by October 1, 2004 0 comments



Which optical drive are you looking for? The market’s flooded with basic CD-writers, combo drives and simple DVD-ROM drives. Here, we’ve reviewed each type from different vendors, which may help you with your decision. All the drives were tested on a P4 3.0 GHz machine with 256 MB RAM and 18 GB HDD. The software used for testing was Nero 6.0 and InCD, and the media was Samsung 52X CD-R. Most drives claim 24X and 32X CD-RW speeds, but the market, currently, doesn’t have such high-speed media. We, therefore, tested all of them using 10X CD-RW media. To test DVD-ROM drive, we used the Nero CD-DVD speed tests. Overall, there was no major difference in results. All DVD-ROM speed tests averaged around 11-13X read speed as against the rated 16X.

GO-R5232A CD-ReWriter
This IDE drive has rated speeds of 52X write, 32X rewrite and 52X read. It has 2 MB data buffer, and comes bundled with Nero Express 5.5. To directly burn 650 MB of data from a hard drive to the CD-R media, it took 2 mins and 32 secs, and CD-CD copying took 3 mins and 05 secs. While to burn a 73 mins audio CD it took 2 mins and 35 secs, CD-CD (audio) copying took around 5 mins. The time taken to create a 650 MB ISO Image was 3 mins and 06 secs. The results were quite similar to other drives of this speed, except the CD-CD audio copy speed, which took a bit longer.

On the CD-RW front, it took 60.5 secs to format a 700 MB media, and the bulk copy time for 538 MB mix data, using InCD, was 19 mins and 29
secs. 

GO-B5232A 52X-COMBO drive
This IDE combo drive has speeds similar to those of the CD Writer. It comes with a 2 MB data buffer, a 16X DVD ROM and is shipped with Nero Express 5.5 and Power DVD 5. To directly burn 650 MB data from a hard drive to a 52X CD-R media it took 2 mins and 30 secs, and CD-CD copying took 3 mins and 09 secs. While to burn a 73 mins audio CD it took 2 mins and 33 secs, and CD-CD (audio) copying took around 5 mins. The time taken to create a 650 MB ISO Image was 3 mins and 05 secs. The CD-RW tests were an improvement over the CD writer. It took 42.5 secs to format a 700 MB media. The bulk copy time for 538 MB mix data, using InCD, was 11mins and 15 secs. We used Nero CD-DVD speed test for the DVD ROM and a 4.33 GB data DVD for tests. The average transfer rate came to 12.05X though it mentions a 16X speed.

Tests/Model GO-R5232A
CD-ReWriter
GO—B5232A
52X-COMBO drive
GO—D1600B
16X DVD-
ROM
NU
52X Combi DBW-521
CD-R
TEST
650
MB Data copy
2min32sec 2min30sec NA 3min10sec
CD-CD
Copy (data)
3min05sec 3min09sec NA 3min50sec
73
min Audio copy
2min35sec 2min33sec NA 3min40sec
CD-CD
copy (audio)
5min 5min NA 5min40sec
Time
to create 650 MB
ISO
Image
3min06sec 3min05sec NA 3min24sec
CD-RW
TEST
       
Time
to format
60.5sec 42.5sec NA 57.5 sec
Max
capacity
538MB 538MB NA 538MB
Data
transfer time (secs)
19min29sec 11min15sec NA
DVD
SPEED TEST
average
transfer rate
NA 12.05X 11.98X 11.17X
start
transfer rate
NA 6.55X 6.65X 6.72X
end
transfer rate
NA 16.12X 15.98X 14.15X
random
seek time
NA 92ms 118ms 141ms
1/3
seek time
NA 107ms 107ms 119ms
total
seek time
NA 174ms 210ms 203ms
1X
CPU utilization
NA 6% 7% 5%
2X
CPU utilization
NA 12% 12% 20%
4X
CPU utilization
NA 24% 22% 18%
8X
CPU utilization
NA 57% 44% 33%
burst
rate
NA 24MB/s 25MB/s 37MB/s
spin
up time
NA 1.22s 2s 1.92 s
spin
down time
NA 2.86s 3.41s 2.37 s
load
time
NA 1.64s 1.22s 1.49 s
eject
time
NA 1.31s 4.24s 1.73 s
recognition
time
NA 5.75s 7.73s 4.46 s

The random seek time was
92 ms, burst rate was 24 MB/s and 1X CPU utilization was 6%. 

The drive shows good performance and the speed tests are quite satisfactory.

GO-D1600B 16X DVD-ROM
This drive also comes bundled with power DVD 4 and 5. We used Nero CD-DVD speed test and a 4.33 GB data DVD for the tests. The average transfer rate was found to be 11.98X. We also tested the drive for seek time, where it took 118 ms for doing a random seek, 107 ms for a 1/3 seek and 210 ms for doing a full seek. Another thing that we noticed was that the drive showed a 1X CPU utilization of 7% and a burst rate of 25 MB/s, which are competitive results. Its spin up and spin down times are 2.00 secs and 3.41 secs respectively. Lastly, the disc-load, eject and recognition times were 1.22 sec, 4.24 sec and 7.73 sec respectively.

Sudarshana Mishra

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