Which DVD burner should I buy with these priorities in mind?

I recently RMA-ed my Toshiba SD-R5372, and I am FAR less than satisfied with the performance of the replacement (be it because it is defective or because it is degraded and unable to write my media with few errors :confused: ).

Needless to say, I am looking for new DVD burner… I am currently considering the BenQ DW1640, and have also thought about the LiteOn SOHW-1693S (but have not formed a complete perspective of how it’s quality measures up to the BenQ).
What do you guys think?

I’ve changed my priorities around lately, and here is how I see things (most important on top):

  1. Most important would be high quality writing to DVD and CDs.
  2. It would be rather important to have Quality testing available (DVDs and CDs).
  3. It would be nice if I get at good-quality (or above) burns with 16x DVD+R and DVD-R media from Verbatim (with the MCC tags), as well as Verbatim 52x CD-Rs (CMC tag), as I have quite a few of these now and they seem to go on sales every so often.
  4. A good idea would be decent burning (i.e. able to be read back on most other DVD-ROM drives) of DVD±RWs of the likes of Verbatim 4x DVD+RW and similar quality DVD-RWs (hopefully, the new 6x ones soon).
  5. It would be nice if it is at least a 2-sheep writer.

Of course, I intend to stay around the $50 price tag (looking at www.newegg.com mostly), and thus Plextor and Pioneer drives might be a bit out-of-reach…

BTW, does anyone know if the BenQ DW1640 is indeed unable to report C2 errors on CDs?! Also, does it pass the 2-sheep test? [I wish a review at CDFreaks was available]

Thx for your thoughts!

I cannot answer your 16X question but I have BenQ, Pioneer, Liteon, NEC, Plextor, and LG burners and I can recommend the 1693S with no concerns other than your Verbatim -R. The only drive I had with very good burns with that media was the NEC 3520.

On my 1693, everything I burn gets very smooth and low error levels with total PIF under 250 and total PIE under 75,000. I use TYG02, TYG01, MCC 003, YUDEN000T02, TTG02, and old Ritek R03. If you burn the MCC 003 at 6X I get the same results; at 8X i get PIF errors just under 800 which is too high for me.

Nothing will turm out very good burn the CMC CDs you have, so you will just have to accept that. Keep them below 24X and you should be fine.

Thanks for the input!

I must add that I want to burn at 8x, but would like to stay above 4x, especially for write once media. If the LiteOn does decent quality with the 16x Verbatim DVD-R (03RG20) at 4x-6x, that is FINE by me…

Finally, I should say that I wouldn’t want the new burner to go bad within 3 months like the Toshiba! I DON’T tend to burn more than 2-3 DVD±Rs, 5 DVD±RWs, 3-5 CD-RWs and 2-5 CDs per week…

Well, keep the posts rolling folks! I REALLY appreciate your opinions.

I like BenQ 1640. But if you are going to burn double layer disc, check out the pioneer DVR-110 in the pioneer forum. The scan result for verbatim DL discs looks very good.

I guess I will have to wait a bit more, till CDFreaks has a review for the Pioneer DVR-110, or till I can wait no longer. :slight_smile:

Afterall, I really want the burner to have quality testing, and my other priorities still stand…

I use Verbatim media like crazy, and the 1640 seems to work incredibly well with Verbatim CD’s, 16xDVD-R media and 4x DVD-R Digital Movie Reel versions.

I would not hesitate to purchase a BenQ 1640, especially given the high quality burns and the ability to test, plus it does have Bit Setting enabled by default if you prefer DVD+R movie burns to ensure the highest level of compatibility.


All my burners do well with the 16X -R and +R verbat. Very nice media! 110/4540/1640 would be my choices at this time. 4540 will be out soon.

