HP dvd640e DVD Writer with LightScribe Review

The HP dvd640e DVD Writer with LightScribe Review has been posted.
Use this thread to post your comments or questions.

Thanks to Jan70 for much of the LightScribe description text used in the review.

Good review pchilson. Thanks. :wink:

…“We give a big plus to HP for building their external model with a dual interface!”

“The HP dvd640e DVD Writer uses CAV, (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R at 16x but fails to attain full 16x write speed due to the limitation of a non optimized USB bridge”.
But why are there no write (or read) speed tests with drive connected to Firewire interface :confused:, although this might, in some cases, give “real” 16x burns

BTW, any information about chipset used in this enclosure?

The external enclosure in the drive sample we received uses the Prolific PL-3507 IDE to USB2/Firewire bridge controller.
After the review was completed the drive was tested with a machine with Firewire and the burns were able to reach a full 16x.

Thanks for all additional info pchilson… :bow:

I hope the HP DVD640e review at cdfreaks frontpage will be revised (ie. firewire tests on most popular 16x media added) to show the “true picture” about this drive.

And a lesson to learn for future reviews; the tester must be able to test [B]all [/B] interfaces. :wink:


Point well taken.

The review machine has been updated to accomodate all interfaces.
Unfortunatley, the review for this drive was completed before this event.
In the short term future we may have an oppourtunity to do some additional testing on a new drive sample.
Details at 10:00… :slight_smile:

The drive has a dual connection interface, so it should be able to perform at full specifications when connected via USB 2.0.
USB is much more commonly found in PC’s compared to Firewire, so I believe the USB 2.0 tests are actually more important. :slight_smile:

It is also interesting to note that a Memorex 16x16 external USB2 DVD writer was able to hit full 16x writing speeds without any trouble on this same test machine.


How did you guys 48x-burns with a 40x max. drive :wink: ?

Typo! it has been fixed. Thanks!

Nice reivew pchilson by the way I get that 8x,4x burning with some of my 16x media* as well with my BenQ 1625 (Internal IDE UDMA2), tried using the Philips firmware & got the same thing, everything seems a-okay in my system and my 1620 burns the same media at 16x just fine.

*Verbatim MCC 004 & Ritek CMC MAG M01 DVD+R 16x

I saw some of the 4x,8x burn issue with my 1620 as well when BenQ released B7U9 with the “Improve WOPC algorithm” fix.
So my feeling is the reason lies with that “fix” which I assume would carry over to the 1625 firmwares.
Re-flashing the firmware on the 1620 cured that problem.
However, on the HP during the testing for the review there were no official firmwares to re-flash with.
I don’t know if that might have affected that problem or not, it doesn’t seem to have done anything for you.

Nice review, and a pretty nice drive.
Forgive me, i only just found some free time to read it.


A question to the CD-R-tests: Are those green spikes = Uncorrectable error?

Overall, I´m not impressed about this drive, burn quality is to worse

No, those are NOT C2 errors. A green spike is an error in the Kprobe read scan, which means the scan skipped a block.

But it´s not a good sign, I think?

Read many reviews, but don´t see it often that blocks are skipped.

No it’s not a big deal. Depending on the CD-RW writer used to perform the scan, some are more picky than others. The scan error could be due to another task being performed on the PC at the same time, causing the scan to skip.

is the hp 640i has the same performance with the hp 640e? am a newbie here

If your 640i, is also based on the 1625 (the ones I have seen are) it will show the same general characteristics as it’s external cousin but without the USB interface limitations.
You may also consider that BenQ has released 3 firmware updates for their own 1625 version of this drive. HP has released 1 updated firmware for the 640 but as stated in the review the release came to late to include tests in the review. The 640 has all the potential of the 1625 if HP will continue to support it with newer firmwares.

could it be possible to reflash the 640i to its latest firmware release by hp? even though the firmware i used is the benq 1625 drive?


But like I said, overall I´m not impressed by the HP. The writing-quality with DVD-media could be much better.

Did HP use the original Benq-FW or did HP write their own FW?

Anybody having issues installing the newest lightscribe print engine and the firmware flash for this external model drive??