LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

Test machine:

In this review we will be using a computer with the following configuration:

Hardware:

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
  • Motherboard: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
  • Motherboard Chipset: Intel Glenwood-DG i975X
  • System Memory: 4096 MB DDR2-800 SDRAM
  • Video Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT
  • Monitor: Dell 3007WFP
  • Audio Adapter: Realtek ALC882
  • Disk Drive: Two SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS drives in RAID0 configuration (640 GB)
  • Disk Drive: One SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3750640AS drive (750 GB)

Controller and optical drive set-up:

  • IDE Controller: Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) Ultra ATA Storage Controller
  • IDE Controller: Intel(R) 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller
  • IDE Controller: Jmicron JMB363 Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
  • Optical Drive: HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GSA-H22N (DVD+R9:8x, DVD-R9:8x, DVD+RW:18x/8x, DVD-RW:18x/6x, DVD-RAM:12x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW/DVD-RAM)
  • Optical Drive: _NEC DVD_RW ND-3540A (DVD+R9:8x, DVD-R9:4x, DVD+RW:16x/8x, DVD-RW:16x/6x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW)
  • Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVDRW LH-18A1P (DVD+R9:8x, DVD-R9:8x, DVD+RW:18x/8x, DVD-RW:18x/6x, DVD-RAM:12x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW/DVD-RAM)
  • Optical Drive: BENQ DVD DD DW1640 (DVD+R9:8x, DVD-R9:4x, DVD+RW:16x/8x, DVD-RW:16x/6x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW)

The LG GSA-H22N is connected to the primary channel on the motherboard’s ICH7 south bridge Parallel ATA port.

It identifies itself as "HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GSA-H22N."

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

DMA (Direct Memory Access) is enabled, and connection mode is properly reported as Ultra DMA Mode 4.

CD-DVD Speed reports the burst rate of 38 MB/s, confirming that Ultra DMA Mode 4 is in effect:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

When the LG GSA-H22N is installed in an external enclosure, the burst rate is reported as 27 MB/s, which should allow full speed, trouble free 16x burns:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

Later, we will perform 16x and 18x test burns with the LG GSA-H22N in an external enclosure.

Software:

The computer is running Windows Vista Ultimate RC2 (build 6.0.5744). We will be using the following software in this review:

 

Installation and supported features:

Drive installation was uneventful. We set the jumper to "cable select" and let the two drives sharing an ATA cable pick master and slave modes automatically.

Nero InfoTool reports the following configuration and drive features:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The drive’s firmware revision is listed as 1.00.

The hardware memory buffer used to ensure uninterrupted recording is the now standard 2 MB.

 

Included software:

The software CD provided with the retail version of the drive includes the Owner’s Manual in 15 languages: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Czech, German, Greek, English, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian.

The following software is included on the CD:

LG ODD Auto Firmware Update is a utility similar to Windows Update. It runs in the background and can be configured to notify the user about firmware updates, or automatically download and install them.

 

Disc writing technology:

Now we will take a closer look at the writing technology used by the LG GSA-H22N.

CD-R:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write CD-R media at its maximum speed of 48x. This results in an average speed of 37.03x and full-disc burn time of 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

For comparison, we have made the following table:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

When it comes to writing 48x CD-Rs, the LG GSA-H22N is among the fastest of all drives we have reviewed so far.

CD-RW:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) to write CD-RW media at its maximum speed of 32x. This results in an average speed of 25.92x and full-disc burn time of 3 minutes and 29 seconds.

For comparison, we have made the following table:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

When it comes to writing CD-RW media, the LG GSA-H22N is about average among the drives we have reviewed so far.

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

With 16x and lower rated CD-RW media, the LG GSA-H22N uses CLV (Constant Linear Velocity). At 16x, this results in an average speed of 16.09x and full-disc burn time of 5 minutes and 29 seconds.

18x DVD+R:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R at the maximum supported speed of 18x. This results in an average write speed of 13.53x and a writing time of just 5 minutes and 13 seconds.

18x DVD-R:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD-R at the maximum supported speed of 18x. This results in an average write speed of 13.55x and a writing time of just 5 minutes and 2 seconds.

For comparison, we have made the following table:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

When it comes to writing DVD+R and DVD-R media, the LG GSA-H22N is currently the fastest among all 18x drives. It is at least 10 seconds and sometimes as much as 40 seconds faster than other 18x drives.

LG GSA-H22N’s shorter burn times are due to two factors: fewer power calibration stops during burns and shorter than usual lead-in and lead-out times.

LG appears to be well justified in calling the GSA-H22N the "World’s Fastest 18x DVD Rewriter."

16x DVD+R and DVD-R:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review
LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD+R and DVD-R at 16x. This results in average write speeds of 11.94 – 11.97x and writing times of just 5 minutes 36 seconds to 5 minutes 38 seconds.

8x DVD+R and DVD-R:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review
LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses an unusual 4x-8x two-zone Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) strategy to write DVD+R and DVD-R at 8x. This results in average write speed of 7.42x and writing times around 9 minutes, a good minute longer compared to more common 6x-8x Z-CLV strategies.

8x DVD+RW:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) to write DVD+RW at 8x. The average speed is 7.48x and total writing time is 9 minutes and 45 seconds.

6x DVD-RW:

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) to write DVD-RW at 6x. The average speed is 5.63x and total writing time is 10 minutes and 54 seconds.

8x DVD+R DL:

The LG GSA-H22N supports 8x writing speed on DVD+R DL media.

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses three-zone, 4x-6x-8x Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) to write DVD+R DL at 8x. The average speed is 6.31x and total writing time is 19 minutes and 16 seconds.

8x DVD-R DL:

The LG GSA-H22N supports 8x writing speed on DVD-R DL media.

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses three-zone, 4x-6x-8x Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) DVD-R DL at 8x. The average speed is 6.30x and total writing time is 19 minutes and 4 seconds.

12x DVD-RAM:

The LG GSA-H22N supports 12x writing speed on DVD-RAM media.

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N uses P-CAV (Partial Constant Angular Velocity) to write DVD-RAM at its maximum speed of 12x.

Without verification, the average speed is 10.11x and total writing time is 5 minutes and 42 seconds.

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

With verification, the average speed drops to 3.88x and total writing time increases to 14 minutes and 36 seconds.

Book type (Bitsetting):

LG GSA-H22N Super Multi DVD Burner Review

The LG GSA-H22N supports bitsetting, and is capable of writing DVD+R and DVD+R DL media with the DVD-ROM book type.

Setting DVD+RW book type is not supported.

For more information about book types and bitsetting, see Increased compatibility: DVD bitsetting.