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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 12x

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
LiteOn SOHW-1213S

1. Introduction/Features

LiteON SOHW-1213S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 1

LiteOn enters the 12X writing speed with a new DUAL DVD burner with the model name "SOHW-1213S". The drive uses the third generation MediaTek chipset combined with Sanyo's OPU and promises to offer fast recording/reading speeds. Through our tests we aim to investigate how the drive performs compared with another 12X recorder from Plextor...

- Features

The drive features 12X DVD+R, 8X DVD-R, 4X DVD±RW, 48X CD-R and 24X CD-RW maximum burning speeds. Reading speeds are at 12X for DVD±R/RW/ROM and 48X for CD-R/RW. Also offers the below features:

  • SMART-BURN avoiding Buffer UnderRun Error, Automatically adjusting writing strategy & running OPC to provide the best burning quality
  • SMART-X function adjusts CD-DA / VCD / DVD data extraction to the fastest allowable speed according to both data request rate from host and disk quality
  • VAS® system reduce vibration and noise during recording and reading

The model name SOHW-1213S, is coded according to the SONY Alliance Models ODD Naming Rule:

  • S: SONY
  • O: Optical
  • H: Half-Height Optical Loader
  • W: DVDRW ODD Type
  • 12: Main DVD writing speed
  • 1:
  • 3: Third generation Mediatek Chipset
  • S: Sanyo Pickup Supplier

- Specifications

ATAPI/E-IDE supported PIO mode 4, DMA mode 2 and Ultra DMA mode 2
Writing Speed:


Read Speed:


Access Time:

DVD: 160msec
CD: 160 msec

Buffer Size:
Supported Disc Formats:
DVD: DVD single / dual layer ( PTP / OTP ), DVD-R ( 3.9 GB / 4.7 GB ), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW and DVD+RW
CD: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM / XA, Photo-CD, Multi-session, Karaoke-CD, Video-CD, CD-I FMV, CD Extra, CD Plus, CD-R, and CD-RW
Installation Angle:


Physical Dimensions: 145x41.3x170mm (WxHxD)
Weight: 0.9Kg

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times, which however can easily be bypassed with various utilities.

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

KProbe software offers additional information for the LiteON drive:

- Retail package

The retail package includes the LiteOn SOHW-1213S drive, a quick installation guide, mounting screws, one sound cable and one DVD-R media from Taiyo Yuden. Also included are Nero v6 OEM version and CyberLink PowerDVD v5.0 retail version.

On the front panel, there are as usual on the tray the CD-RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+RW and compact disc rewritable logos. The phone jack, the sound level control and the activity led are located on the left side, below the disc tray. On the right side there is the eject button.

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

The drive is a half-height internal device, much shorter than the usual CD/DVD recorder, making mounting an easy task for PCs with the smaller cases. Below you can see a picture of the drive with noticably smaller dimensions compared to the Plextor Premium drive.

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 LiteOn SOHW-1213S further incorporates (located on the underside of the controller circuit board), a high-speed DVD dual Optical Disk Controller chipset from MediaTek Inc. consisting of two CMOS ultra-scale integrated circuits, the MT1816E and MT1828E. The MT1816E is the front-end analog signal processor and the MT1828E is the servo control and Endec IC. The pickup system is the Sanyo SF-DB 10SA.

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and WindowsXP recognized it as "LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1213S". The drive arrived with firmware vTS08. Below is a picture from Nero Burning Rom, showing the drive's specs.

We will compare the drive with the Plextor PX-712A, since both drives have about the same DVD/CD recording specs.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.00
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.21
  5. KProbe v2.2.2 (Reader: LiteOn LDW-811S firmware vHS0Q, Reading speed 8X CAV)
  6. PlexTools v2.14 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.01, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  7. DVDInfoPro v2.54
  8. LiteOn Booktype Utility v1.0.6
  9. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.15

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