CD Freaks Presents: Lite-On SOHR-5238S Review

CD Freaks Presents : Lite-On SOHR-5238S Review

It’s been quite a while since we at CD Freaks reviewed a CD-RW drive. With a plethora of DVD burners to choose from and prices forever falling, most people can afford a DVD burner. But perhaps not everyone needs a DVD burner, so there is still a place in the market for CD-RW drives.

Lite-On BV, was kind enough to send us one of their range of CD-R/W drives, the SOHR-5238S. This drive supports 52x CD-R writing and CD-RW writing at a maximum of 32X. The drive also supports 99 minute CD-R burning, Mt, Rainier and SMART BURN technologies.

You can read the review here

Please feel free to comment on the review in this thread.

Excellent review, thanks Dee. :clap:

Seems like a pretty good drive. Hopefully they well fix the CD-RW writing with a firmware update.

Now CodeKing you should know better, LiteOn will wait for you to fix it for them. :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, after long time finally a review of a CD-RW-drive :slight_smile:

The CD-R-writing-quality is good but could be better. But why the CD-RW-quality is so bad, even with long avaible media.

Is there stll hope for new FW? Liteon have two newer drives, maybe they concentrate more on those drives.

BTW, is a review of the newer Aopen CD-RW/DVD-CD-RW-Combo´s are planned?

This drive is fine with quite good quality for recorded CD-R. However the MTBF of its tray and disc sensing is area for improvement. I used this model as one of the daily CD-Rewriters in my CD-R plant and some of the SOHR-5238S are quite easy with problem on the tray or disc sensing. I bought 6 pieces SOHR-5238S and 3 of them with problems around using for 1 to 2 months, so I stopped on using this rewriter for daily inspection.

Besides that I am looking for the review on the latest Liteon CD-Rewriter SOHR-5239S.

The processing-quality of LiteOn-drives don´t convince me. Had 3 newer drives, all 3 are loud and have flumsy tray´s.

Overall the 5238S is a good and fast drive for CD-R-writing and quality-scans, but not more.

LiteOn is starting to phase in new disc handling hardware (loader). From my personal experience using a 6K combo (and comparing it to the slower 1H combo), it’s much quieter while spinning (despite being faster) and the tray is slower, but sturdier (belt-driven instead of gear-driven). According to sources, LiteOn started using these new loaders starting with the 5K (or was it 6K?) for combos, 9S (not 8S!) for CD-writers, 9S for DVD-ROMs (not 7T!), and 5S (not yet released) for DVD-writers.

The 4S08 firmware lowered max writing speed for Fujifilm (TY) to 48x. I’m pretty sure 52x was available in previous firmware. Media code is:

    Drive Type = CD-RW    
     Disc Type = CDR
      Material = Cyanine
       Lead In = 97:24:01
      Lead Out = 79:59:72

Nominal Capacity = 702.83MB
Manufacturer Maybe = Taiyo Yuden Company Limited
SMART-BURN Speed Limit = 48X (Write)

my drive is a Sony CRX230ED flashed to 5238S, if it matters.

I’m not sure about previous firmware versions. But the drive certainly burns this media well at 48X

The smartburn will automatically select the recording speed by checking the disc quality. Did you verified by some other good quality media in it?

I’ve already tried flashing back to 4S07. 52x is now available.

for some odd reason, the TY media is locked at 48x in the 4S08 firmware.

How many seconds do you save when burning @52x :wink: ?

A very good point :wink:

heh, i usually burn @48x. gives me a small assurance of better quality on the outer edges

I have a question about the test condition when testing the audio ripping speed in EAC secure mode with the 5238S. Was “drive caches audio data” checked? The reason I mention this is that my 5239S is typically about 10x in EAC secure mode. Pretty sluggish. I also have an LG GSA-4163B and its EAC ripping speed smokes everything I’ve used in secure mode, typically managing about 24x. I’m just wondering why the big discrepancy in the data. Maybe the 5238s is totally different from the 5239s?

drive caches audio data was unchecked as this is known to cause problems.
I rerun the secure mode test just to make sure, the results are below. Note this is not the same disc as used in the review.

Based on the info I’ve read at Andre’s site and the SatCP tutorial, it’s my understanding that EAC secure mode works in the following way regarding caching:

In secure mode, multiple attempts are made to read the data, and multiple data values from these attempts must agree before EAC accepts the data and moves on to the next data. For this to work, each attempt must result in a physical re-read of the disk’s data. When caching is present, the multiple read attempts end up just returning what was already in the cache multiple times. Thus it’s possible to get matching data even if the original data was in error. This basically defeats the purpose of EAC secure mode. The purpose of the EAC “Drive caches audio data” setting is not to disable or enable the cache (which apparently only the firmware can do), but rather to tell EAC that it must clear the drive’s cache after each read, such that the data comparison occurs with data obtained from a physical re-read of the disk’s data each time.

So there’s four total combinations of drive caching and EAC caching configurations as follows.

  1. Drive caches data, EAC is told that the drive does so. Cache is flushed after each read, slowing down the process. Result: degraded speed but full accuracy

  2. Drive caches data, EAC is told that it does not. Data re-reads for error checking simply compare the same data from the cache with itself. Result: maximum speed with degraded accuracy.

  3. Drive does not cache data but EAC is told that it does. Extra commands are sent to flush the cache, but there is no cache, so all this does is slow down the rip. Result: degraded speed but full accuracy.

  4. Drive does not cache data and EAC is told that it does not cache. Each re-read command results in a physical re-read of the data. No extraneous cache flush commands. Result: maximum speed with maximum accuracy.

In short, having a drive that does caching on audio extraction but telling EAC that it does not, maximizes ripping speed, but defeats the purpose of EAC secure mode. People use EAC secure mode for the most accurate possible data. My opinion is that if the drive caches audio data, EAC should be configured to tell it that, so that the speed benchmarks are for the condition of highest data accuracy. Since maximum accuracy is the reason for using EAC secure mode in the first place, it seems that the fairest comparison is the configuration that gives the highest accuracy.

That said, I did some benchmarks of my 5239s by telling EAC that it does not cache. This only gave me a minor improvement in ripping speed. It still doesn’t explain the huge difference in EAC secure mode benchmarks between the 5239s and the 5238s. I’m starting to think that these drives may in fact be very different from each other despite the similarity in part numbers. Aargh! :slight_smile:

Just a FYI, 4S09 is out… and here’s a direct link (since the LiteOn site is moronic and uses VBScript :Z)

and i was wondering why Firefox refused to download 4S09 :rolleyes:

anywayz, 52x write speed restored for Fuji 48x TY :clap:

Thanks, any changelog avaible?