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Appeared on: Sunday, May 18, 2003
4x DVD+RW Roundup (Plextor PX-504A, Mitsumi DW-7801TE)


1. Introduction - Mitsumi DW-7801TE

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 1

- Introduction

With the CD recording era to be in its set, most of the manufacturers had to make their own decisions and follow the market demand. And the demand is the fast and reliable DVD recording.

The situation is not different here. Again the alternatives for chipset and optical pickup mechanisms are limited, at least for the beginning. Additionally, when it comes to choosing a single DVD format among the DVD plus R/RW and DVD dash R/RW and not a multi-format format set, the available solutions come solely from a limited sources. As a result, the first DVD+R/RW drives share the same mechanism and any slight variations in their performance should be expected only in specific firmware modifications.

Mitsumi demonstrated its first DVD+R/RW recorder at CeBIT 2003. According to the company, including the drive to the Mitsumi's booth was a last minute decision. The Mitsumi DW-7801 TE we have in our hands support 4x DVD+R writing and was manufactured in March 2003.

Plextor also demonstrated the new PX-504A in CeBIT. It offers the same specifications as the Mitsumi drive does, and the model we have in our labs was manufactured on February 2003.

- Mitsumi DW-7801TE DVD+R/RW recorder

The specifications of the Mitsumi DW-7801TE are illustrated in the following table. The information is official and come from the Mitsumi website:

Mitsumi DW-7801TE supports DVD+R and writing at 4x CLV. For the DVD+RW format, the supported writing speed is the 2.4x CLV. The maximum reading speed for DVD-ROM and DVD Video is 12x CAV for single layer and 7x CAV for dual layer discs.

As for the CD-R media, you can select among the 4x, 8x and 16x CLV writing speeds, and 4x, 8x and 10x CLV writing for CD-RW format. The CD-ROM/-R/-RW reading speed is 40x CAV.

The drive is equipped with a 2MB of buffer, and technology to protect the “buffer underrun errors” during the writing process.

The supported RPCII region control allows the user to change the region code 5 times.

The drive offers the following writing modes: TAO, packet writing, SAO, multisession and according to Nero InfoTool, DAO RAW 96. Of course, it supports DVD+R and DVD+RW for the DVD.

The supported disc formats are: 4.7GB DVD+R/RW, DVD-ROM (single layer/dual layer), DVD Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA Mode 2, Photo CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD Video and CD-R/RW.

- The package

The retail package includes one 4.7GB 4x DVD+R disc for data/video by Ricoh, one 4.7GB 2.4x DVD+RW disc by Ricoh, a multilingual quick start manual and a manual and application software CD-ROM.

This includes the “WinDVD Creator Plus” software that offers increased recording and editing functionality for DVD+R/RW in a simple and easy to use layout.

“WinDVD™ 4” is also attached, allowing playback of all DVD and CD formats. The basic CD/DVD recording software is the “Nero Burning Rom v5” and InCD v3.5.19.2 for random access rewrite for CD/DVD .

In addition, the CD-ROM includes some arcade games for your spare time and MP3 JukeBox software, among with manuals for many Mitsumi products.

Last, in the retail package you can find the usual internal audio cable, an IDE cable and mounting screws.

On the disc loading tray you can see "DVD+RW" and the "HSRW" logos. The eject button is placed below the tray, on the right side of the front panel, as usual. The indication LED is active when a disc is loaded or the drive performs a read/write task. The drive has also a headphone plug and a volume control button, for audio CDs.

On the rear panel there are the usual connectors, such as the power input, the ATAPI interface, the device configuration jumper, and the analog audio output. Notice that the case was built to accept a ventilation fan but this is not included in the Mitsumi model.

After removing the screws on the bottom we can see the drive's internal design. You can easily recognize that the both mainboard and chips of the drive are manufactured by NEC.

Click to enlarge!

- Installation

Mitsumi was identified as "MITSUMI DW-7801TE" under WinXP. The drive was installed to the secondary IDE channel of our test PC as a "Master” and worked in Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The model came with firmware version v1.01 installed, which was used for all the tests:


2. Introduction - Plextor PX-504A

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 2

- Plextor PX-504A DVD+R/RW recorder

Plextor PX-504A supports DVD+R and writing at 4x CLV. For the DVD+RW format, the supported writing speed is the 2.4x CLV. The maximum reading speed for DVD-ROM and DVD Video is 12x CAV for single layer and 7x CAV for dual layer discs.

