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Quiet DVD drive: Samsung SD-816, Pioneer DVD-120?

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I'd like a recommendation for a quiet DVD drive. I've had a Pioneer DVD-106S for a while and, aside from choking FAR more on damaged CD's (locking up Windows Explorer) than, say, my Lite-On CD burner (which causes an error popup and ejects the disc), I've been very happy with its performance and lack of noise.

However, with my new case (Antec P160) featuring "stealth" drive faceplates, I need to get a tray-loading drive. I can't imagine anything is worse about the new Pioneer model, but, at the same time, I've been VERY impressed with how inaudible a Samsung SD-616 was in a client's machine.

My requirements:

Quiet when spinning

Good quality, fast DAE

Fast when reading CDR's and CDRW's

High-speed DVD ripping ability a minor plus (I do not yet have a DVD burner)

Ability to cope with damaged CD's also a small plus - I can use my Lite-on CD burner for those damaged CD's if need be.

Availability of region-free firmware a small plus

The Pioneer I've had a good experience with, but it's a discontinued product.

One of my local resellers (WWW.SVC.COM) has the SD-816 for $27 + tax.

Should I get the Samsung, the Pioneer for a few dollars more (Hypermicro - $40), or something else entirely?



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I'm not sure, actually. I do know the Pioneer DVD-120 seems to be getting slightly harder to find than I'd like. If you can find it, grab it; I've generally been pretty pleased with their stuff. Noise is not too bad, but it's not particularly silent. IIRC DAE was quite good.

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