ASUS 1608P Change in performance

I’ve had this burner for a while and have burned 100+ DVDs with it.

My most recent media purchase was a 100 spindle of Memorex 16x DVD-R.
The drive recognized this as being able to burn up to 12x and I had reasonable luck doing so…for about half the spindle. Then it started to burn coasters.

I think I noticed some behavior changes (or I noticed them at this time because I was trying to figure out the problems). During the Lead-In/Calibration stage, it changes speed frequently, spinning up to a fast (somewhat noisy) speed and then ramping down to a slower speed, and trying this several times. It can often take a couple of minutes to get through this phase.

It would either complete a burn fine, or it would stop about 10% of the way through. Every time it burned a coaster, there would be a 1/4" band of burned data–consistently. I saw one thread that talked about a similar issue mentioning that it was at the 4x to 6x speed change, but I don’t know if that is accurate or if it is the same as on this burner.

These problems started when I had a different motherboard in the system. That was a ASUS CUV4X-D, dual-PIII 1GHz. The problems started shortly after I added the second (properly matched) CPU to the board. I tried setting processor affinity, but the problems were intermittent enough to make it difficult to correlate anything. I now have an MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU with an Athlon 2000+ (Palamino core) CPU and am experiencing the same problems. So this is, in effect, showing the same problems with the drive across multiple computers.

I also have some 4x (PRINCO) media that seems to burn without problems. Having seen disparaging comments about Memorex media, I started examining this aspect.

DVD Decrypter reports this information:

ASUS DRW-1608P 1.59 (ATA)
Current Profile: DVD-R

Disc Information:
Status: Empty
Erasable: No
Free Sectors: 2,297,888
Free Space: 4,706,074,624 bytes
Free Time: 510:40:38 (MM:SS:FF)

Pre-recorded Information:
Manufacturer ID: RITEKF1

Recording Management Area Information:

Physical Format Information (Last Recorded):
Disc ID: 0@P-!-00
Book Type: DVD-R
Part Version: 5
Disc Size: 120mm
Maximum Read Rate: Not Specified
Number of Layers: 1
Track Path: Parallel Track Path (PTP)
Linear Density: 0.267 um/bit
Track Density: 0.74 um/track
First Physical Sector of Data Area: 196,608
Last Physical Sector of Data Area: 0
Last Physical Sector in Layer 0: 0

The Disc ID seemed very odd to me and I tried a couple of other ID tools:

DVD Identifier reports:
** INFO : Drive = ASUS DRW-1608P - [FW 1.59] - [ATAPI]
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD+R DVD+R-DL DVD+RW
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD-R DVD-R-DL DVD-RW
** INFO : Disc = [DVD-R:RITEKF1]
** INFO : Reference Speed : 1x DVD = 1385 kBps
** INFO : An Writeable Disc Is Recommended For Accurate Results
** INFO : Write Speeds (Supported By This Drive On This Disc) Listed Below

** INFO : GET PERFORMANCE Write Speed Descriptor(s)
Descriptor #1 = 16620 kBps (12.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #2 = 11080 kBps ( 8.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #3 = 8310 kBps ( 6.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #4 = 5540 kBps ( 4.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

** INFO : MODE SENSE Write Speed Descriptor(s) [Legacy Command]
** WARNING : MODE SENSE Is Obsolete And Not Always Properly Supported
Descriptor #1 = 16620 kBps (12.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #2 = 11080 kBps ( 8.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #3 = 8310 kBps ( 6.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
Descriptor #4 = 5540 kBps ( 4.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

And DVDInfo reports:
Media code/Mfr ID: RITEKF1
Book Type: DVD-R
Media Type: V2.2 DVD-R
Media ID Code Speed: Unkown
Write Strategy Speed: 4.0x
Current Drive Speed: 12.0x
Write Rotation Control: CLV

This last block of info suggested to me that maybe the best I could expect to get is 4x write speed. I’ve so far done a single burn specifying 4x to the software (ULead DVD Movie Factory 3.5) and it succeeded.

I also ran Nero’s CDSpeed 4.7 on this burn. The surface scan was 100% green. The Disk Quality check reported:
General Information
Drive: ASUS DRW-1608P
Firmware: 1.59
Selected speed: 8 X
PI errors
Maximum: 1664
Average: 712.23
Total: 10968039
PI failures
Maximum: 15
Average: 0.89
Total: 9921
PO failures: n/a
Jitter: n/a
Scanning Statistics
Elapsed time: 16:37
Number of samples: 16299
Average scanning interval: 8.00 ECC
Glitches removed: 0

It listed the quality at 91.

According to the Pioneer Media compatibility page, it agrees that RITEKF1 media should be able to burn at 12x.

So, is my drive dying? What’s the expected longevity of these burners?

Hardware Signature link

Quality scanning with this drive is unreliable…
Memorex media is questionable, Princo is inferior and RITEKF1 only works with few drives well.
Besides, burning a media with success means not much.

Thank you Chef. If I’m understanding correctly:

  • That I had good experiences with the Memorex/RITEKF1 disks at higher speeds earlier was basically luck.
  • Pioneer indicating the RITEKF1 should burn at 12x is hopeful/wishful thinking on their part?
  • That none of this is indicative, necessarily, of any problems with the drive.
  • I should get some Tier 1 media and see how that behaves in order to guage the state of the drive.

Yup, try with some Verbatim or TY media. :wink: