I need a DVD burner, but which?

I’m looking to copy/burn movies and make some data DVDs. I’ll be using the burner as the source drive for now. I’ve been looking at the NEC 3540, the BenQ 1640 and the new Pioneer 110 with DVD-RAM capabilities. I’ve always had a hard time deciding on things like this. From what I’ve gathered, the NEC is nice, but slow for ripping, the BenQ is nice and the Pioneer is still too new. The idea of DVD-RAM sounds cool, but I’d need the drive to be good for burning movies, too. I’ll mainly be burning movies and would like to have the highest quality burns I can get from a burner in the $50ish range. I’d also like a drive that isn’t overly picky with media, if that’s possible.

All are good drives.


If you can afford it and your motherboard supports it, I highly suggest a Plextor PX-716SA (Serial ATA) DVD Burner. You can check it out and purchase it if you like at this site:


Cost $119.99 You cannot find a better burner for any price!


I just got a BenQ 1640, and so far quality tests are very good. I have put it in my main machine and am putting the BenQ 1620 in my secondary machine.

I was kind of nudged towards the 1620 sometime back based on burn quality and with only a hiccup or two trying to burn Verbatim 8x at 12x (silly me), it has performed admirably.

I’m using Verbatim 16x DVD-R media with both drives and all my burns with them have been at the full 16x without any readability or movie playback problems at all, thankfully. All 4 spindles I got at Best Buy show to be the same media:

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-R:MCC 03RG20 ]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD-R] - [DVD-R]
Manufacturer Name : [Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.]
Manufacturer ID : [MCC 03RG20 ]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,298,496 Sectors = 4.71 GB (4.38 GiB)]

[ DVD Identifier - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

So, I guess I’d recommend the BenQ 1640. :slight_smile:

Good luck on your purchase.

Noticed at another post that the NEC 4550 will be out in Sept!
If you need one right away, I would get the cheapest one on sale I could find and then hold out for your second drive to be a first class model like one of these 716/110/4550/1640. If you already have an older 16X burner then all of the choices mentioned by everyone here are fine.

etp is right, wait and see what the NEC 4550 looks like. Actually, of the drives you mention I would choose none of the above. The 3520 still beats the 3540 for burn quality and the only thing missing is rip speed. The Liteon 1693 will also burn nearly as well and will solve the rip speed problem. It has none of the early death problems of the BenQ. It also would be a good backup drive if you add another drive later and it supports scanning.