All of the ASUS internal drives are manufactured by Lite-On. I have used both over the years without a single issue. I have never heard of them "blowing up." Except for the faceplate, they are the same units. Lite-On also makes drives for Sony.
Thanks for all the help. I purchased a retail version of Lite-on. I wish I could get a Pioneer because I do remember that they were awesome. Actually, I wish I didn't need an optical drive, but I still do