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View Full Version : LG GSA-4120B: 12x Super Multi DVD EVERYTHING!


Kevin Wolff
11-05-2004, 07:00 PM
<img src="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/images/GSA-4120B4.jpg" /><br /><b>Product Category:</b> DVD/CD Burner<br /><b>Manufacturer:</b> <a href="http://lge.com">LG</a> (<a href="http://www.lge.com/catalog/prodmodeldetail?modelCategoryId=CTG1000658&amp;categoryId=CTG1000500&amp;parentId=CTG1000439&amp;modelPrefix=400000&amp;globalCode=GSA-4120B&amp;globalSuffix=000000">product page</a>)<br /><b>Where to Buy:</b> <a href="http://www.ecost.com/ecost/shop/detail.asp?dpno=464390&amp;store=ecost">ecost</a><br /><b>Price:</b> $95.00 USD<br /><b>System Requirements:</b> Window 98SE, ME, 2K Professional, XP Home Edition, Professional<br /><b>Specifications Summary:</b>12x DVD+R Write; 8x DVD-R Write; 4x DVD+RW/-RW Write; 5x DVD-RAM write; 16x DVD-ROM Read; 40x CD-R Write; 24x CD-RW Write; 40x CD-ROM Read. See ďSpecifications (Extended)Ē at the end of the article for all specs.<br /><br /><b>Pros:</b><li>Burns on pretty much any media (including dual layer DVD);<br /><li>Burns very quickly;<br /><li>Comes with Nero ( a great burning tool);<br /><li>Good price<b>Cons:</b><li>Bundled DVD authoring tool is buggy;<br /><li>Doesnít come with any blank DVDís<b>Summary:</b><br />The GSA-4120B is a great all-in-one CD/DVD burner. It burns almost any media you can find in stores and it does it very quickly.<br /><br />Read on for the full review!<!><br /><PAGEBREAK><br /><br /><span><b>The Good</b></span><br />LG is the first manufacturer to release DVD burner that not only burns DVDís at 12X but can also write to dual layer discs as well as DVD-RAM. Other drives are out there that can perform these tasks individually, but it will save you money and space to have one drive that does it all.<br /><br />The bezel is white. This is much nicer looking than beige for those who have black/colored cases. Also, it has a neat-o duo-tone silver strip along the bottom edge. This adds a bit of a transition between a black case and the white drive. Two thumbs up to the designers for coming up with something that doesnít look absolutely terrible in a black case.<br /><br />The first time I burned a regular CD-R with this burner I thought there was something wrong. I started the burn, wrote something down on a piece of paper and when I looked up I noticed the burn had stopped. I thought it was some kind of error, but it turns out the disc had burned successfully.<br /><br />DVD writing worked well. I could only find 8X DVD-R and DVD+R discs though. I did have problems getting my DVD-RW disc to write at 4X. Nero seemed to only want burn them at 2X which was a little disappointing. Iím not going to spend too much time nit-picking over the details because in general, the GSA-4120B does what it says it can do, and frankly, the really fast discs arenít out yet. With so many different formats out there, itís impossible to find a drive that does them all perfectly. Some formats will likely work better then others.<br /><br />One final comment about the actual use of the drive; it is very quiet even burning at high speeds. <br /><br /> <img src="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/images/GSA-4120B2.jpg" /><br /><i>Figure 1: Front view</i><br /><br /><span><b>The <i>Not</i> Bad</b></span><br />The problem with claiming the ability to burn a DVDs at 12X or to be able to burn dual layer discs is that these types of discs are very hard to find. And if/when you do, itíll cost you an arm and a leg to buy them. This isnít really a big deal of course because these types of disc will eventually be common place and prices inevitably fall. When this happens you will be prepared to take advantage of that.<br /><br />The GSA-4120B is bundled with Nero 6. Nero has always been one of the better pieces of software for CD/DVD burning. I had been using version 5.5 for the last year and have been very pleased with the results. After installing the bundled version (Nero 6), I must say I am very impressed. The interface is much nicer to look at, and it is much easier to navigate to common tasks. Two thumbs up for Nero. Unfortunately the version that ships with the drive does not include all of the DVD plug-ins, so you canít use it to burn home videos.<br /><br /><img src="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/images/GSA-4120B1.jpg" /><br /><i>Figure 2: Top side view</i><br /> <PAGEBREAK> <br /><span><b>... And The Ugly</b></span><br />One thing that really bugged me about this burner is that it doesnít come with any sample discs. Since dual layer discs are hard to come by, it would have been nice if LG had included one with the unit.<br /><br />CyberLink PowerProducer 2 is the software that LG has bundled to do your dvd burning. <br />Iím afraid I canít give a good review to PowerProducer 2. Though the UI was nice to look at and simple to use but several things didnít sit well with me right from the beginning.