Retail Box BENQ 1620 Pro Black with free media. $54 and free shipping

1-Day Sale, Ends 6/1/05 5:30 PM PST - NEWEGG.COM
BenQ Black 16X DVD+R 4X DVD+RW 4X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 4X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-R 24X CD-RW 40X CD-ROM 2M Cache IDE DVD Burner - Retail.

I just ordered one, not being very happy with my Pioneer drives lately. The price is great for the retail box version. BenQ 1620 Pro. It comes with 25 16X DVD-R and 25 52X CD-R included as a bundle. Comes with Nero 6 suite, as well. :slight_smile:

If anyone knows what the best FIRMWARE is for this drive, please add it to this thread. I am new to BenQ. I really wanted a drive for quality testing, as well. Heard this drive can do bit-setting, as well? :eek:

Suggest you go to the following link.
Congrats, you will love your new BenQ.
Just remember, you will have less frustrations if you stick to good media.

In the picture is shows benq 16x dvd+r? A friend of mine just ordered one. Does anybody know what the media code is on benq 16x meida?

Congrats on your purchase. I’ve read good things about the Benq dw1620 and the bonus pack is priced real nice. Just curious if the black faceplate matches your PC or is that not a biggie to you? I have older Sony Vaio with that gray/siliver finish edged with lavender and haven’t decided what DVD burner to get. I think the black would distract me somewhat since the PC sits next to my monitor.

I wanted the Black Face Plate. (Black PC case) In fact, I was holding out to get the retail Black Face Plate as it looks the best. I have a silver Pioneer DVR-A09 in the other PC (with a silver case). :slight_smile:

i just placed an order for a nec 3520a yesterday. maybe i can ask them to cancel that order and replace it with this one.

Someone corect me if I am wrong, but doesn’t it come with multiple face plates? The last one I installed (retail ver and might not have been a pro) came with black and tan face plates.

Nope newegg said no and if you look at the model number.
Model #: DW1620 PRO BLK BONUS

I ordered the tan and it came with a spare black face plate. I would think that all the retails come with both face plates. There is nothing on the outside of the box that indicates “changable face plate included”. Anyone else order a retail 1620 and get the same?

I would keep the 3520. Unless you love +R, the NEC does a better job on all my media.

From what I have seen, the OEM comes black with no spare faceplate. When you order retail you get Tan with a black faceplate. As far as I have seen, there is no Tan OEM.

I’ve been using 3520a on Maxell -R (MXL RG03) with PIE’s of over 400,000 and PIF’s of around 3-4000 (quality score around 93-97). I’m thinking of switching to the TY and most of them are +R (Fuji, Sony).

Looks like this sale is still alive !! :slight_smile: Get one while they are hot! :slight_smile:

For those who have a minute ( or two ), here’s my story …

I’ve spent the better part of the last 3-4 days scouring through the forums here as well as a few competing (m/b complimentary) websites to decide between the BENQ 1620 and NEC 3520. Plextor is out of my budget, and I’m not that interested in the Pioneer / LiteOn / BTC / AOpen lines.

At first, I was leaning towards the BENQ 1620 because of the reviews and incredible scans I’ve seen posted througout this website. I don’t really have a need for -R media, and I noticed the BenQ 1620 overspeeds really well with +R ( and some -R ) media - ie. along with producing some excellent PIE/PIF scans.

As for media, i basically stick to what’s available / on sale @ the big box stores ( CompUSA, Best Buy, Staples, etc ), so I’d essentially be using CMC E01 ( TDK, Memorex, Philips ), CMC AE1 ( Memorex ), MBIPG101 R04 ( Memorex, TDK ), MCC 003 ( Verbatim ), TYG02 ( TY ), and YUDEN000 T02 ( FUJI ). I spent a lot of time researching and comparing scans for these media ( both +/-R ) on both drives, and the BenQ 1620 seemed to have better scans ( though some may consider marginally better ). Esp. the YUDEN000 T02’s, there were some incredibly clean 1620 scans even burning @ 12x ( total PIE’s at 5,479 - 13,868 and PIF’s at 23-110 vs. NEC 3520 @ 12x burn ( 5x scan ) ranged PIE"s at 33,727 - 149,239 and PIF’s at 789 - 2,300 ). I did find some nice NEC 3520 scans @ 16x burn ( 5x scan ) with PIE’s at 20,809 - 66,787 and PIF’s at 59 - 441.

