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What is the best drive for burn quality testing?

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

What is the best drive for burn quality testing?

Postby dodecahedron on Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:07 pm

Lite-On ? model ?
BenQ 1620 ?
any other candidates ?

voice your opinion! :)
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Postby Ian on Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:13 pm

You're opening a big can of worms here. :roll:
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Postby dodecahedron on Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:18 pm

i know :)

i also know there's no definite answer, or "correct" answer.

just curious to hear some free-for-all discussion and the opinions of people who do a lot of media testing.
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Postby Scour on Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:37 pm

Hello!

Don´t have so many writers by myself, but that is the experince of me and some friends:

Good quality:

1. LG 4082, 4120
2. Pioneer 107

No quality:

1. Liteon 811s
2. BTC 1008
3. QSI 042 (Laptop-drive)
Benq DW 1640, LG GH-20N, Pioneer BDR-208
Crucial M4, Sandisk SSD, Plextor M5S, Sandisk Ultra Plus, OCZ Petrol 256GB

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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:37 pm

My opinion:

The BenQ DW1620 or the Pioneer DVR-108... to be honest, I'm leaning more towards the BenQ DW1620 even (although I'm sure this is heresy! :o ).

It's a fast drive, with excellent burn quality, completely unrivaled firmware support that no other competing company even comes CLOSE to, and the ability to test your media with DVDInfoPro or Nero CD/DVD Speed when needed.

It also has automatic bitsetting for DVD+R/RW/9 media. And unlike almost every other drive in its' catagory, it DOESN'T require hacking to attain its' true potential! :D
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Postby Ian on Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:03 pm

The original question pertained to quality testing.. not which one gives the best quality.
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Postby RJW on Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:55 pm

pulstec SDP1000 Drive (calibrated. )
What do you think 9 out of 10 profesional analyzer systems use ?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:41 pm

Ian wrote:The original question pertained to quality testing.. not which one gives the best quality.


Doh!

For me it's a cross between the BenQ DW1620 and the Plextor PX-712a. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but at least the BenQ DW1620 isn't over priced and can also burn DVDRs :D

For my own testing, I now use a combination of LiteON 832s, BenQ DW1620, and Plextor PX-712a results to form an opinion of the disc's quality. But I also understand that this is not a normal situation :wink:
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Postby Scour on Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:12 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:
It's a fast drive, with excellent burn quality, completely unrivaled firmware support that no other competing company even comes CLOSE to, and the ability to test your media with DVDInfoPro or Nero CD/DVD Speed when needed.



Can it be that you exaggerate a little?

Maybe Benq is better than in the past (bad CD-writers from Acer/Benq), but I don´t think that Benq is superior :-?

I read the new review of the 1620 at cdrinfo, the quality with DVD-R seems to be much better, but the quality with DVD-+RW isn´t real good
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Postby burninfool on Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:48 pm

In my experience for DVD's the BenQ 8xx or 16xx writers using Nero CD-DVD Speed.I don't recommend using a DVD-ROM to check for errors,they are very inaccurate(esp. Lite-On).
The Lite-On 832 I tested varied a bit for DVD's but for CD's it was very consistant using KProbe.I prefer burning and testing CD's with my Lite-On drives because they consistantly have lower errors and support C2 checking.
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Postby Halc on Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:34 am

I agree with RJW :)

Even with no standard measure existing for dvd reading, a calibrated and sturdily built de facto standard is the best you are going to get in a single drive, imho.

In the consumer arena, I just don't know.

BenQ 1620 (Philips chipset, my unit at least) seems to read a lot of discs that others fail on. Is that then good for overall testing?

LiteON 8xx series (Mediatek chipset, my units) seem to crap out on some discs that are almost faultless on almost any other drive. Is that then good for testing?

Plextor 712 (Sanyo chipset, my unit) sometimes doesn't like a disc LiteOn likes. Sometimes a disc BenQ likes. Sometimes a disc AOpen likes. Is that then good for general testing?

Toshiba sd-m1802 (via chipset, my unit) seems to give out odd (unkown units) and is not as such fully supported by CD/DVD Speed. Hardly good for testing?

AOpen DVD-1648/AAP (ricoh chipset, my unit) seems to like most discs that BenQ likes, but usually gives a little higher error rates. On some discs it completely craps out, when others just churn good results. Is than then good for general testing?

LiteOn dvd-roms (Mediatek chipsets, 165, 166, my units) seem to produce results that are not consistent. I don't think they are reliable in any useful manner.

LG combo drives (mediatek chipsets) have same problems as above.

So, which one would I pick?

I'm sounding like a broken record here, but I'd pick AT LEAST 2-3 drives and I'd pick those drive makers/chipsets/models that are the most common (i.e. most sold/used).

Which models are those?

Haven't got a clue :)

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Postby RJW on Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:19 am

It seems that the Pulstec posted drive seems to be the drive that is used in R&D. It might not be a real standard. Still the fact that allmost all people use it makes it a standard.
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Postby Halc on Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:36 am

But it _is_ a de facto standard.

De facto means that it is used so widely as a standard reference, that it has practically become a standard.

Even though there is no official de jure standard.

Pulstec drives are used by almost all measurement device makers (AudioDev, Datarious, etc.)

They are also consistently used in R&D.

That makes them a de facto standard.

