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  1. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    budz, BenQ drives have a lot of problems. The drives are known to fail, they have fickle tastes on media. Count your blessings if you have good luck, but the big picture is otherwise. It's also a "minority" drive, not used by many people as compared to Pioneer, LiteOn, NEC and LG. You don't have to own equipment to test it, compile test results, and give solid reviews. It helps, but it's surely not necessary.
    Take a look over at the BENQ FORUM to see how many people have BENQ drives that are satisfied especially with the model 1620 & 1640.....I have to disagree with you that BENQ drives have lots of problems....It can't just be me who has ended up with being one of the lucky ones that has not had a BENQ drive fail..... Facts have been stated here by other members in this forum that own the BENQ 1620/1640 drives have no problems with good quality dvd media.....some have posted using cheap crappy media which is why problems occur....Take a look at the other forums at Cdfreaks.com.....all brands of dvd manufacturers have quality control issues and other problems....If BENQ is a "MINORITY", then why does SONY & PLEXTOR use REBADGED BENQ drives?????? Obviously SONY no longer uses LITEON because of quality control issues & other problems. PLEXTOR uses it because their own drives weren't cutting it which they found BENQ was better to use....I could go on and on but it would be pointless because you don't own a BENQ drive to begin with. To each's own.....

    I don't rely only on reviews when it comes to buying computer components. It may not be necessary to own the drive but I'll take a persons experience who has the drive over someone who doesn't own one......That's my 2 cents!
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  2. Member lacywest's Avatar
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    The PLEXTOR 16X DVD WRITER PX-740A ... anything positive to say about it ??

    Seems I heard something good about it ... especially related to updating the firmware and changing it.

    Update ... Wednesday Feb 8th ... Okay I am using the Plextor 740A ... I've mounted it in a Mad Dog external USB enclosure ... CompUSA was selling them for $50 and had a sale ... reduced to $25 bucks ... I bought all 3 that was left in the stack.

    I fired it up late last night ... It is up and running ... so far no problems. I bought it on Ebay for $66 bucks a few weeks ago. Best Buy sells it for $100 bucks ... I got a decent deal ... even with Ebay shipping charges ... I still came out a head. Seems to be working just fine.
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  3. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lacywest
    The PLEXTOR 16X DVD WRITER PX-740A ... anything positive to say about it ??

    Seems I heard something good about it ... especially related to updating the firmware and changing it.
    The PLEXTOR 740A is a REBADGED BENQ 1640 drive. Yes you can crossflash it to the OFFICIAL BENQ 1640 FIRMWARE and then be able to use BENQ'S tool called, "QSUITE" which is used to tweak your burns. It remembers the write strategy for known/unknown dvd media. This is the reason why many have sought after the 1640. The PLEXTOR 740A with PLEXTOR firmware can not use QSUITE or PLEXTOOLS. Check out the BENQ FORUM at CdFreaks.com. I have the flasher program to crossflash the drive as well as the CVT.FILES that is needed.

    PM me if you can't find the download for the flasher and CVT.FILES. I can email them to you if you'd like. I'm on a different pc right now so I don't have the correct link for the CVT.FILES.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by budz
    If BENQ is a "MINORITY", then why does SONY & PLEXTOR use REBADGED BENQ drives?????? Obviously ....
    Obviously, nothing. You're merely speculating.

    Sony blows with the wind. Maybe LiteOn could not keep up with Sony demand? Maybe price contract could not be agreed? Maybe BenQ gave them better prices or incentives? Maybe anything.

    Same for Plextor. Maybe they want to keep drives on the market while they retool their own next gen drive, to not be forgotten? Maybe they got a deal that let them get more profit over their own drives? Maybe anything.

    But to say "BenQ is such good quality that A, B, and C re-brand them" is just idle guessing.

    What IS NOT speculation or guessing, on the other hand, are the user complaints about these devices. And yes, I'm referring to genuine complaints that have already been culled of stupidity (not using correct IDE cables, using cheap media, etc).
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  5. I'm not sure this thread is really helping donfm - you know - the original poster of the thread!!! I guess I have to be careful here as I probably fit the description of a PIE/PIF Scanner Junkie. If I ignore all my personal opinions, prejudices and personal experiences then I'm left with nothing to judge by except market acceptance. If you check with Newegg, you'll find that currently the NEC 3550 is their top selling drive - pretty much hands down. Not necessarily what I would chose but hey - the original question was:

    Originally Posted by donfm
    What is the hot bang for the buck burner right now with no frills?
    The problem here is everyone is passionate when it comes to optical drives. Ask 10 people and you're likely to get 10 different opinions. Drives are cheap now and pricing competition is fierce. You can get duds no matter what model you select because manufacturing quality control lacks at times with pretty much every optical maker.
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    Originally Posted by OneSickPup

    The problem here is everyone is passionate when it comes to optical drives. Ask 10 people and you're likely to get 10 different opinions. Drives are cheap now and pricing competition is fierce. You can get duds no matter what model you select because manufacturing quality control lacks at times with pretty much every optical maker.
    That's exactly it. The best bang for the buck is any drive sold under $40. The best for you may not be the best for others. While you may have a great experience with one drive, someone who gets the same drive may have a completely different experience.

