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Appeared on: Thursday, December 18, 2003
BenQ DW800A 8x DVD+RW

1. Package - Installation

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 1


One more 8x DVD recorder has entered the dvd recording market. BenQ, after the DRW400A 4x DVD recorder, reveals the new DW800A. The technology behind the drive is build under the joint venture of BenQ and Philips, based on Nexperia DVD+RW reference design.

Considering that the 8x DVD recording market has already reached a mature stage, the BenQ DW800A is going to confront some tough competition.

- Features

Smart writing control

To ensure optimal writing quality over the entire disc at higher writing speeds, BenQ uses the Walking OPC algorithm. For the first time it is possible to directly measure and optimise the actual writing quality during the writing process. As DVD writing consists of packet writing, seamless linking is not required in order to perform a WOPC.

At certain intervals, the writing process will be briefly interrupted, the writing quality directly evaluated and the writing power adjusted accordingly, if required.

In addition, the "Tilt Control" always keeps the writing angle at 90 degrees on the disc surface to ensure uniform writing.

Near the end of the disc, the risk of warping is higher so the frequency of the tilt calibration will increase accordingly. The writing process will be briefly interrupted, the tilt measured and the OPU repositioned if required.

The best reading and writing quality can be obtained if the angle between the disc and the laser beam is 90 degrees. However, if the disc is warped, the laser beam will no longer be correctly positioned which will cause a distortion of the laser spot which will result in decreasing writing quality if it is not corrected.

Tilt Servo Control maintains the best writing angle, while the Walking OPC provides optimized writing power. Thus ensuring the best writing quality throughout the whole burning process.

BenQ DW800A also uses the Seamless Link technology. The technology automatically monitors the recording status to prevent buffer under run from occurring.

BenQ's Seamless Link allows the drive to store the RecEnd address, the point in the data to which the recording mechanism has progressed, and pause the recording before a buffer under run occurs. When the buffer is again full, a Seamless Link-enabled drive locates the RecEnd address and resumes the recording process. The gap between the stop and restart point is closed, while managing the recording process precisely and transparently-eliminating under run errors while maintaining recording accuracy.

Book Type Management

BenQ DRW800A allows the user to easily change the format to be more compatible with DVD readers. BenQ's Book Type Management enables you to manage the format between DVD R/+RW to DVDROM, the accepted standard format for DVD Players. The BookType can be either changed through Nero Burning Rom or via the BookType software bundled in the retail package. More information is available further on on this page.

As can be seen in the manufacturers specifications listed below, the drive supports 8x DVD+R, 4x DVD+RW, 24x CD-R and 10x HS-RW recording. While reading speeds supported are 40x for CD-ROM and 12x for DVD-ROM.

- Specifications
Writing Speed (max)

DVD+R: 8X Z-CLV (10,800KBps)

CD-R: 24X (3,600KBps)

Rewriting Speed (max)

DVD+RW: 4X CLV (5,400KBps)

CD-RW: 10x CLV (1,500KBps)

Reading Speed
DVD: 12X CAV (16,620KBps) CD: 40x CAV (6,000KBps)
IDE Mode
PIO mode 0/1/2/3/4
DMA mode 0/1/2
UDMA mode 0/1/2
Data Buffer Size
Writing Mode
Packet writing
Raw writing
Direct Over write
Test Write
Disc Formats
DVD single layer / Dual layer
DVD+R (Ver.1.0)
DVD+RW (Ver.1.1)
DVD-R (Read Only)
DVD-RW (Read Only)CD
CD-ROM XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2)
Bootable CD
Photo CD (single & multi-session)
Video CD
Super Video CD
Mixed-mode CD
OS Compatibility
Windows 98/ ME / 2000/ XP

According to Nero Info Tool the drive has an 8MB buffer size. All media formats are supported by BenQ DW800A except DVD-RAM. RAW DAO 96 writing (CD) is also supported. The drive unfortunately is not compatible with Mount Rainier.

BenQ DW800A, as with most DVD drives, uses the RPC II region control allowing the user to change the drive's region 4 times. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

- The drive

In the front panel there are from left to right, the DVD rewritable logo, BenQ logo, and the CD rewritable logo, all on the loading tray. The supporting speeds are given below the manufacturers logo at centre. Below the tray are the headphone jack, volume control, and power indicator led located on the left. The led is green while reading and orange when burning. On the right you are the next track/skip and the stop/eject buttons. For emergency there is the usual eject hole, this time located in the middle.

