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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Wednesday, August 04, 2004
ASUS DRW-1604P


1. Introduction - Specs

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 1

is one of the biggest manufacturers for PC hardware. As a leading manufacturer, ASUS has taken the first step and introduced the fastest Double Layer recorder by offering 4X CLV recording speed, reducing the total burning time to burn a DL disc by half.

In addition, it supports the fastest writing speeds for ±R format along with many other interesting features. We will put the ASUS drive through its paces to see how it performs as well as to inform users as to what they can expect from the 4X DL recording speed.

- Official press release

According to the posted press released on 19/7/2004: "...ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS) today debuted it's latest internal DVD rewriter, the DRW-1604P, that supports both 16X DVD+/-Write and 4X DVD+R double layer technology.

With the popularity of digital multimedia entertainment, the demand for larger storage capacity to accommodate video and audio content is on the rise. The ASUS DRW-1604P supports the latest double layer technology, which, as the name suggests, doubles DVD+R media from 4.7GB to 8.5GB or four hours of DVD quality video.

Flexibility for the wide array of media formats is also very important. The ASUS DRW-1604P offers both 16X DVD-Write and 16X DVD+Write, making it capable of reading from and writing on DVD-Writeable/Rewriteable and DVD+Writeable/Rewriteable formats.

With the dual-compatibility feature, the DRW-1604P creates DVDs that can be played or read by most DVD-ROM drives and DVD players. It enables 4X DVD-Rewrite, 4X DVD+Rewrite, 16X DVD-ROM, 32X CD-Write, 24X CD-Rewrite and 40X CD-ROM as well to provide flexibility and high-speed operation.

The ASUS DRW-1604P adopted several innovative technologies found only in ASUS optical drives.

All ASUS proprietary technologies occupy minimal system resources, allowing the PC to remain fully operational and available for other applications even during the recording process.

- Features

The ASUS DRW-1604P supports 16X DVD±R, 4X DVD±RW and 4X DVD+R DL writing according to the official specifications. As a CD recorder, it supports 32X CD-R and 24X US-RW writing along with 40X CD-ROM reading. Below are the full specs for the drive:

Drive
ASUS DRW-1604P
Media
DVD
CD
Transfer Rate Read
16X CAV SL DVD-ROM
12X CAV DL DVD-ROM
40X CD-ROM CAV
12X CAV DVD±R
8X CAV DVD±RW
32X CD-RW CAV
2X CLV DVD-RAM
8X CAV DVD+R9
Transfer Rate Write
16X DVD±R Z-CLV
32X CD-R Z-CLV
4X DVD±RW CLV
24X CD-RW Z-CLV
4 DVD+R9 CLV
Access Time
145ms
125ms
Mechanism
motorized Tray load mechanism for horizonal and vertical use
Interface
IDE / ATAPI
Burst Transfer Rate
PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33
Cashe Memory
2MB
Supported Media formats
DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-Video, DVD-RAM, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Audio, CD Extra, CD Text, CD-IReady, CD-Bridge, Photo-CD, VideoCD, Hybrid CD
Audio
headphone jack and volume control at front plus digital-out and line-out at the back (MPC compatible)
Writing methods
DAO(disc at once), SAO(session at once), TAO(track at once) with zero gap, variable or fixed packet, multisession
Weight
1.1kgr
Dimensions
148(W) × 42.3(H) × 198(D) mm

The drive does not support Mount Rainier, as is the case with almost all new DVD recorders for both the CD and DVD formats. It uses the well known RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. Until now, there is no known way to make the drive region-free.

Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool. and DVDInfoPro:

- The drive

We received the bulk version of the ASUS DRW-1604P as the drive's retail package was not yet available. We would like to thank ASUS HQ for providing this engineering sample for our review. Below is a picture of the final retail package along with the package contents:

The bulk package included burning software from Ahead (Nero Express and InCD), an IDE Cable, audio screws along with the eject pin and instructions sheet. Lastly, newbie users will find the users manual and the quick installation guides useful.

