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It's a fact that the various DVD related recording formats are
trying to be established in the market and to earn the confidence of the candidate
users. However, the DVD recording speed and the compatibility between these
formats are some of the main issues that may be confusing but also interesting.
DVD-ROM manufacturers are following the DVD technology formats and try to expand
their DVD media reading compatibility list, and to improve the performance of
Behavior Tech Computer (BTC) presents its DVD reading proposal with a new
drive, the "BTC BDV316B". The ATAPI internal drive supports
16X DVD reading speed and 48X CD speed. On the other hand, Pioneer offers the
"DVD-106S/2", another ATAPI internal DVD-ROM drive also supporting
16X DVD reading speed and 40X CD speed. Both drives are compatible to the most
of the CD/DVD formats and come with one-year warranty. We compare both drives
with the already tested LiteOn LTD-163 and AOpen 1648 DVD-ROMs.
- Pioneer DVD-106S/2
DVD-106S/2 is the OEM of DVD-A06S/2 ATAPI internal DVD-ROM drive. It supports
16x DVD and 40x CD reading speeds. It supports the UDMA66 interface, which will
give you lower CPU usage in the various tasks, and has an analog and a digital
output (SPDIF). The drive comes with a 256KB cache buffer and supports almost
all DVD and CD formats: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, CD-DA, CD-ROM/XA,
CD-R, CD-RW, CD-I, Video CD, Photo-CD, CD-Extra. Its price is approximately
In the picture below there is the front side of the drive. As you
can see, the drive is slot-in, and has the "DVD-ROM" logo just below the media
slot. You will also find the usual connectors: headphone jack, volume control,
power-on busy led, and the eject button:
On the rear panel of the drive we have the power/ide connectors,
the analog/SPDIF audio connections and 3 jumpers on the left hand side, which
are used for setting up the DMA connection mode.
We installed the drive as MASTER on the secondary IDE BUS at DMA66 mode. The
drive identified itself on both DOS and Windows as "PIONEER DVD-ROM DVD-106".
We enabled DMA and after rebooting we checked the region status of the drive.
It was an August 2001 model with 1.22 firmware revision. According to the "Drive
Region Info" the drive has RPC 2 region protection, and you can only change
the drive's region 4 times.
- BTC BDV316B
316B supports 16x DVD (single layer), 10X (dual layer) and 48x (CD-ROM) reading
speeds. It comes with a 512KB buffer cache and supports the of the most CD/DVD
formats: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, CD-DA, CD-ROM/XA, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-I,
Video CD, Photo-CD, CD-Extra. Its price is around $65.
The front of the drive has the "DVD-ROM" and "CD" logos. You will
also find the usual connectors: headphone jack, volume control, power-on busy
led, play/next/load/eject buttons and the emergency eject hole:
the back of the drive we have the power/ide connectors and the analog/SPDIF
audio connections. We installed the drive as MASTER on the secondary IDE BUS
at DMA33 mode (default). . We enabled DMA and after rebooting we checked the
region status of the drive. The firmware version of BTC 316B was the 0.47, and
as with Pioneer, it has RPC 2 region protection, therefore you can change region
only 4 times before the permanent lock of the drive.
- Test Machine
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
ATI AIW 128
2. Data Tests
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- SCSI Mechanic v3.0: This was used to compare the various DVD-ROM's
I/O performance (see charts). We used a pressed CD containing PlexTools v1.08
for all of the tests.
- Nero CD Speed v0.85 beta was also used to check the drive performance
with pressed CDs. For that test we used PlexTools v1.08 original CD.
- SCSI Mechanic v3.0 results:
In the "average random" test, Pioneer DVD106 gave the
best result with 931 kb/s, followed by BTC 316B with 884 kb/s. In the "sequential
test", the BTC drive performed better than the Pioneer one, but LiteOn
LTD163 and Aopen 1648 are faster. Pioneer DVD106 gave a surprisingly high performance
(8250 kb/s) while reading the same sector in the same test. The BTC drive follows
with 2674 kb/s.
- Nero CD Speed results: (Press for BTC
316B and Pioneer DVD106S
In the CD Speed test BTC 316B showed a faster average reading speed
than Pioneer DVD106. In the same test LiteOn LTD163 gave the highest reading
Pioneer DVD106 has a good random access performance with 88 ms,
very close to LiteOn's and equal to Aopen's performance. BTC 316B has the highest
access times, in all random, 1/3 and full access tests.
- PSX Pressed Media
In order to fulfill a request made by some of our frequent visitors,
we have included a test with mixed mode CDs (mainly PSX). For these test we
used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to HD with CloneCD.
We measured the reading times and we can say for sure that the BTC 316B simply
rocks the competition...It took it only 51 seconds to rip the PSX image to the
HD. Pioneer DVD106 follows with 103 seconds, still a good performance, when
the rest of the drives follow.
- CDR Media: (Click for BTC
316B and Pioneer DVD106S
BTC 316B read the inserted CDR with a 37.34X average reading speed, very close
to the leading performance by LiteOn LTD163. Pioneer DVD106S is slower and gets
the last performance position among the drives tested.
- HS-RW reading tests (Click for BTC
316B and Pioneer
DVD106S CDSpeed results)
For the RW tests, we used TDK's HS-RW media. For the DVD-ROM drives, the performance
is away better from what we are used to with CD-RW drives. The leader here is
Pioneer DVD106S, since it read the inserted hsrw disc with an average 24.64X
speed. The BTC drive follows with 19.67X.
3. CloneCD Tests
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CloneCD Reading Tests
We used CloneCD (v126.96.36.199) and 5 original CDs - Euro 2000 (SafeDisc 1), No
One Lives For Ever (SafeDisc 2), Rally Masters (LaserLock 1), Desperados (LaserLock
2) and V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) - in order to test the reading time of our
DVD-ROMs. We also tested their reading performances with backups of the original
CDs, since reading speeds vary between original and backup media.
- SafeDisc 1/2 results
Pioneer DVD106S gave the best performance when reading both pressed and backup
SafeDisk v1 protected titles. LiteOn LTD163 comes in the second place and unfortunately,
BTC 316B comes last with a very low reading speed performance.
With the SafeDisc 2 test disc, the LiteOn LTD163 drive performed better than
any other drive.
- LaserLock 1/2 results
Good performance for BTC 316B with LaserLock v1 original/backup
protected CDs. The drive gets the second position behind Aopen 1648, which holds
the first position. Pioneer DVD106 had hard times to read the original cd, but
with the backup CD things were better and the drive gave the third best position.
In the LaserLock 2 test, the results are a little complicated. In the original
CD test, Aopen is the faster reader with 433.38 sectors/sec. BTC 316B comes
second with a 270 sectors/sec, the LiteOn drive follows and Pioneer DVD106 has
the lowest performance with only 51.88 sectors/sec. In the backup CD test, LiteOn
leads the race followed by BTC 316B. Aopen 1648 has the third best performance,
and as in the previous test, Pioneer DVD-106 is last with 60.69 sectors/sec.
- SecuROM 2 results
The LiteOn LTD163 supports reading of SubChannel data from both
Data and Audio tracks, and very fast, according to our tests. BTC 316B also
performed well and gets the second position, in both original/backup reading
test. Pioneer DVD106 doesn't support reading of 96 bytes of Subchannel data,
which means you will not be able to read CD+G CDs. Last of all, the AOpen 1648
doesn't support reading of SubChannel data at all :(
4. DAE Tests
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- Test Method
We used CD DAE 99 v0.21 beta and EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 in order to check the
DAE performance of the various DVD-ROMs with various AudioCDs (both pressed
and CDR). As a last note, we used the "BURST" reading mode of EAC. We made a
full CD Rip starting from the first to the last track of the CD. The Average
DAE reported speeds are displayed in the test graphs.
- Pressed AudioCD results
LiteOn is the leader in the DAE ripping tests. The drive managed to reach
around 31.9X of average DAE ripping speed, which is the fastest we have ever
measured for a DVD-ROM drive. The AOpen 1648 comes second with 22.8X average
and BTC 316B follows with 21.7X. Pioneer DVD106S was not so fast and gets the
last position with 16.3X average speed.
- CDR AudioCD Results
LiteOn LTD163 continues to lead the race even with CDR media. The drive actually
performed better and reached 33.4X. AOpen 1648 continues to come second and
BTC 316B and Pioneer DVD106S follow with performances close to those they gave
with the original CD DAE ripping test.
- Advanced DAE Quality
The Lite-On and AOpen drives completed the CD Speed 99 "Advanced DAE test"
successfully, and got perfect score (100). As for the speed, LiteOn LTD163 is
the faster drive, AOpen 1648 follows with an 23.35 average speed. BTC 316B gave
the third best performance and Pioneer DVD106 was slower with 16.26X average
- Bad CDR Media results
Despite the fact that CD Speed 99 Advanced DAE test stretches a drive's mechanism
to the max, we decided to do real life tests with a scratched disc. The disc
was dirty and with some light scratches, enough to cause problems to most of
the tested drives. We used CD DAE 99 software to rip the whole disc (756539616
sectors) and the results are quite interesting:
Average Speed (X)
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
Pioneer DVD106 ripped the bad medium image at 16.4X average speed, and produced
no (%) errors. BTC 316B could not even recognize the disc. In the same test,
LiteOn LTD163 is the fastest drive with 25.5X average speed.
- Ripping 90 and 99min CDs
Pioneer DVD106: The drive reads fully the 90 min CDs but stops reading
around 90mins (with 99 min media):
BTC 316B: The drive can read the 90 min CDs and gave a read error at
92 min when a 99 min CD was inserted.
- Reading Protected AudioCDs
Since many latest AudioCDs are protected we decided to add such tests in our
reviews. For the test procedure we used 2 protected AudioCDs, which tested at
both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE) processes:
* Pressed AudioCD with Sony KeyAudio and
* CDR AudioCD protected with Cactus Data Shield (CDS100) - made with Clone
Audio Protector v1.1 (Adding 30 secs leadout)
Cannot recognize CD at all
Reads all tracks as Data tracks - ripping
Can read the contents of the disc (17
tracks Audio tracks + 2 Data tracks) but stops reading around 93%
Makes lot of noise after inserting disc,
recognizes without any problems contents of the disc but denies ripping!
Cannot recognize CD at all
As the test results showed, both AudioCD protections can prevent you from ripping
its contents. The Cactus Data Shield (CDS100) disc couldn't be ripped from any
drive since all tracks are showed as "Data" and not as "Audio".
Sony's KeyAudio is also effective with 3 drives and only AOpen 1648 can read
the contents and rip the disc till 93% - after reports reading error.
5. DVD Tests
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- Test Method
We used Nero DVD Speed v0.52 to run DVD tests (DMA enabled on all drives).
All tests were performed at least 3 times with the same DVD title (we took the
worst results). The DVD Speed author suggests avoiding the use of dual layer
DVDs since performance might be lower than the actual one. For that purpose
we used a single-layered DVD title, taken from PC Magazine.
- Nero DVD Speed results: (Click for BTC
316B and Pioneer
DVD106S CDSpeed results)
In this test we added the results of a previous DVD-ROM drive, Pioneer DVD-105S.
The results leave the BTC 316B in the third position with 15046 kb/s, behind
LiteOn LTD163 and Pioneer DVD-105S. Pioneer DVD106 performed very bad and finished
the task with only 9183 kb/s average DVD-ROM reading speed.
BTC 316B and Pioneer DVD106 have almost the same performance in all three
access modes of this test. In the Full access test BTC, Pioneer DVD106 and Pioneer
DVD-105S drives gave an approximately 175 msec result. Pioneer DVD-105S has
the lowest Full seek time.
- DVD Ripping Tests
We measured the DVD Ripping speed using Matrix DVD and DVD Decrypter v188.8.131.52.
The BTC 316B performed very well and earns the first position with an 11490kb/sec
average ripping speed. LiteOn LTD163 follows with 9336 kb/s and Pioneer DVD106
is slower with 7681 kb/sec:
- DVD R/-RW/+RW reading Tests
The chart below shows the Nero DVD Speed results of both drives with DVD-R,
DVD-RW, DVD+RW media.
Good performance for BTC BDV316B with DVD-R media. The drive read at 8093
kb/s average reading speed. However, the drive refused to recognize the DVD-RW
medium. Pioneer DVD106 read the DVD-R slower than all the other drives of the
test. Pioneer read the DVD-RW at 5335 kb/s and lastly, both Pioneer and BTC
drives read the DVD+RW media at almost the same spead.
BTC 316B DVD Speed graphs for (DVD-R,
and Pioneer DVD-106S/2 DVD Speed graphs for (DVD-R,
- Movie Tests
We tested the DVD-ROMS with many DVD titles and our overall impression was
very good. Both drives didn't have any problems with any DVD title we tested,
and the average CPU usage was around 45% using PowerDVD XP v4.0.
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| - Good CD/DVD access
- Very good HSRW reading performance
- Very good SafeDisk v.1 performance
- Read up to 92 min CDs
- Low operation noise
- Can read DVD-R/DVD+RW/DVD-RW formats
- No problems during DVD playback
- Low DVD/CD reading performance
- Low DVD ripping speed
- Low DAE ripping speed
- Bad CloneCD performance (except from SafeDisk
- Low DVD-R reading performance
- Bad DAE performance with scratched media
- Cannot handle Audio protected CDs
- Cannot read 96bytes from SubChannel data
- Very good DVD ripping speed
- Very good DVD-ROM reading speed
- Good CD reading speed
- Very good PSX ripping speed
- Good DVD-ROM access time
- Good LaserLock v1/2 performance
- Good SecuROM performance
- Read up to 90 min CDs
- Support of DVD-R, DVD+RW formats
- Good DVD-R reading performance
- High CD access time
- Very low SafeDisk v1/2 performance
- Failed in the Bad Media extraction test
- No 99 minutes CDs support
- Does not support DVD-RW format
- Cannot handle Audio protected CDs
Both Pioneer and BTC drives did not gave any outstanding performance that would
make the difference between the compatible drives. Pioneer DVD-106 supports
reading of all the DVD formats except from DVD-RAM, has a good DVD/CD access
time performance, very good performance with HSRW CD media and SafeDisk v1 protected
titles. Pioneer engineers worked on reducing the drive's operation noise. The
drive has not a silent operation, the produced noise level is lower than the
company's previous drives. On the other hand, Pioneer DVD-106 is not the faster
DVD/CD reader and failed to give a high enough DAE performance. Lastly, the
drive does not support reading of 96 bytes of Subchannel data.
BTC 316B gave a very good DVD ripping speed, and also
high DVD/CD reading speeds. The drive supports the DVD-R/DVD+RW formats and
has an impressive performance with PSX titles (51 sec full ripping). As for
the CloneCD performance, LaserLock v1/2 and SecuROM protections will not be
a problem for Pioneer, however the drive hardly back ups SafeDisk v1/2 CDs.
BTC does not support DVD-RW and 99 min CD media and also failed to extract the
bad quality audio CD in the relative test.
Generally, LiteOn LTD163 still holds the first place in the performance chart
and both Pioneer and BTC drives need further improvements to reach the top.
You will need approximately $ 75 to buy the Pioneer DVD-106 and almost $65 for
BTC 316B. LiteOn LTD163 costs around $52 and AOpen 1648 $68.