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For the past couple of years LG has had the Super-Multi DVD writer market sewn up, offering DVD-RAM support on top of DVD+ and DVD- formats. This changed recently when I reviewed the NEC ND-4550A, which added DVD-RAM support to its already impressive repertoire. Soon after the NEC ND-4551A arrived and added LabelFlash technology to the mix, in order to square up to LG’s drive feature for feature. But NEC isn’t the only manufacturer to go down the Super-Multi road – this new drive from Asus also supports all the DVD formats.
The Asus DRW-1608P2S follows on from the DRW-1608P that I reviewed about a year ago. That drive had some issues recognising media at its correct speed, but flashing the latest firmware solved that problem. Worryingly, the DRW-1608P2S seemed to suffer a similar problem, although this time with DVD+R DL media rather than standard DVD+R.
Despite the 8x specification for DVD+R DL, this drive refused to write to this type of media any faster than 2.4x. Obviously I hunted down the latest firmware and updated the drive, but this time a firmware upgrade didn’t solve the problem. This is a real shame, because the rest of the times for the DRW-1608P2S were quite respectable and this drive could have otherwise given the NEC ND-4551A a run for its money. But before I get bogged down with performance issues, let me cover the basics.
Asus supplied me with a full retail box, which was pretty stuffed. Along with the drive itself you get a copy of Nero OEM suite, Ulead DVD MovieFactory 4.0 Suite SE, an IDE cable, an audio cable, mounting screws, a manual eject pin and unusually a paper installation manual. Asus should be congratulated for putting just about everything you could want in the box with this drive, making sure that you’ll never be stuck with your PC in bits only to find that you don’t have a spare IDE cable or mounting screws.