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Appeared on: Tuesday, August 05, 2003
48X CD-RW Combo Roundup (Optorite DC4801 & LiteOn LTC4801H)


1. Optorite DC4801 - Features, Installation

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 1

 

With the market full of new and fast DVD recorders, some people may think that buying a combo drive (one able to record CD's and read DVD's) is out of fashion. There are several reasons in favor of this argument, but there are also also several others against it. Combo drives offer high CD-R/RW recording and reading speeds, a fast DVD reading speed and are significantly cheaper than DVD recorders. If DVD writing is not your first need, then a combo drive is what you need. We have in our labs two new combo drives, the Optorite DC4801 and the LiteOn LTC48161.

Most of us are already familiar with the Optorite series of optical products. The Taiwanese company offers a wide range of CD-RW and DVD recorders, as we have already tested in our previous articles. This time we take a look at the Optorite DC4801, a 48/24/48/16 combo drive.

- Drive features / Specifications
Burn Guarantee prevents Buffer Under Run
EXACT-Rec (Enhanced eXtracting & Adapting Control Technology for Recording) monitors accuracy of writing
AWSS (Advanced Weighting Suspension System) Technology reduces vibration & noise.
 
Support discs capacity: DVD: 4.7GB/8.5GB/9.4GB/17GB
  CD: 790MB(90min)/700MB(80min)/650MB(74min)
Disc formats: DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD±R (read), DVD±RW (read).
  CD: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, Mixed mode CD, CD-I, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD Extra, CD-TEXT, Bootable CD, CD-UDF compatible
Writing Method: Disc At Once, Track At Once, Session At Once, Packet Writing.
Write: CD-R: 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 24x, 32x, 48x
  CD-RW: 4x, 8x,12x,16x, 24x
Read: CD-ROM/R: 48x Max,
  DVD Single Layer: 16x Max
  DVD Dual Layer: 8x Max
Random Access time: CD-ROM: 100 ms (Typical)
  DVD-ROM: 110 ms (Typical)
Audio Extraction: Maximum 48x
Internal Buffer: 2 MB

Optorite DC4801 supports 48x CAV CD-R writing and reading. The maximum rewriting speed is 24x P-CAV, which means that we should probably expect very low rewriting times with respect to US-RW media. For the DVD format, Optorite supports 16x DVD-ROM reading, and 8x CAV for the DVD±R and DVD±RW media.

The provided buffer underun protection is called "BURN GUARANTEE". The EXACT-Rec feature monitors the writing process and ensures a high degree writing quality The supported AWSS (Advanced Weighting Suspension System) technology reduces vibration and noise, at high reading/ writing speeds.

Optorite DC4801 implements strict RPCII region control, allowing 5 changes of the region code in total.

The supported reading/writing speeds are illustrated below:

The drive supports reading of CD-R/RW, Video CD, and both DVD±R/RW formats. Mount Rainier support is not included in the drive's specifications.

Optorite DC4801 also supports RAW DAO 96 and RAO SAO 96 writing modes, as well as packet writing.

- The package

The retail package includes the Optorite DC4801 IDE combo drive, Nero Burning Rom CD recording software, Intervideo WinDVD playback software and a quick installation guide.

The package does not include any CD-R/RW media and, additionally, you can find the usual audio cable and mounting screws. The retail kit is available at a price of about $55-60.

On the front panel of the drive there is the disc loading tray, the head phone jack and volume control, the eject button, a play / fw button used for Audio CD control, and the busy/write LED indicator.

On the rear panel there are the analog and digital outputs, an ATAPI connector and the DC input.

After removing the screws on the button we can easily see the drive's internal design

- Installation

The Optorite DC-4801 drive was connected to the secondary IDE of our test PC as "Master" and worked under the Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The drive was identified as "OPTORITE COMBO DC4801" under WinXP. The installed firmware version was 130E.


2. LiteOn LTC48161H - Features, Installation

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 2

 

LiteOn has established a strong position in the optical storage market and is always a leader when it comes to manufacturing large quantities of CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives. Recently, the company announced its plans to expand its product line to dual DVD recorders, and has made strategic partnerships with other IC manufacturers to deliver leading DVD writing speeds.

As we mentioned in the first page, we have in our hands the LiteOn LTC48161H CDRW/DVD combo drive. It would be very interesting to see how the drive performs in a straight comparison against the Optorite DC4801.

