Which drive to keep?

Got a new PC with a LG GDR-8163B and Pioneer DVR-109 drive pair.

Old PC had a Liteon 1213S and a Sony CRX320E (5232k)

At the moment, I have the CRX320E in an external (no drive bays!)

To critique the supplied drives…

  1. 8163B - did better than any of the other drives at audio protections (CDRINFO test), but has a miserable 8x max speed on DVD+/-R. No scanning support at all.
  2. DVR-109 - Not Pioneer’s greatest, but an adequate writer. Limited scanning capability that has already given me some very untrustworthy results.

The two alternatives…

  1. CRX320E - possibly the most capable at SD2 protections, scanning works, even if not as reliable as DVD writer scans, also capable of Mount Rainier CD-RW.
  2. 1213S - now convertible to non-crossflash with latest firmwares, but the 109 is probably a better DVD writer. It’s a more “standard” scanning platform than the combo.

Now unless there’s a really compelling reason to do otherwise (since the enclosure has a far from quiet fan), the extra drive will only be “filling in the gaps” and the other two will do the most work.

Almost tempted to swap out the LG DVD-ROM and fit the CRX320E, but that removes the best audio protection reader, and the PC has a 3 year warranty (though they do allow upgrades), but pulling out a supplied drive, in a case that’s a real swine to work on, is something I’d prefer to avoid.

So, a CRX320E combo, or a 1213S DVD writer… agree/disagree with keeping the Combo as a “gap filler”?

It’s a point of principle to be able to beat those protections, should it come to it, as I’ve not had occasion to yet.

  • Scanning: 1213S@1653S is a better scanner (1213S by itself wasn’t so good); winner: 1213S@1653S
  • Ripping: 1213S@1653S with patched firmware can out-perform any of your other three drives; the 5232K is a great ripper with patched firmware, but it can’t match the 1213S@1653S; winner: 1213S@1653S
  • Copy protections: 1213S@1653S should be about on par with the 5232K; winner: tie
  • CD burning: 1213S@1653S is slower and has no MRW support; winner: 5232K

I emphasize the @1653S part because the 1213S firmwares just plain stink.

So based on that and which of those four points is important and unimportant to you, make your decision.

CDRINFO had the 5232K as being capable of SD 2.9-3.1, the xxx3S series giving up at SD2.8 - not that I’ve come across anything like that yet.

It does seem to be a result that is not well confirmed though, since it also hd the 5232k doing better than a “7S”.

One thing I do wonder, do the official Liteon flashers and/or any alternative, work ok on a USB or firewire connected drive?

Not sure I’d gain much by swapping out the DVD-ROM, as that drive scored better on audio protections than any of the others in the picture - and (though I’ve never yet used a backup), I’ve always thought it a good idea to have a non-writing drive that needs no hep to conceal ATIP.

Of course, both the other drives are (or at least, can be patched to) faster DVD+/-R readers than the LG

The CRX320E is currently on the speedpatched (12x DVD) Sony, as I reckoned that a forced 40x (under smart-burn) for CD would improve quility, if I was writing with it.
Good idea, or kick it to Liteon firmware - and set 40x and take the warning about not using smart-burn determination?