LG 4163 Question

Is this the best burner right now? I’m asking cuz I have the NEC 3520, Plextor 708, Plextor 716al, and LG 4163. The LG gives me consistantly great results while the others do not. The Plextor 708 is consistant but gives more errors and can’t overspeed burn. I’ve been using Sony DVD+R 8x which are really TY 02 and I get quality scores of 98 or 99 every time. I only today discovered it’ll burn the 8x discs @12x and I still get quality scores of 98 or 99. I can’t imagine any other drive being this great. The new Plextor I got blows by the way.

I forgot to say I’m getting a 2nd pc and the only problem is the LG is white while my pc will be black. I could paint it I guess but it’s a pain. Wish there was a black version of it or another burner that preforms as well.

You can get a black one. For $55.00 Canadian.

wow, i’m a moron. i just went on newegg and found the black one on there too. out of stock but will order it soon as it comes in.

So far, I’ve owned three 16X burners, purchased in the following (reverse) order:

  1. LG 4163
  2. NEC 3500
  3. BenQ 1620

In terms of burn quality, I rate them in this order:

The LG 4163 gets my vote as the best one in terms of burn quality (as measured by CDSpeed courtesy of the BenQ 1620). Just about every disc it burns has a significantly lower PIF count than the others. At 8X burn speed it’s the fastest burner of the three, typically burning a disc in under 8:00 minutes. It seems to burn both +R and -R discs equally well. It’s supposed to be the fastest 16X burner, but so far I haven’t found any discs that it will overspeed to 16X, and I refuse to pay the higher price for real 16X discs. Unfortunately the drive does not support quality testing.

The BenQ comes in second in burn quality on the discs that it likes, but it works much better with +R discs than it does with -R discs. At 8X burn speed, it takes about 8:30 to burn a disc. However the BenQ 1620 will overburn many (most?) 8X discs at 12X (with almost no loss of burn quality) and some 8X discs at 16X. Unfortunately, one is left with the feeling that the BenQ firmware could be better tuned - particularly when it comes to both reading and writing of -R discs. Hacked firmware is available (courtesy of ala42) that will allow this drive to read discs at the full 16X (instead of the default 8X). This allows for a verify after write time of about 5:00 minutes for a full DVD, and it allows a movie to be ripped in about 10:00 minutes flat - which is about as fast as it gets. Many people will buy this as a second drive because it’s cheap and it supports quality testing.

The NEC 3500 comes in third for burn quality, but it still makes good burns. It overspeeds older discs better than the others (courtesy of Liggy and Dee’s custom firmwares), and it burns a wider variety of discs than the BenQ 1620, including most -R discs. However, for 8X burning speed, it’s the slowest burner of the three by far (about 9:30 to burn a disc). This drive does not support quality testing - at least not yet (and perhaps never).

The 4163 won’t overspeed any media to 16x. 16x discs don’t seem to be much higher than 8x from what I’ve seen; what country are you in?


We have owned identical recorders, although I have exchanged the NEC2500 for a 3540.

I agree that the LG is the best writer in terms of quality. I wasn’t expecting the drive to be so good, and have been amazed with it so far. It’s definitely top of my list, though I do miss being able to perform quality scans with it.

The NEC 2540 and BenQ1620 are tied in second place. My BenQ is the fastest writer, and the best reader of the lot. And it rips like the wind. And the quality scanning is very useful. IMO the BenQ is equally good with -R and +R, but not so good with RW disks of any flavour.

The NEC now supports quality scanning, but the results it gives are oftern worse than the BenQ. Quality is great on all disks, in my experience. I don’t think the NEC supports bitsetting for single layer disks, though. For this you need hacked firmware.

With the 4163 you have a good drive. Stick with it!


Get the new LG GSA-4165B, I have and it rocks :slight_smile:

I’m in Canada - in the Toronto, Ontario area. I bought my last batch of discs from FutureShop - 8X +R FujiFilm TY discs that will overburn to 12X on the LG. They were on sale for $40.00 Cdn per 100 and they produce excellent burns on both the BenQ 1620 and the LG 4163 recorders. However, the LG PIF count is about half of what the BenQ produces.

The BenQ 1620 has problems reading back many (most?) -R discs that are burned on the NEC 3500. The BenQ does not recognize the disc properly. The easiest way to show this is via CDSpeed; the “Disc Info” section (located just below the “Start” button of the quality check window) will leave the “ID:” entry blank. A DVD copy will fail near the end because the BenQ will try and read past the end of the disc since the BenQ firmware always thinks that this disc is completely full. I suspect that you may be able to see this problem with discs written on your 3540 since the issue definitely shows for both NEC 2500 and NEC 3500 written discs. Note that you will still be able to successfully read individual files from the BenQ, but a disc copy will fail.

While the NEC 3540 does indeed support quality scanning, to the best of my knowledge NEC has not yet made this firmware available to the 3500. Forum speculation is that NEC has made a deliberate business decision to avoid providing this capability to the NEC 3500 in order to encourage sales of the newer drives. Considering how cheap these drives are right now with a minimal amount of profit, and I can understand that decision.