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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Thursday, June 23, 2005
BenQ DW1640


1. Introduction

After the release of the BenQ DW1625 LightScribe enabled drive, BenQ thought that they should move forward to a higher Double Layer writing speed. Their latest drive, the BenQ DW1640 offers 8x +R DL writing speed and exceptional performance, as you will see in this review.

By adding DVD-R Double Layer media support, this new burner can write almost any media available on the market. It is not a coincidence that many well known manufacturers chose this burner to use as their OEM device. The BenQ exclusive Dual Cooling System (DCS) features Anti-Dust Cooling System (ADCS) and Air Flow Cooling System (AFCS) to effectively reduce the potential for over-heating during high-speed reading and writing. With an integrated heat chimney design, ADCS redirects the heat flow out of the drive and still provides for protection from dust. AFCS accelerates the circulation inside the drive and speeds up the heat elimination through the drive's steel housing.

- Drive Features

The BenQ DW16xx series which of course includes the DW1640, supports the following unique features:


- Specifications

Performance Writing Speed

16X +R
16X -R
8X +RW
6X -RW
8X +R DL
4X -R DL
48X CD-R
32X CDRW
48X CDROM
16X DVDROM

Reading speed

Max. DVD Reading speed 16x
Max. CD reading speed 48x

Seek time 120ms (DVD) / 120ms (CD)

Weight 0.82 kg
Dimensions (LxWxH) 146 x 178 x 42 mm
Buffer Size 2MB
Interface E-IDE/ ATAPI
Writing Mode DVD+R/+RW]

DVD Data and Video

[CD-R/-RW]
Track-at-Once, Disc-at-Once, Multisession, Packet Writing (fixed & variable packet), CD Digital Audio, Direct-Over-Write on CD-RW, Test Write

Disc Formats [DVD]
DVD+R DL 8.5GB
DVD+R 4.7GB
DVD+RW 4.7GB
DVD-R 4.7GB (closed session)
DVD-RW 4.7GB (closed session)
DVD-Video, DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-18

[CD]
CD-DA
CD-ROM XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2)
CD-R
CD-RW
Bootable CD
Photo CD (single & multi-session)
Video CD
Super Video CD
CD-Extra
Mixed-mode CD
CD-Text

OS Compatibility Windows XP / 2000 / ME / 98SE
Power Requirement DC 5V +/- 5%, ripple 100mVpp
DC12V+/- 10%, ripple 200mVpp
Environment Conditions Operating temperature: 5°C~50°C (41°F~122°F)
Operating humidity: 8%~80% RH
Non-operating temperature: -40°C~60°C (-40°F~140°F)
Non-operating humidity: 5%~95% RH
Reliability characteristics MTBF: 125.000 POH (20%)
Non-recoverable read error < 1 block in 1012 bits (CD and DVD)
System Requirement IBM PC compatible Pentium III 550MHz CPU or above
128MB DRAM, 100MB free HDD space for CD/DVD recording related software installation. 1GB free HDD space for CD Image recording

The drive does not support Mount Rainier and it uses the well known RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

- Tested Kit / Software Bundle

The test kit that arrived at our labs included only the burner. However, BenQ offers a wide range of tools and utilities in the retail package. You will find QVideo 2.0, an easy way to make your own DVDs and transfer video from any TV, AV and DV source. You will also find BenQ's Q-Suite, that offers four built-in functions: Book Type Management, QScan, Test Write and WOPC enable/ disable. You can easily change the default parameters of your burners with this powerful utility. However, we strongly advise you not to change the default values, if you are not completely sure of what you are doing, since burning quality might be reduced.

Now let's take a look at the drive itself.

We received a black coloured drive, but there is an option to choose between this or a white coloured burner. The activity led lights up green when a disc is present, blinks green when reading or accessing a disc and red when burning.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input. The ID label located on the underside of the drive (see photo below) shows that our drive was manufactured during April 2005 in Malaysia.

The sample that we received came with firmware version BSHB.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:

click to enlarge!

The heart of the drive is the Philips' Nexperia PNX7860E chipset.

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP was recognized as "BENQ DVD DD DW1640 ".

Below is a screenshot of Nero Burning Rom's specs for the drive.

