LG GSA-5120B USB 2.0/IEEE 1394 - external 4120B

LG Electronics in South Korea has just released their GSA-4120B’s external version, GSA-5120D to retail market.

Lotte.com already has it for 282,000 Won, including VAT and shipping.


LG Japan also has the information for GSA-5120D.


Here are pictures.

wow…thats look very impressive.
wonder how the performance is.

i read smwhere that it is very difficult to achieve 8x ( or perhaps even 12x) using external drive is that true? my personal experience is 6x on firewire. best i can go.

Mr. rdgrimes has said his IEEE 1394 drives can write at 12x. I think 12x is easy with IEEE 1394 but you need a good controller and brige chipset for that. Both the PCI or onboard controller and the IDE21394 bridge must be good and also the drivers are important.

Personally, I think most of the problems with external drives will be gone as soon as SATA and IEEE 1394b drives in external cases become ubiquitous.

In Windows, the drive’s model name appears to be GSA-5120D.

It was a typo in the title. It’s 5120D, not 5120B.

you really need a fast computer with a good firewire chipset to write at 12x and yes even 16x has been achieved. 1394b is out already and some enclosures are too but the drivers are still a bit buggy. but with my oxford 911 chipset and my lg 4120 i can write at 12x with my athlon 3200xp from its built in ieee 1394a bus (my p4 3.2 laptops firewires top speed is 8x).


thank you for that information Kenshin.

Does anybody know which chipset (Oxford, Genesys?) is used in that external housing? And what interfaces are supported, Firewire and USB2? And finally, is it possible to pass through another firewire device (i.e. are there two firewire connectors included)? A picture from the connections would be really nice :slight_smile:



One USB 2.0 and two IEEE 1394a ports. Someone at SI tested the external drive yesterday.

I’ve been trying to find more info on the LG Burners about the DVD-RAM functionality. Looking at the photo’s it looks like its answered my question though. Do the 4120 and 5120 Drives read & write DVD-RAM in a caddy or does the disc need to be removed from its caddy first? From the photos it looks like it only accepts discs without a caddy


That’s right. One of the weaknesses pointed out since at least LG’s first “DVD Multi” burner.

For more pictures, click this link.

All right, here is a question for you guys :

Does this writer need the separate power cord to be plugged in when operated from a buspowered Firewire connection ?



yup u need external power

Are you sure ? Does it say so in the documentation ?


What do you mean by a seperate power cord?

You mean you want to use the external drive just by connecting the IEEE 1394a port to PC? I don’t think any 5.25-inch optical drive can run without external power.

Just for those who don’t want to click the link provided above. :slight_smile:

Kenshin, i did see that picture before but it still does not answer my question.

Does it work with just the firewire cable plugged in ? Firewire can provide over 80Watts of power through its cable making a separate power supply not necesarry. I just want to know whether this enclosure is able to work with the power supplyed by the firewire cable only. I know that USB barely supplyes any power and that’s why it needs a separate cable, but that’s not the case with Firewire.


Why did they change the modelnumber from 4120 to 5120 and not just add a letter to 4120, eg. 4120E (external)?

I thought there was a new(er) writer from LG, but it’s not. :frowning:

They have external models starting with 5. :slight_smile:

I post here for more than one person’s benefit. The pictures are for those who don’t want to click the page which I provided in the first post, nothing more.

Can Firewire provide over 80-watt power through its cable making seperate power supply redundant? Then why do you think 3.5-inch HDD external cases are powered by external power supplies?

[b]What do you mean by a seperate power cord?

You mean you want to use the external drive just by connecting the IEEE 1394a port to PC? I don’t think any 5.25-inch optical drive can run without external power.[/b]

I did answer to your previous question. If you want to know more, then you probably have to contact the case manufacturers directly. Most of them are in China and Taiwan. LG doesn’t make them. Do you know any external enclosure for 5.25-inch drives or 3.5-inch drives that do not need adapters?

The Wiebetech Super DriveDock was such a devices that was able to run withought a separate power cord. It just took all its power from the firewire bus power.

The reason why the majority of such cases do not work without a separate power supply is that USB 2.0 by design needs a separate power source and also because quite a few firewire adapter cards do no provide bus power even though they have full 6 pin ports. (Some manufacturers of such cards should be punished for this)

Anyways seems like this enclosure needs a separate power supply even when using firewire. Too bad.


That does not sound like the fault of some manufacturers. What’s the cost of Wiebetech Super DriveDock and a card for providing “bus power” to power DVD writers independently?

USB 2.0 by design needs a separate power source means what? Most 2.5-inch HDD drives using USB 2.0 port does not require additional power sources other than the USB 2.0 cable. There are fans and mobile phone chargers using USB cables.

The FireWire DriveDock comes with more stuff, but costs less; it sells for $US139.95, versus $US159.95 for the Super DriveDock. The only difference between the two is that the Super DriveDock can be bus powered - if the FireWire controller it’s plugged into on one side can supply enough power to run the drive on its other side, then the FireWire cable is the only thing you need to connect.



$120? That might be the price of GSA-4120B plus a PATA2SATA converter and you still need the right IEEE 1394a/b controller to provide enough power. And that’s just a bridge chipset. That does not include a case which often has an independent cooling fan and power switch. What’s the cost of such cases? The OEM price is somewhere under US$20 to US$30 at most. Would Sony, HP, LG, IO DATA, Buffalo, among others, like to use US$100 case instead of US$10 case for common consumers?