DVD writer burning quality


#1

Is any of the following DVD writers significantly better than the rest in burning quality?

  1. ASUS DRW-24D5MT
  2. ASUS DRW-24F1MT
  3. SAMSUNG SH-224GB
  4. LG GH24NSD1
  5. LITEON IHAS324-17

I prefer to avoid Asus as they don’t often release firmwares and most of their drives are rebadges from SAMSUNG/LG/LITEON anyway. Any suggestions?


#2

I would prefer the LG. IMHO the best writer atm in most cases. The Asus DRW-24D5MT is AFAIK also an rebadged LG. The drives are a bit noisy and I personally don´t like the limited selection of write speeds, but the writing-quality is more important to me.

Liteon and Samsung, also the ASUS DRW-24F1MT which AFAIK is also a Samsung, are not so good as the LG, at least for the media I use.

Don´t count on FW-updates, there are rare and mostly you don´t see a difference.In the last years no new media were released, only a few media-manufacturers are left.


#3

I have an old external DVD writer from LG that I rarely use and it’s been years since I used an internal drive. Is it worth switching from Samsung (which is the drive I currently use as a writer) to LG?


#4

It depends on the media you use.

Most Samsung-writers can scan, do you have good results atm with this drive?


#5

I think so, but I don’t use it for scanning.


#6

Which Samsung you have?

My 224DB is in the same league with my LG GH24NSC0 if writing on UME02, CMC Mag AM3, Ritek F16.

But if I use CMC MAG D01 (Double Layer 2,4x), RitekF1, the LG is much better.


#7

I use SH-224BB but I also have SH-223C and I use Verbatim AZO which are the only media I can easily find locally (with a preference to MCC 004).


#8

I agree with Tester_1 in that LG (Renesas-based) drives are indeed the way to go for quality burns these days. My LG GH82N produces good burns on modern MCC 004 which the Liteon’s can’t match even with Smart Burn enabled. They are about on par with the Benq DW1650, sometimes better due to newer write strategies. These LG drives also tend to write good jitter lines for CD-R. However you can forget that right now because the particular drive you asked for (LG GH24NSD1) has a Mediatek MT1862AN chipset so the burn quality would be on par with the Liteons and Samsungs, maybe worse, and there have been issues with this particular model.

I also have Samsung SH-223B, 223C and 203B of which I personally prefer the 223B. The 223C is not a bad drive, good jitter lines on CD-R’s, but since it’s not a MediaTek drive it’s not as interesting to me.

The iHAS324-17 (probably F/FU) is what I would recommend out of these because of SmartBurn + scanning capability.


#9

There used to be some issues with the SH-223C and if I remember correctly there were 7 firmware releases for it, but I don’t see much difference in its burns compared to the SH-224BB. Any idea what chipset is the external LG GSA-E10L using?


#10

LG GSA-E10L is an external version of the GSA-H10L (same hardware) featuring a Renesas R8J32018FPV chipset. Although the drive was a decent burner, it’s pretty old (2006), so I’m not sure how well it would do on newer media. The write strategy is certainly optimized for older, higher quality MCC 004 media and even though it’s a Renesas chip, it’s a very old one which probably doesn’t have too much in common with current Renesas IC’s. Since you already have this drive then of course it won’t hurt to do some test burns.

In regard to Samsung SH-223C, it’s kind of a novelty thing because it uses some Samsung proprietary creation as its chipset, which is the reason for the many firmware revisions and why I find it to be remarkable they were able to reach the burn quality level of later MTK drives. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s suberb quality though, or even matching the previous Samsung models.


#11

Are there any new drives using a Renesas chipset currently available?


#12

A few years ago (2012-2013) it was easy to find LG drives based on Renesas, I got mine as a HP OEM version of GH80N. These days they have mostly shifted to MediaTek but I can still see some listings for GH24NS70 (also version of GH80N - using Renesas R8J32060FP2). So availability depends on where you shop, but here you can find a table of Hitachi-LG drives and their accompanying chipsets to guide you:

hlds_table_v1.1.pdf (60.1 KB)

I wouldn’t really worship the Renesas IC’s though, the burn quality difference is not always noticeable, and LG drives don’t do P-CAV as well as MTK in my experience (although the CLV burns are better). For critical applications I would invest in better quality media instead of hunting down these LG drives.