In this review, we will be comparing the drive with the Sony DRU-800A and the Pioneer DVR-109.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.80
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v3.00
  5. PlexTools v2.21
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.13
  8. DVD Decrypter 3.5.4.0
  9. CopyToDVD 3.0.54
  10. Alcohol 120% 1.9.5 build 2802

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The BenQ DW1640 supports up to 48x reading speed for CD media.

With both ReWritable and Write-Once media, the DW1640 was the fastest burner in the comparison. While the drive can read up to 48x, the maximum reported speed for CDR media reached 49.63x. Of course, it would be very interesting to see what happens with CD error correction, since the higher the reading speed, the harder it is to read defective media. We will discuss CD error correction issues later on in this review.

- DVD Format

The speed reported by all three burners showed no significant differences. However, the DW1640 was slightly slower that the Sony burner.

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 Sony DRU-800A was only slightly slower than the Pioneer DVR-109.

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 on 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 towards the inner part of the disc. Again, the Pioneer drive was the fastest.

Excellent performance with +R, -R, +RW and -RW media. Being able to read up to a maximum 16x, the BenQ DW1640 dominates, leaving the other two drives a good deal behind.

Goes like hell. The average ripping speed reported was 12795kb/sec. Such speeds are difficult to reach not only with the Sony and Pioneer burners, but with most DVD readers currently available. The DW1640 can rip DVD Video up to 16x. It should be noted that the only burners available on the market that can achieve such high ripping speeds are the Plextor 716A and the Plextor 740A burners.

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

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

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total Num: 2706323
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 53794 Avg: -66.2 dB(A) Max: -6.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 6867 Avg: 3.8 Samples Max: 3584 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 74.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

Although there are some high levels present, the results indicate rather good CD error correction capability. The maximum error loudness level was -6.9dB, which is quite high. The total error count at 2,706,323 is also very high. However, there were no skipped samples. It should be reminded that the reading speed of this burner can reach up to 48x and we expected to see worse performance than this at such a high reading speed. The Total Test Result score of 74.8 is quite good.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 0 Avg: -174.0 dB(A) Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The ABEX TCD-726 test disc is always easier to read but we did not expect it to be that easy!. No skipped samples and no error muting samples indicate excellent performance. This makes the burner a very good reader for defective CD media, in terms of speed and readability.

- 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 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
BenQ DW1640
5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 4/5

After reading the ABEX series discs, we were expecting good performance with the CD-Check Audio disc and the DW1640 did not let us down. It is not common to see drives being able to read flawlessly the 4th track and especially the 5th track. Unfortunately, there was a small interruption near the end of the last track and this is why the BenQ drive did not get 5/5 mark for that track.

- Summary

The overall performance of the burner with defective and problem CD media indicates a very reliable and fast reader.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the BenQ DW1640 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.

There were some minor speed deviations at the end of the disc but these were not enough to cause problems for the DW1640 burner. No errors were reported and the maximum reading speed reached was just above 15X.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 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 maximum reading speed was just above 15x. There were some speed deviations at the end of the disc but the purpose of these test discs is to examine DVD error correction, and the performance of the BenQ DW1640 with Single Layer defective media was excellent, without sacrificing anything in reading speed.

- 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.

It was as if the artificial scratches weren't present for the BenQ DW1640. The reading speed reported by the CDVD Benchmark utility was the same as with error-free Double Layer media. Once again, excellent performance.

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.

And the burner just keeps on reading flawlessly. No errors or speed drops of any kind, even within the defective areas.

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 on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes 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.

click to enlarge!

The scratched area was read without any errors. This indicate excellent DVD error correction capabilities.

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!

Black dots and fingerprints were not a problem. Again, the BenQ DW1640 keeps up the reputation of an excellent reader when it comes to problem media.

- Summary

What more can a user ask for? Maybe reading speed can be further increased for Double Layer media, but even that might be too much to expect. No errors were reported in all these tests. Many burners cannot even reach the speed performance of the new BenQ DW1640, let alone it's error correction capabilities. With this sort of performance, it will be the envy of the market.


5. Protected Disc Tests - Reading 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 00:51 min 1772 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07 SafeDisc v.2.60.052 1: 24:18 min 66 sectors/sec
VRally II SecuROM v.2 2:24 min 2387 sectors/sec

SecuROM and PSX games are no challenge for the DW1640, but the SafeDisc protected game was a real test of patience. It took almost 1.5 hours to complete ripping and the reported speed was 66.31sectors/sec. Especially with the PSX games, the burner reported excellent performance.

- Writing Tests

The BenQ DW16740 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 (at 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 v3.1x

Sims Superstar
SD v2.9x
Sims Unleashed
SD v2.8x
Serious Sam-Second Encounter
SD v2.50.051
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

BenQ DW1640

Unfortunately, as we saw in the ripping speed test further above, the performance of the drive was not that good with SafeDisc protected games.


6. DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR Audio CD results

The DW1640 supports up to 48x CAV DAE speed, which is the fastest available speed on the market today. The following results were reported when using Exact Audio Copy software.

As it is seen in the graph above, the superiority of the BenQ burner is significant. Keep in mind that the Sony and Pioneer models support up to 40x CAV DAE.

Unfortunately, the BenQ DW1640 drive cannot report C2 errors, and this is why there is no C2 accuracy reported when we tested CD error correction capabilities (ABEX 721R/726 test discs). On the other hand, caching is supported.

- Advanced DAE Quality

Again, the drive reached a maximum of 48x DAE speed and the average speed reported was 33.25x, making it faster than its competitors. Additionally, the drive managed to obtain a perfect 100 quality score.

The drive can read Leadin data, CD Text and Subchannel Data, but it cannot read Leadout data.

- Ripping 90mins Audio CDs

The drive not only reduced its reading speed, but unfortunately, it could not even finish reading the 90min Audio test CD.

- Ripping 99mins Audio CDs

Although 90mins CDs cannot be read by the burner, 99mins CDs were not a problem. However, speed was again reduced, near the end of the disc.

click to enlarge!


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 v0.9 beta5.

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 drive recognized up to the 13th Audio track of the CDS200 disc and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the drive recognized the 14th track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

BenQ DW1640 Key2Audio CDS200
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks

The BenQ DW1640 is capable of reading/ripping both Key2Audio and CDS200 protected discs.

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors which create problems 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 to 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 Audio CD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors and for BETA/Jitter errors with PlexTools software using Plextor PX-716A (firmware v1.05).

BenQ DW1640 CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors.

The C1/C2 error graphs show that the BenQ DW1640 managed to produce a 100% error free disc.

We then tried to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-716A and PlexTools DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No errors were reported after extracting all files. The drive can backup the disc 100% accurately.


8. CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X, 40X and 48X (CAV) writing speeds.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive clocked in an average speed of 36.29x, which is slightly slower than the NEC ND-3540A that reports 36.40x.

- 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 according to the inserted media. Below is a chart depicting all recording times with various media.

Most media were recorded at 48x, but there was some exceptions, like RiDisc and Intenso media that were recorded at 40X. Best performance came with Verbatim 52x media.

- Other features

Overburning writing Up to 90min
CD text reading/writing Yes

- CD-RW Format

The BenQ DW1640 supports 4x, 10x, 16x, 24x and 32x rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW).

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 32x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals. Average reported speed was 30.50x, which is one of the highest speeds we've had compared to other 32x capable burners.

click to enlarge!

- CD-RW Mount Rainier

The BenQ DW1640 does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


9. 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 the latest PleXTools Professional and in particular the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-716A.

BenQ 80min 52X @ 48X

Intenso 80min 52X @ 40X

Philips 80min 52X @ 48X

RiDisc 80min 52X @ 40X

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 48X

Verbatim 80min 52X @ 48X

- Summary

Half of the discs that we burned reported C2 errors with the Plextor 716A burner. However, all these discs were readable with the NEC ND-3530A, the LiteOn 167T, the AOpen 1648/AAP Pro and the LG 4163B drives. All the discs that did not report C2 errors, showed very good burning quality. BenQ should look into this and correct some minor problems with a future firmware release.


10. Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests

The Clover Systems CDX Compact Disc Analyzer is a high-speed tool to quantitatively measure the quality of a CD. It will analyze CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I, CD-R, Photo-CD, Enhanced CD and CD-RW discs at 4X, 8X, 24X, 32X or 40X speed. It effectively measures disc quality by examining the quantity and severity of CIRC errors generated during playback. It also provides the capability to measure signal parameters related to pit geometry, such as asymmetry and reflectivity. Together, all these bits of information provide a thorough analysis of disc quality. The Clover Systems Analyzers can also perform various format-checking tests on data discs, and do bit-for-bit data comparison on all types of CDs. All tests are carried out at the maximum speed of 40X.

CIRC error correction uses two principles to detect and correct errors. The first is redundancy (extra information is added, which gives an extra chance to read the disc), and the second is interleaving (data is distributed over a relatively large physical area). The CIRC error correction used in CD players uses two stages of error correction, the well known C1 and C2, with de-interleaving of the data between the stages.

The error type E11 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C1 stage. E21means two bad symbols were corrected in the C1 stage. E31 means that there were three or more bad symbols at the C1 stage. This block is uncorrectable at the C1 stage, and is passed to the C2 stage. Respectively, E12 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C2 stage and E22 means two bad symbols were corrected in the C2 stage. E32 means that there were three or more bad symbols in one block at the C2 stage, and therefore this error is not correctable.

BLER (Block Error Rate) is defined as the number of data blocks per second that contain detectable errors, at the input of the C1 decoder. Since this is the most general measurement of the quality of a disc, you will find BLER graphs for all media tested below. If you click on the images you can see a more detailed table, indicating error levels. The Red Book specification (IEC 908) calls for a maximum BLER of 220 per second averaged over ten seconds. Discs with higher BLER are likely to produce uncorrectable errors. Al low BLER shows that the system as a whole is performing well, and the pit geometry is good. However, BLER only tells us how many errors were generated per second, and it does not tell us anything about the severity of those errors.

BenQ 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

Intenso 80min 52X @ 40X

click for more details!

Philips 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

RiDisc 80min 52X @ 40X

click for more details!

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

Verbatim 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

- Summary

The tests we ran with the Clover System's equipment are more accurate and trustworthy than the Plextools tests, since the CDx equipment is considered to be more professional and reliable. Verbatim, Intenso and Philips media did not report any uncorrectable errors, and this seems more reasonable, since BenQ burners usually provide great recordings with Philips media. On the other hand, burning quality with RiDisc and Traxdata media is questionable.


11. DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The BenQ DW1640 supports up to 16x burning speed with both +R and -R DVD media formats. Nero Burning Rom's reported speeds are shown below.

By using Nero CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the 16X CAV recording technology in action for -R and +R media. You can clearly see that WOPC is activated. Using the Q-Suite, you can disable WOPC, but for the purposes of this review, we chose not to disable this feature, since burning time is decreased slightly, but only by a few seconds. On the other hand, we believe that most users will not choose burning speed over burning quality.

click for more details!

click for more details!

The BenQ DW1640 supports 8x DVD+RW writing speed and 6x DVD-RW writing speed. Below, you can see the writing speed graph as reported by Nero CD-DVD Speed.

click for more details!

The average reported speed was 7.62x. Like any other 8x capable DVD+RW burner, the 8x "step" is taken early on and the drive keeps on writing at 8x until the recording is finished. You can again see that WOPC is activated.

click for more details!

Average burning speed was 5.99x, and the drive started to write at the maximum 6x from the beginning of the writing process.

- Burning Tests

The are some key points that are derived from the table above that need further attention. First of all, you will notice that there is no overspeed burning with any media. On the contrary, Optodisc 16x media was burned at 8x and DataWrite 8x media was burned at 4x (even if Nero insist on reporting 8x). All other media were burned at their named speed. Of course, this greatly increases burning quality but reduces speed performance. Best performance came with Verbatim 16x media and it took only 6 minutes to complete a successful burn, but again, an average of 8:20 minutes is a great time for 8x writing.

With -RW 6X media, it took 10:02mins to burn on Verbatim 6x media. This is even better that other burners like the NEC ND-3540A for example.

