BenQ DW1655 OEM GCAB vs. Retail BCDB Review for Dummies by a Dummy

vbimport

#1

Ya-hay-der CDFreaks,

I come here a lot and get some great information but sometimes I think maybe some of the people here are smokin’ crack or spending too much time burnin’ nuthin’ onto discs just to see how good (jk). Maybe it’s the Phthalocyanine fumes from all those burning discs (jka). Anyway, here’s a sober review of the new BenQ DW1655 (OEM). There’s probably 27 things wrong with it so feel free to criticize and suggest improvement. This is only post 33, let me know how I’m doing. After I get all this done and make sure the drive works, I’m thinking about flashing over to the Retail BCDB firmware (voids the OEM warranty) if it’s worth it based on what I learn.

First, this one came from Newegg’s Tennessee warehouse (February 2006) and set me back US$49.99, delivery included. Ordered on Sunday at 5PM, delivered on Wednesday at 10:30AM in Columbus, Ohio.

It was delivered nicely wrapped and secured in bubblewrap and inside an ESD safe bag. CD with Nero Express 6.6.0.14, Nero Vision Express 3 v3.1.0.14, Nero Showtime 2.0.0.39, InCD4 and LightScribe v1.4.44.1 included. The rear panel is totally unmarked but everything’s in the same place as usual. I installed this, cable selected, as the master on the secondary IDE controller with a Lite-on SOHD-167T as the slave. Upon boot up, BIOS recognized the drive immediately as the GCAB firmware with the ATAPI DVD LS 8X16X8X16 designation. Before you go nuts about the firmware, read on.


#2

Sonic’s DLA was absent from the picture on drive F: after the install. After a quick uninstall and reinstall of v4.95 available on DELL’s website, everthing was cool. The 1655 recognizes, formats and writes to 4x CDRW’s that were formatted on another PC. Everything acey-duecy on DLA. These are cheap 4x Memorex CDRWs reported by CDR Identifier as InfoDisc Technology Co., Ltd… Full 700+MB of data on the disc in just a hair over 15 minutes. Whattaya expect? DVD+RWs worked as well.

Sonic RecordNow (7.2) & MyDVD 6
Everything worked normally. RecordNow recognized both CDs and DVDs at the proper sizes and speeds. Discs were burned at the speed listed on the discs.

Nero
I didn’t use all of the functions but the CD and DVD functions I did use all performed as expected. Both CDs and DVDs were recognized at the proper sizes and speeds. Discs were burned at the speed listed on the discs. I did use the BurningRom functions to put an ISO of a Dual Layer DVD onto a 2.4x Verbatim Disc. The function was performed at speed and the disc works perfectly in both my Toshiba deck and the cheap Cyberhome player.

Lightscribe
I used both Nero Cover Designer and I downloaded the SureThing CD Labeler 4 SE for free from LightScribe.Com and got excellent results on the HP LightScribe Media. It takes 25 minutes to burn a really dark one, but it’s worth it. I picked up a spindled of 25 of the HP 52x lightscribes for US$8.94 on sale. With that price you can afford to buy cheap and buy twice. I’ve got another spindle of Verbatim 52x LightScribe discs but I’m saving them for a project.

Qsuite
I installed the BenQ Qsuite V2.1. When I tried to run this program all I got was a message that the software is limited to select drives. Same with 2.0 There’s a pro for crossflashing to the Retail BCDB firmware.


#3

Materials and Equipment used:
Everything was burned at the speed listed on the package excepting the 52x CDRs that were all burned at 48x. Burned about 3 or 4 dozen discs total without a single coaster. I assume that WOPC and SolidBurn are and Overspeed is off since I can’t get access to the drive with Qsuite.

Discs Ids are listed below with the scans and the Hardware/Software list is in the last post.


#4

CD-Rs
Branded Maxell 52x
CDRIdentifier
ATIP: 97m 15s 17f
Disc Manufacturer: Ritek Co.
Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.82MB (79m 59s 70f / LBA: 359845)
I burned 2 or 3 just like this one.



