Cdfreaks presents LG GSA-5160D review

You can find it here:

Feel free to comment the review in this thread.

For some reason, the reviewer can “pad” sections of the review with repeats and the obvious, but leave out important info that can mislead a prospective purchaser. i.e. The drive supports Win98SE and Windows ME !!! but he failed to list these two platforms in this review as he did in the review of the GSA-4163b.
:cop: (Give me the facts, the whole facts and nothing but the facts … ) :cop:

I think this reviewer has to explain how in the early pictures he shows this drive burning DVD at 16X with a USB2 interface.

Later on in the article the Nero CD-DVD Speed pictures show a burst transfer rate of 21MB/s. Sorry folks “you can’t burn 16X disk at this transfer rate”.

Just my 2 cents…

Hi Meanderer,

First of all – welcome to our forum.

The listed drive specifications were taken from LG’s website in Germany, and for the GSA-4163B they list:

Unterstützte Betriebssysteme : Windows ME/ Windows 2000 Professional/ Windows XP Home Edition, Professional

Which is also listed in the LG GSA-4163B review. (Including Windows ME).

For the GSA-5160D - LG’s website in Germany lists:

Unterstützte Betriebssysteme : Windows 2000 Professional / Windows XP Home Edition, Professional

Also listed in the LG GSA-5160D review.

Besides in the GSA-5160D’s printed owner’s manual on Page 3, the same is listed there as well.

I also like to mention that on Page 11 in the printed owner’s manual we can read:

- For the sake of periodic improvements, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.

I am sorry though, that we do not have the opportunity and time to test the drives under all Operation system. If somebody wants to share their experiences with other Operation systems then used in our review they are welcome to post them here in this thread.


Still looking for answers to my post ?

I can now see that LG is inconsistant in their specifications from site to site. Other sites show OS’s include win98se and winME. With regard to your review of the GSA-4163b, a close look at the photo you show of the back of the box, you can see that win98SE and ME is included there. I understand that you can’t test for each Operating system. At least these threads might clarify it for those newbies like me that an upgrade from win98se is not a neccessity. That’s my real concern.
Thanks for explanation :slight_smile:

I have burned more than 30 dvd-r,dvd+r and dvd-ram by 5160d
under windows ME,
my laptop is IBM T20 with pcmcia usb 2.0
the windowsME is the only choice for me,
1 fastest for ibm t20
2 leave more hardware space for dvd burner
3 with most of drive for ibm t20

I burned another DVD at approximately 16x today, and we can read from the (included picture) that the end writing speed is 15.91X. I also did an interface burst rate test (included picture) and we can read 21 MB/s (21532 KB/s).

Let’s try some calculations: (I guess there are also other ways to calculate this too).

DVD 1x speed is approximately 1,32 MB/s

Actual writing speed multiplied with DVD 1x = transfer rate

15,91x x 1,32 MB/s = 21,0012 MB/s

Or divide the interface burst rate on 1x DVD speed = Actual writing speed

21,0012 MB/s : 1,32 MB/s = 15.91x


Thank you very much for your update…

It appears that the LG can hit very close to 16X using Z-CLV over USB2. But I think it’s because of the VIA USB2 motherboard support. Without VIA my testing of USB2 yields about 17-19MB/s with a Prolific PL-3507 case with a BenQ 1620 drive installed.

On Firewire, I can reach a 23-24MB/s with the BenQ (47L9 firmware).

Can you test the USB2 support on a NON-VIA machine ???


I don’t think it’s only possible with VIA chipset motherboards. VIA chipsets naturally tend to perform worst than best. OC-Freak a while ago also could burn at 16x with GSA-5163D (review not yet posted). Though I myself couldn’t do 16x on USB 2.0, I tested only on one PC, a 845/ICH4-based PC and as some of my past posts indicated, that system had troubles regarding USB 1.1/2.0 for some time. 17-19MB/s and 23-24MB/s are already too slow (though this is not the first time for me to say so.)

LG’s home site is and Hitachi’s home site is

Whether some of the latest DVD writers support Windows 98 or Windows ME is a very minor issue because most times nothing is required for a DVD writer to run on an OS. Win95 and DOS also support GSA-4160B which is the base of GSA-5160D. For the best support, it’s best to use the latest version of the widest-used OS on an Intel PC platform based on 845/865/875/915/925 because most DVD writer manufacturers first make sure all their drivers and utilities run smoothly on the platforms that most of their customers use. What I mean is what you are asking is not about a DVD writer, but about OS.

That is also why most (or all) reviewers test drives on only ONE platform. Which makes sense in my opinion. Why waste time on operating systems instead of recording performances?

The problem is not the computer - I’m getting burst rates of 22MB/s on my LG GSA-5163D on usb2 with intel chipset :wink:

The problem is the PL-3507 firmware!

The LG external enclosures use a very good PL-3507 firmware from mid-december 2004 which greatly improves USB 2.0 transfer rates.

BenQ in a generic PL-3507 with the 110904 firmware is performing identical to your results.

Yes I did try with the new LG firmware on my generic PL-3507 enclosure, and it’s not good - seems to be made specially for LG as it doesn’t detect BenQ writers for example :frowning:

Threw in some old optorite writer and it was detected, but since I use it with my BenQ I flashed it back to the 110904 firmware…

widest-used OS on an Intel PC platform based on 845/865/875/915/925

That sounds to be exacly what my computer is…

Hi OC-Freak,

I did obtain the December 2004, release of the Pl-3507 firmware released from LG that is posted on this site. I installed and checked the revision and the HEX file was real old. If I remember correctly it was revision 062 (but I’m not sure). I took the LG HEX file and did a HEX compare of the generic PL-3507 HEX file of the same revision (062?) AND THEY WERE THE SAME…

This leads me to think the LG’s DVD firmware is developed to work with the PL-3507 and NOT that the PL-3507 is special made for LG…

as I read
‘This firmware is not for the GSA-5160D, but for the external brigde board’
is it worth to upgrade with this firmware?

Yep - I think you are right - it’s more because of the firmware in the drive. See the external enclosure thread - I posted some good results on USB2 there - seems to be a drive-firmware issue rather than an enclosure-firmware issue.

Ooops - my fault then :stuck_out_tongue:

It no body’s fault !!!
This is a real touchy subject dependent on many many different items. I have been working on this with Lite-On, BenQ, Nec drives for the last 6-9 months and still only know a very little bit.

I can’t wait to see how the new BenQ external with a SATA connection works !!!

Any DVD writer working in an external SATA casing would be great but then… hmm… only cost was what stopped me from buying an SATA external case. :sad:

Question: Is this the 4160B in an external case?


4120 -> 5120
4160 -> 5160
4163 -> 5163

I personally like to see USB-only version and SATA-only version in addition to USB/1394 combo version for LG external DVD writers. 1394b will be good as well.