Please recommend high quality DVD drive with Lightscribe ability



Looking for an excellent quality drive with black bezel also capable of Lightscribe. Internal drive please. thanks.


First off, if you haven’t already, spend some time on the optical drives forum…should be ample info here .

I just picked up a Liteon SHM-165H65 w/ lightscribe and 5X DVD-RAM. Just installed it last night ~ midnight. Just trialing various media and will flash it to new fw CV7U - courtesy of COdeKing, then I’ll experiment a little more…so far it’s a great burner… :iagree:

I almost went with the Benq 1655…but I love my liteys. I think you’d be ok with either one.

Sorry, forgot to link it. Dunno where you’re located… Newegg just had a special on it with free shipping, but it’s still a good deal.

Anyway, it’s right here.


LG GSA-H10L will most likely have support for 12x DVD-RAM, if scanning isn’t important for you. LiteOn if you want to do quality scans.


Thanks, what is “scanning?”


Thanks, what is “scanning?”

A type of media quality test. Here’s a link to the Benq DW1655 single layer scan thread.

From the drives already listed, as far as I am aware, the Liteon will perform this but the LG won’t.

If DVD-Ram is required you can eliminte the Benq option, whereas if scanning is important eliminte LGs. Liteons generally do both.

With regard to burn quality, given the quality of recent drives, it’s becoming more and more a matter of personal preference.


I have the same question as the OP. I used to browse and research this forum years ago where I was lead to enjoy a few NEC OEM burners. Now I’m looking for the best overall (writing/reading quality) + lightscribe drive for $50 or less… what’s the top candidates?


This has been posted many times before as has my answer:

When you buy a drive you need to look at burn quality, bitsetting, ripping ability, Lightscribe ability, and scanning ability.

First you choose the media you will be burning. Look at what is available where you will buy and what others are recommending. In the US, the best cost $30-$40 per 100. Middle quality is $25-$40. Crap is $15-$40.

Then you look up bitsetting and see if you need or want it. It only pertains to +R and +RW media.

Then you look at different drive ripping speeds and see if you need very fast, media, or if slow will suffice. This only pertains to pressed DVDs, more for dual layer than single layer.

You then read up on scanning and decide if you want to take advantage of seeing how well your burns are going.

Price is not an issue unless for some reason you feel you want a Plextor. Then you need to be prepared to pay 2.5-3X as much. Otherwise drives cost $40-$50.

If you decide you want to utilize Lightscribe, add $10-$15.

Once you take the time to go through these steps, you will be down to very few drives. Then you can see what others with experience say. The way I would post would be:

“I am considering buying drive X. Do any of you out there have any direct experience with media X, good or bad?”

Any of the top drives would do a good job on some media. The questions above will provide your answer for you.


I appreciate your response. However unlike years ago, I can not dedicate countless hours to make the perfect decision in this case, could you possibly recommend one? It’s for my dad, so therefore he does NOT need bitsetting, scanning or fast ripping. He just needs good burn quality and good Lightscribe capability for things like family pictures etc. So far I’m seeing a Lite-On and BenQ on newegg that are around $45. Also seeing a Samsung SH-S162L that has 5 outof 5 star reviews from 74 votes. Either of these a safe bet, and as good as the HP ones that come with their PCs?

As for one for me, I suppose I’d be willing to consider the best all around one…


Benq 1655


I second that wholeheartedly!


Third! If you are located in the US, try Great prices on these (shipped to the house for less than $50).


Ok, so I imagine if we did a poll from all readers, that the winner would be this BenQ 1665 model. Now just to verify, that’s the best overall combination of Burning reliability/quality and Lightscribe capability (primary priorities), while still holding it’s own in reading capability, ripping, bitsetting, low noise, longevity (secondary priorities)?

Edit: is the BenQ 1665 a newer (or just lightscribe) version of the highly rated BenQ DW1640?


Except for knowing its litescribe ability (i have its non litescribe little brother the 1650) i would say it is amazing at all of the above.

I would never buy any other drive again.


You said you were short for time but the thread comparing the 1640 to the 1650/55 is worth a read. Summary: people who own both give the 1655 only the slightest edge over the 1640 for two reasons: 1. 16x burning quality; 2. Lightscribe.

According to CDRinfo’s reviews:
1640: The heart of the drive is the Philips’ Nexperia PNX7860E chipset.
1655: The chipset used is once again made by Philips (as in the BenQ DW1640 drive), but this time is the PNX7862EL, seen in the picture below.

The only “complaint” that I have with my 1655 is that my cdfreak buddy “gregtherotterius” gets way higher Quality Scores on Verbatim 2.4x +R DL media with his Pioneer DVR-111 when burning at 4, 6 or 8X. (Are you listening BenQ?)

Happy Hunting!


Just remember, for the 1655 avoid the last firmware, burn at the rated speed (16X at 12X the exception), keep SB off and WOPC on. Others have found other combinations that are better for them but you should stick to MCC 004 and TY T02 anyway.

I have no experience with Lightscribe media, but I would guess that Verbatim +R would be OK.


As I stated in post #2, I really don’t see how you would go wrong with either burner…it was just about a coin toss for me. This is my 5th litey and all still work…no complaints at all. Take a look at newegg. The Benq has had 82 reviews with 4/5 rating, while the Liteon has had 95 reviews, again, with a 4/5 rating…both are excellent drives…just pick one… :iagree: