LG GSA-4167B Super Multi DVD-Writer Review

Posted 27 November 2005 17:31 CEST by Jan70

 

To round off this review, we will run some advanced tests on the LG GSA-4167B. These tests are: 'Sheep Test", protected audio discs and some special disc tests.

The 'Sheep Test":


 For this test, we will use the Sheep tests made by Alexander Noé. Why is it called sheep test? That's because the logo of the first 1 to 1 copy program called CloneCD is a sheep. When looking at supported writers, you will notice that the feature list has sheep to indicate if a feature is supported or not. In this case we are interested in the writer's ability to backup/write weak sectors. Also called: 'Correct EFM encoding of regular bit-patterns".

  • No sheep: Can't backup any Safedisc 2 versions without the help of software tricks
  • 1 Sheep: Can backup Safedisc 2 up to version 2.4x without software tricks
  • 2 Sheep: Can backup Safedisc 2, including version 2.5x
  • 3 Sheep: Can write all possible weak sectors, few if any writers could do this.

One of our forum moderators Womble, has written a guide concerning the 'Sheep Test" that can be found here.

In the screenshot below taken from CloneCD, we see the LG GSA-4167B supports everything.

The LG GSA-4167B supports DAO-RAW recording mode, which basically means, it can write uncorrected data and sub-channel data.

Sheep Tests

Reader:
JLMS
XJ-HD166s

One Sheep Burner
SD2OLD

Yes

Two Sheep Burner
SD251

Yes

Safedisc v2.90
SD290

No

Three Sheep Burner
SHEEP3

No

As we can see from the table the LG GSA-4167B is a 'Two Sheep Burner", but it however failed to write the Safedisc V2.90 and Sheep3 tests.

 

Copy protected Audio:


For our protected audio test, we used the Exact Audio Copy program. We inserted the protected audio discs and if the drive was able to recognize the disc we tried to extract the music tracks to the hard drive. First let us look at the discs we had available for this test: 

Celine Dion: A New Day Has Come; protected with key2audio version 3.

 

Herbert Gé¶nemeyer: Mensch - This disc is protected with Cactus Datashield 200.0.4 .3(build 12b)

And Michelle: Leben!; protected with Cactus Datashield 200.5.1.91 '“ 5.10.090.

Results:

Protected
Audio

Protection version

Exact Audio Copy

Celine Dion:
A new day has come

Key2Audio version 3

Detects and rips the content

Herbert Gé¶nemeyer:
Mensch

Cactus Datashield 200

Detects and rips the content

Michelle:
Leben!

Cactus Datashield 200

Detects and rips the content

 

DVD-RAM:


The LG GSA-4167B is a so-called Super Multi drive, meaning is also supports the DVD-RAM format.

This drive is one of few drives that also support the DVD-RAM format, lets us look at the recording side of the disc, and as you can see it got differences from the other DVD+R/W/R9 DL and DVD-R/W discs.

 

You could see a very fascinating pattern of darker spots, supposedly these spots are used for calibration while writing and reading.

A DVD-RAM's disc can be formatted in the following formats:

  • FAT32
  • UDF 1.02
  • UDF 1.50
  • UDF 2.00
  • UDF 2.01
  • UDF 2.50

By formatting a DVD-RAM disc with FAT32 it will act like a removable hard drive and all writing will be done in the 'background processes". Meaning you do not have to wait for it to finish '“ you can start or work with other applications while the DVD-RAM is working without noticing any 'hangs" or CPU slowdowns.

Lets us take a look at the media we are going to use in these tests:

Panasonic branded DVD-RAM media certified at 2-5x:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-RAM:MXL16]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disc & Book Type :       [DVD-RAM] - [DVD-RAM]
Manufacturer Name :      [Hitachi Maxell Ltd.]
Manufacturer ID :        [MXL16]
Supplementary Info :     [Not Specified]
Formatted Capacity :     [2,236,704 Sectors = 4.58 GB (4.27 GiB)]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
** INFO : Drive = HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4167B [FW DL12]
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD+R DVD+R-DL DVD+RW
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD-R DVD-R-DL DVD-RW DVD-RAM
** INFO : Disc = [DVD-RAM:MXL16]
** INFO : Reference Speed : 1x DVD = 1385 kBps
** INFO : An Writeable Disc Is Recommended For Accurate Results
** INFO : Write Speeds (Supported By This Drive On This Disc) Listed Below

** INFO : GET PERFORMANCE Write Speed Descriptor(s)
Descriptor #1 =  6925 kBps ( 5.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