    What I have a problem with is people saying that some companies use cheap parts when in fact the drive they promote doesn't even include safety parts.

    You are correct that this thread may not entirely help the OP but if this person can sift through all the conflicting info and make a wise purchase decision this thread and all it's heated discussions will have served a purpose.

    I can agree with Newegg that the NEC3550 and the 3540 before it is one of my best sellers when it comes optical solutions.
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    And don't listen to LordSmurf, he can really be annoying. I remember when he was recommending people buy a piece of crap BTC drive. He is very set in his ways and should just be ignored. Again, pick almost any current drive from Pioneer, NEC, Benq, Liteon, or LG and buy good media and you will be more then happy.
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  8. Member dcsos's Avatar
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    I use NEC's and PIONEER's & have one LITE-ON



    BENQ=ACER
    no buyout..just a marketing re-invention!
    (apparently BenQ is a better buzzword for ENGLISH?-NOT!)

    medium reliable

    skip the following brands:
    OPTORITE
    NU
    MAD DOG
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    Originally Posted by ccbadd
    And don't listen to LordSmurf, he can really be annoying. I remember when he was recommending people buy a piece of crap BTC drive.
    One mans crap is another mans treasure.
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  10. Member dcsos's Avatar
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    BTC=
    Behaviour Technology Corporation
    what an odd computer corp name!

    Comp.:BEHAVIOR TECH COMPUTER CORP.
    Address: 12F,No.18,Chang An E. Rd. Sec.1,
    Addres2: Taipei
    Country: Taiwan
    Tel: 886-2-523-6266
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  11. id just stick with pioneer drives,the granddaddy of them all,and still the best.
    its who the others try to emulate,excellent burning,even on crap media,nice fast burners,good support,and quality built.
    maybe at a push an nec ND4551A ,with that disc t@2/labelflash.
    LifeStudies 1.01 - The Angle Of The Dangle Is Indirectly Proportionate To The Heat Of The Beat,Provided The Mass Of The Ass Is Constant.
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  12. I've been quite happy with the two NECS I own. Lots of forum support & plenty of improved firmwares to widen the burners ability. I used to swear by LiteOn, but the last two drives I bought by them were disappointingly crappy.
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  13. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by budz
    If BENQ is a "MINORITY", then why does SONY & PLEXTOR use REBADGED BENQ drives?????? Obviously ....
    Obviously, nothing. You're merely speculating.

    Sony blows with the wind. Maybe LiteOn could not keep up with Sony demand? Maybe price contract could not be agreed? Maybe BenQ gave them better prices or incentives? Maybe anything.

    Same for Plextor. Maybe they want to keep drives on the market while they retool their own next gen drive, to not be forgotten? Maybe they got a deal that let them get more profit over their own drives? Maybe anything.

    But to say "BenQ is such good quality that A, B, and C re-brand them" is just idle guessing.

    What IS NOT speculation or guessing, on the other hand, are the user complaints about these devices. And yes, I'm referring to genuine complaints that have already been culled of stupidity (not using correct IDE cables, using cheap media, etc).
    full of bubbles again. Interesting when you were bashed at the PIONEER FORUM many months ago and in the MEDIA FORUM at Cdfreaks.com you were confronted about your false/unknown facts you ran quickly..... Ignore what've I've stated is okay because we'll let the original poster decide what is drive will fit his needs.

    Based on my own experience with the BENQ 1620/1640 drives they work flawlessly for me. They provide frequent firmware upgrades to meet the newer dvd media in the market compared to other manufacturers who seldomly do. As I said, "TO EACH'S OWN". Nuff said! :P
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  14. FYI: The two latest Nec drive 4550A 4551A. These are the same drive, but lightscribe was a late add on to the 4551A. They do ALL formats including RAM; this is the first time I've seen one drive to all formats. It came out around Nov 05 in UK area. I'm still waiting for it in the US. I wonder if it will ever make it here. In any case, does anyone know if I bought from the UK if this will work in the US? Any recommended place to buy in the UK or other country? Thanks

    http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=15548


    Update: upon clicking on the links on the first page, I researched the Lite-on and it looks comparable to the NEC except it doesn't do DVD-DL, which is not biggie since media is hard to find and DVD+DL seems more compatible. Not bad for $54. IN addition, it appears lite-on has a new model: LiteOn SHM-165P6S. Can't seem to find the differences on this.
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    With the prices of DVD drives today your decision could easily be based on the price of your three favorite (single disc)movies on DVD. If your spending more than this you are either a) dedicated to a particular brand (See Plextor), b) crazy, c) rich or d) combination of a,b,c. A perfect example of crazy is if you buy a Dell they charge you $80 or more to upgrade to DVD burning and then take away the drive they already charged you for in the base system.

