Our test bed for this drive will be:
- Intel P4 2.4B Confidential
- Asus P4B533
Our tests will basically utilize Nero's suite of optical drive tools and 3 burn tests with an average score calculated for CD-R and CD-RW media. The benchmark tests are free to download, so you may try them yourselves on your own drives.
This is the drive with a 10X rated CD-RW in place. This screen shows the various read and write features associated with the drive.
The drive's read speed was under par compared to what it is rated at. This is not un-common, I haven't seen one drive post speeds on the dot with its own rating. This does not mean it is slow by any means, just take a look at the average and final read speed.
CD-DAE (digital audio extraction) was perfect, producing zero errors from a 17 track audio CD. Overall time took a little over 4 minutes, finishing with a near 35X speed.
Our burn test are averaged over 3 tries on the same media using the same 605MB iso rip of NBA Live 2003. The CD-R test was conducted using the Kodak Ultima and Fuji (Tayo Yuidens). Since the Kodak was not able to burned at any speed higher than 24X, we left that one out. The Fuji was able to burn at 32X, which came into an average of 2 minutes and 40 seconds. I also tried Samsungs own 32X rated CD-R, which was able to burn at 40X. It averaged 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Seems that the speed tops off once you get closer to 52X.
I opted to skip the CD-RW burn test since the only media we had was the 10X, this was completed at 7 minutes 37 seconds on 3 average test runs. Once we receive some 24X rated media, we'll re-visit this once again with newer speeds.
So what does this all mean? Aside from the fact that rated media is the only speed that the drive can really 'burn', everything is great. The read and write speed, the large buffer, sound dampening and buffer under-run technology make this an excellent drive to own. Rated at 52X24X52, it is one of the fastest drives on the market. If you're budget is low, then this drive is perfect at about $60.