a company like ASUS comes out with a drive that can read as fast as it writes. They already have a pair of DVD-ROM drives that can read at 18x.

C0deKing over at CDFreaks is experimenting with unofficial firmware that enables 18x and 20x reading in the new LiteOn 20A3 series drives.

Here's the thread if you're interested (the firmware is not available yet, however):

LiteOn First ### 18x and 20x reading ### Sub 4 minute read of a full DVD (at CDFreaks forums)
Pioneer DVR-112L, LiteOn SHM-165P6S, Pioneer DVR-111L, BenQ DW1655, Plextor PX-760A
LiteOn LH-20A1P, Optiarc AD-7203A, Matshita UJ-840S, Sony RDR-HX910, Sony RDR-HX750
User avatar
DrageMester
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:13 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Scour on Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:28 pm

Nice review, Ian :)

I´m truly surprised by the performance of thsi writer, much better than Samsung drives in the past.

Could it be that this drive beats Liteon 20x-drives in quality?
Benq DW 1640, LG GH-20N, Pioneer BDR-208
Crucial M4, Sandisk SSD, Plextor M5S, Sandisk Ultra Plus, OCZ Petrol 256GB

cu
Scour
Scour
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 1909
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Germany

Postby Ian on Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:36 pm

Scour wrote:Could it be that this drive beats Liteon 20x-drives in quality?


It's definitely better than the LH-20A1L. Lite-On still hasn't released a firmware update for that drive.
"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 Bhairav on Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:11 am

Ian, any issues on an NF4 platform with the drive? I see you tested it with an AM2 motherboard, with a 570/590 chipset.

The reason I ask.. my neverending woes with a Pio 212 and my NF4 motherboard :cry:
Q6600@3.1Ghz | Asus P5Q-E | 4GB DDR2-800 | 8800GT | 4TB HDD | Viewsonic vx2025wm
Xonar DX | Pioneer DVR-212 | Pioneer 111L | Benq 1655
User avatar
Bhairav
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 5:44 am
Location: Bombay,India

Postby Ian on Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:14 am

I did have the drive stop responding a few times, but that's happened with all SATA drives so far.
"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 DrageMester on Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:58 am

Ian wrote:I'm hoping that a company like ASUS comes out with a drive that can read as fast as it writes. They already have a pair of DVD-ROM drives that can read at 18x.

Thanks to C0deKing over at CDFreaks, you can now get unofficial firmware that increases read speed of this drive (and the 202G) to 18x. There's also a version that increases both read and write speed (12x P-CAV instead of 12x CAV writing).

Samsung S202G/S203B Fast Burn and Fast Read Patched Firmware

Since I don't have either of these drives myself, I haven't tested this firmware.

Please keep in mind that using unofficial firmware voids the warranty on a drive.
Pioneer DVR-112L, LiteOn SHM-165P6S, Pioneer DVR-111L, BenQ DW1655, Plextor PX-760A
LiteOn LH-20A1P, Optiarc AD-7203A, Matshita UJ-840S, Sony RDR-HX910, Sony RDR-HX750
User avatar
DrageMester
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:13 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dartman on Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:21 am

I have the drive on a NF4 amd asus board and so far on the native ports it works OK, on the raid ports, which are sil 3114 it would drop off or not work depending on which port it was on with my LG h62l. I also had some problems on the native ports with it when I had another driver loaded, or the Intel one, I eventually did a repair install after it ate my boot.ini and after sorting that and getting the right drivers installed both it and the LG work.
The drive isn't as godlike as most folks seem to be getting but it is fast and most burns are OK. I have loaded codekings FW and it does speed up 12x speed a bunch but quality is the same, haven't played with read speed or anything else yet.
User avatar
Dartman
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 1549
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 2:13 pm
Location: USA

Postby LoneWolf on Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:14 pm

I'm intrigued. May look into allocating some funds for a pair of these in the next couple of months.
Intel Q9450 @3.2GHz, Gigabyte GA EP45-UD3P, 4 x 2GB G.Skill @4-4-4-12
Antec P160SW case (modded), Xigmatek 750w PSU
3x 500GB (RAID-5), , OptiArc 7200S, ASUS E818A3T
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer, Hauppauge HVR-1800, Radeon 4890
Dell 2407WFP
User avatar
LoneWolf
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 4:41 pm
Location: Meecheegan

Postby peterd on Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:36 pm

I'm thinking of one of these for a new build and notice the B, D and N models advertised.

I realise that the N is lightscribe, but what's the difference between the D and the B? The D is slightly more expensive.

I've searched tinternet but can't seem to find a comparision.

Cheers
peterd
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:38 pm

Postby JASTECH on Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:42 pm

Ian, yes very good review. Thanks to CDRLabs I purchased 2 of the Sammy SH-203B drives and am very happy. I have burned a few movie (back-ups) and just a couple of CD-R's. I have not received any replies on my questions under Media so I am not sure on using the CD's I purchased or send them back before it's too late in a couple of days. I also have a few Plextors, SONY's and others that are only like 4X so they sit on the shelf. Thanks again to you and this board for helping noobs in the Disk Arena, lol. Thanks, JAS
CM Stacker 832, GA-X38-DQ6, Q6600, G.Skill 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR2 1000 Dual Kit, EVGA 8800 GTS 640MB 320-bit, 4x Seagate ST3250410AS
2x Samsung SH-S203B,Zalman ZM-MFC2<--"For Sale or trade", HIPER HPU-4B580-MS, Microsoft VISTA Ultimate 64bit
JASTECH
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:23 pm

Postby Ian on Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:26 pm

Thanks for the compliments JASTECH. I responded to your question about that media the best I could. Hopefully there are others that have experience with it.
"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

DAE : cache or no cache ?

Postby tourrilhes on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:04 pm

Hi all,

I was planning to buy a drive to do DAE with EAC, and therefore looking for a drive with all the appropriate features.
The review on this site mention in the "CD DAE" section that this drive "caches audio data".
On the other hand, the review on CDfreaks tells the drive "doesn’t support caching". The web site www.deafeature.co.uk also list this drive with no caching support, and it seems that the CDfreaks forums support this view.
Could someone explain the discrepancy ?

By the way, thanks for the reviews, it's very helpful navigating the array of choices available.

Thanks in advance...

Jean
tourrilhes
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:19 pm

Postby Ian on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:21 pm

I'm not sure tourrilhes. It could be any number of things.. firmware version, software version, etc.

I'm testing the SH-S203N right now so I'll look into it a bit more.
"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 Ian on Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:43 pm

I'm going to have to go back and reinstall the SH-S203B. The Sh-S203N says that it doesn't do caching.
Attachments
Samsung SH-S203N EAC.png
Samsung SH-S203N EAC.png (5.36 KiB) Viewed 4009 times
"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 Ian on Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:52 pm

And now the SH-S203B says that it doesn't do caching either. Very weird.. in any case, the screenshot in the review isn't right.
"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 tourrilhes on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:40 pm

Ian wrote:And now the SH-S203B says that it doesn't do caching either. Very weird.. in any case, the screenshot in the review isn't right.


Thanks a lot for taking the time investigating that ! I'm sorry that it happened to be a can of worms, I would not want to delay your review ;-)

I've been googling cache issues. A few bit I gathered...
It seems that different tools report caching support differently. But, this would depend on cache size. It seems that if the read cache is below 64 kB, for EAC this is equivalent to no cache, because it always overrun the cache :
http://www.digital-inn.de/exact-audio-c ... post106824

The second thing I looked is a tool called "Cache Explorer". For my drive, one one system (UP) it reports no cache, on another system (SMP) it reports varying cache size. This tool does not seem the be very reliable, or maybe SMP is the issue (are you using a dual core ?).

Lastly, one one web page on hydrogenaudio they say that the authoritative way to test cache is to put a scratched CD, disable both cache and C2 in EAC and check if EAC finds errors while ripping. This seems to be totally non-practical as far as review is concerned. And I'm not sure it's authoritative, if no errors are reported it could be that the drive report the same consistent error.

Sorry again for opening a can of worms. I guess that EAC cache test is probably the best we have.

Good luck with your review...

Jean
tourrilhes
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:19 pm

Postby Ekstasis on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:46 pm

Does this drive exist for the IDE Interface, or only SATA ?
I only have sata through a controller card...
Ekstasis
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:37 pm

Postby SithTracy on Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:39 am

The 202x series is the IDE equivalent of the 203B, but it does not perform as well as the 203B according to scans I have seen.
User avatar
SithTracy
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:18 pm
Location: S.E. WI, U.S.A.


Return to DVD Writers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

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