The front of the drive includes all the usual logos to help identify the supported reading/writing formats, "DVD+R DL", "DVD+RW", "US-RW" and of course the "ASUS" logo. On the rear panel there are the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE Master/Slave/CS selection pins, the IDE interface block and the power input. There are also vent holes for a fan, but there isn't one installed.

The top of the drive includes the manufacture identification sticker, which indicates compliances and standards the device meets, place of manufacture - "Made in China" - along with the drive's SN and Model No (written by hand due to the fact that this is an engineering sample).

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. Click on the photos for an enlarged view.

Click To Enlarge!

The main chipset comes from NEC, the NEC D63635GM combined with the NEC C333500:

Model name
C3335
Process
Bi-CMOS 0.35
Voltage
5V
Package
120-pin TQFP (14x14mm)
Power consumption
0.66W (8x DVD playback)
0.74W 8x DVD recording)
Speeds
DVD playback
16x CAV
DVD-RAM playback
4x
DVD recording
16x
CD playback
48x
CD recording
48x

Model name
D63635
Process
CMOS 0.15
Voltage
1.5V core, 3.3V I/O
Package
216-pin LQFP (24x24mm)
Power consumption
0.35W (8x DVD playback)
0.95W (8x DVD recording, LVDS)
Interface
Host
ATA/ATAPI5
Buffer
16Mbit SDRAM
Speeds
DVD playback
16x CAV
DVD-RAM playback
4x
DVD recording
16x
CD playback
48x
CD recording
48x

Below is a close up picture of the drive's pickup/lens system:

- Installation

The device was connected to our test PC and was identified as "ASUS DRW-1604P" under WinXP.

The drive arrived with v0.53 firmware revision,

which was updated to v1.04 and used to perform all the reading/writing tests.

In this review, we will be comparing the drive with the BenQ DW1600A, Plextor PX-712A and LG GSA-4120B since all these drives have, currently, the fastest CD/DVD recording speeds.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.12
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.24
  5. KProbe v2.2.2 (Reader: LiteOn LDW-811S firmware vHS0Q, LiteOn SOHD-167T firmware 9S14 Reading speed 8X CAV)
  6. PlexTools v2.15 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.03, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  7. DVDInfoPro v2.54
  8. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.17
  9. DVD Decrypter 3.2.2.0
  10. CopyToDVD 3.0.22

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 2

Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

All drives except the Plextor PX-712A support 40X CD-ROM reading speed. The ASUS DRW-1604P performed well with both the CD-ROM and CD-R test discs. With US-RW media, due to its lower reading speed (32X), the drive had the slowest speed among the drives.

- DVD Format

All the tested drives support 16X CAV reading speed with SL discs. The ASUS drive gets third place with an averafe speed of 12.02X, just behind the BenQ DW1600A. While the ASUS drive starts with the second highest reading speed, its end speed is slower, which is why the BenQ drive overall has a faster average speed.

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards the outer range for each layer. The ASUS drive had the slowest performance at 5.44X average speed.

click to enlarge!

The graph shown above indicates the reading performance of the DRW-1604P with OTP dual layer media. The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer of the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks progressing toward the inner part of the disc. The average reading speed was 9.40X, with a perfect reading graph.

The ASUS drive performed according to its specifications with 12X CAV for DVD±R and 8X CAV DVD±RW discs..

The ASUS drive has a lock rip limit and gave the lowest ripping time at 5816Kb/s.

- DVD-RAM

The ASUS DRW-1604P can read DVD-RAM at only 2X CLV, according to the specs. For our test we used a 5X DVD-RAM disc from Maxell, burned with the LG GSA-4120B. The CDSpeed graph confirms ASUS specs, since the disc was read at 2X CLV:

Click To Enlarge!

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 3

CD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 1212483
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 59039
Avg: -73.4 dB(A)
Max: -26.4 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3763
Avg: 1.1 Samples
Max: 40 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
76.4 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
-

The performance with the 721R test disc is satisfactory. The loudness level is fairly low with tha maximum at -26.4 dB(A). No samples were skipped and the total score of 76 .4 is about average. The drive cannot return C2 error pointers, and so there is no score posted for C2Accuracy.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 506
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 24
Avg: -71.0 dB(A)
Max: -60.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
92.6 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
-

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is much easier for drives in general to read. The ASUS DRW-1604P drive reached 92.6 score (out of 100), which is very good.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are being reproduced through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
NEC ND-2510A
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
3/5

The drive showed a remarable ability to correct errors and reached the 5th level with 3/5 score! That is one of the best performances we have seen from a PC drive!


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 4

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed . The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

The drive can read DVD media up to 16X. The scratched area did not affect the reading process. The drive showed very good behaviour with this disc, and no errors were produced.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on it but instead defective areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm.

There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

Again, the drive didn't have problems reading this test disc. The drive drops its reading speed when passing over the defective area but afterwards increases reading speed again, back up to 16X.

- Dual Layer media

ABEX TDR-841

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

.

As seen above, the drive again didn't have problems reading this test disc.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints.

The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

The ASUS drive slowed its reading speed when reading the defective area in Layer0 but didn't slow down when reading the corresponding area in Layer 1.
ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB.The disc is based upon the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The discs check the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also include test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files.

The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

As is evident above, the drive stopped reading the disc and reported un-correctable errors when it started reading the scratched area... Not very good behaviour from the drive.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB.

The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It has also 65 - 75 micro meter fingerprints.

Click to enlarge!

No problems here for the drive, a perfect curve with good performance.


5. Protected Disc Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 5

Protected Disc Tests

- Reading Tests

To create the image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.
Game Title
Protection Scheme
Duration
Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
3:40 min
410.75 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
48:04 min
116.03 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
2:37 min
2189.6 sectors/sec

The ASUS drive only performed well when ripping the Securom2 protected disc to the HDD. The drive is extremily slow with Safedisc2 and PSX discs.

- Writing Tests

The drive supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 5 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.1705. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Bypass EFM error" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they worked (game installed / played normally), or not.

Drive

Fifa 2004
SD v3.1

Sims Superstar SD v2.9
Sims Unleashed SD v2.8
Serious Sam-Second Encounter
SD v2.51.051
Max Payne
SD v2.51.020
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
Toshiba
SD-M1502
No
Yes
Creative CD5233E

ASUS DRW-1604P

The drive can only backup accurately up to SD v2.51.201. Newer versions of SafeDisc 2 cannot be accurately backed up, either with the EFM Correction option enabled or not.


6. DAE Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 6

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The drive supports up to 40X CAV DAE speed. The following results were reported when using Exact Audio Copy.

The ASUS drive gets last place since, to put it simply, all the other drives were faster. As EAC reports, the drive doesn't report C2 errors, but caching and accurate stream are supported.

- Advanced DAE Quality

All tested drives recorded a perfect quality score of 100. The ASUS drive can't read Lead-in/out area, but can read CD Text and Subchannel data. The reported average speed was 28.09X.

- Ripping 90mins AudioCDs

The drive has problems reading/ripping 90/99min Audio CDs. NeroCDSpeed cannot do a transfer test, EAC can rip the discs but reports many timing problems.


7. Protected AudioCDs

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 7

Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process on all protected Audio discs was carried out with Exact Audio Copy v0.9beta5.

The tested protected Audio discs were:

The Cactus Data Shield 200, contains artificial errors that are not easily bypassed by the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session, causing problems for readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

The ASUS drive recognized up to the 12th Audio track of the CDS200 disc,

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the 13th Data track was also recognized.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Key2Audio
CDS200
ASUS DRW-1604P
Recognize process ok, tracks are not possible to ripped
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all tracks

The ASUS drive doesn't particularly like protected Audio discs. Althouhg the drive properly recognized the Key2Audio test disc, it couldn't rip the disc contents to HDD... In addition, the drive could not accurately rip CD200 discs since the Read&Test CRC check comparison was not the same for all tracks. We have to say, not very good performance.

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected with specific chipset weaknesses.

We ripped the disc contents with EAC and burned the wav file produced from the Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a disc with the latest Nero version as AudioCD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors and for BETA/Jitter errors with PlexTools software using Plextor PX-712SA (firmware v1.03).

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
ASUS DRW-1604P
Reading/Writing performed without any errors

The C1/C2 error graph shows that the drive did not manage to produce a 100% error free disc. A C2 spike after 36mins appears, while the Jitter graph is clean.

We then tried to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-712A and PlexTool DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No reading errors were reported after extracting all files. The drive accuratly backed up the disc.


8. CD Recording Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 4X, 8X, 16X (CLV), 24X and 32X (Zone-CLV) writing speeds.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive ended the test after 3.45mins. The test started at 16X and finished at 32.30X having an average speed of 24.93X.

Click To Enlarge!

- CD-R Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc. The writing performance varies depending on the inserted media. Below is a chart showing all recording times with various media. The best recording time came with BenQ media with 4:15mins.

Below is another graph that displays the recording times for the same project with all the tested drives. The ASUS drive has the highest recording time, due to its lower maximum recording speed of 32X.

- Other features

The drive supports overburning, writing up to 90mins and can read/write CD-Text.

- CD-RW Format

The drive supports both HS-RW and US-RW formats. With US-RW media 10X, 16X (CLV), 20X and 24X (Z-CLV) writing speeds are available, as Nero reports below.

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 24X US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

Click To Enlarge!

We also used Nero Burning Rom in order to burn a data disc at 24X. The data compilation we burned had a size of 651 MB and the duration of the recording process was 4:04 minutes.

- CD-RW Mount Rainier

The drive doesn't support the Mount Rainier feature.


9. Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

On this page we present the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs when using various media burned at 32X Z-CLV writing speed.

- 3T Pit results

Generally, the drive performed well only with Verbatim 52X CD-R media. Below are the average 3T Pit Jitter values for the various media:

- 3T Land results

The average 3T Land results are high, with the best results from Verbatim and TY media.


10. Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the various supported writing speeds. The software we used is PleXTools Professional v2.15, and particularly the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-712SA (firmware v1.03).

BenQ 80min 52X @ 32X

Mam-e 80min 48X @ 32X

Maxell 80min 48X @ 32X

SKC 80min 52X @ 32X

Taiyo Yuden 80min 48X @ 32X

Verbatim 80min 48X @ 32X

Waitec 80min 52X @ 32X

- Summary

The C1/C2 graphs show that the ASUS drive performed well with most of the tested media. The only media that had high C2 errors was Waitec 52X media.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
BenQ 52X
97m22s67f
Daxon.
79m59s74f
Mam-e
97m27s58f
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
79m59s74f
Maxell 48X
97m15s17f
Ritek Co.
79m59s70f
SKC 52X
97m26s26f
SKC Co., Ltd.
79m59s73f
TY 80min 48X
97m24s 1f
Taiyo Yuden
79m59s72f
Verbatim 52X
97m34s23f
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
79m59s73f
Waitec 80min 52X
97m28s26f
Multi Media Masters & Machinery SA
79m59s74f

11. DVD Recording Tests

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 11

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The ASUS DRW-1604P drive is the first ever recorder supporting 16X ± R (Z-CLV) writing speeds along with 4X CLV for DVD±RW, 4X CLV for DVD+R9 media. Nero Burning Rom reported speeds are shown below, after inserting a DVD-R disc.

By using Nero CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the 12X/8X Z-CLV recording technology being used by the recorder.

Click to enlarge!

The ASUS DRW-1604P uses Zone-CLV recording strategy, meaning the disc area is devided into zones, where the speed in each region remains constant. In order to reach the 16X recording speed, the drive uses 4 zones (6X->8X->12X->16X).

According to Nero CDSpeed, the 16X speed was reached after 4.15~4.20GB, meaning that unless you are burning a full 4.36GB project you will never reach the promised 16X speed. The four zones manage to drop the average writing speed for 16X down to 10.11X.

