Two Gigabyte DVD Burners Review

We have already tested a lot of mainboards and VGA cards from Gigabyte, but it is the first time we actually are going to take a really close look at the optical drives from this manufacturer. Please meet two DVD burners offering excellent burning quality and pretty high speeds. Read more on our detailed review!

by Vasily Melnik
11/09/2004 | 06:32 AM

I guess this company doesn’t need my commendations. Mainboards of that brand are well-known and deservedly enjoy popularity among some users. However, all major developers are now trying to extend their product ranges, offering mainboards, graphics cards, optical drives and even PC cases. Gigabyte Technology is in the middle of this list – right before PC cases. But while graphics cards from Gigabyte don’t look like exotic products anymore, optical drives of that brand are still rather rarely seen.

 

So, I guess it is going to be interesting to examine two such devices from the company, since they are also rarely reviewed.

I think it’s no secret for anyone that Gigabyte’s latest drives have products from Lite-On “under the hood”, but Lite-On seems to have nothing to do with the junior model of the series. Judging by the construction of the device, BTC Company had a hand in its development. This practice is well established – many brands expand their product ranges this way, leaving the priority direction by themselves and giving everything else out to their OEM partners.

But OEM can be different, you know. Drives from Lite-On don’t look like regular Lite-Ons when they are coming out under the Sony brand due to different firmware versions, for example. Sometimes, device integration differs among the clients (Sony’s drives use another optical pickup unit).

Testing Participants

Unfortunately, the manufacturer isn’t verbose about its produce and provides just the bare minimum of information. It’s like they advise us to trust the brand and skip reading the specs. That’s why I’m going spend more time testing the drives in practice rather than describing them in theory, but we can’t start out without having some basic data about the products. The junior model comes first.

Gigabyte GO-0404A

The drive is shipped in a retail package:

The box is colorful and of a curious design: the front side has a cardboard “door” fastened with a sticker. Some basic info about the product can be read from the face panel, but after opening the door up you can read a more detailed specification. That’s handy, of course. And original, too.

No one can call Gigabyte a miser as the package contains a pack of mounting screws, a 4x blank DVD+RW disc from Ritek (rewriting DVD+RWs at 4x speed is one of this drive’s declared fortes), and software for recording and playing DVD discs. The user manual is quite comprehensive as it not just covers the banal installation procedure and the meanings of the front-panel buttons, but also contains the drive’s specs, at least more detailed that those you will find at the manufacturer’s website.

The front panel with a scattering of logos and controls may please those users who don’t like the now-fashionable “bare” design. It’s all simple, neat and functional: a volume control, a headphones socket and a Play/Slip button next to the standard Eject button.

The rear panel is absolutely standard, with a traditional set of interface connectors and a jumper for selecting the drive’s status on the IDE channel. The connectors are labeled right there, so even inexperienced users should have no trouble attaching this device to the computer. There are no vent holes here, not mentioning active cooling, but this is hardly a drawback considering the speed formula of this drive, while the noise level as well as the level of dust inside the device should be much lower with this design.

  

Now, let’s have a look at the inside. This model is based on the previous-generation MediaTek MT1818E/MT1816E chipset. What’s curious, the capabilities of this chipset, which is employed in many other drives including Sony DRU-700A, Lite-On SHOW-812S, and Teac DV-W58G-A, are much better than the specifications of the GO-0404A. The manufacturer shows “thriftiness” using the same chipset for several optical drive models. Running a little ahead, the top-end GO-0804A model that we will discuss below is based on the same MT1818E chipset, too.

Now let’s see what the manufacturer has left from the chipset’s capabilities in this device:

The drive evidently has a predilection towards the DVD+R/RW format as it processes such discs considerably faster than –R/RW ones. The specs above say that this model belongs not even to yesterday, but to the day before yesterday. But speaking about the real exploitation conditions, do we really need higher speeds? Well, 4x-speed recording of write-once media may be slow – 8x would be better.

The manufacturer says the drive should be positioned horizontally. Yes, vertical placement is but seldom used, but anyway… You should mark this fact.

That’s enough for a first glance. Here’s what Nero Info Tool and DVD Info report about this product:

  

Let’s make a note of support of S.M.A.R.T. and Streaming technologies.

