The SD-R1312 kit comes with PowerDVD for DVD playback as well as InstantCD/DVD for CD/RW mastering. We did use InstantCD/DVD to do some burn tests, but it did not provide any timed speeds for us. So we also doubled back and re-burned using Nero Burning Rom.
The InstantCD/DVD program is pretty straight forward, but may seem a bit bloated to some. There are a ton of different ways to create and backup your CDs. Some categories would have been better put together instead of spread apart into numerous categories.
If you take a look at the above screenshot, it does look similar to the Nero Burning Rom program. The drive allowed for burning at max speed of 32X. With buffer-underun protection (ability to stop disc burning until data is fed from source), this drive should be quick and not cause any errors.
Our burn tests were done using Kodak 24x Ultima media and Fuji (Tayo Yuiden) 32x media. Both media brands are 700MB/80min discs with ability for up to 40x burns. An ISO of 605MB was written to 2 sets of CD-R each, with an average time taken. The average speed for the CD-R was 4 minutes and 43 seconds, just slightly slower than the Samsung by a few seconds.
We tested a Ricoh and Samsung 10x CD-RW disc using the same averaging scheme for the CD-Rs. Results were 7 minutes and 34 seconds, which is also just a few seconds slower than the Samsung.
An over-burn test was also conducted using Nero, but the best we could do was burn exactly 700MB worth of data with finalization of the disc. Even 701MB was not possible.
Overall, the drive is decently priced. The bundled software of PowerDVD and InstantCD/DVD is nice and should get you going as soon as you install the drive. The only downfall is the lack-luster read speeds of the drive in our testing. Burn speeds were right there with the equivalent Samsung drive.