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Lite-On 52x24x52x CD-RW
By Aaron Yip
Category : Optical Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 1st November, 2002
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

CD-ROM Performance

To test the reading speed of the Lite-On 52x, we used Nero CD Speed v1.00 as the benchmark here. Nero CD Speed will also help gather seek time results based on different access patterns using various types of media. As with all previous tests, we will be using a commercially-pressed CD (Warcraft III Installation disc), two Audio CDs (NOW That's What I Call Music, and Depeche Mode's "Ultra") and an Ultra-Speed 24x CD-RW disc (manufactured by Mitsubishi) as the three common medium for this benchmark. The basis of this benchmark here is to find out where the drive stands in terms of its ability to read each different type of media.

Nero CD Speed (Speed)
Nero CD Speed (Speed) Data CD (Warcraft III Installation CD) Audio CD (Depeche Mode's "Ultra") CD-RW CD (Various Files)
Average: 36.98x  37.34x 31.56x
Start: 22.64x  22.30x 19.31x
End: 48.65x 49.41x 41.54x

Nero CD Speed (CPU Usage)
Nero CD Speed (CPU Usage) Data CD (Warcraft III Installation CD) Audio CD (Depeche Mode "Ultra") CD-RW CD (Various Files)
1x: 14% 2% 2%
2x: 4% 6% 3%
4x: 8% 15% 7%
8x: 40% 20% 12%

Nero CD Speed (Seek Times)
Nero CD Speed (Seek Times) Data CD (Warcraft III Installtion CD) Audio CD (Depeche Mode "Ultra") CD-RW CD (Various Files)
Random: 90ms 83ms 86ms
1/3: 100ms 101ms 98ms
Full: 152ms 154ms 146ms

As a CD-ROM, the drive performed above average and it didn't really meet our expectation - we had hoped it'll hit 52x or even beyond. We can see in the Audio CD test that even with a full 74 minutes audio CD, the Lite-On drive wasn't even able to go pass the 50x barrier. The same goes with the Data CD result. What was disappointing was the drive's lacklustre performance in reading CD-RW media, as seen in the tables above.

Ziff-Davis CD Winbench Results

We then compared the Lite-On 52x24x52x with two other drives, namely, the Iomega 48x24x48x and the Plextor 48x24x48x CD-RW using Ziff-Davis Media's CD Winbench 99. All three are internal IDE drives as well.

Ziff-Davis CD Winbench Comparisons
Benchmarks Iomega Internal 48x24x48x PlexWriter PX-W4824TA 48x24x48x Lite-On 52x24x52x
CD WinMark (Overall) 2120 KB/sec 2430 KB/sec 2120 KB/sec
Disk Access Time 90.5 milliseconds 62.7 milliseconds 91.5 milliseconds
Disk Transfer Rate (beginning/end) / KB/sec 2860 / 6420 2770 / 5760 2970 / 6820

Over here, we can see that the Lite-On drive's faster 52x-read speed pushed it ahead of the other two drives in the Disk Transfer Rate test. But where the Lite-On matched up very closely with the Iomega 48x24x48x, both drives failed to beat the Plextor PlexWriter in CD WinMark and Disk Access Time tests. Overall, the Lite-On 52x24x52x performed just as an average CD-ROM drive, although for a drive that can read up to 52x we'd expected it to do much better.

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