First, sorry about BenQ’s not serving you well. There is no DVDRW drive manufacturer without lemons…
My DVD burning career started with a Lite-On 411s more then two years back. With help from c64 and zebra this drive was converted to a 811s and burned RICOHJPN R01 better than any drive I’ve ever owned. But after more than 300 burned DVD’s this drive recieved a well earned retirement in my sons compu.
But, I just couldn’t live without a Litey. Next up was SOHW-812s, immediately converted to 832s with help from C0deguys. A very good drive, but not as good (on my favorite media R01) as my 411@811. But still, C0deKing and c64 provided all performance and quality to drive that I ever needed.
Time went by and I got me a NEC 3500, because at that time Liteys (1213, 1633) didn’t manage to burn decent at 8, 12, even less at 16x on any DVD media.
NEC 3500 is a great troublefree drive, best NEC DVDRW ever made in my opinion. This drive still serves me well with help from firmwares patched by Quikee, Dee27 and Liggy.
After almost one and a half year in this (and NEC) forum section I jumped ower to BenQ camp, a decission I never regreted.
My first BenQ was a 1620 Pro. This drive has been burning almost without issues since day one, no matter on what kind of load I put it. And remember, I torture my drives with numerous flashes, 16x burns day in day out, feed dem with crap media overspeeded 4x its rated speed. You name it.
Then we have ala42 and Quikee providing all the “fun-tools”.
Yes, I know. Some members have had problems with BenQ 1620 drives dying, not been able burn DVD-R’s, problems with weak PSU’s, aso. But my drive was and still is a (speed and burn quality) champ after more than 350 firmware flashes and 250+ burned DVD’s.
So when the 1640 came out, I emediatelly decided to buy one (just had to convince my GF first that I really needed 5 DVDRW’s, heh). 1640 is a great drive with great toolbox by delivery, yes you are right there and thats about all. You will have hard time to find a MediaTek based Litey/Sony/rebadges to stand up against BenQ 1640 today in speed and quality.
Finally the planets are in phase again and the latest “Litey”/Sony 810 is a Philips chipset based drive, same as BenQ 1640. Not a coincident without reasons, and some of the reasons you have already read about in this post. Philips chipset based DVDRW’s are superior (for the time beeing) over almost any other DVDRW’s existing on market. I hope there isn’t any doubts about that.
Oh yes, almost forgot it, I also have a 1693 in my box. But for the time being this drive serves me best for ripping and KProbe scanning… and my BenQ’s for all the rest.