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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
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Appeared on: Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Pacific Digital U-30201 (Mach-8)


1. Specs - Installation

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 1

Pacific Digital is a well-known supplier of storage and multimedia solutions. Established in 1996, Pacific Digital Corporation provides complete solutions with a focus on CD-ReWritable optical technology. Located in California, Pacific Digital is developing technologies aiming towards the efficiency improvement of mass storage subsystems. The company expanded its product line lately with new storage controllers, Combo drives and DVD recorders. We present the new Mach -8 multi DVD recorder, supporting recording on all DVD/CD formats.

- Features

Mach-8 offers 8x DVD+R and 4x DVD-R writing speeds. Buffer Underun protection for CD/DVD as well as writing strategy controll mechanism are included in the drive's features, making your life easier when creating your CD/DVD compilations.

- Specifications
DVD Family
Writing
DVD-R 1x, 2x, 4x max.
DVD+R
1x, 2x, 6x, 8x max.
Rewriting DVD-RW 2x ( 2700KB/sec ) CLV
DVD+RW
4x (5400KB/sec) CLV
Reading Speed

DVD-ROM (Single layer )

12x (16200KB/sec) maximum CAV
DVD+R/-R, DVD-RW/+RW
max. 8x
Access Time 160 ms
CD Family
Writing Speed CD-R
16x, 24x, 32x, 40x max.
ReWriting speed CD-RW 4x, 10x, 16x, 24x max.
Reading CD-R/-ROM max. 40x, CD-RW max. 32x
Access Time 140 ms
Buffer Size 2MB

Interface

E-IDE/ATAPI MMC compliant
Writing methods Track at Once, Disc at Once, Session at Once, Multi-Session, Packet Writing (Variable & Fixed), Multi-track Reservation
Supported media formats DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW (CD) CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Extra, CD-I, Mixed-Mode CD, Video CD, Photo CD, CD-TEXT, Bootable CD, CD-R, CD-RW, Multi-Session
Transfer mode PIO mode 4, DMA mode 2 and Ultra DMA mode 2

From the specification table above, it can be seen that the Pacific Digital U-30201 supports writing of DVD±R/RW and CD-R/RW media. The new drive offers 8x DVD+R (6-8x Z-CLV) recording, DVD+RW and DVD-R at 4x CLV, while DVD-RW can be burned at 2x CLV.

The maximum CD writing speed for CD-R is 40x CAV and 24x P-CAV when using Ultra Speed CD-RW media. Reading of CD-ROM/-R/RW can be done at 40x CAV maximum.

Single layer DVD-ROM media can be read at 12x CAV, while DVD±R/RW discs can be read at 8x.

The drive uses a 2MB buffer. It also supports RAW DAO 96 writing (CD).

The Pacific Digital U-30201 uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

- The drive

The complete retail package, includes two CD-ROMs, containing the Sonic MyDVD CD/DVD authoring software, CyberLink PowerDVDXP player, installation drivers and a pdf manual. One blank CD-R discs is also included.

A quick installation quide, audio cable and mounting screws and warranty card complete the retail package contents.

The drive's front panel has the usual features. The tray door has the RW DVD+ReWritable, DVD R/RW, and Compact disc ReWritable logos located on the left, centre and right respectively. On the lower half of the drive's faceplate, below the tray door, starting at left there are the headphones jack, volume control and power/activity led, and on the right the eject button. The emergency eject hole is located just above the volume control. The activity LED lights up green when busy and red when reading/writing is in progress.

On the rear panel (schematic included above for clarity) there are the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures.

Click for Higher Resolution!

The LSI chip shown above, located on the upper side of the controller circuit board, is from Kyoto-based semiconductor manufacturer ROHM CO., LTD. This IC contains a 3-phase Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) spindle motor driver, PWM driver for feed motor, and BTL driver for actuators. It is specifically designed for half-inch high disc drives which need to address the challenges of high speed and low heat generation in restricted spaces such as those imposed by notebook PCs.

The Pacific Digital U-30201 further incorporates (located on the underside of the controller circuit board), a high-speed DVD dual Optical Disk Controller chipset from MediaTek Inc. consisting of two CMOS ultra-scale integrated circuits, the MT1816E and MT1818E. The MT1816E is the front-end analog signal processor and MT1818E is the servo control and Endec IC.

- Installation

The Pacific Digital U-30201 was connected to our test PC and was identified as "LITE-ON DVDRW LDW-811S" under WinXP. This is not unusual as this drive appears to be exactly the same as the LiteOn drive, except that it is manufactured in China whereas the LiteOn is manufactured in Taiwan. All tests were done with firmware revision vHS0E.

Note that our drive has a serial number starting from 4323... This indicates that the drive is based on LiteOn LDW-811S. In different case where the serial starts with a P, then the drive is based on the BTC 1008IM burner.

The following pages include the test results for the Pacific Digital drive in comparison with two other dual DVD burners, the Optorite DD0401 DVD and the LiteOn LDW 811S. The comparison with the LiteOn drive should prove quite interesting, to see just how close the results between them are.


2. Data CD Reading Tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 2

Data CD Reading Tests

- Pressed CD results (Click for CDSpeed results)

The Pacific Digital U-30201 drive supports 40x CAV reading speed with both CD-ROM and CD-R media. The maximum speed reached in our CD-ROM reading test was 41.65x on the outer tracks of the disc, with an overall average speed of 31.43x. The results are quite good, although the LiteOn drive was slightly faster.

On the seek times test, the Pacific Digital drive performed quite well being only slightly slower than the Optorite drive as can be seen from the graph above. The average reading speed was 108 ms which is good, however again the Optorite DD0401 proved to be the best performer with 84msec for a random seek.

- CD-R Media results (Click for CDSpeed results)

In the transfer rate test for CD-R media, the Pacific Digital drive returned results very similar to those for the transfer rate test for CD-ROM media, as was the case with the other two drives. The start speed was 18.02x, end speed 41.61x and average of 31.32x. Here, the Pacific Digital drive had the fastest average speed among the drives although there was very little between them.

The seek times for the Pacific Digital drive were very close to and slightly better that those for the LiteOn and a little slower than its comparative times for CD-ROM media. In contrast, the Optorite drive had faster CDR-Media seek times than for CD-ROM media and was overall with seek times.

- ReWritable Media (Click for CDSpeed results)

The Pacific Digital U-30201 supports a maximum reading speed of 24x CAV with rewritable media. For the reading test we used 24x High Speed rewritable media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

The reading speed with CD-RW media was quite good although slower than that with either CD-R and CD-ROM media. The drive returned an average read speed of 25.39x while only managing a final speed of 33.67x. Only the Optorite drive managed to surpass 40x (40.64x) and appears to be the fastest reader from the three.


3. CD Error Correction Tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 3

Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behaviour when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 970413
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 50326
Avg: -73.6 dB(A)
Max: -36.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3124
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 11 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
76.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
99.7 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The drive performed very well with the ABEX TCD-721R test disc, returning a very low count on the number of loudness errors with an average of -73.6 dB. Muting error count was also negligible and there were no samples skipped. The total score of 76.8 is quite good as is the C2 accuracy score of 99.7.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num:18
Avg: -174.0 dB(A)
Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is much easier for drives in general to read, and as such, the Pacific Digital U-30201 drive corrected almost all errors with a perfect quality score of 100 points. Any loudness errors recorded were too low ( average of -174.0 dB) to register on the graph.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are reproduced (played) through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone coming out from the speakers is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Pacific Digital U-30201
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The drive succesfully passed the first 3 check levels for this test. Playing the 4th and 5th tracks produced a constant noise in the background. It appears that the drive is capable of "correcting" errors created by scratches with size less than the 1.125 mm present on the 4th check level although it was a little surprising that it couldn't pass the 4th check level considering the good results returned in the tests with the ABEX TCD discs previously. The 5th check level, which has a scratch a size of 1.500 mm, is difficult to read with most drives.

- Summary

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
76.8
ABEX TCD-726
100.0
Average Score
88.4

Combining the two scores from the ABEX tests gives an average total score of 88.4 points out of 100. This is a very good overall score. Not surprisingly, it is the exact same score achieved by the LiteOn LDW 811S, and in fact, the graphs and figures are nearly identical for the two drives.


4. DVD reading tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 4

DVD reading tests

- Single Layer DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

In the DVD single layer read test, the Pacific Digital drive was neck and neck with the LiteOn drive. Noting that all three drives support a maximum reading speed of 12x for DVD-ROM media, the Pacific Digital U-30201 is quite fast with an average speed of 9.28x while it managed to reach a final reading speed of 12.44x.

The manufacturer's specifications give the drive as having a seek time of 160msec for DVD media. NeroCDSpeed reports that the drive needed 163ms for full seek time, 92 ms for 1/3 seek and 87 ms random. The drive performed quite well and the times are quite fast.