#5

Branded HP 52x
ATIP: 97m 26s 66f
Disc Manufacturer: CMC Magnetics Corp.
Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.82MB (79m 59s 71f / LBA: 359846)
This one is fresh out of the drive.
I burned at least a dozen of these.
(This is actually the Maxell image. The image above is the HP52x. I’m confused.)



#6

This is the same media as above (HP52x) only this one got beat around in my car and actually PLAYED before I scanned it.



#7

Branded HP 52x LightScribe
ATIP: 97m 26s 66f
Disc Manufacturer: CMC Magnetics Corp.
Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.82MB (79m 59s 71f / LBA: 359846)
I burned about a dozen of these too. Including Lightscribe labels. This one had actually been LightScribed before I scanned it.



#8

CD-RW 1x-4x speed
Branded Memorex
ATIP: 97m 25s 30f
Disc Manufacturer: InfoDisc Technology Co., Ltd.
Reflective layer: Phase change
Media type: CD-ReWritable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849)
I don’t know what you guys are complaining about with cheap CDRW media, look at that. That’ll get your 600Mb PowerPoint presentation from your office to your house! I burned/erased/rewrote about a dozen of these.

Pretty good, not bad, if it burns like this on the crap I can’t wait to see what the Verbatims look like.



#9

Thanks for your posts, I also have those different models, got both from newegg like you did and was wondering about the difference. The GCAB would not accept that BCDB firmware upgrade from benq support.

I was very pleased with the BCDB version. Did a DVD+R DL (2.x) and a bunch of DVD+R (8x) and they verified perfectly. I also have a Pioneer A08 and a Benq 1620 and they frequently give false verifies. ie: nero reports an error but a binary compare showed the files match.

The 1655 I have is on firewire. I inadvertantly burned a DVD+R at 8x from firewire source (hard drive) to firewire destination (1655). After I clicked on start I realized that it would not run at 2x, let alone 8x. The Benq handled the buffer underrun perfectly. Nero 7082 started off showing it would take only 15 minutes but it ended up taking 2+ hours for the burn. The hardware buffer indicator would constantly hit 0 and usually stayed about 20%. I was impressed that benq was able to handle so great a mismatch. The verify finished without an error and I did a binary compare of the files to make sure they were actually burned correctly. From experience, the more expensive pioneer a08 would have failed.


#10

DVD+RW
RiData 4x Branded

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+RW:RICOHJPN-W11-001]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+RW] - [DVD-ROM]
Manufacturer Name : [Ricoh Co. Ltd.]
Manufacturer ID : [RICOHJPN]
Media Type ID : [W11]
Product Revision : [001]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4.70 GB (4.38 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x-2.4x , 1.6x-4x]

[ DVD Identifier V4.3.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

Now that is ugly. This was the first burn on these for the Benq so it didn’t have time to “learn”. I only use these for pre-mastering when I’m doing home video transfer just to make sure all the menus work and the sound levels are right.



#11

I thought something might be awry so I scanned this in the 1655. What’s up with that? I don’t get the difference? Maybe this is one of the 27 things wrong. The speed is set to Maximum but it ran at 1X. What’s up with that? Somebody help the rookie.



#12

DVD+R
Ridata 8x Branded

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:RICOHJPN-R02-003]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] - [Not Available]
Manufacturer Name : [Ricoh Co. Ltd.]
Manufacturer ID : [RICOHJPN]
Media Type ID : [R02]
Product Revision : [003]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4.70 GB (4.38 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x-2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x]

[ DVD Identifier V4.3.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

These are my go to discs for movie backups. The ones that the kids get to use in the van.