Gigabyte GO-0804A

Here’s the second reviewee, the more advanced GO-0804A model. It is shipped in a retail package, like the first drive:

The package is somewhat different, but looks no less impressive than the box the junior model comes in.

We have the same cute door on the front panel here, concealing the detailed specs of the drive. The accessories have got thinner, though. The DVD+RW blank is missing; the detailed user manual has transformed into a multi-language poster that only described the installation process, skipping the specifications. The audio cable and a pack of mounting screws are the only things that remained intact. The software bundle now includes MyDVD and PowerDVD. That’s all.

The exterior of the drive fully complies with the standards of the company it is actually manufactured by (I mean Lite-On): the same shape of the tray and controls and indicators. Typically for the latest Lite-Ons, this one is made by a “shortened” design. The GO-0804A does differ from regular Lite-Ons, although very slightly. First, there’s the Gigabyte label in the left corner of the tray, and second, the order of the logotypes of different disc formats and of the maximum burn speed is different.

Turning the device upside down we can notice a total lack of any changes compared to Lite-On drives: the same construction, no ventilation or cooling of the device’s internals. Seems like we’ve got a typical clone here.

  

Like the GO-0404A, the GO-0804A is based on the same last-generation MT1818E/MT1816E chipset from MediaTek. This time, however, the potential of this chipset is realized more fully. As for the internal organization and the PCB design – they once again indicate that we’re dealing with a classic Lite-On.

Now let’s browse through the device’s specs.

So, what has changed since the Gigabyte GO-0404A model? First, the DVD+R burn speed has increased from archaic 4x to quite acceptable 8x, although DVD-R discs are still recorded at 4x only. The rewrite speeds have remained the same. The 8x speed has been added for CD-Rs. What’s curious, the average access time for CDs has grown from 130 to 160 milliseconds. The GO-0804A can be considered as a slightly reworked and minimally enhanced version of the GO-0404A as concerns functionality (not design). This gives me the right to compare the two DVD-burners in tests.

The reports of Nero Info Tool and DVDInfo follow below:

  

Mark the support of S.M.A.R.T. and Streaming.

It’s time to proceed to our tests now.

Performance

CD WinBench 99

CD WinBench 99 is the first of my list of tests.

Although the junior model was reading the inner tracks of the disc at a smaller speed than the GO-0804A, it scored more points, mostly due to its smaller disc access time (the difference in this parameter amounts to 12 milliseconds is quite big). Besides that, the GO-0404A turns to be faster than the other drive when reading the external tracks. The higher access time of the GO-0804A must have been due to its using another OPU, and this affected the results of the test considerably.

CD-R Burning

Verbatim Datalife 52x blanks were used for this test.

The drives both took about the same time to burn discs at these three speeds. The maximum gap (for 40x and 24x speeds) doesn’t exceed 7 seconds. I guess this is negligible considering the total times. So, the drives match each other in this test, but it’s quite natural. Generally speaking, you can only see any significant difference between two optical drives of the same speed formula when the real speed doesn’t coincide with the specified one, but it’s not the case here as both models fully comply with their own specs.

Now let’s see the devices read a CD-R disc written at the maximum speed:

 
The data-transfer graph for a CD-R disc written at 40x
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

It’s all right with the senior model – the graph is smooth and clear, indicating a good burn quality. The graph of the junior model is somewhat strange. Well, there are no speed slumps or failures here, but the read algorithm is identified as Z-CLV, although it is clearly pure CAV. This confusion can be observed in other utilities, not only in CD/DVD Speed, and you’ll see later on that this is not the only peculiarity of the GO-0404A. Just now I can only say that the drives are both good at reading CD-Rs.

The results of CD WinBench 99 are confirmed here. The junior model sports a slightly higher average read speed and a considerably smaller access time (the difference is 21 rather than 12 milliseconds as in WinBench). It also has a perceptibly higher burst rate. So, in spite of the same speed formula the GO-0404A turns to be faster in practice than the senior model. As for ergonomics, both drives have the same full disc recognition time, 13 seconds. This is a good result: better than the Plextor had, but worse than the Sony’s record of 8 seconds.

Getting done with CD speeds, let’s go over to the next step of the tests – CD-R burn quality.

 
 
C1/C2 error counts and Beta/Jitter graphs for CD-R discs written at 40x
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

So, there are no second encoder errors, not mentioning CU errors, on discs written by each of the drives. That’s good. Then, the GO-0404A is better than the GO-0804A as concerns the maximum amount of C1 errors (5,479 against 23,299) as well as in their peaks (18-20 errors per peak against 70 errors per peak).

The GO-0404A is also better than the other model in the Beta and Jitter parameters. The GO-0804A has bigger Jitter deviations, and the Symmetry parameter starts swinging about after the first third of the disc, getting close to the limit at its end.

So, the junior model produces discs of a much higher quality at the maximum burn speed. Let’s drop the speed to 24x and look for any changes in the results.

 
 
C1/C2 error counts and Beta/Jitter graphs for CD-R discs written at 24x
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

The performance of the GO-0804A has worsened much compared to 40x. The amount of C1 errors remained about the same (24,681), but there’s a surge of C2 errors at the end of the disc. CU errors are missing, though. We’ll see later on if this is a defect of the medium or of the drive itself. As for the GO-0404A, its total C1 error count has grown slightly (to 7,444), but C2 errors are not reported.

The Beta/Jitter parameters are better with the junior model, too. Note that the Jitter suddenly and considerably deviates from the norm where the surge of C2 errors occurs.

Overall, the burn quality of the GO-0804A has worsened at the slower speed, while the second drive has more C1 errors, but smoother Beta/Jitter graphs. In other words, the junior model wins again!

 
 
C1/C2 error counts and Beta/Jitter graphs for CD-R discs written at 16x
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

The drives have exchanged their positions as concerns the number of C1/C2 errors – although the GO-0404A is still better than the GO-0804A in the C1 error count (11,926 against 81,807, and that’s higher than both drives had at the higher speeds), there appears a spike of C2 errors on the disc written by the junior model. This surge is exactly in the same spot where there was an analogous surge on the disc written by the GO-0804A at 24x speed. So far I can only say that you shouldn’t use these drives at the low speeds. The GO-0404A is more or less acceptable at 24x, but the GO-0804A is only any good at 40x.

The Beta/Jitter graphs of the junior device are smoother compared to the other drive, but there’s a Jitter deviation coinciding with the C2 errors surge, although less strong as with the GO-0804A at 24x.

Thus, the junior model is overall better than the GO0804A, although has some problems at 16x speed. Once again, we can’t get along without CD CATS SA3 tests. Will they clear the things up?

Let’s start with the maximum burn speed; it is 40x this time.

Burn quality of the Gigabyte GO-0804A drive at 40x speed
(small and full-size (0.91MB) picture)

Burn quality of the Gigabyte GO-0404A drive at 40x speed
(small and full-size (0.86MB) picture)

The BLER on the disc written by the junior model is even lower when the disc is being read at 4x speed. The Symmetry and Jitter are normal; the shape of the graphs is almost the same as we saw above. There are nearly no overlaps in the histograms. Minor overlaps of small lengths (3T-5T) appear in the Land Histogram only. This is not an ideal result, but highly satisfying nevertheless.

As for the GO-0804A, the BLER is low, too, at the low read speed, at least lower than the disc was being read at 24x. But here the Symmetry goes out of the acceptable limits since the middle of the disc. The Land Jitter parameter is too high, about two times higher than it should possibly be. The numerous overlaps in the histogram confirm this fact. As I mentioned above, the quality of this disc is much worse than compared to the disc produced by the junior model. Now we’ve got another confirmation and an in-depth analysis why and what exactly parameters are out of the norm.

Burn quality of the Gigabyte GO-0804A drive at 24x speed
(small and full-size (0.86MB) picture)

Burn quality of the Gigabyte GO-0404A drive at 24x speed 
(small and full-size (0.81MB) picture)

The Symmetry parameter has grown somewhat with the junior model – it is within the norm, but close to the limit. The Jitter has decreased, and the Land Histogram has a normal look now. The drive maintains the necessary pit lengths. Overall, although the BLER has grown a little (only when the disc is being read at high speeds), the quality of the recorded disc has improved compared to 40x.

What about the more advanced model, the GO-0804A? The Jitter is lower, too, but is still higher than the allowable maximum. The look of the Land Histogram has improved – there are only minor overlaps left. That said, the result is still far from perfect. We see that there’s no indication that the spike of C2 errors at this burn speed was due to a defect of the disc. Moreover, there’s no such spike at all when the disc is being read at 4x. In other words, this is the drive’s fault, rather than the disc’s, and it only shows up at high read speeds. The Symmetry is still out of the norm, but improves somewhat at the lower burn speed.

