Lg Gsa-5163d

I was thinking of buying the drive below:


I was just looking through all the threads about the LG GSA-5163D External DVD-Rewriter and I noticed that there’s a lot of people here reporting problems.

I was also thinking of buying this DVD-Rewriter below:


So, which drive would you recommend? The LG GSA-5163D or the Freecom drive?

Basically, I only really need a DVD-Rewriter so that I can backup my original Region 2 DVDs and backup my original computer console games. I don’t really need to “create” my own DVD movies or data DVD discs.

I have programs such as DVD Decrypter, CDRwin, Alcohol and Burnatonce installed as well as Easy CD & DVD Creator 6. I’ve never liked Nero so I don’t need to worry about getting that to backup my DVDs.

By the way, my PC specs are;

2 Ghz Intel Celeron processor;
256 Mb RAM;
40 Gb Hard Drive;
DVD-ROM Drive;
CD-RW Drive;
On board USB 2.0 (6 ports);
On board Firewire (2 ports);
Windows XP Home Edition.

And another thing, I’m willing to spend as much as possible to get good quality and reliable blank DVD-R and DVD+R discs.

I don’t know what problems you refer to, but my 5163D works fine with both my desktop and notebook pc.
The Freecom only has USB, while the LG also has firewire, which is a big advantage. Using good quality media (like TY and Verbatim) the LG burns excellently.
I’m not sure what kinda drive is inside the Freecom, but the specs are not as good (for instance only 4x dvd-rw against 6x on the LG).

It’s just that I’ve heard that Nero Express (the software supplied with the LG GSA-5163D) freezes often at around 20%-40% while it’s attempting to burn the disc and that you need a high spec PC to get near the maximum 16x speed.

I still have some questions that need answering so just bare with me.

So you would definitely recommend the LG drive over the Freecom drive?

By the way, what’s your PC’s spec like? I just wanted to know what kind of burn times I should expect with the PC that I have.

And which DVD-R and DVD+R media would you recommend for the LG GSA-5163D? I need to see what blank DVD media is available in my area and compatible with the LG GSA-5163D.

You can expect problems with any external drive if your system is not fast enough or badly configured; sometimes a certain mainboard and a certain chipset just don’t match up. My pc is a 2,4 Ghz model, my notebook has the first generation Centrino processor, so both are OK but not the latest.
I do not know the Freecom. I do know that firewire is the better option, all other factors being equal (USB is shared between devices). It is hard to recommend anything with certainty, though. The best way to find out what is best for your setup is by finding a shop that will let you try them out.
About media, I can recommend Taiyo Yuden 8x +R and -R media and Verbatim 8x +R media. I have had good results with Verbatim 16x +R too, but my current spindle of those is not great. If you want to know more about which media to use or avoid, look into the blank media forum or the quality scan thread in this forum. Also look at where they were bought and produced, because a Verbatim made in Taiwan is different from one made in India.

Any Verbatim/Taiyo Yden media is great. Yep, min has problems keeping 16x - it usually drops to 12x in the end. The 4163 does 16x clean. Anyway i burn 1/200 discs @ 16x so i don’t really care. It burns 8x-r in 7,30-7,45 min and 16x-r in less than 6 min. I always burn VIDEO_TS with Nero Express and it never failed so far. I’d say for anything 8x(or4x) the 5163 is very good. Sometimes it fails to burn @8x but stays on 6x. Burn quality still brill (last pic here is burned @6x). Only bad thing i can say about it is that it cost me more than 2x 4163 would have :wink:

I have an Athlon XP 2900+ with 1 Gb ram, 128 ram Radeon and some HD’s with 600 gb+ for storage

I’m pretty sure that the LG drive has a 1 year guarantee and the Freecom has a 2 year guarantee. I don’t think I can try like you were saying but I think I can go ahead and buy the LG drive and set it up on my PC and see if it burns DVDs the way I want it to. However, if I encounter any problems such as incompatibility or if the drive consistently produces “coasters”, I can take it back to the shop and tell them it was faulty, get my money back and then buy the Freecom drive.

I’m new to Firewire, so I won’t know what specific wire I will need for the LG drive. I’ve seen Amazon sell Firewire cables with 4 pin-6 pin connectors, 6 pin-4 pin connectors 4 pin-4 pin connectors and 6 pin-6 pin connectors. I have no idea which one I would need.