    I can't see spending more than $50-$60 on a DVD burner today. The money you save could be better spent on media to support your burning habits or better yet saving for the next gen DVD drives to be released in the next month or so. I know some people like it but I honestly can't see the thrill of lightscribe either.
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  16. Member jabloomf1230's Avatar
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    The "best" drive should be judged on a basis of both performance and reliability. What good is a drive that produces flawless scans if it breaks down in 6 months? I have to agree with Lordsmurf; Pios and NECs give the best combination of performance and reliability. I also have had a few LiteOns and they served me well.
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  17. Member lacywest's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ccbadd
    And don't listen to LordSmurf, he can really be annoying. I remember when he was recommending people buy a piece of crap BTC drive. He is very set in his ways and should just be ignored. Again, pick almost any current drive from Pioneer, NEC, Benq, Liteon, or LG and buy good media and you will be more then happy.
    Smurf ... I don't ignore you ... your just picky ... I respect that
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  18. Member lacywest's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jabloomf1230
    The "best" drive should be judged on a basis of both performance and reliability. What good is a drive that produces flawless scans if it breaks down in 6 months? I have to agree with Lordsmurf; Pios and NECs give the best combination of performance and reliability. I also have had a few LiteOns and they served me well.
    Walmart sells the Lite-On ... 1693 ... for $60 bucks ... in my town
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  19. I wonder why so many brands are jumping on the "L:ightScribe" wagon, as this "feature" dictates having to use special LS media, which of course costs more than regular. I'm betting this will be little used by consumers.
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  20. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by budz
    full of bubbles again. Interesting when you were bashed at the PIONEER FORUM many months ago and in the MEDIA FORUM at Cdfreaks.com you were confronted about your false/unknown facts you ran quickly.....
    If by "confronted" you mean people who want to ignore facts, and then insist on "links" (as if that was any kind of reference), yet would not believe you even if you had provided them with references, then yes, I quit talking to them. I have better things to do in my day than try to convince some ignorant nerd that he's misguided or downright wrong.

    A lot of those people are lazy. They merely surf the net like all their other "kewl" friends, and do zero research or testing on their own. Or if they do test, it's with their own personal piece of equipment and then they wear blinders to the problems that plague other people. Sometimes they even wear blinders to their own problems. This is the sort of irresponsible misinformation you'll find on user forums. When you do your own testing and research, you're not going to have "links" unless you decide to publish. Even then, a lot of smart-ass forum nerds still won't be pleased. So to hell with them. It's the other people, kind and attentive folks, who often write in PMs and e-mails that you're helping out anyway. And for that, it's worth it.

    Originally Posted by ccbadd
    And don't listen to LordSmurf, he can really be annoying. I remember when he was recommending people buy a piece of crap BTC drive. .
    The BTC drives are the single best reader drives on the market. You will not find a drive that can read a disc better than a BTC. They are exceptionally good burners when it came to PRODISC and MCC media, which was the popular disc at the timeframe you remember. My BTC advice is not wrong, it's just somewhat outdated for burning (TY is the popular disc now, not PRODISC), and then this thread was about a great burner, not a reader. So suggesting a BTC is not appropriate at this time. Although the BTC does do very well with YUDEN and MCC DVD+R discs.

    BTC burning quality and picky-ness is not much different than BenQ or Plextor, for the record. I don't suggest any of these drives as giving the best burn quality or media compatibility.

    Unlike a lot of folks here, I don't suggest products simply because I own one. That's so amateur. I don't need to defend my purchases.

    LG, Pioneer, LiteOn and NEC are the 4 most sold drives, and most used drives, at the moment, in the worldwide market. This is a fact that can be referenced in a number of independent studies, some of which are published, and some that are going to be published in the future.

    If you want a "hottest" drive, get one of those four.
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  21. I had a nec 1100 for 2 yrs, gave it away and still burns fine
    now useing a 3200 and perfect.

    NEC ROCKS......a lot more features than pioneer and other suckers....

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  22. Member pchan's Avatar
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    1. LG (my brother's 2nd burner after his BenQ cannot read the -R/-RW from his Toshiba DVD recorder. If you plan to use DVD-RAM media.

    2. BenQ (my current burner) - works great if use +R/+RW media(very important !).

    3. My next burner will be Pioneer or LG.
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  23. smurf opined
    "Unlike a lot of folks here, I don't suggest products simply because I own one. That's so amateur. I don't need to defend my purchases."

