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Gigabyte GO-W1608A

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The last time that we had a Gigabyte drive in a DVD writer group test we were unable to find a supplier that was selling it, and with a strange sense of déjà vu we encountered exactly the same problem this time. Despite the fact that this group test has dragged on longer than we would have liked, there is still no UK supplier selling the Gigabyte drive. We therefore had to ask Gigabyte to give us an estimated price for the drive – the result was a price of £49.52 including VAT, which seems about right considering the competition.

The Gigabyte looks almost identical to the Lite-On unit. It shares the same short dimensions, making it a good choice for a small form factor box once again. It also shares the same headphone socket and volume wheel, while the eject button, indicator light and manual eject hole are all in exactly the same places on both drives. Basically, the Gigabyte and Lite-On are identical units and my gut instinct is that the Gigabyte is a re-badged Lite-On drive.
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It therefore comes as no surprise that the specs on the Gigabyte are identical to the Lite-On. What you get is DVD+R writing at 16x, DVD-R writing at 8x, DVD-RW burning at 4x and DVD+RW at 4x. DVD+R Dual Layer writing is limited to the base 2.4x speed, while CD-R discs are written at 48x and CD-RW media at 24x.

The performance highlight from the Gigabyte was grabbing the top spot in two out of the three DVD+R tests. Other than that, the GO-W1608A put in a pretty mediocre performance, sitting mid-table on most of the graphs. However, that consistently mediocre performance did place the Gigabyte above its Lite-On sibling in the overall time graph.

As with many of the drives on test, you won’t find an IDE cable in the box, so you’re going to need to have a spare cable, or at least a spare header inside your PC. What you do get is an audio cable, some mounting screws, the Nero OEM suite and CyberLink’s Power DVD.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the Gigabyte GO-W1608A, but there’s nothing particularly special about it either. Performance is nothing to write home about and the estimated price isn’t low enough to make this drive look like a bargain.

Verdict

The Gigabyte GO-W1608A is a decent enough DVD writer, but it’s outclassed by the more versatile LG and the much faster NEC.

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