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Now let’s see what it has inside.

Take note of the design of the bottom of the metal cover. As you can see, it is equipped with protecting foam-rubber pads that minimize noise and vibration (they do not serve as dust filters because of the lack of vent openings). The manufacturer also took care about cooling the hottest chips on the exterior side of the PCB. Since there is almost no ventilation inside the case of the drive, the only way to reduce the heat is to use the metal bottom panel of the case as a heat-spreader. To do so, contacting areas are printed out in the case opposite to the hottest elements and special thermal pads are used there to ensure tight contact between the case and the chips and to improve the heat transfer. By the way, this solution serves one more useful purpose. I mean that there can be strong vibrations in modern optical drives as they are working at their maximum speeds. When a chip is 60-70°C hot, the bonding area becomes up to two times more sensitive to physical damage, and this sensitivity grows up more at higher temperatures. Micro-caverns in the soldering points may also have a negative effect on the soldering strength. As a result, the chip may shift a little away from its seat on the PCB and lose contact with one of its legs. And the above-mentioned heat-conductive vibration-suppressing pads are expected to prevent this from happening.

The internal design of the MSI DR16-B2 (left) and BenQ DW1620 (right) drives

It’s easy to note that the internal stuffing and the layout of the electronic components is identical in both devices. The mechanical parts of the B2 version of MSI’s drive haven’t changed since the previous model. The manufacturer must have just made some improvements in the drive’s firmware and stopped at that. Thus, the MSI DR16-B2 is going to compete with BenQ’s previous model, while the MSI DR16-B3 will be a direct opponent to the updated BenQ DW1640 (for mor details on MSI's today's opponent you can see our article called BenQ DW1620A DVD±RW/R Drive Review: Joker in the Pack or a New Winner?).

The MSI drive is based on Philip’s new chipset, Nexperia PNX7860E, paired with an analog preprocessor Philips TZA1047HL. The BenQ DW1620 drive is based on the same chipset. The new versions of the drives from both manufacturers are going to use a modified chipset from Philips, too.

Unlike its predecessor that had a number of extra functions, the MSI drive can’t boast anything exceptional, although it has the same chipset. It offers the bare minimum of functionality which is expected and demanded from any modern optical disc drive.

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