Get 1620 now, or wait for new model? (U.S.)



I’m in the U.S., and did read here that the 1640 may not be offered here. I’ve also read that the 1620 is a very good drive, and can be had for pretty good prices right now.

Is there any reason for me to wait for the newer model? Or should I go for the 1620 now?

Also, is there any difference between the plain 1620, and the 1620 Pro, other than the extra goodies in the box?


No difference other than the firmware which can be converted. In my opinion, you will not be happy with a 1620 even at the current Newegg price of $45. You LG 4163 is a better burner. If you want bitsetting, the NECs are a better choice.


What is it about the 1620 that wouldn’t make me happy?

At this point, I am becoming a “burner pig”–I’ve added an IDE controller card to my system, and I have 3 open 5" bays remaining, just crying out for me to exercise conspicuous acquisitiveness and spend money on things I don’t really need. :bigsmile:

I just ordered a Lite-On 1693S, and thought I’d round out my unnecessary purchases w/the BenQ 1620. Along w/my current NEC 3520 and LG 4163, I would have what I consider the “Big Four” of un-badged burners. This is more to just have fun and see what each one can do, play w/the f/w, and just generally screw around. W/the Newegg sale, I thought, “Why not?”

That still gives me one free bay for whatever comes down the pike next (NEC 3540?). Gawd, I’m such a DVD burner whore. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, what’s wrong w/the BenQ? You have one, I noticed, so I trust you to be in a position to give it to me straight.


In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with the BENQ 1620. Big difference between the NEC drives and BENQ is the NEC needs hacked firmware to enable bitsetting, BENQ has bitsetting out of the box. BENQ has frequent official firmware upgrades compared to NEC that lacks support for firmware upgrades but has many hacked firmwares available. It’s a known fact that NEC isn’t a good reader vs BENQ is a excellent reader as well as a burner.


Go ahead and get the BenQ 1620


This reminds me of the Pioneer 108 vs. Pioneer 109 debate a while back.

The 108 was an excellent burner, and the 109, initially at least, was not quite as good.

So, my opinion mirrors that of Lothario: get the 1620. The 1640, in time, may be a better burner than the 1620, but given the price and the proven track record of the 1620, you won’t be losing anything.

  • Jie


Quite simply, of all the media I use, there are none where the BenQ delivers a better burn. It only does an A+ job with TYG02, but so do all of my drives. That being said, there is no other benefit to owning it so when I sit down to burn and look at my media chart and decide what to burn, the BenQ is never my choice. If I had purchased the BenQ right after my Pioneer 107 or if I had been burning a lot on my 812S, I would be a BenQ supporter. If I hadn’t done a quantitative measurement of all my drives and all my media choices I might not have become aware of this.

Bottom line, I can get lower PIE and PIF max and totals with other drives. If I were you I would wait to purchase another drive and hold out for the NEC 4550A coming late this Summer. It could be a powerhouse and the first NEC SuperMulti.

I bought mine because another poster put up some scans on April 1 showing BenQ performance. I got suckered by the joke. At least I only wasted $50.

BTW, I would also caution buying the 3540 as well. I have seen no really good burns yet and it seems to be a poor drive so far.

If you really want to add something unnecessary go for quality. The Plextor Premium CD burner is around $65 and is the best CD reader and burner today. There is nothing it won’t copy. You might not really need it but you will certainly be proud to own one.


Well chas0039 does a lot more media testing than I do so he would be in the know!

@HLMencken. I liked the 1620 so much I bought another one, like you said just to play and compare and granted the second time around I got a couple of less than desireable 1620’s but that is fixed and can happen with any drive Manufacturer, both 1620’s beat the pants off my other burners except for my Plextor. So I agree with Ma_Jie and Lothario. For the price of them now don’t think you could go wrong.:slight_smile:


chas0039: Well said. :iagree: You got the best drives in the market and appreciate your assessment. I didn’t buy the 3540 from the UK nor the 4163, yet. After my experience rma-ing plextor and benq few times to get the best of one, I hate to buy drives online. Too bad that my local stores dont carry NEC or LG otherwise it would be the best way to return and exchange and pick the best. In my opinion, not all drives can perform the same although by design it should. I have two benq and the retail one is much better than the oem one. Nothing wrong with my oem benq but I cant get a nice score as often as the retail one.

