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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Monday, January 23, 2006
Samsung SE-W164C


1. Introduction

Samsung recently released their new DVD±R DL external burner, the SE-W164C. The maximum speed for +R DL is 8X, while -R DL writing speed is 4X. Apart from this, the drive also offers 8X DVD+RW and 6X DVD-RW media burning speeds. It can also write +R and -R media at the maximum speed of 16X.

- Drive Features

Lets have a look at the drive's features as given by Samsung.

Speed Adjustment Technology
Intelligent detection of media type. Error-free reading of all media types, increases life of drive.
Double O.P.C. Technology
Provides reliable, zero-error recording.
Tilt Actuator Compensation Technology
Improves recording capability on deformed media.
Magic Speed
Enables flexibility of drive operation, low noise mode, high-speed mode.
Buffer Under Run Free Technology
Prevents Buffer Under Run error, enabling high-speed writing of media.
Automatic Ball Balancing System
Vibration control for unbalanced discs.
Eco-Product
Minimal Usage of drive operation, low noise mode, high-speed mode.
Firmware Live Update
Automatically upgrades the latest firmware version through Internet by continued support of newer media.

Specifications

Model Samsung SE-W164C
Data Transfer Media Type Write Read
DVD+R 16X (21.6MB/sec) 12X (16.2MB/sec)
DVD+R DL 8X (10.8MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD+RW 8X (10.8MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-R 16X (21.6MB/sec) 12X (16.2MB/sec)
DVD-R DL 4X (5.4MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-RW 6X (8.1MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD ROM - 16X (21.6MB/sec)
CD ROM - 48X (7.2MB/sec)
CD-R 48X (7.2MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
CD-RW 32X (4.8MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
Interface USB 2.0
Average Seek Time DVD : 130ms
CD : 110ms
Supported Disc DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, CD-Audio, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD-I(FMV), CD-Extra, CD-TEXT
Buffer Memory 2MB

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-W162C". The drive came with firmware revision TS10 which at the time of the review, was the latest available. Despite the fact that the drive was recognized by Nero under a different name, we will continue to refer to the drive in this review as the SE-W164C.

Below are the specs for the drive as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

- Retail Package

The Retail package includes: the SE-W164C external USB 2.0 burner, a USB 2.0 cable, a power supply, a vertical stand, a comprehensive Quick Installation Guide and bundled software including Nero Express 6, InCD4, Nero Showtime, and a wide collection of Nero Utilities. The drive did not contain any blank media but the accompanying software more than makes up for it..

-The Drive

The front panel is different from the ordinary Samsung front panels. It is black with a slim metal silver band running all the way around. On the left of the tray loader, there is the DVD R/RW logo, while the DVD+Rewritable and Compact Disc Rewritable Ultra Speed logos are on the right.

The top side is quite plain, with the SAMSUNG and WriteMaster TM logos.

green indicator light...

On the rear panel you can see the USB connector, power connector and power on/off button. You simply connect the USB cable to your PC, then the external power supply and you are ready to roll. Turn on the power button and your system should automatically recognize the drive.

At a first glance, we would say that the Samsung SE-W164C is an eye catching, stylish external drive.

Throughout this review, we will be comparing the Samsung drive with two others, the internal LG GSA-5160D and the external Philips ED16DVDR.

Having looked over the main features of the drive and its retail box, let's move on to the rest of the review and beginning with the tests.


2. Reading Tests

- CD Format

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of Pressed CDs. Lets take a look and see how the drive performed compared to the other two drives.

The Samsung SE-W164C supports up to 48X max reading speed, but surprisingly enough, the drive managed to reach a maximum of 50X, while the two other drives, offer a max reading speed of 40X and 48X respectively.

Good reading speed was reported with USRW media as well, with the Samsung drive reporting an average speed of 31X and a max speed of 42X.

- AudioCD

In the case of AudioCD, the Philips offers the fastest speed, while the LG and Samsung drives are a little slower with similar performances. All drives reported a perfect score in the Advanced DAE Quality Test from Nero.

- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

The Samsung SE-W164C read successfully the 99 mins Audio disc, but in the case of the 90 mins disc, it took too long to completely read the disc, at a reading speed of 1X.

- DVD Format

Now let's have a look at how the drive performs with DVD media inserted. Again, a set of DVD media was used, both SL and DL.

 

All drives support the same speed for the DVD-ROM format, 16X. Similar performance from all... although the Philips drive produced a speed drop at the end of the test.

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 its outer range. All drives reported similar performance.

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 main difference being 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. Similar performance here to what we saw with PTP media.

As we can see in the two graphs above, the Samsung drive confirmed its maximum reading speed of 12X with DVD-R/+R media. Amongst the three drives, the Samsung is the fastest with these media, whereas when it comes to +RW media, all three drives offer similar performance.

Average ripping performance from all the tested drives, with the LG drive offering a slightly higher ripping transfer rate.

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs

CD Pressed /US-RW / AudioCD

DVD Pressed SL / DVD Pressed DL PTP / DVD Pressed DL OTP / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW


3. CD Error Correction

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: 1116090
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 49972 Avg: -73.5 dB(A) Max: -21.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 3256 Avg: 1.0 Samples Max: 8 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 99.7 %

The SE-W164C drive performed well in this test, with a total test result score of 76.8% out of 100. A very good score. The total error count was reasonable and the error muting sample count could have been lower but most importantly, there were no skipped samples.

- 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)
C2 Accuracy 100.0 %

The ABEX TCD-726 test disc was not a problem for the Samsung SE-W164C.

- 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
Samsung SE-W164C 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5

With this test disc, the drive reported average performance, achieving flawless reading with 3 out of 5 tracks.

- Summary

Overall, Samsung seems to have average to good CD Error correction capabilities.


4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we checked the DVD reading capabilities of the SAMSUNG SE-W164C drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For our tests, we couldn't use the CDVD Benchmark as we do normally, since it was unable to recognize the drive, so we used only 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 varying in dimensions from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The following transfer rate picture comes from Nero CDSpeed.

A bit of a hiccup at the start with regard to the speed but no errors occurred.

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, the only difference being that there are no scratches on it. Instead, there are defective areas, ranging in dimensions from 0.5 to 1.1 mm.

There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

A much smoother reading graph and again, the procedure finished successfully without any errors.

- Dual Layer media

ABEX TDR-841

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

Scratches sized from 0.4 to 3.0mm on both layers, did not pose a problem for the SE-W164C drive.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of a 8.5GBcapacity. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the former 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.

Again a reasonably smooth graph with a good reading speed.

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 was designed to inspect and adjust DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals on DVD sound files.

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

Very good error correction capabilities so far, excellent layer switching in this case and without any deviations in speed.

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.

Excellent reading from the Samsung drive. The artificially embedded dots and fingerprints were not a problem for the drive's error correction mechanism.

- Summary

The SAMSUNG SE-W164C has a very strong error correction mechanism and managed to read all of our discs successfully, without errors being reported.


5. Protected Discs

At this point, we will check the drive's ability to read and backup protected CDs.

- AudioCD protections

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

The protected Audio discs tested, were:

Audio Discs Protection
Celine Dion - New Day Has Come Sony's Key2Audio
Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island Cactus Data Shield 200
Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a

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 to readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

- Recognition of the inserted disc (Yes/No).

- Ripping all wav files(with EAC's Burst Mode) to the hard disk through copy&compare function.

- Listening to the produced wav files to detect any possible click/skips.

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

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the drive recognized the 13th track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Samsung SE-W164C Key2Audio CDS200
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks The drive could not rip the specific disc.

The Samsung SE-W164C did not managed to read/rip Cactus Data Shield 200 AudioCD protection.

- Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a (Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter)

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 weaknesses in the chipsets used in the drives.

Samsung SE-W164C CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors.

- Games Protections

To create the image of the various protected titles in the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, in accordance with 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.

The Samsung drive produced consistent ripping with all protection schemes, and was relatively fast ripping the SafeDisc protected game which is always a problem for many drives.

- Writing Tests

The Samsung SE-W164C supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. To check the drive's EFM correction status we used 2 different game titles with two different SafeDisc 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% v1.9.2.3105. Two different discs were recorded for each title; one with the "Rectify Sub-Channel Data" enabled and one with the function disabled.

- Quake 4 - Safedisc v4.6x

- Fifa 2004 - Safedisc v3.1x

Surprisingly enough, the Samsung SE-W164C succeeded in making a working back-up of Safedisc v3.1x, but it failed to rip Safedisc v4.6x. At this point, keep in mind that there isn't a drive to date, that can bypass Safedisc's v4.6x protection scheme.


6. CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

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

According to Nero CDSpeed, the reported average speed when recording at 48X is 37.32X.

- CD-R Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and burned it on a 700MB disc. The writing performance varies according to the inserted media. Below is a chart depicting all recording times with the various media used.

As the above graph indicates, not all inserted media were burned at their certified speed. MMore media was burned at 40X in 3:07mins, while Traxdata media was burned at 48X in 2:47mins, despite the fact that it was certified for 40X. Also, BenQ took too long to burn, 3:52 mins being too long for 48X burning speed.

- Other features

According to Nero's CDSpeed and its overburning simulation test, the Samsung drive is capable of burning up to 101min on a CD. Note that this test is done with a 99min disc. No such overburning is possible on an 80min CD, while not many drives can write to 99min discs.

- CD-RW Format

The SE-W164C supports 16X (CLV), 24X (Z-CLV) and 32X (Z-CLV) 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.

The drive, when recording at 32X, reported an average writing speed of 28.10X.


7. CD Writing Quality - Plextools

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 Plextor PX-716A was used as the reader.

Verbatim 80min 52X @ 48X

Traxdata 80min 40X @ 48X

RiDisc 80min 52X @ 48X

BenQ 80min 48X @ 48X

MMore 80min 52X @ 40X

- Summary

According to the above scans, produced with Plextools Q-check, the reported C1 levels were low while only a few C2 values were reported as in the case with BenQ and RiDisc media. Overall, good CD writing quality.


8. CD Writing Quality - Clover System

The Clover System 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 speeds. 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. When put together, all these facts provide a thorough analysis of disc quality. The Clover System 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 a 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.

Verbatim 80min 52X @ 48X

Traxdata 80min 40X @ 48X

RiDisc 80min 52X @ 48X

BenQ 80min 52X @ 48X

MMore 80min 52X @ 40X

- Summary

Knowing that this test is rather strict, the reported writing quality is good. Either no or low E22 or E32 error counts were reported with most media. Best results with Verbatim disc which was the only brand to get a PASS, although Traxdata did not miss out by much either.


9. DVD Writing Tests

- Writing Performance

Now we will check the burning performance with DVD media. Below, the available writing speeds can be seen, as reported by Nero Burning Rom.

By using Nero CDSpeed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the 16X writing strategies.

- DVD+R media @ 16X CAV

- DVD-R media @ 16X CAV

- Burning Tests

DVD-R media

The writing times for DVD-R media were average from the Samsung SE-W164C burner, which managed to complete a 16X burn in less than 6 minutes with only two discs. Other than that, while Optodisc media is 16X certified, it was burned as 12X media and Datawrite media which is 8X certified, was burned at 4X.

DVD+R media

This time, the compatibility list at 16X is large for DVD+R and the recording time was at or under 6 minutes for most of the media, with the main exception being Plextor, which took 13:36 mins.

- Comparison with other drives

Comparing the three DVD Burners, the Samsung SE-W164C proved to be faster with all formats.

- DVD Overburning Tests

The Samsung SE-W164C does not support DVD overburning.