** INFO : MODE SENSE Write Speed Descriptor(s) [Legacy Command]
** WARNING : MODE SENSE Is Obsolete And Not Always Properly Supported
Descriptor #1 =  6925 kBps ( 5.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
** INFO : Hex Dump Of 'Media Code'-Block Listed Below
** INFO : 4-Byte Header Preceding 'Media Code'-Block Discarded
** INFO : Format 00h - Physical Format Information
0000 : 16 0f 04 42 00 03 10 00  00 26 5f 5f 00 00 00 00   ...B.....&__....
0010 : 80 20 00 10 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 22 00 00 00 00   . ........."....
0020 : 10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ................
01f0 : 00 00 00 00 52 0a 00 79  36 36 36 73 34 34 34 1a   ....R..y666s444.
0200 : 1a 00 00 11 22 81 85 88  88 00 85 88 88 01 84 87   ...."...........
0210 : 87 01 84 87 87 0a 0c 0e  0e 0a 0c 0e 0e 09 0b 0d   ................
0220 : 0d 08 0b 0d 0d 4d 58 4c  31 36 0d 20 20 20 20 20   .....MXL16.    
0230 : 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20  20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20                  
0240 : 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20  20 20 20 20 20 20 20
20                  
0250 : 20 20 20 20 20 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00        ...........
0260 : 00 00 00 00 00 01 01 79  04 70 36 36 36 79 80 80   .......y.p666y..
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[ DVD Identifier V4.2.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Panasonic Hard Black branded DVD-RAM certified at 2-3x:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-RAM:Matsushita Electric Industrial CO.,LTD.-M01J3004]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disc & Book Type :       [DVD-RAM] - [DVD-RAM]
Manufacturer Name :      [Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.]
Manufacturer ID :        [Matsushita Electric Industrial CO.,LTD.]
Supplementary Info :     [M01J3004]
Formatted Capacity :     [2,236,704 Sectors = 4.58 GB (4.27 GiB)]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
** INFO : Drive = HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4167B [FW DL12]
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD+R DVD+R-DL DVD+RW
** INFO : Write Capabilities = DVD-R DVD-R-DL DVD-RW DVD-RAM
** INFO : Disc = [DVD-RAM:Matsushita Electric Industrial CO.,LTD.-M01J3004]
** INFO : Reference Speed : 1x DVD = 1385 kBps
** INFO : An Writeable Disc Is Recommended For Accurate Results
** INFO : Write Speeds (Supported By This Drive On This Disc) Listed Below

** INFO : GET PERFORMANCE Write Speed Descriptor(s)
Descriptor #1 =  4155 kBps ( 3.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]

** INFO : MODE SENSE Write Speed Descriptor(s) [Legacy Command]
** WARNING : MODE SENSE Is Obsolete And Not Always Properly Supported
Descriptor #1 =  4155 kBps ( 3.00x) - [CLV/Non-Pure CAV]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
** INFO : Hex Dump Of 'Media Code'-Block Listed Below
** INFO : 4-Byte Header Preceding 'Media Code'-Block Discarded
** INFO : Format 00h - Physical Format Information
0000 : 16 0f 04 42 00 03 10 00  00 26 5f 5f 00 00 00 00   ...B.....&__....
0010 : 80 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ................
0020 : 10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ................
01f0 : 00 00 00 00 52 0a 00 71  2d 2d 2d 6d 29 29 29 1a   ....R..q---m))).
0200 : 1a 00 00 11 22 04 02 00  82 04 02 81 82 05 02 00   ...."...........
0210 : 81 06 03 01 00 0a 0b 0b  0c 0a 0b 0c 0c 09 0a 0b   ................
0220 : 0b 09 0a 0a 0b 4d 61 74  73 75 73 68 69 74 61 20   .....Matsushita
0230 : 45 6c 65 63 74 72 69 63  20 49 6e 64 75 73 74 72   Electric Industr
0240 : 69 61 6c 20 43 4f 2e 2c  4c 54 44 2e 0d 20 20 20   ial CO.,LTD..  
0250 : 20 20 20 20 20 4d 30 31  4a 33 30 30 34 0d 20 20        M01J3004. 
0260 : 20 20 20 20 20 01 01 82  00 6a 2d 2d 2d 82 92 93        ....j---...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
[ DVD Identifier V4.2.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

As you can read above the Panasonic DVD-RAM 5x media is made by Hitachi Maxell Ltd. and the Panasonic DVD-RAM 3x media is made by Matsushita Electric Industrial CO. LTD.

But now the interesting part '“ writing and reading DVD-RAM media.

Panasonic DVD-RAM 5x without verification

Panasonic DVD-RAM 5x with verification

Panasonic DVD-RAM 3x without verification

Panasonic DVD-RAM 3x with verification

For those not familiar with DVD-RAM, you might think that something went wrong during the write process, when the verification option is turned on - since the 5x media was written at 2.36x and the 3x media written at 1.45x. But not to worry - that is pretty normal for DVD-RAM discs, the reason for the 'low" speed is '“ the drive constantly reads back the data after writing it to verify that it's written correctly. We can also call it a 'bullet proof" writing/verify technique '“ with no data loss/errors.

Another advantage with DVD-RAM is that the discs can be formatted/erased/written at over 100.000 times before it will/can cause/report any errors. Let's try to read back the 2 discs that we wrote:

Panasonic DVD-RAM 5x

Panasonic DVD-RAM 3x

As we can see from the pictures above, the 5x media was read back at 5x using the P-CAV technique and the 3x media at 3x using the CLV technique.

Since we have no equipment at the present time to perform any quality measuring tests with the DVD-RAM format it will be skipped, but on the other side it should not be necessary since the RAM writer - verifies the written data by default itself.

 

Overburning:


To test the overburning capabilities of the LG GSA-4167B, we used the over-burning test in Nero CD/DVD-Speed.

For this test we used an Infiniti Professional Compax 99min/900mb CD-R. (Thanks to Medea International (UK) for providing the disc).

The LG GSA-4167B reported an over-burning capacity of 96 Minutes and 4 Seconds.

To test if the LG GSA-4167B is capable to read 100 Min CD-Rs, we used a 100 minutes CD-R written with another drive:

As we can see for the picture above the LG GSA-4167B had no problems reading a 100 minutes CD-R.

 

This concludes our LG GSA-4167B review, lets head on to the last page to read our conclusion…

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