DVD Writers, Pros & Cons

I read many threads with topics like “what drive to buy” etc., so i’ve decided to write a list of several famous drives, taken from the CDFreaks-Reviews, here we go… (i don’t want to annoy the authors of those great reviews, i hope i’m allowed to make this thread)

NEC ND-2500A

Pro
+First writer to support 8x DVD-R and 4x DVD-RW
+Also supports 8x DVD+R and 4x DVD+RW.
+Good CD-R writing quality.
+Outstanding DVD writing quality
+Reads CDs at 40x and DVDs at 12x
+Very good DVD packet writing performance.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Quiet operation and good build quality.
+Supports reading and writing special sized CD-R discs.
+Able to rip audio from Key2Audio and Cactus Data Shield 200 protected audio discs.
+Price.
Contra
-Did not get perfect results in Nero CD-Speed advanced audio test.
-Slower at CD-R and CD-RW writing compared to the competition.
-Slower 8x DVD writing speed compared to the competition (Lite-On LDW811S and Plextor PX-708A)
-Does not support Mt. Rainier.
-Reading of DVD-Video discs are locked to 5x CAV.
-Reads music and CD-RW discs at only 32x.
-Doesn’t support “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns”.
-Slow at reading safedisc protected data discs in CloneCD
-Media compatibility could still be improved to support all discs at certified speed.
-Problems with reading discs that is not in perfect condition.
-Does not support reading CD’s and writing CD-R’s larger than 90 minutes.
-Can’t rip music from Cactus Data shield 100 protected music discs.

Conclusion - Amazing write quality and the first DVD-Writer to support 8x DVD-R and 4x DVD-RW, at a low cost

Pioneer DVR-A07

Pro
+Supports 8x DVD-R and DVD+R speeds
+Supports 4x DVD-RW and DVD+RW speeds
+Supports 24x CD-RW speed.
+Good CD-R writing quality with most disc types.
+Good DVDR writing quality with most types of quality DVDR media.
+Reads CDs at 40x and DVDs at 12x.
+Very good DVD packet writing performance.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Supports reading and writing special sized CD-R discs.
+Fast and perfect audio extracting.
+Supports reading and writing 99 minutes discs.
+Good drive build quality.
Contra
-Compatibility and writing quality with some DVDR/RW media could be improved (especially with known brands like Ricoh DVD+R and Verbatim DVD+RW).
-No 4x DVDR discs are supported at 8x write speed.
-Few 8x DVDR discs are supported at 8x write speed.
-Serious problems writing 24x Ultra Speed CD-RW discs.
-Slow CD-R writing speed of only 24x.
-Does not support Mt. Rainier.
-Many problems with reading less than perfect discs.
-Higher seek times than the competition
-Problems with recognizing/reading most DVD-RAM discs.
-Read speed of DVD-Video discs is locked to 5x CAV.
-Uses long time on calibrating before starting to write DVDR discs, this makes it the slowest drive at 4x DVDR speed and slower than expected at 8x DVDR writing speed
-Does not support reading all types of protected audio discs.
-Does not support “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns” making it unable to backup newer Safedisc protected discs.
-Slightly noisier than some other 8x DVD-Writers.

Conclusion - A fast DVD-Writer that needs a lot of firmware improvements

Lite-On SOHW-812S

Pro
+Good retail package that includes both media and software.
+Supports 8x DVD+R and DVD-R speed.
+Supports 4x DVD+RW and DVD-RW.
+Supports 24x CD-RW speed.
+Supports 40x CD-R Speed
+Good CD-R writing quality with most media.
+Good writing quality at 8x with DVD+R media (8x DVD-R not tested due to lack of 8x DVD-R media)
+Good reading performance with almost all types of CD/DVD media.
+Very good seek times.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Supports reading and writing 8cm CD-R discs and credit card CD-R discs.
+Fast and perfect audio extraction.
+Excellent performance with protected audio discs.
+Supports “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns” making it able to backup newer Safedisc protected discs.
+Supports reading and writing 99 minutes CD-R discs.
+Supports bitsetting for DVD+R/RW media (Requires a new firmware version US0J that is not yet officially released by Lite-On, will be released officially soon).
+No speed lock for reading DVD-Video discs.
Contra
-Not the best DVD-R Writing quality with various cheap media types.
-CD-R writing quality could be improved with some CD-R disc types, for example Taiyo Yuden.
-For 8x DVD-R writing it’s among the slower writers.
-Few 4x DVDR discs supported at 8x writing speed.
-Low writing quality with most types of rewritable media (CD-RW, DVD-RW and DVD+RW)
-Does not support Mt. Rainier.
-Reads CD-RW discs at only 32x.

Conclusion - A good all-round drive, but writing quality needs some polishing

BenQ DW822A

Pro
+Retail package with an impressive software bundle.
+Supports 8x DVD+R speed.
+Supports 4x DVD+RW speed.
+Could be upgraded to write dual layer DVD+R discs.
+Writes many types of 4x DVD+R discs at 8x.
+Excellent CD-R writing quality with most media.
+Impressive writing quality with most DVD+R and DVD-R media.
+Features Walking OPC technology that constantly adjusts the writing strategy to ensure maximum quality.
+Impressive reading performance with all types of CD/DVD media.
+Very good seek times.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Supports reading and writing 8cm CD-R discs and credit card CD-R discs.
+Fast and perfect audio extraction.
+Supports reading and writing 99 minutes CD-R discs.
+Supports bitsetting for DVD+R/RW media.
+No speed lock for reading DVD-Video discs.
+8Mb buffer
+Price
Contra
-Only 24x CD-R writing speed
-Only 10x CD-RW writing speed
-Doesn’t support 8x DVD-R or 4x DVD-RW.
-Writes 2x DVD-RW discs at 2.4x which makes unreadable discs.
-Slow at writing DVD-R discs at 4x compared to the competition.
-The BenQ booktype tool does not work with all computer configurations.
-Does not support Mt. Rainier.
-Low performance with protected audio discs.
-Doesn’t support “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns” making it harder for it to backup safedisc protected games.
-Problems backing up Laserlok protected discs.

Conclusion - A drive with many clear strengths, unfortunately coupled with some drawbacks

Plextor PX-712A

Pro
+Good package, includes great software such as Nero 6, Pinncale Studio 9SE, PowerDVD and PlexTools.
+Two year warranty with on-site collect & return service (for Europe, the Middle-East and Africa).
+World’s fastest DVD recorder. Supports 12x DVD+R, 8x DVD-R, 4x DVD±RW, 48x CD-R and 24x CD-RW. Drive has an 8MB buffer.
+Excellent read performance with DVD media, read up to 12x for DVDR(W) media and up to 16x for single layer DVD media.
+Supports many technologies such as BURN-Proof, Mount Rainier, PoweRec, VariRec, GigaRec, SecuRec and Q-Check (CD and DVD error measurement).
+Good CD and DVD media compatibility. Good write quality.
+Excellent performance with copy protected data and audio discs.
+Supports overburning up to 99 minutes.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of 8cm discs.
+Supports reading and writing of CD-Text information.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
Contra
-Has a tendency to limit read speed for audio discs.
-Price.

Conclusion - Excellent drive but expensive :wink: (no conclusion in the review, my personal conclusion)

LG GSA-4040B

Pro
+Very good retail package
+Includes one empty DVD-RAM disc.
+Good documentation
+Supports writing all DVD-formats including DVD-RAM.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of CD-Text information.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Can read 99 minutes discs.
+Supports “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns”.
+Supports Multi read that means it could read all types of CD/DVD discs.
+Good secure mode reading performance in EAC.
+Supports reading all types of protected audio discs.
+Supports Dual Layer Writing.
Contra
-Poor write quality and compatibility with many types of CD-R discs.
-Writes many 4X DVD-R media at 2X only.
-Questionable write quality with many types of DVD-/+R discs.
-Scored only 75 points in the CD-Speed advanced audio test, which may cause it to extract audio imperfect.
-Do easily generate unwanted read errors while reading discs in CloneCD.
-Only 2Mb buffer.
-Can’t write 99 minutes discs (max overburning is 94 minutes).
-Slow at reading music discs and CD-RW discs.