On the rear panel you can see the digital and analogue audio 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. Click on the picture of the circuit board for a higher resolution image:

Click for Higher Resolution!

Below is shown the main chipset used in the drive, which is the Nexperia PNX7850 from Philips, which is the same as that used in Philips' latest DVD recorder, the DVDR824P and also CyberDrive's DX082D drive.

- Retail package

The retail package includes the DW800A recorder, an installation guide, the warranty, four mounting screws, a guide for InterVideo WinCinema software, an audio cable and two blank media (one DVD+R and one DVD+RW).

As for software, there are the Sonic RecordNow v6.5.1, Sonic DLA v4.52, WinDVD Creator Plus v2.0, for editing, and WinDVD Player v4.0. The book type change software is also included.

- Installation

BenQ DW800A was connected to our test PC and it was identified as "DVD+RW 8X4X12" under WinXP OS. All tests were done with firmware revision vB2H7. By the time we write these lines, BenQ has launched firmware upgrade vB2I7.

On the following pages you can see all our test results and in addition a comparison with two other DVD burners, the Optorite DD0401 and LiteOn LDW-811S DVD±RW drives.

2. Bundled software

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 2

Bundled software

Book type defines a writing mode of a DVD+RW disc or a DVD+R disc. For example, DVD+RW discs can be burnt as either +RW or ROM types, and DVD+R discs can be burnt as either +R or ROM types.

This feature allows the user to manage the format easily between DVD+R/RW to DVD-ROM, which is the accepted standard format for the majority of DVD players.

So with the BookType v5.0 software, which is included in the retail package, the user can easily :

- Check the current writing book type of a DVD recorder
- Set the writing book type of a DVD+RW drive for DVD+RW and DVD+R discs
- Check the current book type of a DVD+R & DVD+RW disc
- Change the current media book type of a DVD+RW disc

The procedure is quite simple. Below we include the main screen from the BookType v5.0 software:

You can see the current version of your drive by pressing the "Check Drive" button, in the "Drive Setting" frame. It is then possible to change the current writing book type by pressing on either or both of the buttons under the Modify tag. For example, on the left we can see that our current book type mode is set to DVD+RW and DVD+R, while it is possible, by preesing on the buttons, to set both to DVD-ROM.

You can follow the same steps to change the book type of your written disc. Press "Check Media" to find out the current version of the inserted disc. Afterwards, change it depending on your requirements.

There are some important things that you should know before proceeding. We urge you, for your own benefit, to read the important notice at the end of this page.

Another easy way is straight from Ahead's Nero Burning Rom programme, just before you burn your compilation; simply enable the "Book Type DVD-ROM" check box.

Summing up, the Book Type Management Tool allows the following changes to DVD+R and DVD+RW media:


- A DVD-ROM drive only can “check” the current book type of inserted media.
- Only DVD+RW discs can “change” book type after being burnt.
- DVD+R discs can’t change book type after burning. You have to set the writing book type mode of your writer before you burn a DVD+R disc.
- This tool can only be used for BENQ drives (DW400A & DW800A).
- Furthermore, if your drive is the 4x DVD Writer (DW400A), this tool only applies for firmware version B1HY or above, while there is no limitation on the DW800A drive.

- QVideo

This simple software (included) allows the user to achieve real time burning from a DV device connected to the IEEE 1394 PC input.

Since backing up a DV movie onto DVD is not an easy job (there are five steps: capture-editing-authoring-rendering-burning), beginners will find this programme easy to handle, with the press of only one button. QVideo automatically detects the attached DV camera in your PC. Users just haev to press the Rec button to start video grabbing and DVD recording at once.

3. Data CD Reading Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 3

Data CD Reading Tests

- Pressed CD results (Click for CDSpeed results)

Starting speed in this test for the BenQ DW800A drive was 18.54x and finished at 44.25x giving an average speed of 33.2x. This was the best time in our comparison with the other two drives. In addition, the drive confirmed the manufacturers specifications for 40x CAV reading.

In the same test, BenQ had acceptable seek times although not the best. Optorite had the fastest values while LiteOn had the slowest.

- CD-R Media results (Click for CDSpeed results)

We made a copy of the previous pressed CD in order to check the drive's capabilities when reading CD-R media. As in the previous test, the BenQ DW800A had the fastest performance though LiteOn had a better starting speed. The difference between the drives was approximately 2~3x at the average speed.

