I bought this DVD Writer, which is manufactured in Jan 2005.
Below are the drive’s main specs as given by NeroInfoTool.
Following review are from CDRINFO.
The GSA-4163B model replaced the existing, very good GSA-4160B burner. The new drive not only rose to the occasion, reaching the maximum writing speeds for the DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL formats but also changed the writing strategy for the DVD+R. This results in even lower recording times. The reported recording times during our tests for all the formats, place the GSA-4163B in first place among all the burners currently available on the market with 5:17min, 5:20min, 9:46min and 7:15min for the DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW respectively.
LG models are known for their good reading ability, and the new model confirmed this for one more time. The drive managed to read all the media we used, defective or not, even 90/99min CD media which prove troublesome for the latest burners. The error correction is very good for the DVD format but with the CD format needs further improvement. This performance is similar, if not the same, as the previous GSA-4160B model.
The CD/DVD ripping speed is good but not the fastest we have ever seen. With copy protected games, the speed was very high, no matter what the protection scheme, while the drive also managed to rip/play successfully all the copy protected AudioCDs we tried. We would also like to see better behavior from the drive when it comes to backing up SafeDisc protected games. In this task, the performance was average and the drive managed to create working backups up to v2.8. To be honest, we really didn’t expect anything better since this has now become common issue with the latest DVD burners.
As far as writing quality of the GSA-4163B is concerned, this proved to be very good. With all the DVD formats, the reported PIE levels were rather low while in most cases this was also confirmed by CDSpeed. In very few cases, the levels were high but this does not affect the overall good image of the drive. With CD media, the quality was also good with most of the brands we tried. Further improvements in this area would be welcome though.
Fortunately, LG has decided to support the booktype change feature for this burner, as it also does with the GSA-4120B. DVD+R and DVD+R DL can be easily set to DVD-ROM booktype with CDSpeed, DVD Decrypter or even straight from Neo Burning Rom. We would like the DVD+RW to support the same feature as well as the GSA-4160B 🙂
DVD-RAM support, at 5X max, is another advantage with this drive which can automatically verify all written data, (a function that will reduce the effective writing speed), offering the highest reliability among DVD re-writable media with 100,000 re-write times and superior defect management.
Finally, the burner is already available on the market at approximately $77, at the time of this review. The price is very good if we keep in mind that other burners with similar specifications cost around $100 or even more.
(I paid CAD85.00 for this one on March 2, 2005)