Again, overspeed was not introduced with DVD+R media, just as with DVD-R media. Fortunately, all media was burned at their named speed and no reduced burning speed was observed. It looks like the BenQ DW1640 is more keen on the +R media format, since burning time is further reduced to 5:35 minutes (CMC Magnetics 16x media).

Writing 8x DVD+RW media proved to be even faster than writing -R and +R Write-Once media at 8x. Both Ricoh and MKM media reported 7:26minutes burning time.

- Comparison with other drives

The BenQ model proved to be the fastest with almost all formats except for DVD+R where it was 3 seconds slower than the Pioneer DVR-109.

- DVD Overburning Tests

We used Nero CD-DVD Speed, only to see that the BenQ DW1640 cannot overburn using DVD+R and DVD-R media.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The BenQ DW1640 does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


12. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Smooth graphs with CD/DVD Speed and no PI errors higher than 100. Nothing but good performance...


13. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Although burning quality was even better when writing at 16x, we got some decent results. Datawrite (TTG02) and TY media came up with the best results. It should be noted that Optodisc 16x media, was not only written at 8x, but even the quality score was worse than that of other media.


14. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

It is known that the Philips chipset used by BenQ is biased more towards +R media than -R media. This can be seen in the above graphs, since with all +R 16x media, the burning quality was better than with -R 16x media. A small exception is Traxdata 16x media. We can't really pick one media that performs better than the others. RiDisc, Verbatim, Ricoh and Optodisc look to be slightly better than all the others, but what's the point in finding which is better when all the media are burned at such high quality?


15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

After checking the burning quality of 8x certified media, the close relationship between the BenQ DW1640 and the DVD+R media format is clarified. All media were burned with high quality. Smooth CD/DVD Speed graphs and very low PI error rates indicate a very good burner, especially with DVD+R. If you are asking yourselves which media performed best, we will let you decide!!!


16. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

DVD+RW and DVD-RW Media

- Summary

It is very interesting to see the quality of DVD+RW and DVD-RW media, since burning speed is increased to 8x and 6x respectively. We should notice that although there are other burners available on the market that can actually burn ReWritable media at these high speeds, the writing performance here was one of the best. On the other hand, the Plextor 716A burner refused to read the -RW 6x media we used in this test. Alternatively, we used the LiteOn 167T and the latest KProbe, which, however, is not that accurate.

In all cases, all discs were burned successfully by our reader and the quality scans we got were very good for -RW media, while average for +RW media.


17. Writing Quality Tests - Almedio AEC-1000

The AEC-1000 consists of a DVD Drive and the "ALChecker" error measurement application which can check the written data quality. The application is capable of 1X CLV measurement as well as 4X CLV on DVD-Video/ROM and finalized DVD+R/-R media.

There are three measurement modes:

The checking status is shown graphically in real time while you can save the error graph at the end of the test. The reported errors are the PI and the UncPO. In the case of PI, it counts the number of rows corrected by the PI error correction in each group of eight consecutive ECC blocks. In the case of UncPO, it counts the number of ECC blocks in which more than one byte is uncorrectable in eight consecutive ECC blocks. For our quality scans, we set it for 1X CLV and Fine Mode which is the slowest and with the safest results. Also, we chose to measure all the media burned at the maximum available writing speed, namely 16X.

- Summary

We chose to use the Almedio DVD checker to further investigate writing quality at the 16x burning speed. Any DVD+R we tested came up with very good results. On the other hand, Verbatim DVD-R 16x media reported uncorrectable errors. The Almedio checker is considered to be more reliable that the Plextools scans. However, it should be noted that the overall performance of the burner was very good compared with other devices available on the market with similar specifications. For example, the NEC ND-3530A's quality performance was not as good as the BenQ DW1640.


18. DVDR DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

We burned some DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs with DVD-Video content. 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 as ISO format (single file). We used Double Layer media provided by RiDisc and Verbatim (MKM).

We then used the latest CopyToDVD and specifically the "Movie & Pictures" option, and then "Write DVD Video". The software prompts us to select the Video_TS/ISO image folder. We chose the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image and we selected the BenQ DW1640 burner.

After pressing "OK", the burning procedure started without any unexpected delays.

We then repeated the same procedure for all media shown above. It should be noted that we did not change the default booktype setting to DVD-ROM booktype, prior to writing the disc, in order to investigate the default booktype setting for +R DVD media type.

