DW1600A DL Recorder -
its first 16X recordable drive, the DW1600A. At this recording
speed, a single
layer 4.75GB disc can now be recorded in a little less than six minutes. The
drive supports only DVD+R/+RW recording, but according to BenQ, a firmware
upgrade will be available in August 2004 to allow it to support DVD-R/-RW recording.
In addition, the drive features DVD+R Double Layer recording at a speed
of 2.4X, nearly doubling the capacity of recordable discs.
Although drive performance is an important point for all end users, writing
quality should be taken under consideration as well, especially at 16X recording
16X DVD recording capable devices will hit the market soon. So, let's get down
- Drive Features
- Over-Speed burning technology (will be explained later
on this review).
- Seamless Link: buffer under run protection as all previous
BenQ DVD Recorders.
- High-Speed Signal Algorithm: As writing speed is increased,
signal loss becomes the key cause of a significant decrease in writing quality.
BenQ’s High-Speed Signal Algorithm manages the high EFM (Eight-to-Fourteen
Modulation) frequency signal loss that often takes place at high-speed writing
- ensuring superb writing 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.
- Tilt Control: BenQ's Tilt Control always keeps the writing
angle at 90 degrees on the disc surface to ensure uniform writing.
- Sliding Cone Mechanism: With Sliding Cone design, the
disc position on the turntable is improved considerably. This greatly helps
to reduce data access time and also to deliver superior reading and writing
E-IDE/ATAPI (Ultra DMA Mode
DVD+R: 16X, DVD+RW: 4X,
DVD+R DL: 2.4X
CD-R: 40X, CD-RW: 24X
DVD-ROM: 16X, CD-R/RW: 40X
DVD: 120msec, CD: 120msec
DVD: DVD+R DL 8.5GB,
DVD+R 4.7GB, DVD+RW 4.7GB, DVD-R 4.7GB (closed session), DVD-RW 4.7GB
(closed session), DVD-Video, DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-18
CD-R/RW: CD-DA, CD-ROM
XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2), CD-R, CD-RW, Bootable CD, Photo CD (single & multi-session),
Video CD, Super Video CD, CD-Extra, Mixed-mode CD, CD-Text, CD-Graphics
Supported Writing Types:
DVD+RW: DVD Data and
Multisession, Packet Writing (fixed & variable packet), CD Digital
Audio, Direct-Over-Write on CD-RW, Test Write
The drive does not support Mount
Rainier and it 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.
VSO Inspector and DVDInfoPro:
- Tested Kit / Software Bundle
The package that arrived at our labs, included the BenQ DW16700A DL drive
along with Sonic RecordNow Burning Software, InterVideo WinCinema (WinDVD +
QVideo 2.0 (easy DV, TV, AV to DVD). The BenQ Book Type Management v8.2 program
was also included to ensure media backward compatibility with older DVD players
(will be explained later on this review).
Now let's take a look at the drive itself.
We received the DW1600A DL drive with black-colored tray. BenQ claims that
dark-colored trays minimize jitters and enhance readability and burning quality.
The activity led lights up green when a disc is present, blinks
green when reading / accessing a disc and red when burning. On the front, the
distinguish the DVD+R DL logo.
On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the
IDE connector and the power input. Our drive was manufactured during May 2004
in Malaysia with SN #3.
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 heart of the drive is the Philip's Nexperia PNX7860 chipset.
The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP was recognized
as "BENQ DVD DL DW1600". The drive arrived with
firmware revision B5A9 and since a newer firmware version
had been released, we flashed the drive with no problem to firmware revision B5B9,
and later to revision
B5C9. Newer firmware updates are expected to support more
media for 12X and 16X writing speeds.
Below is a screenshot of Nero Burning Rom, showing the drive's specs.
In this review, we will be comparing the drive with the Optorite DD0405 and
the LiteOn SOHW-832S.
- Testing software
In order to perform our tests we used:
- Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.01
- CDVD Benchmark v1.21
- ExactAudioCopy v0.9
- Nero Info Tool v2.21
v2.1.0 (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)
- PlexTools v2.14 (Reader:
Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.01, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
- DVDInfoPro v2.54
- Nero Burning Rom v22.214.171.124
- DVD Decrypter 126.96.36.199
- CopyToDVD 188.8.131.52