Help choosing 16x DVD burner - 716 or?

Ok, this is only my second post here. I didn’t get a response in the thread about which 16x burner to buy. I have been reading several threads here about which burner to get. I had a very positive experience with a Plextor CD burner a few years back, and am currently using a TDK 8x DVD burner (single layer), which I believe is a re-badged Plextor.

I was on the verge of buying the 716, but then thought I should do more research first. There are a lot of positive reviews of the 716, though there were obviously some issues when it first came out.

Are the hardware/writing glitches fixed now in the latest firmware? I keep reading that it is not the highest quality burner, but others say it does fine.

I need a two sheep burner, and it appears that a drive that a lot of people like, the BenQ 1620 is only a one sheep burner. I also burn CD’s and DAE.

Will the BenQ 1640 drive be two sheep?

The more I read, the more confused I get. The money issue isn’t as important as getting a good 16 dl burner that will do a great job with DVD’s and CD’s. I would really appreciate the advice and help. Thanks!


Well, yes. Firmwares 1.00 and 1.01 where downright ‘bad’. 1.02 and 1.03 made the drive ‘usable’. 1.04 might be called ‘good’ and with 1.05 and beyond i’d dare to call the performance ‘mature’. The 716a has been in the market for about eight months now and has seen a lot of attention by Plextor. Compared to brand new models this certainly gives the 716a a certain advantage.

At this point I’d like to stress the fact that no drive will ever perform excellent with all media that are available on the market. No manufacturer can provide individual up to date writing strategies for all media. Therefore they concentrage on a few and derive additional strategies from those base-strategies for the rest. It is therefore important to evaluate for each brand of drive which medias where given priority by the developer and stick with these media. This is IMHO the key to good results.

As for the quality: Using media the 716a likes you get very good results both in SL and DL.
In comparison there are reports that the new BenQ 1640 performs good with SL but bad with DL media.

Sorry I don’t know about the 1640 but as for serious DAE Plextor has always been and still is the only way to go.

I’m very satisfied with my 716a. It’s true that the 716a follows a relatively conservative approach when it comes to writing speed. The drive sometimes tends to lower the writing speed for no apparent reason (a following quality scan will often not reveal any catastrophic raise in error-values at the drop point). There has been some criticism about this from speed-addicts. Personally I’ve meanwhile come to the conclusion that low error rates are more important to me than an extra 5 seconds saved. Having said that I do get burns at afull 16x speed on a regular basis when I select that speed and use proper media.

SInce you said money isn’t an issue, I would suggest to pick one at local store (bestbuy) for easy exchange. There are no rebates at the moment and the price is $139 but you can price adjust within 30 days.

For the most truthfull information I’ve seen yet on this forum about the 716 you have to read all of this thread!!!
After reading that let us know what you pick. :eek:
Good luck. :slight_smile:

What does that thread have to do with the performance of the PX-716A?

absolutely nothing…

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i agree with zevia and hwp here (again)…if you’re concerned with having a 2-sheep burner and DAE, then you might as well give the 716 a try (by following zevia’s suggestion of purchasing one at a local retailer with a good return/exchange policy should the drive not meet your expectations or perform adequately)…

Thanks for the info so far. I will have to read that lengthy thread when I get home from work, though from an initial glance, I have to agree with Two Degrees, it doesn’t seem to be talking about the performance of the drive. Bestbuy has it on sale right now for $116.99, and newegg has a one day sale with free shipping for 112.99.

I really want a drive that is going to give me good quality burns on cd and dvd, and if it isn’t the fastest by a few seconds, that is not as important. Of the other drives that are mentioned here a lot, the NEC, the LG, the Pioneer and the BenQ, are there any that are two sheep and are better burners performance wise than the Plextor?

Thanks again!


I have two 716As myself (well, a 716A and a 716UF), and they’re really fun to play around with, but honestly my LG GSA-4163B is a better burner at 16x. At 12x and 8x they’re about even, but I give the Plex the edge since it can burn some 4x at 8x and some 8x at 12x.

the 716 has several features and capabilities that aren’t available on other drives (better DAE, overburning, quality scanning, gigarec) and if your not so concerned with speed than it’s a legitimate choice…

like Two Degrees i have two 716s (both IDE) and have fun playing around with them since i’m not concerned with setting any speed records…

You might want to wait and check in the bargain forum for a 10% off bestbuy coupon (already expired tho). With that kind of coupon you will end up paying less than newegg.