- Dual Layer PTP DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting the read process from the inner tracks on the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, and progressing outwards towards to the outer tracks for each layer.

According to the manufacturer, the Pacific Digital U-30201 has a maximum reading speed of 8x CAV with dual layer DVD-ROM discs. The drive managed to reach a maximum reading speed of 8.41x and was slightly slower than the Optorite drive. Here there is not much between the three drives. Looking at the CDSpeed resultant graph shows that the drive performed very smoothly over both layers with no glitches when swapping from one layer to the other.

Except for the random seek time, which is quite fast (88ms), both the 1/3 and full seek times are a little higher than we would have expected, especially the full seek time which is almost double that of the other two drives. However, what is more surprising is the difference with the LiteOn drive. Up to this point, both drives have given nearly identical figures and this is the first test in which one has outperformed the other so dramatically.

- Dual Layer OTP DVD-ROM

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks inwards towards the inner tracks of the disc.

 

 

Both layers were read flawlessly with only a minor glitch at the swap-over. The speed remained constant throughout and maximum reading speed passed the 8x mark. Here too we witness a difference with the OptoRite drive's graph which showed the problem the OptoRite had when switching between layers.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD-Video ripping speed of the Pacific Digital U-30201 using the latest version of DVD Decrypter. The DVD Video title is the "Matrix" pressed DVD-Video.

The drive ripped the DVD movie to the hard disk at 9360 KB/s (6.8x) average. The performance is quite high and was fastest among the three drives.

- DVD Recordable / Rewritable reading Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed average reading speed results with the following media:

The Pacific Digital U-30201 returned satisfactory average times. But once again the Optorite drive proved to be the most capable reader, this time with DVD media.

There isn't a lot of difference in the times of each drive with the the various DVD media. The Pacific Digital drive had times of from 4.63ms up to 4.70ms overall. And here once again, we notice how close the times are with those of the LiteOn.


5. DVD Error Correction Tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 5

DVD Error Correction Tests

Once again, it should be mentioned that the drive is identified as Lite-On DVDRW LDW-811S, and hence the titles appearing at the top of each test graph.

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the Pacific Digital U-30201 drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media came from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

The drive read the 821 test disc without reporting any read errors. Yellow, stray dots indicate that the drive gave back different reading speeds for each reading retry, due to scratches on the media's surface, and here we can see that the drive performed extremely well. The disc was read accurately and exceeded 12x CAV.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on the surface and instead defective areas ranging in dimensions from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints with height between 65 and 75 micrometers.

As in the previous test, no read errors occured with this disc. The drive again managed to reach maximum reading speed slightly in excess of 12x CAV.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

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

Here too, the drive managed to read both layers without fuss and passed the 8x reading speed for dual layer DVD media.

ABEX TDR-845

This disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes both defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints have height sized from 65 to 75 microns (micrometres).

As with all the reading tests for DVD media, this one did not prove to be a problem for the Pacific Digital drive.

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 on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches sized from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

 

Reading the first layer did not prove a problem, with the drive reaching a maximum of just over 8x CAV. The increase in speed is fairly constant and linear, starting at 3.57x and reaching 8.45x by the end of the first layer (outer tracks). The velocity (yellow line on the graph above) also remained fairly constant. The second layer however proved to be a lot more difficult, where at the beginning (outer tracks on the disc's surface), both transfer speed and velocity fluctuated. A little after the 5GB mark reading returned to normal. Since the point of the TDV-541 test disc is to test a drive's ability to switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1, it is evident that the Pacific Digital drive had a few problems.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer Video/S-2 disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the disc's surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometre high fingerprints.

The drive showed no problems reading this disc.

 

Continuing our comparison with the LiteOn drive, it is evident that there are some characteristics that are almost identical, such as the TDV 541 test disc where both drives showed the same behaviour when switching layers. On the other hand, the TDV 545 produced no problems on the Pacific Digital drive where we notice a near perfect, linear graph (the same graph for the LiteOn drive produced some problems at the change-over to the second layer). The LiteOn also had a few problems reading the TDR 841 test disc with artificial scratches on the second layer. In general, the Pacific Digital drive appears to give better overall performance with fewer problems on the second layer.


6. Protected Disc Tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 6

Protected Disc Tests
- Reading Tests

To create an image of the various protected titles onto a hard disk, we used CloneCD v.v4.3.1.9 software and the appropriate settings, depending on the protection type of the inserted discs. Below are summarized the capabilities of the Pacific Digital drive, according to CloneCD software. The drive supports writing of CD+G under RAW DAO:

The game titles we used for each protection scheme are given in the table below:

Game Title
Protection Scheme
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
PSX Pressed Media

SafeDisc v.2

SecuROM v.2

Except for PSX pressed media where performance was adequate, in general the drive was very fast with all of the protection schemes.