I bought mine because another poster put up some scans on April 1 showing BenQ performance. I got suckered by the joke. At least I only wasted $50.
Did you really bought it because of this? :bigsmile: I’m sorry. :o


Of course, if you own every drive on the market, I am sure most media can be burnt best by a particular drive. Getting the Benq 1620 isn’t going to give you much more then you already have. If you don’t own every drive on the market though, the Benq 1620 is certainly not a bad choice.


No hard feelings. :slight_smile: I was very close anyway and there was a very good price. Your “scans” were just the tipping point. If I hadn’t bought one then I would surely be getting one now at $45. Don’t worry, it was a good learning experience. I have found out that BenQ quality is highly variable. Some are bad, some are good, and some are great.


I very much agree. It is a good choice for a single drive. My advice here is based on the fact that this is his 4th drive and I was suggesting that his experience would be similar to mine.


Oh, well, chas… I had an itchy “trigger” finger, and ordered the BenQ last night, taking advantage of Newegg’s weekend sale ($44 + $0.99 shipping)–went w/the OEM, obviously.

Yes, I know I totally don’t need another burner–I don’t even need the other two that I have. Part of this buying frenzy is an outcrop of my recent Plextor fiasco (you do remember my other threads on that, don’t you?) :bigsmile: (And before I get a bunch of replies that Plextor is the greatest, yeah, I know, it has worked out for most of you. I’m one of the ones that got f*****. I’m sure some people think Tony Soprano is a nice guy too.) :wink:

What I’m doing is sampling the quality of each company’s product (he said, entering rationalization mode). Before the whole Plextor horror I went thru, you probably couldn’t have told me that the best drive wasn’t a Plextor. Now, I doubt I’ll ever touch another. But, having gone thru that experience, and sort of being conditioned to think that a good burner costs $130, it’s hard for me to pass up one that is generally agreed to be pretty good, and costs $45.

For flat-out reliability, I do probably like my NEC 3520 best, but haven’t used the hacked f/w on it, so it still has those “defects” (bitsetting, riplock, etc.) The LG is doing pretty well, very quiet even when it ramps up, and pretty good burns so far.

As far as the upcoming NEC you mentioned, I do have one more bay open, so when it comes out, if it’s good… :cool: And I imagine my kid’s computer will need the old NEC 1100 that’s in it now, upgraded soon, so I’m sure I give her one of my current drives at that time, which will give me another open bay…

You see how addictions get started.


That seems pretty far from the truth.

I’d take the BenQ over the NEC any day.


I can’t remember the last time I actually burned a CD–these days, it’s DVDs for everything.


Hey chas… Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with BQ. I may be one of the fortunate ones that got an excellent one the first time as can be seen in the BQ thread for burns. Regular & speed burns. Have done a ton in the past few days with about 9 different medias but all 8X+R’s. As for HL, I see now I’m to late in my advise to you. Your itchy finger beat me. But I was going to suggest NOT getting an OEM version. This is where I’ve heard of the problems showing up. BigMike7 just RMA’d one. I ended up spending approx $5.00 more for the beige Boxed version from the egg and am very glad I did. Check out the posts of my various scans and you’ll see why. Untill now, I was 100% NEC 3500 but this sucker is giving them a solid run for it’s money. It’s given me the BEST KProbe tests I’ve EVER had. Good thing is that you ordered from the egg and they’re GREAT for returns. So if you do crash, don’t give up. Send it back and get the boxed version. But I don’t see the need to go with the extra money for the pro. Your really gaining nothing. Good luck.



I got the OEM version from in february…No problems here.


Thanks. I really did not have a bad experience, it just was not the great burner I thought it would be. As long as I stick to TYG02s and MCC 003, it does a good job. Maybe the next firmware upgrade will improve. Too bad no one does for BenQ what Liggy & Dee do for NEC.


Can’t argue that one at all. But I’m still surprised that you are only getting good burns with just a couple of medias. Like I stated earlier, I,ve tested around 9 different medias, all with very good results. The Maxell 002 8X+R was the worst of the bunch which surprised me some.:confused: But it still scored a 95 If I remember right. PIE & PIF was just a little higher than the rest but still very do-able. Guess I must of gotten a golden one and sure as hell glad I did. :bigsmile:



I’ll bet you use diferent media from what I do. Most of mine is -R and BenQ seems to have a distinct preferrence for +R.