Today on the chopping blocks are the ASUS DRW-1604P and the Gigabyte GO-W1616A Dual Layer, Dual Format DVD Rewriters. Both units are pretty evenly matches in specs, however, Gigabyte makes a few speed specs above that of the ASUS model, however, will this make a difference in the real world? We shall soon see. Let's have a look at the two drives in comparison to each other and just what you can expect.
Gigabyte ships its unit with a black face place as standard, with ASUS putting a cream white one on. Both drives use a single button interface, which means you won't be able to use this drive as a stand alone CD player like some people do by putting the drives into an external enclosure. Along with the removal of the play/pause CD player button, no headphone or volume control jacks are present, which removes any external control of the CD playback sound.
At the back the Gigabyte and ASUS drive feature the same I/O interface. A 40 pin IDE connector, a drive position select setup (for the master/slave setup) and a power connector are all standard on both drives. It will be nice to see SATA drives now start to emerge with the removal of IDE on some of the PC platforms. One of the nice features of the ASUS DVD drive is the external vent at the back of the drive. The internal circuits of the drive are covered with heatsinks, and positioned inline. When the drive speeds up, the air being forced from around the disk is pushed across the heatsinks and vents the hot air out the back of the drive, a sure way to guarantee extended life of the controller chips.
As we mentioned Gigabyte uses a black face as default. However, if you have a white case you can match your drive to the case. Gigabyte includes a white face plate and slot cover. We would have liked to see a silver one included for alloy cases, however, it wasn't to be. ASUS only uses the one colour cover, so you have to deal with the colour if you want this drive.
Both drives are bundled with two user manuals and a copy of Nero Burning Rom OEM edition. This version is somewhat cut down from the full version, as you would expect, but is fine for the basic CD and DVD burning that most users will require.
The two manuals included are for the DVD drive, and one instruction manual for Nero Burning Rom OEM.
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