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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Monday, August 22, 2005
Samsung SH-W162

1. Introduction

In this review, we will be taking a look at Samsung's latest release in the DVD burner market, the SH-W162C, a DVD±R DL capable drive. The maximum speed for +R DL remains the same, that of 5X while with -R DL media, the drive can write at up to 4X burning speed. Apart from that, Samsung has gone a step further this time, providing the end user with a utility that can "tweak" the max recording speed. This utility goes by the name of "Magic Speed" and we will have a closer look at it later on in this review.

Apart from the 5X+R DL and 4X-R DL support, the drive also offers 8X DVD+RW and 6X DVD-RW media burning speed. It can also write +R and -R media at the maximum speed of 16X.

- Drive Features

Lets have a look at the drives unique features as reported by Samsung.

Speed Adjustment Technology
Intelligent detection of media type. Error-free reading of all media types, increases life of drive.
Double O.P.C. Technology
Provides reliable, zero-error recording.
Tilt Actuator Compensation Technology
Improves recording capability on deformed media.
Magic Speed
Enables flexibility of drive operation, low noise mode, high-speed mode.
Buffer Under Run Free Technology
Prevents Buffer Under Run error, enabling high-speed writing of media.
Automatic Ball Balancing System
Vibration control for unbalanced discs.
Minimal Usage of drive operation, low noise mode, high-speed mode.
Firmware Live Update
Automatically upgrades the latest firmware version through Internet by continued support of newer media.

- Specifications

Model Samsung SH-W162C
Data Transfer Media Type Write Read
DVD+R 16X (21.6MB/sec) 12X (16.2MB/sec)
DVD+R DL 5X (6.75MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD+RW 8X (10.8MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-R 16X (21.6MB/sec) 12X (16.2MB/sec)
DVD-R DL 4X (5.4MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-RW 6X (8.1MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD ROM - 16X (21.6MB/sec)
CD ROM - 48X (7.2MB/sec)
CD-R 48X (7.2MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
CD-RW 32X (4.8MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
Burst Transfer Rate PIO Mode 4 (16.6MB/sec)
Ultra DMA Mode 2 (33.3MB/sec)
Average Seek Time DVD : 130ms
CD : 110ms
Supported Disc DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, CD-Audio, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD-I(FMV), CD-Extra, CD-TEXT
Buffer Memory 2MB
(WxHxD mm)
148.2x 42x 184
Weight (kg) 0.75

Information about the drive given by various utilities...

- Nero Info Tool

- DVD Info Pro

The general drive information concerning serial number, firmware revision and such..

And the drive's features...

- VSO Inspector

- Retail Package

The Retail package includes: the SH-W162C internal tray load mechanism burner, an E-IDE (ATAPI) cable, mounting screws, a comprehensive Quick Installation Guide and bundled software including Nero Express, InCD4, Nero Showtime, and a wide collection of Nero Utilities. The drive did not contain any blank media but the accompanying software more than makes up for it..



-The Drive

The tray loader has the Writemaster and SAMSUNG logos at left and centre, and the DVD R/RW, DVD+Rewritable and Compact Disc Rewritable Ultra Speed logos on the right. Typical design, very much like all the latest releases from Samsung.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

A closer look on the interior of the drive reveals the Mediatek chipset used on LiteOn drives. Note that this does not make the Samsung drive an OEM version of LiteOn drives. Clicking on the image below will bring up an enlarged photo.

click to enlarge!

Enlarged view of the Mediatek Chipset, the SH-W162C.

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-W162C ". The SH-W162C came with firmware revision TS07 which is the latest available firmware.

Throughout this review, we will be comparing the Samsung model with two other latest release drives, the BenQ 1640 and the NEC 3530A.

Having looked over the main features and contents of the drive and its retail box, let us move on to the rest of the review and get started with the testing.

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