[qanda]This thread is about the Samsung SH-S223F. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]Hello all,
When initiating this posting, I selected . . .
> Optical Storage
> SH-S223F (unfortunately, the SH-S223Q was not listed, and that is the Optical Storage product that I have)
I recently purchased several new Samsung SH-S223Q Super-Writemaster LightScribe burners from Newegg.
The SH-S223Q is a 22X DVD+-RW burner. I typically burn 16X DVD-R discs by Philips and or HP - and according to Nero software (see below) these discs are manufactured by CMC.
I also have another DVD+-RW burner, a Samsung an OEM from Dell, model TS-H653A. It is a Samsung because on the greenboard, next to the SATA connector, it reads SH-S183A. I believe that this burner works perfectly, however, I wanted a newer, faster drive that had LightScribe capability, and at $25 with free shipping, I could not resist the SH-S223Q from Newegg.
Software-wise, I primarily use Nero Vision and Nero Recode to create DVDs.
While burning my first DVD-R with the new SH-S223Q, I noted the total time required, and then burned the same file with the TS-H653A. The TS-H653A required approx 35% less time.
I also watched the speed counter as it incremented for each burners. The TS-H653A incremented much faster and peaked at approx 10X. The SH-S223Q incremented noticeably slower and peaked at approx 8X.
According to Samsung and Dell, the specs associated with burning DVD-R media include:
SH-S223Q . . . 22X CAV
TS-H653A . . . 18X CAV
Given the slow SH-S223Q results, I decided to use Nero CD-DVD Speed (version 126.96.36.199) and ran both Benchmark and Create Disc tests on both burners.
I also downloaded Nero's current release, DiscSpeed 188.8.131.52, and had to download, install and register AdvrCntr4.dll as well.
In summary, the TS-H653A passed the Create Disc test without transient sags or drops, and it achieved 16.3X write speed. Unfortunately, the SH-S223Q did not pass the Create Disc test - in my opinion - because there were several transient sags or drops ranging from 2X to 4X in magnitude, between 250MB and 4.38GB.
After reviewing the comprehensive Nero CD-DVD Speed user guide - as found here at CD Freaks [http://club.cdfreaks.com/f96/cd-dvd-speed-user-guide-192563/], I used most of Nero's default settings except for the following Options . . .
- Standard Test / Speed / Write speed to Selected at 16X
- Standard Test / Transfer Rate / Graph / Maximum speed DVD to 22
- Disc Quality / Graph limit / DVD to 18
. . . and at the "Create Disc" tab, I selected the "Settings / Speed" at 16X.
While I am not confident that my Option settings are 100% appropriate, I repeated the tests and varied these settings with the hope of generating a positive Create Disc [write] test result. Unfortunately, that never happened.
Regardless of my settings, whether 16X or 18X or 22X, the results were virtually the same - several transient sags or drops, from 2X to 4X in magnitude, between 250MB and 4.38GB.
The SH-S223Q labels states that the drive were built December 2008 with F/W revision SB02.
After running the Nero tests, I updated the F/W to Samsung's current version, SB03 - dated 28 JAN 09.
I should add that the F/W for my TS-H653A is updated to the latest available from Dell, version D500.
I also used Samsung's F/W update (SH-S223Q_SB03.exe), and Samsung's LiveUpdate 2.0 (Liveudpate20_Eng_Install.exe) software to update my drives from SB02 to SB03. Prior to updating, I used Samsung's TSST Win Inquiry 1.03.1 software.
After updating the F/W to SB03 on two different SH-S223Q drives, I ran the same Nero tests, using both CD-DVD Speed 184.108.40.206 and DiscSpeed 220.127.116.11. Regardless of the settings, 16X or 18X or 22X, the results were, once again, virtually the same - several transient sags or drops from 2X to 4X in magnitude, between 250MB and 4.38GB.
Disappointed with the Nero Create Disc (write) results, I submitted an email to Samsung Support via their online web form page. Their initial reply states . . . "Was this new drive bought OEM? If so the FW update you performed damaged the chip on the drive."
