Well, c't has another DVD-burner test- this time 16x drives. The test is in issue 21/2004 om sale in Europe on Monday (tomorrow). So here is another

long post.

They tested 9 drives, but some differ only in firmware:

- Asus and Pioneer (but Pioneer was the "XL" model, hence quieter)

- BenQ, Philips and NuTech

- LiteOn and Teac.

The effects of the firmware are

significant!

DVD results are based on Audiodev CATS scans. CD's were spot checked with a Plextor Premium and were all very good except for Philips (which produced errors at > 24x).

They had a close look at the 16x and DL media. All drives burned the Verbatim DL media well, most had problems with Ritek. 16x is very problematic- only 5 of 19 16x burns were readable, and even those would have been better at 12x. The problem is that the highest writing speed is reached in the outer regions where the physical variations of the disc is greatest as well.

It's interesting to look at the 16x speed graphs (apparently CD-Speed Data Disc)- you can readily tell which drives have the same hardware. The weirdest one is the LG which uses ZCLV in 2x steps, but goes from 14x to 10x instead of 16x.

As before, I'll tabulate the quality index along with the rating (see

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=101936#101936 for a description of this index and the rating). I'll try to answer specific requests for more information as time allows.

The first table contains model and firmware and the c't rating for various categories:

- Code: Select all
` DVD Burns`

Quality Speed CD Reading Noise

Model + Firmware + / - + / - Speed/qual DVD / CD VideoDVD/CD

Asus 1.09 - / - + / + 0 / ++ ++ / 0 -- / +

DRW-1604P

BenQ B7H9 - / 0 ++ / - + / ++ 0 / + 0 / +

DW-1620

LiteOn BS0A - / - - / - + / ++ + / 0 0 / +

SOHW-1633S

LG A300 - / 0 + / 0 + / ++ 0 / 0 0 / +

GSA-4160B

NEC 2.16 0 / + 0 / 0 + / ++ 0 / 0 ++ / 0

ND-3500A

Nu Tech G7H9 0 / - + /-- + / ++ 0 / 0 0 / +

DDW-163

Philips 2.2 0 / 0 ++ / 0 + / + 0 / 0 + / +

DVDR1640K

Pioneer 1.10 0 / 0 + / + 0 / ++ ++ / 0 ++ / +

DVR-A08

Teac B4S2 -- / -- 0 / - ++ / ++ 0 / ++ + / 0

DV-W516G

The other 3 table contains the actual and recommended burning speed for the various media (

NO means "don't use"). The recommended speed is based on details of the scans, e.g. increased error or jitter rates in the outer (high speed) regions. In some cases, the media deviates from the ideal case, so a speed reduction won't help much. The second line shows the c't quality index and grade (# means POFs occurred).

First

DVD+R DL and DVD+R 16x media

- Code: Select all
` DVD+R DL DVD+R DL DVD+R 16x DVD+R 16x DVD+R 16x`

MCC (Sing.) Ritek (Tw) Ritek (Tw) Philips(Tw) MCC (Sing.)

MKM001 Ritek D01 Ritek R04 Philips C16 MCC 004

Model

Asus 4 / 2.4 / 4 / 2.4x 8 / 2.4x 12 / 4x

DRW-1604P 59 / + -277 / --# 44 / 0 61 / + -202 / --#

BenQ 2.4 / 2.4 / 16 / 12x 16 / 12x 16 / 12x

DW-1620 57 / + -182 / --# -319 / --# -270 / --# 49 / 0

LiteOn 2.4 / - / 4 / 4x 6 / NO 16 / 4x

SOHW-1633S 58 / + unreadable 45 / 0 -509 / --# -413 / --#

LG 2.4 / 2.4 / 4 / NO 4 / NO 14 / 12x

GSA-4160B 73 / + -112 / --# unreadable -339 / --# -309 / --#

NEC 4 / - / 4 / 4x 8 / 8x 16 / 6x

ND-3500A -136 / -- unreadable 53 / + 50 / + -5 / --

Nu Tech 2.4 / 2.4 / 12 / 12x 12 / 12x 16 / 8x

DDW-163 54 / + unreadable 65 / + 81 / ++ -23 / --

Philips 2.4 / 2.4 / 16 / 12x 16 / 12x 16 / 12x

DVDR1640K 70 / + 22 / - 51 / + -265 / --# 9 / -

Pioneer 4 / 2.4 / 4 / 4x 4 / 4x 16 / 4x

DVR-A08 66 / + -6 / -- 70 / + 73 / + 34 / 0

Teac 2.4 / 2.4 / 8 / NO 8 / NO 16 / 8x

DV-W516G 49 / + 5 / - -236 / --# -753 / --# -337 / --#

Next

DVD-R 8x media

- Code: Select all
` Maxell Verbatim Traxdata Plextor `

Maxell (Jp) MCC (Tw) Ritek (Tw) Taiyo Yuden

MXL RG03 MCC 02RG20 RITEKG05 TYG02 (Jp)

