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Appeared on: Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Toshiba SD-R1202 CD-RW / DVD combo

1. Introduction


- Introduction

This time we will not test another super high speed CD-RW recorder, which we have lately used to see from the most of the manufacturers. Toshiba offers a new proposal, which combines CD-RW recording with DVD reading capabilities. The "Toshiba SD-R1202" IDE CD-RW / DVD-ROM drive does not intent to replace your existing recorder but users could find attractive the idea of a reliable combo drive in their PC.

- The drive

The combo drive supports 16x CD writing, 10x re-writing, 40x (CD) and 12x DVD-ROM reading. The firmware version installed is v.1023 and the cache buffer of the drive is 2 MB.

Nero Info tool also states that the drive can read CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, Video CD, supports CD-Text and Packet writing, TAO, DAO, SAO, RAW SAO 96 and RAW DAO 96 modes.

The drive came with Region code 2 set and the region can totaly change 5 times.

- The package

The retail package includes the SD-R1202 drive, CyberLink PowerDVD software decoder, VOB Instant CD/DVD -- for CD creation and back-up, one piece each of CD-R and CD-RW blank media, IDE BUS and audio cables, mounting screws, an installation instruction manual and a quick start guide.

The generic looking front panel of the drive includes the "DVD-ROM" and "CD-Rewritable" logos. There is also one operation led, the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

On the back of the drive there are the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive as Master/Slave/Cable Select, the SPDIF output connector and 3 jumpers which are not used (factory reserved).

The IDE connection can be run in PIO Modes, DMA Mode 2 (16.6 MB/s), or DMA mode 3 (33 MB/s), depending on what you set in the motherboard's BIOS to run the drive at. There is no way to force the drive into DMA mode via jumpers.

- Installation

Toshiba SD-R1202 was installed as Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-2 mode and after boot up, it identified itself as the "Toshiba SD-R1202". Under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive was a February 2002 model , with v1023 firmware revision installed. The drive supports a buffer underrun protection system, but we are not sure of the exact type. We used Nero v5.5.8.0, InCD v3.24.3, CloneCD v4.0.0.0. beta 21 and NeoDVD v2.6 for the recording tests.

2. CD / DVD Data Tests


CD / DVD Data Tests

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

For the CD data tests we add the results of some 16x recorders, for comparison reasons. As it was expected for a combo CD/DVD drive, Toshiba SD-R1202 gave the best transfer rates in the Random I/O test. In the Sequential reading mode the drive was fast but PlexWriter PX-W1610A and Lite-On 16101B are slightly faster. The Same Sector I/O test gives Toshiba the third position.

- Pressed CD results: (click here to see the CD Speed graph)

Using Nero CD Speed 0.85e, confirmed the previous test results (Sequential I/O) that gave Toshiba SD-R1202 the third position. The average reading speed of the drive is 30.88x, which is higher than Yamaha's result.

The seek times of Toshiba drive are low and only Lite-On 16101B gave a better result in the "Random" and "1/3" seeking mode. In the "Full" seek test, Toshiba SD-R1202 leads with 195ms.

- CDR Media: (click here to see the CD Speed graph)

In the CD-R media reading test, the Toshiba drive gave a higher ending speed than in the pressed CD test, and as a reslt, the average reading speed is higher.

- HS-RW media: (Click here to see the CD Speed graph)

For the RW tests, we used Ricoh's HS-RW media. Toshiba read the HS-RW disc at 16.52x (average). The drive started reading at 9x and accelerated up to 22x by the end of the test disc.

- DVD Speed v0.52: (DVD Speed graphs for DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW , DVD+R, DVD+RW)

The following tables show the DVD Speed reading results for Toshiba SD-R1202, for DVD-ROM media.

Start Speed (KB/s)
End Speed (KB/s)
Average Speed (KB/s)
Toshiba SD-R1202

Random Seek (msec)
1/3 Seek (msec)
Full Seek (msec)
Toshiba SD-R1202

Toshiba SD-R1202 is a fast DVD-ROM reader and the seek time results can compete the most of the market DVD-ROM drives.

Toshiba SD-R1202
DVD ripping (KB/s)
DVD-R average reading (KB/s)
DVD-RW average reading (KB/s)
DVD+R average reading (KB/s)
DVD+RW average reading (KB/s)

The drive kept the good performance in the DVD ripping and the DVD reading tests.

