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Which DVD±RW drive to get?

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

Which DVD±RW drive should I buy?

Poll ended at Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:25 pm

LG GSA-4163B
8
40%
BenQ DW1620
7
35%
Lite-ON SOHW-1633S
0
No votes
NEC ND-3500A
5
25%
 
Total votes : 20

Which DVD±RW drive to get?

Postby 88keyz on Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:25 pm

I'm buying a new DVD±RW drive and I'm not sure what to get. I've narrowed it down to 4 choices and I'm just wondering what peoples opinions are on these drives. I don't care about region free firmware but I would prefer that the drive has firmware from the manufacturer that supports DVD+R/R9/(and possibly +RW) bitsetting. The choices are as follows:

LG GSA-4163B
BenQ DW1620
Lite-ON SOHW-1633S
NEC ND-3500A

Please let me know what you think of these drives and which one is the best drive available right now. I've been reading reviews of all the above choices and nothing is standing out of the pack. All drives are in a similar price range so of the 4 price is not the issue.
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Postby hoxlund on Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:03 am

couldn't vote, no pioneer options

if the 109 holds up to all the previous pioneer drives expectations wait for the 109

or just go with the tried and true pioneer dvr-108
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Postby Bhairav on Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:12 am

Get the Benq 1620.
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Postby vinnie97 on Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:15 am

I say NEC only because I own 1. ;)
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Postby spryfly on Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:33 am

benq.....its the total package. it does everything well.

second choice would be the nec. top notch writer and excellent community support.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:41 am

BenQ DW1620... it's more versatile then any other drive I've worked with.
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Postby MadBurner on Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:40 am

I'm still the only vote for the LG drive :(

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Postby hydrogen on Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:08 am

Why isn't the Pioneer Dvr-108 in the list? Pioneer is awesome with their firmware support. Benq has released a lot of firmware for the 1620 also. I like companies that keep supporting their drives by releasing new firmware to try to improve the drive.

So Benq and Pioneer are really good with their firmware support as of right now.

Does Nec even release firmware updates? I'm talking about officially and not hacked firmwares.

I have never read about an LG drive, so I have no clue if there any good or not. I'm not sure if they have good firmware support or not.
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Postby Gabe on Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:34 pm

Hi!

There is no Plextor or Pioneer in the list, so I vote for the LG. It´s a very good drive with many media and had very good specifications. I use LG-burners for my PC´s and for many other guys, too and I can recommend the most LG-drives, because my experiences are very good.

And the LG-burners still the only one here in Germany with DVD-RAM-writing
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Postby Noua on Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:18 pm

hoxlund wrote:couldn't vote, no pioneer options

if the 109 holds up to all the previous pioneer drives expectations wait for the 109

or just go with the tried and true pioneer dvr-108


Same here... Although the BenQ is a very fine drive.
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Postby vinnie97 on Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:25 pm

hydrogen wrote:Does Nec even release firmware updates? I'm talking about officially and not hacked firmwares.

Yes, version 2.18 was released on November 8, 2004.
Last edited by vinnie97 on Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gen-An on Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:18 pm

hydrogen wrote:Why isn't the Pioneer Dvr-108 in the list? Pioneer is awesome with their firmware support. Benq has released a lot of firmware for the 1620 also. I like companies that keep supporting their drives by releasing new firmware to try to improve the drive.


Probably because the 108 is slower. All of the drives listed use CAV (or P-CAV in the case of the LG) for 16x burning and can burn a full disc in around 6 minutes or less (the LG approaches 5 minute burns!), while the 108 with its Z-CLV strategy has burns of around 7 minutes.
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Postby Scour on Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:46 pm

Hello!

I vote for the LG. Pioneer have good drives, too, but there´s no option.

I have the LG 4082 and the drive is still an outstanding drive, if you like quality burns. In the past I had some CD-burners from LG and the drives also good drives.

Take a look at the big review from cdfreaks and you´ll see, that the LG is not the fastest overall, but the quality of the burns are awesome.

If you can wait, take a look at the Pioneer 109, it have the feeling it could be a very good drive like the older Pioneers. And the Plextor is getting better with every firmware.
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Postby hydrogen on Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:09 pm

vinnie97 wrote:Yes, version 2.18 was released on November 8, 2004.


Thank you. Have there been many firmware releases for the 3500a? When I use to read about the 2500a, I don't think there was that many firmware releases for it, and that's why I didn't get one. I bought a Pioneer A07 instead at that time.

The Pioneer and Benq have had a lot of firmware updates which is good to see.
Last edited by hydrogen on Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby hydrogen on Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:12 pm

Gen-An wrote:Probably because the 108 is slower. All of the drives listed use CAV (or P-CAV in the case of the LG) for 16x burning and can burn a full disc in around 6 minutes or less (the LG approaches 5 minute burns!), while the 108 with its Z-CLV strategy has burns of around 7 minutes.