I realize there are many factors that contribute to scans ( heat of the media / burner, temperatures in general, firmwares used, etc. ), but I’m just smitten by some of the great scans produced by the 1620’s. I’m probably splitting hairs at this point, but dang-nabbit … that’s what this site has done to me!! :slight_smile: Never knew burning a dvd could be so damn technical. On a practical level, if it copies back and plays back, then “it works”, right? Haha.

The BENQ’s better overspeeding ability, generally lower PIE/PIF scans ( with my targeted media mentioned above ), and faster burn times esp. with +R media ( but also with some -R media - except for SONY 08D1’s, which seem to do better on the NEC 3520 ) basically sold me on the 1620 - ie. you get best of both worlds ( speed & quality ). Based on the numerous comments here, I don’t plan to use PRODISC media wtih the 1620, and I do realize the NEC 3520 does perform better ( PIE / PIF scans ) on some other media.

Obviously, it’s hard to ignore all the posts about BENQ 1620 failures / DOA / heat issues / trays not opening / “smoke” smell / computers rebooting (until the 1620 was physically removed) / marathon RMA sessions / good drives eventually going bad in 1 day - 3 months, etc … ie. generally quality control problems gone awry. What I couldn’t really narrow down was whether this was isolated to OEM, rebadge, and / or retail models.

So, after reading up on the NEC 3520 and esp. seeing the incredible work Liggy & Dee put into their firmwares, I picked up a Mad Dog MD-16XDVD9 ( confirmed by most to be 3520A these days despite the box markings ) from CompUSA for $49.99 after rebates. The 1.UF firmware looked very promising judging by the scans posted here, but the BENQ 1620 still seemed to yield “better” ( obviously this is relative and extremely subjective when you consider what PIE / PIF range is ‘acceptable’ for your needs ) scans and maintain faster burn times with recent firmware.

I realize there’s a very loyal crowd very pleased with their 3500’s, and it seems the 3520 isn’t quite as beloved as the good ole 3500’s. But, I still yearned to produce those 1620 scans i’ve been seeing over and over here. In general, I wasn’t that impressed with the 3520 scans in this site ( here again … this is just from my perspective, and I’m certainly no authority on this matter ).

Luckily ( and hopefully not unluckily ), I stumbled across this post, and I must say it pulled me right back to where I started … really wanting a 1620.

So, I placed some calls to NewEgg and BENQ hoping to get some more insight into the quality issues of late. Fully expecting to get the run-around, I was simply hoping for a slip that maybe would confirm that this is a faulty drive. All I got was the usual mumbo-jumbo and typical scripted comments - essentially no comment. NewEgg’s people played dumb, and BENQ’s technical / suport people gave me the “nothing unusual, just the standard 3% rate of failure” line. The guy wouldn’t even acknowledge any heat issues when I tried to point out the new cooling system in the 1640’s … his response was that the 1640’s were too new a model for him to comment on ( isn’t that his job … to know this stuff? ).

Well … I took a chance, and my order went through this afternoon for NewEgg’s Retail BENQ 1620 Pro + Bonus cd/dvd’s. At $54 final invoice, it’s actually a couple bucks cheaper (after taxes) than the NEC 3520 deal at CompUSA.

I’m still concerned about what experience I’ll have with this burner. If this were a non-pro ( older stock, possibly more consistent quality control ), I would have no qualms about it. I’ve essentially got 30 days from today to qualify for NewEgg’s cashback ( if defective ) or replacement guarantee. After that, I just have BENQ’s 1 year warranty. If this drive is gonna crap out, I hope it does so in the next 30 days so I can get reimbursed on shipping it back to NewEgg.

BENQ’s support person noted that if the drive fails within the first 30 days, they replace it with a “new” retail model ( this applies to Retail purchase only - ie. not OEM ). He said they take back the faulty one and fix it up to be a replacement for someone else. So, according to this guy, if the drive failed after the first 30 day period, BENQ will replace your faulty drive with a “refurbished” drive. ??? Is this normal practice? I guess it makes financial sense from their point of view, but I wonder if this is one source of the problems some people have been experiencing with the 1620’s and their replacements. Granted, i noted the post about the guy having gone through 3 retail packaged rebadged versions from a big box store to finally get a working one. But, with all the hubbub about addon stickers and mislabeled packaging, I wonder if those too were refurbished drives? I doubt any respectable company would do that … but, i guess anything is possible.

