Is a DVD-ROM necessary if you have a burner?


I am on the verge of getting a burner. I’m still reading different things on this forum about them until I can make a final decision which should hopefully be soon.

Anyway, is it recommended to also get a seperate DVD ROM as well as a burner or is a burner enough and I needn’t worry about putting so much usage on it.

Most of the DVD-ROM’s can read faster than the DVD burners will, and if you have a seperate drive you can set it to read from one and then write to the other one without you being there to switch the disks.

If you don’t plan on doing alot of burning, you can use a burner for both duties. Just make sure its a good reader.

I actually do plan on doing quite a bit of burning, I think.

The burner I am considering is either a NEC 3500 or the2510.

So maybe i should get a seperate drive.

So maybe I’ll ask here before starting a new thread. Any recommendations on a DVD ROM drive?

Lite-on JLMS-HD166S

There are some DVD writers that cost just as much as drives that can only do CD-R writing and DVD-ROM reading but not DVD writing. The price difference between a cheap 8x DVD writer and a cheap 52x32x52x16x combo, for CD-R write, CD-RW write, CD-ROM read, DVD-ROM read, respectively, drive has become very little and it’s getting more unnoticeable with each month passing.

If I were in the US, I’d rather buy two NEC ND-2500A from or any other good retail sources, instead of one NEC ND-3500A and one Lite-On DVD-ROM drive like 166 or 167. By the way, now has SOHW-1633S for US$80, US$10 more than SOHW-1213S and US$20 more than SOHW-812S.

As someone posted earlier, isn’t it true that a DVD-ROM drive can read much faster than a DVD burner? I now have the 3500a drive and would like to get another drive for reading. The 3500 also reads kind of slow. The price difference from a ROM drive to one that burns is about $30 so it wouldn’t be too bad an idea to get a second burner like the 2510 or something. Would I need to hack the f/w on the 2510 in order for it to read at a certain speed?

Check out the reviews, such the ones at

Is there a single drive that’s good at everything?
Many of the better writers, are stopped by one of the DVD test disks, while the Liteon tends to cover it’s lacklustre writing performance, by being an above average reader, though the 812S/832S and similar seem to hold that crown from the 1213S at the moment.

It’s all about the speed. I had three burners and went back to the 167T Liteon because it was blazingly fast (with hacked firmware) and would read DVD9s at 10X with others getting to 14X. The best I could get with the 812S was 8X even with hacked firmware. If you need the speed get the 167T. If you are set on another burner make sure you look for the firmware before you buy. Some of the best burners (like my 3500) have a severe riplock.

I was considering the LiteOn166. I heard it was a good reader just a little noisy though. I also heard it was supposedly a better reader than the 167T.

I know about the riplock on the NEC3500a. Isn’t there a firmware that can remove riplock? I just got the 3500 a and still a bit nervous about putting a hacked firmware on it.

The modified firmware released by both Herrie and TDB removes the riplock from the NEC 3500. So if you want to remove it, you’ll have to flash your drive with one of those, since NEC won’t remove it in their official firmware. But although the NEC 3500 is a pretty good reader, the best DVD-ROMs are considerably faster when it comes to ripping DVDs (and the best drives are very cheap,too; definitely worth the aditional costs of 20-30 bucks IMHO). A very good alternative to the LiteOn 166s is the Aopen 1648/AAP. Check out this thread for details.

Thanks for the link. Would you need to hack the firmware on either the 166s or the Aopen for it to get fast reading/ripping times or are they fast with original firmware?

Oh and i forgot to add to that last post, I suppose there would have to be a hacked firmware so either the 166s or the Aopen dvd rom drive can be RPC 1, right?

Both drives don’t need modified firmware for fast ripping / reading. There is modified firmware available for the LiteOn 166S by TDB (Homepage) that increases the reading speed for recordable DVD media a little (ripping DVD video discs is not affected by that). Furthermore, there is RPC I (region free) firmware available for both drives from TDB as well.

You probably aren’t aware of this firmware:

that allows DVD9 reads up to 10X. You are correct that the Liteons have no riplock but they are reading DL DVDs at 8X. The codeguys firmware also increases the speed for R and RW by quite a bit, up to 16X if you want to try it.

I don’t know if any of the other drives you mention will get to 10X on a DL DVD.

The Aopen 1648/AAP goes up to ~13x speed on a DL DVD (DVD9) with stock 1.07 firmware, as can be seen in this thread, no speedpatches needed. Didn’t know about the 8x DL DVD limit of the 166s, thanks for clearing that up. So the Aopen is actually considerably faster than the LiteOn when it comes to DL discs, regardless of what firmware used.

Pretty impressive. I will have to remember that when the question comes up again. You realize now I will have to sell my 167 and trade up.

I just ordered one. Thanks for the tip. :iagree:

I was reading the link you provided regarding the Aopen drive. So far it looks good and I think I may go for this one over the Lite-on 166 drive.

However the thread mentioned how the Aopen reads media at full speed all the time and may result in inaccurate error scans.

My concern is such fast reading may cause actual errors and not just innacurate results in a test. Has this ever been an issue with the Aopen or is this something to not worry about?

No, don’t worry about that, you seem to have misunderstood something. The Aopen has the best error correction on the market, it can read discs that other drives can’t. The fast reading does not result in errrors of any kind, it’s just not useful for disc quality testing only (I gave an explanation in that thread). But actually, this might be fixed pretty soon as well (as ErikDeppe pointed out), so the drive might become an excellent unit for testing discs as well, in addition to its extremely good “normal” reading capabilities. But for now, it’s just the best DVD-ROM on the market, and not recommended for disc quality testing (yet). That’s what the discussion in the thread I linked to was about.

So is there some review site that ran the Aopen through some scratched disks for it’s error correction abilities? What have you based your claim “it has the best error correction on the market”?

The Toshiba 1800s and 1700s series dvd-rom are suppose to be good and quiet also. The TDB I believe have a rip lock flash for them. From what I understand if you speed up the dvd-rom there is more chance for errors.