Newbie with laptop, which burner to buy?



(Just posted this on CDRinfo as well. Hope there is no bad blood between the 2 forums. If so I appologize in advance.)

Hi all,

Dell 8500 @ P4M 2.0Ghz & built-in Firewire + USB 2.0.

No preference of brands but leaning towards LiteOn because of firmware/hack/forum supports.

  1. Should I go for:

a) External burner (eg 812SX or 1213SX). What about USB 2.0 limits? I read some people are seeing 12Mbps limits. Also I don’t think LiteOn external supports Firewire.

b) Internal (eg 812S or 1213S) + Enclosure w/ Firewire + USB? If the enclosure is rated at 480Mbps (I read USB 2.0 can be either 12Mbps or 480Mbps) does it mean it won’t have a 12Mbps limit?

  1. Obviously will be flashing 812S/SX to 832 and 1213S/SX to 1633. With an external burner, am I gonna be limited by speed/stability of the enclosure & hence not worth spending the extra $10-20 for the 1213?

Thanks all!


I would buy an internal drive and then an external enclosure with usb2 and firewire. I have read that firewire is better for DVD burning and that if you want to burn at 16x, you would have to use firewire.

I had an 812s and had no major problems with it. Just stick to burning +r disks. I just got an NEC 3500 and love it. The only thing I miss about the LiteOn is Kprobe.

If you’re in the U.S., check out NewEgg. They have the 1633s for $84, about $15 more than the 1213s. That way you won’t void your warranty by using a hacked firmware. The external enclosure should cost around $50. To compare to an external LiteOn, the 1213sx costs $140 + shipping at


i am have the same laptop as you, Dell inspiron 8500 2.4ghz, 512mb, 60gb. I was having problem with the firewire enclosure with my Pioneer 108, Firewire can’t get more the 12mb/s (weird it should be faster then usb 2.0) for the Dell. I tried both the USB 2.0 and firewire enclosure (ME-320), and I found USB 2.0 work better for the Dell. I think it have something to do with the BIOS (A06). Hope this help


Check out the NEC Forum. There are some good questions/answers on external cases…

With a 12MB/s rate on Firewire, I bet you have an Oxford 911 for Firewire support !!! I will also bet that you have an ALI ChipSet for USB2 support if USB is faster than Firewire !!!

If you have Cypress for USB2 support I also bet your transfer rate is only 7MB/s.


Yeah you are right I do have a Oxford 911 Firewire, but I not sure what chip is used for the USB 2.0. What other chipset would you recommend other than an Oxford 911 chipset? Currently I am using the USB 2.0 enclosure and I was able to get 22mb/s on nero speed check. I am planning to put in another External USB HD and I am afraid it will cause bandwidth problem if both enclosure is using at the same time on the same laptop. So I do want to set one as FW and the other is USB. any good FW enclosure that you can remcommend?


You might want to consider buying a firewire PCMCIA card. Newegg has some that aren’t too expensive. I don’t know enough about them to recommend one though.