The surge of C2 errors may have been an accidental defect at reading, so the results of the drive are better in this test. However, they are still just satisfying, and not more. Note again that I’m talking about the more advanced model of the two now!

Burn quality of the Gigabyte GO-0804A drive at 16x speed
(small and full-size (0.82MB) picture)

Burn quality of the Gigabyte GO-0404A drive at 16x speed
(small and full-size (0.88MB) picture)

Even when the burn speed is the lowest, the GO-0804A cannot produce discs of an acceptable quality. All the problems persist here, too. Curiously enough, there’s a defect at the end of the disc – the BERL surge, the sudden increase of E12 and E22 errors and the RN spike are a sign of a fault of the medium. But the earlier tests haven’t found any sizable surge of C2 errors in this spot.

The junior model reduces the quality at 16x burn speed. This shows as a higher Land Jitter and as overlaps in the histogram. Not all drives are capable of recording high-speed blanks at the minimal speed as successfully as they do at the maximum speed – and the manufacturers warn the users about that. By the way, we see that the C2 errors spike is due to the medium’s defect (note the surges of E22 and E12 errors and of the BERL in this spot). The Symmetry is out of the norm at 16x for both drives.

All in all, the junior model produces CD-R discs of a much higher quality compared to the GO-0804A. The optimal speeds for the GO-0404A are 40x and 24x. As for the GO-0804A, I can only recommend that you use it at the maximum burn speed. But even in this case you shouldn’t hope for a high quality of the resulting discs. Meanwhile, there’re no firmware updates at the manufacturer’s website. It’s really a big question if they are going to take any measures about that…

Now let’s deal with CD-RW burn quality.

 
 
Writing/reading CD-RW 24x discs
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left; GO-0404A on the right)

In spite of the identical speed formula, the GO-0404A took 15 seconds less to burn a CD-RW disc. This difference receives explanation if you take a look at the burn graphs above. The top-end model uses the Z-CLV algorithm for burning, while the junior works with the P-CAV algorithm. Although they both reach their maximum speed at the same time, P-CAV proves to be faster due to a smooth acceleration of the burn speed. Some drives have troubles coming over to another zone when reading discs written with the Z-CLV mechanism. This time, however, the read graphs are smooth and clear, but what about quality?

 
 
C1/C2 error counts and Beta/Jitter graphs for a CD-RW disc written at 24x
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

Judging by the number of errors, the GO-0804A is an unrivalled leader in this test. It has 18 times less C1 errors and no C2 and CU errors, while the GO-0404A has 3300 errors of the second encoder and a single CU error.

With respect to the Beta/Jitter parameters, the junior model wins, producing two smooth graphs. The GO-0404A has a big Jitter spike only when there appears a CU error.

Overall, the GO-0804A burned a CD-RW disc better. The junior model performed badly in this test.

Reading a Damaged CD-ROM

The last CD-related section of this review is about the error correction mechanisms of the drives.

 
Reading a damaged CD-ROM
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

The result of the GO-0404A cannot be called normal – it read the disc through in less than two minutes, without a single error and at a constant linear speed of 56x. This just cannot be. We’ll check out the error correction capabilities of the drive later.

As for the GO-0804A, we witness an aggressive speed acceleration which Lite-On’s drive have always had. The drive took 4 minutes 58 seconds to read the disc through. Quality, however, is sacrificed to speed: five unread blocks at the most difficult spot of the disc. That’s not quite well, as we have a very fast, but not very accurate drive, but if you use a normal bad disc, not the “extremely damaged CD” as we do, the GO-0804A is going to perform excellently.

DVD Media Reading

 
Reading a single-layer molded DVD-ROM
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

Both models share the same problem – beats and slumps of speed at the end of the disc as they reach 12x. The junior model had a smaller speed slump and read the disc through faster by 2 seconds.

 
Reading dual-layer molded DVD-ROM
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

None of the drives had any troubles reading a dual-layer disc. They both reached their maximum specified speeds (8x and 6x). The difference of 2x ensured the 5-minute advantage for the GO-0804A.

