1620Pro is really PSU sensitive

vbimport

#1

Hi folks

This is a great forum, I’ve been learning a lot! Thank you!

My Plextor 716A got the “amber blink of death” the other day and I got a Benq 1620Pro to take its place (while it’s being repaired/replaced).

I had several exceptional burns on both DVD-R/DVD+R, great speed with the hacked firmware --> very positive initial impressions!

Suddenly, however, the drive stopped recognizing DVD-R media altogether. I had done a CMOS clear/OS reinstall when I got the drive so it couldn’t be that (running “light” with only ASPI 4.60 and Nero 6.6.0.12 installed). I flashed the firmware several times in safe mode to no avail. Even with jewelcase TY DVD-Rs it returned “No Media Inserted”. WTF??

Since it had recognized and burned TY DVD-Rs fine the day before, it had to be power-related. Drives bought the day before shouldn’t suddenly die overnight by themselves for no reason, right (especially if they had worked totally fine for 2 days)?

I have a 2cpu Xeon workstation with all PCI-X/PCI slots taken, 3 SCSI/5 IDE hard drives running off a secondary PSU (Antec 480), but I had left the 2 optical drives (I have a Plextor Premium CDRW) running off the primary PSU (Antec 550 EPS). I switched the Benq MOLEX to the secondary PSU and voila! --> all media is recognizable again! I guess those new Folding@Home cores are really power-hungry, eh.

The moral of the story (it has been pointed out several times on this board already) – Benq 1620s are really power sensitive, so if your drive starts misbehaving (not recognizing blanks, etc), your first instinct should be to check the PSU.

Phew, I can finally start doing some real tests :smiley:


#2

yes i agree…not only on benq …on all optical drives…i normally put my optical drives on a seprate molex which is not share with harddrives…


#3

If you’re running a single power supply, the molex connector you choose is of little consequence…


#4

Okay, here’s something that might scare you. I posted this a few days ago, but it seems to have gone unnoticed. It has been pretty positively confirmed from Taiwanese sources that BenQ DW1620 built between Dec., 2004 and Jan., 2005 has inadequate voltage stabilizers (or whatever you call it in English). This means if your PSU sucks, a small power spike could mean good-bye to the control chip on the drive, which is basically good-bye to the drive. So far such problems have been noticed on drives made in BOTH Malaysia and China (contrary to what I said before), but not on drives built outside of the above mentioned period. Of course, this is not from an official statement, so call it a rumour if you must.


#5

I’d agree it’s a rumor… Has been noticed by who?

I heard that BenQ was having a problem keeping up with production so the went to Best Buy and bought a bunch Liteon 1633’s and re-branded them, c’mon now…


#6

>I’d agree it’s a rumor… Has been noticed by who?

It’s been circulating some Taiwanese forums and BBS sites for a while now. Initially all of us thought the recent rise on failure rate is due to QC problems, but all of a sudden this info kinda just “leaked out” and pointed everything to over-aggressive costdown. Some say it came from inside BenQ, but no official words on it yet as of now.


#7

I’d suggest that the rise in failure rates is bogus and unsubstantiated. As the good press got out ‘bout the success of this product and BenQ’s excellent support, as a % of drives sold, I don’t believe there’s been an increase. The more drives out there, the more you here ‘bout problems. It’s been pretty clear here that a large % of the reported BenQ problems have been user error not quality control………


#8

But if the chip failed, then the initial posters alternative method of running the BenQ off a secondary power supply should have not made a difference? right? This is not the first time that someone has posted that their BenQ would not recognize TY - and then they put it another computer or changed out a p/s and then it would recognize TY -. So if someone posts problems with recognizing - media, suggest they look at the P/S in being the root of the problem.


#9

What scares me is that rumors like this get started and become “fact”.

What does that mean???

I must.
Now for some facts:
Voltage Regulation IC’s are purchased in lots of 10,000 for about $0.15 each. They are proven technology and have been for some time. If they save $0.05 each and produce 100,00 drives they will save $5,000.00 dollars and possibly incur replacement costs on RMA’d drives of about $30.00 each (An estimate based on normal retail mark-up). So their $5,000.00 Savings on 100,000 drives will potentially cost them 3 Million Dollars. Not a smart business move.

Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye. /.


#10

Okay, I’ll see if I can trace back to what really initiated the claim through both unofficial and official channels, and post back if I find anything. Nothing promised though. As for the cost of the voltage regulation chip, that is only stupid if the number of failling drives outweighs the potential gain. However, as you said, the ratio has to be pretty big for that to work, so it does seem unlikely that BenQ would do a dangerous move like that.


