We used our test rig to run a few benches on this drive, it consists of:
- AMD XP 2000+ CPU
- Epox 8K7A+ Motherboard
- BuffaloTech 512MB DDR
The drive was set to DMA mode to maximize performance and speed. Our tests will basically utilize Nero's suite of optical drive tools, Sisoft Sandra and 3 burn tests with an average score calculated for CD-R and CD-RW media. The benchmark tests are free to download and are also included with the Nero software bundle. You may try them out to test out your own system for comparison.
We first ran the CDSpeed utility to get a general idea of the read and write speeds. We used a 17 track audio CD:
The average read speed was a respectable 35.31X, with an end speed of 46.42X. The seek times did not change much, but the CPU utilization was a bit high at the low and high speed marks. Initial DAE (digital audio extraction) test yielded a 10.
The next test checked the DAE speeds of the drive using CD DAE from Nero.
I actually expected a higher extraction speed than 33.4X. Not a major issue as it still finished a tad over 4 minutes.
Here is the Sisoft Sandra CD/DVD Benchmark:
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).
The Kodak Ultima completed the burn process at 2 minutes and 44 seconds. The Fuji was able to finish on an average of 2 minutes and 42 seconds. Speeds seemed to top off once you get closer to the actual 52X rating.
The only CD-RW discs I had were rated at 10X. These averaged a 7 minute and 41 second burn time. Without faster CD-RW media, we can't exactly say this is the fastest we've encountered.
The DVD abilities were tested with PowerDVD. Since the drive utilizes Samsung's sound dampening technology, there wasn't much noise inteference heard.
Overall, the drive is an excellent value as usual. We have been using this drive for the past 3 weeks, zero coasters so far. The Super Link (Just Link) option was remarkable, considering I was transferring data over the network while it was in operation.
The one and only downside that still plagues this model family is the inability to alter burn speeds. If this can be fixed in a firmware upgrade, many people will be quite content.