BenQ had the second best seek times. The fastest once again was Optorite, with LiteOn the slowest. As a sidenote, BenQ seek times are fairly good being above average.

- ReWritable Media (Click for CDSpeed results)

For the reading test we used 24x Ultra Speed rewritable media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

BenQ managed to finish this test, being again the faster in all measurements. It started the test at 18.6x and finished at 43.7x. The average speed was 33x. Optorite and LiteOn had 30.65x and 25.29x respectively.

4. CD Error Correction Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 4

Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when it comes to reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs we used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.


Errors total
Num: 1103596
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 52669
Avg: -73.6 dB(A)
Max: -12.5 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3108
Avg: 1.8 Samples
Max: 1140 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
76.2 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

Most drives find the 721Abex test disc hard to read accurately. BenQ managed to read the disc without reporting any serious errors. The average error loudness was -73.6dB(A) which is of course an acceptable level, but the maximum was at -12.5dB(A), a value that according to the EAC author might lead to audible problems.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Avg:-94.0 dB(A)
Max: -87.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 1
Avg: 185.0 Samples
Max: 185 Samples
Total Test Result
83.6 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The Abex TCD-726 is a much easier disc for drives to read compared to the previous test disc. In this test BenQ read accurately the defective disc, skiping only one sample. The average error loudness was -94dB(A) while no muted errors were reported. While the total score for this test was 83.6 out of 100, which is a very score, it should have been better.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The files are reproduced (played) through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone coming out from the speakers is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested device.

Error Level
BenQ DW800A

BenQ DW800A revealed a very good error correction capability by passing the first 4 of the 5 Check Levels of the test. It should be mentioned thst the fifth level includes an error size of 1.500mm which is unreadable by most drives.

- Summary

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Average Score

Combining the two scores from the 721R and 726 Abex tests, the BenQ DW800A gives an average score of 79.9 out of 100. A very good score.

5. DVD Reading Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 5

DVD reading tests

- Single Layer DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

For DVD reading, the BenQ DW800A supports 12x CAV speed. In our test, the drive managed to reach this speed and actually surpass it. The drive started the reading process at 5.12x and finished at 12.52x giving an average speed of 9.36x. This performance was the best among the three drives. LiteOn had almost the same time with BenQ.

In the same test the seek times for the BenQ were acceptable in comparison with Optorite and LiteOn. The winner in this test is LiteOn with Optorite following.

- Dual Layer PTP DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially, with the drive starting reading from the inner tracks of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, going towards the outer tracks of each layer.

Dual layer DVD allowed the BenQ drive to reach the maximum speed of 7.61x which was the lowest in our comparison. Optorite proved fastest.

As we can see from the graph above, BenQ had a better full seek time but was slowest at 1/3, while random seek times were almost the same as the Optorite. LiteOn was the fastest in random and 1/3 measurements. Optorite had increased times in random and full seek measurements.

- Dual Layer OTP DVD-ROM

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer tracks of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks towards the inner tracks on the disc.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the BenQ DW800A gave an average speed of 5.66x. As can be seen, the test started at the speed of 3.15x and finished at 7.53x.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD-Video ripping speed of the BenQ DW800A using the latest version of the DVD Decrypter software. The DVD Video title was the "Matrix" pressed DVD (dual layer, 4.38GB movie files only).

BenQ DW800A performed very well in this test. The fastest ripping was by LiteOn while BenQ was second (at 5.8x) and Optorite the slowest.

- DVD Recordable / Rewritable reading Tests

The table below illustrates the Nero CDSpeed results with the following media:

According to the table above, Optorite managed to be fastest with all the media we tested. BenQ also showed very good performance with negligible difference from Optorite. On the other hand, LiteOn was much slower when compared with the other two drives.

6. DVD Error Correction Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 6

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the BenQ DW800A drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For these tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed . The reference test media come from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

BenQ DW800A read accurately the contents of the 821 test disc without reporting any read error. The defected surface of the disc was not a problem for the drive.


This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on the surface, but instead defective areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints of height between 65 and 75 micrometres.

As we can see from the screen shot above, the BenQ drive managed to read the defective areas on the disc. The task finished without problems.

- Dual Layer media

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

As with the previous single layer discs, the drive didn't slow down in order to read the scratched surface of the disc. The test finished with no errors and the drive showed solid performance.


This disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of 8.5 GB capacity. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints range in height from 65 to 75 micrometres.

The Abex TDR-845 test disc was not a problem for the BenQ drive. It read accurately the contents of the disc without reporting any error.


The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB.The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The discs check the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also include test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 disc also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches sized from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

Although there were some instantces of drops in the speed at the beginning of the reading procedure, BenQ managed to finish the test without any problems.


The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer high fingerprints.

As we can see in the following screen shot from Nero CDspeed, the drive displayed smooth performance. It read the contents of the disc accurately and finished the test successfully.

7. Protected Data Disc Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 7

Protected Disc Tests
- Reading Tests

We created the image of various protected titles to the hard disk, using CloneCD v4.3.1.9 with the appropriate settings and according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below are summarized the capabilities of the BenQ DW800A drive as presented by the CloneCD programme.

The game titles used and their respective protection schemes are illustrated in the following table :

Game Title
Protection Scheme
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
PSX Pressed Media

BenQ was extremely fast with our PSX game. It managed to rip the disc, reaching 1290.93 sectors/sec (17.21x). In comparison with the two other drives, BenQ was by far fastest.

SafeDisc v.2

With this game LiteOn was the fastest while BenQ had the second best performance (3.95x). Optorite was the slowest.

SecuROM v2

In this test all the drives had similar transfer rates. LiteOn was once again the fastest while BenQ was only marginally slower. BenQ ripped the disc contents at a speed of 27.61x.

- Writing Tests

For checking the drive's correction ability, we used 2 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions with the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles to the hard disk, we burned them (at maximum speed) with CloneCD v4.3.1.7. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Amplify Weak Sectors" feature enabled and one more with the function disabled.

In the table below can be seen whether the produced backups were working (game installed / played normally), or not.

Game Title
SD2 Build
Amplify Weak Sectors On
Amplify Weak Sectors Off
BenQ DW800A
Max Payne
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07

BenQ DW800A managed to make successfully working backups of the SafeDisc v.2.51.020. Unfortunately the drive cannot handle the latest versions of the SafeDisc protection scheme. We tried with the v.2.60.052 but the backups we took did not working.

8. DAE Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW- Page 8

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The BenQ drive performed very well with the pressed audio disc. According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive began the reading procedure at 18.57x and finished at 42.89x with an average speed of 32.47x.

We ripped the contents of the pressed audio disc in our hard drive using the CDDAE software. The average speed for BenQ was 28.4x. This was the same speed as the Optorite drive while LiteOn was the fastest at 39.9x.

The same pressed audio disc was copied on a CD-R and was ripped again with CDDAE. LiteOn was once again the fastest. In this test BenQ was the slowest among the three drives.

- Advanced DAE Quality

BenQ DW800A returned a score of 100 (perfect) from the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. According to CD Speed the drive can read Cd Text, Subchannel Data and Leadin but not Leadout data.

- Support of 90/99mins AudioCDs

Both 90 min and 99min discs were supported by the BenQ drive.

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used two audio discs with different audio protections schemes. The tasks we tested for are recognition and ripping to the hard disk. The software we used is Exact Audio Copy.

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

BenQ DW800A
Optorite DD0401
LiteON LDW-811S

All three drives have proved competent, easily handling both Audio disc protection schemes in either playback or ripping.

9. CD Recording Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW- Page 9

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Writing Tests

The BenQ DW800A supports 12x, 16x and 24x P-CAV writing speeds. Below you can see the CDSpeed writing simulation graph with a 48x CD-R media from Taiyo Yuden.

As can be seen from the screen shots on the left and below, the drive began the virtual burning at a speed of 18.21x. After the 15:00 min mark of the disc, the BenQ drive reached its maximum supported writing speed of 24x, continuing to the end. The average speed was 23.52x. The test confirms the manufacturer's specifications for 24x CD-R writing.



- Recording Times

For this burning test an 80min data compilation was created with Nero Burning Rom, and then recorded at the maximum speed on a 700MB disc. In the table above you can see the time needed by each drive at its maximum supported speed, to burn the disc. It should be noted that amongst the three drives used for comparison in these tests, only the BenQ supports 24x writing. The two other, LiteOn and Optorite, support 40x. So, as would be expected, the BenQ drive was the slowest, although not by much, and certainly not by enough to justify the reputation and ascendancy of 40x drives.