As for the CD-R media, you can select among the 4x, 8x and 16x CLV writing speeds, and 4x, 8x and 10x CLV writing for CD-RW format. The CD-ROM/-R/-RW reading speed is 40x CAV.

The drive is equipped with a 2MB of buffer, and technology to protect the “buffer underrun errors” during the writing process.

The supported RPCII region control allows the user to change the region code 5 times.

The drive offers the following writing modes: TAO, packet writing, SAO, multisession and according to Nero InfoTool, DAO RAW 96. Of course, it supports DVD+R and DVD+RW for the DVD.

The supported disc formats are: 4.7GB DVD+R/RW, DVD-ROM (single layer/dual layer), DVD Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA Mode 2, Photo CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD Video and CD-R/RW.

- The package

The retail package includes one 4.7GB 4x DVD+R disc for data/video by Verbatim, one 4.7GB 2.4x DVD+RW disc by Verbatim also, a multilingual quick installation guide, Plextor RMA form with detailed instructions for the procedure, a warranty card and four software CD-ROM discs.

The software CD-ROM discs are packed in a very elegant package. The first one is the well-known PlexTools CD/DVD utility software. This is not the Professional version included in the latest CD recorder of the company, but includes all the necessary utilities for easy maintenance and efficient usage of the drive. In the same CD-ROM you can find the PX-504A PDF manual.

The CD/DVD burning application is Nero Burning Rom Plextor Version. PowerDVD XP is the bundled DVD player software and for DVD editing / authoring users can use the Pinnacle Studio v.8 SE.

Last, in the retail package you can find the usual internal audio cable, an IDE cable, mounting screws and an emergency eject pin.

On the disc loading tray you can see "DVD+RW" , the "DVD-ROM" and the "HSRW" logos. The disc/busy indicator LED lights up green when the device is active. The drive has also a headphone jack and a headphone volume control.

On the rear panel there are the usual connectors, such as the power input, the ATAPI interface, the device configuration jumper, and the analog audio output. As in the Mitsumi drive, the case was built to accept a ventilation fan but this is not included in the Plextor model.

After removing the screws on the bottom we can see the drive's internal design. Again, both mainboard and chips of the drive are manufactured by NEC.

- Installation

The Plextor drive was identified as "PLEXTOR DVDR PX-504A" under WinXP. The drive was installed to the secondary IDE channel of our test PC as a "Master” and worked in Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The model came with firmware version v1.01 installed, as you can see in the Nero picture below:

The PX-504A we have in our hands was manufactured on February 2003 and the TLA version is #0000.


3. Data CD Reading Tests

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 3

Data CD Tests

- Pressed CD results
(74min and 80min CDSpeed graphs for Mitsumi DW-7801)
(74min and 80min CDSpeed graphs for Plextor PX-504A)

Both Mitsumi and Plextor drives support s 40x CAV (17-40x) CD reading speed. In our test, the drives overcame the 41.x by the end of the disc, resulting to an increased average speed of 31.6x.

According to the specifications of both drives, their average seek time is around 120msec. The Random seek result was less than 110 msec while the Full seek was around 175msec.
- CDR Media results
(74min and 80min CDSpeed graphs for Mitsumi DW-7801)
(74min and 80min CDSpeed graphs for Plextor PX-504A)

The drives were slightly slower with CD-R media. The average reading time is 31.34x, for both drives.

In the seek test, both drives gave a slightly increased Random seek result over the previous test, and the same performance in the 1/3 mode. The Plextor PX-504A was slower this time in the full seek mode with 191 msec.

- HS-RW media

CDSpeed graph for Mitsumi DW-7801
CDSpeed graph for Plextor PX-504A

For the RW tests we used the Plextor HS-RW media. The drives gave similar results and reading at 15.31x -43.41x CAV , resulting to a 26x average speed. The drives support the 32x CAV reading with RW discs.


4. CD Error Correction Tests - Mitsumi DW-7801TE

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 4

CD Error Correction Tests

Mitsumi DW-7801

In the following tests we examined the error correction capabilities of the Mitsumi DW-7801TE, when reading an artificially damaged CD-R. For the test we used the Almedio ABEX pressed discs, and the EAC test disc.