Below is a table that lists the maximum average writing speeds for all the tested drives.

Drive
Writing Strategy
Writing Speed
Average
Writing Speed
Plextor PX-712A
P-CAV
12X
10.62X
LG GSA-4120B
Z-CLV
12X
9.87X
BenQ DW1600A
CAV
16X
11.44X
ASUS DRW-1604P
Z-CLV
16X
10.11X

The BenQ DW1600A is the fastest recorder since it uses CAV writing strategy, while Plextor PX-712A comes second with P-CAV writing strategy. As you can easily understand, the average writing speeds, will have a direct effect on the writing times...

Click to enlarge!

At the 12X speed, the drive's writing strategy is Zone-CLV again, with three zones (6X->8X->12X). The average writing speed is 10.01X.

Click to enlarge!

To reach the 8X speed, the drive needs only one "jump", with an average writing speed of 7.82X.

According to the inserted media, the drive may allow burning up to 16X, but as we saw, there is also a big possibility that instead of reaching 16X, it drops writing speed down to 1.15X, as was the case with Maxell 8X DVD-R media.

Maxell 8X -R @ 16X

The same might happen also at 12X writing speed. Below is the graph for CMC Magnetics 8X -R @ 12X, where the drive drops its writing speed to 8X after 4.00GB.

CMC Magnetics 8X -R @ 12X

- Supported media list/Burning Tests

We burned 4315MB of data on various DVD±R, DVD±RW media. We used the maximum allowed writing speed for each disc. Till now, ASUS doesn't offer a supported media list, hopefully by the time, the drive reaches the market, users will have the chance to see which media can be burned and at which recording speeds.

With the current firmware (v1.04), there's not a lot of media being supported at 16X, so we decided to burn only ±R media supported at 8X+ speeds and not at 4X. All 4X rated media will burn only at 4X, while new ±R media only at 4X (like RitekG06 and PhilipsC16):

DVD-R

DVD+R

Future firmwares expected to support more media at 12X/16X.

- Writing Time Results

Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
CMC Magnetics 8X
CMC MAG AE1
12X
7:00
DataWrite 8X
FujiFilm 03
8X
8:03
Intenso 8X
FujiFilm 03
8X
8:02
Maxell 8X
MXL RG03
16X
7:14
TDK 8X
TTG02
12X
7:53
TraxData 8X
RITEKG05
12X
7:16
Taiyo Yuden 8X
TYG02
12X
7:12
Verbatim 8X
MCC 02RG20
12X
7:01
MKM 4X RW
MCC 01RW4X
4X
14:36
TraxData 4X RW
RITEKW04
4X
14:56

We can easily discern the variation in the recording times for the 12X writing speed. The lowest recording time comes with CMC Magnetics 8X, while the highest with TDK 8X! The only media we had here that was supported at 16X comes from Maxell, however the final burning time its 14secs higher than the best result at the 12X writing speed. There are two explanations for this:

a) Our burning project was not a full sized DVD project (4.36GB), but instead 4.315GB, which influences the 16X Z-CLV recording speed.

b) As we saw earlier, the ASUS drive with Maxell 8X -R media, instead of reaching 16X dropped to 1.15X.

According to ASUS, only three (3) media are supported at the 16X writing speed, which unfortunately are not in our tested media list (apart from Maxell media):

  1. SONY 8X -R (ID Code: SONY08D1)
  2. Maxell 8X -R (ID Code: MXL RG03)
  3. TDK 8X -R (ID Code: TTH01)
Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
BenQ 8X
DAXONAZ2
8X
8:17
BeAll
BeALL000P80
8X
8:24
CMC Magnetics 8X
CMC MAG E01
16X
7:23
Intenso 8X
PRODISCR03
8X
8:24
MKM 8X
MCC003
12X
7:17
Maxell 8X
MAXELL002
12X
7:13
Optodisc 8X
OPTODISCOR8
8X
8:20
Philips 8X
PHILIPSC08
8X
8:16
Ricoh 8X
RICOHJPNR02
12X
7:38
TraxData 8X
RITEKR03
12X
7:39
Taiyo Yuden 8X
YUDEN000T02
16X
7:21
Verbatim 8X
MCC003
12X
7:22
Waitec 8X
CMC MAG E01
16X
8:24
Optodisc 4X RW
OPTODISCOP4
4X
15:14
Maxell 4X RW
PHILIPS041
4X
15:15
TraxData 4X RW
RICOHJPNW11
4X
15:16