 
Reading a dual-layer DVD+R
(Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left, the GO-0404A on the right)

There’s a considerable difference between the models. The GO-0804A read the second layer rather unconfidently, with speed beats and slumps. The read speed dropped from 8x to 4x-5x, and the graph is all jagged. As for the GO-0404A, it slowed down to 2x at the beginning of the second layer, but soon got back to the normal operational mode. No speed slumps thereafter. That said, the GO-0804A still has a smaller total read time – the gap is about 2 minutes due to the difference in the speeds the drives process such discs at (8x and 4x). And they both read the disc to the end.

So, both drives work identically with molded DVD-ROMs: reducing their speeds at the end of a single-layer disc and having no problems whatsoever with dual-layer media. The GO-0804A reads DVD+R DL discs faster thanks to its higher speed formula, but the junior model shows more stability when reading such discs.

DVD Burn Quality

Verbatim DataLifePlus (Mitsubishi Chemical) media were used in the tests. The burn time test comes first.

DVD-R: both drives have an identical speed formula for this format, so their results are very close. Considering the same burn algorithm (CLV), we shouldn’t have expected any big difference, but the junior model still proved to be somewhat faster (by 17 and 64 seconds at 4x and 2x speeds, respectively).

DVD+R: we can only compare the 4x speeds of the drives as this is the maximum speed the junior model can burn such media at. The difference is very small – 6 seconds in favor of the GO-0804A. As for the GO-0804A’s result at 8x, it is rather average, i.e. many other DVD-burners also take about the same time to burn a DVD+R disc at 8x (with a deviation of 10 seconds at most).

DVD-RW: Again, we can only compare the 2x speeds of the drives, and the junior model left the GO-0804A almost a minute behind. On the other hand, this is hardly a serious advantage considering that the total burn time is about half an hour. The GO-0804A, however, did well at 4x speed, writing a disc in 14 minutes and 8 seconds. This is about half a minute faster than the average time other drives take to perform such a job.

DVD+RW: The GO-0804A works faster with media of this format. The GO-0404A is over 4 minutes behind at 2.4x speed (and this is a hefty advantage) and 1 minute behind at 4x.

Now let’s examine the quality of the written DVD media. The write-once formats come first.

 

DVD+R written at 2x (Gigabyte GO-0404A)

Burning was completed without any problems, and the result is very satisfying as there are only two peaks of PI errors (50 and 90), but their length is negligible. Otherwise, the average level of PI errors doesn’t exceed 20. That’s good, although some other drives had even lower PI error levels on such blanks. The frequency of PO errors and their maximum level (2) testify to the good quality of the resulting disc. Well, I would be surprised to see any other results at this burn speed. The perfect read graph confirms all the said things.

 
 
 
DVD+R written at 4x (Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left; GO-0404A on the right)

Again, no problems with the burn process proper. The burn quality is good (the GO-0804A has a lower level of PI errors; the amount of PO errors is the same between the two drives). The read graphs confirm that – the GO-0804A made a minor slip at the beginning of the disc, but this didn’t affect the end result.

 

DVD+R written at 8x (Gigabyte GO-0804A)

As you see, the drive is using a 3-zone Z-CLV burn algorithm at 8x speed. By the way, the first zone is so small that it might as well have started from 6x. Note also that modern optical drives start to use the P-CAV algorithm for burning at high speeds. This algorithm is preferable to Z-CLV in terms of both speed and performance. Now, what about the quality of the resulting disc? It’s good. The PI error level is low (peaks not exceeding 18, average level being 12-14); PO errors occur rarely and their level is low, too. The read graph has minor beatings at the beginning of the disc as we saw at 4x, but they don’t spoil the general picture at all.

 

DVD-R written at 2x (Gigabyte GO-0804A)

Here’s the first disappointment… The GO-0404A just refused to burn a DVD-R blank at 2x speed. The other model did the burning, but I can’t add “successfully”.

The burn process itself gave me no apprehensions, but the quality of the resulting disc was awful: the level of PI errors was growing from 800 at the beginning of the disc to 1400 at its end (for note: at PI Errors>600 the disc is considered unreadable and unfit for usage). The level of PO errors is 20 at the beginning of the disc (that’s acceptable), but 80 at its end (this is already too much). In fact, the read graph says the final verdict – the written DVD disc is really unreadable. So, one of the tested drives couldn’t burn a DVD-R blank at 2x at all, while the other did burn one, but it’s impossible to read the resulting disc. Both models are unsatisfactory in this test. Let’s try to raise the bar to 4x?