    I'm of the opinion that the very BEST way to tell if a drive is good or not is to actually buy one & USE it. No need to defend anything. If it was a sucky item, I'd report that too. In my case , the 2 NECs I own work flawlessly. & that is all I really care about. So I report my actual experience with them.
    End of story.
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    LordSmurf wrote:
    I got my BTC drive in Monday, and I've burned about 25 discs on it so far. Ritek, TDK, Maxell DVD-R all went fine. Gonna try Princo this weekend, as well as DVD+R discs if I can find the RICOHJPN ones for the right price. Great new dual burner, only flaw was it made 1 coaster from a TDK DVD-R 2x.
    My BTC on 0045 fw has given zero problems. I feed it RICOHJPN, MXLRG01, TDKG02 and RITEKG04 all the time. Best $58 I ever spent.
    and
    and then this thread was about a great burner, not a reader...
    Unlike a lot of folks here, I don't suggest products simply because I own one.
    You should be a politian!

    P.S. The BTC was/is a great reader for troublesome discs but it is not a very fast one. My Benq 1640, Benq 822a and NEC 3520 burners are great burners with the 1640 being the best. My two Pioneer 105's are still hapily in service with family members so we know they can last.
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    The Benq DW1650 is in canada right now at
    canadacomputers.com if u are interested.

    My two cents is this. Just because a company controls market share or buzz doesn't mean anything. The general consumer buys on various different factors and there are a lot of stories of great products that just died.

    LG was once a really cr@997 company named goldstar. Remember them. Cheapest made garbage out there. Don't look at the names. Names mean nothing and product lines change constantly.

    Every disk burns differently in every different drive for every different speed and is read just as differently. The media section in this site is designed with this difference in mind. My setop has trouble with made in Japan TY's but seems to like these VDSPMSAB01 media @1x which sort of scares me when I think about the longevity factor and burning time ...mmm

    Really look at your needs first then decide how you are really going to use your drive. I own a couple of LG's and never really used the DVD-RAM feature. DL'ed disks? Yah right when it is easy as pie to use Rebuilder or DVDShrink and it is much cheaper to use dvd5s.

    Every manufacturer will have quality control problems. The time everything lasts falls within a normal distribution pattern. Some last longer, some last shorter and costs are adjusted and figured out.

    Every manufacturer wants to produce everything as cheap a possible. I don't think any of these drives are manufactured anywhere but china/indonesia/hk,taiwan etc. and you can bet that if they can cut corners they will in two seconds and fx^& the consumer.

    Lastly, someone will always get scr3#$ up by getting a marginal product and they will bi*^ about it. One persons experience may not be anothers. The conditions they operate in maybe different.

    What to do? Read and judge. Choose overall capability of the product and its ability to do things that you want done. In this case the ability to burn the widest possible range of disks as fast as possible and to rip disks as accurately and as fast as possible. Listen to people who sound and argue rationally.

    All that being said. I would choose the benq 1640. It has a huge feature set and seems capable of burning a wide variety of media at decent speeds. As well as being a good ripper. The fact that two major players would adopt them irrespective of any of their own internal production problems on their own, overall would suggest that it is a solid product. It after all wouldn't be benq's reputation but their own for those not in the know. It maybe that the rebranded ones go through additional product/quality control measures, maybe not . I'd go for the original manufacturer. The WOPC II feature tries to ensure that the out part of the disk (which is always problematic) is burned correctly. I think WOPC I is used by some of the later NEC drives.

    A site that seems to do some good testing is
    http://www.cdrinfo.com/Home.aspx
    they test on a variety of quality disks.

    good luck
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  26. Member
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    My experience: 3 BenQ 8xx 3 years ago, 2 died within the 1st year. The other is shelf and collecting dust. 1 LG 402x bought with over $200 is still working in my friend's PC (I gave it to her for free last year). 1 LG 404x died after 4 months, I sent it back to Korea for repair and no trouble afterwards. 1 LG 408x and 1 LG 416x are still running in my families PCs. LG 416x is my last desktop burner and I will never buy any desktop burner again for my family now switch to use laptops, One LiteOn, One Toshiba Samsung and one LG and I am acquiring another one, Pioneer Slot DVD burner, for my Dell Inspiron.
    Sam Ontario
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  27. Sadly, I think the 1640s are no longer made. Couldn't find any current retail outlets offering them.
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    An old HP DVD200i still works but only with + media @ 2.4x

    A NEC ND-1100A x-flashed to 1300 still works and it still burns + or - media. I do not have it anymore but my friend still uses it.

    A NEC ND-2500A died after a year of use. It created very good burns

    My Lite-On SOHW-1693S works just fine. Writes to +, - and DL. It burns good +DL 2.4 @ 4x. This is the best drive I ever had, it is a fantastic reader and after flashing it to codeguys KC4B it is unbeatable.
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