Cdfreaks presents BenQ DW-1625 review

Check the review here:

The review was finished 18.5.2005, but after massive amount of mails to/from benQ and lots of extra testing around the double layer writing issue - which caused me to use 10 MKM001 double layer discs - many which is paid by myself - I finally said enough is enough and thus publish the review today.

Feel free to comment on it.

My scores for this drive (check my signature):

1: 4 - good writing quality on DVD+/-R and CD-R, but RW media needs improving. Minus 4 points for totally useless DL writing quality.
2: 7 - pretty good, but no overspeeding and oversensitive OPC make it less than perfect.
3: 5 - poor, only 40x CD-R, 8x -R and 2.4x DVD+R DL!! Not what we expect from such a new drive.
4: 7 - Low reading speed for DVD+R/RW and only 40x CD reading, but good quality wise.
5: 9 - Very good, supports bitsetting, error scanning, QSuite and Lightscribe.
6: 8 - About average/good.
7: - skipped
8: 7 - good looking, but nothing special - not of the “short drive design” type.

Overall (not average): 4 - a drive with such serious issues (DL writing) as this doesn’t deserve more.

Additional comments.

BenQ claim they can’t find any DL writing issues in their lab. I’ve tried it on my computer, on my laptop in an firewire/usb enclosure as well as the “family computer” all with the same problem. I did also flash a HP DVD 640i review sample with the DW1625 firmware - same problem.

Note: the HP DVD 640i failed 3 days later. Not due to misflashing or anything, it suddenly started to not detect discs and then the tray totally freaked out and would close/open at random and stop halfway in or out and it doesn’t detect any discs of course. I’m responsible for tech support for a small company and have seen this issue before - and looks like a weakness in one of the components BenQ uses as this is the most common failure symptom of the failed BenQ DW1620/1625 drives I’ve seen.

I’m really surprised at the DL writing or lack thereof. I have the HP oem drive flashed with BBGA, I haven’t tried a DL discs in it yet, although now I’m reluctant to even try… I have been pleased with my drive, its given me good quality on the discs I’ve tested. Maybe you had two bad drives?

How can you ask that when you’ve never tested DL yet? :bigsmile: Wasting 10 DL disks for testing just one drive could be very frustrating. A much bigger site than CDFreaks once tested a popular DL drive and just used one DL disk and concluded the drive wasn’t good enough. :disagree:

I admit, I don’t want to waste my DL if in fact all 1625’s are like that. I want to ses results from others. I’ve only got 2 discs left and can’t get more right now.

i think BENQ need to get their act together and fix the DL problem :Z

waste 10 verbatim DL is unbelieveble :o

Ok, I have this drive and it has worked great with SL media for 3 weeks now.
Today I tried a 1:1 copy of a movie using DVDDecrypter.
Well, didnt even start burning… sense error.
Is there a problem with RICOHJPN DL media and these drives?
I noticed a note on the BBHA FW that said “Allows you to disable the support of Ricoh +R DL”

The disk’s are IMATION w/ RICOHJPN
These are the only DL I have at the time… so I can’t even test.

I’m pretty sure Ricoh DVD+R DL’s don’t work with this drive or the 1620 either (last time I tried), the only media that does work well is the MKM stuff which is usually found in Verbatim.

The error message you get is some form of protection “I think” blocking you from burning the discs and thereby wasting them, I dont know why they just don’t pull the media code from the firmware :confused:

Yea, or beter yet just add a RICOHJPN write strategy that works… :stuck_out_tongue:
I mean, RICOHJPN is a second class mid. Its decent quality. Hopefully they will add it in the future along with 12x burning ;-p. Till then i guess my DL media will collect dust.

Yes that would be even better :bigsmile: but I’ve given up hope that they would do that and improve their DVD+R DL support beyond MKM and Ritek (& Ritek is crap anyway).

There are other DVD+R DL MID’s in their firmware but I don’t remember anyone ever posting a scan or even finding one of these other brands… though haven’t seen anything for sale other than MKM, Ritek & Ricoh in this neck of the woods.

Yea, I think i’ll try out the philips 1.8 FW as it seems there was more “updates” on thier version of the drive… I checked it out in MCSE and one more -R mid then other firmwares… but im sure some of the exsisting write strats been improved… Maybe the MXL write strat will be beter.


Any better results from the Phillips Firmware???

Philips are pretty much the same and they also lock out Ricoh DVD+R DL at least from P1.7 onwards.

(BenQ drives use a Philips chipset so it stands to reason that the intial firmware code comes from Philips and then diverges though from time to time firmwares come out with similar change logs from BenQ & Philips)

Can anyone Guide Me to 1.8 CVT File?

1.5 firmware in cvt form then you can use Philips own flash tools (dont think their is a 1.8 cvt).

Thanks 8T8.

Ok, How have some people been able to burn at 16X. No matter what type of 16X DVDs I use bothe Benq BBHA and Phillips 1.8 only burn at 8X with WOPC or without.

I’ve used MCSE to switch strats and fine tune like on my 1620, but to no avail.


I have had the same problem it seems the WOPC is kinda aggressive with the current 1625 firmware, the 1620 had similar issues with B7U9 but they ironed those out with B7V9, but as you say even turning off the WOPC doesn’t seem to stop it so I’m not sure whats going on though a few people on this forum have burnt discs at 16x consistently maybe its related to the quality control problems OC-Freak mentioned with the 1625.

I have had a few of my MCC 004 Verbatim DVD+R 16x burn at 16x but others and other 16x media have burned at 4 or 8x don’t know if BenQ will address the problem (hint hint anyone from BenQ reading this)…

Hmm, no I havent yet done the flash to 1.8, but now that I see others are interested as well, guess ill be the test monkey…lol
I will also run a pif test (on 1.8 FW) with the burned disk I used before on the BBHA burn out of curiosity. Then I will do a Refrence Nero Data cd Burn on MXLRG03 media and rescan.
My reasoning behind Philips FW is that there are many more versions “1.4-1.8”
where as far as I know BenQ has two for this drive "GBGA, “BBHA”. therfore philips are on top of updates from that view. Hopefully they improved a lot of the exisisting MIDS. Will be back with the comparison scan ASAP.



Wow, so theres problems burning on anything but MCC 004@16x? SO support for 16x media is limited to it?? Errr…
BTW: Im aware the RICOHJPN is removed from 1.6 up. Im just trying to improve overall; write quality on various