Dual Layer DVD Shootout - ASUS vs. Gigabyte 16x Recorders

Today we step aside from the usual motherboard or processor review and take a look at two of the latest DVD burners to emerge from two large Taiwanese companies, ASUS and Gigabyte. Both drives support DVD burning at 16x and both support Dual Layer burning. If you're on the market for a new DVD burner, one of these might be what you're looking for.
| Mar 28, 2005 at 11:00 pm CST
Manufacturer: none

Dual Layer DVD Shootout - Introduction

IntroductionAs we have done in the past, it's now time once again at TweakTown to have a look at some of the other products on the market that make up our PC's. Most of us focus on the processor, motherboard, memory and so on but forget some of the other products that are out there that make up the PC. One of the biggest things to come out is DVD recorders. With CD's now filling to their limits very quickly with DIVX movies, DVD was simply the most logical step. And hasn't it evolved very quickly.It took CD-R units years to come down in price, and just as much time for CD-RW to makes its impression and price mark. DVD has plummeted in price at record pace. First with single layer drives, then re-writers now we have Dual Layer drives cheap as chips compared to that of the CD-RW units, you wouldn't think about using them.Today we are taking a look at two new models that have hit our test labs, one from Gigabyte and one from ASUS. Both are ATAPI Dual Standard and Dual Layer DVD Rewriters with a maximum speed of 16x DVD-R and a 4x DVD+R DL write. Which is worth your money? Let's have a look!

Dual Layer DVD Shootout - Specifications

Specifications of the CandidatesGigabyteInterface EIDE/ATAPIDisk Capacity650/700/800MB CD-R(W), 4.7GB Single Layer DVD, 8.5GB Dual Layer DVDSupported Writing FormatsDVD-R - 16x MaxDVD+R - 16x MaxDVD-RW - 6x MaxDVD+RW - 8x MaxDVD+R DL - 4x MaxCD-R - 48x MaxCD-RW - 24x MaxWriting MethodsTrack At once (TAO)Disk At Once (DAO)Session At Once (SAO)Multi SessionPacket WritingData Transfer RateUDMA Mode 4 (66MB/s) Max theoretical transfer rateAccess Time(DVD) 160ms, (CD) 160msData Buffer2MB Cache BufferASUS Interface EIDE/ATAPIDisk Capacity650/700/800MB CD-R(W), 4.7GB Single Layer DVD, 8.5GB Dual Layer DVD Supported Writing FormatsDVD-R - 16x MaxDVD+R - 16x MaxDVD-RW - 4x MaxDVD+RW - 4x MaxDVD-R DL - 4x MaxDVD+R DL - 4x MaxCD-R - 32x MaxCD-RW - 24x MaxWriting MethodsTrack At once (TAO)Disk At Once (DAO)Session At Once (SAO)Multi SessionPacket WritingData Transfer RateUDMA Mode 4 (66MB/s) Max theoretical transfer rateAccess Time(DVD) 160ms, (CD) 160msData Buffer2MB Cache Buffer

Dual Layer DVD Shootout - The Drives

The DrivesToday 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.

Dual Layer DVD Shootout - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Recording Results

Test System SetupProcessor: Intel Pentium 560 (800MHz FSB) (Supplied by Spectrum Communications)Memory: 2x 512MB DDR2-533 Micron Hard Disk: 2x Maxtor Maxline III 250GB RAID 0Motherboard: ASUS P5AD2-E Premium (Supplied by ASUS Australia)Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X800XT Platinum (Supplied by ASUS Australia)Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP SP2For our tests we recorded onto each type of media to determine which drive over a series of three tests was the fastest. We did three runs and averaged out the results. We used 4.3GB movie images from one of my 4x4 club trips to do our single layer and doubled the movie for the Dual Layer tests to fill the disks to capacity.


Here in all tests the drives are pretty well evenly matched, however, in the Dual Layer tests, ASUS pulled ahead. When testing we found that the ASUS drive was able to overspeed the Dual Layer disks better than the Gigabyte drive.

Dual Layer DVD Shootout - Final Thoughts

Final ThoughtsWell there you have it, the facts speak for themselves. Both companies put out a fantastic drive, both capable of maintaining high speed recording as well as supporting higher speeds when 16x DVD recordable media hits, today, only 8x are available, and both the ASUS and the Gigabyte drives work 100% with them.ASUS held the upper hand with 4/5 wins, though only by a few seconds in most, it was able to keep well ahead of the Gigabyte in Dual Layer burning, so if Dual Layer is your thing, this drive is currently the cream of the crop.Gigabyte on the other hand holds the crown for aesthetics, with an interchangeable face plate for black or white cases, it sure makes colour coding a bit easier, if looks are your thing, Gigabyte takes the win.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:26 pm CDT

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