Hitachi-LG GSA-4120B vs. Matsushita SW-9573

Super Multi from Matsushita finally. Matsushita is the last among the major players to add support for DVD+RW.

DVD Super MULTI Drive SW-9573-C

5X Speed DVD-RAM Writing
8X Speed DVD-R Writing
4X Speed DVD-RW Writing
8X Speed +R 4.7GB Writing
4X Speed +RW 4.7GB Writing
24X Speed CD-R Writing
16X Speed CD-RW Writing
32X Speed CD-ROM Reading
12X Speed DVD-ROM Reading
Buffer Under Run Protection
DVD MULTI Read /Write support
DMA66 support



CD Write Speeds
40x, 32x, 24x, 16x (Z-CLV)
8x, 4x (CLV)

CD Rewrite Speeds 24x (Z-CLV)
16x, 10x, 8x, 4x (CLV)

DVD Write Speeds 12x, 8x (Z-CLV), 4x, 2.4x (DVD+R)
4x, 2.4x (DVD+RW)
8x (Z-CLV), 4x, 2x (DVD-R)
4x, 2x (DVD-RW)
2.4x (DVD+R DL)
5x (P-CAV), 3x, 2x (DVD-RAM)

CD Read Speeds
40x Max

DVD Read Speeds
16x Max (DVD-ROM)
8x Max (DVD-Video)
8x Max (DVD±R)
8x Max (DVD±RW)
5x, 3x, 2x (DVD-RAM)

Buffer Size 2MB

Access Times
125 ms (CD-ROM)
145 ms (DVD-ROM)
165ms (DVD-RAM)
CD Formats CD-ROM
Photo CD
Video CD
Photo CD
Video CD

DVD Formats

CD Recording Modes
Disc At Once
Track At Once
Session At Once
Packet Writing

DVD-R/RW Recording Modes
Disc At Once
Incremental Recording
Restricted Overwriting

DVD-RAM and DVD+RW Recording Modes
Random Write

DVD+R Recording Modes
Sequential Write

b4 i bought the LG12x, i actually was waiting for the panasonic drive.
but too bad my country does not carry any of panasonic drives except those imported in therefore pricey and not worth getting.

the previous panasonic drive is available here at imported price which is high.somemore only 4x dvd-r burning, if i m not wrong, though dvd-ram is at 3x. there is also the imported Buffalo which uses panasonic oem. also pricey.

good thing about panasonic drive is that it handles cartridge.

About time !!

Too bad it seems to lack DL support and 12x or higher speeds for +R :sad:

The good part is that it supports DVD-RAM in cartridges :smiley:

Does anyone know what the pricing will be ?


My guess is that the initial price will be around US$150. Unlike Hitachi-LG’s GSA-4120B, the Matsushita SW-9573 is not for the mass. The target market is a bit different.

For those who really take care of data seriously, DVD-RAM cartridge of course is the best, like PD and MO. However, most users just don’t care. For them, cartridges are inconvenient because they need to be removed in many players and drives. The same is repeated with Blu-ray which was first designed to be used with cartridges but later the Blu-ray founders gave up the idea, making both the cartridged Blu-ray and non-cartridged Blu-ray available.

Toshiba, and later also NEC, approached it differently, just releasing AOD, which was later also called HD-DVD to make it sound more like DVD and even HDTV, without cartridges and to be more backward-compatible with CD and DVD. Naturally, the DVD Forum wanted AOD/HD-DVD to be the successor to CD and DVD.

The real problem with cartridges for DVD-RAM and Blu-ray is that they are expensive and difficult to produce and distribute. Even the shipping cost is a lot more for DVD-RAM and Blu-ray in cartridges. To some, such a thing may not sound important but for the manufacturers and distributors, it comes as a serious obstacle. When they see both CD/DVD without cartridges and DVD/Blu-ray with cartridges, they will instantly try to compare the cost and market potential. Sony and Sharp can afford the immense cost to develop Blu-ray and other standards for the future but most other manufacturers can’t which may not be a problem if everything is done under Sony or Matsushita and all consumers are willing to pay whatever they want.

By the way, what is more interesting with DVD-RAM is, I think, is 16x DVD-RAM really coming in 2005? From Hitachi-Maxell’s press releases, it seems so but why can’t they first release 8x and 12x now and what’s the reason not to make 5x DVD-RAM media for the mass now so that they might be persuaded to, at least, some of the enthusiasts, wait a little longer for 16x variations? I’ve been waiting for 16x DVD-RAM for some time after LG announced that they are preparing for 16x DVD-RAM launch last year (or was it in 2002?)

I’m pretty sure that they will jump strait to 16x due to that new BCM material that Maxell invented which is capable of working at such high speed.

I’m kinda wonderig how they will manage to spin the media at 16x in those cartriges… oh well, guess we’ll have to wait and see.

You’re right though, cartridged media is way more expensive to ship.

I’m not sure about being more expensive to manufacture though… i mean it’s just replacing the normal plastic casing…


I was comparing the cartridge-protected DVD-RAM disks with bulk write-once DVD media. Most of the manufacturing lines product those bulk types, hundreds of disks in each spindle. Human labor is a costly thing even in Taiwan and South Korea which is why they have moved most of their production lines to Dongguwan, Gwangjou, Hongkong, and other mainland Chinese cities of massive industries. However much they save cost, it still takes too much time and materials which all mean money in the end to produce such disks. Compare DVD-RAM inside protective cartridges with HDDs produced in Malaysia and Thailand. There are many more parts and requires more sophisticated quality control but I guess what HDD is to DVD-RAM with cartridges is what DVD-RAM with cartridges is to common write-once DVD, roughly. Also consider ZIP and Jazz disks from Iomega. I can only think they are overpriced while CD and DVD recordable media are underpriced.

