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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Friday, November 19, 2004
DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4


1. Asus DVD-E616P2

DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 1

Asus DVD-E616P2

The DVD-E616P2 is the latest internal half-height DVD-ROM from ASUS. The drive supports 16X DVD-ROM and 48X CD-ROM reading speeds.

- Features

The ASUS DVD-E616P2 delivers superior stability with an anti-vibration mechanism that reduces vibration throughout the drive. It also increases control of resonance frequency and limits vibration noise for quiet operation and smooth DVD playback performance.

- Specifications

Sustained DataTransfer Rate 16X max:21640 KB/s (DVD)
48X max:7200 KB/s (CD)
Burst Data Transfer Rate 99.9MB/s (Ultra DMA/100 Mode)
66.6MB/s (Ultra DMA/66 Mode)
33.3MB/s (Ultra DMA/33 Mode)
16.6MB/s (PIO Mode 4 & Multi-Word DMA Mode 2)
Random Access Time DVD:120ms typical
CD:120ms typical
Interface ATAPI Specification
Disc Formats DVD
DVD-R, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-18, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, DVD+R, DVD+RW
CD
CD XA(Video), CD XA(Audio), CD RW(Video),CD RW(Audio), CD RW(UDF), Multi-Session(Data), Multi-Session(Audio), Bootable CD, CD ROM, Karaoke CD, CD-MixMode, CD-Extra, CD-I, Photo CD
Disc Diameters 8cm & 12cm
Data Buffer Size 512 KB
Mounting Orientation Horizontal & Vertical
Compatibility Windows 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP, DOS6.xx, Linux
Audio Outputs Line out Output: 0.7V rms typical
Reliability MTBF:
100,000 Power On Hours (POH)
MTTR:
0.5 hr
Environment Temperature
Operating: 5~45° C
Storage: -20~60° C
Humidity
Operating: 20~80% (non-condensing)
Storage:15~85% (non-condensing)
Configuration Dimension: 14.85 x 4.26 x 17.3 cm (W x H x D)
Weight: 830g
Power Requirement Voltage:DC + 5V / DC + 12V
Tolerance:5% / 10%

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times.

- The package

The retail box includes the drive, one audio cable for the internal connection with the motherboard, mounting screws, quick installation guide and a CD-ROM with PowerDVD software and drivers. No IDE cable is included.

On the front, there is the DVD-ROM logo located on the left, while the QuieTrack logo is situated under the Asus logo in the center. The activity indicator light is located in the middle while the emergency eject button is on the left. And finally on the right there is the eject button.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:

Click for bigger image

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and WindowsXP recognized it as "ASUS DVD-E616P2 ". The drive arrived with firmware v1.03.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.30
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. KProbe v2.4.1

2. Samsung TS-H352A

DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 2

Samsung TS-H352A

TS-H352A is the latest DVD-ROM from Samsung. The drive supports 16X DVD reading and 48X for CD. DVD-RAM is also supported.

 

- Features

- Specifications

Interface

ATAPI - E/IDE

Data Transfer Rate
DVD: 16X (21,600KB/sec)
CD: 48X (7,200KB/sec)
Burst Transfer Rate
PIO Mode 4 (16.6 MB/sec)
DMA Mode 2 (16.6 MB/sec)
Ultra DMA supported (66.6 MB/sec)
Average Access Time
DVD : 100ms, CD : 100ms
Supported Disc
DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, DVD-Viedo ,CD-ROM/XA, CD-ROM, Video-CD, CD-I, Photo CD, CD-Extra, CD-TEXT, CD-R/RW, CD-DA
Buffer Memory
512KB
Dimensions
(WxHxD mm)
148.2 x 42 x 184
Weight (kg)
0.74

The drive uses the RPC II region control, allowing the user to change the drive's region at most 5 times.

- The package

The retail box includes the drive, an IDE and an audio cable, four mounding screws, a quick installation guide and two CDs with PowerDVD 5 Software, Manual and drivers.

The front is the typical panel available on most Samsung drives with the only difference being the array of logos.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

Opening the device's case will void the drive's warranty, something we don't recommend. Press on the image below for an enlarged view:

Click for bigger image


The main chipset is coming from Meditek

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and WindowsXP recognized it as "TSSTcorp DVD-ROM TS-H352A". The drive arrived with firmware vTS01. After the end of the reviews vTS03 had been released. We also checked the drive with the latest firmware but didn't notice any difference.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.30
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. KProbe v2.4.1

3. LiteOn SOHD-167T

DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 3

LiteOn SOHD-167T

The SOHD-167T is the latest internal half-height DVD-ROM from LiteON. The drive supports 16X DVD-ROM and 48X CD-ROM reading speeds.

- Specifications

LiteOn

SOHD-167T

Interface

ATAPI - E/IDE

Read Speed

DVD-ROM: 16X Max (21,350KB/sec)
CD-ROM: 48X Max (7,200KB/sec)

Access Time

DVD: 105ms ( typical )
CD: 95ms ( typical )

Supported Disc Format

Multi-Read
UDF, all DVD single/dual layer
( PTP, OTP ), DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW,
CD, CD-R, CD-RW
ISO-9660, all CD-ROM formats both 8cm & 12cm discs

Buffer Size
512KB
Supported Disc Diameter
8cm/12cm
Mount Position
Horizontal/Vertical

Dimensions (W x H x D)

145.8 x 41.3 x 170.0mm

Weight

0.8Kg

The drive uses a 512KB buffer memory and below we can see the supported reading formats. Note that DVD-RAM reading is not supported, but the drive can read DVD+R DL.

DVDInfoPro gives us some additional details about the drive's capabilities as well:

The drive's model name, SOHD-167T, is coded according to the SONY Alliance Models ODD Naming Rule:

Lastly, let's see what additional information KProbe software returns for LiteON based drives:

- The package

The retail box includes the internal drive, one audio cable for the internal connection with the motherboard, mounting screws, quick installation guide and one CD with PowerDVD 5 Software, Manual and DOS driver.

On the front, on the disc tray there are the DVD-ROM and the compact disc logos. The phone jack, sound level control and the activity indicator light are located on the left side, below the disc tray. On the right side there is the eject button.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connection and the power input.

The drive is a half-height internal device, much shorter than the usual CD/DVD recorder, making installation an easy task for PCs with small footprint.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:

Click for bigger image

Inside the LiteOn SOHD -167T there are the MT1828E an optical disk controller chip and the MT1816E for the analog signal process both from MediaTek Inc. The board as well as the servo control comes from SONY.

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and WindowsXP recognized it as "LITE-ON DVD SOHD-167T". The drive arrived with firmware v9S13. The main tests has been made with the firmware revision v9S14.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.00
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.21
  5. KProbe v2.2.

  6. 4. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 4

    Transfer Rate Reading Tests

    In order to confirm the specifications for all drives in CD readings we used one CD pressed media, a copy on CD-R and HS-RW media. The results are illustrated in the following graphs.

    - CD Format

    In the first two tests with Pressed CD and CDR media, the LiteOn proved to be much faster than the two other drives. With USRW media however, the Asus was the fastest with the LiteOn slowest.

    - DVD Format

    We repeated the same tests with DVD media this time.

    All drives reported similar speeds. The differences can be considered as negligible.

    The following DVD is a PTP DVD-ROM where the two layers of the disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards the outer range for each layer.

    The Asus drive performed much faster with the specific media type.

    The graph shown below, indicates the reading performance of the three drives with an OTP dual layer media. The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks towards the inner part of the disc.

    As in the previous case, the Asus drive was again the fastest and by a rather considerable difference. Hence with Double Layer media, the Asus drive simply proved to be too fast for the competition.

    The two following graphs include the reading performance with recordable and rewritable media, where again the Pioneer drive is the fastest due to its higher supported speed.

    Once again the highest reading speeds belong to the Asus drive. LiteOn had normal speeds while the Samsung was slow and below average.

    We ripped the contents of a pressed Double Layer movie to the hard disk using each of the drives. The results are summarized below:

    The ASUS drive's ripping speed is quite impressive leaving the other two drives lagging behind.

    The Samsung drive is the only one that supports DVD-RAM reading, a feature that differentiates the drive from the other two:

    -Appendix Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs

    Asus

    Samsung

    LiteOn


    5. CD Error Correction Tests

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 5

    CD Error Correction Tests

    In the following tests we check the drives behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

    - ABEX TCD-721R

    Errors total
    Num: 1599506
    Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
    Num: 68139
    Avg: -74.6 dB(A)
    Max: -16.9 dB(A)
    Error Muting Samples
    Num: 4826
    Avg: 1.3 Samples
    Max: 631 Samples
    Skips Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0.0 Samples
    Max: 0 Samples
    Total Test Result
    75.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

    Errors total
    Num: 1105276
    Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
    Num: 53981
    Avg: -71.5 dB(A)
    Max: -4.7 dB(A)
    Error Muting Samples
    Num: 4209
    Avg: 3.2 Samples
    Max: 545 Samples
    Skips Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0.0 Samples
    Max: 0 Samples
    Total Test Result
    75.3 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

    LiteOn SOHD167T
    Errors total
    Num: 1632452
    Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
    Num: 120120
    Avg: -45.0 dB(A)
    Max: -7.2 dB(A)
    Error Muting Samples
    Num: 34042
    Avg: 1.5 Samples
    Max: 3401 Samples
    Skips Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0.0 Samples
    Max: 0 Samples
    Total Test Result
    73.6 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

    The performance with this test disc is acceptable for all drives. However, the Samsung TS-H352 had a lower total error count with only a few spikes being over the -36dB limit.

    - ABEX TCD-726

    Errors total
    Num: 0
    Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
    Num: 0
    Avg: -174.0 dB(A)
    Max: -174.0 dB(A)
    Error Muting Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0 Samples
    Max:0 Samples
    Skips Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0.0 Samples
    Max: 0 Samples
    Total Test Result
    100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

    Errors total
    Num: 0
    Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
    Num: 0
    Avg: -174.0 dB(A)
    Max: -174.0 dB(A)
    Error Muting Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0 Samples
    Max:0 Samples
    Skips Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0.0 Samples
    Max: 0 Samples
    Total Test Result
    100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

    LiteOn SOHD167T
    Errors total
    Num: 71
    Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
    Num: 11
    Avg: -77.0 dB(A)
    Max: -66.5 dB(A)
    Error Muting Samples
    Num: 0
    Avg: 0.0 Samples
    Max: 0 Samples
    Skips Samples
    Num:0
    Avg: 0.0 Samples
    Max: 0 Samples
    Total Test Result
    93.3 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

    The Asus and Samsung drives managed to pass this test with an absolute score of 100.00. The LiteOn reported some errors and its score was lower at 93.3 but still quite acceptable.

    - CD-Check Audio Test Disc

    The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

    The tracks are reproduced through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

    Error Level
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    Asus DVD-E616P2
    5/5
    5/5
    5/5
    5/5
    0/5

    Error Level
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    Samsung TS-H352
    5/5
    5/5
    5/5
    5/5
    0/5

    Error Level
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    LiteOn SOHD-167T
    5/5
    5/5
    5/5
    5/5
    5/5

    Once again the Asus and Samsung drives showed similar performance. They managed to playback cleanly the first four tracks, revealing good error correction. The LiteOn on the other hand went one better with a performance that a few drives have achieved in the past. All tracks were played flawlessly by the LiteOn drive.

    - Summary

    Generally, we could say that the performance is good for all the drives. We would simply highlight the LiteOn's performance with the CD-Check Audio Test Disc.


    6. DVD Error Correction Tests

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 6

    DVD Error Correction Tests

    In the following tests we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the drives with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media came from ALMEDIO.

    - Single Layer media

    ABEX TDR-821

    This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

     

    The following transfer rate screenshots come from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

    This disc was not a problem for any of the drives. We consider that the ASUS' reading graph was about as smooth as it gets.

    ABEX TDR-825

    This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on it but instead defective areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm.

    There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

    The performance was again good for all the drives. However, the Samsung and LiteOn drives had a few momentary drops, especially over the defective area on the disc. On the other hand, the ASUS again produced a near perfect line.

    - Dual Layer media

    ABEX TDR-841

    This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

     

    All drives managed to read the defective areas on the disc without any problems. There are also very few speed fluctuations (random yellow dots), indicating how effortlessly the drives read this disc.

    ABEX TDR-845

    The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micrometers.

     

    The ASUS and LiteOn drives showed very good performance. The Samsung's reading graph shows a reading error (red dot) over the middle of the first defective region on the first layer of the disc which is not good. We repeated the reading but the results were the same for the Samsung drive.

    ABEX TDV-541

    The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB.The disc is based upon the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files.

    The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

    The reading process finished successfully for all drives. The region just after the layer switch seemed to be difficult for both the ASUS and Samsung drives, where both slowed down in order to read the contents but no errors were reported. The LiteOn drive had the smoothest reading graph.

    ABEX TDV-545

    The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB.

     

     

    The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the disc's surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer thickness, fingerprints.

    Black dots and fingerprints on the disc's surface did not create any reading problems, and all the drives finished the task successfully.