#13

And the BenQ Scan for the Ritek DVD+R 8x



#14

RiData 16x Branded

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:RITEK-R04-001]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] - [Not Available]
Manufacturer Name : [Ritek Corp.]
Manufacturer ID : [RITEK]
Media Type ID : [R04]
Product Revision : [001]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4.70 GB (4.38 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x-2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x , 6x-16x]

[ DVD Identifier V4.3.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]



#15

Same DVD+R 16x disc in the Litey:



#16

DVD-R
Maxell 8x Branded

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-R:RITEKG05]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD-R] - [DVD-R]
Manufacturer Name : [Ritek Corp.]
Manufacturer ID : [RITEKG05]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,298,496 Sectors = 4.71 GB (4.38 GiB)]

[ DVD Identifier V4.3.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]
First and only burn on these as well. Blech. Scanned it again at 4x and it was worse. QS 43.



#17

Look at the 1x Scan of the DVD-R 8x from the BenQ: :confused:



#18

DVD+R DL
Verbatim 2.4x Branded

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R-DL:MKM-001-000]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R DL] - [Not Available]
Manufacturer Name : [Mitsubishi Kagaku Media]
Manufacturer ID : [MKM]
Media Type ID : [001]
Product Revision : [Not Specified]
Blank Disc Capacity : [4,173,824 Sectors = 8.55 GB (7.96 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [2.4x]

[ DVD Identifier V4.3.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

Old double-ugly. This was the second burn on this media. This looks about the same as the Ritek DVD+RW. Obviously, the write strategy for MKM-001 could use some work. I understand this media is not well supported in the BCDB retail firmware either, unless you want to reflash with Ala42’s MCSE, you’re stuck with this and 2.4x burns. The packaging clearly states “UP TO 6X SPEED with compatible high speed DVD+R DL drives.” This one ain’t compatible yet.



#19

But then I scanned the same Verbatim 2.4x DL disc in the BenQ:



#20

Nero InfoTool 3.00

Drive Information

Drive : ATAPI DVD LS 8X16X8X16
Type : DVD±R/RW DL Recorder
Firmware Version : GCAB
Buffer Size : 2 MB
Date : ?
Serial Number : redacted
Vendor Specific : redacted
Drive Letter : F:
Location : 3:0
Mechanism : Tray
Read Speed : 16.0 , 12.0 , 8.0 , 6.0 , 4.0 X
Write Speed : 8.0 , 4.0 , 2.4 X
Read CD Text : Yes
Return C2 Pointers : No
Read CD-R : Yes
Read CD-RW : Yes
Read DVD-ROM : Yes
Read DVD-RAM : No
Read DVD-R : Yes
Read DVD-RW : Yes
Read DVD+R : Yes
Read DVD+RW : Yes
Read DVD+R DL : Yes
Read BD-ROM : No
Read BD-R : No
Read BD-RE : No
Read Digital Audio : Yes
Read CD+G : Yes
Read VideoCD : Yes
Write CD-R : Yes
Write CD-RW : Yes
Write DVD-R : Yes
Write DVD-RW : Yes
Write DVD-R DL : Yes
Write DVD+R : Yes
Write DVD+RW : Yes
Write DVD+R DL : Yes
Write DVD-RAM : No
Write BD-R : No
Write BD-RE : No
Buffer Underrun Protection : Yes
Mount Rainier : No
Modes : Packet, TAO, DAO, SAO, RAW SAO, RAW DAO, RAW SAO 16, RAW SAO 96, RAW DAO 16, RAW DAO 96
Region Protection Control : RPC II
Region : 1
Changes User : 5
Changes Vendor : 4

Disc Information (F:)

Type : Blank DVD-R
Drive Information

Drive : LITE-ON DVD SOHD-167T
Type : DVD-ROM Drive
Firmware Version : 9S1B
Buffer Size : 512 KB
Date : 2005-03-31
Serial Number
Vendor Specific : 2005/03/31 16:41
Drive Letter : G:
Location : 3:1
Mechanism : Tray
Read Speed : 48 X
Write Speed : n/a

