Red-Hot Stuff: 11 DVD Burners Reviewed

LG GSA-4040B

Firmware: A300

The features of the 4040B from LG are pretty amazing: DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW and DVD-RAM? Yes, it does 'em all. What's more, the LG currently is one of the cheapest multimode devices, so our expectations are correspondingly high.

When writing to easily writeable DVDs of both standards, LG supports 4x. With DVD+RWs a speed of 2.4x can be reached; with DVD-RWs, 2x. The CD write speed is above average: while most competitors write at 16x and rewrite at 10x, LG allows 24x with CD-Rs and 16x on CD-RWs. Only Gigabyte and NU support faster write speeds.

The actual surprise came with DVD ripping, because here the 4040B reached an unsurpassed speed. In only 13 minutes we were able to rip the content of our scratched 5th Element DVD onto the hard drive - the competition needed at least twice the time. Even Pink Panther was done in less than 10 minutes, whereas the competitors required between 15 and 29 minutes (Sony). The content of all nine test discs were ripped in an equally short time. Only NU can keep pace with similarly short times here. Ripping a DVD-RAM in 3x came in at less than 16 minutes, a gratifyingly short time.

LG also acquits itself well when extracting audio information. The whole thing took less than three minutes for our test CD. At 3:32, LG was the fastest drive to read our SVCD. Moreover, LG can rack up short access times with both CDs and DVDs.

It goes on and on: The time between insertion of a disc and actual accessibility in Windows was comparatively short. With CDs, it was between 12 and 16 seconds - depending on the disc type. With DVDs the user has to wait between 13 and 25 seconds before he can access data. This waiting time, however, is not any better among the competitors.

The test of our burned test DVDs produced negative results: The DVD+R was not read in the DVD players from Cyberhome, Redstar, Toshiba and Yamakawa. On the other hand, the DVD-R inserted shortly afterward, which we also burned with the LG, could be played back with no problem.

  • Very informative review. Tedious reading and loading it though...It would have been nice to see a chart or graph at the end of the article with all the drives together. This loading page after page after page sucks big time. too much other crap. Otherwise, I did find what I was looking for. Thanks Tom's Hardware!