 
 
 
DVD-R written at 4 (Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left; GO-0404A on the right)

There’re no problems with the burn process as such, but the result… The GO-0804A has peaks of up to 400 PI errors, although of a small length. The average level of PI errors is 100, sometimes getting higher to 150-200. This is in fact acceptable, but too close to the limit. The number of PO errors is within the norm, but there are peaks of up to 200 errors, of small length though. The disc was read without problems, as the read graph says.

As for the junior model, it has many short PI error peaks of 400-700 errors, but their average level is about 60. There are many peaks of up to 200 PO errors at the second half of the disc. Some peaks are quite lengthy. The burn quality is close to unsatisfactory, as the read graph says – the first half of the disc is read unconfidently, while the second half cannot be read at all.

Summing up the write-once media section, I should say that both models handle DVD+R media very well, but fail on the DVD-R format. The only workable combination in the latter case is the GO-0804A working at 8x speed. The junior model cannot burn DVD-R discs at all as yet.

 
 
 
DVD+RW written at 2x (Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left; GO-0404A on the right)

Both models burned the discs successfully. The GO-0804A has a low PI error level (less than 15 errors around the entire disc, rising to 20-25 at the very end); the frequency of PO errors is rather high, but their level is low (3-4 with a minor increase at the end of the disc). That’s good, considering we deal with a rewritable medium. When reading the disc, the drive stumbled at the very end of the disc, dropping its speed a little.

The junior model has very good results, too. The PI level is about the same as with the GO-0804A, and the PO error level, especially at the end of the disc, is even lower. Reading of the written disc was performed without problems, too.

 
 
 
DVD+RW written at 4x (Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left; GO-0404A on the right)

The GO-0804A performed burning at 4x speed without a hitch, but the junior model had some speed slumps in the middle of the disc. Anyway, the end results remained unaffected – the burn quality is excellent. The level of PI errors has even become lower than at 2x speed. Reading of the written disc went without problems, too.

So, the two drives from Gigabyte make a good job of burning DVD+RW media at both speeds (2x and 4x) – some DVD-burners even produce write-once discs of a worse quality. The competing format comes next.

 
 
 
DVD-RW written at 2x (Gigabyte GO-0804A on the left; GO-0404A on the right)

Both drives handle this type of media well. As for the quality, the GO-0804A, like with the +RW format, produced an excellent disc with a low PI/PO error count. The level of PI errors is higher with the GO-0404A model, but is still far from the acceptable maximum. A minor surge of PO errors can be noticed at the end of the disc. So, we have good results in both cases, as the read graphs confirm, but the GO-0804A is somewhat better in this test anyway.

Summing up the rewritables section of the review, I want to say that the GO-0804A excellently works with media of both competing standards, while the GO-0404A writes DVD+RW discs better than DVD-RW ones (well, the resulting disc is anyway good in the latter case).

Audio Capturing

Both devices have the same and very small offset; the GO-0804A extracted audio tracks without errors and faster than the junior model did (which made 223 errors). Both drives can perform an on-the-fly copy of audio data at up to 16x speed, but the GO-0804A is again errorless, while the junior model has problems almost at all speeds, save for 8x and 10x. The drives can read the sub-channel data, and the GO-0804A can also read the Lead-In/Out areas. According to EAC, the GO-0404 cannot return C2 errors, but we’ll see below that it can.

The accuracy of C2 error returns will be examined in the next test along with reading of a bad Audio CD. The GO-0804A comes first.

  

As you see, the quality of reading the damaged disc is rather low, 58.7 points out of 100 possible, with 20 skips. That’s why the C2 Accuracy parameter is so low – 57.6% only. It would be higher if the read quality was better and there were no skips. Now, let’s see what we have with the junior model.

  

This model can really return C2 errors and does it with 100% accuracy. It has an excellent read quality with the bad Audio CD – 82.1 points with zero skips.

Conclusion

The reviewed drives achieved good results in my tests, but require a serious overhaul as concerns processing DVD-R media. The strong and weak points of each model are listed below.

Gigabyte GO-0804A

Highs:

Lows:

Gigabyte GO-0404A

Highs:

Lows: