External advice: SE-S204? good drive?

vbimport

#1

Afternoon all.

I’m a heavy laptop user when I work away from home, and my internal DVDRW drive is marginal at best, so I have been looking around some local stores and found the Samsung SE-S204 at a reasonable price. I was wondering if there are many opinions on this drive, as the forum searches are limited? I heard there is a SE-S204N which might be better? I haven’t seen that in the stores, only online, is there much difference?

I mainly back up my RAW photos and also burn a lot of DL discs, so I’m looking for good DL quality, burning and also reading quality all around.

Barry


#2

Hello again Barry :slight_smile:

I think the 20x Sammy drives are a great choice, both internally and externally.

Going by the model names of the internal 20x models, I would guess that the “N” model is LightScribe, and the plain 204 not (actually, I just checked a couple of websites and it would appear that is the case).

Given your reading problems with rental discs bearing sticky labels, I also think the Sammy would make a good choice because they’re generally very tolerant readers. the 18x/20x Sammy drives are also excellent burners (IMO) :wink:


#3

[QUOTE=Arachne;2173080]Hello again Barry :slight_smile:

I think the 20x Sammy drives are a great choice, both internally and externally.

Going by the model names of the internal 20x models, I would guess that the “N” model is LightScribe, and the plain 204 not (actually, I just checked a couple of websites and it would appear that is the case).

Given your reading problems with rental discs bearing sticky labels, I also think the Sammy would make a good choice because they’re generally very tolerant readers. the 18x/20x Sammy drives are also excellent burners (IMO) ;)[/QUOTE]

Thank you Kitty, Arachne. I think my drive right now is a Samsung one, but I need to check the version. My friend reccomended me Samsung too, so I have placed that at the top of my list, so far. I can’t remember where I read it, but I heard the N version has a totally different drive. I think it was another forum, but I didn’t bookmark it. The non N also has lightscribe as I noticed it included that on the box, but I’m lost for the other differences between the two.


#4

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

Regardless of the model number though, I think for an external (or even a desktop drive), Sammy is about the best you’re going to get when it comes to both quality burns and being a very capable reader into the bargain.

I have an external LG, and though it’s a terrific burner, it’s not a patch on any of my Sammies when it comes to reading.

As a sidenote: when I was working on my step-dad’s laptop (which also has a Samsung drive inside), the drive was very noisy and vibrated a lot - on discs with no labels, BTW. I would think the labels on your rental ones would throw the discs even more off-balance, hence the problem you’re experiencing currently.

So I’d say there’s a fair chance that an external drive would be somewhat better…killing both birds with one stone if you like. :wink:


#5

I noticed the screeching and friction on a desktop PC too, which was a really old Samsung drive I think. I’m just annoyed that those Lovefilm discs could end up damaging my drive. It does make a significant noise, and doesn’t sound good.

I discovered the thread about the 204 and N version:


#6

Hi,

there is no SE-S204 without a “following letter” (since the latter describes the model).

Available are SE-S204[B]N[/B] and the newer SE-S204[B]S[/B].
Maybe dealers don’t know about the products they sell, or they are just lazy if they omit this essential information.

Michael


#7

^ Thanks for clarifying, Michael :slight_smile: - I’ve seen lots of references to the “SE-S204” (with no additional letter at the end) on CDF. It definitely threw me, hehe :wink:


#8

Hi,[quote=Arachne;2173241]^ Thanks for clarifying, [B]Michael[/B] :slight_smile: - I’ve seen lots of references to the “SE-S204” (with no additional letter at the end) on CDF. It definitely threw me, hehe ;)[/quote]This also applies to all Samsung drives.

The naming scheme for their newer retail drives is like this:
tt-tSSIm

tt-t (type) SH-S = Half Height Internal, SE-S = Half Height External
SS = max speed (18, 20, 22)
I = Interface (2= P-ATA, 3= S-ATA, 4= USB)
m = model, which determines the features.

So a SH-S183A is an internal half height drive 18x S-ATA.
SE-S202J is is an internal half height drive 20x P-ATA.

OEM drive naming scheme is even simpler:
TS-H65Im

TS-H65 is fix for internal half height drives, regardless of speed.
I = Interface (see retail)
m = model (see retail); these model codes are the same with retail and OEM drives.

Michael


#9

[QUOTE=mciahel;2173237]Hi,

there is no SE-S204 without a “following letter” (since the latter describes the model).

Available are SE-S204[B]N[/B] and the newer SE-S204[B]S[/B].
Maybe dealers don’t know about the products they sell, or they are just lazy if they omit this essential information.

Michael[/QUOTE]

Hi Michael. I was totally fooled and thought there was a non lettered version, so I appreciate the correction. I saw so many sites listing a non N version, and very few selling an N that I was fooled.

I did a bit of research, but couldn’t find out what the difference between the N and new S is? Is it purely the colour, or something else too? I see it isn’t available, so must be really new, and I wonder if it is a significantly better drive.

Oh something that is quite different then, more of a video based burner, without the need for software


http://cgi.ebay.com/Samsung-TruDirect-SE-S204S-External-20X-CD-DVD-Burner_W0QQitemZ250320371997QQcmdZViewItemQQptZPCC_Drives_Storage_Internal?hash=item250320371997&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

I will go into the local store tomorrow and order the 204N I think :slight_smile:


#10

[QUOTE=mciahel;2173237]Available are SE-S204[B]N[/B] and the newer SE-S204[B]S[/B].[/QUOTE]

Now the question is, specifically for the externals, is the N model a PATA or SATA drive inside with Lightscribe, and is the S model simply a SATA drive, or does the S mean something else?