- Drive features / Specifications
SMART-BURN avoiding Buffer Under Run error, Automatically adjusting writing strategy & running OPC to provide the best burning quality
SMART-X Smart Monitoring & Adjusting Read-speed Technology for eXtraction
VAS® to reduce vibration & noise during recording & reading
Mt. Rainier support
 
Disc formats: DVD: DVD-ROM single/dual layer ( PTPT, OPT ), DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW
  CD: CD-R & CD-RW discs ( up to 99min. )
Writing Method: Fixed Packet, Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn
Write: CD-R: 48x ( 7200KB/sec ) CAV ( 21x ~ 48x )
  CD-RW: 24x ( 3600KB/sec ) CAV
Read: CD-ROM/R: 48x ( 7200KB/sec ) CAV ( 20x ~ 48x )
  DVD Single Layer: 16x ( 21600KB/sec ) CAV ( 2x ~ 16x )
Access time: CD-ROM: 120ms
  DVD-ROM: 140 ms
Audio Extraction: Maximum 48x
Internal Buffer: 2 MB

LiteOn LTC48161H supports 48x CAV reading for both the CD-R and CD-RW media. The same speed is used for CD-R writing, while DVD reading can be achieved at 16x CAV maximum.

The drive uses the SMART-BURN feature and a 2MB buffer size to avoid buffer underun errors and keep the writing quality at high levels, while the SMART-X® feature ensures the accurate extraction od bits while reading.

Also the LiteOn combo drive uses the VAS® technology to reduce vibration and noise during recording and reading .

LiteOn came with region Code II selected, and the RPCII region control allows the user to change the region code only 4 more times.

The drive supports reading of all the CD and DVD formats (except DVD-RAM), retrieves C2 error information and is Mount Rainier compliant. In addition, the drive supports RAW DAO 96, packet writing and overburning.

- The package

The retail package includes the LiteOn LTC48161H drive, a quick installation guide, mounting screws and the usual internal audio cable.

The software package includes PowerDVD XP v4.0 DVD playback software, Nero Express v5.5.10.13 (OEM version), one blank CD-R (Ritek), and one LiteOn CD-RW (Plasmon, 10x-24x). The retail package is available at a street price of $55-65.

The front panel of the drive includes the usual headphone jack, the volume control knob, the eject button and the operation LED.

On the rear panel there are the analog and digital outputs, the IDE connector, the device jumper configuration and the typical power input

After removing the screws we can see the drive's internal design:

- Installation

The LiteOn drive was connected on IDE 1 of our test PC as a "Master" and worked under the Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The drive was identified as "LITE-ON COMBO LTC-48161H" under WinXP. The firmware version installed and used for the tests was KH0F. By the time we write these lines, a new firmware has been released, adding support for more media. The new firmware (vKHOK) version is available here.


3. Data CD Reading Tests

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 3

Data CD Reading Tests

- Pressed CD (LiteOn LTC48161H and Optorite DC4801)

Both combo drives support 48x CAV reading for CD-ROM/R media. Although the LiteOn drive started reading at a higher speed (24.18x) than the Optorite DC4801 (22.62x), and reached the maximum speed of 50.41x, the drives gave similar average reading speeds.

The Optorite drive reached the maximum supported 48x speed as early as at the 72:00 min address of the disc, and read the rest of it at 48x. The reading strategy resembles to P-CAV and thus, the average reading speed is increased.

Looking at the seek times with the same pressed CD, LiteOn gave slightly better results on Full and 1/3 mode reading. The Optorite drive is faster in the random seek mode with only 91ms. Both drives performed well in this test.

- CD-R Discs (LiteOn LTC48161H and Optorite DC4801)

When it comes to CD-R media, the transfer rate results are almost the same as with respect to those for pressed CD's. Optorite DC4801 was faster at the begriming of the test with a starting speed of t 22.27x, while the LiteOn drive offered the highest ending speed (50x). The average speed of both drives is almost the same, with LiteOn being a bit faster at 37.64x

In the seek times test, the LiteOn drive still offered good results, as in previous test. On the other hand, the Optorite drive was slower in all the seek modes, and especially in the Full stroke test.

- RW media (LiteOn LTC48161H and Optorite DC4801)

For the HS-RW reading test we used Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x US-RW media. The Optorite drive is faster than the LiteOn, since it supports 48x CAV reading with rewritable media. LiteOn reached a maximum speed of 42.2x at the end of the task and thus the average reading speed was 31.85x.


4. CD Error Correction Tests- Optorite DC4801

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 4

Error Correction Tests

Optorite DC4801

In the following tests we examine the behavior of the Optorite DC4801 with respect to scratched/defected CD-R media. The drive initially rips the contents of a pressed audio disc (non-defect), and the resultant .wav file is stored onto the hard disk. Afterwards, the ripping procedure is repeated, but this time, the inserted disc is artificially scratched (ABEX TCD-721R) or defected (ABEX TCD-726). The recorded contents of all the test-discs are the same. Both original and defected .wav files are compared through the software provided by the author of the EAC software.

