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LG 16x External Super Multi DVD/CD Writer Dual Layer Model: GSA-2166D

Review of the LG GSA-2166D CD/DVD Writer Dual Layer

Iomega - Zip 750 review
Price: £140 at time of writing
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Uses: Provides portable option for transferring up to 750mb @ USB 2.0 PC & MAC compatable.

LG 16x External Super Multi DVD/CD Writer Dual Layer Model: GSA-2166D
Price: £121 inc VAT @ time of writing, £65inc VAT Jan 06
Site: www.lge.co.uk
Date: November 2005
Affiliate Links: #ad can earn fee more... Buy UK: John Lewis | Currys | Novatech | Scan | Acer | BT Shop |
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LG External DVD Writer Dual Layer 16x GSA-2166D

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LG Electronics are one of the biggest names in the electronics industry. This Korean company manufacturer everything from mobile phones to televisions through to a number of PC components including monitors and optical drives which we will be looking at today.

We are going to be looking at the LG GSA-2166D External DVD Writer; this drive allows the user to write to ANY of the different DVD formats and is dual layer compatible so up to 8.5GB of data can be copied to a single DVD disk.

This drive is an external unit which offers added portability, dual layer for additional storage, multi format compatibility for both read and write, and LightScribe which lets you 'burn' the label onto the disk.




Interface type

USB 2.0

LightScribe Label Printing

Printing Time, 1070TPI 12cm Entire Disc less than 36 minutes,800TPI 12cm Entire Disc less than 28 minutes,530TPI 12cm Entire Disc less than 20 minutes

Weight (kg)



Windows 2000 Professional, XP Home & Prof, ME(Not support LightScribe)

Access time



250 ms


140/175 ms


120 ms

Buffer Memory

2MB with buffer under run prevention technology

Data transfer rate



Max 7,200KB/s


Max 22.16 Mbytes/s

Dimensions W x D x H (mm)

160 x 230 x 50

Disc Loading Method

Motorized Tray

Writing Method



Random Write


Sequential Recording, Sequential Recording, Random Write


Disk-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Packet Write


Sequential Recording


Disk-at-Once, Incremental Recording Overwrite


Sequential Recording

Write Speed



2.4x, 4x CLV, 8x ZCLV, 12x PCAV, 16x CAV


2x, 4x CLV, 8x ZCLV, 12x PCAV, 16x CAV


2.4x, 4x CLV, 8x ZCLV


1x, 2x, 4x CLV, 6x ZCLV


2x, 3x, 5x CLV(Ver.2.2)


16x CLV, 24x ZCLV 32x, 40x,48x CAV


4x, 10x, 16x CLV, 24x, 32x ZCLV


2.4x, 4x CLV, 6x, 8x ZCLV


4x CLV

Read Speed



Max 48x


Max 16x

What you get in the pack:

Contents of LG DVD Writer Drive

External Super Multi DVD/CD Rewriter Model GSA-2166D
AC Mains Adapter
USB 2.0 Cable
LightScribe CDR
Recording, Authoring, and Playback Software Nero Express, Nero BackItUp, Nero Cover Designer, InCD, PowerProducer, PowerDVD Manual / User Guide

The contents are fairly typical; it would have been nice to have some more media to write to. However the software supplied with this drive is vast compared to others we have looked at. Here you are given software to record disks and author and playback software instantly. Not only are these all provided for you they are all well known programs which have been around for many years and our highly regarded titles.

The Unit:

Above view of drive contents

The drives casing is made from black plastic with a silver coloured trim which goes around the top and front edge of the unit. The plastic is smooth and does have a polished like appearance to it.

View from front corner of the drive

On top of the drive there is a super multi logo, the tray of the drive includes all the logos for the supported standards.

Below the tray on the right hand side is the open / close button and release hole which allows the tray to be opened in case of any problems or to save you having to turn the drive on.

Side view of the drive, the rubberised feet clearly visable

The rear of the drive is kept simple with just a USB connector, power connection and on / off switch.

Front view of the drive tray with the many logos

The underside and sides of the drive have four rubberised feet which keep the drive supported and helps suppress any vibrations from the unit during use.

View from the back, external drive connections

Installing the drive is simple with it using USB, simply connect the drive to a USB port of your computer with the supplied USB 2.0 cable and then connect the power adapter to the mains and to your drive. Switch on and your PC will detect the drive instantly.

Installing LG GSA 2166D Drive

The drive is USB 2.0 which means you will need a USB 2.0 computer to achieve the best results. However you can still use this drive with the older USB 1.1 standard, but obviously it can only perform at the lower USB 1.1 rate.

Why this drive?

There are many external drives on the market, so what makes this one different to the others? Well if you use DVD the drive can perform at the following specifications DVD+R 16x, DVD+RW 8x, DVD-RW 6x, DVD-RAM 5x, DVD-ROM 16x. Most drives only do not include the ability to read or write DVD-RAM media instead choosing to focus on the other two popular formats.

This drive includes full compatibility with all current DVD formats and with dual layer media can write at impressive speeds of 4x for DVD-R DL, and 8x for DVD+R DL. Of course you can still write to CDs if desired at impressive speeds of 48x for CDR, 32x CDRW, and 48x Read.

So able to use any DVD and CD format you like, and write up to 8.5Gb with the Dual Layer media. Is that it? No chance this drive has a few more features to offer.


You haven't heard of this before? Well that's ok a lot of people are only just hearing about LightScribe technology. Instead of needing to find a marker or label for your disk. LightScribe can use the same laser to etch text or graphics to the disk surface.

Simply eject and flip the disk and insert it back into the drive. Then using the software you can create a laser etched label by using the same laser that burns the data to disk.

You are not limited to just text either, you can burn graphics, logos, and parts of photos to the disk surface which allows you to make custom disks for every occasion.

For more information about Light Scribe visit the official site http://www.lightscribe.com


Testing the drive:

The test system we used was an AMD 2400XP 512MB of RAM, running Windows XP with USB 2.0. So a system which would be classed as mid range specification in my opinion.

1 st DVD+R Media Rated at 8x 4.2GB of mixed files took 9.45 mins to burn to disk.
2 nd DVD+R Media Rated at 16x 4.2GB of mixed files took 4.55mins
3 rd Read test a 154mb CD of files took 1minute 55 seconds

I wasnt able to test the dual layer as finding media rated at 8x for dual layer proved harder than I imagined. I intend on testing this ASAP.

This drive is the quietest writer I have ever used. During operation I couldn't hear the drive working or even spinning up. The rubber feet insure that no vibrations or noises were noticed and I was honestly amazed that through out the whole process the drive worked without a sound and you cant help be impressed being able to burn a full DVD worth of files in just under 5 minutes.

Price wise at under £70 at the time of writing this drive is excellent value for money, it is external and is portable. so long as you remember the power and data cable. It looks good and worked very well, perfect for the range of CD and DVD options available for both home and office users.

The downside for me wasnt the unit itself, but was the lack of media supplied with the drive. This drive came with one Lightscribe CDR, ideally at least one or two DVD disks would of been nice, and of course it allows the buyer to start using the device straight away if media is supplied.