Now that Lite-On is sharing the same drive manufacturing line as Plextor (not to mention Sony, HP, and Philips), you might wonder whether there is any difference between this 22x DVD burner and the Plextor PX-850SA 22x burner we reviewed in March. In fact, the two burners are virtually the same in terms of parts and mechanics, so differences really come down to the firmware each company uses and the tweaks and optimizations each makes to the final product.
The first thing we discovered is that Lite-On didn’t tweak this drive with an over-speed feature. So, like the Plextor PX-850SA, the burner stayed within the confines of the DVD+R media’s 16x rating, writing 4.38GB of data to a single-layer disc in 5:43 (min:sec). Samsung’s SH-S223, which can reach 20x-plus speeds when writing to 16x media, was almost a minute faster, at 4:46.
Behind the signature Lite-On faceplate is a drive that might as well be from Plextor.
There was also little difference between the two drives’ performance with double-layer media. The Lite-On’s 8x rating for DVD+/-R DL enabled the drive to write 7.96GB of data to a disc in 16:36 vs. the Plextor’s 16:33—both considerably slower than the 13:13 achieved by Samsung’s SH-S223, rated at 16x for DL media. But the Lite-On (like the Plextor before it) was superior to the SH-S223 at reading double-layer video discs, taking 10:16 to rip the contents of a movie DVD, compared with the Samsung’s 15:26.
By now it hardly seems necessary to say that the Lite-On’s performance writing data to DVD-RW media (14:54) and also reading the same disc (6:37) was on a par with the Plextor drive’s. It was quite clear from our testing that, though it may be possible for vendors to achieve noticeable differences in performance on identical hardware, that’s not the case here. The only things differentiating the Lite-On iHAS422 from the Plextor PX-850SA are the Lite-On’s less stylish faceplate, older software (Nero 7 Essentials vs. Roxio Creator 10 CE), and much lower price ($40 vs. $75).
Same respectable performance as the Plextor PX-850SA; lower price.
It Takes Two
Lacks over-speed feature; rated at just 8x for DVD+/-R DL.
DVD+R Write Speed Average
DVD+R Read Speed Average
Access Times (Random/Full)
DVD+DL Write Speed Average
DVD Ripping (min:sec)
Best scores are bolded. Our test bed is a Windows XP SP2 machine using a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700, 2GB of Corsair DDR2/800 RAM on an EVGA 680 SLI motherboard, one EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS card, a Western Digital 500GB Caviar hard drive, and a PC Power and Cooling Turbo Cool PSU. All tests were conducted using Verbatim media and Nero CD DVD Speed, except the ripping test, in which we time how long it takes to copy the contents of a double-layer DVD to a Velociraptor hard drive. *Time after third-party patch.