Is the DH-20A4H considered a good burner?

I need some help. I own a DH-20A4H, which is IDE. I just bought it new 2 months ago for my system. But I’m building a new system now, and I’d like to get a SATA drive to avoid the IDE cable, but I can’t seem to find any advice on what SATA drive to get. I’ve read in several places here that the Optiarc AD-7203S is highly recommended, but that’s only available in Europe, and I’m in the US.

Is the DH-20A4H a good burner? I seem to have pretty good results, but it varies from disc to disc, and I’m using a spindle of Verbatim DVD+Rs. I also use this drive for Nero discspeed quality scanning, and I’m wondering if this is a reliable drive for scanning. Should I just keep this drive, and deal with the IDE cable? I don’t want to trash a good drive in exchange for a not-so-good SATA drive, and the SATA Lite-Ons at Newegg seem to get terrible comments on the forums here.

Any suggestions?

  1. Yes, the DH-20A4H is a very good burner. I would keep it, unless you absolutely, positively, have to go SATA-only for your system. You might consider getting one of those newer round IDE cables, which allow better airflow than the flat ones.

  2. The Optiarc AD-7200S or AD-7201S (Lightscribe) is the drive you would look for here in the states. The 7200S, 7201S, and 7203S are all the same drive, except the 7201 has lightscribe, and the 7203 has labelflash (which is only licensed for use in Europe).

  3. Verbatim media can be variable in quality of late, and by that I mean that the scan results you get may not be as pretty as what you were used to in the past, but it is still good media. The point is that you should not assume it is the burner.

  4. Make sure the firmware on the 20A4H is up to date.

  5. Yes, Lite-On drives are currently the only drives on the market that are generally reliable DVD media scanners. The Optiarc drives are good for scanning CDs, but not so much DVDs. Samsung drives are OK for scanning, but their reliability at that task varies.

  6. Yes, the newer Lite-On models (iHAP/iHAS) are OK, but most feel that they are not as good as the older 20A3 and 20A4 drives.

Thanks very much for the quick answers.

I was considering getting the round IDE cable, but then I was reading some comments elsewhere about those round cables being a bad idea because of the crosstalk with the wires because they are not in the linear ribbon layout, and the 80-wire ribbon was invented to prevent crosstalk. Any input on this?