Well, I’ve got to say, I don’t want to go with the DVR-110, at least till there is a full review of it. Regarding the BenQ DW1640, the only things that bothers me is that it is a “1 sheep” burner and that it doesn’t report C2 errors for CDs… Both of these are no big deal, because newest copy protections are likely to be a problem even for “2 sheep” burners, and because I don’t usually need to check my CDs for C2 errors…

Finally, there is nothing specific about the Lite-ON 1693S that I don’t like, but I get a feeling that the BenQ’s quality MAY outweight the LiteOn’s other benefits.

Keyword here is may…
I wish CDFreaks would review the DW1640 and the 1693S…

Oh yea, just remembered - the Pioneer doesn’t have Quality Testing!
ALSO, damn, the LG GSA-4163B looks nice too, but the WHITE RETAIL is cheaper than the Black OEM (that I want) on Newegg… damn

This is a pretty good review; the KS09 firmware fixed the C2 error problem with CDs.



I’ve seen those reviews, of course :wink:
THANKS for telling about the C2 firmware fix. Now if only BenQ would get a fix/addition to THEIR drive with a new firmware release!

There is that 16x review at AnandTech they recently did:


The BenQ 1640 was very well regarded.


If you check BenQ and Liteon forums here in cdfreaks, there are hundreds of quality scans, comments and “review” by cdfreaks members which conclude that both drives are very good.


@BeardedKirklander: Thx for those reviews - I can really see that the BenQ’s got game, even though the LG was also a worthy performer…

For now, things seem to back to between the LiteOn 1693S and the BenQ DW1640… I really like the BenQ, but it doesn’t have C2 checking and may perform rather poorly with game protections. Unless something really tilts me toward the BenQ again, I might go with the 1693S, since it also seems very dependable, does not have the latter 2 shortcoming, AND is priced bout the same as the BenQ at Newegg…

If you would list the media you plan to use I can give you a break down of any that I have used on both BenQ and Liteon. It might help you decide, and other users might be able to add input on media I don’t have.

Also, BenQ just today released their firmware with Solidburn Technology for the 1640. I would wait a few days to see what, if any, benefits it adds. It could well be worth it.

Well, here is the media I can think of that I currently use:

  1. Verbatim 16x DVD+R (MCC 004) - Lots left

  2. Verbatim 16x DVD-R (MCC 03RG20) - Quite a few left

  3. Verbatim 52x CD-Rs (CMC)

  4. Philips 12x CD-RWs (CMC, but received a VERY good review, regarding quality, at CDRInfo)

  5. I don’t know what I will be buying when I run out of these, but it will most likely be whatever is on sale (and is not a noname brand, but a rather good brand) at Microcenter… I no longer tend to buy disks online much, mostly due to shipping charges, and a few disappointments…

Well, thanks to all that have helped me directly and indirectly – this new release by BenQ is really interesting, I just don’t know what to do…
I have to order today (pretty much), if I am to have the burner before (and ready for) college, but I guess I can always put things on hold, and get one round September or something… afterall, it may be worth it.

Keep the ideas coming, thx.

None of your media is mine. Maybe others can chip in?

OK, this is exruciating… I had just decided that C2 testing and 2 sheeps make the LiteOn 1693S pretty much the best drive for me… Now that BenQ released BSKB firmware with SolidBurn, I am right back to square 1…

I don’t want to get burned again (like with the Toshiba), but I have to admit that I usually burn DVDs at 4x - 8x and still burn quite a few CDs… That’s why I will probably be ordering the 1693S…

People who can convince me that the C1 testing is nuff and C2 ain’t needed with the BenQ, DO IT NOW - I gots to gets this drive for college! :wink:
And, seriously, will the 1693S copy any of the newer SD3 games or not?!

Oh, and WHAT about RWs, both DVDs and CDs? Does either drive tend to be better with these? (E.g. Verbatim 4x +RW and the different new 6x -RWs)

Hi Cbas0039. What have your experiences been with the 1693S and DVD RW media?

FWIW, locally, Ritek 4x DVD+/-RW media is easily available and I was thinking about using that media.