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.
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
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.
52X Combi DBW-521
MB Data copy
min Audio copy
to create 650 MB
transfer time (secs)
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.