Need opinions before purchase

I’m a laptop owner and want a new external drive for various tasks. The drive doesn’t have to be Blu-ray compatible, though that would be nice. I want the price to be $100 or less. I’ve been trying to research some good options and I’ve only found one that seems to fit the profile.

I’m replacing a Samsung SE-S204 (not 204N or 204S). The one I found that I like is the Samsung SE-506AB/TSBD but I want one that is fast in terms of read/write speed. I will be using it to backup CDs and DVDs, as well as creating them. If the drive supports Blu-ray then I will be backing those up as well.

I used MediaCodeSpeedEdit to patch firmware for my SE-S204 but that drive has since died. Would love to be able to patch the firmware on the drive I purchase, hoping to get better speed and whatnot.

None of the newest drives available have any patches, and I don’t think any BD drives have patches… You might have to find new old-stock (or refurbished/used, if new isn’t available) of older drive generations to have anything worth patching with respect to ripping speeds.

If you get a newly released model (or a model from one or two model revisions ago, depending on the manufacturer), it’ll still work (clearly), but I don’t think many people can promise that they will be fast.

(I’m wondering if the old External Unit’s drive can be replaced with a working drive - IF the external power systems are still functioning.)

I mention this because the general trend - as Albert stated above - seems to be “newest models aren’t as good as older models” in Build & Materiel Quality.

And slim-lines are often discounted further, compared to the full-height drives.

Then again, there’s nothing magical about any external housing for external drives - except that their power-bricks might be generic and more easily replaced IF (or when) those fail.

Pocket, as an addendum, I was reading our SAMSUNG sub-forum and seeing JadBurner’s results using a Samsung Slim External with a variety of media. This may be more meaningful than “trends and tendencies”.

What speed should I be looking for if I just want to rip DVDs using AnyDVD? I’ll be saving the discs in their RAW format (VOB) so there isn’t any encoding needed while the disc is ripping. I want the drive to save the discs quickly but not so fast that I have problems. My laptop isn’t a top-of-the-line piece of equipment and all of my DVD backups are directly ripped to my external hard drive (USB 2.0)

Pocket, I never copy/rip videos to an external because of the additional overhead and necessary slowness. I rip to an internal drive and THEN copy the files off to an external en masse - as many as my internal drive can hold. (I would burn the files from my internal drive first, though.)

And to do a copy-rip operation from an external thru the host-computer to another external - that effectively doubles all my concerns about thru-put, CPU cycles, page-swaps, temp files and everything else. That has to take a lot of cycles to keep so much data all sync’d.

I don’t value READ or WRITE speed because I look for Perfect Quality (well, as much as possible). It’s more important to me that I have a great end-product than win a speed contest. How much can I possibly save? 10 minutes out of 20? 5 instead of 10? Something like that. Yet, if I’ve produced a bad-burn, I might waste an hour before the sputters, stalls and artifacts overwhelm my players. How much time did I really save?

So, I don’t value READ or WRITE speed. Efficient Processing and End-Product Quality is more important for me.

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2711596]Pocket, I never copy/rip videos to an external because of the additional overhead and necessary slowness. I rip to an internal drive and THEN copy the files off to an external en masse - as many as my internal drive can hold. (I would burn the files from my internal drive first, though.)

And to do a copy-rip operation from an external thru the host-computer to another external - that effectively doubles all my concerns about thru-put, CPU cycles, page-swaps, temp files and everything else. That has to take a lot of cycles to keep so much data all sync’d.

I don’t value READ or WRITE speed because I look for Perfect Quality (well, as much as possible). It’s more important to me that I have a great end-product than win a speed contest. How much can I possibly save? 10 minutes out of 20? 5 instead of 10? Something like that. Yet, if I’ve produced a bad-burn, I might waste an hour before the sputters, stalls and artifacts overwhelm my players. How much time did I really save?

So, I don’t value READ or WRITE speed. Efficient Processing and End-Product Quality is more important for me.[/QUOTE]

I’ve never thought about it in that regard. My external drive has a seperate power cable so the USB (data) cable can maximize throughput.

In terms of quality, I’ve never had any issues, but I have to mention that I’m completely blind in my left eye and I have no outside peripheral vision in my right eye, thus leaving me with a sort of tunnel vision. Add astigmatism to that, too. So when I watch a Blu-ray movie or even compare 1080p to 4k on two different televisions, I can’t see the difference.

In other words, I want to make sure I purchase a reliable drive that will rip and burn DVDs at a fairly decent speed (16x minimum burn speed, rips DVDs using AnyDVD in 15min or less) without loss of quality or other muck ups. I read elsewhere on the forums (some time ago) that there was a particular model Lite-on drive that fared well in terms of speed thanks to MediaCodeSpeedEdit but I couldn’t locate the model number.

I was afraid that if I purchase a Blu-ray drive, it wouldn’t excel at DVD operations due to the Blu-ray capability but I don’t know for sure if that’s true. Blu-ray sounds like it will do better at Blu-ray tasks than it will at DVD tasks.

I would adjust my Copy-Rip practices to improve efficiency (and, yes, speed) and perhaps quality, too. I’d make sure my notebook’s C: Drive had a large percentage of hard-drive space available (at least 40%) and that I’d do Disk Cleanups (getting rid of temp files and The Trashcan’s contents), then a Disk Defrag. After that Restart, then I’d copy DVDs to my hard-drive, burn copies and IF I wanted to preserve a spare copy of those DVD-Files, then move (ie, copy then delete) them to my External.

THEN, after that process was finished, I’d do another Disk Cleanup/Disk Defrag/Restart and my computer should be left in Fastest Operating Mode.

As far as BluRay vs DVD, our forums do discuss some ‘quality shifts’ between a DVD Manufacturer and its BluRay successor drive. I’ll let the Samsung experts comment on that, but I don’t think I’ve seen a frequent discussion that condemns Samsung BluRays for their DVD burning.

I think I’ve seen comments like, “Asus BluRays aren’t as good as the Asus DVD burners” but that’s more of an overall quality issue, and not a “DVD burning is bad but BluRay burning is good”.

If there’s anything ‘if-fy’ about BluRay Burning, it’s because the fineness of the BluRay laser is much greater than a DVD’s laser, and the disk quality is necessarily heightened and thus subject to greater errors. More data on the same ‘space’ - size of the optical disk - must mean an almost exponential demand for higher quality media AND the laser mechanics.

I hope others can jump in here for differing viewpoints, but I made the move to include SOME BluRay burners for testing purposes, not for wholesale use. (I still burn DVDs for videos because that’s the media for which MY favorite movies are sold.) And my BluRay drives burn DVDs as well as my DVD burners do, so I’m happy enough. (I use Pioneer 207s and 208s - the 208-series has an OEM version for the drive “208DBK” for example, and the retail package is listed as a “2208”, but it includes BluRay-playing software - which can be very handy. (There are discussions of installing these ‘internal’ drives into external cases, by the way, if you’re interested in that option.)

Your choice in Samsung is considered good-or-better and if that’s readily available, have at it - do some tests, see what you think - and if it doesn’t perform like you expect, there are sadly fewer and fewer choices available as this segment of the manufactured products dwindles. LG - a brand I’d never considered as a DVD Drive - has a good reputation here for its BluRay burners.