Well, here’s a previous example of the speed thing:
Sony decided to use Samsung as its supplier for its last retail US drive, the DRU-840A. Samsung’s drive originally called for 40x reading, and 48x writing on CD-R. Sony then had a firmware done [or made one itself, whichever] that locked to drive to 40x on both normally, or allowed 48x on both with a firmware boost.
on that same drive: the hardware the drive uses is shared with a Samsung model which supports 16x on DVD+R DL, but their [Sony’s] firmware only allows 12x max.
Another example: Samsung has various…err, variants of a given drive, known retail by the SH-S182 series. It has 3 variants of firmware, at the least. 1 variant uses pure CAV for writing to CD-R at 40x, the other two use P-CAV. [That may be reversed].
Back on topic: It is possible that Pioneer and Asus DO have a joint venture. I can’t dispute that. Anything’s possible, eh? Still though, in the ODD industry, mostly every joint venture has had representation of both parties in the product names, on product stickers, etc. There’s none of that here, which wouldn’t be all too normal. I’d think that Asus would make good use of being paired with Pioneer to improve its reputation.
Still, in the grand scheme of things, if we had to apply a “style” to this drive, it definitely reflects Asus’s personality more than Pioneer’s.