#13

I have been using mostly Verbatim AZO as I don’t think there are better quality media these days that widely available. I wouldn’t mind buying another drive though, even if it is marginally better, since prices are so low. I prefer Liteon drives because they can scan, but I think Samsung (and possibly LG) drives are better built. By the way can Samsung drives using MediaTek chipsets scan reliably?


#14

Samsung drives with MTK chipsets are capable of scanning but the functionality is blocked (god knows why) in CD-DVD Speed by default for TSSTcorp drives. You may know this already, but in case you don’t, you can remove this block by erasing TSST and Samsung through registry settings for Nero CDspeed as outlined in this post.

There is no such thing as reliable scans. The drive either provides the information on how it read the disc (PIE, PIF, POE, Jitter, TA Jitter) in the correct format expected or it does not. In the case of MediaTek-based Samsungs you can expect correct representation of PIE@8ECC and PIF@1ECC values, and you can expect no Jitter and POE reporting whatsoever. As for the usability of the scans and correlation to scans of more popular scanners these days (Liteon and Benq), which is what you are really asking about I can say that from my experience with older Samsung drives (when they were still good, ie. before 2 letters at end of model #) there is fairly good correlation, with the occasional hiccups but generally I would feel OK relying on the scans. The hiccups are that Samsung likes to reads its own burns better (report lower PIF than the other drives mentioned) and sometimes has a harder time reading CLV burns of other drives. Variation is expected with any drive though, its not an exact science so I don’t see anything bad here.

I will comment on build quality of Samsung by just saying that it went down significantly when the models with 2 letters at the end of the model number (such as your SH-224BB) were released. Before that I think Samsung’s DVD writers build and burn quality was indeed superior to some Liteon DVD burners and also LG, as were the firmwares. After ~2011 or whenever the SH-222AB came out they have been on par or worse than the Liteon’s and LG has taken over quality burning. It has to be noted though that I don’t consider new LG Renesas-based burners superior to old Samsung drives (SH-223 and earlier), rather the opposite. They are simply the best you can buy new right now at computer hardware dealers (not counting new old stock on ebay, or Pioneer elitists opinions).

This conversation about Samsungs reminded me I had got (yet another) new SH-203B drive a while ago, to replace my iHAS624B (which will be used as backup/special occasions due to higher value as scanning/ripping drive). I did that today and posted a scan of a burn of the same MCC 004 batch made in September 2016 by CMC as I burned on the LG GH82N (you also seem to have a Sep 2016 batch). You can find that here. I also included a scan of the disc by that same drive, notice the similarity in results to the other scanner drives. This burn is clearly better than LG’s, but it is their best burner (and from 2008) so that’s no surprise.


#15

'Cause Samsung was inconsistent in its use of Mediatek chipsets. (They also changed OPU suppliers fairly frequently, but that’s unrelated to the topic at hand). At the time CD Speed was made, Samsung/Toshiba hadn’t used Mediatek chips (and the designs were more Toshiba than Samsung). Then, as time progressed, the block remained in place since it wasn’t guaranteed your Samsung drive would be able to scan. (Even up to the mediocre SH-S223C, they hadn’t settled on Mediatek.)

Plus, Mediatek drives can’t really scan CDs all too well, so that’s more of a push to let the block remain.

By the time we knew there were more Mediatek Samsung drive in use, OptiDriveControl was here to take the place of CD-DVD Speed, and it didn’t block the drives.


#16

Hmm, sounds like some questionable coding practices. If you have a function that works in certain models only, the proper way to deal with it is implementing error handling through checking whether the selected drive is MediaTek-based (has certain characteristics) instead of assuming a manufacturer currently using (only) this chipset maker will forever use that same chipset in all its models and if it does not, block it outright - that’s crazy! Would be much more helpful to at least inform the user his drive can’t scan, and this could also be done for drives that report errors in non-standard format like some older NEC’s and LG’s and all new MTK drives when scanning CDs. (there used to be confusion about that, people thinking with their 0.08 avg C1’s they found the holy grail of CD-R media)

But Mediatek drives did used to scan CD’s very well until the DVD chipsets came out. I do want to meet and have a “word” with the engineer at MediaTek who came up with the wonderful idea of switching the well-functioning, industry-standard way of reporting C1 errors (BLER) into reporting only E31’s as C1… :Z

I’m still gonna use CD-DVD Speed though, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it imo. Although in the early 2000s when I first started scanning CD’s I used a DOS-based scanning utility (WSES) and Kprobe after that. Sometimes I still fire them up on my LTR-523257S for old times sake :bigsmile:
I like the way WSES graphs look, simple and sinister. *stops rambling *


#17

I can see that.