I can get hold of Verbatim Blank 16x DVD+R discs for £1.29 each. Which is pretty cheap. The main problem for me though is that most Blank DVD-R and DVD+R discs (locally) are only capable of being written at a maximum of 8x (these are Sony DVD-R and DVD+R discs by the way). A lot of them say 1-4x which I think is too slow for a DVD Movie disc but acceptable for computer games (as they require slower writing speeds).

What do you mean “fails to burn at 8x”? Did it burn a “coaster” or did it still carry out the burn successfully (albeit at a lower speed)?

Can you verify the above for me please. You’ve written 1 Gb RAM and 128 RAM as well as the name of your processor but not the actual speed of the processor (Ghz/Mhz).

It’s never made a coaster (yet). When burn @8x it’s starts at 6x at jump to 8x and stays there - only many times it didn’t jump to 8x - but it’s actually been a while since it didn’t do 8x. Quality scans are better when burned @6x but 6x isn’t an option for -r. Sorry for being unclear - it’s my video card that has 128 mb ram - heh and the processor was 2600+ :wink:

The LG 5163D has two 6-pin (‘big’) firewire connectors, the same size that most pc’s use. On my notebook, I have a small 4-pin connector. A 6-to-4-pin cable is included with the LG, but for your pc you will probably need a standard 6-to-6-pin cable.

Ok, thanks for the information.

By the way, my graphics card has 64 Mb RAM. It’s a Nvidia Geforce MX 460. I don’t know if this could make any difference to the burning of the DVD.

So I should definitely be expecting a 6-to-4 pin Firewire cable to be included with the LG drive? And is there any way of finding out which Firewire port (6 or 4 port) I have installed on my PC (Device Manager etc)? Because I’ve never ever used Firewire before.

I worried a bit if USB was good enough before i got my first external writer (LiteOn 1653 for scanning) but it seems to work very good and i never had an issue with the LG 5163 or LiteOn 1653 on same hub as scanner, printer, mouse etc :slight_smile:

The content is printed on the outside of the package. The cable should be there, unless LG changed the package since I bought mine.

4 or 6 pins only refers to the connector, which is easy to see on the outside of your PC. Normally these are 6 pins, which is about the size of a usb port but wider and with one flat and one pointy end. The 4 pins connector is very small and usually found on digital cameras or notebooks.
Firewire is very easy to use, just switch the drive on, plug the cable in and Windows XP should recognize the LG.

It’s good to know that the USB won’t have any problems with the LG drive as I already have a combination Printer/Scanner installed as well as USB Bluetooth connectivity.

I’ll look for the Firewire ports on my PC (I don’t know what they look like) and I’ll report back.

I’ve just checked my PC and I’ve found a 6 pin i.LINK port at the back of my PC and a 4 pin i.LINK port at the front of my PC.

A quick look in my PCs User Manual also confirms this.

So which cable(s) will I need to connect the LG GSA-5163D via Firewire? WIll the cable that’s supplied with the drive work with the port on the front of my PC?

The supplied cable will connect the LG to the front 4-pin port. To connect to the back you will need a 6/6 pin cable (if you don’t want a cable in front).

Yeah but will it make any difference to the burning speeds or compatibility if I connect to the front 4 pin port rather than the back 6 pin port?

No, there is no difference.

I’ve just been looking at the review that this site did a while back for the LG GSA-5163D (which is located here) and I was just wondering if it matters if I upgrade the firmware or not?

I mean, will it make any difference at all? It says in the review that they upgraded the firmware for the burning tests.

I’ve only ever upgraded firmware on an ADSL router before but I’ve never tried upgrading firmware on an optical drive.

I’m a bit worried that I may permanently mess the drive up if I don’t know exactly what I’m doing.

I don’t know if you’ve got a Staples near you but they were doing a buy 1 get 1 free on Verbatim 16x printables (+ & -R) for £9.99 (for 20). The offer may have finished now though.

Upgrading the firmware on an LG drive is a piece of cake. Go for it!

How do you go about upgrading firmware on an optical drive?

When I upgraded the firmware for my ADSL router, I had to insert a jumper (the same kind used for Hard Drives and Optical Drives) on the main PCB and run the firmware upgrade software in MS-DOS.

Will I have to go through a similiar process for an Optical Drive?