In this review I’ll be taking a look at Lite-On’s SOHW-1673S 16x DVD±RW drive, which is an upgrade from the SOHW-1633s, which I reviewed earlier. The SOHW-1673s features DVD Plus (+) burning of DVD Recordable discs at 16x and Minus (-) burning of DVD Recordable discs at 16x and DVD Rewritable discs at 8x. Yet, the main point of the SOHW-1673s is it's dual layer burning of DVD+RW DL discs at 4x. The drve also has a Write/Rewrite/Read speed at 48x24x48.
Before I get to the review, I would like to provide some background on Lite-On.
Lite-On I.T. branched off from Lite-On Group in 1999 in a highly successful attempt to create a division to focus solely on the manufacturing of optical storage devices. Now, five-years later, Lite-On I.T. is the number-one CD-ROM drive manufacturer in Taiwan and the number-three CD-ROM drive manufacturer in the world.
Lite-On makes a wide-variety of optical storage devices, including DVD±RW and CD-RW drives, as well as combination drives. Although, probably most recognized for their CD burners, Lite-On is quickly becoming a contender for the DVD burner crown.
Contents, features and specifications can be found on Lite-On's website.
- DVD+R 16x ( 21600 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
- DVD-R 16x ( 21600 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
- DVD+R9 4x ( 5400 KB/sec ) maximum by CLV
- DVD+RW 8x ( 10800 KB/sec ) by Z-CLV
- DVD-RW 6x ( 8100 KB/sec ) by CLV
- Read 16x ( 21600 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
- Access time 160 ms
- CD-R 48x ( 7200 KB/sec ) maximum by P-CAV
- CD-RW 24x ( 3600 KB/sec ) maximum by Z-CLV in UltraSpeed disc
- Read 48x ( 7200 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
- Access time 160 ms
- Buffer Size : 2 MB
- MTBF ( Life ) : 70,000 Hours
- S/N Ration : > 75 dB
- Dimension : 145.0 ( W ) x 41.3 ( H ) x 170.0 ( D ) mm
- Weight : < 0.9 Kg
- Voltage Requirements : +5V +/-5% and less than 100 mVp-p ripple voltage +12V +/-5% and less than 200 mVp-p ripple voltage
The Lite-On SOHW-1673S comes perfectly packaged, in a well designed box, almost identical to the design of the SOHW-1633s. The drive itself is held in the middle of the box by two cardboard peices to prevent any damage. The design on the box showcases the SOHW-1633. The side of the box lists the features, package contents, system requirements and awards Lite-On has recieved. The back displays the specifications.
- DVD±RW Drive
- Quick Installation Guide
- Nero OEM Suite (Nero Express 6, InCD 4, NeroVision Express 2, Nero BackItUp, DOS driver)
- CyberLink PowerDVD XP
- User’s Manual
- Audio Cable
- Mounting Screws
- DVD+R / DVD-R Media (one each)
Testing of the SOHW-1673S was done with the following system:
The SOHW-1673S is capable of reading CDR media at 48x. In our test, the maximum transfer speed was 46.44x and it averaged at 35.48x. This is a very good result. The Seek Times and CPU Usage were almost identical to the previous SOHW-1633S in comparison.
The SOHW-1673s has not improved in anyway with CDRWs, it has infact, lost speed. The maximum transfer spead was 22.97x and it averaged at 17.50x. The Seek Times and CPU Usage were exactly the same as the previous model.
16x DVD-ROM Performance
For our tests, we looked at single media, and dual layer media. For the dual layer media, we will look at both PTP and OTP disks. Here is a quick look at the differnce between PTP and OTP. For PTP discs, both layers read from the inside of the disc to the outside while OTP discs read from the inside to out and then back in for the inner layer. This allows the drive to read both layers almost continuously, with only a short pause to refocus the pickup lens.
Lite-On has the fastest DVD drives on the market that perform well over 16X speeds with single layer discs. This drive handles dual layer DVD-Video discs quite good as well. With PTP discs, its maximum read rate was just under 8x. Using OTP media, read rates of 8x were easily hit, although the seek times were higher than those seen with PTP discs.
16x DVD+R Performance
The SOHW-1673S uses the faster, smoother CAV method of writing to DVD+R media. We reached a maximum write speed of 15.94x with an average write speed of 11.91x. These results are almost identical in comparison to their SOHW-1633S.
16x DVD-R Performance
The results here were very good, and we do not see the slight hesitation we saw with the Verbatim DVD+R disc tests. Yet, writing was not as good as it was with DVD+R media. reaching a maximum write speed of 15.94x with an average write speed of 11.91x.
8x DVD+RW Performance
The Lite-On SOHW-1673s is truly a next generation drive, as it offers 8x writing capabilities to DVD+RW discs. This media is practically impossible to get ahold of and some media manufacturers are still in the final testing phases before release to the market. Yet, here are some tests on media I have at hand.
DVD+RW Brand Write Speed
Memorex 4X 4x
Maxell 4X 4x
Verbatim 4X 4x
6x DVD-RW Performance
This new drive is capable of writing to DVD-RW discs at 6x. However, like the DVD+RW discs, these are practically impossible to find and not on the market yet. Only select few were sent to drive manufacturers for testing purposes.
DVD-RW Brand Write Speed
Ritek G04 4x 4x
Memorex 2X 2x
Sony 2x 2x
Verbatim 2X 2x
4x DVD+R Dual Layer Performance
The SOHW-1673S was able to hit maximum read transfer rates of about 6x with double layer media. This is quite amazing. The SOHW-1673S was able to write a 7.83GB movie in 27:46 minutes. This is substantially faster than the SOHW-1633S, thanks to its 4x double layer writing support.
Lite-On has created yet another great product in it's line, although it's not much of an upgrade. Yet, the even cheaper price and quality has made this unit a must have. I truely recommend the SOHW-1673s for anyone, you can't beat the performance you get for the price.