Questions on Optiarc AD-7190A

Merry Christmas!

I’m expecting a system to arrive any day that will have the Sony Optiarc AD-7190A drive. Based on threads that mention this drive, I still have questions.

  1. Generally speaking, besides being able to burn media beyond it’s defined speed, are there any known reliability improvements in moving from available firmware for the Optiarc (1.0.4) to DH20A3P based firmware?

  2. If if do move to DH20A3P firmware, can I immediately flash any posted DH20A3P firmware with tools such as flash utility 2.2.2, or omnipatcher 2.6.2, or does some other action need to be taken first? For example, do I need to flash with a stock firmware (XP5Z ?) first before attempting, say, XV5P-HT695?

Thanks for any additional info.