Conclusion - THE drive for DVD-RAM, but look elsewhere if you do not need DVD-RAM

The last one seems to be for LG GSA-4040B, not 8082B. There are 4020B, 4040B, 4081B, 4082B, and 4120B.

Did you edit this?

Conclusion - THE drive for DVD-RAM (and with offical firmware update - also for Dual Layer), but look elsewhere if you do not need DVD-RAM

The original article says thus:

Conclusion this time will be: “THE drive for DVD-RAM, but look elsewhere if you do not need DVD-RAM”.

Only GSA-4120B has DVD+R DL writing feature among all LG PC drives released so far.

I’m sorry, i confused the drives. Maybe a mod can correct this

thx kenshin :wink: :bow:

Done.

I deleted this part:

(and with offical firmware update - also for Dual Layer)

Also changed 8082B to 4040B. If you want editing in which you can’t do it yourself due to forum features, ask the moderators or administrators here.

Nice summary, would be great to keep this active. Some more drives would be nice as well.

I referred to the poll “Which 8x DVD writer to buy”, i will add some drives soon :iagree:

Philips DVDRW885

Pro
+Supports 2.4x DVD+R Dual Layer writing
+Supports 8x DVD+R speed.
+Supports 4x DVD+RW speed.
+Among the faster 8x DVD-writers for writing discs.
+Very good writing quality and speed with DVD+R media.
+Supports dynamic OPC that adjusts writing strategy while writing.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Supports reading and writing 8cm CD-R discs and credit card CD-R discs.
+Good reading speed with most types of media, including DVD-Video discs.
+Good seek times.
+Fast and perfect audio extraction.
+Supports reading and writing 99 minutes CD-R discs.
+Supports bitsetting for all types of DVD+R/R DL/RW media and automatically sets booktype to DVD-ROM for all these media.
+Fancy and useful LED setup on the front.
Contra
-Does not support DVD-R/RW out of the box (will be added through a firmware upgrade in September this year).
-Slow at CD-R and CD-RW writing.
-Does not support Mt. Rainier.
-Slow at extracting data from protected audio discs.
-Doesn’t support “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns” making it harder for it to backup safedisc protected games.

Conclusion - A safe choice if your main concern is DVD+R/RW writing speed/quality as well as dual layer DVD+R support

Lite-On LDW-811S

Pro
+Retail package
+Supports 8x DVD+R and 4x DVD+RW write speeds
+Fast CD-Writing and CD-ReWriting speeds of respectively 40x and 24x.
+Good CD-R writing quality with most disc types.
+Good DVDR writing quality with most types of quality DVDR media.
+Reads CDs at 40x and DVDs at 12x.
+Very good DVD packet writing performance.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Supports “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns” making it able to backup all the tested safedisc protected discs.
+Supports reading and writing special sized CD-R discs.
+Reads all protected audio discs tested.
+Fast and perfect audio extracting.
+Supports writing some 4x DVD+R discs at 8x.
+No speed lock for reading video DVD discs.
+Supports reading and writing 99 minutes discs.
+Supports Bit-setting/book type setting on DVD+R/RW media.
+Price.
Contra
-Compatibility and writing quality with some DVDR/RW media could be improved.
-Horrible writing quality with Taiyo Yuden CD-R media, also some problems with Princo and plasmon CD-R media.
-Does not support Mt. Rainier.
-Reading of DVDR/RW discs are locked to 6x CAV.
-Reads CD-RW discs at only 32x.
-Documentation could be better.
-Slightly slower at writing DVD-R discs at 4x compared to the competition

