Final Thoughts and Impressions
When considering the purchase of a new DVD drive, there are a number of variables to consider. While affordability is the name of the game, performance and media cost should be considered as well. We've found that the price variation between Dual-Layer drives are quite minimal, leaving performance to be the most important factor overall.
When our tests were complete, we found the MSI DR16-B was an adequate performer, with no problems encountered. However, when compared to the ASUS DRW-1604P comparison drive, it falls a little short.
When we compare the read performance of the two drives, the MSI DR16-B was lacking in CD and DVD data read performance. The drive did win the speed test with DVD movie playback, although the benefits of this are minimal unless a lot of DVD-Ripping is planned. In all facets of read testing, the MSI DR16-B could not match CPU efficiency and burst rates of the ASUS model.
On the recording side, the MSI drive managed slightly better results, with its higher rated 40X compared to the ASUS DRW-1604P's 32X. With the DVD+/-R tests, the MSI model turned out superior performance in our tests, however, Dual-Layer performance was in favor of the ASUS model with its 4X capability.
Currently, the two drives can be found selling within a $5 difference of the other. The lowest price point we've found for the MSI DR16-B is $80, where we've seen the ASUS model selling in the range of $75. Each offers its advantages, with the final decision being shaped by the user's needs. However, when we weigh in the complete package, CPU efficiency, burst rates and Dual-Layer performance, the MSI DR16-B is capable, but falls a bit short of the competition.
We give the MSI DR16-B Dual-Layer DVD+/-R/RW Drive a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of 7.