10. Supported Media List

Below, you can find the supported media list for firmware version TS10

Overall supported media types 325
DVD+R9 supported media types 11
DVD+R supported media types
123
DVD+RW supported media types
29
DVD-R9 supported media types 1
DVD-R supported media types 138
DVD-RW supported media types 32

DVD+R9 supported media types: 11
CMC MAG D01 2.4x
INFOME D01 2.4x
MKM 001 6x,4x,2.4x
MKM 003 6x,4x,2.4x
PHILIPS CD2 2.4x
PHILIPS PD2 2.4x
PRODISC D01 2.4x
RICOHJPN D00 2.4x
RICOHJPN D01 8x,6x,4x,2.4x
RITEK D01 2.4x
RITEK D03 4x,2.4x

DVD+R supported media types: 123
001 2.4x
AML 001 2.4x
AML 002 4x
AML 003 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
B0A00000 P80 4x
BeAll000 P40 4x,2.4x
BeAll000 P80 2.4x
BeAll000 PG0 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
CMC MAG E01 8x,6x,4x
CMC MAG F01 4x,2.4x
CMC MAG M01 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
CMC MAG R01 2.4x
DAXON AZ0 2.4x
DAXON AZ1 4x,2.4x
DAXON AZ2 8x,6x,4x
DAXON AZ3 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
DAXON CY3 4x
DDT 001 4x,2.4x
DDT 002 8x,6x,4x
DIGVAL R02 8x,6x,4x
Dvsn+160 001 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
EMDP 000 4x
EMDPAZ01 000 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
GSC502 002 4x,2.4x
GSC503 H01 8x,6x,4x
GSC503 H02 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
IMC JPN R01 8x,6x,4x
INFODISC R10 4x,2.4x
INFODISC R20 8x,6x,4x
INFOME R20 8x,6x,4x
INFOME R30 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
IS01 001 4x,2.4x
IS02.... 001 8x,6x,4x
IS03.... 001 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
ISSM 001 8x,6x,4x
ISSM 003 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
LD A02 4x,2.4x
LD M04 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
LD S03 8x,6x,4x
LD S04 8x,6x,4x
LGEP16 001 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
LONGTEN 002 4x,2.4x
MAM M02 8x,6x,4x
MAM M04 4x
MAM4XG01 001 4x,2.4x
MAXELL 001 4x,2.4x
MAXELL 002 8x,6x,4x
MAXELL 003 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
MBIPG101 R03 4x,2.4x
MBIPG101 R04 8x,6x,4x
MBIPG101 R05 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
MCC 001 4x,2.4x
MCC 002 4x,2.4x
MCC 003 8x,6x,4x
MCC 004 8x,6x,4x
MCC 004 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
MEDIA ID 001 4x,2.4x
MICRON 001 8x,6x,4x
MPOMEDIA 040 4x,2.4x
MPOMEDIA 080 8x,6x,4x
MUST 006 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
NAN YA FLX 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
NANYA ALX 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
NANYA CHX 4x
NANYA CLX 8x,6x,4x
NANYA DR 2.4x
NANYA DR 4x,2.4x
NANYA RJB 2.4x
NSD R40 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
OPTODISC F16 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
OPTODISC OP1 2.4x
OPTODISC OP2 2.4x
OPTODISC OR4 4x,2.4x
OPTODISC OR8 8x,6x,4x
OPTODISC R16 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
PHILIPS C08 8x,6x,4x
PHILIPS C16 8x,6x,4x
PITSEXP 002 4x,2.4x
POS R01 8x,6x,4x
POS R05 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
PRODISC R01 2.4x
PRODISC R02 4x,2.4x
PRODISC R03 8x,6x,4x
PRODISC R04 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
PRODISC R05 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
Philips 081 8x,6x,4x
Plasmon1 C01 8x,6x,4x
Plasmon2 C01 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
R0CO0JP0 R00 2.4x
RICOHJPN R00 2.4x
RICOHJPN R01 4x,2.4x
RICOHJPN R02 8x,6x,4x
RICOHJPN R03 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
RITEK F16 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
RITEK M02 4x,2.4x
RITEK P16 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
RITEK R01 2.4x
RITEK R02 4x,2.4x
RITEK R03 8x,6x,4x
RITEK R04 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
RITEK R05 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
SKC P16 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
SKC P80 4x
SONY D01 4x,2.4x
SONY D11 8x,6x,4x
SONY D21 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
TDK 001 4x,2.4x
TDK 002 8x,6x,4x
TDK 003 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
ULTRAN 202 8x,6x,4x
ULTRAN 212 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
UME 002 4x
VDSPMSAB 001 4x,2.4x
VDSPMSAB 001 4x,2.4x
VDSPMSAB 002 4x
VDSPMSAB 004 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
WFKA11 111 4x,2.4x
WFKA11 211 8x,6x,4x
WFKA11 321 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
YUDEN000 T01 4x,2.4x
YUDEN000 T02 8x,6x,4x
YUDEN000 T03 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
Yi Jhan 004 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x

DVD+RW supported media types: 29
CMC MAG W03 16x
DAXON D42 4x,2.4x
INFODISC A01 2.4x
INFODISC A10 4x,2.4x
MBIPG101 W03 2.4x
MBIPG101 W04 4x,2.4x
MCC A01 2.4x
MKM A02 4x,2.4x
MKM A03 4x
MKM A03 4x,2.4x
NANYA DRW 4x,2.4x
NANYASC DRW 2.4x
OPTODISC OP1 2.4x
OPTODISC OP4 4x,2.4x
PHILIPS 010 2.4x
PHILIPS 041 4x,2.4x
PHILIPS RW8 4x
PRODISC W01 2.4x
PRODISC W02 4x,2.4x
R0CO00P0 001 2.4x
RICOHJPN W01 2.4x
RICOHJPN W11 4x,2.4x
RICOHJPN W21 16x
RITEK 001 2.4x
RITEK 004 4x,2.4x
RITEK 008 4x,2.4x
SENTINEL W01 2.4x
SENTINEL W02 4x,2.4x
SONY S11 4x,2.4x

DVD-R9 supported media types: 1
MKM 01RD30 4x,2x

DVD-R supported media types: 138
4M SYS 202C1 4x,2x
AML 4x,2x
AN30 4x,2x
AN31 4x,2x
AN32 4x,2x
BeAll G00001 2x
BeAll G16001 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
BeAll G40001 4x,2x
BeAll G80001 8x,6x,4x
CMC MAG. 2x
CMC MAG. AE1 4x
CMC MAG. AF1 4x,2x
CMC MAG. AM1 12x,8x,6x,4x
CMC MAG. AM3 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
CMC00RG300 2x
DAXON004 4x,2x
DAXON008 8x,6x,4x
DAXON008S 8x,6x,4x
DAXON016 12x,8x,6x,4x
DAXON016S 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
DDTRG001 4x,2x
DKMZ01 8x,6x,4x
Dvsn 4x,2x
Dvsn A001 4x,2x
Dvsn-160 12x,8x,6x,4x
Dvsn-80 8x,6x,4x
EDMA01 12x,8x,6x,4x
ENGAGE 01 4x,2x
FORNEX101 4x,2x
FUJIFILM02 4x,2x
FUJIFILM03 8x,6x,4x
FUJIFILM04 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
GSC001 4x,2x
GSC002 4x,2x
GSC003 4x
GSC004 8x,6x,4x
GSC005 12x,8x,6x,4x
IMC JPN R01 8x,6x,4x
INFOD K-R01 2x
INFODISC-R01 4x,2x
INFODISC-R01 4x,2x
INFODISC-R20 8x,6x,4x
INFOMEDIAR20 4x
INFOSMART01 4x,2x
INFOSMART02/ 8x,6x,4x
INFOSMART03. 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
ISSM R02 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
ISSM R01 8x,6x,4x
KIC01RG20 4x,2x
LEADDATA 2x
LEADDATA M04 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
LEADDATA S03 8x,6x,4x
LEADDATA S04 8x,6x,4x
LEADDATA01 4x,2x
LGE 4x,2x
LGE04 4x,2x
LGE08 8x,6x,4x
LGE16 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
LONGTEN 001 4x,2x
LONGTEN 003 8x,6x,4x
MAM4XG02 4x,2x
MAM8XG01 4x,2x
MBI 2x
MBI 01RG20 4x,2x
MBI 01RG40 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
MBI 03RG30 4x
MBI 03RG40 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
MCC 01RG20 4x,2x
MCC 02RG20 8x,6x,4x
MCC 03RG20 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
MEI 00V001 2x
MUST 001 4x,2x
MUST 003 4x
MUST 007 12x,8x,6x,4x
MXL RG01 2x
MXL RG02 4x,2x
MXL RG03 8x,6x,4x
MXL RG04 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
NAN YA A01 4x
NAN YA F02 12x,8x,6x,4x
NANYA P1861 2x
NANYA-JC001 2x
NSDR40 12x,8x,6x,4x
NSDR40 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
OCTOPLUS 4x,2x
ONIDTECH 4x,2x
OPTODISCK001 4x,2x
OPTODISCR004 4x,2x