Below are the best writing times for the BenQ drive at supported speeds for CD-R's, 12x, 16x and 24x. The disc brand and type used was the same for all speeds (Taiyo Yuden). In each case, the Seamless Link feature was enabled.

The following graph shows the recording times with different media brands, recorded at the maximum speed of 24x.

- CD-RW Writing Tests

The BenQ DW800A supports 10x CLV maximum rewriting speed, with High Speed rewritable media. In the following graph we can see the resultant output after writing on a 12x US-RW disc from Asus.

The test maintained a steady speed at around 10x with a final average speed of 9.96x



Below we compare BenQ DW800A's rewriting capability with that of the Optorite DD0401 and LiteOn LDW-811S drives.

Due to each drive's supported speed (10x) and hence as would be expected, the BenQ drive was the slowest, requiring double the time in comparison with the other two drives in order to complete the same task.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used InCD and a 10x HS-RW disc from Mitsubishi Chemicals for all packet writing tests. The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 KB) from the hard disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media through Windows explorer (drag and drop).

Average speed
4:01 min
5:48 min

- Other features

Up to 99min
CD text reading/writing

10. 3T Jitter Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

In this set of tests we used various media where we burned the same Audio CD project at all the supported speeds. From the following graphs you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter measurements recorded, initially with Taiyo Yuden 48x media, recorded at all the supported speeds and secondly with various media brands, recorded at the maximum allowed speeds.

- 3T Pit results

The values given from the measurements taken reveal very good writing quality at all writing speeds that the BenQ drive supports. At all three speeds, the drive remained well below the Red Book 35nsec level.

The BenQ drive burned at very good quality, all media brands we tested at its maximum speed of 24x. No matter which media brand was used, the drive returned very good results, while only with the Imation disc were the jitter values a little increased (above the 35nsec level), however this should not be a great problem.

Below are the average 3T Pit Jitter values for all tested media.

- 3T Land results

Once again the BenQ drive revealed very good writing quality. The jitter values were quite low.

As with 3T pit, so with the 3T land jitter results, the drive retruned low values, keeping well within the Red Book limit.

Below are the average 3T Land Jitter values for all tested media.

- Summary
Media Brand
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
30 Pit, 27 Land
37 Pit, 37 Land
29 Pit, 26 Land
30 Pit, 28 Land
35 Pit, 36 Land

The average 3T Pit and Land jitter values are below the 35nsec standard for almost all the media brands. BenQ DW800A displayed high quality writing capabilities.

11. C1 / C2 Error Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW- Page 11

Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

Here we measured the C1 / C2 error rate of the recorded discs burned with the BenQ DW800A drive, at all the supported writing speeds with various media brands. The software used was UMDoctor Pro2 and as a reader drive for retrieving the error rate information we used the Optorite DD0203 drive. The charts below illustrate the Q-Check graphs for various CD-R media and speeds.



Below is presented information on the CD-R media used in this test.

ID Code
Taiyo Yuden 48X
TaiyoYuden 97m24s01f
Mam 52x
Mitsui 97m27s58f
Imation 48x
CMC Magnetics 97m26s66f
Ritek 48x
Fuji 97m26s45f
- Summary

No matter what the media brand or writing speed, the BenQ drive wrote all the discs we used with high quality. According to UMDoctor 2, the C1 error levels were very low while no C2 errors were reported.

12. DVD Recording Tests

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 12

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The BenQ DW800A supports 8x DVD+R and 4x DVD+RW recording.

We used an 8x DVD+R disc from Mitsubishi Chemicals, in order to check the 8x writing strategy of the drive. The software used was Nero CDSpeed, and its "create disc" function.

By taking a look at the screen shot below, it can be easily seen that the BenQ drive has the same DVD+R writing strategy as the Philips DVR824P and CyberDrive DX082D recorders. This is due to the fact that all three drives use the same chipset (Nexperia).

According to Nero CDSpeed, the writing process started at 5.34x and ended at 8.06x. The average burning speed was 7.41x. This number confirms in practice the 8x DVD+R writing ability of the BenQ drive.

Below is a screen shot from CDspeed, during a writing test with 4x DVD+RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

Once again the drive confirmed the manufacturers specifications of 4x DVD+RW writing. The whole process showed that the drive is capable of stable 4x DVD+RW writing.



