Which to buy?

First off apologies, I know there are thousands of threads like this, but still can’t make up my mind.

Basically have a choice between.

Pioneer 111
Benq 1655
Benq 1650
Philips 1660 (Any benefits over the benq?)
Lite-on 165P6S
Sony 820a

I don’t care about the cost, there are only a few pounds in the difference between these ones.

I’ll be using mostly verbatim media 8x and 16x media… combination of + & -

Lightscribe would be fun to play with but not essential.
Compatability & Quality are my no1 concern.
No need for DVD-Ram
I usually just do a readback test to make sure my disks are ok… so testing once again would be fun to play with but not essential.

The Philips 1660, going by the one that I just bought, is a BenQ DW1650, and can be crossflashed to that (I’ve just done exactly that, but be warned it will void any warranty).

I believe the Sony DRU820A is a BenQ 1670.

any benefits to getting the Philips over the Benq?

Do any of the ones I’ve listed suffer from a lack of riplock/rpc1 firmware?

Not sure about the riplock thing, although the drive I mentioned (Philips 1660 crossflashed to DW1650) certainly rips fast enough for me. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure about modded/RPC1 firmware for the BenQ…you’d have to have a look around the BenQ forum.

If the Philips is cheaper than the equivalent BenQ (DW1650), then I’d buy that and crossflash it (heed the warranty warning above). But if the BenQ costs the same, or is cheaper, get the BenQ (no crossflashing required, and your warranty stays intact).

Also, you can quality scan on the BenQ (not sure if scanning is possible on the Philips drive without crossflashing, as I flashed mine to a BenQ as soon as I hooked it up) and LiteOn drive you mentioned. :slight_smile:

You can get RPC1 firmware for the BenQ 1650/1655 at the TDB site.
For the Philips 1660 the RPC1 firmware isn’t available (yet).

You can get RPC1 firmware for the Pioneer DVR-111 models at the TDB site.

I don’t rip with my BenQ or LiteOn drives, but I don’t think the BenQ 1650/1650 has a riplock so no patch should be necessary. I don’t remember how it is with LiteOn drives.

Hi :slight_smile:
Welcome to the forum dlande. :clap:
For the criteria that you lay down, either of the BenQs or the Philips would be ideal. (not saying that the otherd wouldn’t measure, but with SoliidBurn the advantage for consistancy/adaptibility with media in quality lies currently with Philips/BenQ).
Firstly the BenQ 1650 is the same drive as the Philips 1660. Both non LightScribe models. For LS either the BenQ 1655 or Philips 1668 (again the same drives).
The attraction of crossflashing a Philips to a BenQ is more a case of user friendlyness. Along with QSuite the BenQ gives easier allround access to the drives features.
With all three drives ‘riplock’ (not really riplocked) can be removed (enhanced ripping) using ala42s MCSE & ticking the ‘increse read speed’ box. Ripping DL @ upto 12x is taken to over 15x by doing this.
RPC1 f/w available for BenQ’s only currently.(See DrageMesters post for link).
Scanning can also be achieved by all three drives. However a conflict or flaw with the Philips f/w make this painfully slow at the moment.
Regarding which to buy. BenQ is typically upto £10 cheaper currently. This obviously will be affected by P&P. if orderd over the net.
I believe current best price high street (so national) PCWorld £10 off leaving £39.99. This is retail. On the net, TechFever £29.95 retail (oem only about £2.50 cheaper). This £20 saving over PCW original price £10 on offer price. However P&P comes to a little over £8. So at todays prices PCW only £2 dearer & more convenient for some. There are sites with cheaper P&P, these would make the saving around £5 on average. Making PCW £5 dearer.

I think www.svp.co.uk have one for £20 (a Philips 1660) currently. Not sure if the offer is still on, I’ll check. :slight_smile:

Edit: Nope, it’s still the Philips SPD2400 (a LiteOn 1635S). Sorry about that!