Read CD Text : Yes
Return C2 Pointers : Yes
Read CD-R : Yes
Read CD-RW : Yes
Read DVD-ROM : Yes
Read DVD-RAM : No
Read DVD-R : Yes
Read DVD-RW : Yes
Read DVD+R : Yes
Read DVD+RW : Yes
Read DVD+R DL : Yes
Read BD-ROM : No
Read BD-R : No
Read BD-RE : No
Read Digital Audio : Yes
Read CD+G : Yes
Read VideoCD : Yes
Write CD-R : No
Write CD-RW : No
Write DVD-R : No
Write DVD-RW : No
Write DVD-R DL : No
Write DVD+R : No
Write DVD+RW : No
Write DVD+R DL : No
Write DVD-RAM : No
Write BD-R : No
Write BD-RE : No
Buffer Underrun Protection No
Mount Rainier : No
Modes : n/a
Region Protection Control : RPC II
Region : 1
Changes User : 4
Changes Vendor : 4
Region Protection Control : RPC II
Region : None
Changes User : 5
Changes Vendor : 4

Interface Information

Adapter 1

Description : Primary IDE Channel
Driver
Description : System32\DRIVERS\atapi.sys
Company : Microsoft Corporation
Version : 5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
Description : IDE/ATAPI Port Driver
Attached Devices
Description : Master: ST3120022A
Type : Disk Drive
DMA : On
Description : Slave: ST3120026A
Type : Disk Drive
DMA : On

Adapter 2

Description : Secondary IDE Channel
Driver
Description : System32\DRIVERS\atapi.sys
Company : Microsoft Corporation
Version : 5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
Description : IDE/ATAPI Port Driver
Attached Devices

Adapter 3

Description : Primary IDE Channel
Driver
Description : System32\DRIVERS\atapi.sys
Company : Microsoft Corporation
Version : 5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
Description : IDE/ATAPI Port Driver

Attached Devices

Adapter 4

Description : Secondary IDE Channel
Driver
Description : System32\DRIVERS\atapi.sys
Company : Microsoft Corporation
Version : 5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
Description : IDE/ATAPI Port Driver
Attached Devices
Description : Master: ATAPI DVD LS 8X16X8X16
Type : CD-Rom Drive
DMA : On
Autorun : On
Description : Slave: LITE-ON DVD SOHD-167T
Type : CD-Rom Drive
DMA : On

Software Information

Operating System : Windows XP Home Edition (5.01.2600 Service Pack 2)
DirectX : DirectX 9.0c

Description : Nero Burning ROM
Version : 6, 6, 0, 14
Company : Ahead Software AG
Version Check : Ok

Description : Nero StartSmart
Version : 2, 0, 0, 20
Company : Ahead Software AG

Description : NeroVision
Version : 3,1,0,14
Company : Nero AG

Description : Nero ShowTime
Version : 2, 0, 0, 39
Company : Nero Software AG

Description : Nero Recode 2
Version : 2, 2, 6, 17
Company : Ahead Software AG

Description : Cover Designer
Version : 2, 3, 0, 42
Company : Nero AG

Description : Nero BackItUp Application
Version : 1, 2, 0, 52
Company : Ahead Software AG

Description : Alcohol 120%
Version : 1.9.5.3822
Company : Alcohol Soft Development Team

Description : Sonic MyDVD
Version : 5, 2, 2, 0
Company : Sonic Solutions

Hardware Information

CPU : Intel Pentium 4 CPU 2.80GHz 2800 MHz
Bus Speed : 200 MHz
Motherboard : ASUSTeK 'P4SD-LA’
System : HP D7222M-ABA A450Y
BIOS : AMI 3.18
Memory : 512 MB
Sound : Realtek AC97 Audio
Video : NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200

ASPI Information

System ASPI : ASPI is installed and working properly
WNASPI32.DLL : 4.60 (1021) 45056 bytes September 10, 1999
ASPI32.SYS : 4.60 (1021) 25244 bytes September 10, 1999
WINASPI.DLL : 4.60 (1021) 5600 bytes September 10, 1999
WOWPOST.EXE : 4.60 (1021) 4672 bytes September 10, 1999
Nero ASPI : ASPI is installed and working properly
WNASPI32.DLL : 2.0.1.74 164112 bytes October 26, 2004