Need to buy new drive... 117D or 118LBK

Hello,

long time reader first time poster. with all the news about the new 118/218 drives, i’m a bit hesitant to buy one. I can still find a 117d to purchase so i’m wondering which would you rather buy? If you could post your reason why below, that would be great.

Thanks

117D, no contest

  1. 117D has been around longer, so the firmware is going to be more mature. 118L is on firmware 1.00. If you’re thinking long-term though, this will be less of an issue.
  2. Personal experience. Perhaps I just got a lemon, but I own both a 117D and a 218L. My 218L has trouble burning fast without jumping down to a lower speed. And those that it does burn fast give horrendous scans on my BenQ DW1640. MCC 003 (Verbatim DVD+R 8x certified) will only burn at 8x on the 218L, but 12x on the 117D. MKM 001 (Verbatim DVD+R DL 2.4x certified) will only burn at 2.4x on the 218L, but 8x on the 117D. Needless to say, I don’t have much faith in the 118L/218L series.
  3. The 118L/218L appear to be rebadged Lite-Ons, which, again based on personal experience, is a huge minus for me.
  4. The 117D has an NEC chip, just like the 116D, 115D, 112D, and 111D, and those models sold well and were popular here. The 118L has a Mediatek chip.

The 118D isn’t a complete loss.

With the commonly available CMC-MAG-AM3 (staples office supply “HP 16x DVD-R” on sale), the Pioneer 118D drive did 93% quality in under five minutes.
This wasn’t quite as good as the Lite-On A1H/A4H family, because the Pioneer’s errors were in a cluster in the center of the disc. Even so, the 118D exceeded expectations by making data safe output at high speed.

With MCC-003 (“on sale” Verbatim 8x DVD+R by mail order), the Pioneer 118D did 93% quality in 9 minutes, again with the errors in a cluster. This is still data safe output, although one would suggest to avoid writing this media past 4.2gb.

Although not remarkable for a drive to do one of these junk medias at 93%, its very rare for a drive to do both of these junk medias with data safe output. Most dvd writers will make at least one coaster on this test.
This means that the writing quality of the Pioneer 118D tested is “Well Above Average.”

However, it doesn’t qualify as a “data safe” drive because its dvd reading ability is mediocre to poor. This is how it fails quality verification.

If you have one of these, you may want to add a DVD ROM drive to your computer.

I’m NOT promoting the Pioneer 118D, but rather reporting surprise findings that the thing actually does work better than average. It is a step better than the “entertainment” grade DVD writer.

EDIT:
Testing environment was a professional workstation with a fast&stable single core hyperthreaded Intel cpu, a fast Western Digital SATA hard drive with large on-drive cache, the drive running solo on an ICH7 intel hard drive controller, APFC power with exact voltages, 2gb ram and Windows XP Pro 2. This means that the testing was done without interruptions. I’ve no idea how it may perform in a retail grade computer.

[QUOTE=tehreaper;2310838]Hello,

long time reader first time poster. with all the news about the new 118/218 drives, i’m a bit hesitant to buy one. I can still find a 117d to purchase so i’m wondering which would you rather buy? If you could post your reason why below, that would be great.

Thanks[/QUOTE]
Be aware that the DVR-118L’s are Windows Only drives. As per the two I just sent back and Pioneer. If you’re running Windows, you’ll be fine. But I wouldn’t do it. Too much strangeness behind this sale directly from Pioneer. It was as if they were hiding something.

Oh and no one there could tell me anything about their products. Since it wasn’t in print they had nothing to reference (read). No or very little info on the website and none in the online store.

P.S.
Where are you finding the 117’s?

Hold on for a second. You may want to read this:
http://club.cdfreaks.com/f87/existence-dvr-117-dvr-217-a-263626/

[QUOTE=FarmerBob;2445827]Be aware that the DVR-118L’s are Windows Only drives. [/QUOTE]No, they are not.

[QUOTE=mciahel;2445891]No, they are not.[/QUOTE]Then Pioneer Tech Support Lied to me. :a
[I]"Thank you for contacting Pioneer Electronics, Inc.[/I]

[I]The drive was officially designed to work with current Microsoft Windows operating systems. Operation with any other operating system is not supported."[/I]

So what system are you running them on, that they are working 100%?

They work fine on MAC OS X Snow Leopard, and also in Linux. :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=FarmerBob;2446019]Then Pioneer Tech Support Lied to me. :a[/QUOTE]

I’m absolutely shocked to hear of such a thing. I simply can’t believe that anyone working for a corporation would lie to a customer. Outrageous! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi FarmerBob!
Hi Dee!

I wonder what happens when the 118/218 are used with:
Nvidia 410, 430, 6xx and related?
Jmicron?
Round IDE cable?
Non-split (sata 150) cheap/free SATA cable?

There’s so many causes of performance variance in drives, but these possible causes (above) are quite common and not usually reported. Trouble with this is especially common on drives with version 1 firmware.

Whether Mac or Mint or Windows, those reporting full performance seem to be using i945 (iCH7) and related hardware with good cables (flat ide or sata 300), so I’m curious about. . . what happens if you do otherwise?
I don’t know.

Where is everyone hearing all this nonsense from?

The Pioneer R18-series is of a unique design and is produced by QSI in China using a Mediatek chipset. It is NOT a LiteON design.