- Writing Tests

The Pacific Digital U-30201 supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. 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. After making the images of the various titles to the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with CloneCD. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Amplify Weak Sectors" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they ran (game installed / played normally), or not.

Drive
Game Title
SD2 Build
Settings
Amplify Weak Sectors On
Amplify Weak Sectors Off
Pacific Digital 8xDVD
Max Payne
v2.51.020
Yes
Yes
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
v.2.60.052
Yes
Yes
The Sims Unleashed
v.2.8
Yes
Yes
The Sims Superstar
v2.9
No
No

The backups were tested in many CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives, and both installation and playability worked flawlessly. Only Sims Superstar failed which uses the SafeDisc v2.9 protection scheme.


7. AudioCD/DAE Tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 7

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The Pacific Digital U-30201 uses 40x CAV strategy for CD-DA. Below is the resultant output from the CDSpeed transfer rate test with a pressed audio CD:

According to CDSpeed, the average reading speed with this disc was 30.89x, achieving a final speed of 40.08x while the reported seek times were quite satisfactory.

 

 

 

We ripped the contents of the same audio disc to the hard disk with CDDAE software. The drive gave an average ripping speed (burst mode) of 27.6x:

For the same test, the LiteOn and Optorite drives gave 39.9x and 28.5x average speeds respectively.

The same pressed audio disc was copied onto a CD-R and was read again with CDspeed. The Pacific Digital drive returned an average speed of 27.5x.

In both tests, the Pacific Digital drive was substantially slower than the LiteOn.

- Advanced DAE Quality

In the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test, the Pacific Digital drive posted an average speed of 28.23 and a quality score of 100. CDSpeed reports that the drive can read Leadin, Leadout data, Cd Text and Subchannel Data.

- Support of 90/99mins AudioCDs

Supports 99min disc

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used two audio discs with different audio protection schemes. We tested for both recognition and ripping to the hard disk. The software used was Exact Audio Copy.

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

Key2Audio
CDS200
EAC
Pacific Digital 8xDVD
OK
OK
LiteOn LDW-811S
OK
OK
Optorite DD401
OK
Recognized the disc.Ripped and played all tracks on the disc except the first.

The Pacific Digital U-30201 presented no problems with either ripping or playback of the two pressed discs and their respective protection schemes.


8. CD Recording Tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Writing Tests

The Pacific Digital U-30201 supports 8x, 16x, 24x, 32x and the maximum 40x CAV writing speeds. Below you can see the CDSpeed writing simulation graph with Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R media.

The writing speed at the start of the disc is 18.42x and increases linearly to the end of the disc reaching a maximum of 41.51x. According to CDSpeed, the average writing speed with an 80min disc was 31.42x. The velocity throughout the whole writing process remained quite steady.

 

 

- Recording Times

For the burning tests we created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded the data on a 700MB disc. The Pacific Digital drive completed the task in 3:08 minutes, with 40x writing speed selected. The performance is quite good for 40x recording speed.

Below are the best writing times at 8x, 16x, 24x, 32x and 40x. In each case, the Seamless Link feature was enabled:

The above times with various media, shows that the drive seems to have consistent times regardless of disc manufacturer.

- CD-RW Writing Tests

The Pacific Digital U-30201 supports 24x P-CAV maximum rewriting speed, with High Speed rewritable media. The drive also writes at 4x CLV with NS CD-RW. Below are the results from the CDSpeed writing simulation test with blank 10x HS-RW media from Ricoh.

 

 

 

The drive starts the writing task at 18.53x and reaches the maximum 24x around the 14:00 min address mark on the disc. According to CDSpeed, the average writing speed was 25.20x and final speed of 26.49x.

We also used Nero Burning Rom to burn a data disc using 24x US-RW media from MC. The data compilation burnt had a size of 651 MB and the duration of the recording process was 3:43 minutes.

- Packet Writing Tests

Using InCD and Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x US-RW media for all Packet Writing tests, quick format took 38sec. The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 KB) from Hard Disk (on the same PC as the recorder) to the formatted RW media through Windows explorer (drag and drop).
Operation
Duration
Average speed
Read
2:34 min
17.9X
Write
2:44 min
16.8X

The Pacific Digital drive gave an average writing speed of 17.9x and average reading speed of 16.8x.

