A recent newsflash with regards to the optical storage industry has the mass production of 16x DVD writers on the slump due to low availability of 16x laser diodes, the primary component responsible for reading and writing optical discs. Manufacturers were eager to ship out 16x DVD writers but we all know that all the components going into a DVD writer has to come into place before real mass production of such drives could comments. With the yield of these laser diodes going at a number that is lower than the market demand, it's unfortunate that we'll only be able to see 16x DVD writers in small quantities. This goes without saying that these high speed drives would be available with steep price tags, and not to mention the availability of official 16x media would still be some time in the future.
So it seems 8x and 12x DVD writers might get a retail time extension after all and coupled with their decreasing price tags, these writers are getting too attractive to be passed on. Today we have with us an '88' DVD writer with DVD+R DL write ability, the LITE-ON SOHW-832S. This drive is essentially an older SOHW-812S with added DVD+R DL write functionality, enabling the writer to burn 8.5GB worth of data into recordable DVD+R DL discs. On paper, the drive should perform at speeds closely resembling the SOHW-812S as it has the same specifications. However, experience tells us that this is not necessarily always the case. Therefore, before we venture any further in the assessment of the drive's performance in the next few pages, do go through the technical specifications first.