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 @ Newegg.com); 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.