ARRRGH...Which BenQ drive to get?



I’ve read soo many good reviews about the BenQ from other sites (here included) and I come to the forums and more than half of the threads are filled with BenQ problems that require the drives to be RMA’ed…Whats the deal?

I can’t decide which one of these to get…and Price isn’t an issue for me since they’re all almost the same price.
1.) Beige DW1620 PRO, OEM
2.) Black DW1620 PRO, OEM
3.) Beige DW1620, Retail (/w Rebate)

I also plan on using THIS Fuji Media from BestBuy. Are they reliable on BenQ drives? What about Verbatim?

Whats the difference between DW1620PRO and DW1620?
Whats the difference between OEM, Retail, and Bulk?
They have about 5-10 different firmwares that it’s confusing which is which and what the difference is.
Are OEMs the rebadged drives to avoid?
I remember reading from somewhere(I think cdrinfo???) that BenQ/Plextor said it’s more advantageous to have a Black burner than White/Beige…Is it true or is it just propaganda?
Are BenQ’s reliable in burning Xbox and PS2 games?
And how come BenQ dosen’t seem to have a hardcore modding community like Nec?

Two more favors…
Those who have an excellent working BenQ drive state which # in my list you have, and those whose drives failed, state which # you have in my list.

I know that’s a lot of questions, but I’m just trying to be as cautious as possible.
I hope I will be ready to order one of this drives by Monday because I REALLY need it.


they are all the same drive. A firmware update will turn the 1620 to 1620 pro for free. And it takes like 30 seconds. Get the cheapest model and your set.


I’m well aware about reflashing. I just wanted to know what’s so special about the 1620 PRO and what it has in it’s firmware that the 1620 dosen’t.




way to many 1620’s are having quality control issues. just got a replacement 1620 (rma first one) and this one does not seem to be working much better. with the mail in rebates available for the plextor 716a it is reasonably priced and a much safer bet…just my 2 cents


Sorry to say but I can’t afford more than $65 for a DVD burner.
Meaning the only things I can afford are BenQ, NEC, and Nu Tech drives.
I don’t think any of those are better than BenQ…If you think they are, let me know.


can you afford to rma your drive 2 or 3 times before you get a decent one? the nu is a benq 1620. between the 1620 and the 3520 i would go with the nec. most folks getting a 1620 right now seem to be having problems with it. personally, i am in the middle of testing my replacement 1620 and the results are not pretty so far. see if you look around the forum you will find many other instances of benq problems. here is a thread started by a former moderator detailing his benq problems. pay sepcial attention to his words of wisdom at the end…


Also I’d appreciate it if someone with the drive can talk about the compatability of the medias of my choice (Fuji and Verbatim) to the drive.
and how the drive itself handles burning of Xbox and PS2 games.


First off my opinion is that I’m suspicious that people are getting two bad BenQs in a row. I mean really what are the odds. You’ll notice in the rdgrimes thread, that someone referenced “with pearls of wisdom”, that someone showed a before and after clean install and how it cleard up their burner problem, something rdgrimes did not do (even though he had BenQ flash program aborts), let alone try it in another computer and this has not been the first time I’ve heard of a clean install of a OS fix a burner problem. My gut says not all the problems that people are experience and blaming on their BenQs is the burner’s fault. The two burners in a row scenario really red flags this possibility. Just cause another burner works fine doesn’t mean a clean install or program conflict couldn’t still be the possibility with another burner problem. My brother bought a BenQ at xmas and so far has had 95% quality with CMC media. I have another friend that has bought two within this last week, so I’ll see what happens, with all the talk you would think that a BenQ would go bad sometime soon among my group. I’ll monitor my friend’s new burners and post back.

Some people have had problems with backing up games, while others haven’t. If you’re game consoles will play + media the chances are good you can make backs, I think, but don’t hold me to it.

BenQ burn Fujis and verbatim as good as about any of the other top 4 burners. Actually those Fujis are the media of choice, try and get the “Made in Japan” ones (TY). The Taiwan ones should be ok too. I get 95% quality or better with the Fuji TYs.


GAH! That’s awful.
I certainly can’t afford to RMA the drive 2-3 times before I get a decent one, that’s for sure.
I wonder though…Every website had excellent reviews on the BenQ from Anandtech, CDRinfo, and even this site…What could have happened within that short period?

I think I’ll take your advice on the Nec.
I don’t see 90% of their forum threads clogged with problems.


Yeah and I think it’s a handful of people that keep posting (and reposting) about BenQ QC problems.


He’s (rdgrimes) also known, historically, to have been a BenQ basher.


I’m not ready to start calculating odds, chances are chances.
I’m not prepared to do a format just to make a BenQ drive that was supposed to work initially to work properly. Why should you have to do a clean install?
I only have a single 80GB drive split in 2 partitions and I’m not prepared to lose the 65+GB’s of stuff I have on both combined. I’m mainly getting a DVD burner because I want to back up my current files so I can get rid of them, not the other way around. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of 2 HDDs.

2 bad burners in a row dosen’t raise red flags for me…It can happen with any burner, including NEC (although the chances is MUCH less judging from both forums).

Thanks for answering my questions and posting your views.

I’m not in any rush to get the NEC either…I’ll still post and read peoples opinions in this thread till sometime next week. I’ll postpone my decision till next week thursday, but right now I have to tell you that I’m really leaning towards getting a NEC.


Well if you did it right, you would ghost your OS partition right after a clean install with your handful of must have programs installed, then place all your data you want to keep on partition two and ghost partition one which would take about 7-30 mins, leaving partition two alone. That’s what I do, the benefit is you get some speed back into your system. I highly recommend this procedure.




Sorry I didn’t make it clear, I was talking about the “former moderator” rdgrimes, not you, sorry.


Ok we are cool then. I was really suprised/shocked when I read you post…


The Nu Technology DDW-163 is actually a BenQ DW1620A just as an FYI. I wouldn’t worry about quality control issues. If you get a bad drive, you get a bad drive. Some people expect things to be absolutely perfect 100% of the time, bad drives happen occasionally but I’m a bit tired of seeing all the BenQ thumpers saying how bad the QC on the drive is. CDFreaks just represents a small portion of the population that has DVD Burners and if you get one or two that had a bad experience then all of the sudden we have all had a bad experience. Owned 2 BenQ’s and 1 is sold now (no use for it at this point in time) and both worked flawlessly. If I needed it I’d buy the 3rd and 4th in a heartbeat.


want to buy mine? only one day old. :bigsmile:


I have to disagree a bit…I do think there maybe some issues with QC…but some of the very high expectations we have created at this forum is causing some “bad drives”

I got 4 drives…one at thanksgiving(aug 2004)…best one…
got second one(aug 2004)…burned bad ending slope on media…ugh…third(oct 2004) one was burning a bizarre ring on my TY02 and coaster city

fourth drive is aug 2004…performs close to my first one but the tray make a funnier noise opening/closing…not smooth sound like the other 3 drives had…I initial thought this was the best overall writer but I think my first one which is now in an ext. enclosure is the best overall writer…

First drive …very good, fourth drive close but not as good…2nd and third were crap…

I have noticed mt TY02 are happier overall at 12x and I get some poor burns…strange the varying media QC from the TY02…this is bad