Forum newbie looking for DVD burner purchase advice

I am considering buying a DVD writer. I currently own a LiteON CD writer (and DVD reader combo) drive which I’m happy with, but I also own a LiteON external USB Slimtype 431SX DVD writer which I’m not so happy with. It isn’t particularly fast (4x for DVD+Rs, 2.4x for pretty much everything else), but more worryingly, I’m using it for backups and I don’t get particularly pleasing results using Nero 6’s “CD-DVD speed tool” for checking media. I might start another thread about my less-than-satisfactory USB DVD writer.

I would go for a Plextor that my favourite supplier has going for ~£50, but I’m not particularly flush for money. I’m also looking on behalf of my customers, I run a computer maintenance business, sometimes I’m asked for recommendations, upgrades or to build computers.

I’m inclined to go for Samsung or NEC. I’d prefer to get software with the drives, but since I have Nero 6 Express and PowerDVD 4, that should be satisfactory. Having software is nice particularly when buying for customers.

Any suggestions/experiences would be much appreciated. I know there are large amounts of drive reviews here, but short of reading all of them, it’s a mountain of data to go through without being able to filter it much.

Plextor recently went down the re-badge route and in my eyes (PX740 = BenQ1640, PX750 = BenQ DQ60) they have lost the plot, will have to wait and see if the 755 and 760 bring them back up. It comes to something when they rebadge drives and double the price while disable the best features on it.

Personaly I reccomend the BenQ DW1640/50/55, the 1640 is now not made but is still a very good drive, the 1650 is its bugfixed replacement (1640 had slight problems with +R 16x media) and the 1655 is a 1650 with lightscribe. The 1640 and 1650 have exaclty the same features.

The only other drive I might reccomend is the PX716A Plextor. Its expensive for what it is now though and its getting long in the tooth, I also get better burns with my BenQ’s now.


I would personally avoid anything Plextor, as they barely get any f/w revisions out, so the 740 (a rebadged BenQ1640) is in the “stone age” compared to BenQ’s f/w offerings, and the 755 is a VERY slow burner, which also relies heavily on Autostrategy, something that seemed rarely to work as advertised on my 716a. Save yourself a major Plextor headache and read up on/try either a BenQ 1650, 1655, or perhaps a Liteon 1693s.


I can’t find any Benq drives on sale with a number of suppliers in the UK.

Thats a quick search, mainly because thats the company I got my 1655 from.

Most of the places I usually buy my PC equipment from do not carry anything from BenQ except some really old and dated external drives and DVD media. BenQ DVD writers seem to be only stocked by the more obscure stores.

Ta! Do you deal with that company much? What about their returns department (as I buy for my business, returns are inevitable from time to time)?

I think I’ll go for the DW1640, as that seems to be ‘tried and tested’ and people like it. Any particular reason to go for the 1650/55 etc?

The 1650 is a bugfix for the (now discontinued) 1640. The 1640 produced poor results when burning at 16x speed on +R’s due to error spikes.

I have not yet had any true dealings with Komplett but there are a few people in the BenQ section that have had no problems. I only purchased my new drive a few weeks ago and have had no problems, this was my first dealing with them.

I would suggest getting the 1650 / 55 if you can as it should have a longer life than the 1640.

Might be a good idea to see if you can find a phone number for them and try to ring their technical support department, just to test and find out about their returns policy.


Hmm, there’s a 1655 with Lightscribe. Worth £13 over the 1650? I guess I’d prefer the 1655 as it has Lightscribe, but I am primarily interested in getting a good burner. I don’t think I’ll use Lightscribe.

1640 has been a great burner in my stable! I can’t say anything bad about it! Do not burn anything at 16X! Select 12X max and you will have very fast burns!
The only burner I have had so far that burns well at 16X was the 3500! But it burned slower at 16X than my 1640 did at 12X! LOL

I’ll put it another way, no real reason not to go for the 1650/55. As for the part about recommending these to your customers, consider this :

  • BenQ has excellent customer support - people here have written emails to them about bugs in their firmware and they duly fixed them quickly with a new firmware release
  • they frequently release new versions of firmware anyway
  • unlike many other drive manufacturers, their firmware supports not just the big name disc manufacturers (TY, MCC) with write strategies, but many oddball smaller ones as well