Again, we can see variations in the recording times due the fact that the drive will lower/increase its writing speed according to the disc position and writing speed. The Waitec 8X +R disc, although allowed to burn at 16X, finished the project after 8:24mins - the writing speed was increased to 16X and then lowered to 12X, etc...

Below are two screenshots from Nero, while burning our usual project at various speeds.

8X DVD-R

12X DVD-R

16X DVD-R

- Comparison with other drives

The BenQ DW1600a is the fastest 16X +R recorder at 358secs, while the Plextor PX-712A comes second with 369secs. The LG drive comes third with 411secs and the ASUS last with 441secs. With the DVD-R format, the ASUS drive is the fastest as the BenQ DW1600A doesn't support -R writing, and the LG/Plextor drives support only 8X -R. Its clear that the drive is faster with the DVD-R than with DVD+R format.

With DVD re-writable media, the ASUS burner was the slowest for DVD+RW and the fastest for DVD-RW formats.

- DVD Overburning Tests

Using Nero CD-DVD Speed, we tested if the drive can overburn using DVD+R and DVD-R media. Unfortunately, the drive does not support overburning, giving the following error with all inserted media.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive doesn't support the Mount Rainier feature.


12. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 12

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the NEC ND-2510A. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.2.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.03 using PlexTools v2.15 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

With both Kprobe and Plextools, the error rates are increased when the drive enters the 12X writing speed. At the end, we can see a drop in the error rate due to the Z-CLV shift zone and a large peak of 240 PI errors at the end, where supposedoly the drive reaches 16X writing speed.


13. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 13

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the NEC ND-2510A. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.2.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.03 using PlexTools v2.15 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

12X DVD-R Writing Speed

Plextools reports a reading error and stops reading at 0.5GB.

- Summary

The recording quality at 12X is not very good according to Kprobe and average according to Plextools. Certainly the ASUS DRW-1604P needs improvements in the firmware.


14. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 14

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the NEC ND-2510A. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.2.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.03 using PlexTools v2.15 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Again, the recording quality at 8X is not very good according to Kprobe and average according to Plextools. Hopefully newer firmware upgrades will improve writing quality.


15. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 15

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the NEC ND-2510A. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.2.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.03 using PlexTools v2.15 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

The writing quality at 16X with the three 8X +R media was very good. Hopefully, new firmware will add support for more media at 16X.


16. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 16

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the NEC ND-2510A. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.2.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.03 using PlexTools v2.15 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

12X DVD+R Writing Speed

Plextor PX-712A cannot mount disc!!!

 

Plextools reports reading error!

- Summary

The recording quality at 12X +R speed, was very good only with Maxell 8X +R media. With Verbatim 8X +R media, the produced disc had problems at the end.


17. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 17

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the NEC ND-2510A. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.2.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.03 using PlexTools v2.15 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

Plextools report reading error

- Summary

The Philips 8X +R media burned very well, while the other media showed high PI error rates...


18. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 7

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 18

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 7

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the NEC ND-2510A. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.2.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.03 using PlexTools v2.15 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

4X DVD-RW Writing Speed

Plextools reports reading error!

4X DVD+RW Writing Speed

- Summary

The recording quality with DVD Re-writable media was good with several media but needs improvement with others. The drive did not produce good quality with MCC 4X DVD-RW and Maxell 4X DVD+RW discs.