The more identical the extracted .wav file is with respect to the original, the better error correction / error concealing capabilities the tested drive features.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 402587538
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 1884092
Avg: -24.1 dB(A)
Max:-3.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 762087
Avg: 4.8 Samples
Max: 3584 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
67.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
50.1 %

According to the graph, the signal had a high average level (-24.1dB(A)) and its maximum value was -3.7dB(A). According to the EAC author, the calculation of these parameters does not include any particular acoustical model. This means that the high dB(A) values do not have a direct connection with respect to the acoustical output of your speakers. However, testing has showed that the acceptable Error level should be below -60dB(A). In our case, although the drive reported high error rates, many of them were muted by the drive itself. As a result, the total score in the test is not very bad, reaching at 67.3 points out of 100.

The same software reports that the Optorite DC4801 offered a 50.1% of C2 accuracy, by using the particular test disc.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 74531
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num:11829
Avg: -79.4 dB(A)
Max:-20.5dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 515
Avg: 2.8 Samples
Max: 43 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
79.0 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
66.4%

The ABEX TCD-726 test is always easier to handle for most drives. The errors reported were less than that in the previous test. The average level was low (-79.4dB(A)). Some erroneous samples were muted, and no synchronization problems were reported (samples skipping). The score in this test is good, 79.0 points out of 100 and the C2 accuracy is thus determined to be 66.4%.

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
67.3
ABEX TCD-726
79.0
Average Score
73.15

The Optorite DC4801 gave back a quite good score 73.15 out of 100 at the reading error correction tests. The drive seems to be able to rip the scratched areas of the test disc at maximum speeds, reporting high error rates, but most of them were successfully concealed. The behavior of the drive with defected discs was also good, as it was able to rip the contents of the discs accurately. On the other hand, the reported C2 accuracy is not high.

- Nero CDSpeed test

- ABEX 721R

Nero CDSpeed test confirmed the results we got from the EAC test suite. The reported quality score of the drive is good, 89.7, while the C2 Accuracy is not even close to 100%, as it was expected.


5. CD Error Correction Tests - LitrOn LTC4801H

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 5

Error Correction Tests

LiteON LTC48161H

In the following tests we examined the reading behavior of LiteOn LTC48161H, while reading the Almedio Abex 721R and 726 pressed discs.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 176533614
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 832521
Avg: -27.0 dB(A)
Max:-5.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 373192
Avg: 1.2 Samples
Max: 3572 Samples
Skips Samples
Num:66
Avg: 776.9 Samples
Max: 2939 Samples
Total Test Result
48.4 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
50.4 %

Concerning the number ad severity of the reported errors, LiteOn LTC48161H had almost the same behavior as the Optorite DC4801. However, the LiteOn drive reported less muted samples. Some synchronization problems occurred. The performance is low and the average score is only 48.4 points out of 100. The C2 accuracy of the drive with respect to the Abex 721R test disc is only 50.4%.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 71
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num:171
Avg: -83.8 dB(A)
Max:-50.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num:0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num:0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
90.4 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
100%

In most cases the ABEX TCD-726 test resulted to high overall quality scores. The drive read the disc accurately, and the average error level was low (-83.8 dB(A)). No skip errors were reported, and the quality score is high (90.4 points). The drive also retrieved the C2 information accurately.

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
48.4
ABEX TCD-726
90.4
Average Score
69.4

The average score for both tests is quite good (69.4 points). However, please have in mind that the drive showed two different faces in the tests. The performance with the scratched test disc was poor, mainly because of the reported skip errors. On the other had, less serious problems on the disc surface, such as the artificial fingerprints on the ABEX TCD-726 disc, were easily handled with great success.

- Nero CDSpeed tests

- ABEX 721R

The increased amount of sync errors did not allow CDSpeed software to give a high quality score. Of course, the C2 errors reported were more than in case of Optorite DC4801, since the C2 accuracy of the LiteOn drive is higher.


6. DVD Reading Tests

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 6

DVD reading tests

- Single Layer DVD-ROM (Optorite DC4801and LiteOn LTC48161H )

Both drives support 16x CAV reading on single-layer DVD-ROM media.They gave almost identical average reading speeds, in both cases around 12x.

With respect to the seek times, the LiteOn drive is faster in the full seek mode, but the random seek test gave low times for both drives. The performance was around 100msec.

- Dual Layer DVD-ROM ( Optorite DC4801and LiteOn LTC48161H)

According to their specifications, both drives support 8x CAV reading for dual-layer DVD-ROM discs. The LiteOn drive is again a bit faster than the Optorite DC4801, with a 6.05x average reading speed. The Optorite drive is slower due to the lower reading speed that can be achieved in the outer part of the disc (just 7.38x).