Back to the 16x DVD-RAM, I wonder if 16x DVD-RAM could be faster than Blu-ray 4x. 16x DVD is about 22MB/s and 144Mbps 4x Blu-ray is about 18MB/s. I wish there were at least some Blu-ray PC drives to experiment with for about US$500, not the standalone recorders for US$2,000. Blu-ray media are not that expensive compared to other media like ZIP, Jazz, floppy, DVD-RAM, PD, MO, DAT, etc.

the specifications you listed are not the same as which are on lg’s site. looks as if the specifications have been drastically reduced. namely the 5x dvd-ram speed and the support of dvd+r dl. panasonics specifications haven’t seemed to change from their original postings for the sw-9573-c. still patiently waiting.

Heh, they probably made a typing omission in their .pdf specifications… i mean i didn’t hear anyone say it didn’t support 5x DVD-RAM.


You mean GSA-4120B doesn’t support 5x DVD-RAM and DVD+R DL? Which LG site says so?

The US site that’s being linked. If you download the specsheet .pdf file, they don’t mention 5x DVD-RAM speed. Probably a typo.


i followed your link to the LG site and clicked on specifications.

Just thought I’d add:
Panasonic SW-9583 OEM

Can be found for around AU$125-140 (retail price) selling in Australia right now, which compares quite cheaply to other dvd drives.

Probably a page of LG branch, not the headquarter. However, it must be that I also checked the page in the English-language site for US market, but since it had some mistakes, I corrected them with my own.

What I mean is that why ask the obvious? It’s pretty obvious that GSA-4120B supports 5x DVD-RAM and DL writing.

looks as if the specifications have been drastically reduced.

You must have ignored all the other posts here because you are only interested in Matsushita drives. That’s why I asked back. I provided a US page instead of South Korean page only because many here like it more if I post only in English even though it’s better to have the original in many situations, especially when most media and drives for DVD recordable technologies are made in East Asia. I’m not saying this because I’m not an English native. I tell students and professors to read the original Marx and Engels in their native languages, and never to consider reading the Korean-translated things because that will only increase their misconceptions and prejudice before having better understanding of the authors. I’m usually ignored though.

The page says “cartdridge load available in October 2004” and this is August 10, 2004.

More Features

DVD-RAM support
This is a removable DVD able to support up to 100K rewrites

DVD-R/+R support
Write once only

DVD-RW/+RW support
Delete all the data recorded of just the previous session and write again

DVD-ROM support
Read only

Interface support
ATA/ATAPI-5 or 6, Ultra DMA mode 4

DVD-RAM sustained data transfer time
3x max

DVD-R/+R sustained data transfer time
8x max

DVD-RW/+RW sustained data transfer time
4x max

DVD-ROM sustained data transfer time
12x max

DVD-Video sustained data transfer time
8x max

CD-R sustained data transfer time
24x max

CD-RW sustained data transfer time
12x max

CD-ROM sustained data transfer time
32x max

CD-DA sustained data transfer time
24x max

Buffer Memory

Loading mechanism
tray load only (cartridge load available in October 2004)

I don’t know how much Australian 125 dollars is but it seems about the same price as many 8x DVD writers that do not offer DVD-RAM writing features. In Japan, Hitachi-LG’s GSA-4082B is selling about the same price, about US$60.

Hmmm. I tried the conversion.

FXConverter - 164 Currency Converter Results
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
125 Australian Dollar = 89.50000 US Dollar
125 US Dollar (USD) = 174.581 Australian Dollar (AUD)

It’s 89.5 USD. Why is this cheap? Even Lite-On’s SOHW-1213S is cheaper at least by 10% than that which could be used for DL writing and 16x CAV writing.

uh, we have 10% tax here. Calm down Kenshin…

That’s the same rate in South Korea in case you didn’t know. Whenever I buy an LG or Samsung in South Korea, the prices include 10% VAT and sometimes also some other additional fee because this is still a culture consumerism is not very well approved and often tightly suppressed. I was talking about the price which you implied being low which I think is not low at all, not about my emotion which is a personal matter where a cynical guy like you shouldn’t interfere. :slight_smile: What does it have to do with having to calm down to say Matsushita Panasonic DVD-RAM writers are overpriced? That’s your standard reply when you don’t have more reasonable thing to add?

how have you come to the conclusion that the LG obviously supports 5x DVD-RAM and DVD+R9?

Maybe you truly have zero interest in LG drives. Just spend 20 seconds and try reading some of the other threads that contain “GSA-4120B” in the subject lines and you might notice there have been many people who have used 5x DVD-RAM and DVD+R DL with GSA-4120B. LG supported both 5x DVD-RAM and DVD+R DL from April this year with GSA-4120B release and then the drives began to appear on retail sites from May. Do you have any reason to feel happier if LG didn’t support 5x DVD-RAM before Matsushita?

LOL Kenshin, you’re making me laugh now. Please come down here and call $125 for a dvd drive with dvd-ram overpriced. Thanks.

I’ll look at your posts with more humour from now on since you are a funny guy. I was under the mistaken impression you were reasonable in your thoughts and assumptions, but it seems you like to make an argument out of everything. Don’t bother responding :slight_smile: