cdfreaks.com has helped me so much in this, so I decided to make my first post ever.
I also got an OEM BenQ DW1620 and installed it first in an ALI external enclosure (PCMS or SYBA aluminum one, USB 2.0 only), knowing that the BenQ EW162I also used an ALI chipset. It was connected through the PCMCIA card. Hopes were high but I was dissapointed.
My first burn took 60 minutes plus to complete(1X-2X?). It came with the B7S9 firmware for some reason and I flashed it to B7V9. Got no improvement. I thought the slow burning might be because of the Verbatim 8X DVD-R (MCC 02RG20?), and so I went and got some HP 8X DVD+R and the burns got worsed, taking 90 minutes to burn comepletely. I went back to the Verbatims and actually got some coasters. The device buffer was really erratic when burning. I tried the 47L9 firmware thinking if anything, this would work. But they didn't. From there I made a mental list of what was causing the slow, sometimes erratic burning.
- Computer was at fault (very unlikely since I have a good enough system)
- The USB 2.0 PCMCIA card is not being powered right or is of cheap quality
- The BenQ DW1620 is defective (very scary thought)
- The External enclosure is incompatible (likely cause)
- Everything was incompatible with everything (what it seemed like)
I did more research and found that the Prolific chipset might have been a better choice than the ALI chipset. I ordered a USB 2.0/Firewire Plumax enclosure with the Prolific 3507 chipset from Dealsonic.com and got an RMA# for the other enclosure. Hook-uped the Plumax and started some burns on the Verbatims. It got better, taking 30 minutes to burn. But still not good enough. Updated the Prolific chipset and it didn't get any better. Thinking the PCMCIA card might be the system bottleneck, I wanted to bypass it by using firewire. After a long search for a 6-pin to a 4-pin firewire cable or adapter (laptop had 4-pin), I connected the drive through firewire directly to the laptop and finally got burns at 7 minutes, 30 seconds on the Verbatims. Burns were good with both B7V9 and 47L9 firmwares (currently using the latter).
The Verbatims can hit 12X but can't stay there too long. My best burn yet took a little under 7 minutes going from 0% to 100% (counting Lead-in time and not Lead-out time). The Verbatims are rated at 8X but can be overburned at 12X, and right now, I'm trying to get it to burn very well at 12X.
I don't really know if the problem was the old enclosure or my PCMCIA card, but I know the Prolific 3507 chipset with the Firewire works. I haven't had a coaster since everything worked. I still need to do more tests. Qscan and Nero CD-DVD speed aren't working correctly. This experiment took three days.
I recommend searching "prolific" at Dealsonic.com if one wants to see some enclosures with the Prolific 3507 chipset.
System: Compaq Presario 2100, mobile AMD Athlon 2400+ (1.79Ghz) w/ power scheme on "Home/Desktop" or "Always On" (sometimes crucial for performance), 704MB of RAM, 60GB Hitachi HD, SXGA+ display (1400x1050, pretty nice)