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» Channels :: Optical Storage
TDK Dual Format +/- 4x DVD Writer
By Aaron Yip
Category : Optical Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Tuesday, 3rd June, 2003
Rating : 5 out of 5 stars  

Nero CD Speed

As usual, let's test the reading speed of the TDK drive using Nero CD Speed. The benchmark will also help gather seek time results based on different access patterns using various types of media. Using a commercially-pressed CD, an Audio CD, a CD-R and a CD-RW disc as the four common medium for this benchmark, we will know where the drive stands in terms of its ability to read each different type of media.

Data CD test was based on a Warcraft III installation disc while the Audio CD test was performed using a "NOW That's What I Call Music" album. The High-Speed CDRW disc was a Lite-On branded 12x disc and the CDR is a 48x disc (based on the Hitachi dye). Both the CD-R and CD-RW media are written with various data files and are identical in its content. The results are shown in the table below.

Nero CD Speed (Speed)
Nero CD Speed (Speed) Data CD (Warcraft III Installation CD) Audio CD (NOW That's What I Called Music Vol. 40) CD-R CD(Various Files) CD-RW CD (Various Files)
Average: 28.94x 25.90x 26.54x 25.31x
Start: 17.13x 15.06x 18.41x 14.95x
End: 38.09x 34.30x 25.36x 33.21x

Nero CD Speed (CPU Usage)
Nero CD Speed (CPU Usage) Data CD (Warcraft III Installation CD) Audio CD (NOW That's What I Called Music Vol. 40) CD-R CD(Various Files) CD-RW CD (Various Files)
1x: 0% 1% 1% 1%
2x: 1% 2% 2% 1%
4x: 3% 3% 7% 3%
8x 6% 7% 6% 6%

Nero CD Speed (Seek Times)
Nero CD Speed (Seek Times) Data CD (Warcraft III Installation CD) Audio CD (NOW That's What I Called Music Vol. 40) CD-R CD(Various Files) CD-RW CD (Various Files)
Random: 110ms 106ms 189ms 122ms
1/3: 116ms 118ms 168ms 128ms
Full: 174ms 175ms 239ms 178ms

The CD-ROM performance of the TDK DVD drive, while not as fantastic as some of the ultra-speed CD-RW drives that we've seen, is actually one of the better results we've seen from a DVD writer. On tests such as those based on the Audio and CD-RW discs, the drive performed just about average - with a score of 34.30x and 33.21x respectively. The TDK drive however, excelled most in the Data CD test, where it managed to perform close to its rated 40x speed. We're also pleased to see that the same drive managed to keep its CPU Usage low when used with all four media. Our only gripe here is that the DVD writer's performance with CD-R media could be much improved on, where its high Seek Times and low Speed scores didn't quite do the drive justice.

Ziff-Davis Media CD Winbench 99

Unlike Nero CD Speed, CD Winbench 99 is a synthetic benchmark that measures the performance of a PC's CD-ROM subsystem - which includes the CD-ROM drive, controller, and driver. In this case, we pitted the TDK drive against the HP dvd300e and Ricoh MP5125A using our (recently upgraded) standard test system (see last page for a complete configuration). Unlike the TDK and HP drives which are both 40x-read drives, the Ricoh MP5125A only reads at a maximum of 32x. However, we decided to add it in anyway, to see how wide the performance margin between the old and new generation of DVD writers are.

Ziff-Davis Media CD Winbench 99
Benchmarks TDK Dual Format +/- 4x DVD (40x CD-ROM) HP dvd writer dvd300e (40x CD-ROM) Ricoh MP5125A (32x CD-ROM)
Disk Access Time 103 milliseconds 103 milliseconds 111 milliseconds
Disk Transfer Rate (beginning/end) / KB/sec 2620 / 5340 2630 / 5350 2110 / 4300

The results seen above tell us that the TDK writer, like the HP dvd300e is quite a speedy 40x CD-ROM despite it being a little fussy with CD-Rs as seen in Nero CD Speed. Against the Ricoh offering, it isn't a surprise that the TDK writer surpassed it with its superior CD-ROM read speed. It was supposed to beat it anyway. Compared to the HP dvd300e, the results showed both drives to be rather evenly matched - the marginal difference in score between the TDK and HP DVD writer in the Disk Transfer Rate test is negligable, really.

All in all, the TDK DVD writer is a pretty good CD-ROM drive if the above benchmarking results were anything to go by, despite its hiccups with certain CD-R media.

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