Of course, as I've mentioned, there is already a 12-speed DVD+R LiteOn drive available, so although the specs of the 832S are good, they’ve already been superseded by another LiteOn drive, not to mention the LG GSA-4120B that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Now, even though I have still not managed to get my hands on any 12-speed DVD+R media, it’s clear from the burn times turned in by the LG, that the 12-speed ability does improve performance across the board.
Looking at the DVD+R results, the LiteOn took eight minutes 54 seconds to write the 4.3GB MPEG2 file compared with seven minutes 35 seconds on the LG. Performing the same test using DVD-R media produced a result of nine minutes 15 seconds on the LiteOn, with the LG turning in a time of only seven minutes 53 seconds. When burning rewritable media the LiteOn held its own against the LG, with neither drive really pulling ahead of the other.
When it came to DVD+R Dual Layer performance, the LG proved to be a little faster once again. But when you’re waiting over three quarters of an hour for a disc to burn, a difference of less than a minute doesn’t really amount to very much. Hopefully we won’t be waiting too much longer for four-speed DVD+R DL drives to arrive. If you burn a lot of CD media, you’ll be happy with the LiteOn’s performance. It managed to beat the LG in the CD-R tests, but the LG pulled back when using CD-RW media.
Nestling inside the LiteOn retail box you’ll find the drive, an audio cable, a set of mounting screws and a copy of Nero OEM suite. The lack of an IDE cable is always a disappointment as the last thing that a potential user wants is to get the drive home and realise that there’s no spare IDE cable inside their PC. The box said that there should have been some blank media inside, but since it looks like this drive has been around a bit, the media was long gone.
So, the LiteOn SOHW-832S is a decent enough dual layer DVD writer with reasonable performance. With a price of £57.31 inc VAT it’s not exactly overpriced, but you can buy an OEM version of the LG GSA-4120B for only a couple of Pounds more and then you’re getting better performance and DVD-RAM compatibility.
The LiteOn SOHW-832S hasn’t been around that long, but it’s already looking a bit long in the tooth. This isn’t a criticism of this drive, more an observation of how fast the DVD writer market is moving. Considering the price and performance, I’d definitely go for the LG GSA-4120B instead.