Cdfreaks presents LG GSA-4163B review



You can find it here:

Feel free to comment the review in this thread.


Wow, finally. Great work, Jan! :slight_smile: :iagree: :wink: :bow: :iagree: :wink: :slight_smile:


Excellent review again!!!

Is this the new No.1??? and the Benq 1620 goes to 2nd place??


As I have always said, it is not good to compare drives directly without mentioning what tests to base on.

BenQ DW1620 tries to write each media at the highest possible speeds whereas LG GSA-4163B and other LG DVD writers try to make it the safest possible speeds. DW1620 was mostly designed by Philips, the DVD+RW company whereas LG GSA-4163B was primarily designed by Hitachi, the DVD-RAM company.

It’s also difficult to compare Plextor PX-716A and LG GSA-4163B. The AutoStrategy and other features in PX-716A don’t mean much against LG GSA-4163B. Those who clearly prefer GSA-4163B to PX-716A are likely to dismiss some of those features while liking the P-CAV 16x speeds that also result in very low PIF numbers (and very good readback.) Those who sometimes use DVD-RAM media can’t dismiss GSA-4163B. People who prefer PlexTools Professional for write quality tests will gladly pay additional money for PX-716A or PX-712A. For some people, LG DVD writers offer safer and longer warranty (often 1:1 instant replacement.) For some others, Plextor offers better support. Overall, there are more Plextor fans than LG fans on CDFreaks among those who post a lot and Plextor drives have far more often reviewed and discussed than LG drives on CDFreaks news, reviews, and community boards, but there are far more LG ODD users as LG is No. 1 in all of the ODD-related markets: CD-ROM drives, CD-R/-RW drives, DVD-ROM drives, CD/DVD combo drives, notebook/slim-type optical drives, and DVD writers. Plextor focuses on the niche market while LG targets at much larger and wider consumer groups. BenQ is yet too new. Year 2005 might prove well for BenQ and Philips partnership, but LG will continue to lead in all markets from CD-ROM drives and DVD players to Blu-ray and HD-DVD.


Year 2004 results:

Combo: HLDS - TSST - LiteOn
CD Writers: HLDS - LiteOn - TSST
DVD Writers: HLDS - NEC - Panasonic

LG (or HLDS) was No. 1 in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.


It seems like if your major priority is Dual Layer recording for archival purposes, the LG is a superior option because it is both safer and faster (4x vs BenQ’s 2.4x). Am I right? Are there any other recorders better than the LG for DL archiving? I’m about to make a purchase soon.


4x is not necessarily fast for DVD+R DL writers these days. There are TSST drives that can do 5x DVD+R DL, and Pioneer DVR-A09, Plextor PX-716A, NEC ND-3530A, and more drives are going to have 6x to 8x DVD+R DL.

The most “superior” thing in GSA-4163B is the P-CAV 16x writing. Fastest and best write quality for either DVD+R or DVD-R. None of the coming drives from any other manufacturer seems to offer P-CAV on the other hand. The weakest points are slower CD-R and CD-RW write speeds. LG should have upgraded them to 48x CD-R and 32x CD-RW speeds, but still 16x P-CAV is far more important than those in a 16x DVD writer. Anybody here uses a lot of 32x CD-RW media?


Wow, I am quite impressed with this drive. Exellent scan results and burn speeds abound! Whether or not it will replace my NEC ND-3500AG remains to be seen. I am so happy with NEC it would be a shame to pull that drive from my box.


However, none of those drives you mentioned are available now or within the next month. (Correct me if I’m wrong). So does that leave the LG as the best DL writer on the market right now? I apologize if I’m hijacking the thread but I’d like to get some confirmation from the experts here on whether the LG is the drive that I should buy right now. My top priority is safe and fast DL recording.


Great review and confirmation (if we needed it) that:

LG-4163 + Good media = Great burns.



Writing Speed
DVD-R : 2x, 4x CLV, 8x ZCLV, 16x PCAV
DVD+R : 2.4x, 4x CLV, 8x, 12x, 16x ZCLV

I have seen that in the drive review. Is it an error or not ? because Kenshin is mentionning PCAV.


5x/6x +DL capable drives are already in like Toshiba TS-H552A, Plextor PX-716A (via the latest beta firmware) ect. DVR-A09 will be selling in a few days time also.


I’m very sure it’s 16x P-CAV for + & -. I written both formats at 16x before. :wink:


The LG GSA-4163B uses 16x P-CAV on both DVD+R/-R.

The official specifications listed in the review was taken from LG’s homepage Germany and they do state 16x Z-CLV on DVD+R, but this is a typo made by LG. I believe they meant to write:

DVD+R : 2.4x, 4x CLV, 8x, 12x ZCLV, 16x P-CAV



I’d like to have ND-3530A now (though there must be NEC HD-DVD notebook burners some months later) and I won’t have to pull any of my existing DVD burners from my PC. Having a 6-channel IDE card for DVD burners and HDD drives is a nice thing. :slight_smile: One card can allow adding 12 more DVD burners at once.

@Kent Wang

As Sen replied already, TS-H552A and SD-R5372 have been on the market for months both in Asia and outside Asia. Plextor PX-716A has also been on the market for some time and DVD+R DL 6x is already supported. 6x DVD-R DL will be added when the specification for 6x DVD-R DL is finalized (which will enable Plextor to release a firmware for it.) Pioneer DVR-A09 has been rumored for long and some people did have it last year for tests and first looks and both DVD+R DL 6x and DVD-R DL 6x are supported, too. NEC ND-3530A supports 8x DVD+R DL which is no surprise since Philips and Ricoh have prepared 8x DVD+R DL for years. :slight_smile: LG will have drives supporting 8x DVD+R DL as well but I’m not sure of the details. Previously, LG released quite many CD writers even after starting production of 48x CD-R writers.


16x DVD+R P-CAV and 16x DVD-R P-CAV are clearly mentioned in some of LG documentations. Read the sticky threads as well, and search for 16x DVD-R P-CAV burning tests. So far, 5:19 write time in Nero CD-Speed can be achieved only by 16x DVD-R P-CAV writing. :slight_smile:


Even Ritek RITEKG05 burns were good at 8x both on Jan S. review and on my test, both tested with A101 firmware. Only physically very seriously damaged media made failures. But clearly MCC003, MCC004, TYG02, YUDEN000T02, MCC03RG30, MXLRG04, MKM001, RICOHD01, TDK003, etc. are the best media for GSA-4163B.

These media were provided by LG in Seoul for GSA-4163B tests.

  1. MXL 16 (5x DVD-RAM, Hitachi-Maxell)
  2. TYG02 (8x DVD-R, Taiyo Yuden That’s)
  3. MCC 004 (Mitsubishi Kagaku Media 16x DVD+R)
  4. MCC 03RG20 ((Mitsubishi Kagaku Media 16x DVD-R)
  5. MKM A03 (Mitsubishi Kagaku Media 8x DVD+RW)
  6. MKM 01RW 6x01 (Mitsubishi Kagaku Media 6x DVD-RW)

Maxell 16x DVD+R and Maxell 16x DVD-R were not included. Many other good media were not included that are difficult to get from open market.


Hope the next LG burner will burn DVD-RAM at 8x or higher … because of the verification it “seems” to take ages before a 5x burn is finished. :frowning: :sad:


For speeds, 8x DVD+RW. :iagree:


The DVD-R ‘increments’ were predictable. I wonder how DVD-RAM will follow?


The DVD-RAM license holders announced 16x DVD-RAM in 2004 but no product release plan released yet.