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

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
BenQ DW1625

1. Introduction

One of the latest releases from BenQ labs is the BenQ DW1625, a 16X/8X DVD burner. It is similar to the 1620 model but does not support 16X/16X as the 1620 does. The main feature of this drive is the LightScribe technology. In a previous review from CDRInfo, we were introduced to LightScribe and how it works as well as a comparison between 3 Lightscribe drives, one of them being the BenQ DW1625. In this review however, we will be taking a brief look at how the 1625 performs as a DVD burner.

The DW1625 can burn up to 16X and 4X speeds with DVD+R and +RW media, and up to 8X and 4X speeds with DVD-R and-RW media. It can also produce a full DL disc in almost 24mins at 2.4X burning speed.

- Drive Features

BenQ's exclusive Write Right Technology utilizes two powerful features: Tilt Control and WOPC II (Walking Optimal Power Control II). By using these features, the DW1625 is able to maintain perfect control over both the laser beam angle and the power rate being projected onto the disc, ensuring every bit of your data is written at the best possible quality.

WOPC + BLER OPC: Unlike other drives which preset the writing power before the actual writing of data, the WOPC II (Walking Optimal Power Control) algorithm evaluates the writing quality constantly and adjusts the writing power accordingly, in order to ensure the best possible writing quality over the entire disc. The BLER OPC (Block Error Rate Optimal Power Control) further enhances the writing quality near the end of the disc, where the risk of warping is higher.

WOPC strategy...

Tilt Control: BenQ's Tilt Control always keeps the writing angle at 90 degrees to the disc's surface to ensure uniform writing.

- Specifications

Performance [DVD+R DL]
Data Transfer Rate /double layer write: 26.59 Mbit/sec (2.4X)

Data Transfer Rate /write: 177.28 Mbit/sec (16X)
Data Transfer Rate /rewrite: 44.32 Mbit/sec (4X)
*DVD+R LightScribe available @ 1x with LightScribe discs.

Data Transfer Rate /rewrite: 88.64 Mbit/sec (8X)
Data Transfer Rate /rewrite: 44.32 Mbit/sec (4X)

Data Transfer Rate /read: 177.28 Mbit/sec (16X, Max.)
Access time: 120 ms

Data Transfer Rate /write: 6000 KByte/sec (40X)
Data Transfer Rate /rewrite: 3600 KByte/sec (24X)
Data Transfer Rate /read: 6000 KByte/sec (40X, Max.)
*CDR LightScribe available @ 1x with LightScribe discs.
Access time: 120 ms

Interface E-IDE/ATAPI
Supported IDE Mode PIO mode 0/1/2/3/4
DMA mode 0/1/2
UDMA mode 0/1/2
Buffer Size 2MB
Firmware Upgrade Flash memory upgradable
Writing Mode [DVD]
DVD Data and Video

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

Disc Size [DVD] 120 mm disc
[CD] 80 and 120 mm discs
Disc Formats [DVD]
DVD+R DL 8.5GB, DVD Video, DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-18, DVD+RW 4.7GB, DVD+R 4.7GB, LightScribe DVD+R, DVD-RW 4.7GB (Closed Session), DVD-R 4.7GB

CD-DA, CD-ROM XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2), CD-R, LightScribe CD-R, CD-RW, Bootable CD, Photo CD (Single & Multi-session), Video CD, Super Video CD, CD-Extra, Mixed-mode CD, CD-Text

Power Requirement +5V ± 5%, ripple: 100mVpp
+12V ± 10%, ripple: 200mVpp
Environment Conditions Operating temperature: 5oC~50oC at humidity of 8-80% RH
Non-operating temperature: -40oC ~60oC at humidity 5%~95% RH
Reliability Characteristics MTBF: 125,000 POH (20%)
Non-recoverable read error < 1 block in 1012 bits (CD and DVD)
Physical Characteristics Dimensions: 146 X 42 X 198 mm (W x H x D)
Weight: 1.0 Kg
OS Compatibility Windows XP / 2000 / ME / 98SE
*QVideo and QSuite are supported by Windows XP and 2000 only.
Minimum System Requirement • IBM PC compatible
• Pentium III 550MHz CPU
• 128MB RAM
• 100MB free HDD space for CD/DVD recording related software installation
• 1GB free HDD space for CD image recording (10GB for DVD authoring) is recommended.

The drive uses the well known RPC II region control, allowing the user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

- Retail Package

The retail package that arrived in our labs, included the DW1625 model, a software disc with Nero 6 Suite, Nero LightScribe v., InCD v., QVideo 2 v., QSuite v.1.0 and the user's manuals. We also received a small presentation of LightScribe technology. BenQ also included 2 blank media in the retail package, one CD LightScribe media and one DVD LightScribe media. It should be noted that this was the first LightScribe product to include LightScribe DVD media in the retail package, since both HP and Philips products only had CD LightScribe media. As you can see, this is a retail package that will satisfy most users.

The drive is available in two colors, beige and black. We received the beige colored drive. The front panel is almost the same as the DW1620 model, expect for the LightScribe logo.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

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:

The DW1625 model uses the Philip's Nexperia PNX7860E chipset.

- Installation

The drive arrived with firmware revision BBAA and since BenQ sent us their newest firmware release, we flashed the drive without problems to firmware revision BBEA.

The drive was installed with no problems under WindowsXP and it was recognized as "BENQ DVD DL DW1625".

For comparison reasons, we will be reviewing the DW 1625 against two other similar in specs drives, the Waitec Action 16 and the LG 4160B.

- 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 v2.23
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.13
  8. DVD Decrypter
  9. CopyToDVD 3.0.54
  10. Alcohol 120% 1.9.5 build 2802

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