#11

Hi,[quote=negritude;2173437]Now the question is, specifically for the externals, is the N model a PATA or SATA drive [B]inside[/B] with Lightscribe, and is the S model simply a SATA drive, [/quote]My guess:
204N and 204S have the same (internal) interface. S is a second generation drive, which additionally supports the “tru direct” feature.
I read (rumours?), that these newer external drives were based on the Sata drives. To know for sure, opening the enclosures is needed, but if I remember correctly, this isn’t easy without damaging the case.

or does the S mean something else?
It is just a letter that indicates, this drive is another model than the 204N. Could also be X, Y or Z.

Michael


#12

OK, that puts me more in the dark. I thought that all the SE-S204x models were SATA internal, but I guess no one knows for sure. Of course, one indicator is the fact that the SE-S204x drives burn so well, comparable to the SH-S203x series, that they couldn’t possibly be SH-S202x series drives, which have not been found to be as impressive. If the external 204s were based on internal 202s, people would not be praising them that much. They have to be 203s internally. Of course, this is just speculation, but you get my reasoning.


#13

Hi,
I totally agree :slight_smile:

I have just loaded 204N TS02 into a Hex Editor. I am finding “TS-H653N” in that firmware.
Same applies to 204S TS02, where I can find the same string. :confused:

At least this would support our theory that 204 drives are based on the Sata 203 drives :slight_smile:

I also can find references to MT1858 in both firmwares.


#14

I purchased this drive at the weekend as it was on sale in Maplin, I have found the drive to be a superb one.

I only have one internal burner in my PC, which is the S182D. I have read very good comments on the drive from several people, but because I had no drive to test the findings against, I wasn’t sure. I used to get ludicrous scan results with the 182D, saying PI max of 600.

Here is a scan of a DVD burnt at 4X with the SE-S204N, and verified with the same drive:

Pretty nice scan, and the scan below is the same disc scanned with the 182D:

Also, further positives were found in scans that I made of my old 182D burns, and scanned them with the SE-S204, please bear in mind that I get about 500-600 when I scanned with the 182D.

I’m using the TS01 firmware, but I’m debating whether it is worth upgrading, I will maybe do a few experiments at some point. It seems that both the 182D and SE-S204N are equally as good at burning my expensive DL media, but the SE-S204N is a much better reader, and the 182D is basically no use at all lol.


#15

Wow. Nice results, joeb_uk :clap:

On sale in Maplin’s, eh? Good job I didn’t know about it, otherwise I’d have ended up buying one myself :bigsmile:

Hehe, one thing: the 182D may be a not-so-good scanner, but it’s still an excellent reader IMO (you know, ripping and stuff, as opposed to scanning) :slight_smile:


#16

It was £40, which isn’t bad considering the prices online. Most sites are about £38-40 plus shipping, which on some sites was £7-8. So the best idea was to buy from Maplin, also much easier that a new superstore opened up last year one mile from my house :smiley: The sale is on till the 24th.

I also forgot to correct my post, as you are probably right, I meant scanning (and not reading). I now see reading is totally different, and I have found that for EAC and Decrypter the drive does a good job. So I guess the only downfall of the drive is the scanning, but thats no problem if you have another drive which is good at that purpose.

I spend a lot of money on DL media (Verbatim MKM as you can see), so I’m glad that my burns have been going well. I use the TY Verbatim discs for SL, and I also have a batch of about 100 Verbatim that SVP sent me in place of the TY Verbatim, but I’m sure both discs will have equally desireable results.


#17

Must…resist…hehe :slight_smile:

Yeah, we have two Maplin’s stores here in Bristol, but I need a lift to get to either of them :doh:

Nice media haul you got there :iagree:…mind you, I find Sammys burn practically anything well. I don’t call my 182D “SupaSammy” for nothing :bigsmile:


#18

Hi Folks,

Sorry for the late post to this old thread.

It sounds like the Samsung SE-S204N would be a good bet for ripping music CDs, which is my sole objective. Is this correct? Can you suggest any other external (USB-connected) CD or CD/DVD drive that would be better for this purpose?

That model is out of production, apparently; however I found an “open box” SE-S204N on eBay.

Do you know if the S204N has C2 capability?

Many thanks!
Bruce


#19

Hi and Welcome![QUOTE=bhouston1;2252791]
It sounds like the Samsung SE-S204N would be a good bet for ripping music CDs, which is my sole objective. Is this correct?[/quote]I think it’s a good drive for that purpose. My own 203B is much slower than described in the review, but this might either be due to the controller I connected my drive to, or this is something introduced with newer firmware. Or some (mis-)configuration issue in EAC. I am too lazy to find out :smiley:
My Optiarc AD-7200 is much faster in comparision, but it might be not so good with bad discs (haven’t tried yet due to the absence of bad discs). Additionally, this is an internal drive that needs to be installed into a separate enclosure for external use.
Since 204N is very similar to the 203B/N, you might have a look at the review of the 203B :slight_smile:

That model is out of production, apparently; however I found an “open box” SE-S204N on eBay.
Hmm. Open Box sounds as if someone has returned that unit for some reason :confused:

Do you know if the S204N has C2 capability?

EAC features of the 203B, the 204N should be the same:

[ul]
[li]Caching: No[/li][li]Accurate Stream: Yes[/li][li]C2 Error Info: Yes[/li][/ul]

Michael


#20

Very much appreciated, Mciahel! And thank you for pointing me to the review.

Best regards,
Bruce