#11

Any well run business will produce a cost/benefit analysis whenever an engineering or design change is considered. This analysis is then used to assist the engineering staff and the bean counters in making a decision. It’s a series of negotiations and potential costs are very high on the list. I can’t imagine anyone authorizing an engineering change with a potential cost of 3 million dollars and a savings of $5,000.00. But then again, stranger things have happened.
Note:
These numbers are based on a defined quantity of produced drives and are presented for illustration only.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.


#12

Now here’s something unbelievable. After merely 8 hours, it has been partially CONFIRMED!

  1. The whole thing started when a BenQ employee working in the Suzhou plant posted an article in a Chinese forum called CDBest. I didn’t try to dig up the exact thread that started all because after all, this is the unoffcial version and there’s no way to identify whether or not the person is actually a BenQ employee.

  2. I sent an email to the BenQ headquarter located in Taiwan this morning at about 00:30 EST. Checked my email at 10:00 EST and got a reply already. :slight_smile:
    Here’s the screenshot:

Translation:
"Dear customer:
This is BenQ Taiwan Customer Service. Thank you for your email and also your support for our product.

About your inquiry, we have discovered that in some PCs, power fluctuations could result in the destruction of the IC chips. We already have solutions to address this issue such as improving resistance to powerspikes on the drive itself. If you have any problems while using it, please call our customer service hot line.
Customer service hot line: 0800-027-427

Address omitted"

Although he did not say specifically what drives are affected and how it was done, it is clear that this is hardware related. How else are they going to “improve resistance to powerspikes on the drive”? Does this say something negative about their costdown department? Perhaps. But does this change my future possibility of buying a benq product? Of couse not. This is all past tense already. Besides, I like a company that can admit to its mistakes.


#13

A company won’t degrade its product just to save 5cent per drive. But there’s always possibility that their chip suppliers made a mistake and they didn’t find it in time.

This story is getting interesting, but I’d like to point out that the worse reputation came from Oct. 04 Malaysian drive, which seems irrelevant to this problem.

So… I doubt if this has anything to do with the recent increase of failure rate.
In fact, as others mentioned, it isn’t clear if the failure rate did increase. Counting online report is a very dangerous method to make statistics though it may still say something.


#14

You really got a quick reply from BenQ…uhmm. Still doesn’t answer why they work when you put in a new stronger power supply.


#15

i gonna try a new power supply.

my new benq has been really wacking and all over the place.

i’ll check and see if that fixes all my benq problems.


#16

Maybe that power supply has a better filterring for power spike from the AC outlet.

If you put a stronger power supply, it is likely that your power supply can handle more load. Then your power supply don’t have to stress to handle the work load.

Maybe that power supply has a better cooling design, then it will yield a more stable system.

I hope i am right


#17

CDBest, i went there sometime, but i never see such letter
can you post the exact link and let me see
thank you

barbapapa101, how can you check the PSU??
i kind of having the same problem too


#18

As I said, I didn’t try to dig up the thread because the official word of it is enough to confirm that this problem exists. If you really want to know, just ask the moderator there. He sounds like a BenQ employee to me.

First, make sure you are using a PSU from a good manufacturer (IE: Antec) with enough wattage. If you have high-end graphic cards, 3 hard drives two optical drives and 300W PSU from some unknown company, you are just asking for trouble. Then, if you are still not sure, use things like MBM 5 or simply a voltmeter (not recommended!) to check the voltage output. Simply log the minimum/maximum output so you can see if it’s within acceptable range.


#19

I have noticed with my BenQ installations that it is, in fact, less power sensitive than most optical drives.

There is a reason for plugging a writer drive into a seperate lead that has no other drives on it. Since the BenQ is more noise sensitive than average, this practice helps to reduce interference.

And that would mean. . .

If your power supply puts out a great deal of noise (most no-names do with exception of powmax, inwin that are less noisy than similar Supa-Cheap category PSUs) then you should suspect it as a cause of DVD writer drive trouble. Any brand of power supply that is overloaded will put out much additional noise. Any given power supply is much happier running cool, than running hot, so check case ventilation too.


#20

Just wanted to reiterate the significance of the PSU in media recognition issues. I had an NEC 3500A that worked fine for several months then started to not recognize dvd+r media that it had burnt. I then went through several BENQ 1620s that wouldn’t recognize blank dvd-r media before I figured out it was the PSU. I had an Antec True Power 430, which they replaced. If you’re having problems like these, even if you have a high quality PSU, don’t hesitate to buy a cheapo one at your local store and try it out. You can check out my specific issues here if you want.

Thanks again, the knowledge around here is great!