OPTODISCR008 8x,6x,4x
OPTODISCR016 12x,8x,6x,4x
POSG04 4x,2x
POSG06 8x,6x,4x
POSG08 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
PRINCO 4x,2x
PRINCO8X02 4x
PRODISCG01 2x
PRODISCG02 2x
PVCR001002 4x,2x
Plasmon1A 8x,6x,4x
ProdiscF01 8x,6x,4x
ProdiscF02 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
ProdiscS03 4x,2x
ProdiscS04 8x,6x,4x
ProdiscS05 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
RITEKF1 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
RITEKG03 2x
RITEKG04 4x,2x
RITEKG05 8x,6x,4x
RITEKG06 8x,6x,4x
RITEKM02 4x,2x
RITEKM16 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
SKC Co.,Ltd. 4x,2x
SKC M801 4x
SKC MF01 12x,8x,6x,4x
SONY 2x
SONY04D1 4x,2x
SONY08D1 8x,6x,4x
SONY16D1 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
TAIYOYUDEN 2x
TAROKO-X2 2x
TDKG02000000 2x
TTG01 4x,2x
TTG02 8x,6x,4x
TTH01 8x,6x,4x
TTH02 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
TY0010 0 0 2x
TYG01 4x,2x
TYG02 8x,6x,4x
TYG03 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
UME01 4x
UME02 16x,12x,8x,6x,4x
UTJR001001 4x,2x
VDSPMSAB 01 4x,2x
VDSPMSAB 02 8x,6x,4x
WFI A40001 4x,2x
WFI A80001 8x,6x,4x
Yi Jhan 001 4x,2x
Yi Jhan 003 4x

DVD-RW supported media types: 32
CMCW02 2x
CMCW03 4x,2x
CMCW04 6x,4x
DAXON_RW2X01 2x
INFOMEDIA 2x
INFOMEDIAA20 4x,2x
JVC/VictorT7 1x
JVC0VictorD7 4x,2x
JVC1Victord7 6x,4x
JVC_VictorW7 2x
M0C 01000000 2x
MBI01RWG 20 4x,2x
MCC 01RW11n9 2x
MCC 01RW4X 4x,2x
MKM 01RW6X01 6x,4x
OPTODISCK001 1x
OPTODISCW002 2x
OPTODISCW004 4x,2x
P0I0CO0W2001 2x
PRINCO 1x
PRINCORW0004 4x,2x
PRINCORW2X01 2x
Prodisc DW04 2x
Prodisc DW06 4x,2x
RITEKW01 2x
RITEKW04 4x,2x
RITEKW06 6x,4x
SONY000000U9 2x
TDK501saku]3 1x
TDK502sakuM3 2x
TDK601saku 4x,2x
TDK701saku 6x,4x

11. DVD Writing Quality - Page 1

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication only.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Verbatim 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Philips 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- ProdiscR05 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- ProdiscR04 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Optodisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- RiDisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Ricoh 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Plextor 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- BenQ 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Summary

The error levels as they were reported by Plextools were in most cases quite low. However, CDSpeed produced messy graphs although one of the worst graphs with Plextools, that of Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X produced oddly enough, the smoothest CDSpeed graph.