- EAC CD-R Test Disc

The EAC test disc is always hard to read for all the drives we have tested. The Mitsumi drive reported many errors and some of them were muted. The number of skipped samples was also high resulting to an overall score of 52.3 points out of 100.
Errors total
Num: 116273155
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 608319
Avg: -30.6 dB(A)
Max: -7.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 84361
Avg: 1.2 Samples
Max: 622
Skips Samples
Num: 433
Avg: 37.9 Samples
Max: 2934 Samples
C2 accuracy
50.5%
Total Test Result
52.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The C2 accuracy reported is only 50.5%. We cannot come up with safe conclusions by this test only, but the first impression is that the Mitsumi DW-7801TE cannot retrieve C2 error information accurately.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 916017
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 48471
Avg: -73.1 dB(A)
Max: -6.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3061
Avg: 1.1 Samples
Max: 40 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 16
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
C2 accuracy
99.1 %
Total Test Result
67.7 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The score for the Mitsumi drive is 67.7, still an average performance. The total errors were less than in the previous test, as it was expected. The average level of the Loudness errors is -73.1dB(A).

This time the C2 accuracy reported is higher than in the previous test, but it is away from 100%. The ABEX 721R is a pressed test disc and easy to read, compared to the EAC disc in the previous test.

- ABEX TCD-726

The total amount of errors is smaller in the case of the TCD-726 disc. The scratches on the disc is not as heavy as in the TCD-721, and the rest defects and fingerprints seem not to produce many errors while reading. The Loudness errors were only 20 and the average level was -48.4dB(A), which is an acceptable level. Only 2 samples were muted, and their average length was low. The score for this test is the best we had for the Mitsumi drive. (88.2 points).

Errors total
Num: 6
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 20
Avg: -48.4 dB(A)
Max: -31.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 2
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
C2 accuracy
100.0 %
Total Test Result
88.2 points (of 100.0 maximum)

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
EAC CD-R
Max
52.3
ABEX TCD-721R
67.7
ABEX TCD-726
88.2
Average Score
69.4

Test Disc
C2 Accuracy
ABEX TCD-721R
99.1%
ABEX TCD-726
100%

The Mitsumi DW-7801TE gets an average score of 69.4 points out of 100 at our CD error correction tests. The drive can be a good reader with not heavily defected discs, as we saw in the ABEX-726 test, but cannot correct adequately severe errors coming from wide scratches.

On the other hand, retrieving of C2 information is not 100% accurate.

CDSpeed Advanced DAE quality test
- ABEX 721R

According to the Nero test with the ABEX TCD-721R, the quality score for Mitsumi DW-7801TE is 68.2 points, while the C2 accuracy is rather low (77.65%). The main reason for this result is the increased amount of compare errors, and the 957 sync errors that were reported.


5. CD Error Correction Tests - Plextor PX-504A

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 5

CD Error Correction Tests

Plextor PX-504A

- EAC CD-R Test Disc

As in the previous case with the Mitsumi drive, the Plextor PX-504A reported many errors and many of them were muted. The number of skipped samples was also high resulting to an overall score of 52.4 points out of 100.

Errors total
Num: 116273052
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 608287
Avg: -30.6 dB(A)
Max: -7.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 84312
Avg: 1.2 Samples
Max: 622
Skips Samples
Num: 433
Avg: 37.9 Samples
Max: 2934 Samples
C2 accuracy
50.5%
Total Test Result
52.4 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The C2 accuracy reported is only 50.5%.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 915917
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 48235
Avg: -73.1 dB(A)
Max: -6.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3012
Avg: 1.1 Samples
Max: 40 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 16
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
C2 accuracy
99.1 %
Total Test Result
67.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The score for the Panasonic drive is 67.9, which is an average performance. The total errors were less than in the previous test, as it was expected. The average level of the Loudness errors is -73.1dB(A).

This time the C2 accuracy reported is 99.1%. Although the accuracy is close to 100%, it cannot be considered as safe for applications that are based on retrieving C2 information.

- ABEX TCD-726

The total amount of errors is smaller in the case of the TCD-726 disc. The scratches on the disc is not as heavy as in the TCD-721, and the rest defects and fingerprints seem not to produce many errors while reading. The Loudness errors were only 2 and the average level was -19dB(A), which is an acceptable level. In addition, only 2 samples were muted and their average length was small. The performance for the Plextor drive is high. (89.3 points).

Errors total
Num: 2
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 19
Avg: -48.4 dB(A)
Max: -31.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 2
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
C2 accuracy
100.0 %
Total Test Result
89.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
EAC CD-R
Max
52.4
ABEX TCD-721R
67.9
ABEX TCD-726
89.3
Average Score
69.86

Test Disc
C2 Accuracy
ABEX TCD-721R
99.1%
ABEX TCD-726
100%

The Panasonic LF-D521 gets an average score of 69.86 points out of 100 at our CD error correction tests.

On the other hand, the C2 accuracy seems to be low in most cases.

CDSpeed Advanced DAE quality test
- ABEX 721R

According to the Nero test, the quality score for Plextor PX-504A is 85.9 points, while the C2 accuracy is low (79.80%). The Plextor drive gave back less compare errors than the Mitsumi DW-7801TE, and the sync errors occurred were only 116.


6. DVD reading tests

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 6

DVD reading tests

- Test Method

We used Nero CDSpeed to run DVD tests. The test discs were one single sided, single layer DVD-ROM, one single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM, and one disc from each one of the DVD-R/RW, and DVD+R/RW and formats.

According to PleXTools software, both drives support 5-12x CAV DVD-ROM (single layer) reading, and 2-5x CAV for the DVD+/-R/RW discs. DVD Video is played at 2-5x CAV.

- Single Layer DVD-ROM reading

The drives started reading at 4.90x and finished at 11.90x. The average reading speed is around 8.90x for both drives.

The specifications of both drives give them a 140msec average seek time for the case of the DVD-ROM discs. In our tests the drives gave the same results in all the seek modes. In the Random seek test the result was 116msec, and around 180msec for the Full seek mode.

- Dual Layer DVD-ROM reading

(CDSpeed graph for Mitsumi DW-7801)
(CDSpeed graph for Plextor PX-504A)

The drives support 7x CAV (3-7x) reading speed for the dual layer DVD-ROM discs. The average reading speed for each layer is 5.44x.

The seek time results are increased for the dual layer DVD-ROM discs. Although the random seek test gave the same times as in the single layer DVD-ROM test, the 1/3 seek time was approximately 145msec. In addition, the Full seek performance was even lower, with 231msec for the Mitsumi DW-7801TE and 236msec for the Plextor drive.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD Ripping speed using the "Matrix" DVD Video title and DVD Decrypter.

Both drives ripped the DVD files at an average speed of 2835-2840kb/sec. The performance is low, and is translated to a 2.3x average speed.

- DVD reading Tests

Both Plextor and Mitsumi drives support 2-5x CAV reading for the DVD+R/RW formats.

Mitsumi DW-7801TE

In the screenshot above you can see the CDSpeed graph of Mitsumi DW-7801TE with DVD+RW media. The drive had problems to read the entire disc, and slowed down reading in many cases, after the 2.1GB address of the disc.

Plextor PX-504A

Plextor PX-504A also had the same problem as the Mitsumi drive with the DVD+RW disc.

In the following chart you can see the average reading speeds of both drives with 4x DVD-R/+R, 2x DVD-RW, and 2.4x DVD+RW media. All the media come from Verbatim.

The drives had a similar behavior and the average reading speed for the DVD-R/RW and DVD+R is approximately 3.71x. In case of DVD+RW, both drives had problems as we mentioned previously, and gave a lower performance.


7. DVD Error Correction Tests - Mitsumi DW-7801TE

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup- Page 7

DVD Error Correction Tests

Mitsumi DW-7801

In the following tests we examined the DVD error correction capabilities of Mitsumi DW-7801TE. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark v1.21 and Nero CDSpeed . The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, in which there are scratches with dimensions from 2.6 to 4.8 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from CDVD Benchmark v1.21.

As you can see from the graph the Mitsumi DW-7801TE had serious problems to read the disc contents, after the 570.000 sector of the ABEX disc. By that point, the scratch on the test disc had a 1.8mm size. The reading speed was reduced to 3x, and read errors were reported. CDVD Benchmark performs multiple readings of the same sector when it is initially found unreadable. The duration of the test was more than 3 hours, and finally the reading process was terminated.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with a single difference that there are no scratches on it but defected areas with dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints sized from 6.5 to 7.5 mm.

The drive did not have any problems to read the disc contents. The yellow dots correspond to the current speed in each area of the disc. No read errors were reported.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

This is a 8.5GB dual layer, single sided, DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 4.8 mm, in both layers.

Since the drive had hard times to read the single layer scratched disc (ABEX TDR-821), the results in the above test were not surprising. Non of the layers was entirely read, and multiple read errors occurred as soon as the size of the scratch was 2mm.

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 defected areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defected areas are ranged from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 0.065 to 0.075 mm.

Although the artificial defects and fingerprints on the TDR-845 test disc, the Mitsumi DW-7801 finished the test without any read errors.

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 discs check the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also include test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 model checks also the error correction capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 1.8 to 3 mm.

The drive supports 2-5x CAV average reading speed for the DVD-Video format. Again the test was terminated with a read error, during the first layer.

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 data surface, sized from 0.8 to 1.0 mm. It has also 0.065 - 0.075 mm fingerprints.

Black dots and fingerprints were not a problem for the drive. The test was successful, with a 3.44x average speed.


8. DVD Error Correction Tests - Plextor PX-504A

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 8

DVD Error Correction Tests

Plextor PX-504A

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, in which there are scratches with dimensions from 2.6 to 4.8 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from CDVD Benchmark v1.21.

As with the Mitsumi drive, Plextor PX-504A has also problems with the scratched DVD-ROM test disc. Many read errors occurred and the reading speed was reduced to 2x. Reading was resumed as soon as the drive could read back data from the unscratched areas.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with a single difference that there are no scratches on it but defected areas with dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints sized from 6.5 to 7.5 mm.

The drive did not have any problems to read the disc contents. The yellow dots correspond to the current speed in each area of the disc. No read errors were reported.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

This is a 8.5GB dual layer, single sided, DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 4.8 mm, in both layers.

Again many read errors were reported for both layers of the DVD-ROM 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 defected areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defected areas are ranged from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 0.065 to 0.075 mm.

This time the test was finished successfully with no read errors and the reading speed reached the 8x by the end of each layer.

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 discs check the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also include test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 model checks also the error correction capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 1.8 to 3 mm.

As with the Mitsumi drive, the PX-504A could not read the scratched dual layer DVD-ROM disc and the test was terminated.

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 data surface, sized from 0.8 to 1.0 mm. It has also 0.065 - 0.075 mm fingerprints.

Black dots and fingerprints were not a problem for the drive. The test was successful, with a 3.44x average speed.


9. CloneCD Reading Tests

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 9

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD and 3 original CDs - Serious Sam 2 (SafeDisc 2), V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) and NBA Jam Extreme (PSX) - in order to test the reading time of the drives. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs. The following pictures show reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports them:

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme', in order to rip the image to the HD with CloneCD. However, none of the Plextor and Mitsumi drives could recognize the PSX disc.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

The drives needed approximately 20 minutes to create the image file on the hard disk. The performance is not very high but it can be considered as adequate for a DVD recorder.

- SecuROM Results

Both drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. The duration of the process was 3 minutes for the pressed and 3:30 min for the backup test disc.


10. DAE Tests

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 10

DAE Tests

- Pressed AudioCD results

In this test we examine the DAE speed of the drives. The Mitsumi drive ripped the audio files at 23.7x average. Plextor PX-504A was slightly faster with a 23.9x ripping speed.

- CDR AudioCD results

With CD-R media, the ripping speed is a little higher than in the previous test. The performance is the same for both drives, with approximately 24x average ripping speed.

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

EAC "secure extract" ripping-mode ensures maximum quality produced WAV's. The software reports that both Mitsumi DW-7801TE and Plextor PX-504A support "Accurate Stream", retrieve"C2" error information and do not support "caching".

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
Mitsumi DW-7801
19.8
16
Plextor PX-504A
19.9
16.1

Under the EAC Secure Ripping Mode, Mitsumi DW-7801TE finished the task with the pressed disc at an average speed of 19.8x. The Plextor drive gave similar results. Both drives were slower in the CD-R ripping test.

