The package includes everything you need to install. IDE cable, screws and audio cable are all included. The instructions do not go into depth about the installation process, but most people should not have a problem. The drive installed and was ready to run within 10 minutes in our test rig. The rig consists of:
- AMD 1.4Ghz TBird
- Epox 8K7A Mobo
- IBM DJNA 22GB 7200RPM HD
- evga GF2MX 32MB
- Windows XP Professional
One thing to note is that the manual does not mention the DMA setting for the drive. You can check or change your options in your device manager. Take a look under your Primary or Secondary IDE properties. You should see something like this:
DMA (direct memory access) is faster and less resource intensive than using PIO mode.
We will be using Nero's CD Speed utility to test and bench speeds on this unit. Upon booting our test system up, Nero actually detected the drive and asked for speed confirmation.
Our test will consists of running diagnostics on pressed CDs, backup CD-Rs and backup CD-RWs of the game Starcraft. A write test will be run also using a 641MB copy of the image.
Here is the original Starcraft (pressed) transfer test using CDSpeed 0.85e Beta:
Same test using a CD-R copy of the pressed CD:
Finally, the CD-RW copy of the pressed CD:
The pressed and CD-R copy were almost equal on the average range. The copied image was burnt onto a Kodak Ultima CD, rated at 24X, blue dye.
The seek time on all three tests are close, except for the pressed CD which was a tad higher. CPU usage was identical throughout the tests topping out at 10% at 8X. We used a 56 minute audio cd to test DAE (digital audio extraction), which yielded a score of 10 with 0 errors. We tried an older audio CD from 1996, it contained a few minor marks. DAE extraction did not like this and returned quite a number of errors.
For the writing tests, speeds were recording while the unit burned the Starcraft 641MB image onto different media. We use a Kodak Ultima 24X CD-R, Ricoh 4X CD-RW, Samsung's own 10X CD-RW and 40X CD-R. The Kodak Ultima burned at 40X without a problem, while the 4X Ricoh burned at 4X. At time of review, 10-12X CD-RW media was not available to us other than the Samsung branded media. Here are some times:
|Kodak 24X CD-R
|Ricoh 4X CD-RW
|Samsung 40X CD-R
|Samsung 10X CD-RW
The speeds for the CD-R media are up to par with the 40X rating. The drive itself has Zone-CLV abilities which lets the drive burn at different speeds in three different zones on media.
The erase times on the unit were above average, taking about 33 seconds to erase the CD-RW copy of the image.