- Movie Tests

We tested the Toshiba SD-R1202 with many DVDs and our overall impression was very good. When playing DVD movies, the average CPU Usage was 45% using PowerDVD v3.0 Build 0421. We noticed no problems during DVD playback, and the quality of the picture was high, without any "mosaic" problems.

3. CloneCD Reading Tests

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v4.0.0.0 beta 9) and 5 original CDs - Euro 2000 (SafeDisc 1), No One Lives For Ever / Serious Sam (SafeDisc 2), Rally Masters (LaserLock 1), Desperados (LaserLock 2) and V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) - in order to test the reading time of Toshiba SD-R1202. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. The following picture shows the reading/writing capabilities of the drive:

- PSX Pressed Media

Toshiba SD-R1202 finished the PSX ripping fast in 79 seconds. However, the PlexWriter was faster by 25 seconds.

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results

Toshiba SD-R1202 finished the SafeDisc 1 test in 4 minutes. The performance is good, but the competition from the 16x CD-RW drives is strong.

With SafeDisc 2 protected CDs, the Toshiba drive is faster and in the original CD test, managed to finish the task faster than the Yamaha and Lite-On drives.

LaserLock 1/2 Results

The drive was the faster in the original CD test and gets the first position. In the backup CD test, the performance is higher but PlexWriter PX-W1610A was faster.

Toshiba was slower in the LaserLock v.2 test, at least with the original CD. The drive gave the second best performance with the pressed CD and the third with the backup media.

SecuROM Results

It took less than 3 minutes for Toshiba SD-R1202 to finish the SecuROM v.2 test. The drive leads the race and is faster than the other 16x CD-RW drives of the test.

4. DAE Tests


DAE Tests

- Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.3 beta and EAC v0.9 beta 2 software in order to check the DAE performance of the drive with various AudioCDs (both pressed and CDR). The posted DAE results are the average of both applications. 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.

- DAE features

As EAC v0.9 beta 2 reported, the drive does not support "Caching" and supports "Accurate Stream" and "C2 Error info".


- Pressed AudioCD results

The DAE ripping speed of Toshiba SD-R1202 is not as high as we could expect. The average DAE ripping is 15.7x and this might be a drawback for the drive.

- CDR AudioCD Results

In the CDR DAE test, the drive kept the low average speed and additionally produced 20 reading errors.

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

EAC "secure" extract ripping mode ensures the maximum quality of the produced WAV files, during audio extraction. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Toshiba SD-R1202
PleXWriter PX-W1610A
Lite-On 16101B

- Advanced DAE Quality

Toshiba SD-R1202 completed the Nero CD Speed "Advanced DAE test" with a "86.1" quality score, since it produced 176250 data errors. The speed results were low as expected.

The average reading speed was 15.37X and Nero CD Speed reports that it can read "CD-Text" enabled AudioCDs, among with "SubChannel Data".

- Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test stretches 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 in order cause problems to most of the tested drives. We used CD DAE 99 software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) and the results were very interesting:

Average Speed (X)
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
Toshiba SD-R1202
PleXWriter PX-W1610A
Yamaha CRW2200E
Lite-On 16101B

Toshiba extracted the audio files to the hard disk at 15.6x average speed, as in the previous tests. The drive does not lower the ripping speed due the bad condition of the test disc and the produced read error rate was just 0.01%. The performance is good and only PlexWriter PX-W1610A is faster and possibly more accurate.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

The drive recognizes 90min AudioCDs and when 99 min CDs are inserted, it stops reading at 98 min.

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 3 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE v0.3b/EAC v0.9 beta2) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony Key2Audio
* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)
* CDR AudioCD protected with Cactus Data Shield (CDS100) - made with Clone Audio Protector v1.1 (adding 30 secs lead-out)

Toshiba SD-R1202
Cannot recognize disc contents
Recognizes disc contents - cannot rip the 1st track
Cannot recognize disc contents

The Toshiba drive can partly handke only the "CDS200" audio protection. The drive can rip all the tracks but the first.

5. CDR Tests

CDR Tests

Toshiba SD-R1202 supports up to 16x (Z-CLV) writing. We did our tests with Nero v5.5.8.0 and CloneCD v4.0.0.0 beta 21 software. For the CDR tests we used: Creation 74min (12x), Taiyo Yuden 74 & 80min (24x), Intenso 80min (16x), Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min (24x), and Verbatim/TDK 74min HS-RW media.

- 74 min CDs
We created "DataCD" job with data slight higher than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with both CDR-W drives:

Toshiba SD-R1202 finished the 74min 12x writing test faster than the other CD-RW drives and finished in only 396secs.

At 16x, the drive finished in 324 secs and shares the third position with the Yamaha CRW2200E.

The picture below comes from Nero when Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x media were used. That was the best burning result for 74 min at 16x:

- 80min CDs
As in the previous test, we created a DataCD (80:01:47) and used the same media for all burns:

At 12x, Toshiba SD-R1202 was a couple of seconds slower than the other drives. In the 16x writing test, the drive behaved differently and finished the writing just one second faster than in the 12x writing test, as Nero reports.

The explanation is that the Toshiba drive does not support the DAO 16x writing speed when the overburning option is applied. In that case, the drive reduces the writing speed to 12x.

- Writing quality

We used Mitsubishi Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden and Intenso media and burned them at 16x with oshiba SD-R1202. We used Nero as the CDR software. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables.

Average Burning Time (mins)
Taiyo Yuden 74min 16x - writen at 12x
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min 24x - written at 16x
Intenso 80min 16x - written at 16x
Intenso 80min 16x - written at 12x

- Other features

Overburning Writing
Up to 94mins
CD-Text (Read/Write)
8cm CDs

- CloneCD Writing Tests

CloneCD v4.0.0.0 beta 9 reports that the drive supports the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that the drive supports the DAO-RAW writing mode at the following CD protections: SafeDisc 1/2, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2 CD protections.

- SD2 Support

For the SD2 test we used the "Emperor: Battle for Dune", "Max Payne", "Serious Sam - The Second Encounter" and "Medal of Honour Allied Assault" game titles. We used the drive both as reader/writer at the maximum reading/recording speed. The produced backups worked in all the drives we tested.

6. RW Writing Tests


RW Writing Tests

We used Nero for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the tested drives in 10x HS-RW media. Toshiba SD-R1202 support fully the HS-RW writing standard:

The drive was fast and finished the task in 476 secs. Also, the "quick erase" test give the Toshiba drive the first position with the lowest erasing time.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.24.3 for all Packet Writing tests. We used Ricoh HS RW media and we formatted it. The formatting of the media takes around 10min. After formatting, we tested all four drives for their packet writing performance.

The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 kbs) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media-using explorer (we dragged and dropped) we completed the test twice to eliminate possible time measurement faults and user errors:

Toshiba SD-R1202 had a good performance in the writing test, but read back the file from the formatted HS-RW in a slower speed, as it was expected. The previous tests had shown that the drive supports approximately 17x HS-RW average reading speed.

7. Conclusion



Positive (+):

Negative (-):

- CD/DVD-ROM Combo
- Support all DVD formats
- Very good DVD ripping performance
- Adopted anti-coaster technology
- Good data reading performance with CD-R media
- Good CD-R writing quality
- Good access times
- Very good DVD playback/reading performance
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading of SubChannel data
- Good CloneCD performance
- SD v2.51.x support
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 94mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33

- Low DAE ripping performance
- Low HS-RW reading performance
- Cannot handle audio protected CDs
- Audible noise when reading at max speed
- Overburning and DAO-RAW writing performed at 12x only

Considering the drive as a 16x CD-RW recorder, we could say that the Toshiba SD-R1202 is a fast CD-R reader with good access times, support of Subchannel Data reading and good CloneCD performance. The drive cannot completely compete the other 16X CD-RW of the market but can write CD-R media fast and the quality of the written data is high. Also, the drive can overburn CDs up to 94 min, can read up to 98 min CDs and supports CD-text for audio CDs.

The DVD reading features of the drive are also interesting. Toshiba SD-R1202 ripped the DVD-Video disc to the hard disk in a high speed and also read fast the inserted DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW media. DVD playback was smooth and with no picture quality problems.

The major disadvantages of the drive are the low DAE ripping speeds and 16x HS-RW reading speed. The drive also cannot handle any audio CD protection. The CD-R burning tests showed that the Toshiba SD-R1202 cannot overburn a CD in DAO mode at maximum 16x speed. The speed automatically lowered to 12x, and as a result, the recording times were higher.

Toshiba SD-R1202 combo CD-RW / DVD-ROM drive will not disapoint the candidate user who does not want to spent money for two seperate drives; a CD-RW and a DVD-ROM drive. The overall performance is more than adequate and this is applied to CD writing and DVD reading, as well.

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