In Taipei a few months ago, we had a glimpse at BenQ's entire DVDR lineup for the rest of the year. Anxious to see working samples then, it seems as though lack of media continued to plague BenQ, Pioneer, LiteOn and NEC. 16X media is still difficult to find, but Verbatim and Ritek have some media for sale in the US already.

We have been working on a large 16X DVDR roundup for weeks with burners from Pioneer, Sony, NEC, BenQ and Toshiba, and we plan to reveal our entire findings on the publishing date of the roundups. However, after testing BenQ's newest 16X drive, we thought that we should give everyone a sneak peak at our findings on the unit. This drive review was literally a story of rags to riches. When we first received the unit, we could not get a single media to burn at 16X, and even then, some discs had problems at 8X. Fortunately, we had a lot of opportunity to work with BenQ and had them send us their newest firmware a little ahead of time. Then, the drive completely changed in our favor.

We do not consider it fair to review a drive if we are the only ones who have the firmware, so feel free to obtain a copy of it here. Although, be warned that this was the copy received from BenQ, so we do not support it in any way, shape or form. Enjoy!

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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 ( 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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