While it is true that the SH-S223Q at Newegg are described as OEM drives, I am confident that they use of the term "OEM" as a convenience. I say this because the drives are not retail packed, but are shipped bubble-wrapped (as in bulk or white box).
Prior to purchasing the SH-S223Q drives from Newegg, I contacted Samsung Support and spoke with an individual whom stated that Samsung was aware of the Newegg SH-S223Q drives and that they were most likely not "true" OEM drives, but instead bulk product.
I challenged Samsung's initial reply by stating that Samsung's LiveUpdate 2.0 software refused to update my TS-H653A (a Samsung SH-S183A). This made sense since the TS-H653A was an OEM drive from Dell. In contrast, Samsung's LiveUpdate 2.0 quickly update the SH-S223 drives from F/W revision SB02 to SB03 without any error or delay.
Samsung's responded to my challenge by stating . . . "If the drive was purchased by Dell or whomever and then not used, it has still been wiped of our FW and been implanted with their FW. Sometimes they sell these drives to companies like NewEgg and TigerDirect. They haven't been relabeled with the TS- model number but they are still OEM drives. As the FW has been flashed. This is the information I have to give you. I am not an engineer. I am just tech support for the average Joe that doesn't know much and tries to tackle jobs they don't understand and are not ready for. If you need an RMA then go ahead and submit one. I'm just trying to help."
I have no problem submitting multiple RMAs for several (apparently defective) SH-S223Q drives. However, I do have a problem paying to ship "brand new" SH-S223Q drives back to Samsung and then waiting however many weeks for their return.
On a related note, today, I phoned Samsung Support to discuss my SH-S223Q drive problems. After speaking with level 1 support for about 20 minutes, my call was escalated to level 2 support. After an additional 45 minute discussion with level 2 support, my choices were limited. Either I submit a multiple RMA to Samsung, or return the drives to Newegg.
Here is where things get a little interesting, at least in my opinion.
When I submitted the email to Samsung Support via their online web form page, I also emailed Newegg explaining the problem associated with the SH-S223Q drives. Newegg responded quickly and before Samsung, and their solution was very consumer-friendly. In short, Newegg offer to and did ship replacement SH-S223Q drives at no charge - and those new drives arrived today.
Like my first SH-S223Q drives, today's shipment was also built in December 2008 with F/W revision SB02.
I did not update any drive before running the Nero tests. Unfortunately, all drives failed in the same manner as described above. I did not update their F/W to SB03 because I am confident the results will be remain the same - several transient sags or drops from 2X to 4X in magnitude, between 250MB and 4.38GB.
I do have screenshots that illustrate the results associated with both the SH-S223Q and TS-H653A drives, but, as a Newbie, I do not know how to upload the respective jpg files in a manner that incorporates their images in this post - my first at cdfreaks.com
If I have not bored you to death by documenting my experience in such a comprehensive manner, here is what I am now contemplating . . .
The SH-S223Q drives are okay because the Nero CD-DVD Speed 18.104.22.168 and DiscSpeed 22.214.171.124 software is somehow flawed when conducting Benchmark [read] and Create Disc [write] tests for burners that exceed 18X with 16X DVD-R discs.
On a related note, the Philips and HP DVD-R discs are labeled 16X, but Nero's "Disc Info" states they are CMC MAG. AM3 discs; and 4X - 6X - 8X - 12X - 16X - 18X when read by the SH-S223Q drive, and 4X - 8X - 12X - 16X when read by the TS-H653A drive.
If my assumption is correct, and Nero's software is somehow flawed when testing burners that exceed 18X, I am 100% confident that I will get no help from Nero. Their technical support is among the worst and posting a blog at my.nero.com rarely results in a solution - in my experience.
Given that Knowledge is Power here at Club CD Freaks, I was hoping to get some fresh ideas, knowledge or perspective on my SH-S223Q problem and or my Nero software assumption associated with 18X+ drives.
Regarding Nero's DiscSpeed 126.96.36.199 software, perhaps I am not using the correct settings. If so, I would sincerely appreciate anyone whom shares their expertise and or experience testing 20X burners and above using this Nero software. Specifically, Option settings that differ from Nero's defaults.
Thank you all.