12. DVD Writing Quality - Page 2

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication only.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- CMC 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- That's 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Traxdata 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Optodisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- BenQ 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 8X

 

- Summary

Once again, Plextools reported low error rates but CDSpeed graphs are not smooth. Best overall was That's 8X DVD+R media @ 8X, which didn't even produce POE errors and had the best of the CDSpeed graphs.


13. DVD Writing Quality - Page 3

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication only.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Mitsubishi Chemicals 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- BenQ 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Opto 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- Philips 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- ProdiscS05 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- ProdiscF02 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Summary

The scene with DVD-R media at 16X is not very different although not as good as with the previous formats. The reported error levels from Plextools are good in most cases but our LiteOn drive (CDSpeed) produced some not so smooth graphs.


14. DVD Writing Quality - Page 4

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication only.

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

- ProdiscS04 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- ProdiscF01 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datawrite 8X DVD-R @ 4X

- Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- RiDisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Bulkpaq 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Summary

Most of the media reported low quality results for 8X burning speed, and as usual, the Nero CDSpeed graphs were not the smoothest.


15. DVD Writing Quality - Page 5

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication only.

DVD+RW and DVD-RW Media

- Traxdata 6X DVD-RW @ 6X

 

- MKM 6X DVD-RW @ 6X

 

- MKM 8X DVD+RW @ 8X

- Summary

All media were burned at their designated speeds, but quality remains low. The exception here is MKM +RW media, which fared quite well, with a relatively good CDSpeed Scan. In contrast, MKM -RW and Traxdata -RW media reported very high PIE counts and levels.


16. DVD Writing Quality - Almedio

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:

- Fine Mode: checks a series of eight consecutive ECC blocks,

- Rough Mode: checks eight consecutive ECC blocks every 100h ECC blocks

- Quick Mode: checks three specified areas

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. The PI counts the number of rows corrected by the PI error correction in each group of eight consecutive ECC blocks. The UncPO counts the number of ECC blocks in which more than one bytes are uncorrectable in eight consecutive ECC blocks. For our quality scans, we set for 1X CLV and Fine Mode which is the slowest and produces the safest results.

- BenQ 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Verbatim 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- ProdiscS05 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Summary

The Almedio AEC-1000 error checker also produced messy graphs in most cases, the exception being Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X.


17. DVDR DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

We burned a DVD+R DL and a DVD-R DL disc with data content. For this task we used "Create Data Disc" from Nero CDSpeed in order to fully burn the discs.

As you may have noticed from the drive's firmware, the only DVD+R DL disc that it is supported for 8X writing is made by Ricoh, the RICOHJPN D01. Although all drives until now, also supported MKM 003 for 8X burning, the SE-W164C does not.

- Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R DL 8X @ 6X

The specific DL disc from Mitsubishi Chemicals is certified for 8X burning, one of the few if not the only one. Unfortunately, the Samsung SE-W164C burned the disc at 6X. According to the graph, the writing strategy is Z-CLV. The reported time taken, 22:07min, is lengthy and is due to the fact that writing is carried out at 6X and 4X speeds. Other than that, good writing strategy, but the drive is supposed to write at 8X with this DVD+R DL media.

- Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD-R DL 4X @ 4X

This disc, according to the manufacturer, is certified for 4X recording, the speed that the Samsung SE-W164C drive burned it at. The writing strategy here is CLV.