Both drives gave higher seek times on dual-layer than on single-layer media. The Optorite DC4801 needed 120msec for the random seek and 292msec for the full seek mode. LiteON LTC48161H is faster requiring only 217msec for the full seek test.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD Ripping speed using the "Matrix" DVD Video title and latest version o the DVD Decrypter software.

The average ripping speed for the Optorite drive was 2388 KB/sec (1.77x), while the LiteOn LTC48161H was significantly faster, achieving 8972 KB/Sec (6.65x).

- DVD±R/RW reading Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed results when using the media in the following table. The DVD±R media we used is 4x certified and manufactured by Verbatim.

Both LiteOn and Optorite drives support 8x CAV (3-8x) reading speed when using DVD±R/RW media. The average reading speed for both drives was approximately 6x. According to CDSpeed, the Optorite drive gave higher seek times than LiteON LTC4816H. This behavior was also noticed in the case of the DVD-ROM reading tests.


7. DVD Error Correction Tests - LiteOn LTC4801H

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 7

DVD Error Correction Tests

LiteOn LTC48161H

In the following tests we examine the DVD error-correction capabilities of the LiteOn LTC48161H drive. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark v1.21 and Nero CDSpeed . The reference test media come from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single-sided, single-layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity, which is "equipped" with scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm. The following picture displaying transfer rates comes from CDVD Benchmark v1.21.

LiteOn LTC-48161H had no problems reading the disc. The drive read the inner part of the disc at 7x and reached almost the maximum reading speed (16x) without reporting any read errors.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single-side, single-layer DVD-ROM with of a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that in the case of TDR-821. The difference is that there no scratches on it, but defected areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1mm. There are also fingerprints sized from 65 to 75 micrometers.

The drive did not encounter any problems reading the disc contents. The yellow dots correspond to speed at each particular area of the disc. The CDVD software reads each sector multiple times and then decides about an average value to define within the main graph. The reading speed of the disc at the outer part was 15x. 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 in the range between 0.4 to 3.0mm, in both layers.

The dual layer DVD-ROM disc was read accurately and no read errors were reported.

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 in the range between 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

Once again the drive had no problems to read the scratched dual layer DVD.The drive starts reading the disc at 3.5x at the beginning of each layer and reach 8x at 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. Using the current TDV-541 disc, we are able to check also the error correction capabilities of the drive, since it includes scratches ranging from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

LiteOn start reading the disc at 3.07x under CAV mode. At the end of the first layer the reported speed is 8x, while the drive had to slow down momentarily to read the scratched area.The task was completed successfully and the average speed was 5.91x. The LiteOn drive read the dual layer DVD scratched disc without posting any errors.

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 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It has also 65 - 75 micro meter fingerprints.

Black dots and fingerprints were not a problem at all for the drive.It didn't slow down its speed at the scratched areas and the test was successful, at an average speed of 6.07x.


8. DVD Error Correction Tests - Optorite DC4801

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 8

DVD Error Correction Tests

Optorite DC4801

In the following tests we examined the DVD error correction capabilities of the Optorite DC4801. 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 of 4.7GB capacity, in which there are scratches of dimensions 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from CDVD Benchmark v1.21.

The drive read the disc normally from the begginning of the disc until sector 1.000.000, where the scratched area became large enough to be able to continue reading at maximum speed. The drive slowed down and finished reading at a speed lower than 8x. However, no read errors were reported.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as the TDR-821, with the difference that there not scratches on it but defected areas with dimensions from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There also fingerprints sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

The drive didn't have any problems to read the disc contents. Optorite DC4801 read the disc under the CAV mode until the end of the disc and reached the maximum read of 16X. The test was completed succesfully and no read errors occured.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

This is a 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches with dimensions from 0.4 to 3.0mm, in both layers.

This time the scratched areas of both layers were read flawlessly. The Optorite drive had no problem to finish the ABEX 841 test with no reading errors. Although the scratched areas are the same as in the case of the ABEX 821 test disc (single layer), the drive did not slow down and gave the maximum supported read of 8X by the end of each layer.

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 65 to 75 micro meters.

Optorite DC4801 finished and this test without read errors. The disc was read a normal dual layer DVD-ROM disc at 8X CAV.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with capacity of 7.91GB. 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 checks also the error correction capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The drive had reading problems in the second layer of the disc. The reading speed was reduced down to 3X and reached the 1X in the inner part of the disc. It seems that the drive could not read the scratched areas of the second layer only, and this is also confirmed by the increased seek times reported.

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 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It has also 65 - 75 micro meters fingerprints.

This time, the defects on the disc surface did not cause reading problems and both layers were read easily at 7X CAV reading speed.