    7. DAE Tests

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 7

    DAE Tests

    - Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

    Both the ASUS and LiteOn drives support 40X DAE speed while the Samsung 32X. The following results were reported when using Exact Audio Copy.

    As was expected, the Samsung was the slowest while the other two reported similar performance with ASUS being fastest with a margin of 1X from the LiteOn. EAC also reported the following information for each drive:

    Asus
    Samsung
    LiteOn

    - Advanced DAE Quality

    All tested drives received a perfect quality score of 100. The average speed for the LiteOn was the fastest.

    Asus

    Samsung

    LiteOn

    - Ripping 90mins AudioCDs

    - Ripping 99mins AudioCDs


    8. Protected AudioCDs

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 8

    Protected AudioCDs

    For the test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process for all protected Audio discs was performed with Exact Audio Copy v0.9beta5.

    The tested protected Audio discs were:

    • Sony's Key2Audio from "Celine Dion - New Day Has Come"
    • Cactus Data Shield 200 from "Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island"

    The Cactus Data Shield 200 contains artificial errors that are not easily bypassed by the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session, causing problems for readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

    The tested tasks are:

    • Recognition of the inserted disc (Yes/No)
    • Ripping all wavs (with EAC's Burst Mode) to the hard disk with copy&compare function.
    • Listening to the produced wavs for any click/skips.

    All drives recognized up to the 13th Audio track of CDS200 disc,

    and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed the 13th Data track was also read.

    The test results are shown in the following table:

    Key2Audio
    CDS200
    Asus DVD-E616P2
    Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
    CD is unreadable under Windows OS
    Samsung TS-H352
    Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
    CD is unreadable under Windows OS
    LiteOn SOHD-167T
    CD is unreadable under Windows OS
    CD works with Windows Media Player, ripping process completed with EAC which reports timing problems. Read&Test CRC comparison was unsuccessful for most of the tracks

    None of the three drives managed to play both of the tested discs.

    • Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a (Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter)

    This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't produce any artificial errors during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected to specific chipset weaknesses.

    CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
    Asus DVD-E616P2
    Reading performed without any errors
    Samsung TS-H352
    LiteOn SOHD-167T

    9. Protected Disc Tests

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 9

    Protected Disc Tests

    - Reading Tests

    To create the image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration for each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.
    Game Title Protection Scheme Drive Duration Reading speed
    PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"   Lybcrypt   Asus 00:57min 1585 sectors/sec
    Samsung 02:11min 690 sectors/sec
    LiteOn 04:42 min 320 sectors/sec
    Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07   SafeDisc v.2.60.052   Asus 02:19 min 2413 sectors/sec
    Samsung 2:24:39 min 39 sectors/sec
    LiteOn 2:00:05 min 47 sectors/sec
    VRally II   SecuROM v.2   Asus 02:37min 2190 sectors/sec
    Samsung 03:52min 1482 sectors/sec
    LiteOn 04:47 min 1198 sectors/sec

    Once again, the ASUS drive was the fastest in all cases. Safedisc protection seemed to be especially difficult for the other two drives.


    10. Asus vs S300

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 11

    Asus vs S300

    - Single Layer Media

    To check exactly what the ASUS DVD-E616P2 reports, we used different media, burned with other recorders. These media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

    According to CDSpeed, only three reading speeds are supported, 10X/8X/5X, while the scanning interval is 64ECC blocks.

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 5X Reading speed

    The trend line from the CDSpeed graph for the PI sum is similar to the SA300. The values are also very close if we consider the difference in scales. The PIF readings are also similar.

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

    Neither the PI sum or the PIF are not the same from both scans.

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 10X Reading speed

    Not many similarities...

    - Double Layer Media

    The reading process froze at 49% at all tested speeds:


    11. 167T vs S300

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 12

    167T vs S300

    - Single Layer Media

    To check exactly what the LiteOn SOHD-167T reports and how different the new chipset inside the new LiteOn drive is compared with the older drives, we used different media, burned on other recorders. These media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

    Since all LiteON drives reports only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at three reading speeds:

    • 3~8X CAV
    • 2~6X CAV
    • 4X CLV

    Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested SOHD-167T drive. Using other 167T drives can produce totally different results. Be aware!

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

    The trend line is similar for both scans while the values themselves are also quite close.

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

    The trendline is similar here too but this time the values are quite different.

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

    Once again the trend line is similar but the values very different.

    - Double Layer Media

    For checking exactly what the SOHW-1633S reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

    The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at various reading speeds:

    • 3~8X CAV
    • 2~6X CAV
    • Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1633S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1633S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

    Only the PIF scans are similar for the two scans. The PI sum is totally different.

    PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

    Nothing in common...


    12. Hacked Firmware for Asus

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 13

    Hacked Firmware for Asus

    There's no RPC-1 firmware yet for this drive. To make your drive region free, you can use DVD Region+CSS Free.


    13. Hacked Firmware for Samsung

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 14

    Hacked Firmware for Samsung

    Currently, there's RPC1 firmware support for this Samsung DVD-ROM, but it is in the older TS02 firmware revision.


    14. Hacked Firmware for LiteOn

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 15

    Hacked Firmware for LiteOn

    We flashed the drive to the v9S19 firmware revision, which is not official but does support 16X DVD SL reading and 10X DL. We then repeated some tests in order to find out if there were any differences.

    In all cases, the patched LiteOn was faster with the hacked firmware than with the official.

    In order to check if a patched firmware will affect the reading ability of a drive we repeat our DVD error correction tests.

    ABEX TDR-821

    ABEX TDR-825

    ABEX TDR-841

    ABEX TDR-845

    ABEX TDV-541

    ABEX TDV-545

    As you can see, there is no difference in this series of tests.

    Using Kprobe software, we managed to successfully remove the RPC lock.


    15. Conclusion

    DVD-ROM Roundup Vol.4 - Page 16

    Conclusion

    To start with, we saw fast CD reading speed for the LiteOn due to its supported 52X speed, while the Asus and Samsung follow with 40X and 32X respectively. The seek times were also low for the LiteOn drive. On the other hand, with USRW reading, the LiteOn supports up to 24X and for this reason was the slowest among the drives, where the Asus and Samsung support 32X.

    All the drives had similar performance when reading Single Layer pressed DVD-ROM media, where 16X speed was achieved with all the drives. The situation is not the same with Double Layer pressed media where Asus leads the race. When the other two drives finished the task reporting 8X, Asus was over 12X. Notice that the tests were done with the official firmware revisions. The same also happened with recordable media. The maximum speed for the LiteOn and Samsung at the end of reading, was close to 8X. In the same test, Asus was almost up to 10X.

    Most owners use their DVD-ROM drives for transferring their pressed movie titles onto their hard disks. One more time, the Asus drive performed excellently. The average ripping speed, as it was reported by DVD Decrypter, was at 11620KB/s ( 8.4X). The transfer rates for the LiteOn and Samsung, for the same task, were 8715KB/s and 9376KB/s respectively.

    A very strong advantage for the Samsung drive is its ability to read DVD-RAM media, while both the other drives do not recognize this format.

    CD error correction was good for all the drives with the LiteOn shining through with the CD-Check Audio Test Disc and the Samsung with the ABEX TCD-721R. Generally, the performance was similar for all drives.

    According to our DVD error correction tests, the LiteOn performed flawlessly. Very good performance was also shown by the other two drives with the exception of a single reading error that the Samsung drive reported during the reading of the ABEX TDR-845 test disc.

    The DAE speed was similar for the LiteOn and Asus drives, nearing 40X, while the Samsung lagged behind due to its 32X supported speed. The advanced DAE quality score from CDSpeed was 100 for all drives. The LiteOn drive also managed to read successfully both 90min and 99min test discs, while the Asus failed with the 99min disc and the Samsung with the 90min.

    Key2Audio and CDS200, AudioCD protections, worked partially in the drives. Key2Audio proved to be a minor problem for the LiteOn drive while CDS200 for the Asus and Samsung. The latest CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a was not a problem for any of the drives.

    Asus is fast in ripping protected CD games, especially with SafeDisk protection where the other two drives had major problems. Overall, the LiteOn was the slowest and Asus the fastest.

    The ability of the Asus and LiteOn drives to measure quality in DVD media is a strong feature. Asus works well with CDSpeed while LiteOn with Kprobe. Their accuracy however cannot be compared to a reference device and the results can only be used for personal comparisons.

    Another important feature of any drive, at least in our estimations, is its unofficial support from firmware revisions that can change the behavior of the drive. In our tests, the LiteOn leads the race in this regard, while the Asus has no unofficial firmware support, not even for setting the drive to region free. The Samsung has a previous firmware release with region free support, while the LiteOn can be flashed so that the drive can read 16X DVD SL media and 10X for DL. The region free option is also available.

    The pricing for all three drives is almost the same, at around $25.



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