External DVD buying

I have had the worst time getting an external DVD. My husband bought me a Mad Dog 18x external at CompUSA for our anniversary. The first thing I noticed after hooking it into my laptop (and then later into our desktop) is that it wouldn’t burn 16x rated media at more than 6x. (I later tested our internal Benq DW1650 and on the same media it burns at 11.1x when set to 16x–so I know there is sometimes some variable between set speed and actual write speed but the above seems to be a significant amount. I returned it for another of the same make and model hoping I had just gotten a bad drive. This one wouldn’t write any faster than 4x! And it made a grinding noise. So I returned it and decided to try the generic brand (sometimes you get a better deal that way. We bought a HI-Val brand internal dvd from frys and it ended up being the BENQ so hey I was hoping for another miracle here). This one wouldn’t even copy movie files to the hard drive using DVD decrypter (all tests were done using the BENQ as the control duplicating the settings and image files/discs/etc).

I really want a good external I can hook up to my laptop. Any suggestions? I know our BENQ works better than our generic that came with our pc. My laptop only has a cdwriter+dvdplayer. Both our systems have 170GHz machines though the desktop has 1G of RAM and my laptop only 384mB. If it’s not a matter of buying locally, perhaps someone can point me to a good brand/online retailer for my needs? I want to spend about as much as hubby did on the intial gift which was about $80USD. Thanks a bunch!!!

What kind of media did you use?
There’s a lot of stuff that could have went wrong…

Actually (IMO) almost all externals are good (except for BTC/Emprex and the relabeled HP, Memorex…)

I used Sony DVD+R (media id D21). I haven’t had any problems with this media and it was in the middle of the spindle. I also tried it on my crappy temp discs (HP CMCMAG) but with the same results for both… I was all out of my TYG02 otherwise I would’ve tried it on it. What are your thoughts?

I got a Sasung SH-S182M in an I/O Magic enclosure. Really can’t compare it as it is my first burner, but so far so good (no coasters, reasonable rip speeds)…

My LG E10N works like a charm. :slight_smile:

grrr… Ok, so I know our BENQ that’s in our desktop works fine (great even) so I decided to turn IT into an external by encasing it in an enclosure. When I did, it works just like the other externals I bought. The write speed maxes out around 5.5x. It can rip a movie at about 8x but then when i try to burn the .iso file it’s been “data cycilic redundancy” erroring at 3/4 of the way through the burn! I found some of my TYG02 and have made 3 coasters with this error. The SONYD21 produce the same results… Has anyone ever heard of this problem??? Are [I][U]laptops [/U] [/I]just not good for ripping/backing up movies? Would you suggest getting an internal for the laptop instead? I’ve seen some BENQ on Meritline.com for under $100USD. Should I have more RAM in my laptop? I noticed that our desktop has more RAM than my laptop and the cpu speeds are close to the same. Could there be some other problem with connection. I.E. does the USB interface vs. the IDE cable make for a slower data transmission (a thought that occured since ALL the externals I’ve bought say they’re burning at less than the rate on the box). This is the most perplexing problem I’ve come to yet!!!


Yes. There are some crappy USB chipsets that only deliver 12 MB/s, not even allowing to burn at 8x.
The bad thing: There is no way to solve this problem. Additional controller cards (at least the PCI ones, don’t know about PCIe-versions) also are restricted to about 16 MB/s (NEC chipset based).
Could you please try to find out, what USB controller is used in your computer?
In addition: Insert a written DVD disc and run the burst rate test with Nero CD/DVD speed.
Also, if you have an external harddisk: Get hdtune and run the benchmark.

Please post the results of these tests.