9. Data Protected DiscsTests

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 9

Data Protected DiscsTests

We used Alcohol 120% and 3 original CDs - Serious Sam 2 (SafeDisc 2), V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) and NBA Jam Extreme (PSX) - and made the image of each title to the hard disk (max speed).

Although we did not use the CloneCD for the reading tests, the drive information provided by the software could be usefull:

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to the HD with Alcohol 120%. We used the default PSX settings with Read Sub-Channel Data option enabled. The Optorite DC4801 was faster than LiteOn and finished the image making process in only 75 sec.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

Optorite DC4801 need 7:13 to complete the task and again is faster than LiteOn LTC48161. However, none of the drives gave the best performance we have experienced ever, and some CD-RW drives are definitely faster.

- SecuROM Results

Both drives read subchannel data from data and audio tracks. This time the LiteOn drive was faster and read the disc contents at an average speed of 2491KB/sec.

- Writing Tests

The Alcohol software reports that both drives supports the DAO-RAW and DAO-SAO writing modes. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with different builds of SafeDisc v2.x protections, with the latest software patches installed. We used the drive as reader/writer at maximum reading/recording speed. The "Bypass EFM Error" feature was enabled and disabled for each game backup.

Game Title
Tested Drive
SD2 Build
Settings
ByPass EFM Error On
ByPass EFM Error Off
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
LiteOn LTC48161H
v.2.60.052
Ok
Ok
Optorite DC4801
Ok
No
The Sims - Unleashed
LiteOn LTC48161H
v2.80.010
Ok
Ok
Optorite DC4801
No
No

The LiteOn drive is a good solution for backing up Safedisc v.2 protected discs.The drive managed to make a valid backup of The Sims- Unleased and Serius Sam without the assistance of the Bypass EFM error feature. Optorite cannot backup correctly the Safedisk2 v2.80.010 protection of the same game. Even enabling the Bypass EFM error option of Alcohol did not make the disc playable. The Optorite DC4801 manage to make a working backup of Serious Sam only with the software assistance by Alcohol 120%.


10. DAE Tests

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 10

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

In this test we examine the DAE speed of the drives. The audioCD we used held 74:00 min of audio tracks.

Both drives are fast and support the 48X CAV speed for audio extraction. Optorite DC4801 was approximately 1X faster than the LiteOn drive. In addition, the drives were sightly slower when ripping the CD-R media.

- CDSpeed Advanced DAE Quality
LiteOn LTC48161H
Optorite DC4801

LiteOn and Optorite gave back the same quality score 100.0 (Perfect). On the advanced features tab, the software reports that both drives support reading of LeadIN/LeadOut data and CD text.

- Ripping 99mins AudioCDs

Tested drives
Ripping up to 99min
Optorite DC4801
OK
LiteOn LTC 48161H
OK

For this test we used an 99min audio disc and EAC. Both drives managed to rip all the contents of the disc without posting any errors.

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

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

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)

* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

Key2Audio
CDS200
EAC
Optorite DC4801
OK
OK
LiteOn LTC 48161H
OK
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip them

Optorite DC4801 manages to extract both Key2audio and Cactus Data Shield 200 audio protected discss without problems. On the other hand, LiteOn is able to recognize both discs but cannot extract the CDS200 contents. The Key2Audio protection was not a problem for the LiteOn drive.


11. Recording Tests

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 11

CDR Tests

We tested both drives with the latest version of Nero Burning Rom.Optorite and LiteOn supports the same maximum writing speeds and use the same writing strategy. All the available writting speeds are illustrated below:

LiteOn LTC48161H

Optorite DC4801

Below you can see the CDSpeed writing simulation with 80min CD-R media. The drive uses the CAV writing strategy and the average writing speed is 37.01X.

The Optorite DC4801 aslo supports 48X CAV maximum writing speed. The CDSpeed test gave the drive a 36.60X average writing speed.

- Recording Tests

We used Nero Burning Rom to create an 80min data compilation. The project was burned in both Optorite DC4801 and LiteOn LTC4816H. The following chart illustrates the recording times with Taiyo Yuden 48X blank discs. The writing times were not very different as it was expected. The Optorite drive was 12 seconds faster:

The following picture comes from Nero after a successful burning at 48X with LiteOn LTC-48161H and Optorite DC4801:

Both drives decide the maximum allowed recording speed according to the inserted media. In the following chart you can see the maximum allowed writing speeds according to the inserted disc type:

Disc
ID Code
Capacity
LiteOn LTC48161H
Optorite DC4801
Plextor 48X
TaiyoYuden 97m24s01f
79:59:72
48X
48X
Mitsubishi Chemicals 48X
97m34s23f
79:59:73
48X
40X
SKC 48X
97m26s26f
79:59:73
48X
48X
Imation 48X
CMC Magnetics 97m26s66f
79:59:71
48X
48X
TDK 48X
97m15s05f
79:59:74
48X
16X
Professional 48x
97m32s19f
79:59:72
48X
48X
EMTEC 48X
97m17s06f
79:59:74
48X
32X
Mitsui 48X
Mitsui 97m27s58f
75:59:74
48X
16X
Ciba plasmon 48X
97m27s18f
79:59:74
48X
48X
Memorex 52X
CMC Magnetics 97m26s66f
79:59:73
40X
48X

The Optorite DC4801 recorded the Mitsui 48X and TDK 48X media at 16X. The LiteOn drive accepted the maximum 48X speed with the most of the discs we tested, except Memorex 52X, which were written at 40X.