- Traxdata DVD-R DL 8X @ 2.4X

This disc, according to the manufacturer, is certified for 8X recording. Despite the fact that the SE-W164C is capable of burning the DVD-R DL disc at 4X, it burned it at 2.45X. Further improvement is required.


18. DVDR DL - Page 2

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication only.

Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R DL 8X @ 6X

- Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD-R DL 4X @ 4X

- Traxdata DVD-R DL 8X @ 2.45X

 

The error levels are within acceptable levels for the Mitsubishi Chemicals media while with Traxdata, a little on the high side. In all cases, the CDSpeed graphs don't indicate smooth, consistent writing quality.


19. Booktype Setting

The BookType setting is a "must" for all latest model burners released on the market today.

The drive, in the bundled version with Nero 6, has by default the BookType set to Automatic and can be changed to DVD-ROM. So we inserted DVD+R, DVD+R DL and DVD+RW media and changed the Booktype for each. In the case of DVD+RW media, we witnessed that the booktype change was not recognised on all drives. We also noticed that the bitsetting was only possible on brand new DVD+RW discs. If the disc had been previously used, the bitsetting could not be set, despite Nero reporting that the disc's booktype setting had indeed been changed to DVD-ROM.


20. Conclusion

The Samsung SE-W164C is an impressive external DVD burner. The drive as a CD reader, is fast with low seek times and with good CD error correction. DVD reading capabilities are also good, with good error correction. 12X for DVD±R is good but we would like the same for the DVD±RW format, instead of the current 8X.

Game protection schemes are not much of a problem for the drive, which managed to create working backups up to SafeDisk version 3.1x. But when it came to AudioCD protection, the drive was not able to bypass our CDS200 protected disc.

According to the DAE tests, the Samsung SE-W164C was quite fast and succeeded in posting a perfect quality score of 100 in Nero's CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The 99min test audio disc was read successfully while with the 90min disc, the drive had to slow down a lot.

The Samsung drive is a good CD burner at 48X, which can be considered as the maximum writing speed for any burner. At this speed, the error levels were a little high in some cases. However, even the strict Clover System's test reported acceptable quality with low or no E22 and E32 errors for most media.

According to our DVD writing tests, the drive reported fast writing times, below 6 minutes when recording at 16X. Especially in the case of DVD+R, the fastest time was 5:33mins! Moreover, the drive has a good compatibility list for DVD+R and DVD-R media, but for DVD+R DL, only one brand can be burned at 8X, from Ricoh. However, we noticed in some cases, certified 16X media was burned at 12X or at 16X but with rather increased times. Moving on to DVD writing quality, this needs improvement. Although Plextools in most cases reported acceptable or even low error levels, CDSpeed and Almedio had a different opinion. We believe that a future firmware release will fix this as it should also do with DL and RW media.

The BookType by default is set to Automatic but can be changed to DVD-ROM using Nero 6 which is part of the included bundle package. There were some problems however, concerning DVD+RW media compatibility, where the booktype setting change was not recognised by all drives, as well as with the media itself, which could be set to DVD-ROM only if the DVD+RW disc was brand new.

We also tried to measure the quality on burned DVD media with DVDinfoPro, CDSpeed or KProbe but none of them seemed to work with the specific drive.

The price according to Samsung is €89.90, which is quite reasonable.

- The Good

- Stylish design
- Good DVD/CD error correction capabilities
- Can burn DVD+RW media at 8X and DVD-RW media at 6X
- Can completely read/rip 99min Audio CD's
- Can overburn CD media up to 99mins
- Can create working backups of Safedisc v3.1x
- Designed for both horizontal and vertical mount using vertical stand
- 8X DVD+R DL and 4X DVD-R DL support
- CD writing quality

- The Bad

- Performance with 90min test disc
- Does not support DVD overburning
- DVD writing quality
- Cannot measure quality on CD/DVD media

- Like To be fixed

- More DVD+R DL discs for 8X

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
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