Gigabyte GO-W1616A DVD Burner Review
it comes to recordable optical storage,
the burners generally hit the retail market slightly before
the actual media becomes readily available. It makes sense for drive and
disc manufacturers to time their releases; after all what good is either by itself?
case of dual-layer recordable DVD media though, disc manufacturers have been
very slow. Perhaps it's due to pressure from Hollywood (conspiracy theories anyone?), but finding recordable dual-layer (8.4GB) DVD
media is still difficult. On the upside, when media is found, the prices have
at least dropped from $14 per disc to around $6-7 CDN per disc.
Hopefully we'll see prices drop even further.
the DVD writers flooding into the market, choosing the right one can
be a confusing situation. Our advice is this, to make sure your burner is future-proof you should
really only consider drives which are are dual-layer compatible. DVD recorders that are
not, will very shortly be obsolete. With that in mind,
the Gigabyte GO-W1616A drive we are looking
at today has some impressive specifications, in addition to dual-layer DVD recording, and it comes with a
few goodies such as Nero software suite and PowerDVD 5.
The Gigabyte GO-W1616A supports a maximum writing
speed of 16x for both single layer DVD+\-R media, 4x for DVD+R DL media, 8x for
DVD+RW and 6x for DVD-RW. The GO-W1616A supports 48x burning for
traditional CD-R and 24x for CD-RW. In terms of reading, the drive can read
single layer DVD+\-R media at 16x, DVD+R DL at 4x, DVD+\-RW at 8x and standard
DVD media at 16x speeds. With CDs, the drive can read CD/CD-R media t 48x and
CD-RW at 32x speeds.
One thing i'm glad to see is that Gigabyte used straight white for its front
bezel instead of beige. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want is for
my new drive to look like it's ten years old. In consideration of the large
variety of cases now on the market, Gigabyte also include a black bezel which
will ensure it blends in with black or silver computer cases. Overall, the
GO-W1616A drive is pretty plain looking, though Gigabyte has tried to spice
things up by adding a lot of graphics.
I was a
bit surprised that the drive includes a headphone jack and volume control on the front; does anyone
ever use these anymore? The ejector pin that comes with the drive helps to make switching out
the face plates an easy task - as the drive tray needs to be opened
first, before the different colour face plates can be switched out.
Measuring just 17cm in length, the
GO-W1616A is stubby enough to work well in cramped or SFF cases. The drive can also be
mounted vertically thanks to the tray clips which keep the disc nice and
The rear of the drive looks, well,
like an optical drive. We have the two-pin digital
output connector, four pin analog audio connector, Master/Slave/Cable Select jumpers, IDE and
molex power connections. The quick installation guide walks you through the steps to connect up the
drive as well.
On the sound front, the Gigabyte GO-W1616A is average;
it doesn't produce much sound even when reading DVDs at full speed. Vibration is
also at a minimum.
GO-W1616A drive supports all the normal writing modes such
as Packet writing, TAO (Track at Once), DAO (Disc at Once) as well as DAO/96,
SAO (Session at Once), Multi-session, Variable Packet Writing, Fixed packet
writing and Multi-track reservation. Basically whatever and however way
you want to burn, the Gigabyte GO-W1616A supports it.
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