How many burns can you expect out of a burner?



Just curious on what to expect for the lifetime of a burner. I see many that have more than just a couple of burners listed and am curious as to whether all are currently in use or ones that are no longer in their units. I’m not having any trouble but am wondering if I should get a a spare for a backup or change my regular DVD/CD drive to another burner. Suggestions please.


I have has two Liteon drives and three Pioneers go belly up. They lasted about 2 years each. The supposed average life has been reported around 15000 hours powered on, but that seem to be a little long for the new cheap drives.

Given that the cost is around $30, I would grab a spare drive when you find an exceptionl burner. I have three Pioneer 111 drives just because of this. Newer drives are not always better as NEC has painfully shown with their steady decline in quality after the 3500.


You can get a drive which dies after 1 day and others will last years…


What a bummer it would be to have one go bad after a day or a short period of time. I have seen on this forum burners that many recommend and yet when you go to get one they are no longer making that model # and the one replacing it is one hardly recommended by anyone. Looks like chas0039 likes his Pioneer 111 drives and has a couple for backup - Guess I should do the same and give it a shot maybe. I think he is referring to the 111D which is still available. In my first computer I had a Pioneer 108 (think that was the model) and gave it to my grandaughter and I had no problems with it when I had it. Appreciate all the feedback given,


If you’re referring to the out of production BenQ’s they’re available here - probably for a very brief time:

1640 $34.99

1650 $37.99

1620 $34.99


What model is considered the best - the 1650 -who cares if face doesn’t match the unit.


If you go with BenQ get the 1650. The 1620 had a history of problems and the left overs still available seem to still have trouble. The 1655 is considered the best but the 1650 has the same hardware, just minus the Lightscribe. I have a 1655 as well as the Pioneer 111 and the main reason I like the Pioneer over the BenQ is the ability to do a better job on TYG02, TYG03 and MCC 03RG20.

As to the correct Pioneer 111, the 111D is the cheapest and can be flashed to the 111L with the Buffalo firmware. I find this is the best combo.


I believe most people who have both the 1640 and the 1650 prefer their 1640’s because it produces a little better quality burns, but some say it’s a draw. I think there’s also a difference in how well or fast they burn dual-layer discs, but I don’t recall what it is.

Here are some quotes from the fatwallet thread:

Both are good although the 1640 is a little bit better. The one advantage of the 1650/1655 is slighty better burns at 16x, but then if you’re burning strictly for quality then 8-12x are usually the best speeds for 16x media.

I have a 1640 and a 1655. These are great burners (actually I prefer the 1640).

The 1640 is the better burner, but some folks think the 1620 is the better all around drive because of its reading capabilities. I’ve got a 1620 and a 1655 and love them both. At the very least, when the 1640 sells out, you might want to consider this one.

Here’s the cdfreaks thread on this sale:


400+ I expect 1 year of burns out of my drives here,but i have had [I][B]drives[/B][/I] that didn’t make it.


You can never accurately predict this - There are many factors than can contribute to your burner failing over time. But as an estimate figure, your liteon is likely rated MTBF 70000 POH, which means 70,000 hours of Power On Hours before a failure is likely to occur, however, the actual operating hours is usually 20-25%, sometimes less - However that would mean over 50,000 burns, but that is highly unrealistic. To be on the safe side i’d say between 800 and 2500 burns (@8x) - But this is an educated estimated/guess, there is no accurate measurement and the MTBF ratings are much overrated in my opinion when it comes to optical drives :smiley:


A good burner will be able to burn a lot more than 400. I have my LITEON 1633 burner, and do some side work for companies and individual, putting multimedia content and films on DVDs - I have burnt over 800 DVDs so far sine I got my 1633 and it’s still working fine for burning DVDs, however for CDs I cannot burn any media at higher than 8x nor can I read at any higher speed, so I suspect that the CD laser will likely fail first, the DVD burning and reading is still working like a charm, I estimate I can do another 400. So I’d say a good burner can go over a thousand burn, maybe 2000 even. Tes I have known people with plextors that didn’t last 300 burns… :smiley:


No the MTBF POH (power on hours are usually between 70,000 and over 100,000) (Around 125,000 for BenQ drives) Those are estimated hours while there is power applied to the unit and that it is in standby power. The actual OPEARTING cycle is usually 20-25% of the POH.


Boy; you are all blowing my old mind. My Sony DRU-810A has given me over 750 burns in roughly a year. I use Ty’s DV-R’s 8X’s and burn no faster than 4X and on rare occasions have used Verbs. Just have had good luck with the way I do it now and eliminated all the problems that I had in the begining. I just have feeling that my Sony will not last much longer but have had no bad warnings as of yet. The belt slipped off around 30 burns ago but was able to fix it. I have upconverting players and nothing is more frustrating than having a poorly playing disc. After the holiday I’ll get myself a backup and am considering as suggested the Pioneer 111D or the BenQ1650. I don’t want to be in the middle of burning and my burner going kaput and have to rush to BB, CompUSA and be limited to what’s available there. Just have trust with what you guys are suggesting because your using and having good luck with what I would get. From what I’ve been reading BenQ is not going to make them any more - but seems like Pioneer is going to be around for a while. I’ve heard (read) so much about the 1650s that it’s tempting. I use white inkjet printable TY’s and have a R300 printer so no reason for a lightscribe - don’t use rewritables so that make my choice a little easier. Maybe now that you know what speed I burn and using Ty’s it might help you a little more on which to suggest. You guys have helped me more than I expected and thank you all.


Well you have the right burner and media. I’m thinking the 810A is a BenQ in disguise but i could be wrong? I do the inkjet printable TY’s +R and use a R320 to print with my 1620 and 1640 BenQ’s.


One last reason to own more than a single burner; when the inevitable problems develop it allows you to test a burn on a different burner to help find out where the problem is. I cannot tell you how many times having multiple burners solved a weird burning problem. Not only that, but the[I] wide [/I]variability in media quality, even TY and MCC, means that the best burner is not always the same one.


According to a reliable source, the actual writing laser diode in most burners should be capable of writing 20,000 discs at 8x before failing. But, it would seem the rest of the components in most drives aren’t at quite the same reliability level :stuck_out_tongue:


Chas - please correct me if i’m reading you correctly. You have 2 burners on your same puter - correct? If so you are suggesting I install another burner in place of my standard DVD/CD player drive? This would give me a backup incase of a failure in one of the drives. Natch they would still play whatever disc inserted. I have 2 drive bays only along with a floppy drive.


I have 4 burners in each of my 2 computers and a number of external burners in Plumax cases. You can either add a second burner as you suggest or in an external case. With your setup I would have both burners in the bays.


Both versions of the Sony 810A are rebadged BenQ’s.
The DRU-810A is a 1640.
The DRU-810A-R is a 1650.

You need to check the drive label to know which you have if you want to crossflash to the respective BenQ firmware. Crossflashing to the wrong model would kill the drive.


cobo - please explain for me why I would want to crossflash my drive to a BenQ or what is the benefit of doing so. Does the term rebadge mean BenQ made the drive for Sony. Maybe I should stay ignorant. Getting confused. So my drive is actually a BenQ 1640. I will take out my DVD/CD drive and install another burner in place of it when I get one. I had tried a external but was so slow I took it out of the case and installed the burner inside my computer in the empty bay.