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Appeared on: Friday, December 19, 2008
Samsung SH-S223F

1. Introduction, specifications

Toshiba Samsung Storage Division (TSST) has been among the first ODD maker that made its move into the market of 22X DVD burners with the SH-S223F. However, they took the initiative to also make it the first drive able to burn DVD+R DL media at 16X. This innovation along with the 22X burning feature sure make it something interesting to check out, and can make it stand out as the choice of many users.

The Samsung drive is able to burn DVD±R media at 22X, DVD+R DL at 16X, DVD-R DL at 12X, DVD+RW media at 8X, DVD-RW at 6X, DVD-RW DL at 2X and DVD-RAM at 12X. It is connected to the computer via a S-ATA interface, thus allowing Burst Transfer Rates of up to 1.5Gbps.

The drive is part of the company's Writemaster family of products, meaning that it carries all these technologies met in previous models, including the tilt actuator compensation and weight balance compensation technologies, buffer underrun for worry-free CD/DVD burnings as well as double OPC technology for reliable recordings.

- Drive Features & Specifications

General Features
Drive Type
Drive Height
DrIve Mounting
Buffer Memory
Data Transfer Rate
CD-R Write 48X
Read 40X
CD-RW Write 32X
Read 32X
Write 48X
Read 16X
DVD+R Write 22X
Read 16X
DVD-R Write 22X
Read 16X
DVD+R Double Layer Write 16X
Read 12X
DVD-R Double Layer Write 12X
Read 12X
DVD+RW Write 8X
Read 12X
DVD-RW Write 6X
Read 12X
DVD-RAM Write 12X
Read 12X
Performance Features
Burst Transfer Rate PIO Mode 4 16.6MB/ps
DMA Mode 2 16.6MB/ps
UDMA Mode 2 33.3mb/ps
S-ATA 150mb/ps
Average Access Time CD-ROM 110ms
DVD-ROM 130ms
E-Co Product : RoHS Yes
Automatic Ball Balancing System : A.B.S Yes
Weight Balancing System : W.B.S Yes
Firmware Live Update Yes
Buffer Underrun Free Technology Yes
Speed Adjustment Technology : S.A.T Yes
Double O.P.C Technology Yes
Tilt Actuator Compensation Technology : T.A.C Yes
Product Weights & Dimensions
Dimension(W x H x D) 142 x 42 x 170mm
Weight 1.2Kg

-The Drive

The drive's external design is typical and the the available extra bezels could be easily installed and match the color of your PC case.

Let's have a look in the drive's internals.

Click for large image

The main board is compact compared to previous generations of DVD burners.

Click for large image

The drive's is based on the MediaTek MT1869L chip.

- Retail box

The retail box is complete and includes the following items:

- Installation

The SATA drive was identified under Windows XP as "TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223F ", firmware version SB02.

DVD Info Pro

Nero Info Tool 5

2. CD, DVD reading tests

In this page we check the reading abilities of the SH-S223F burner with all the supported CD and DVD formats. For our CD and DVD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero Disc Speed utility.

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 40x, as per the specifications.


- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 27.82X with a quality score of 100.

A typical DAE task with an 80min non-protected Audio CD produced 29.2X average ripping speed.

- 90/99 mins Audio disc


90min Audio

99min Audio

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 (2-5x media)

-DVD RAM (12x media)



- DVD Video Ripping

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

Average 11,.401KB/s (8.2x)
Maximum 16,748KB/s (12.1x)

- Summary of reading tests

A very good performance from the Samsung drive, showing high reading speeds while maintaining integrity for the read-out data.

3. Defected CD reading tests

This series of tests checks the drive's ability to correct/conceal possible erroneous data after reading artificially scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

Specifically, a software compares two audio files using FFT analysis. The first audio file has been extracted by a normal audio disc. The second one is the result of the extraction of the another disc which hold the same audio track, but it also has specific defects on its surface. The similarity factor of the the two tracks unveils the error correction capabilities of the drive.

The differences between the two compared tracks are translated to a signal (noise) illustrated in the following graphs.


Errors total Num : 884201
Errors (Loudness) 47445 Avg: -73.5 dB(A) Max :-10.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 2858 Avg : 1.0 Samples Max : 7 Samples
Skips Num : 0 Avg : 0.0 Samples Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 96.9 %

A relatively good score for the Samsung drive. There were no skipped samples and the error correction did not start earlier than it should, but the Error Loudness sometimes surpassed the -60 dB(A) border. Noise above that value can sometimes become audible, depending on the music that surrounds it. Thus, we can say that the drive's error hiding feature is mediocre.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num : 0
Errors (Loudness) Num : 0 Avg : -174.0 dB(A) Max : -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 0 Avg : 0.0 Samples Max : 0 Samples
Skips Num : 0 Avg : 0.0 Samples Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result 80.5 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 100.0 %

Pretty good performance here for the error correction mechanisms.

- 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 1 2 3 4 5
TSST SH-S223F 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5

Playback of the last two tracks (4 and 5) produced audible noise and interruptions. This is a common score among DVD-RW drives and shows acceptable error correction mechanisms. However, there were some drives in the past that had managed to reproduce the all the tracks of this test.

- Summary

A decent behavior here with the drive to easily read the disc with fingerprints and dots on it, whie it was less efficient in reading the scratched one. The performance is above the average so it could get a score of 7 out of 10 here.

4. Defected DVD reading tests

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the drive 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.


We can see some speed fluctuations as the drive was not comfortable reading the disc. However, no read errors occured.

- 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.



A good read by the drive here, producing a smooth graph.


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.

Same as with the TDR-841, with a very good reading of both layers of the disc.


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 SH-S223F failed to read the 'defective' disc and the process stopped a few mm before changing layers.


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.


Flawless reading here, producing a smooth and symmetrical speed graph.


Overall, the DVD error correction mechanisms are generally good, with an exception the "scratched" dual-layer DVD Video disc. Failure on the TDV-541 is not something rare among DVD drives, as many other drives that we recently tested failed to read the disc. However, we are always looking for drives that are able to read it, as flawless error correction is a vital part of an excpetional drive's performance.

5. Testing platform - About the Quantized IQB Omni CD DVD Analyser

All CD/DVD writing quality tests are done using the IQB Omni CD DVD Analyser by Quantized. The IQB Omni from Quantized Systems is a physical disc analyser, covering all CD and DVD formats, designed to meet the Quality Control demands of the duplication and replication sectors.

Omni's features allows you to identify media quality issues and highlight drive performance and recording problems.

The system is based on a Philips CD/DVD drive. It supports the majority of the optical disc formats, including CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, CD-A

The platform can test the media for the following signals:

Reflectivity R-I14H R-I14H R-I14H
Jitter Modulation Modulation Modulation
I11/ITop Jitter Jitter Jitter
Asymmetry/Beta PI Sum 8 PI Sum 8 PI SUm 8
E11 to E32 Error Statistics POF POF POF
Burst Errors Beta Beta Asymmetry
  ADER Unc    

Test speeds for CD media are set at 16X and for DVD media at 4X.

The equipment is capable of providing mesasurments on the complete data area or at specific positions defined by the user (Quick Test mode). This zone testing procedure allows multiple areas of the disc to be tested in a single operation.

All numerical and graphical data are stored in a database. Data can be recalled with user defined criteria to create sets of related key results. Data can also be imported into most common software packages - MS Excel etc.

For more information on the Quantized IQB Omni Analyser, visit http://www.quantized.com.

In the following pages, we present the writing quality measurements of various CD and DVD recordable and rewritable media, burned with the Samsung SH-S223F burner.

6. CD-R writing tests - Taiyo Yuden @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 Disc Speed software, and the disc was scanned for digital errors (C1 and C2).

-Disc Info

Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy


Average Writing Speed: 36.47x
Writing time: 02:50min

- Reading speed



- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image

The test reported no uncorrectable digital errors (E32), while the most seriou scorrectable ones (E31) were also in acceptable levels. The increased jitter should not ruin the overall good quality of the disc.

7. CD-R writing tests - RITEK @48x

-Disc Info

Memorex - RITEK 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy


Average Writing Speed: 36.47x
Writing time: 02:50min

- Reading



- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

This time uncorrectable errors were reported.

8. CD-RW writibg tests - Verbatim @32x

-Disc Info

Verbatim 32x CD-RW

- Writing strategy


Average Writing Speed: 27.72x
Writing time: 03:23min

- Reading speed


9. DVD+R writing tests - CMC MAG M01 @18x

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.

- Media Info


- Writing - 18x (13.47x average) in 05:08min



- Reading - 16X (11.90X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The test reported no POF errors, but the PI8 error rate exceeded its limits near the end of the disc. Jitter was also slightly increased. The I14 I14H signal, which have to do with the amplitude of the HF signal in the moment the laser beam passes the T14 land of T14 pit, also dropped below the 0.6 limit in the end of the data area. This should be related to the recoding mechanism within the disc and it is lionked directly with the mark recording. At the same area, the PISum8 peaked over the limits. Not a perfect burn here.

10. DVD+R writing tests - DAXON AZ3 @16x

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (11.95x average) in 05:48min


- Reading - 16X (11.74x average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

A pretty bad burn, with many uncorrectable errors and the PI8 error rate exceeding its limit. Also, the jitter value was over limit near the end of the disc. This could be the cause for the high error rates, as they all peak at the same region.

11. DVD+R writing tests - MCC 004 @20x

- Media Info


- Writing - 20x (14.95x average) in 04:43min



- Reading - 16X (11.91X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


A very good performance by the SH-S223F - MCC-004 combination, showing top writing speed and excellent writing quality. No POF (uncorrectable) errors and the PI8 error rate was pretty low.

12. DVD+R writing tests - PRODISC R05 @16x

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (12.00x average) in 05:44min



- Reading - 16X (11.86X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


Another nice burn for the Samsung drive, this time with the PRODISC R05 001 disc.

13. DVD+R writing tests - YUDEN T03 @22x

- Media Info


- Writing - 22x (16.30x average) in 04:27min


- Reading - 16X (11.88X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

A nice burn again at the top speed of 22x, with only the Jitter value exceeding the preset limits.

14. DVD-R writing tests - CMC MAG AM3 @18x

- Media Info


- Writing - 18x (13.47x average) in 05:33min



- Reading - 16X (11.85X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The PI8 error rate peaked at a value bigger than the preset limits, at a disc radius where the Jitter value was also near its limit. Since the peaks are in the very beginning of the data, they should not be very worrying.

15. DVD-R writing tests - MCC 03RG20 @18x

- Media Info

- Writing - 18x (13.49x average) in 05:09min



- Reading - 16X (11.87X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

An excellent burn here, all values reported are within limits.

16. DVD-R writing tests - PRODISC F02 @16x

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (12.00x average) in 05:44min

- Reading - 16X (11.82X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Another very good burn by the Samsung drive here.

17. DVD-R writing tests - TTH02 @16x

- Media Info


- Writing - 16x (11.80x average) in 05:48min

- Reading - 16X (11.87X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

No uncorrectable errors reported here, and the drive continues its good performance.

18. DVD-R writing tests - TYG03 @22x

- Media Info

- Writing - 22x (16.40x average) in 04:23min


Approaching the end of the disc, the burning process showed some speed fluctuations. The drive was not comfortable burning the disc. Probably, it is not well-tuned for this MID.

- Reading

Our speculations seem to be valid, as the drive itself was not able to read the disc. Let's see what the iQB OMNI will report.

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The PISum8 error flag was increased beyond the limits here, although the POF was zero.

19. DVD+R DL writing tests - MKM 003 000 @10x

- Media Info

- Writing - 10x (9.12x average) in 13:18min


- Reading - 12X (9.33X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The drive continues its good burning streak, now with DVD+R DL media at 10x.

20. DVD+R DL writing tests - RITEK S06 076 @16x

- Media Info


- Writing - failed



The Samsung drive failed to burn this RITEK S06 DVD+R DL disc at the maximum supported speed of 16x.

21. DVD-R DL writing tests - MKM 03RD30 @10x

- Media Info

- Writing - 10x (8.88x average) in 13:38min


- Reading - 12X (9.30X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The Jitter value was over limit on the first, layer, but that didn't create and problems. No uncorrectable digital errors reported.

22. DVD+R DL writing tests - MKM 04RD30 @12x

- Media Info


- Writing - 12x (8.92x average) in 13:44min


- Reading - 12x (9.30X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The PI8 error rate was over limit at the end of the first layer, but no other uncorrectable errors were reported. An average burn by the drive.

23. DVD+RW writing tests - MKM A03 000 @8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8X (7.60x average) in 8:10min


- Reading - 12X (9.02X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


Another nice burn from the SH-S223F, showing us that it can handle the DVD+RW media as exceptionally as the ±R ;-)

24. DVD-RW writing tests - MKM 01RW9X01 @6x

- Media Info


- Writing - 6x (6.01x average) in 10:09min


- Reading - 12X (8.98X average)


- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Performance with DVD-RW media was also as good.

25. DVD-RAM writing tests - M01J5006 @5x

- Media Info

- Writing - 5x (4.96x average) in 11:14min


- Reading - 5X (4.99X average)


26. DVD-RAM writing tests - MXL22 @12x

- Media Info


- Writing - 12x (10.10x average) in 05:47min


- Reading - 12X (10.13X average)


27. Summary of writing tests, Overburning, Bit setting

In the following table, we have gathered the findings of the DVD quality measurement tests. On the left side of the table, you can find the discs that did not produce uncorrectable digital errors (POF) or the correctable errors have exceeded the limits (PISum8>280)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
MCC 03RG20 burned at 18x CMC MAG. AM3 burned at 18x
PrrodiscF02 burned at 16X  
TYG03 burned at 22X  
TTH02 burned at 16X.  
Verbatim MCC 004 burned at 20x Daxon AZ3 burned at 16x
PRODISC R05 001 burned at 16x CMC MAG M01 burned at 18X
YUDEN000 T03 burned at 22x  
DVD-R DL Verbatim MKM 04RD30 burned at 12x  
Verbatim MKM 03RD30 burned at 10x  
DVD+R DL Verbatim MKM 003 burned at 10x Ritek S06 (write error)
DVD+RW Verbatim MKM A03 burned at 8x  
DVD-RW Verbatim MKM 01RW6X01 burned at 6x  

- Booktype Settings

According to Nero Disc Speed, the drive supports the booktype feature.

- DVD Overburning

As we can see, the drive does not support overburning of DVD recordable media, according to Nero Disc Speed.

28. Final words

What we liked about the SH-S223F DVD burner was its impressive specifications. The drive proved that it can burn at 22x on selected DVD recordable discs and at 12x on the appropriate DVD-RAM media, although we would like to see a better behavior when it tried to burn the DVD+R DL media at 16x.

The reading aspect of the drive, to begin with, turned out to be pretty good, with the drive reading all discs at speeds according to its specifications. Most reading processes were nice producing smooth graphs. As far as reading defected CD and DVD media, we can say that the drive can handle the CDs adequately and the DVDs even better. Although not exceptional, it is as good as most of the dvd drives that you can find.

Moving on to the SH-S223F's writing speed, which is one of its strong points, the drive would have amazed if it wasn't for its failure to burn the RITEK S06 disc at 16X. It successfully burned all media we tried and if it could burn the DVD+R DL at 16X (as Samsung engineers claim) it would sure be an amazing innovation.

Writing quality turned out to be pretty good, and we are more than satisfied with the drive. Most of the burned discs did not have uncorrectable digital errors and were read successfully by the drive.

To sum up, the SH-S223F left us with a good impression. The drive is fast enough for enthusiasts that are eager to see it burning at the blazing speed of 22x, while it will produce worry-free burnings in the majority of your DVD and CD media. It currently retails online for just $25.

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