Actually, if you want sheer power at ripping speed, an unlocked BenQ 1620 will fly through even a scratched disc at 16x.
However, as a burner, the BenQ is quite variable.
Unless you are a verbatim fanatic (6 minute 12x burns) then the BenQ will cost you considerable money and wasted time checking every disc to see if it screwed up.
I gave away two BenQ's because of this.
I have one 1653 that was so impressive I bought two 1693's and one matching DVDrom drive. They do not rip especially fast on factory settings. I hear that you can successfully turn up a 1693, but I never have.
The system with the 1693 and the DVDrom drive can do a hands-free duplication and I have never stuck around to time it. I come back from doing what I'd rather do and both trays are stuck out. . .
With a successful disc every last time. Not one screwup. Not one coaster. All 4 drives? Perfect every time. Yeah.
Lite-On may be the station wagon of burners, but perfection is worth the 1 exta minute wait time.
CD rip at 1x? I hope not. My 1653 has been ripping CDs and I haven't tested the newer models. It is extremely entertaining!! There's a great big learjet like sound from early ramp-up. A blast of air comes out of every conceivable crevice on the front of the computer. By the time all of the small items and pens are done leaping off of the desk like suicidal lemmings, the CD rip is long since done. Maybe closer to an early-ramp-up 50x? Not 1x!
The 1693's only CD rip test was installing windows. . .in 20% of the normal time. There's not quite as much "cd attack" noise as the earlier model. 1x? No.
Out of the box, the 1693's worked with great quality. Not so with the 1653, but after a dose of the latest omnipatcher with "DO NOT LEARN" feature enabled in addition to the recommended mods, it is now a quality factory fresh experience every time--even with Ritek.
So, if you are choosing only one drive, make it a Lite-On.
They are cool running, short size fits HTPC, and they do everything without wasting time (slower rate, far better/consistent quality).
For a dual drive system, you have some options.
I'd still say that the Lite-On will pay you back its entire price by never wasting discs.
There's one in my Linux server to use as a backup drive--one disc while I'm off doing something else--no need to check it--you can be sure that it is a backup done well.
Maybe that's why the forum is not full of users with problems? One dose of Omnipatcher and there's no problems at all. This is all so very impressive.
After Omnipatcher, the set top player (very cranky!) thinks that the lite-on burned discs are most delicious and there has never been a single frame skipped with lite-on output.
This was never true of BenQ output.
I think that the quality level of Lite-On has pushed DVD writing into the consumerized level of plug it and forget it.
Oh, finally. Up until Lite-On plus Omnipatcher provided this experience, I thought it was only a dream. Today, the Lite-On 1653 gets decorated with a $10 chrome bezel by coolermaster. I couldn't figure any other way to get it a present. Verbatim! Okay. I've been feeding it verbatim as a reward. But, I thought I would get it an additional present.
Now, except for throwing things right off the desk, I wish I could figure out the difference between 1653 and 1693. Maybe the 1693 tolerates overclocked rip speeds? That's my guess. Anyone care to comment? I don't care to overclock the rip because I just don't want to bother washing the DVD first.