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.
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.