Thing is, unless the drive reports a flat-out failure to scan (at which point many drives WILL make the software report “drive does not support this function”), you have no way to know if the drive does or doesn’t report errors correctly; all the software can do is ask for C1/C2 or PIE/PIF and wait for the drive to report when/where/how severely it encounters those errors.

If the drive pretends to understand the request but then doesn’t return all the data, the software could/would just think the disc is clean.

If the drive throws a generic error as if to say it can’t process the command, it may be that the disc is too corrupt to read, etc.

And since these scanning commands differ based on chipsets, firmware, etc, I can understand going ahead and blocking the drive.

But I do think it should have been much easier to unblock the drive. I definitely agree there was a lapse in judgement regarding the whole thing, and many assumptions were made. I’m also wondering if it was at Nero’s request to block the drives, since they would be the ones who would have to provide user support for the tool, not the author himself.


#18

I used to have a SH-223B, but it died on me when a disc got stuck inside while burning. I think the SH-203B should come from around the same time. Your burn from September 2016 looks better, but I am not convinced it is because of the LG drive. Of course I could be wrong and I should go and buy one. The MCC 004 I have from the same month, seem to burn better at 8x than 4x which I find strange, because usually “problematic” media burn better at lower speeds. And I think usually good media burn about the same at 4x, 8x or even 12x.


#19

[quote=Albert] If the drive pretends to understand the request but then doesn’t return all the data, the software could/would just think the disc is clean.

And since these scanning commands differ based on chipsets, firmware, etc, I can understand going ahead and blocking the drive. [/quote]

I’ve found that most chipsets that can’t scan at all do report that to the software, so this is covered already by those chipset makers. I guess my thoughts are directed more toward drives that report errors in non-standard fashion, there is no warning or message shown by Nero CD-DVD Speed with these drives, leading inexperienced users to trust them. So if they are concerned enough about drives that can’t scan (of which most will report that anyway) that they block those, why are they not concerned with drives that report errors not comparable to standard scanners (E31’s as C1, E12,E22 as C2 or PIE@1ECC for example)? I don’t think they should block these drives from scanning but if its impossible to find out from the drive itself maybe they should have a database of these drives. Update the database over the network from time to time, also this way if you must block drives that truly can’t scan (such as SH-223C) then you can have “no scan” checked for those particular drives. That is the responsible way to deal with problematic chipsets.

I do understand why they didn’t adopt this in the software and also resorted to inadequacy like blocking manufacturers outright, no time no resources and as you said it may be a pain to support commercially. That doesn’t mean I agree with this decision, and I don’t. It is not too difficult to accomplish and would have made CDspeed produce more authoritative scans. It would be a level playing field on forums, where you can be sure that notwithstanding the normal variation between drives reading ability all scans posted are reported in the same format. And of course would allow people with MediaTek-based Samsungs who don’t know about the programs registry settings to scan (would be white-listed in the database).

I don’t really have a bone to pick with CD-DVD Speed, so I didn’t mention conclusions of general quality of coding (I found tons of memory leaks when I disasm’d the application), the program is universal, (PlexTools, Kprobe and even my beloved (long forgotten) WSES only support 1 manufacturer) which still makes it exceptional, even if it has some weird quirks and blocks some drives by default. I hope you understand my point of view.


#20

More support to the fact we seem to have same/similar batch. I was also surprised about this, on most recent low quality MCC media CLV had done better but apart from my LG (which does good CLV burns on anything) I got a really bad burn @4x on BenQ DW1650 and a coaster on Samsung SH-203B @6x. 8x on the Samsung actually produced a better burn than the LG’s 6x CLV. When I buy media that gets better burns with faster speeds, I don’t complain ;­)

I will be burning some more discs on this batch in the coming days, so I will upload a few scans of Samsung and LG at different speeds, in case you’re interested.