Help me choose a new DVD burner drive please



I currently have a Samsung SH-W162Z that I am rather dissatisfied with… it doesn’t handle errors well (causes it to drop to near 0x speed and almost hang my PC), and some discs it just refuses to recognize at all (which read just fine in my other drives). Recently it has been making more and more bad burns with both CDs and DVDs (though I have used media of varying quality). Anyway, I’m ready for a new drive as this one has not had a good record with me and may be slowly dying.

Mainly I’m just looking for a quality reading and burning drive (speed isn’t a huge concern). I’d like one that would be able to read most any CD or DVD I throw at it, and that consistently produces quality burns (I like to archive files on DVD+R discs mainly). I would like to keep it under $40 (including shipping). The ability to make scans would be cool, but would be more of a novelty feature to me and isn’t something I’ve got to have. As far as SATA or EIDE… well, actually, I have a dilemma. I’d prefer SATA, but then I won’t have any free SATA ports left (and I plan on getting a Blu Ray drive before the end of the year). And I don’t plan on getting a new PC (with more SATA ports) for another year at least.

I did notice that Newegg has a deal ($21.99 + free shipping) on a Sony/NEC Optiarc AD-7190A. I’ve heard Sony/NEC is a good brand; however, having checked around here I quickly found out that it is basically a rebadged LiteOn DH-20A3P. I read where some said it was good and some said it wasn’t that great (especially compared to the NEC-made Optiarcs). I also saw some people here recommend the Samsung SHS-203B ($26.99 + Free Shipping @; however I’m a bit hesitant to get another Samsung, and I’ve heard the 203B has been discontinued. I think I saw a few recommendations for some Pioneer drives as well (don’t recall the models though), and also people mentioned “real” Plextors. But basically with all these drives out there, I’m just not sure what to get (and I want to be sure I get a good one)… so I’d greatly appreciate your suggestions.


hmm, ok, u can’t edit posts for very long here… but whatever. I’ve decided an IDE drive would probably be better for me to get anyway. Just looking at the selection from, they don’t have the Optiarc AD-7200, which was given a great review from here. However, they do have the Pioneer DVR-115DBK, which seems pretty good too. Any thoughts?

Like I said before, mainly I want a good CD/DVD reading drive and good DVD burning drive (good CD burning would be nice too)…


The Pioneer 115 is a solid drive and should serve you well.


zipzoomfly carries the 72XX Optiarc drives, but last I checked they were out of stock. The Samsung 203B is an excellent drive, sorry your previous experience with Samsung has soured their rep with you. I can also echo The Kippers recommendation on the Pioneer 115, I have it’s brother the 215D and it’s a solid performer.


I like the Lite-On DH-20A4P. Currently $24 shipped from newegg. Good scanner, excellent Verbatim DL burn quality, and a decent CD burner IF you use quality media such as Taiyo Yuden.

DVD+R and DVD+R DL on the Lite-On is set to DVD+R and DVD+R DL booktype by default. You’ll want use the bitsetting utility for Lite-On drives or the “EEPROM” options in IMGburn to change this PERMANENTLY to DVD-ROM. There are other ways to enable bitsetting, but they only last until the next reboot. Bitsetting to DVD-ROM will give better compatibility with standalone players.

The Pioneer DVR-115D auto-bitsets DVD+R DL to DVD-ROM, meaning that you get the setting without any input from the user and there’s no way to change it. However, DVD+R (single layer) is auto-set to DVD+R booktype, and there’s no way to change to DVD-ROM without using third-party firmware (which voids the warranty of your burner).

If you don’t care about not being able to bitset DVD+R to DVD-ROM without voiding the warranty or just want to use DVD-R (for single layer), then the Pioneer DVR-115D is excellent for burning quality. I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with flashing to Buffalo firmware, which voids my warranty, then the drive dies a few months later. So I don’t play that game anymore.


thanks all! i went with the Pioneer DVR-115D, and it is working great so far (just installed it a few hours ago, i’ve been burning stuff with it and everything has gone well).



Didn’t get my post in in time. Sorry!

That Pioneer should work good for you!