Which one produces better quality burns? In my opinion, it's the quality of the burn that matters instead of the speed. Who would want a drive that is a fast burner, but the quality was bad. I don't mind waiting for a disc to burn if it's going to be a good quality burn :)
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Postby DVD_ADDICT on Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:03 pm

BENQ 1620 :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
It has great support and frequent firmware updates.....automatic bitsetting to DVD+R media is what sold me on this drive.....it's also a great reader....what my dvdroms and pioneer 107 can't read the BENQ drives can. :D :D
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RE: No Pioneer or Plextor

Postby 88keyz on Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:02 am

The reason there was no Pioneer option was that this drive is going to purchased some time this weekend and the 109 won't be available before then and the current 108 doesn't support bitsetting on single layer +R/RW discs. The Z-CLV writing was also a drawback as was the fact that it is a "one sheep" writer. I'm very aware of Pioneers quality and dedication for firmware updates as I'm the proud owner of a DVD-116 drive that is still going strong in my wife's PC after 4 years now. As for the Plextor, I know Plextor makes excellent drives but I just can't justify paying the extra for one. If I was copying CD+G discs then it would be the one for sure.

Interesting so far in the poll, split evenly three ways between the LG, BenQ & NEC drives with not one vote for the Lite-ON. I wonder why?
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Re: RE: No Pioneer or Plextor

Postby Jim on Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:24 am

88keyz wrote:The reason there was no Pioneer option was that this drive is going to purchased some time this weekend and the 109 won't be available before then and the current 108 doesn't support bitsetting on single layer +R/RW discs. The Z-CLV writing was also a drawback as was the fact that it is a "one sheep" writer. I'm very aware of Pioneers quality and dedication for firmware updates as I'm the proud owner of a DVD-116 drive that is still going strong in my wife's PC after 4 years now. As for the Plextor, I know Plextor makes excellent drives but I just can't justify paying the extra for one. If I was copying CD+G discs then it would be the one for sure.


The DVR-108 will bitset both SL and DL DVD+R using the Piodata firmware from Pioneer's Piodata line.

http://www.piodata.com/products/drives/dvr-108DX.asp

You can either buy the Piodata DVR-108DX or the Pioneer DVR-108 and flash it with the Piodata firmware.

I have a feeling the Pioneer might win the poll had you put it in the list.

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Re: Which DVD±RW drive to get?

Postby 88keyz on Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:45 am

88keyz wrote:... I would prefer that the drive has firmware from the manufacturer that supports DVD+R/R9/(and possibly +RW) bitsetting.


As I mentioned in my first post I am looking for something supported by the actual manufacturer. I don't want to cross-flash the drive to another brand and the PioData drive is not available in my area. I know Pioneer makes great drives, its just not in the running here.
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Re: RE: No Pioneer or Plextor

Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:47 am

Jim wrote:
I have a feeling the Pioneer might win the poll had you put it in the list.

Jim


I would't be so sure.... :wink:
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Postby Mystery Man on Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:13 pm

Not voting as i would vote for pioneer. My A08 drive burns +r media just as good as -r
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Re: RE: No Pioneer or Plextor

Postby Scour on Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:21 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:
Jim wrote:
I have a feeling the Pioneer might win the poll had you put it in the list.

Jim


I would't be so sure.... :wink:


I´m not sure, too. But it could be ...

Maybe the 109 can make it
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Postby hydrogen on Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:16 am

I thought the Nec 3500a couldn't bitset single layer +R media in the official firmware.

You said you wanted bitsetting and you wanted something supported by the manufacturer.

I am wrong about the official Nec firmware not supporting bitsetting single layer +R media?
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Postby HardwareHarry on Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:03 pm

No option for NEC 3520 here, definitive my choice, and have one in use !

NEC 3520 !!!!! '8)'
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The choice...

Postby 88keyz on Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:29 pm

I ended up buying the LG GSA-4163B. This is a great drive! Super-fast and the bitsetting option works great. I was torn between this drive and the BenQ DW1620 which was a little cheaper but settled on the LG drive for their superior DVD-R support. Currently BenQ's drive has better firmware (with +RW bitsetting as well) but hopefully LG will work towards at least adding DVD-R DL when the media becomes a reality. Everything I've read says the LG is one of the most forgiving drives on the market as far as media goes and will write to pretty much anything you put in it. As well the fact that it was a "two sheep" burner helped the decision. Thanks for all the input and I really appreciate your taking the time to give me your two cents worth.
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