However, they're still not the holy grail, because even they refuse to read discs that read ok on various consumer drives, which again poses the question: which one is 'correct' :)
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:45 pm

can you buy a pulstec drive for a regular PC?
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:49 pm

OK seems that discussion got a little sidetracked.
also i may not have been very clear in my original question. so i'll rephrase:

if i were to buy a DVD-/+RW drive solely for the purpose of media checking (e.g. to see what brands work better on my drives - both the 'testing' drive and the 'regular burning' drive), and the only considerations are:
a) usefulness as a burn-quality testing instrument
b) price
and the least consideration
c) reliability/construction quality/longevity
which drive would you choose ?

again, just one drive to be used, not a combination of a few!
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:39 pm

hmm...too bad, i was hoping for a more active discussion on this subject :(
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:26 pm

dodecahedron wrote:hmm...too bad, i was hoping for a more active discussion on this subject :(


I just can't narrow it down between the BenQ DW1620 and the PX-712a. Both are good, but MUCH better together then apart. I have nearly no faith in my LiteON 832s.
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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:11 am

and if i were to ask you to choose between the BenQ DW1620 and the Lite-On 1633S ? (are you at all familiar with this Lite-On?)
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Postby Halc on Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:31 pm

Dodecahedron,

you are asking for the impossible.

However, if you only want one drive, then I suggest:

Plextor PX-716A, BECAUSE it can plot jitter data (i.e. lower level signal measurement than just causal errors)

OR

BenQ DW1620, because it can also (to a more limited degree) plot data-to-clock jitter data.

There is no hope for you in finding a single drive that is reliable for testing.

Drives can only be considered reliable testers for themselves. That is, if you test in Unit A from maker B, using model C, then the test will be reliable for that particular unit.

That's all there is to it.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:03 pm

dodecahedron wrote:and if i were to ask you to choose between the BenQ DW1620 and the Lite-On 1633S ? (are you at all familiar with this Lite-On?)


I haven't tried that unit yet, but it IS on my list of drives to get, simply because LiteON drives are very popular and I get many LiteON related questions on other forums where I do Q&A. Personally, I have little faith in LiteON's for testing DVDRs. On far too many occasions I've seen them give horrible results on media that was perfectly fine. This is why I will not do reviews on burners using only LiteON/K-Probe for quality testing, even though it makes my reviews take almost 2-3 times longer to make. The BenQ DW1620 is not perfect either, and sometimes gives good results to media that isn't that good.... but usually the jitter scores will show the problem if you pay attention to them as well. On the whole, I've seen far less mistakes from either the PX-712a or the BenQ DW1620 then the LiteON 832s that I use. The downside of the PX-712a is that you are more or less restricted to using Plextools, which I find is kind of buggy ever since version 2.17 (and now 2.18). So for my PI/PIF testing I now use PXScan/PXView by Alex Noe, which in my opinion is FAR superior, and also runs in a DOS enviroment, so I can setup a box purely for testing with that drive (when I get around to it) and not have to worry about running windows (finally have a use for all those 250MB HDDs! :roll: ).
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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:05 pm

Halc wrote:Dodecahedron,

you are asking for the impossible.

However, if you only want one drive, then I suggest:

Plextor PX-716A, BECAUSE it can plot jitter data (i.e. lower level signal measurement than just causal errors)

OR

BenQ DW1620, because it can also (to a more limited degree) plot data-to-clock jitter data.

There is no hope for you in finding a single drive that is reliable for testing.

Drives can only be considered reliable testers for themselves. That is, if you test in Unit A from maker B, using model C, then the test will be reliable for that particular unit.

That's all there is to it.

thanks for the feedback.
however i'm not asking for the impossible.
i didn't ask for a drive that would reliably test any media under any circumstance.
i just asked what, in your opinion, is the most useful drive?
i understand the limitations and shortcomings of such testings. especially using just one drive.
however i do feel that some testing, even using just 1 drive, is better then nothing at all... maybe i'm wrong?

the Plextor is too expensive :(
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun Dec 19, 2004 6:24 pm

fyi: LiteON drives are the ONLY drives I've ever seen that can completely test a disc (sometimes with even good results) and yet not be able to play the whole disc back afterwords. If the BenQ and Plextor are able to test the disc all the way through, they can play back the whole disc as well (at least so far, but I'd be surprised if I was wrong on this).
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Postby dodecahedron on Mon Dec 20, 2004 1:01 pm

so in this sense at least the BenQ is better then the Lite-On.


mmm


so maybe i should've asked:

if i were to ask you to choose between the BenQ DW1620 and the Plextor PX-712A ?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Mon Dec 20, 2004 1:56 pm

dodecahedron wrote:so in this sense at least the BenQ is better then the Lite-On.


mmm


so maybe i should've asked:

if i were to ask you to choose between the BenQ DW1620 and the Plextor PX-712A ?


That one is MUCH harder!! Both drives are good for testing (in my opinion), but thwy work much better together then alone. .... argh, I hate trying to pick one! :o

I have come to really appreciate the jitter and jitter/beta testing done by the BenQ DW1620 and PX-712a respectively.

I guess I'd go for the BenQ DW1620, because it gives reliable (ie repeatable, and useful) results even when scanning at 8x, whereas the Plextor really needs to scan at 2x or at the very most 5x.
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Postby Halc on Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:49 am

I agree with everything dolphinius said:

BenQ is

- cheaper than Plextor
- can provide some rudimentary DC-jitter measures (better than just PIE/PIF/POE/POF)
- can scan at higher speeds while maintaining some level of repetability

However, it is a too good reader imho.

Discs that read & test ok on BenQ can be down to marginal on other hardware.

So one must not blindly look at the results of BenQ scans and trust them.
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