We’ve heard from the OEM and rebadged folks who’ve had bad experiences, but I wonder if anyone who has bought the RETAIL BENQ 1620 Pro drive has had simliar or generally bad experiences lately?

I’m actually really looking forward to getting the drive to start testing it out. In the meantime, the Mad Dog ( NEC 3520A rebadge ) still sits in its unopened box - ie. I’ve got 21 days to return it to CompUSA for a refund. It’ll stay in that box unless this 1620 gets sent back to the nice folks at NewEgg.

Lol … sorry for the long post, but this website esp. has got me extremely excited about this stuff. Just wanted to pass along my thanks to all those who’ve contributed and shared their experiences. Really helps noobs, such as myself, get insight into the world of DVD burning.

After reading the BenQ forum a bit I was gonna buy the OEM version but then read all the RMA horrors people went through when they got theirs. I was waiting for a sale again to get one, this offer was exactly was what I was looking for. I would rather buy a box version over a OEM, cause it comes with a good starter package and most of the time the drive in the retail box tend to have better q/c control since it goes out to the big box stores whereas OEM tend to go to pc manufacturers and distrubuters which sells them to retail stores that built pcs. All the DVD drives I bought so far are box versions cept for a old pioneer, which was my first DVD burner. Cant break that trend now :bigsmile:

I never stumbled accross the faulty BenQ, I bought 2 drives as IO magic, one has the retail firmware (B7M9) and it is made in Malaysia, the other has OEM firmware (G7M9) and it is made in China. I flashed the OEM version to retail version and both of them are working pretty well. I just bought a Mad Dog at CompUSA memorial sale so I can use it strictly for -R media, the outside box says model MD-XDVD9, but the drive is actually MD-XDVD9A2. So it is an NEC-3520. I flashed it to NEC firmware 3.04 and burned a few -R (TDK TTG02, TDK TYG02, SONY08D1, and CMC MAG AE1). I scanned the results under my BenQ drive and it only burns the CMC MAG AE1 better than my BenQ, the rest, my BenQ burnt better. I tried to burn a few +R and of course, there is no comparison to BenQ when come to +R. I flashed the drive to liggy & dee FW and still, BenQ still burns better. I am flashing the drive back to Mad Dog FW and returning it to CompUSA in a few days. Now I saw a few burns from BenQ 1640, they look so promising, especially on the -R. It burns a lot better than my BenQ 1620 with the latest FW. So if you are willing to wait, wait for the BenQ 1640. And the NEC 3540 is also coming out soon and it looks very promising too. So if you are patient enough, those two drives should be in the shop in a week or two

Good luck. BTW, the problems have been with retail as well as OEM. One poor guy had 4 bad retail drives and the retailer said he was not alone. He is now in the process of choosing a different brand.

I would say your problem is Maxell. TY would be a very good choice, some have had trouble with Fuji so don’t base your opinion of TY on that. You should consider getting TY direct from Rima or Supermedia.

I have to agree with chas0039 regarding MXLRG03. It’s not bad but still below TY (TYG02 in this case) in terms of quality. I got PIF total of 1000-2000 on all of my burners (BenQ 1620A, LG 4163B, PX-716A).

@ninbang, welcome to cd freaks! Very nice findings you got there and shows that you did a lot of homework. Let us know how it turns out.


If you weren’t a cdfreak you would probably be happy with the BenQ or the Nec. I have a BenQ and love it, and from what I’ve read most people are equally happy with their Nec.

Now since you are a cdfreak you obviously want the “best” drive, and this is where people’s personal experience comes in. IMHO both are great drives, the only issue is if you want to gamble with the BenQ perceived quality issue. Don’t know if it’s an issue with the drive being more sensitive to hardware (power, cables, etc) or if it is a qc issue at BenQ, or if its really an issue at all. I lucked out and got a great OEM 1620W (knock on wood) and haven’t had any problems.

So, if it were me, and I wanted the BenQ I would get it (I did and am very happy). If you have problems just RMA the drive till you get one that you are happy with (which might be the first one). If you don’t want to risk the RMA game the just get the Nec and then become and Nec freak, or if you have room get both since these drives are getting so cheap.