2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests
3. CD Error Correction Tests
4. DVD Error Correction Tests
5. Protected Disc Tests
6. DAE Tests
7. Protected AudioCDs
8. CD Recording Tests
9. Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests
10. Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements
11. DVD Recording Tests
12. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1
13. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2
14. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3
15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4
16. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5
17. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 6
18. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 7
19. Writing Quality Tests - Almedio AEC-1000
20. DVDR DL - Page 1
21. DVDR DL - Page 2
22. 1608P vs SA300
Some time ago, the Pioneer 109 burst on the scene as the fastest DL writer on the market. Since then, no other drive with 6X DL support has managed to improve on its writing time. Now, ASUS' latest drive, the DRW 1608P has taken over the top spot, improving on this time by two seconds by successfully managing to produce a full DL disc at 6X burning speed in 16:27 mins.
Apart form this however, the ASUS DRW 1608P drive has proved a fairly good drive. It may not be a fast CD reader, but it is a very good reader, with extremely good CD error correction, being one of very few drives to read all five tracks of the CD-Check Audio Test Disc. The ABEX TCD-721R test disc provided a few problems for the drive which reported one of the lowest scores for this test. As a DVD reader, the 1608P isn't bad at all. In fact, it's rather good, since it can read any pressed DVD-ROM and any DVD-R media at a very high max speed. The DVD error correction is pretty good too, as the drive carefully determines its reading speed for a complete and successfully read. DVD ripping is not one of the drive's strong points though.
The 1608P is not the drive one might want to use for protected games ripping either, since only SecuROM protected games will be ripped at a fast pace. On the other hand, the three protected audio discs were ripped successfully, no errors whatsoever.
The Advanced DAE Quality test reported a total of 100 points out of 100. 90/99min audio discs could not be read by the drive and reported an error message in both cases. Seems the ASUS drive has an issue with this type of discs, but we hope a firmware upgrade might solve this.
The CD writing speed/quality is one thing that didn't leave us disappointed. The 1608P drive claims 40X writing speed according to its specs, but speed is not so much a problem as the limited supported media list, which forces the drive to write CD media at lower speeds than that certified for. Also, we had somewhat average quality with most media burned excepting TY media. Overburning is also missing, since the drive couldn't recognize our 90/99 test discs where we had limited results, only up to 82mins, using an 80min disc.
In contrast to CD burning speed, the majority of the DVD 8X media, were burned at 12X. Though the burning speed was increased, the quality remained at good levels, although not in all cases, as seen in the previous pages of this review. But we can not say that the drive produced bad quality media. In fact, at 16X, the burned media gave some good result and as for DVD+RW, well, until the next firmware release, we wont be able to see how good the 8X burning speed is since the max burning speed we managed to burn at was 4X. As for DVD-RW, the 6X max speed is supported and with Verbatim media, the drive was able to make a high quality burn.
Concluding, the price for the drive is fairly low, ranging from US$62 to US$68. The ASUS DRW 1608P is certainly an improvement over the 1604P and a very good "companion" for the average user. Advanced users may want something more in a drive, like bitsetting, but this doesn't mean the drive isn't a quality one.
- The Good
- Supports 6X DVD±R DL (8X with future f/w upgrade)
- Supports 6X DVD-RW
- Good DVD error correction
- Good CD error correction
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Can read/rip Key2Audio and CDS200 protected discs
- Supports several 8X media at 12X
- Good price
- The Bad
- Cannot accurately backup newest SafeDisk v2 protected titles
- Very slow reader when reading SD2 protected titles
- Doesn't support overburning for DVD±R formats
- Doesn't support DVD-ROM booktype for DVD+R/+RW formats
- Like To be fixed
- DVD+RW writing should be improved
- Bitsetting support.
- Larger media compatibility list