I posted this in the BenQ forum because it’s mostly about the 1620.
I’ve had a Pioneer A06 and A07 drive for a long time. I finally bought a BenQ DW1620 (firmware B7U9) for error scanning, and just for fun a I bought BTC 1016IM (firmware A07R) to see how it compared. I’ve used 2 different $20 BTC BDV 316E reader drives and they were good, but the last 2 I bought were bad on arrival (not quite DOA but they couldn’t reliably read DVDs), so for $14 more I figured I might as well try the 1016IM instead.
I read the posts about interpreting PI/PO scans, so I think I understand the basics. I’m using the latest Nero CD-DVD Speed 3.80. My first goal is to make sure these drives are behaving as expected and don’t have any hardware defects that would require me to return them because my return period expires soon. I’ve read many threads here and on Videohelp, and I could not find the answers to these questions (it doesn’t mean the answers aren’t there… just that I couldn’t find them). Here are the questions:
#1. How much variation in PIE and PIF between scans should I expect if I scan the same disc on the same drive (BenQ or BTC)? I just want a rough guess… 10%, 20%, etc. I realize no 2 scans will be exactly the same, but they should be close? For instance, if I scan a disc and get PIE averaging 15 and scan it again on the same drive and get PIE averaging 40 should I be worried that the drive is bad?
#2. How much variation in the PIE and PIF between scans should I expect when I compare a scan of the same disc between different drives (BenQ or BTC)? I realize the numbers have to be scaled to be comparable, but aside from that should the graphs always follow the same pattern or is it OK for there to be spikes on one and not the other or for the shape to be different?
#3. If the same media burned on the same drive at the same speed occasionally shows a huge difference in PIE and PIF (including some PO failures) on a particular disc, yet both disc surfaces when examined under a light look identical and defect-free, what does this mean? For instance, does it mean this particular disc has bad dye underneath or the burner did a bad burn job on this particular disc for some unknown reason?
#4. Is it normal for all error scans to start out at half the maximum speed and work their way linearly up to the maximum speed at the end? Is a brief but sharp drop in speed at roughly 100 MB normal for a BenQ 1620?
#5. Should I be concerned that the BTC 1016IM in Nero’s speed test takes almost 50 seconds to recognize certain recorded media compared to the BenQ’s 5 seconds and that pressed media (such as a CDROM) sometimes fails during the spin-up/spin-down portion of the speed test?
#6. Using the same disc, the Nero speed test shows both the BenQ and BTC speed starts at 3.5x and goes to 8.3x. Is this normal for them not to achieve their maximum read speeds in this test?
#7. When scanning some pressed DVDs for fun, should I be concerned that a few of them were unable to scan beyond the first layer and a couple of them failed with an error like “No sense indication (000)”? No scans of recorded media have failed yet.
#8. If a disc has a large PIE count (in the 80-200 range) but its PIF looks very good, what conclusion can I draw from that? I see rather high PIE on 1x RITEKG03 discs burned at 1x. Does the high PIE count mean RITEKG03 isn’t as good as I thought, do 1x burns often have high PIE, or is there another explanation why older, slower media has higher PIE but its PIF looks good?
#9. I took a thin-tipped black Sharpie marker and put a dot on an already recorded disc’s surface and then error scanned it. I expected to see a spike in PIE and PIF somewhere corresponding to this flaw, but I saw nothing special. I then took a 8x MXLRG03 disc which had significant scratches and purposefully put a thumbprint on it and then burned it at 4x on the BenQ. The error scans on both the BenQ and BTC look very good with no spikes. In fact, the PIE was very low (under 20). Does this mean that defects on the surface have to be huge in size to make any impact on the error scans or is there another explanation (such as the error scans not being reliable)? In the past I’ve always inspected each disc’s surface before burning and used compressed air to remove dust, but these tests are making me think that’s a waste of time. Perhaps large specks are insignificant to PI/PO even when burned at high speed?
I haven’t finished my scanning tests, and I’ve barely started burning. I already had some byte comparison errors on a BenQ burn, but I’m not ready to blame it yet (it could be the HD and ATA100 issues).
I read various BenQ threads trying to see what the common hardware problems were, and it seemed the problems were either a totally dead drive, disc eject problems, or problems burning certain media. I didn’t see anything along the lines that a bad BenQ would give misleading error scans or inject occasional data errors into burned media.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.