- Burning Tests

We burned 4315MB of data on various DVD+R, DVD+RW media, at the maximum allowed writing speed for each disc. The best recording times are illustrated in the graph below. For comparison, we also include the writing times for the Optorite DD0401 and LiteOn LDW-811S drives.

The BenQ drive was the fastest at DVD+R writing with Optorite the slowest. In DVD+RW writing, LiteOn proved fastest with the BenQ and Optorite drives slightly slower at almost the same times.

Because of the Seamless Link feature, which was enabled during all tests, the BenQ drive adjusts the recording speed proportionally for the inserted blank DVD disc. In the following table are the maximum permitted writing speeds with media we tested and also their code IDs.

Disc Label
Disc Information
Writing Speed
- DVD+RW Packet Writing

BenQ DW800A supports packet writing with DVD+RW and DVD+RW media. To test the performance with DVD+RW media, we formatted some Ricoh 4x DVD+RW discs and started the drag'n drop process, using a 412MB (412.822Kb) file. With the background formatting in full progress, we measured the reading / writing performance.

The performance of the drive is illustrated in the table below:

Average speed
3:38 min
3:07 min

13. KProbe PI/PO quality results

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 13

KProbe PI/PO quality results

The following screen shots present the PI/PO scans for various DVD+R/RW media, recorded with BenQ DW800A at the maximum allowed speed.

The software used for the measurements was KProbe v1.1.26, and the reader was the LiteOn LDW-401S drive. The specific methodology is very dependent on the drive used as a reader, while the reliability of the PI/PO provided output is also not technically confirmed. Hence as a result, we cannot safely come up with conclusive results, although we do make a comparison of the drive's behaviour when using various DVD recordable/rewritable media.

The discs we used came from Mitsubishi Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden, N-Tech and Sentinel. More information about each disc type is available at the bottom of this page.


14. Conclusion

BenQ DW800A DVD+RW - Page 14




  • Features Seamless Link & WOPC technologies
  • Booktype change option
  • Complete retail package
  • 8x DVD+R writing
  • 4x DVD+RW writing
  • Adequate CD/DVD seek times
  • Fast CD-R/RW/DVD-ROM/DVD±R/RW reading
  • Good Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player
  • High DVD-Video ripping speed
  • Quality reading with defected/scratched DVD-ROM/Video
  • Supports ripping/playback Key2Audio and CDS200 protected discs
  • Good CD-R writing quality
  • Overburning up to 99min
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Doesn't support Mount Rainier
  • Cannot create working backups of latest SafeDisc versions
  • CD-R/RW recording speeds could be higher

BenQ DW800A is placed among the competition with very good DVD+R/RW writing capabilities. It is a fast 8x recorder for DVD+R media and also fast for 4x DVD+RW discs. It managed to burn disc at 7:58min and 14:12min for DVD+R and RW respectively, which are very good times.

As far as it concerns the DVD writing quality, BenQ we can easily say that has a lot. All the media brands we tested were measured and showed low PI/PO values.

As a CD-R recorder BenQ was again very good, although its 24x supported writing speed. Once again the measurement that we made, with UMDoctor II and from 3T jitter values, revealed very good quality far away from possible errors. However, due to competition, we would like a faster maximum speed over 24x that the drive already supports.

We must commit that we expect higher rewriting speed, since 10x is rather low, and thus the other two drives, wearing the same chipset, support 24x.

In the reading part BenQ showed great capabilities with both CD and DVD discs.

The ability of the BenQ drive for error correction is very good such with CDs as with DVD's. The drive managed to read accurately all of our defected DVD test discs, ignoring the size of the defected area, which was 3mm in many cases. In CD part the drive performed well but it could be better, especially with the CD-Check Audio Test.

BenQ DW800A drive can easily handle SecuRom v2 and SafeDisc v2.51 games protections. However the latest's version of SafeDisc are not supported by the drive which is a minor problem.

However the drive manage to rip and playback all of the protected Audio CDs we tried. Key2Audio and CDS200 was not a problem for the drive. The drive managed to rip also 90/99min discs.

Another positive feature of BenQ drive is the book type change option. The user can easily change either the drive or the media to DVD-ROM so it could be compatible with all players.

The BenQ DW800A is currently available in the market approximately at the price of 140~150 euro, which is a very competitive price, . We believe that the drive had generally very good performance and it is a very good purchase, at least if your needs comply to the DVD plus recording format.

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