Which drive is the best?

I want to buy a dvd+/- rewriter but i do not know which one is the best?
I have narrowed it down to four, and now I need your help, which one is the best one from these (overall)?

-BenQ DW1620A
-Philips DVDR1640P
-Philips DVDRW228
-Pioneer DVR-108

Please make your own recommendations too!

do you realize you posted in benq forum?
it might have been better to post elsewhere but benq 1620 is a very nice drive as is the pio 108 oem

Hi h-goku,
I’d go for the Philips1640 and then flash it into a Benq 1620, then you’ll have the best of both worlds, Philips for the best looks (LED’s) and Benq for best results.http://club.cdfreaks.com/newreply.php#

your link doesn’t work. what do you mean best of both worlds?
if I am not mistaken it has been said that the blue led does not work after flashing to benq firmware, if that is what you are reffering too.

There are two blue leds on the front of the 1640, 1 for any inserted DVD media and one for CD media. When you flash to Benq 1620 only the blue CD led will burn with both types of media, the DVD led does not work anymore. The central (big) light (which turns on blue when the drive is reading media and red when it’s burning) still works like before.

Why of course the best is the BenQ DW1620! :smiley:

I have a similar question:

I can buy a Philips DRW1620K (OEM version of DRW1640) locally or a RETAIL BENQ DW1620A via mail-order for a very similar price…

Would I be better

  • Buying the Philips drive and flashing with BENQ firmware?
  • Buying the Philips drive and NOT flashing with BENQ firmware? :stuck_out_tongue:
  • Buying the Retail BENQ drive?

I don’t care too much about either ultimate burn speed, Ripping (have Liteon 167T) or CDs (have Plex Premium + PX-40TS) but I do want:

  • Good Burn quality
  • Good Media Compatibility (DVD-R are more available than +R here :sad: )
  • Build quality (are there any hardware differences between BENQ & Philips?)

To be honest I promised myself never to buy another Philips product after a terrible experience with my first CD Burner, a Philips CDR-2600, many years ago (Class-Action material in the US, though the European tech-support denied all knowledge of this when I mentioned it to them :a ), but the LEDs on the DRW1620K are very funky and I would rather buy from the local shop than mail order…

Can anybody offer advice? :confused:


You’re saying that you want to use -R with a Phillips/BenQ?
You might read through this form to see which of the few -R discs work with the product, and compare this with easily available media.
Better than that, see what +R media is available to you.

If a customer of mine asked to be able to write to extremely poor and various DVD-R media, my reply would be NEC. However, if the same customer wanted the best quality DVD writing, I would say Phillips/BenQ using +R media. -and I have two BenQ.
There ya go! :wink:

Thanks for the advice… high quality burn is what I want and as +R are finally starting to become a bit more available at reasonable price here I’ll take the route you suggest - BenQ/Philips with decent +R Media :cool:

Any further views/opinions on which out of the following provides the best ‘interpretation’ of this drive? :

  • Philips OEM
  • BenQ Retail
  • Philips OEM with BenQ firmware


A thing i never understood as for me is why (oh why?), the Philips 1640 seems to be a BETTER sheep burner (very “relatively”, but “better” all the same!)… or at least, the 1640 is always “X+1” comparatively to the 1620…

CDFreaks excellent reviews (sheep tests…) (2/1) :
1640 --> http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/152/8 (2)
1620 --> http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/159/8 (1)

ClonyXXL Italia (1/0 ) :
1640 --> http://www.clonyxxl.net/moderatori/luciano/nuovo/default.php?page=p (1)
1620 --> http://www.clonyxxl.net/moderatori/luciano/nuovo/default.php?page=b (0)

And that’s seems to be confirmed by CDRInfo tests too (1640 slightly better so… can at least do 2.51 -BenQ = nothing at all!!):

So, in every cases, it seems the 1640 is (slightly) better for (old) 1:1 safediscs than 1620 !

Question :
Is that a FIRMWARE relative problem (/“sheep”)
Is this a HARDWARE relative problem (aka Philips retail components slightly BETTER so)

Subsidiary question :
This beeing observed, does the flashing 1640 --> 1620 remove that little 1640’s “sheep ‘superiority’” TOO ?! (aka if that’s firmware related… should be “yes”… if hardware related “no”; the 1640@1620 should keep it’s slightly superiority too for that so -?!).

