Home News Reviews Forums Shop

You're overwhelming...


You're overwhelming...

Postby Charles Brown on Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:51 pm

You all are overwhelming. I've been reading this site for a week or two now, and finally realized that I had to join. It is staggering the number of ways that a device as common as a DVD/CD player can differ, and how you folks find the differences.

I really, really, really wanted to avoid asking any questions, especially the classically dumb question that gets asked so often on reviewing websites. You know, the question I'm going to get to in a minute here. I instead wanted to do all the reading I could in the forum archives and on the sticky threads in order to answer the questions myself.

And I tried.

And tried.

And cried.

I'm overwhelmed. There is just too much data for me to comprehend. I stare and stare at all those C'T charts you all post, and look at the values, but I don't know their significance, nor what they mean. You guys speak a short hand that is foreign to me, and try as I might to wade through it, I get lost repeatedly; and my basic, classic, dumb question remains unanswered.

So here the question is, and please don't banish me back to the archives or the sticky's, 'cause I don't understand what is written in them...

I'm building a computer, and want to put in one or two optical drives. In today's current market, which optical drives are the best quality overall, in terms of reliable writing, re-writing, and reading all manner of media?

I know, I KNOW. Another newbie asking a "which is best" question. Like I said, I really tried to answer this on my own, and didn't just ask this question without doing some reading. In fact, from what I've read here, and elsewhere, it looks like the following brand/models seemed to float to top of the list:

- NEC 3500 (or new 3530?) ... Known for reliable, error free writes.
- Plextor 716A... Known for ability to do some operations that others can't.

LG, LiteON, and BenQ have models that seemed to be preferred, but I wasn't able to find enough consistency amoung the commentary to single out specific model numbers.

This is my first time actually selecting an optical drive, as opposed to just living with whatever was in a pre-built computer that came with one. I'd like the satisfaction of knowing that I did not cut any corners, and this computer project is not budget constrained, therefore I am not limiting myself to whatever is on sale like I have in the past. Nor do I necessarily need to be on the unproven bleeding edge of technology, because I don't have the aptitude to diagnose, nor the time to hunt down and install constant firmware updates.

A simple shopping list of your dream drives is what I'm looking for. Brand and model # seems to be about all I can comprehend. If several people all like or want the same drives, then that says something more clear to me than all those the dots, slashes, and dashes that I was trying to figure out on C'T charts. (I still don't know what C'T stands for... everyone else takes that term for granted!)

I already had bought a Plextor 716A locally, but I haven't opened it yet, and am thinking of returning it, as it seems that the NEC and perhaps some other drives are generally preferred by you experts. That seems to be the case on Storage Review, which referred me to visit here.

Thanks so much for your time and help in selecting...

Charles Brown
Charles Brown
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:25 pm

Postby isadore2 on Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:24 pm

Hello, Charles,

I researched quite a while - and waited too -- for some new drives to come onto the market.

I bought a LG 4163B and am happy with it.

I was going to buy the Plextor PX-716A, but I hesitated because of all the quality problems that were posted about it.

I am glad I did. Maybe it will fare better after a few more upgrades in the firmware.

The CD Freaks site has a brand new review on the LG on their site now.

Kenshin on CD Freaks LG subforum has a lot of information on many items of interest.
I am not what I was, nor yet what I am to become.
by me
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby ETP on Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:34 pm

Buy one of each! Everyone needs at least two. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

BQ 1640 BSOB
NEC 4550 1.6T
Plextor 716a 1.09
Pioneer 109/A09 158
Pioneer 110/A10 1.39
Liteon 5005
Sony 875P & 333ES
Liteon 5005
Hitachi 61SDX
Two Dell 8400s & 9100 with SATA HDs
User avatar
CD-RW Player
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: NW FL Panhandle/LA=Lower Ala

Postby isadore2 on Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:52 pm


yes, that is often what we do.
I am not what I was, nor yet what I am to become.
by me
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Seattle

Why a Dual Layer Burner?

Postby steelly on Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:15 pm

I was in the market for a new burner after having a trouble free Plextor 708A. (I Installed it in my Daughter's Computer) I purchased the Plextor 712A for $80 after MIR and am amazed by the features. I have no need for a dual layer burner, and I am suspect of the technology at this point in time; futhermore, their isn't that much media available for the DL burners yet. My question is, do you need a DL Burner? If so I would recommend Plextor for features and quality, but I would take a look at the Plextor 712A and especially the SATA version if your system meets the requirements. CDRLabs has an excellent review of the 712A and the SATA version.
CD-RW Thug
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:31 pm

Postby isadore2 on Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:23 pm


yes, I think that would be good advice for anyone that fits your description of not needing or wanting DL, since the 712A has a history that can be referred to by them in the many posts and reviews done.
I am not what I was, nor yet what I am to become.
by me
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby vinnie97 on Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:00 am

You'd be ill-advised to go with the Plextor-716A at the moment, though, with the seething quality issues that remain.

I settled on a rebadged (only in theory, though, as NEC is listed as the manufacturer on the drive and in the firmware) NEC-3500A. I think I made a good choice even though I'm already nearly 3 generations behind already. :| All I miss is not being able to conduct error testing with this drive (and I have no other DVD burner, so I'm basically up the creek). I've only conducted a single burn of data (mp3's) on a cheap disc, but I'm impressed with the quality insofar as I can tell with playback and DVD speed quality checks. :D

There are others who have had more experience with the drive and can give more insight into its benefits. BenQ's drive is another great choice, and one I tried to acquire but missed out on the deal at the time ($30 or $40 after rebate at Staples for an I/O Magic-branded version of it).

The differences between these drives are pretty negligible for the average user, unless you have a specific media requirement or need.
CD-RW Player
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby spryfly on Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:57 am

go for the benq 1620....avoid the 716a

bet your more confused now than ever :wink:
"Why? Said the spry little fly."

Nec 3500 LD V2 B6 Quiet
Benq 1620 B7T9 Stock
Liteon 1633sx BS41 Patched for 12x DL Ripping
User avatar
CD-RW Player
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:36 am
Location: The Spider's Web

Postby Buck on Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:49 am

But what's so wrong with PX-716(s)A? I was going to buy one when they become available here, is Plextor such a no-no these days?
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:14 am

Postby RJW on Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:30 am

Well the problem a lot of people are haveing is that the plextor can not burn at 16x and it's write quality sucks at high speeds and the fact that media support is not that great.
Now I know that no drive is perfect. But counting in that plextor asks a lot of money compared to the competition you can at least expect that the drive is just as good if not better if you want to justify the price.
The truth however is that the competition is in most cases better.

However all plextors issues should be fixable with firmware and the drive has some nice other stuff (that's why I say great potential but dissapointing performance.) so people who really are interested in buying plextor (because there a plextor fanatic or something like that ) and don't need a burner directly might be wise to waite and see how the new firmware releases and the new competition like pioneer 109 will do.

However at this time it's performance isn't up to the standards.
CD-RW Player
Posts: 1379
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: The netherlands

Return to DVD Writers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

All Content is Copyright (c) 2001-2016 CDRLabs Inc.