In the chart below you can see the best writing times we measured for the available writing speeds.

The LiteOn drive is faster at the writing speeds from 12X to 32X. The drives gave the same writing time at 40X, and the Optorite DC4801 is faster in the maximum supported speed.

- Other features
Tested Drives
Optorite DC4801
LiteOn LTC 48161H
Overburning
Up to 98min
Up to 94min
CD text reading/writing
Yes
Yes

12. Jitter Measurements 1 - Optorite DC4801

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 12

Writing Quality Tests - page 1

Optorite DC4801

We used 80min 48X CD-R media by Taiyo Yuden and burned the same AudioCD project at all the available recording speeds from 12X-48X Below you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs.

- 3T Pit results

According to the graphs, higher recording speeds lead to increased 3T Pit jitter values. The 24X graph has a high jitter peak in the 25:00 address of the disc, approximately. Optorite DC4801 uses the P-CAV writing strategy for 24X writing, and it seems that high jitter is produced as the drive reaches the 24X writing speed.

The higher jitter values were reported in the 40X and 48X recording speeds. The 48X graph reached the 52 nsec corresponding to the outer parts of the disc, where the writing speed was nearly 48X (CAV).

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

- 3T Land results

The 3T Land jitter values were increased over those measured in 3T Pit jitter tests. Jitter was increased from the lower recording speeds, and surprisingly was lower at the maximum 48X speed. The highest 3T land jitter was reported in the disc recorded at 24X (55nsec).

Below you can see the average 3T Land Jitter values for all recording speeds. As we mentioned, the drive produced higher jitter at 24X.

- Conclusion
Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max value (ns)
12X
33.66
44.90
Yes
35 Pit, 46 Land
16X
34.66
44.54
Yes
36 Pit, 46 Land
24X
37.85
47.10
Yes
46 Pit, 55 Land
32X
37.36

43.32

Yes
39 Pit, 46 Land
40X
38.22
43.29
Yes
39 Pit, 45 Land
48X
45.71
40.7
Yes
47 Pit, 46 Land

Optorite DC4801 produced increased jitter values in all the available recording speeds. The 3T Pit jitter values were lower in the wriitng speeds from 12X to 32X, but for the same speeds, the 3T Land jitter reported was high.

The 40X and 48X writing speeds introduced high Pit and Land jitter, which reached the 47nsec. The results indicate that the writing quality of the drive could possibly be negatively influenced at the highest recording speeds.


13. Jitter Measurements 2 - Optorite DC4801

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 13

Writing Quality Tests - page 2

Optorite DC4801

We tested the Optorite DC4801 with a variety of other media. Note that the recording speed for each disc is the maximum allowed by the drive.

- 3T Pit results

The first results at a glance would be that the drive gave the best results with Mitsui 48X (MAM 48X) and Mitsubishi Chemicals 48X media. The 3T Pit jitter reported for these discs was adequate, but have in mind that those discs were recorded at 16X and 40X, respectively (writing speed controlled by the drive).

Among the rest media we tested, the best results at 48X came with Ciba Plasmon 48X. The rest media produced high jitter values especially in the outer part of the discs.

The highest average 3T Pit jitter values were reported with Memorex 52X and SKC 48X media.

- 3T Land results

The 3T Land jitter results were better although the jitter values reported were higher than 35nsec in most cases. Again the Ciba Plasmon media gave the best results at 48X. Below you can see the average 3T Land jitter values for all the discs we tested.

- Conclusion
Media
3T Pit Jitter (ns)
3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max value (ns)
MAM 48X
33.48
32.15
No
35 Pit, 35 Land
Ciba Plasmon 48X
34.59
33.20
Yes
42 Pit, 39 Land
Memorex 52X
45.71
40.07
Yes
52 Pit, 43 Land
MC 48X
37.12
37.98
Yes
43 Pit, 42 Land
SKC 48X
44.66

42.29

Yes
51 Pit, 46 Land
Prodisc 40X
41.59
43.24
Yes
47 Pit, 46 Land

In generall, the drive introduced high jitter values with the most of the media we tested. The discs that were not allowed to be burned at the maximum 48X speed gave better results, (MC 48X and Mitsui 48X) as it is usually noticed in the jitter tests.

It is not always easy to characterize the writing quality of a drive judging solely from the jitter measurements. However, the tests strongly indicate that recording at 48X could affect the integrity of your data.


14. Jitter Measurements 1 - LiteOn LTC4801H

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 14

Writing Quality Tests - page 1

LiteOn LTC-48161H

We used Taiyo Yuden 80min 48X CD-R media and burned the same AudioCD project at all available recording speeds from 12X-48X.

- 3T Pit results

LiteOn LTC48161H gave low 3T Pit jitter values for all the recording speeds. Writing at 40X and 48X did not affect the Pit jitter level and the bahavior of the drive is generally good.

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

- 3T Land results

The drive unusually gave higher Land jitter values at the lower writing speeds. The 12X graph showed that the jitter reached the 42nsec, while the behavior for the 16X speed is better. The 40X and 48X speeds gave very good results.

On the graph above you can see the average 3T Land jitter values for all the supported writing speeds. As we have mentioned, the drive performed well at the highest writing speeds and gave increased jitter at 12X and 16X.

- Conclusion
Recording Speed
3T Pit Jitter (ns)
3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max value (ns)
12X
33.05
41.02
Yes
35 Pit, 42 Land
16X
31.27
35.41
Yes
32 Pit, 38 Land
24X
30.29
32.44
No
31 Pit, 35 Land
32X
32.22

32.90

No
34 Pit, 34 Land
40X
33.32
33.39
Yes
37 Pit, 36 Land
48X
32.68
33.12
Yes
36 Pit, 35 Land

LiteOn LTC48161 performed well in the most recording speeds, concerning the jitter introduced to the discs. In most cases the jitter was lower than 35nsec, and the high recording speeds did not influence the overal quality.


15. Jitter Measurements 2 - LiteOn LTC4801H

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page-15

Writing Quality Tests - page 2

LiteOn LTC-48161H

We burned with LiteOn drive a variety of CD-R media, in order to measure the jitter. Note that the recording speed for each disc is the maximum allowed by the drive.

- 3T Pit results

The 3T Pit Jitter was higher in the outer parts of the various discs, where the corresponding writing speed was reaching the 48X. The TDK 48X, Mitsubishi Chemicals 48X and Emtec 48X media gave the highest jitter, without, however, exceeding the 40nsec. The rest of the media we tested gave good results.

- 3T Land results

The 3T Land Jitter values are lower than the corresponding Pit values. An exception to this is the TDK 48X disc measurements. The jitter reached the 46nsec some minutes before the end of the disc area.

- Conclusion
Media
3T Pit Jitter (ns)
3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max value (ns)
MAM 48X
29.37
28.39
Yes
36 Pit, 34 Land
TDK 48X
33.44
38.95
Yes
39 Pit, 46 Land
Memorex 52X
34.20
32.10
Yes
36 Pit, 34 Land
MC 48X
29.90
29.83
Yes
40 Pit, 39 Land
SKC 48X
31.66
31.12
Yes
36 Pit, 37 Land
Emtec 48X
30.98
27.12
Yes
39 Pit, 35 Land
Ciba Plasmon 48X
29.78
29.05
Yes
36 Pit, 35 Land

The LiteOn drive performed very well concidering the fact that is is actually a combo drive. The jitter values were acceptable for the most CD-R media we tested, and the high writing speeds did not affect the writing quality, at least from the jitter aspect.


16. HS-RW Media Tests

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 16

HS-RW Tests

We used Mitsubishi HS-RW 24x discs and Nero Burning Rom for writing CD's in the maximum RW allowed speed of each drive.

LiteOn LTC48161H supports the 10x, 16x and 24x rewriting speeds using 24x US-RW media. The drive uses the 24x CAV writing technology and, according to CDSpeed, the average 24x rewriting speed is actually 18.54:

Optorite DC4801 reaches the 24x speed faster than the LiteOn drive. The writing strategy followed by this drive is the P-CAV, and the average rewriting speed is high (22.84x):

The recording tests confirmed that the Optorite drive is faster at 24x rewriting. The drive finished the task in 3:46min (using 24x P-CAV), while the LiteOn drive was 51 seconds slower (using 24x CAV):

- Packet Writing Tests

We used the latest version of InCD and Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x US-RW media for all Packet Writing tests. The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 kbytes) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media, using explorer (we dragged and dropped). We completed each test twice in order to eliminate possible time measurement faults and user errors:

Although the Optorite drive was faster in the rewriting tests, it was a slower reader/writer under the UDF packet writing format. LiteOn LTC48161 finished the writing process at an average speed of 12.3x, and read the file back at 17.8x.

