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

Monday, February 20, 2006
Samsung SH-W163A

1. Introduction

Samsung is a major manufacturer of storage devices in the optical storage industry. With SATA becoming increasingly popular, in the case of DVD burners however, there are not many currently available on the market. But now and then, a S-ATA device does get released to accommodate the ever increasing number of SATA users, providing among other things, faster transfer rates. Samsung's SH-W163A is such a device and supports all the basic features.

So let's start by taking a look at the drive's main features.

- Drive Features

The drive's features as supplied 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.
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.


Model Samsung SH-W163A
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)
US-RW 32X (4.8MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
HS-RW 10X (1.5MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
CD-RW 4X (0.6MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
Interface S-ATA
Burst Transfer Rate S-ATA 1.5Gbps
Average Seek Time DVD : 130ms
CD : 110ms
Supported Disc DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, CD-Audio, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD-I(FMV), CD-Extra, CD-TEXT

148.2x 42x 184
Weight (Kg) 0.74
Buffer Memory 2MB

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

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

- VSO Inspector

- Retail Package

The Retail package includes:

  • the SH-W163A burner
  • an S-ATA cable
  • a S-ATA power connector cable
  • mounting screws
  • a comprehensive Quick Installation Guide
  • bundled software which includes Nero Express 6, InCD4, Nero Showtime, and a wide collection of Nero Utilities

-The Drive

Typical design, very much like all the latest releases from Samsung.

On the rear panel one can clearly discern the S-ATA inputs for the power and connection cables.

We removed the cover to take a closer look inside the drive. Removing the cover renders the warranty void, so we strongly advise against it. Instead, click on the image below for a larger, more detailed view of the drive.

The drive uses the Mediatek chipset, which is widely used in LiteOn drives.

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-W163A". The drive came with firmware revision TS00 which at the time of the review was the latest available firmware.

Throughout this review, we will be comparing the Samsung device with two other latest release drives, the LiteOn 165P6S and BenQ DW-1655.

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