Nice attention to detail there, zebadee :bigsmile:…good to hear what I paid at PCW wasn’t too bad :wink:

Hi :slight_smile:
Thanks. :flower: If take in the risk of courier damage & likely RMA (P&P paid by you :doh: ) & time taken for replacement :a then PCWs deal is not so bad at all. :disagree: :bigsmile:
SVPs offer still on,(Philips SDP2400) but more likely to be a Lite-On depending on stock. Not sure if they can tell you in advance. This same drive is now available from PCW for the same price (via net or select stores only).

What about comparing the BenQ to the others out there? I’ve heard good things about the pioneer? And the sony if it is indeed a BenQ 1670 surely in theory would be better since it seems to placed as a step up anyway?

Is there any disadvantage to getting the 1655 over the 1650 other than price?

Just reading elsewhere on this forum that the BenQ’s are poor for DL and DVD+RW. Any truth to this?

Unfortunately, that one I really can’t answer…I use SL media, and DVD-RAM instead of RW.

The fact is that the BenQs 1650/1655 only supports the popular Verbatim DVD+R DL 2.4x rated (MID= MKM001) at only 2.4x while other drives support this media at 4x, 6x and even 8x burn speed. However with the real 8x rated Verbatim DVD+R DL (MID= MKM003) the BenQs will burn it excellent at 8x. If you want, you can “modify” the write strategy for MKM001 and swap to MKM003 with MCSE to increase burn speed, but burn quality will vary.

This is also true to DVD+RW media. With the real 8x Verbatim DVD+RW (MID= MKMA03) the BenQs will burn this excellent. Currently MKMA03 and MKM003 are not widely available in the market. MKM003 is only available at BestBuy in the US, currently.

I heard good things about Pioneer 111 and LiteOn 165P6S but basically they all (including the BenQs) have positive and negatives in different sections.

Looks like its coming down between the BenQ 1655 and the Pioneer.

Hi :slight_smile:
I thnk it’s all relative. BenQ 1640/1650/1655 all use SB to get the best out of all SL media. This SB doesn’t work with DL or RW. So results appear poor by comparison (+ as zevia points out f/w support currently limited). If top quality DL media used then results are more than acceptable. That said the Sony 820/BenQ 1670 do well with DL. The Pioneer 111 is excellnt with DL & RW but not as good (when compared to the BenQ) with SL. If you want all round perfomance along with scanning etc then the BenQ will edge it. If you wish to add RAM capabilities then the Pioneer. If likely to use only DL then Sony820/BenQ1670.

I guess I am looking for a genuine all rounder. My only concern about the BenQ is that if I am going to be using DL it will be the cheaper media… so a little concerned by that.

How good is the pioneer with SL?

Hi :slight_smile:
The question of DL is/will improve with further f/w upgrades. You also as zevia mentions got the options via MCSE to change things now. Plus if you only use DL very rarely, then is 2.4x so much of a pain.
The Pioneer with media such as Taiyo Yuden or MCC is not going leave you with any regrets.

Blah, even more torn as to which one to go for :stuck_out_tongue:

Thinking I’ll go for the pioneer since its 23 pounds versus 31 and just buy another one in a years time or so.

Hi :slight_smile:
It appears your comparing oem (no extras) with retail (s/w plus free blank LS media). In the real world the BenQ would still be more in terms of cost. But only by a couple of pounds at most. Plus if you not going to use LS then the 1650 is close in terms of cost. Less than £2.
Personally unless RAM is required then the BenQ with such things like QSuite & the likelyhood of more f/w updates than the Pioneer, make the BenQ the better of the two.

Just read the pioneer doesn’t do dvd+r bitsetting. Has this been resolved with third party firmware yet by any chance?


Think you may have me sold on getting a 1650 so.

Can get either the 1650 or the Philips 1660 for £25 from Dabs so think I’ll go with the 1650.

Cheers for the help, will probably throw in an order tomorrow.