IF the retail 1640@1620 could keep its ‘sheep superiority’ comparatively to the 1620 alone, then, it could be another interesting little argument for it too, no (moreover the ‘cool LEDs’ too then! -minus only the simple DVD/CD little round LED distinction so) ?!

Someone could… confirm that too. :confused: :rolleyes: :wink:

Now, to know if it’s worthing the worries and/or superior cost is another story i guess… but, well… i’ve always been curious about that “sheep” difference between the 2 (same chipsets) hardwares here !.. So, could be a (very) little “hidden” + for the retail 1640 so… but why not : the more the better! :slight_smile:

I asked myself the same question… there is a 30 € difference between the BenQ 1620 (69 €) and the Phillips 1620 or 1640 (99 €) at my local stores (I live in France).
Could it be possible that there is no quality difference between both ?

There seems to be this misinformation regarding the BenQ DW1620 and DVD-R. I have yet to have a problem or terrible quality burn with my pair of DW1620s and DVD-R media. Please see this: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?p=760986#post760986

Also, see this entire thread: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=115080

The last thread is about 4 pages long now. But, there are many examples of DVD-R media that burned with excellent quality on the DW1620. The BenQ DW1620 may be even better with DVD+R media, but it’s no slouch with DVD-R media. I don’t understand why it’s getting a bad rap regarding DVD-R media? :confused:

simply because in the past firmwares (H if i recall) it used to be bad with dvd-r. And because so many people are judjemental they labeled it as being a bad -R writer .

If someone says that now it’s still a bad -r writer please show me what good writing is

It’s mostly company policy. Look at LG, for instance. Some people, even some so-called experts, didn’t think LG was going to release something that supports DVD+R/+RW. LG now records DVD+R in 5 min 30 sec with good quality, faster and better than Philips, the original DVD+R/+RW maker. It took LG more than two years to change their company policy about the whole DVD+RW standard and even now it’s not complete.

Philips (and BenQ) didn’t support DVD-R/-RW either until very recently. But if they want, they can make their latest drives to write to DVD-R/-RW well.

Personally, I would like to see a DVD writer that can only write to DVD+R SL 4.7GB media, and not anything else if that can help reducing drive price from US$50 to US$20 and writing speed and quality could improve to the max.

Sorry I was unclear about the DVD-R issue. With two 1620’s and the latest firmware, I have never had a problem writing to economy -R media. They all could be played in a DVD player. However -R media that does not have a write strategy inside the 1620s will not read in the 1620s. I have no issue with writing.

Quality between the different varieties seems to vary. While all are excellent, 1600, 1620Pro and Phillips all seem to do better than the 1620 and 1620 generic. But this is a very slim margin which would be unnoticable in normal use.
Quality issues with generic varities have been caused by the cable in use to install and not the drive. Because the generics do not come with a new, high quality, 80 wire cable, users are prone to recycle a fifteen year old, and corroded, 40 wire cable for installation.
When installed with the same quality cable, generic drives perform exactly as their retail counterparts (when compared using the same firmware–easily done).
And, there is another variety we haven’t discussed. The 1610 generic for $30 can give the same excellent performance, but lacks dual layer writing.

Hi, sorry if I am being slow here… can I just summarise the above to make sure I have completely understood?

You are saying that ALL versions of this drive - Generic & Retail, Philips & BenQ - are built to exactly the same quality and the ONLY issue is to make sure you use a good quality 80 wire IDE cable?

In this case can I just buy whichever drive either has the prettiest LEDs or the best software package (however I feel), and then after flashing to the latest BenQ Retail Firmware I will have the optimal drive? :confused:

Thanks :bow:

I’m kind of confused.

I have the 1640 BenQ and it came with the BSHB firmware. I can only seem to see a single green light on the thing, even when burning CD or DVD. My 1620 had a red light that was used when burning.

Is this drive different? Just one single color light?

Why did you resurrect a thread from 2004 to post this question its been answered already in several current threads, anyway one more time yes they changed the LED to a single colour for the 1640.

Cause I’m a n00b and it seemed relevant when it came up in my search.

Sorry about that.