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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD External

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Memorex Dē External

1. Introduction - Retail Package

Memorex D² External Burner- Page 1

It was only very recently that Memorex had released the D² (or F16) internal burner. Now, the same drive becomes external. The external version of the D² offers maximum compatibility, with Firewire IEEE 1394a and USB2.0 support. The specifications for this device are the same as those of the internal model. However, different writing and reading behavior is usually observed between internal and external models. Let us see how this external burner performed.

The drive supports 16X writing for DVD+R, and 8X for DVD-R. Of course, Double Layer writing is supported, at 2.4X. It can also write CD media at 48X and ReWrite at 24X. Buffer underrun protection is introduced for safe burning.

- Specifications

IEEE 1394a and USB2.0
Write Speeds:

DVD+R:16X / -R: 8X, DVD+R9:2.4X DVD+RW: 4X, DVD-RW: 4X

CD-R: 48X, CD-RW: 24X
Read Speeds:

DVD+R/-R/+RW/-RW: 8X

DVD-ROM: 16X, CD-R/RW: 48X
Random Access:
DVD: 160msec, CD: 160msec
Buffer Size:
Supported Disc Formats:
DVD+R9, DVD-RW, CD-Extra, CD-I, CD-ROM, Audio CD, CDR,CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD Test, Photo CD,
Hybrid CD
Supported Writing Types:

DVD±RW: Disc-at-once, Incremental recording, Multi-border recording, Restricted overwriting

CD-R/RW: Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn
Software Details: Nero Express 6, Nero InCD, Nero Vision Express 2, Nero BackITup, Nero Showtime, Nero Recode 2, Nero Cover-Designer, Nero Tool Kit, PhotoShow Deluxe

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

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. However, since this is a LiteOn based drive, you can set the drive to region free using several utilities such as Kprobe.

Below is some additional information from KProbe regarding LiteON based drives:

- European Retail package

The retail box includes the external drive, one USB 2.0 cable, one firewire IEEE-1394a cable, the external power supply unit and one CD with Nero Express Software Suite offering: Nero Express 6, NeroVision Express, InCD, Nero BackItUp, Nero ShowTime, Nero Cover Designer, Nero Recode, Nero Media Player, PhotoShow Deluxe. Also included are a DVD+R 16X certified blank media, a quick installation guide and software manual.

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

The dark colored front panel of the drive remains the same as the internal model, with the Memorex logo and the DVD+R Double Layer and 16X speed logos. The activity led is again blue.

The rear panel has the USB2.0, IEEE 1394a and Audio Out connections, along with the power connector and the power switch.

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

click to enlarge!

The following picture shows the laser lens assembly of the Memorex D² External recorder. By clicking on the picture, you can see a higher resolution image.

click to enlarge!

- Installation

The drive was installed using the firewire connection and under WindowsXP was recognized as "Memorex DVD+/-DLRWL1 F16 ". Below is a picture from Nero Burning Rom, showing supported options such as overburn and buffer underrun protection support.

During this review, we will be comparing the drive with the LiteON SOHW-1633s and LG GSA-4160B.
(Editors Note: While many may have expected that we would have included the Memorex D² internal drive in our comparison, as it turned out the differences between internal and external devices was so insignificant that it would have proved fruitless.)

- 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 (Reader: LiteOn LDW-811S firmware vHS0Q, LiteOn SOHD-167T firmware 9S13, LiteOn XJ-HD165H firmware CH11, and LiteOn LTD-163 firmware GH5S, Reading speed 8X CAV)
  6. PlexTools v2.17 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  7. DVDInfoPro v3.16
  8. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.25
  9. DVD Decrypter
  10. CopyToDVD

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