- Advanced DAE Quality

Below you can see the CDSpeed Advanced DAE test result for Mitsumi DW-7801TE. The average reading speed is 23.16x, and the quality score is 100 (perfect). I addition, the drive is able to read CD-Text and Subchannel data:

On the other hand, the Plextor drive did not perform very well in the same test. Data errors were reported and the quality score is 95.3 points out of 100:

- Ripping of 99mins AudioCD's

Tested drives
Ripping up to
Mitsumi DW-7801
94min
Plextor PX-504A
94min

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCD's

For the test procedure we used 2 protected Audio CDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with EAC) processes:

Key2Audio
CDS200
EAC
Mitsumi DW-7801
OK
Plextor PX-504A

Both drives can handle "Key2Audio" and "Cactus Data Shield 200" protected titles. Ripping was achieved in the maximum supported ripping speed and the extracted data were absolutely accurate.


11. CD Recording Tests

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 11

CDR Tests

We tested the drive with latest version of Nero/CloneCD. Mitsumi DW-7801TE and Plextor PX-504A support the 16x CLV maximum writing speed. The drives are also able to write at 8x and 4x, as Nero InfoTool reports:

For all the recording tests, we burned 803MB of data.

The drives finished burning at 16x speed, at 5:35 seconds. Writing under the CLV strategy does not allow any variations in the recording times, since the speed is constant during the writing process.

The recording times for all the supported speeds are illustrated in the following chart:

The following screen shot comes from Nero Burning Rom after a successful burning at 16x.

- Other features

Overburning
Up to 90min
CD text reading/writing
Yes

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD software reports that both drives support the DAO-RAW writing mode. In addition, they support the RAW DAO 96 mode, which means that they can rewrite uncorrected data and Subchannel data.

For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions with the latest software patches installed. We used the drive as both a reader and writer at maximum reading/recording speeds. Two discs were burned for each game (Amplify Weak Sectors On/Off). The results are posted in the table below:

Game Title
Tested Drive
SD2 Build
Settings
Amplify Weak Sectors On
Amplify Weak Sectors Off
Max Payne v1.05
Creative 52X
CD-ROM
v.2.50.020
OK
No
TEAC 40X
CD-ROM
BTC DV316
DVD-ROM
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
Creative 52X
CD-ROM
v.2.60.052
No
TEAC 40X
CD-ROM
BTC DV316
DVD-ROM
The Sims - Unleashed
Creative 52X
CD-ROM
v2.80.010
No
TEAC 40X
CD-ROM
BTC DV316
DVD-ROM


12. Writing Quality Tests - Mitsumi DW-7801TE

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 12

Writing Quality Tests

Mitsumi DW-7801TE

We used Taiyo Yuden 80min 48x CD-R media and burned the same AudioCD project (with CD-Text) at 8x and 12x recording speeds. Below you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs.

- 3T Pit results

As we can see from the above graphs, the 3T Pit Jitter stays below the 35ns RED book limit for all the available recording speeds. The low writing speeds, along with the implemented CLV strategy, ensure that the quality of your CD-R compilations will be high.

The average 3T Jitter values for all recording speeds are illustrated in the following table.

The 8x writing speeds gave the highest average jitter values. The average value of jitter is less than 35nsec for all the recording speeds. We could say that you can safely burn your favorite audio discs in any available speed.

- 3T Land results

The average 3T Land results are slightly increased over those in the previous measurements of the 3T Pit Jitter. The maximum jitter value reported was 29ns, and come from the measurements on a recorded disc at 16x.

- Conclusion
Recording Speed
3T Pit Jitter (ns)
3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max value (ns)
8X
23.80
25.41
No
23 Pit, 27 Land
16X
23.63
23.54
No
29 Pit, 29 Land

The average 3T Pit and Land jitter values are below the 35nsec standard for all the recording speeds. The combination of low writing speeds and the CLV writing technology seems to guarantee the quality results.


13. Writing Quality Tests - Plextor PX-504A

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 13

Writing Quality Tests

Plextor PX-504A

As in the previous test, we used Taiyo Yuden 80min 48x CD-R media and burned the same AudioCD project at all available recording speeds. Below you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs.

- 3T Pit results

The 3T Pit Jitter values are very low for throughout the disc.

The average 3T Jitter values for all recording speeds are illustrated in the following table.

The 8x writing speeds gave the highest average jitter values. The average value of jitter is less than 35nsec for all the recording speeds. Such jitter values definitely cannot influence the quality of your writing compilations.

- 3T Land results

The average 3T Land results are slightly increased over those in the previous measurements of the 3T Pit Jitter. The maximum jitter value reported was 28ns, and come from the measurements on a recorded disc at 8x.

- Conclusion
Recording Speed
3T Pit Jitter (ns)
3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max value (ns)
8X
23.98
26.38
No
26 Pit, 28 Land
16X
23.71
23.56
No
26 Pit, 29 Land

The average 3T Pit and Land jitter values are below the 35nsec standard for all the recording speeds. As with the Mitsumi model, the writing quality of Plextor PX-504A is high.


14. HS-RW Writing Tests

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 14

HS-RW Writing Tests

We used Nero Burning Rom for writing CDs in the maximum RW speed supported by the Mitsumi DW-7801TE and Plextor PX-504A. The drives supports the 10x maximum rewriting speed.

The Plextor PX-504A finished in 8:10 minutes, and needed just 39 seconds to perform the "quick erase" task under Nero. The Mitsumi DW-7801TE needed almost the same time (8:12sec).

- Packet Writing Tests

We used InCD and Plextor HS-RW media for all Packet Writing tests. The formatting of the media takes around 10min. The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 KB) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media, using explorer (we dragged and dropped).

In the writing part, both Plextor and Mitsumi drives gave the same average writing speed, around 8.15x. The reading task was faster for the drives and finished at a 16.6x reading speed.


15. DVD Recording Tests

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 15

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

Plextor and Mitsumi drives support 4x CLV (5284MB/sec) writing with 4.7GB DVD+R discs and 2.4x with DVD+RW discs.

We burned 4315MB of data on Verbatim 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW media. The recording times are illustrated in the following table:

DVD Recording Tests
Drives
Media
Writing Speed
Average Writing Time (min)
Mitsumi DW-7801
DVD+R
4x
13:46
DVD+RW
2.4x
22:48
Plextor PX-504A
DVD+R
4x
13:45
DVD+RW
2.4x
22:45

The following pictures come from Nero, after successful DVD+RW and DVD+R burnings with Plextor PX-504A. The amount of data is the same for all the tests.


16. Conclusion

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 16

Conclusion

After finishing the tests we could safely say that both Plextor and Mitsumi DVD recording solutions share the same position in the performance charts. They both support the faster DVD recording speeds available (4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW). This means that you can write up to 4.7GB in less than 15 minutes, with 4x media. Currently, not many DVD+R media manufacturers support the 4x writing, but it is expected that the media list will be longer, soon.

The retail packages are complete and include all the necessary CD/DVD writing/authoring software, applications for DVD editing and playback, and blank 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW media. In addition, in the Plextor package you can find the PlexTools utility set.

In the reading part, the drives are fast and support 12X CAV speed for single layer DVD-ROM, while the access times are also adequate. Reading of dual layer DVD-ROMs is slower but this cannot be a problem for the users. Reading of DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW discs is supported at a maximum speed of 5x CAV. However, tests showed that both drives have reading problems with DVD+RW media, especially after the half of the disc, where the drives reduced the reading speed until the end of the disc.

What is interesting is the low performance of both drives in the DVD error correction tests with the ABEX discs. Although the drives could easily read the defected test disc, they had serious problems with the scratched one, and reading was terminated as soon as the scratch became larger than 2mm. The situation is the same for both single and dual layer and DVD-Video test discs. Error correction should definitely be improved in this area. In the weak points, we could also mention the average DVD ripping speed of the drives which is less than 2850 KB/sec.

For the CD format, the drives offer the 16x CD-R recording speed, 10x rewriting and 40x reading. The supported DAE speed is less than 25x, reading of Subchannel data and CD-Text is available, and the CD-R writing quality is high. Audio protected discs can be accurately read by both drives, and overburning up to 90min is also included in their capabilities. On the other hand, backups of SafeDisc v2.xx discs will not work in most cases, along with PSX discs, which are not even recognized by both drives. Last, the CD error correction capabilities are not high, especially for the Mitsumi drive, and the retrieved C2 accuracy could be higher.

This is the first DVD recorders for Plextor and Mitsumi. What we could say is that judging is always the easy part but developing of a product is not an easy task. We welcome both new drives and expect more from both of them in their next model, as they have showed in the past. According to the companies, their next DVD recorder will likely support both DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW formats. The retail price of both drives is $230-250. Mitsumi offers one year warranty for the DW-7801TE, while the warranty for Plextor PX-504A is 2 years for Europe, Middle-East and Africa.



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