Model

Asus 12 / 6x 12 / 8x 12 / 8x 12 / 8x

DRW-1604P 56 / + -12 / -- -1 / -- -293 / --#

BenQ 10 / NO 8 / 8x 8 / 8x 16 / 12x

DW-1620 -590 / --# 66 / + 61 / + -565 / --#

LiteOn 8 / 4x 8 / 4x 8 / 6x 8 / 8x

SOHW-1633S -305 / --# -533 / --# -181 / --# 73 / +

LG 8 / 6x 8 / 6x 4 / 2x 8 / 8x

GSA-4160B 28 / 0 44 / 0 -7 / -- 71 / +

NEC 8 / 6x 12 / 8x 8 / 8x 12 / 8x

ND-3500A 76 / ++ -19 / -- 77 / ++ 47 / 0

Nu Tech error 8 / 4x 8 / NO 4 / 2x

DDW-163 unreadable -54 / -- 8 / - 48 / 0

Philips 8 / NO 8 / 8x 8 / NO 8 / 8x

DVDR1640K 8 / - 57 / + 14 / - 42 / 0

Pioneer 16 / 8x 12 / 6x 12 / 6x 12 / 12x

DVR-A08 -583 / --# -16 / -- 56 / + 75 / ++

Teac 8 / 4x 8 / 4x 8 / 6x 8 / 4x

DV-W516G -528 / --# -377 / --# -8 / -- -197 / --#

Finally

DVD+R 8x media

- Code: Select all
` Maxell Verbatim Ricoh Plextor `

Maxell (Jp) MCC (Tw) Ricoh (Tw) Taiyo Yuden

MAXELL 002 MCC 003 RICOHJPN R02 TYG02 (Jp)

Model

Asus 12 / 8x 12 / 8x 12 / 4x 16 / 6x

DRW-1604P -312 / --# -392 / --# -82 / --# -468 / --#

BenQ 12 / 8x 8 / 8x 16 / 12x 16 / 12x

DW-1620 -44 / -- -242 / --# -119 / --# -130 / --#

LiteOn 6 / 2.4x 8 / 4x 8 / 2.4x 8 / 8x

SOHW-1633S -384 / --# 12 / - -118 / --# 38 / 0

LG 12 / 6x 8 / 6x 12 / 12x 12 / 8x

GSA-4160B -354 / --# -518 / --# 56 / + 35 / 0

NEC 8 / 8x 12 / 8x 8 / 8x 16 / 12x

ND-3500A 69 / + 72 / + 53 / + -167 / --#

Nu Tech 4 / 8 / 4x 12 / NO 16 / 8x

DDW-163 unreadable 80 / ++ -388 / --# -541 / --#

Philips 8 / 8x 8 / 8x 8 / 8x 16 / 12x

DVDR1640K 77 / ++ -128 / -- 52 / + 51 / +

Pioneer 12 / NO 12 / 6x 12 / NO 12 / 8x

DVR-A08 13 / - -122 / --# -133 / --# -106 / --#

Teac 8 / 2.4x 8 / 4x 6 / NO 8 / NO

DV-W516G -188 / --# -617 / --# -152 / --# -500 / --#

Some particular remarks:

- LiteOn and Teac showed the poorest writing and best reading properties (almost a tradition )
- Pioneer was the only drive that achieved 4x on DL media
- Philips seems to do best with 16x burns
- NEC had the best overall resulst for 8x media
- LG is faster but pickier with media than NEC (previous tests showed that LG was conservative in writing speed but in return produced reliable results. This doesn't seem to be the case anymore)
- 8x Verbatim "Made in Taiwan" had large radial tracking errors
- 8x TY are best quality, sometime even @12x or 16x
- Verbatim DL "Made in Singapore" is excellent on all drives!
- Ricoh plans to introduce DL media in October. These will be produced with the "Inverse Stack System" in which 2 discs, each with part of the required layers, are glued together. This process is cheaper and has a higher yield than the present "2P" process (with all layers generated sequentially), so this media should be cheaper. However, the optic and thermal propreties vary so that most drives will require firmware updates to accomodate them.

That post was over 4 hours in the making and it's almost 1 a.m.

I'm off to bed.

G