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Appeared on: Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Optiarc AD-7200S

1. The drive, features

Optiarc's latset AD7200S is a multi writer supporting all types of DVD media currently available. Its high speed specifications support burning of DVD±R media at 20X, DVD-R DL media at 12X, DVD+R DL at 8X, DVD+R DL at 8X, DVD+RW at 8X, DVD-RW at 6X and DVD-RAM at 12X. CD-R media can be burned at 48X and CD-RW at 32X.

The differrence to the AD-7200A model, is that this one is using a S-ATA interface to connect to the computer.

Our test sample was the bulk version of the drive, so we did not get the stuff that the bundle offers.


Product Specification

Read Speed: DVD: 16x max. CD: 48x max.
Write Speed: DVD-R: 20x max. DVD +R: 20x max.
DVD-RW: 6x max. DVD +RW: 8x max.
DVD-R DL: 12x max. DVD +R9: 8x max.
DVD-RAM: 12x max.
CD-R: 48x max. CD-RW: 32x max.
Access time : DVD: 160 ms CD: 140 ms
Mechanism: Motorized tray load mechanism for horizontal and vertical use
Interface : S-ATA
Burst Transfer Rate: 150 MByte/s
Cache: 2 MByte
Media supported: DVD-ROM, DVD-R (DL), DVD-RW (DL), DVD-RAM, DVD +R (DL), DVD +RW, CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW with 80mm and 120mm diameter
Modes supported: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I Ready, CD-Bridge, PhotoCD, VideoCD, CD-DA, CD Extra, CD Text
Writing methods: DAO, SAO, TAO with zero gap, variable or fixed packet, multisession
Compatibility : MPC Level 3, MultiRead, PC2001
Weight: 0.69 kg
Dimensions : 148 mm x 42 mm x 170 mm
Special features: Dust protected enclosure, buffer under run error prevention,
available colours: beige, black, silver

The drive

Our test sample was manufactured in November 2007.

Click for High Resolution Image

This drive is based on the NEC MC-10044 chipset.


The drive was connected via the S-ATA interface and was recognized as "Optiarc DVD RW AD-7200S ".

2. CD/DVD reading tests

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM.

For each CDSpeed graph, you can click on the image to see the complete screenshot, including full measurements.



The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media. Reading reached a maximum of 32x, as per the specifications.

- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 28.85X with a quality score of 98.1

- 90/99 mins Audio disc

90min audio

As you can see in the screenshot above, the drive read the disc successfully but it failed during the access times measurement.

99min Audio

The AD-7200S was unable to detect the 99 min. audio disc.

DVD Format

Now let's take a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of SL and DL DVD media was used. The drive is capable of reading at 16X maximum speed for single layer DVD ROM and at 12X for dual layer DVD ROM media.

DVD-ROM SL media -


The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM 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 its outer range.


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 of 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 and progresses towards the inner part of the disc.














-DVD RAM (12x media)

- DVD Video Ripping

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

Average 11,687KB/s (8,4x)
Maximum 16,369KB/s (11,8x)

- Summary of reading tests

A very good performance from the Optiarc drive, attaining the reading speeds outlined in the specifications with all CD and DVD media.

3. CD error correction tests

In the following tests, we check the drive's behavior and error correction capabilities when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.



Errors total
Num : 397810551
Errors (Loudness)
Max :-3,2dB(A)
Error Muting
Num : 758554
Avg : 1.1Samples
Max : 470Samples
Num : 15
Avg :2760,1 Samples
Max : 2939 Samples
Total Test Result
47,5 points (of 100.0 maximum)

An average score for the Optiarc drive. Some skipped samples were reported andthe maximum Errors Loudness level is a little high, at -3.2 dB(A), and there were quite a few readings at that level so it is possible that some of these could eventually make their way to your speakers in the form of audible clicks.


Errors total
Num :397812490
Errors (Loudness)
Num : 1882487
Avg : -23,7 dB(A)
Max : -3,2dB(A)
Error Muting
Num : 760651
Avg : 1.1 Samples
Max : 470 Samples
Num : 15
Avg : 2760,1Samples
Max : 2939 Samples
Total Test Result
47,5 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Bad performance. The drive should be better here.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is another 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 (e.g. 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
Optiarc AD7200S

The drive managed to correctly play the first three tracks. Problems occurred with the fourth and fifth tracks. Average behavior here. Overall, the drive exhibited mediocre performance with our defective test discs.

4. DVD error correction tests

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the drive (error correction) with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests, we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media


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

The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

Flawless reading, without any problems and without dropping speed.


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.


- Dual Layer media


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.


Here too, the drive continues its good reading performance.


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 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 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 data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer fingerprints.


The defects on both the ABEX TDV-545 & ABEX TDV-541 were overcome by the Optiarc drive.

5. CD burning tests - CMC MAG 48x

For this test (and for all ensuing tests with CD-R media), the CD-R disc was burned to its maximum capacity and at its maximum speed. Then, the same disc is read with the CDSpeed software, and the disc was scanned for digital errors (BLER, C1 and C2) with our system provided by Clover Systems. To simplify the presentation, we present the BLER, E31 and E32 error rates for each disc, which unveil the most serious errors on each disc.

-Disc Info

- Writing strategy

Average Writing Speed: 34.73x
Writing time: 03:15min

- Reading speed

- Writing Quality - Clover Systems


Average writing quality with some uncorrectable errors being reported.

- About Clover Systems

The Clover Systems CDX Compact Disc Analyzer is a tool to quantitatively measure the quality of a CD. It will analyze CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I, CD-R, Photo-CD, Enhanced CD and CD-RW discs at 4X, 8X, 24X, 32X or 40X speed. It effectively measures disc quality by examining the quantity and severity of CIRC errors generated during playback. It also provides the capability to measure signal parameters related to pit geometry, such as asymmetry and reflectivity. Together, all these bits of information provide a thorough analysis of disc quality. The Clover Systems Analyzers can also perform various format-checking tests on data discs, and do bit-for-bit data comparison on all types of CDs. All tests are carried out at the speed of 4X.

CIRC error correction uses two principles to detect and correct errors. The first is redundancy (extra information is added, which gives an extra chance to read the disc), and the second is interleaving (data is distributed over a relatively large physical area). The CIRC error correction used in CD players uses two stages of error correction, the well known C1 and C2, with de-interleaving of the data between the stages.

The error type E11 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C1 stage. E21means two bad symbols were corrected in the C1 stage. E31 means that there were three or more bad symbols at the C1 stage. This block is uncorrectable at the C1 stage, and is passed to the C2 stage. Respectively, E12 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C2 stage and E22 means two bad symbols were corrected in the C2 stage. E32 means that there were three or more bad symbols in one block at the C2 stage, and therefore this error is not correctable.

BLER (Block Error Rate) is defined as the number of data blocks per second that contain detectable errors, at the input of the C1 decoder. Since this is the most general measurement of the quality of a disc, you will find BLER graphs for all media tested below. If you click on the images you can see a more detailed table, indicating error levels. The Red Book specification (IEC 908) calls for a maximum BLER of 220 per second averaged over ten seconds. Discs with higher BLER are likely to produce uncorrectable errors. Al low BLER shows that the system as a whole is performing well, and the pit geometry is good. However, BLER only tells us how many errors were generated per second, and it does not tell us anything about the severity of those errors.

6. CD burning tests - Ritek 48x

-Disc Info

- Writing strategy


Average Writing Speed: 34.78x
Writing time: 03:11min

- Reading

- Writing Quality - Clover Systems


Nice burn with no uncorrectable errors.

7. CD-RW burning tests - Verbatim 32x

-Disc Info

- Writing strategy


Average Writing Speed: 28.88x
Writing time: 03:16min

- Reading speed

- Writing Quality - Clover Systems

Average burn. The test reported many uncorrectable errors.

8. The DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer 2x
The DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer R 2x is one of the cornerstones in DVD quality control equipment, and is truly unique in the industry. It allows checking of replicated DVDs with single and dual layer structure (DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-14, DVD-18) and written DVD recordable, at 1X and 2X speed. It is based on the Pulstec Reference Pickup and Drive, developed in close co-operation with Pulstec and according to the standards of the DVD Forum.

In short, the device's features include:

An explanation of the various parameters the DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer R 2x offers is available here. At the same page, you can read more details about the error signals and a brief analysis the possible meaning of its parameter in the overall quality of each burn.

In the following pages, we present the writing quality measurements of various DVD recordable and rewritable media, burned with the Optiarc AD-7200S burner.

9. DVD+R burning tests - CMCMAG M01 16x

We start our DVD writing quality measurements with DVD-R media. A variety of different MIDs were selected and burned at the maximum allowed speed. In each of the following pages, you will find detailed information about each disc, the burning and reading procedure as well as the related signal measurements that construct the overall quality picture for each disc.

You can always navigate across to the different MIDs in this review, using the page navigation drop down menu.

We should note here that POFs occur when the decoder is unable to correct all the data within an ECC block after attempting one pass of PI Row correction and PO column correction. The wording "one pass" is important because a commercial decoder is usually designed to make several passes or attempts during error correction. There is a possibility that bad bytes may be corrected in one of the subsequent passes. The decoders of DVD testers such the DaTARIUS system, use one pass during error correction. As a result, in some cases where POFs are reported by the tester, these can be corrected by commercial players and drives during reading due to multiple passes.

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (11.70x average) in 6:15min



The writing speed dropped just before the end of the process, a behavior that usually influences the integrity of the recorded data at the specific areas.

- Reading - 16X (11.90X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

This a good burn although a POF error is reported at around 56mm radius of the disc. This was introduced by the corresponding drop in the writing speed, as we saw in the writing graph. This error was expressed as a slight drop in the reading graph.

10. DVD+R burning tests - CMCMAG M02 16x

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (11.95x average) in 5:25min



- Reading - 16X (11.91X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Average burning quality for the AD7200S, PISum8 error rate was over limit, as well as the POF error rate.

11. DVD+R burning tests - DAXON AZ3 16x

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (11.86x average) in 5:27min

- Reading - 16X (11.84x average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

12. DVD+R burning tests - Verbatim MCC004 18x

- Media Info


- Writing - 18x (13.26x average) in 05:03min


- Reading - 16X (11.91X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Very nice writing quality for the Optiarc drive. No uncorrectable errors were reported and the correctable ones were within limits.

13. DVD+R burning tests - PRODISC R05 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.91x average) in 05:26min

- Reading - 16X (11.91X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Again, no uncorrectable errors were reported, making this one a good burn.

14. DVD+R burning tests - RICOH JPN R03 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.76x average) in 06:17min


- Reading - 16X (11.91X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Very nice performance by the Optiarc drive. All error rates within limits.

15. DVD+R burning tests - YUDEN000 T03 20x

- Media Info

- Writing - 20x (14.86x average) in 04:35min



- Reading - 16X (11.88X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Very good writing quality despite the 20X writing speed.

16. DVD-R burning tests - CMCMAG AM3 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.64x average) in 05:51min


- Reading - 16X (11.86X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Again, a few uncorrectable errors were reported. Average burn.

17. DVD-R burning tests - CMCMAG AM4 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.95x average) in 05:27min

- Reading - 16X (11.88X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Excellent burn for the Optiarc drive with the CMC media.

18. DVD-R burning tests - Verbatim MCC03RG20 20x

- Media Info


- Writing - 20x (14.42x average) in 4:43min

- Reading - 16X (11.91X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Very nice writing quality again, now with the Verbatim MCC disc.

19. DVD-R burning tests - PRODISC F02 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.76x average) in 05:58min


- Reading - 16X (11.89X average)


DaTARIUS Scans -


Perfect writing quality, with no uncorrectable errors.

20. DVD-R burning tests - PRODISC S05 16x

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (11.93x average) in 5:28min


- Reading - 16X (11.89X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Average writing quality with some uncorrectable errors being reported. We can also see that at about radius 42mm, where some POF errors are reported, the RADIAL1 and RADIAL2 signals are over limit possibly causing the POF errors.

21. DVD-R burning tests - RITEK F1 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.97x average) in 05:27min

- Reading - 16X (11.92X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Excellent burning quality.

22. DVD-R burning tests - TTH02 18x

- Media Info


- Writing - 18x (11.31x average) in 6:42min



This was a rather strange behavior with the drive to reach the 16X and then gradually slow down to finish burnomg at 4x!

- Reading - 16X (11.79X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -



23. DVD-RAM burning tests - MXL22 12x

- Media Info


- Writing - 12x (9.85x average) in 5:55min


- Reading - 12X (10.06X average)


24. DVD-R DL burning tests - MKM 04RD30 12x

- Media Info


- Writing - 12x (8.66x average) in 13:44min

A pretty fast burn here at 12x using the CAV strategy.

- Reading - 12x (9.21X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Layer 0

Layer 1

Average burning quality on the first layer, while the second one was excellent.

25. DVD-R DL burning tests - MKM 03RD30 8x

- Media Info


- Writing - 8x (6.33x average) in 18:54min

- Reading - 12X (8.85X average)


DaTARIUS Scans -

Layer 0

Layer 1

Excellent burning quality with both layers in perfect condition.

26. DVD+R DL burning tests - MKM 0003 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (6.32x average) in 18:55min



- Reading - 12x (8.85X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Layer 0

Layer 1

Uncorrectable errors were reported at the layer 1 of the disc.

27. DVD+R DL burning tests - RITEK S06 8x

- Media Info


The Optiarc AD-7200S burnt the brand new RITEK S06 DVD+R DL media for 16X at 8X, as it was expected.

- Writing - 8x (6.34x average) in 18:47min

- Reading - 12x (8.85X average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Layer 0

Layer 1

High quality burn at 8X with the RITEK S06 DVD+R DL 16X.

28. DVD-RW burning tests - MKM01RW6X01 6x

- Media Info

- Writing - 6x (6.00x average) in 10:08min



- Reading - 13X (9.65X average)

ALMEDIO scan -

The test reported no uncorrectable errors, excellent writing quality!

29. DVD+RW burning tests - MKM A03 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (7.74x average) in 7:57min


- Reading - 13X (9.67X average)

ALMEDIO scan -

The test reported no uncorrectable errors, excellent writing quality!

30. Summary of DVD burning tests, Bitsetting, Overburning

In the following table, we have gathered the findings of the DVD quality measurement tests. Note that each disc was measured under the same conditions with the DaTARIUS equipment. On the left side of the table, you can find the discs that did not produce uncorrectable digital errors, while on the right side are the rest of the discs. For detailed measurement data, visit the corresponding pages.

Media type
Digital errors within limits
Digital errors exceed limits
CMC MAG. AM3 burned at 16X. ProdiscS05 burned at 16x
CMC MAG. AM4 burned at 16X. OPTODISCR008 burned at 8x
Verbatim MCC 03RG20 burned at 20x TTH02 burned at 18x
ProdiscF02 burned at 16x  
RITEKF1 burned at 16x  
CMC MAG M01 burned at 16x CMC MAG M02 burned at 16x
BenQ DAXON AZ3 000 burned at 16X.  
Verbatim MCC 004 burned at 18x  
PRODISC R05 001 burned at 16X.  
RICOHJPN R03 004 burned at 16X.  
YUDEN000 T03 burned at 20x  
DVD-R DL Verbatim MKM 03RD30 burned at 8x Verbatim MKM 04RD30 burned at 12x
DVD+R DL Verbatim MKM 003 burned at 8x  
DVD+RW Verbatim MKM A03 burned at 8x  
DVD-RW Verbatim MKM 01RW6X01 burned at 6x  

- Booktype Settings


- DVD Overburning

As we can see, the drive supports a bit of overburning of DVD recordable media, according to CDSpeed.

31. Final words

The DVD RW AD-7200 A/S drives are Optiarc's new high speed DVD media multi writers. The sample we received was the AD-7200S, which connects to the PC via an S-ATA interface. This is not something to be neglected, as it can support up to 150 MByte/sec transfer rate. The specifications of the drive are good, thus making us wait for the test results to see if it is indeed one of the best.

The CD error correction mechanisms of the drive proved to be mediocre, generating high levels of noise, some times audible. DVD error correction was good, successfully reading all of our defective discs while maintaining the reading speed at high levels.

As far as reading and writing speeds are concerned, the drive satisfied us, meeting its specifications. However only a few of the high speed discs were burned at 20X. Some of them were burned at 18X, while other drives can burn them at 20X. Also, some other discs, such as the TTH02 and the MCC03RG20 showed some fluctuations at the writing speed near the end of the process, as it was approaching the maximum speed. Average performance here, too.

Moving on to the writing quality tests, performed well, rarely producing huge amounts of uncorrectable errors. All of the burned discs were able to be read and many of them reported excellent test results.

To sum up, the AD-7200S proved to be an overall good DVD multi writer, supporting high speeds as well us qualitative burning. We enjoyed the decent writing quality of the drive with various DVDs, making it reliable enough for worry-free back ups.

You can find it at the stores for about $30.

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