Regards,
TerminalVeloCD

[QUOTE=terminalvelocd;2446773]The Pioneer R18-series is of a unique design and is produced by QSI in China using a Mediatek chipset. It is NOT a LiteON design.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the clarification. The main concern of the layperson is that it doesn’t have an NEC-chipset. Whether it’s a Lite-On rebadge or a unique drive with a MediaTek-chipset (like the Samsungs) is an empirical fact, but not the thing that keeps people awake at night.

Until this QSI-designed drive can prove that it’s as good a burner as the NEC-based Pioneer and Optiarc drives, most people desire to avoid it. That’s the main issue of debate.

[QUOTE=negritude;2446861]Thanks for the clarification. The main concern of the layperson is that it doesn’t have an NEC-chipset. Whether it’s a Lite-On rebadge or a unique drive with a MediaTek-chipset (like the Samsungs) is an empirical fact, but not the thing that keeps people awake at night.

Until this QSI-designed drive can prove that it’s as good a burner as the NEC-based Pioneer and Optiarc drives, most people desire to avoid it. That’s the main issue of debate.[/QUOTE]

Well, its better than the Samsung 223 that I’ve tested.

My question is about the Pioneer 118 with MediaTek substitute parts that didn’t lower the price tag, and how does that compare to: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118032 a real NEC with a lower price tag?

Pioneer always have had a higher price based off their name. Whereas the LG, LiteOn, Optiarc, or Samsung may have their prices fluctuate more, Pioneer is still holding their prices at a level. I’ve been buying Pioneers since the 111D days, and they’ve seldom had prices below $30 USD, on a rare occasion, you may get free shipping out of the vendor. The first time I’ve seen Pioneer drives near the $25 mark was from the short-lived x17 series. I picked up a retail S18L/218L from the far east for about $27 while I was visiting, only because Newegg wanted $45-$50 for the retail and $35 for the OEM.

What it comes down to is the average, non-CDFreak person’s perspective, most have heard of Pioneer, most have not of Optiarc, and how many of them will really browse here to understand and check for scans, opinions, etc. BEFORE making a purchase? Will they really care about what chipset it has? It’s good that the OP asked before buying, but most won’t.

[QUOTE=KTL;2447330]Pioneer always have had a higher price based off their name.
. . .
What it comes down to is the average, non-CDFreak person’s perspective, most have heard of Pioneer, most have not of Optiarc, and how many of them will really browse here to understand and check for scans, opinions, etc. BEFORE making a purchase? Will they really care about what chipset it has? It’s good that the OP asked before buying, but most won’t.[/QUOTE]

Well, it seems that Newegg has sold out of almost all of those Sony Optiarc America models that have the NEC chipset. Maybe the cause was the free shipping.

I’m just wondering about NEW (widely available) dvd writers able to burn most discs edge to edge at top speed without coasters.
I’ll bet that’s a short list indeed.
Although the Pioneer 118L BK isn’t preferred over the 117, still, the 118 could be on that list.
Slight problem–the 118 will “flunk itself” on scans, but that’s because of its reading, not because of its writing. :wink:

What other new (widely available in stores) drives do such quality writing?

[QUOTE=negritude;2446095]I’m absolutely shocked to hear of such a thing. I simply can’t believe that anyone working for a corporation would lie to a customer. Outrageous! :p[/QUOTE]

Last month a friend purchased a Pioneer 116 drive from Pioneer’s USA website only to receive a broken 115 drive which was a refurbished drive. The box had no packing material to protect the drive. When my friend contacted Pioneer USA they claimed that the 115/116 is the same drive. My friend told me the person answering the Pioneer USA tech support was clueless and said the drive was brand new. The drive looked used and it didn’t work correctly. All it did was freeze up his pc. It was tested in my computers as well and did the same thing. The broken drive was returned to Pioneer USA for a refund.

Too bad Pioneer USA lied about the drive being brand new. I’ve ordered many drives from them in the past especially when they offered free shipping. :eek: I’ll seriously have to think about buying from them again in the future.

It’s unfortunate that as new silicon comes out, old but good and reliable one goes obsolete. With LiteOn using the NEC chipsets now, perhaps Optiarc didn’t buy enough of it for themselves to keep the production flow going. In the end, it may just boil down to MediaTek and NEC in the ODD chipset business since Panasonic and Renesas hasn’t seem to done much past the 22x chipsets. I think all drives can do quality writing at the rated speed, iow, 16x. But of course with up to 24x writing, most people want to burn that fast.

[QUOTE=KTL;2447738]It’s unfortunate that as new silicon comes out, old but good and reliable one goes obsolete. With LiteOn using the NEC chipsets now, perhaps Optiarc didn’t buy enough of it for themselves to keep the production flow going. In the end, it may just boil down to MediaTek and NEC in the ODD chipset business since Panasonic and Renesas hasn’t seem to done much past the 22x chipsets. I think all drives can do quality writing at the rated speed, iow, 16x. But of course with up to 24x writing, most people want to burn that fast.[/QUOTE]

Thanks!

Oh yes, you’re right about the speed thing. In the process of upgrading/recycling, etc. . . I kept only those drives that did right every time at top speed.

You must have excellent luck. That’s cool. But, the question remains. . . Which drives (brand and model#) are doing the the good 16x all the time?