Conclusion - A good all-rounder that needs some polishing

BTC DRW1108IM DVD±R/RW

Pro
+Retail package with a good software bundle.
+Supports 8x DVD+R/-R speed.
+Supports 4x DVD+RW-RW speed.
+Supports 40x CD-R and 24x CD-RW writing speeds.
+Excellent CD-R writing quality with most media.
+Supports DAO-RAW writing.
+Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data.
+Supports reading and writing 8cm CD-R discs.
+Fast and perfect audio extraction.
+Supports “Correct EFM encoding of regular bit patterns” making it easier for it to backup safedisc protected games.
+Supports reading and writing 99 minutes CD-R discs.
Contra
-Retail package do not include any printed documentation, and documentation on CD is hard to find and contains little information
-Retail package do not include any media
-Reads DVD-Video discs at 6x speed only.
-Slow at reading all types of rewritable media (CD-RW, DVD-RW and DVD+RW)
-Unable to write credit card CD-R discs.
-Less than 40% of the disc is written at 8x making it the slowest 8x writer we know of.
-DVD-Writing quality, especially at 8x speed needs serious improvements.
-Low writing quality with most Re-Writable media (CD-RW, DVD-RW and DVD+RW)
-Almost no 4x media is supported at 8x speed
-DVD-Media compatibility could be improved.
-Doesn’t support bitsetting (It did support bitsetting with earlier firmware versions, but it’s removed in newer firmware versions).
-BTC firmware update program is problematic.
-BTC bitsetting program do not work on all computer configurations.
-Does not support Mt. Rainier.
-Can’t extract the content of cactus data shield protected audio discs

Conclusion - Avoid it unless BTC improves the firmware GREATLY

The only problem here is that after a few firmware updates many of the conclusions/cons are no longer relevant.

That is correct mystic eyes; this is why it would be nice to have something to keep up to date including the latest firmware findings.

If you mean a list of actual firmwares:

NEC ND-2500A

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][li]1.07 v2 Dual Layer Bitsetting Beta 5 by Herrie
[/li][li]Herrie’s Firmware
[/li][/ul]

Pioneer DVR-A07

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][li]The Firmware Page
[/li][/ul]

Lite-On SOHW-812S

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][li]The Firmware Page
[/li][/ul]

BenQ DW822A

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][/ul]
didn’t find an unofficial firmware, maybe another user know one

Plextor PX-712A

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][/ul]
didn’t find an unofficial firmware, maybe another user know one

LG GSA-4040B

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][li]The Firmware Page
[/li][/ul]

Philips DVDRW885
didn’t find official or unofficial firmware, maybe another user know one

Lite-On LDW-811S

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][li]The Firmware Page
[/li][/ul]

BTC DRW1108IM DVD±R/RW

[ul]
[li]Official Firmware
[/li][li]The Firmware Page
[/li][/ul]

This thread should get “sticky” status

The author’s approval is necessary about that, I feel. It is both useful and misleading only to compare the short conclusions. When I read reviews, usually I first go to the end and read the conclusions, especially the Pros and Cons for easy reference. Then I decide whether to read further or not. The authors of the reviews happen to be administrators here as well. :slight_smile:

I wanted to make a clearly list for people which are considering to buy a dvd-writer, also it’s sure that the pros and cons for each writer are depending from the actual firmware, but i think the main characteristics are listed.

The lists are helpful to me as well, who has not much need for information to buy writers since I already have 8 drives that burn at up to 8x and two of them can do even 12x. :slight_smile:

Others (like myself) don’t and can’t write such guides because they are lazy. :bigsmile:

lol :bigsmile:, i’m very lazy too but now i’ve vacation (9 weeks, being pupil is great :D) and so i’ve much spare time

Yes, using your time well. This will make an excellent topic for the “What I did On My Summer Vacation” essay.