I really want a drive that is going to give me good quality burns on cd and dvd, and if it isn’t the fastest by a few seconds, that is not as important. Of the other drives that are mentioned here a lot, the NEC, the LG, the Pioneer and the BenQ, are there any that are two sheep and are better burners performance wise than the Plextor?
All of those burners actually burn DVD and CD nicely but if you want the additional cd processing, either buy a 716A or buy other dvd burner plus Plextor Premium.

Its a good read to open someones eyes. :slight_smile:

I can’t complain overall about my Plextor 716a. It usually burns 8x media at 8x and other 8x at 12x with great quality (y000-t02-00, Fuji 8x DVD+R Made in Japan from Best Buy). The reason why if money’s no issue that Plextor is a good decision is that you can test your burn quality, b/c of all the software it includes. I can tell you from personal experience that while a Pioneer is highly rated elsewhere, I could not scan my burns with it, at least not with anything that was meaningful. NECs can measure burn quality, but I’ve recently read they won’t report results as accurately as they should, therefore requiring one to buy a BenQ or Liteon to test burn quality. LG is loved by many, but there’s no burn testing capable on it. Sure, Plextor won’t come up the ‘speed champion,’ but speed should never be the only criteria to base a decision (kind of ‘burns’ me when ZDNet seems to use that more as a guide than it should). Buying from a store with a good exchange/return policy is always the best idea, just to be safe. I got a great Plextor 716a (IDE) from NewEgg and overall I’m very happy with it, plus the fact I can test my burns to my heart’s content.

@DrPino Where have you been hiding? Did someone try to shove you in a burner and try to burn a copy of you? (thinking) Good to see you around! By the way, I’m thinking of trying the GigaRec, as I have some really good CD-Rs I need to use, and I would like to use them for backup

@Zevia Thanks a ton once more for your help last night with the info and scans. I think last night was one of my more ‘dense’ moments. :eek:

My Plextor px716a is awesome. I burn movies at full 16x speed on Verbatim 16x media, and the quality is always perfect. And my CD’s come out great too.

hehe, just been enjoying the summer outside…trying to get my avg posts per day down to a reasonable number :wink: i have been keeping tabs however and see you’ve become a true CD/DVD Freaks :bigsmile: keep up that enthusiasm…

i just burned 2 CDs in my Premium using GigaRec the other day…fit 1GB of MP3s on one and 2 full audio albums (in CDA format) on the other (was around 950MB)…turned out perfectly and both play in a number of different drives/discmans/car cd players…i don’t suggest using GigaRec for any sensitive data as the drive compatibility isn’t guaranteed (but you should be OK if you plan on reading them back in your plex)…

Yeah, I’ll try to keep it up, although I find I lose track of time looking for something to answer or read, so I imagine once I’m back to teaching that I might get only 2 posts/day.

Thanks for that big tip on GigaRec drive compatibility. I would plan to only use my 716a, but I would be curious to see if my backup Pioneer dvr-108 would read it. I’ve thought of just being careful with my drive data (backup) and either using the Xp backup or even using the CopyToDVD Manager to just drag/drop, then just use the 700 mb capacity, although I know the TDK Cd-rs I have will handle 1-1.2 gb (although NTI Backup NOW did it when it wasn’t supposed to and wasn’t supposed to put more than 750 mb on them). They’ve held up and are very readable, and those were burned in a BTC 1610IM. Anyway, that means I might try doing music first, b/c if I coaster one of those, I have to use them anyway, so it wouldn’t be a big loss if it’s just 2 or 3 I do trying to see how it works.

with the 1.08 fw, Harley? What’s the TLA (I realize that may not be super important, but I’m curious), the mid on the Verbatim, and the Verbatim label say?

yeah, i definitely suggest testing things out with non-critical mp3/audio/data burning relying on a GigaRec burned disc as an important backup…

My two cents worth. I own 2 BenQ 1620 a NEC 3520A a Px 716A and a LIte On 1633@1653. BenQ is a great burner and with good +R media it is impressive. With -R media in my opinion it leaves a lot to be desired. Nec 3520A is just an ok burner and as far as I am concerned it does not do anything well and the Nec 3540 looks pretty close to the same. Lite On well maybe the newest version 1693 may be back in the race. PX 716A you can throw any media at it and click burn and not worry that your burn will be bad as it burns every thing and has never created a coaster if I leave the settings at default. Plextors seem to vary in quality lately but if you get a good Plex it will burn anything well. Top rated speed @ 16x probably around 6:30 for a full burn and it won’t put your PIE/PIF through the roof at the end of the burn like all other burners do quite often @16x. That said I burn all my backups and DATA @12x just because the quality of the burn is better. I don’t own a Pioneer or a LG so I can’t comment on them.:slight_smile:

I’m waiting for your LG-4163, remember?