The BenQ DW1640 can burn up to 8x on +R DL media and 4x on -R DL media. The following table indicates the recording times for double layer media. As you can see, the Verbatim +R double layer media was the fastest of all, since it was the only one that could be burned at 8X.

For comparison reasons, we post DL burning results with other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software. It looks like we have a new winner, since the 15minutes barrier has been broken with the DW1640 reporting the outstanding time of 14:14mins.

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
Pioneer DVR-108A (4X) 23:10
Pioneer DVR-108A (2.4X)

38:23

NEC ND-3500A 22:52
TDK 1616N 22:51
NEC ND-3520A

22:35

NEC ND-3530A 17:48
Pioneer DVR-109 16:29
BenQ DW1640 14:14
BenQ DW1620A 40:03

19. DVDR DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the BenQ DW1640 DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL writing quality, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-716A drives.

Again, BenQ 's performance is far better with +R media than with -R media. The Verbatim -R DL media was burned at 4x, but unfortunately the LiteON reader could not complete the reading process. The Plextor drive did not manage to do anything better, since -R DL media was not even recognised by the 716A burner. BenQ's engineers should really look into this and improve burning quality with a future firmware release.

On the other hand, writing at 8x on +R DL discs seems to produce good results, considering the speed that Verbatim media is burned at.

We also tried to playback the +R DL media with several stand-alone DVD Players and DVD Recorders, like the LiteON 5005, the Pioneer DVR-720H and the Sony NS955, and we observed no problems playing the disc in our entertainment system.


20. BenQ DW1640 vs. SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the BenQ DW1640 reports, we used four different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested BenQ DW1640 drive. Using other drives, even another DW1640, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

click to enlarge!

As you can easily observe in the graphs above, the error line trend follows the same pattern as the CATS system's scans, but error levels are different.


21. BenQ DW1640 vs. SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the BenQ DW1640 reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested BenQ DW1640 drive. Using other drives, even another BenQ DW1640, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

click to enlarge!

The error line trend follows a completely different pattern than the CATS scans.


22. BenQ DW1640 vs. SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the BenQ DW1640 reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested BenQ DW1640 drive. Using other drives, even another BenQ DW1640, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

click to enlarge!

Again, there are completly different scans from the BenQ burner and the CATS system.


23. BenQ DW1640 vs. SA300 - Page 4

For checking exactly what the BenQ DW1640 reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested BenQ DW1640 drive. Using other drives, even another BenQ DW1640, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

click to enlarge!

Unfortunately, even with DL media, the error line trend follows a different path with the BenQ scans than that of the CATS scans.


24. Booktype Setting

As expected, like any other BenQ drive, the DW1640 is capable of changing the default booktype setting for both Single Layer and Double Layer media. Using the DVD-ROM booktype setting greatly increases compatibility with other players and recorders.

Below you can see a screenshot from the BenQ booktype management utility that is included in the retail package.

 


25. Conclusion

Quality and speed, nothing more, nothing less. The new BenQ DW1640 raises the burning speed to even higher levels than before. Not only can it burn both -R and +R single layered discs at 16x, but it supports 8x +R DL writing speed and 4x -R DL writing speed. If you need more, +RW and -RW writing speeds will also not disappoint you.

When we investigated CD and DVD error correction capabilities, we were amazed by its performance.Very good error correction mechanism, even at high speed reading. The burner dominates over most competitors when it comes to ripping speed, reporting higher speeds than DVD-ROM readers. In this great speed performance, the DAE ripping speed comes to complete the profile, making the drive one of the fastest readers available, even with defective and problem media.

Copy protected games were not that easy to rip, but the drive managed to complete any task, especially with PSX games that reported the fastest performance. Unfortunately, the burner cannot back-up SafeDisc 2.9 and above.

Burning quality was great, but the drive shows a small preference for the +R media format. Even at high burning speeds, the quality scans that we got in most cases were very good. However, the preference for +R media types is prominent with Double Layer media, since the -R DL media was burned successfully but was unreadable. The speed performance for +R DL media was the best we have seen, where the drive burned DL media in under 15 minutes.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like To be fixed

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
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