Below, you can see the Infotool readout from Nero. We are using the B7J9 firmware released to us from BenQ internally, which also apparently upgrades 12X BenQ drives to 16X compatibility. We are not using a 12X drive, however, but rather, the actual DW1620 shipped from BenQ. The drive was almost completely unusable with the B7H9 firmware shipped with the drive, as we will demonstrate later in the analysis.

Click to enlarge.

There are no stellar features on this drive. We do not have any HD-Burn capability, and Mount Rainier DVD+RW is obviously not supported either. However, DVD+R Dual Layer (DVD+R9) is fully supported, and we are excited to see such an inexpensive drive support such features.

BenQ DW1620 16x DVD-/+RW Drive
Interface PATA
CD Write Speed 40X, 32X, 24X CAV
16X, 8X, 4X CLV
CD Rewrite Speed 24X ZCLV
16X, 10X, 4X CLV
CD Read Speed 40X MAX CAV
DVD-R Write Speed 16X, 12X, 8X CAV
4X, 2X, 1X
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2X, 1X CLV
DVD+R Write Speed 16X, 12X, 8X CAV
4X, 2.4X
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2.4X CLV
DVD+DL Write Speed 2.4X CLV
DVD Read Speed 16X MAX CAV
Supported Modes DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / RAW SAO, RAW SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
DVD-R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD-RW (restricted overwrite)

Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
Access Time CD: 120ms
DVD: 120ms
Buffer 2MB

So far, this drive is on par with the NEC-3500A, and slightly faster for CD writing than the Pioneer DVR-108A that we reviewed a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the drive lacks DVD-RAM and Mount Rainer support. The drive claims slightly quicker than average access times as well.

Make a special note of some of the neater capabilities of this drive DVD DL and the 16X write capabilities. We are hesitant to claim that the 2.4X dual layer write capabilities are sub par, even though other 4X drives exist. Other drives may claim 4X dual layer write speeds at this point, but even places like AnandTech cannot get proper media for independent verification.

Our BenQ DW1620 supports BookType Management (bitsetting), which is to be expected from a Nexperia based drive.

The free BenQ BTMV 8.3 software can be obtained from the BenQ site, and it displays/sets the current book type on our drive.

Construction Burn Tests CDR Media
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  • amdfanboy - Monday, October 4, 2004 - link

  • chucky2 - Friday, October 1, 2004 - link

    As a follow-up to reviewing the LG GSA-4160BI drive, it'd be nice if you do review the drive that you use the lastest revision of the firmware, which I belive is available here (http://us.lgservice.com/b2c/jsp/SubSys.jsp?SYS=SWL... by choosing DVD-Writer.

    In fact, I think the latest revision of firmware for each drive should be used so as to be fair to all drivers involved.

    Thanks either way for doing the review, even if you don't include the LG!

  • deathwalker - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    A final thought on my original post...the Pioneer 108 is $79 at newegg and this BenQ is $77...for a $2 difference give me the pioneer any day of the week. I'll pay $2 more for a company that has been doing it right for a long time vs. a company that is still tring to figure out how to do it right.
  • deathwalker - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    Well..just call me a stick in the mud..but..if the chipset in use on this burner is a version of the one that was in the NU-082, then they can keep it. I have a NU-082 and it is quite possibly the worst optical device i have ever put in a computer..and just to think I bought it due to the praise it recieved from AnandTech. Having gotten that off my chest..keep up the good work guys I know you do your best to bring us quality reviews with objective analysis.
  • WooDaddy - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    A couple of questions:

    - What is Mount Rainier?
    - Will the overview include a table of features per drive? In particular I'd like to see things like HD-Burn and DVD-RAM read capablities, etc.
    - Bitsetting disks .... why not just burn all discs in DVD-ROM format anyway? Is there a benefit to burning in the other? DVD-ROM is supposedly more compatible anyway. (This is a question, not a statement.)

    And last but not least,
    - Why won't Ian STFU!? Geez... Quit acting like a hater... If Anandtech doesn't have something you like, do you own damn website. oh wait.. YOU DO! So go do it! (Kris, I know you wanted to say that.)



    You do have a nice website and whole helluva comprehensive reviews. But because you're such a d|ck, I'll wait for Anandtech to come out with their review.
  • assemblage - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    I don't like the mouseover images you all are using.
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    Ian: Got any 16X -R media for us to test it with?

  • Ian@CDRlabs - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    It says Pioneer DVR-108 above the specs.

    Why no 16x -R writing tests?
  • chucky2 - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    I'd really like to see how the LG GSA-4160BI drive stacks up in the roundup...with a current price of $86 + $4 shipping, it'd be interesting to see how it compares to the larger names like Sony, Pioneer, etc.
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    lennylim: Fixed.


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