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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Friday, October 15, 2004
LG GSA-4160B

1. Introduction - Retail Package

LG GSA-4160B DL Recorder - Page 1

LG Electronics, formerly known as GoldStar, was established in 1958 as the pioneer in the Korean consumer electronics market. Since then, a lot has changed in LG Electronics. In November 2000, Hitachi and LG formed a new joint venture to manufacture optical storage drives under the name "HL-DS". These recorders are well tuned and with unique features.

Their latest internal drives are the GSA-4120B 12X burner and the GSA-4160B burner. The GSA-4120B model has already been tested by CDRInfo and was found to have excellent writing quality performance. Let us see in this review if the new 4160B model continuous to write media as well as its predecessor did, but now at the higher 16X speed.

- Features

The LG GSA-4160B can burn a full Single Layer disc in less than 6 mins. It can write +R media at 16X, -R media at 8X and can re-write at 4X. Of course, Double Layer media is also supported, at 2.4X writing speed.

The main difference between this drive and other competitors drives is that it can read and write DVD-RAM media, making it compatible with all the DVD media formats.

Below are the full specs for the drive:

Drive
LG GSA-4160B
Media
DVD
CD
Transfer Rate Read
16X DVD-ROM
40X CD-ROM
16X DVD±R
8X DVD±RW
40X CD-RW
2X, 3X (CLV), 5X (Z-CLV) DVD-RAM
8X DVD+R9
Transfer Rate Write
16X DVD+R Z-CLV
4X, 8X 16X (CLV), 24X, 32X, 40X (Z-CLV ) CD-R
8X DVD-R Z-CLV
4X DVD±RW CLV
4X, 8X, 10X, 16X (CLV), 24X (Z-CLV) CD-RW
5X DVD-RAM Z-CLV
2.4X DVD+R9 CLV
Access Time
145ms (DVD-ROM) - 165ms (DVD-RAM)
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
Audio
digital-out and line-out at the back (MPC compatible)
Media/Modes supported
DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R9, DVD-Video, DVD-RAM, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Audio, CD Extra, CD Text, CD-IReady, CD-Bridge, Photo-CD, VideoCD, Hybrid CD
Writing methods
DAO(disc at once), SAO(session at once), TAO(track at once) with zero gap, variable or fixed packet, multisession, Incremental Recording, Restricted Overwrite (DVD-RW only), Random Write (DVD-RAM only)
Weight
0.9kgr
Dimensions
146(W) 184.7(D) 41.3(H) mm (without bezel)

The drive 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:

- The drive / Retail Package

We received the LG GSA-4120B retail package, as well as the bulk version of the drive. The retail package includes the internal SuperMulti GSA-4160B writer, and recording, DVD authoring and DVD playback software (Nero, InCD, PowerProducer Gold and PowerDVD player). You will also find an owner's manual and manual for Nero recording software, as well as an audio cable, mounting screws and atapi cable.

 

 

The front panel is not particularly impressive, since LG used the same typical panel available on most LG recorders. You can see the "Super Multi", "DVD+RW", "US-RW" and "DVD Multi Recorder" logos. However, there is no DVD+R DL format logo.

On the rear panel you will find the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE selection pins, the IDE connector and the power input.

Opening the device's case will void the warranty, so we advise against it. Instead, use the photos in this review for a closer look under the hood. Clicking on the image below will reveal a high resolution image.

click to enlarge!

The main chipset is the same chipset that the GSA-4120B model uses, coming from TDK and and with part number R8J32005FP.

The following picture shows the laser lens assembly of the LG GSA-4160B. By clicking on the picture, you can see a higher resolution image.

click to enlarge!

This laser len is identical to that of the LG GSA-4120B.

- Installation

The device was connected in our test PC and was identified as "HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4160B" under WinXP.

In this review, we will be comparing the drive with the LiteON SOHW-1633S, NEC ND-3500A and Pioneer DVR-108 since all drives have similar specifications.

We received the drive with firmware version A301. We then flashed the firmware to the latest release, version A302. All writing tests are made with firmware version A302, while some reading test are made with firmware version A301, since reading performance of the drive is the same for both versions.

Improvement points of this new firmware is the addition of Optodisc DVD+R 8X (OPTODISCOR8), InfoDisc DVD+R 8X (INFODISCR20), Must DVD-R 8X (MUST003), DVD+R 16X codes of Sony, TDK and Philips, and some minor improvement of +RW and -RW rewriting ability.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.30
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. KProbe v2.4.2
  6. PlexTools v2.17
  7. DVDInfoPro v3.16
  8. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.25
  9. DVD Decrypter 3.5.1.0
  10. CopyToDVD 3.0.29.48

To discuss this drive further or to discuss it with other users, go to our forum.




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