19. DVD+R DL - Page 1

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 19

DVD+R DL - Page 1

- Introduction

The ASUS DRW-1604P is the first ever recorder supporting 4X DL (CLV) writing speed. Since no 4X DL media exists, the ASUS drive writes existing 2.4X Verbatim DL media at 4X. Below we can see the two supported recording speeds (2.4X and 4X CLV), as DVDInfoPro reports:

The source disc was "Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" Disc1 with a total size of 6.86GB. First we transferred the movie to the hard disc with DVD Decrypter in ISO format (single file).

We chose the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image and selected the ASUS burner to start burning.

When we pressed the "OK" button, the burning procedure started after 26secs:

The writing process finished after 23:10 minutes.

The average speed was 3.79X as reported by CopyToDVD software. The recorded disc had DVD-ROM booktype, important for the highest compatibility with DVD players.

We then then tried to burn a Double Layer media provided by Traxdata. The disc was recognized without any problems from the drive, and burning started after 29secs.

The project finished after 38:08mins:

For comparison, we post all DL burning results from other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software:

Drive
Time (mins)
NEC 2510A
37:17
BenQ DW1600A DL
40:16
BenQ DW830A
39:14
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD+R DL BookType
38:33
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD-ROM BookType
38:36
SONY DRU-700A

38:39

LG GSA-4120B
38:12
ASUS DRW-1604P (4X)
23:10
ASUS DRW-1604P (2.4X)
38:08

As was expected, the ASUS DRW-1604P was the fastest DL recorder due to the 4X CLV writing speed.


20. DVD+R DL - Page 2

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 20

DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

* Verbatim 2.4X DVD+R Double Layer Media

Using KProbe v2.2.2 at 6X, we got a rather good scan, indicating, again, good quality performance from the drive with the recorded DL media.

Using the Plextor PX-712A and PlexTools, we were able to scan the DVD+R DL media. The disc is recognized as DVD-ROM and as we can see that the quality is very good:

* TraxData 2.4X DVD+R9 Double Layer Media

The recording quality seems good, although the PI error rates are higher than with Verbatim DL media.

The Plextor PX-712A drive reported much higher error rates, especially in Layer 1.

- Compatibility

Fortunately, the ASUS DRW-1604P will burn directly all DVD+R9 projects with DVD-ROM booktype, ensuring you will get maximum compatibility.


21. BookType Setting

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 21

BookType Setting

The ASUS DRW-1604P doesn't support BookType Setting for DVD+R/+RW formats. With DVD+R DL discs, the Booktype is automatically set to DVD-ROM.


22. Conclusion

ASUS DRW-1604P DL Recorder - Page 22

Conclusion

The ASUS DRW-1604P is the first 16X ±R recorder that also supports 4X DL writing speed, with existing Verbatim 2.4X DL media. The writing time was reduced from 39 down to 23mins, so users now require less time to burn DL discs. The writing quality of the burned disc was very good and DVD-ROM booktype promises maximum compatibility with DVD players!

The used writing method for DVD (Z-CLV) doesn't help, where we logged the slowest recording times ever measured in our labs since unless you burn a full disc (4.36GB), you never really reach 16X. DVD recorders already on teh market supporting P-CAV and CAV writing methods are faster than the DRW-1604P...

Quite interesting is that the drive is faster at 12X than at 16X as a result of the Z-CLV recording strategy. The writing quality in general for the +R format is better than for the -R format. Of course, it needs improvement as the KProbe/Plextools tests showed.

The supported media at the 12X/16X writing speeds is restricted, as was expected, and don't expect 4X rated media to burn at 8X unless ASUS supports them with newer firmware upgrades.

The CD writing quality was good, but with high 3T Jitter values. Due to 32X Z-CLV recording method, the cannot reach the competition, but this isn't really a big minus.The drive's ability to read scratched CD/DVD discs is very good.

Lastly, with protected material (Games/Audio discs), you will face problems, since the DRW-1604P can neither read/rip fast, nor back them up accurately.

The price of the drive is expected to be around $149 and availability is expected in the middle of August.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like To be fixed



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