On paper, there's not much difference between Pioneer's DVD-115 and DVD-116. The most noteworthy change is the switch from 12X CLV DAE to 16X CLV DAE. A side benefit is that the DAE problems uncovered in our review of the DVD-115 have all vanished in the DVD-116.
Otherwise, performance between the two drives is nearly identical. While the interface upgrade from ATA-33 to ATA-66 looks impressive on the spec sheet, the fact remains that the drive's maximum transfer rate is well below ATA-33's ceiling.
There are many positives with this drive: It offers the fastest DAE available for a DVD-ROM, in addition to 44X max CD and CD-R transfer rates, 32X max CD-RW transfer rates, and DVD transfer rates up to 14X (measured).
Countering the positives, the DVD-116 comes up short in our low-level access time measures, has difficulties reading from some Verbatim 16X CD-R media, and fails to reach 16X in our DVD transfer rate measures. Also, it's worth noting that transfer rates with DVD-Videos are substantially slower than with data DVDs.
Despite its minor shortcomings, the DVD-116 offers a lot of bang for the buck. At $75 this drive provides speedy DAE as well as excellent CD and DVD performance.