- Mount Rainier Tests

LiteOn LTC48161H supports Mount Rainier. We used again Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x US-RW media and formatted them under the Mt Rainier. With simple drag and drop operations we measured the reading/writing speeds of the drive, while formatting was in progress in the background.

Average Writing
Average Reading
Optorite DC4801
Does not support
LiteOn LTC48161H
10.88X
16.69X

Under the Mt Rainier, the LiteOn drive was slower than the respective case of normal packet writing, mainly because of the background formatting that was concurrently in progress. The Optorite DC4801 does not support Mt Rainier and thus was not tested in this case.


17. Conclusion

48x CD-RW Combo Roundup Vol.1 - Page 17

Conclusion

Optorite DC4801
Pros
Cons
  • 48/24/48/16 CDRW/DVD combo drive
  • 16x CAV DVD-ROM reading
  • 48x CAV CD-R/RW reading
  • 7x CAV Dual layer DVD-ROM reading
  • 8x CAV DVD-R/RW, +R/RW reading
  • Fast 24x rewriting (P-CAV)
  • Good error correction performance with defected CD-ROM/DVD-ROM discs
  • 48x CAV DAE speed
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Supports 99min discs
  • Supports Key2Audio & CDS200 audio discs
  • Inaccurate reading of scratched CD-R discs
  • C2 Information accuracy
  • Cannot create working SafeDisc v2.80 backups
  • Seek times with DVD media could be lower
  • Does not support Mount Rainer
  • Low DVD ripping speed
  • Problematic reading of scratched Dual Layer DVD-ROM
  • Increased 3T Jitter values

LiteOn LTC48161H

Pros

Cons

  • 48/24/48/16 CDRW/DVD combo drive
  • Good CD/DVD seek times
  • 16x CAV DVD-ROM reading
  • 48x CAV CD-R reading
  • 8x CAV Dual layer DVD-ROM reading
  • 8x CAV DVD-R/RW, +R/RW reading
  • Good error correction performance with defected CD-ROM/DVD-ROM discs
  • Fast DVD ripping (6.7x average)
  • Low 3T Jitter
  • 48x CAV DAE speed
  • Support of SafeDisc v.2.80 discs
  • Mount Rainier compliant
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Supports 99min discs
  • Inaccurate reading of scratched CD-R discs
  • Does not support Cactus Data Shield 200 audio discs
  • C2 Information accuracy

Both drives performed quite well in the reading part of CD and DVD media. The 48x CAV reading speed for CD-R/ROM media was easily achieved and the reported seek times were low and compliant to the specifications of each drive. The supported DAE speed was the maximum 48x for both drives. Furthermore, the Optorite DC4801 was faster than the LiteOn drive in the reading tests of 24x CD-RW media, supporting the maximum 48x CAV speed.

The single layer DVD-ROM media were read at 16x CAV, while the supported speed for dual layer DVD-ROM's was 8x CAV. However, the Optorite drive was slightly slower in the particular reading tests, giving a 7x CAV speed. Reading of DVD±R/RW discs was fully supported at 8x CAV. As a comment to Optorite's performance, we could say that the seek times with DVD media could be lower. In addition, the LiteOn drive ripped the DVD contents to the hard disk at 6.7x , on average, while Optorite DC4801 was slower here achieving only a speed of only 1.7x.

Both drives did not face any problems with the defected / scratched DVD-ROM discs. The LiteOn drive performed very well and read the disc contents accurately. The Optorite drive was also accurate, with an exception when reading a scratched dual-layer DVD-Video disc. According to the CDSpeed, the drive lowered the reading speed at the second layer, finished the test slowly and it seems that some read errors did occur.

The DAE results with scratched / defected CD-ROM media were also very interesting. Both drives read the disc contents fast, but the produced .wav files were not accurate, containing many errors. In this area, the Optorite drive seems to have a better error concealing behavior than the LiteOn LTC48161H. The situation was different with respect to the ABEX TCD-726 disc (black dots, fingerprints), since this one was accurately read by both drives. Note that none of the drives retrieve C2 error information with a 100% accuracy.

In the writing part, the supported 48x CAV speed offered low CD-R writing times. The drives recorded most of the discs we used at the maximum respective speeds, but the writing quality was not always high. The 3T jitter measurements showed that the Optorite drive introduces high jitter values in the maximum speeds, while the LiteOn LTC48161H gave better results.

Last, we should mention that the Optorite DC4801 is not able to create working SafeDisc v2.80 backups (SD v2.60 works fine), and the LiteOn drive is certainly one of the alternative options for this task.

Optorite DC4801 is available to the market at a price of $55-60, and LiteOn LTC48161H can be found at a similar price range of about $55-65.



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