<li>When I tried to import more than one video clip at a time the software crashed on me.;<br /><li>There wasnít very much space for titles on the menu screen. This wouldnít be a problem if the titles would word-wrap, but instead, they just go off the right edge of the screen.;<br /><li>There is an auto-chapter generator feature as well, but it had to play the entire video at 1x to find scene changes. This means that a typical DVD would take one and a half to two hours just to determine chapters. I wasnít willing to wait that long so I aborted the process. Itís a great feature to have, but only if the process is quick or happened while transcoding the video.My reaction to these problems at first was ďso what if the DVD authoring software is crummy - big deal.Ē ButÖ it is a big deal. If you buy a DVD writer to burn your home movies and need to buy better DVD authoring software, then the price may be much higher than you expected. <br /><br />I downloaded a trial of Nero that contained the DVD plug-in. It was much nicer for DVD authoring than PowerProducer 2. I would have preferred it if LG had bundled the full Nero/DVD plug-in with the GSA-4120B and scrapped PowerProducer 2 all together.<br /><br /><img src="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/images/GSA-4120B3.jpg" /><br /><i>Figure 3: Back view</i> <br /><br /><span><b>Conclusions</b></span><br />I hate to end the review on a bad note because the LG GSA-4120B 12X Super Multi DVD Rewriter does it all and it does it fast. I think LG is trying to tell you something when they say ďSuper Multi.Ē It can read and write to pretty much any media you can find in the store (including some that you canít). There is something comforting about that. You donít have to worry about what standard (DVD-R or DVD+R) to choose. And you donít have to worry about the future. When dual layer and 12X DVD discs are common place, youíll be able use them too.<br /><br /><span><b>Specifications (Extended):</b></span><br />Write Speed [DVD+R] : 2.4x, 4x CLV, 8x, 12x ZCLV <br />Write Speed [DVD+RW] : 2.4x, 4x CLV <br />Write Speed [DVD-R] : 2x, 4x CLV, 8x ZCLV <br />Write Speed [DVD-RW] : 1x, 2x, 4x CLV <br />Write Speed [DVD-RAM] : 2x, 3x ZCLV(Ver.2.1), 3x-5x PCAV(Ver 2.1) <br />Write Speed [CD-R] : 4x, 8x, 16x CLV, 24x, 32x, 40x ZCLV <br />Write Speed [CD-RW] : 4x, 8x, 10x, 16x CLV, 24x ZCLV <br />Read Speed [DVD-R/RW/ROM] : 10x / 8x / 16x Max <br />Read Speed [DVD-RAM] (Ver.1.0/2.1) : 2x / 2x, 3x ZCLV, 3x-5x PCAV <br />Read Speed [DVD-VEDIO] : (CSS Compliant Disc) 8x Max. (Single/Dual layer) [DVD+R/+RW] 10x / 8x Max <br />Read Speed [DVD+R/+RW] : 10x / 8x Max <br />Read Speed [DVD+R DL] : 8x Max <br />Read Speed [CD-R/RW/ROM] : 40x Max <br />Read Speed [CD-DA] (DAE) : 40x Max <br />Data Transfer Rate [CD] : Max 6,000Kb/s <br />Data Transfer Rate [DVD] : Max 22,160Kb/s <br />Access Time [CD-ROM] : 125msec <br />Access Time [DVD-ROM] : 145msec <br />Access Time [DVD-RAM] : 165msec <br />Buffer Size : 2 MB with buffer under run prevention technology <br />Loading Mechanism : Motorized Tray <br />Write Method [CD-R/RW] : Disk-at-once, Session-at-once, Track-at-once, Packet write <br />Write Method [DVD-R/RW] : Disk-at-once, Incremental Recording, Restricted Overwrite (DVD-RW only) <br />Write Method [DVD+RW/RAM] : Random Write <br />Write Method [DVD+R] : Sequential Recording <br />Compatible Formats [Write] : DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+R Double Layer DVD+RW, CD-R/RW <br />Compatible Formats [Read] : CD-ROM 1,2, CD-DA, CD-I FMV CD-ROM XA, Mixed CD , CD Extra, CD-Text, CD-Plus, Photo-CD, Video CD, CD-R/RW, DVD-ROM DVD-R, DVD-RAM,DVD-RW DVD+R, DVD+R Double Layer, DVD+RW <br />Power : +12V/+5V DC <br />Dimensions (W x D x H) : 146mm x 184.7mm x 41.3mm <br />Weight : 920g <br />O/S : Window 98SE, ME, 2K Professional, XP Home Edition, Professional

Jason Dunn
11-05-2004, 09:45 PM
It really amazes me how inexpensive DVD burners have become in the last six months! 8O

msprague
11-05-2004, 09:59 PM
Just when I was getting ready to pick up a Pioneer DVR-108. Now what do I do? :roll:

groan
11-05-2004, 11:07 PM
i cam this | | close to buying one this weekend (or a LG that was similar) at our logal Best Buy...they were out.
ARGH! had to settle for the non dual layer model.
Oh well, i've been happy with my other LG cd and dvd burners.
this one sounds great!

Philip Colmer
11-06-2004, 11:42 AM
Is it only the plus variant of dual layer that this drive handles, or does it do the minus version as well?

Actually, is there a minus version? I don't remember seeing any drives that do this.

--Philip

Jason Dunn
11-06-2004, 11:54 PM
Actually, is there a minus version? I don't remember seeing any drives that do this.

Not yet. Apparently Pioneer is going to be releasing the spec soon... :roll: I thought we were over this whole +/- thing...