- Other features

Overburning
Up to 99min
CD text reading/writing
Yes


9. 3T Jitter Tests 1

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

On 80min 48X CD-R disc media from Taiyo Yuden we burned the same AudioCD project at 8x, 16x, 24x and 40x. The 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs are presented here.

- 3T Pit results

The drive introduced high 3T pit jitter levels (i.e. above 35ns) with the specific media at all speeds. In general, there doesn't appear to be a speed that is more ideal than another. For example, at 40x while it is almost always above the 35nsec level, it doesn't exceed it by much and remains fairly constant, whereas at 24x it begins quite low and towards the end reaches 45nsec, which was also the highest level reached.

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

- 3T Land results

Land jitter on the other hand was very good with the exception being 40x which was the only speed to go above the Red Book limit of 35nsec. At all other speeds, the jitter was well within limits.

The average jitter for all speeds presented in the graph below show that the land jitter values w.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
8X
33.59
30.05
No
32 Pit, 32 Land
16X
33.83
26.56
Yes
40 Pit, 29Land
24X
34.27
26.93
Yes
45 Pit, 29 Land
32X
33.44
29.20
Yes
41 Pit, 32 Land
40X
35.44
29.95
Yes
38 Pit, 38 Land
- Summary

The Pacific Digital U-30201 did not return good jitter values or at least not as good as we would have expected, considering that the LiteOn drive for the same set of tests was particularly good. The table above further shows that the drive did go over the 35nsec Red Book limit for all speeds excepting 8x.

The following page where we check the jitter levels produced on various manufacturers discs, should give a better indication of the writing quality level of the drive.


10. 3T Jitter Tests 2

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

Here we used 80min CD-R media from various manufacturers and burned the same AudioCD project at 40x. The following graphs show the 3T Pit & Land Jitter results.

- 3T Pit results

While all media, except for Ritek, exceeded the 35nsec level, most managed to stay within limits, exceeding only towards the end. The worst was with Fujifilm media which was consistently at or above 35nsec while Ritek media was the best by far. As with Taiyo Yuden media in the previous set of tests, so here we have a difference in performance between the Pacific Digital and LiteOn drives.

The average 3T Jitter values for all manufacturers discs are illustrated in the following graph. Notice the difference between Ritek and the other manufacturers media, and especially Fujifilm media which has an average value of 36.29.

- 3T Land results

As was the case with the LiteOn drive, so too here there is an almost steady increase in land jitter as writing progresses from inner to outer tracks. The Ritek media was again the only media that managed to stay below the critical 35nsec.

The average values are presented below. This time SKC media returned a high average value.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
MAM 48x
34.83
34.83
Yes
43 Pit, 43 Land
Hispace 48x
31.80
33.37
Yes
39 Pit, 43 Land
Ritek 40x
25.59
28.22
No
29 Pit, 33 Land
Fujifilm 48x
36.29
30.73
Yes
38 Pit, 40 Land
SKC 48x
33.29
36.95
Yes
40 Pit, 45 Land
- Summary

It is quite evident that the drive gave best results with Ritek media. It was the only media that did not go over the Red Book limit. In general, while the results are not that bad, they are not as good as we would have expected, especially considering the good results returned for these same tests by the LiteOn LDW-811S drive.

On the following page we check the C1 and C2 error rates for the same discs. These are the last of the quality tests.


11. C1 / C2 Error Measurements

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 11

Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

The C1 / C2 error rate was measured for the recorded discs burned during the previous writing tests (jitter). The software used was UMDoctor Pro II, and the reader the Optorite DD0203 drive.

Throughout this preview, we have been able to compare the results of the Pacific Digital drive to those of the LiteOn LDW-811S since they are basically the same drive. While some tests have produced results that appear to be carbon copies, others have shown the variations that can take place from one drive to another, even though they may be of the same design. And certainly this series of quality tests has produced the biggest differences between the two drives.

  • Ritek 48x recorded at 40x

  • MAM 52x recorded at 40x

  • SKC 48x recorded at 40x

  • Hi-Space 48x recorded at 40x

Below is presented information on the CD-R media used in this test.

Disc
ID Code
Capacity
Taiyo Yuden 48X
TaiyoYuden 97m24s01f
79:59:72
Fuji 48x
Fuji 97m:26s45f
79:59:73
RITEK 48x
Plasmon 97m27s18f
79:59:71
MAM 52x
Mitsui 97m27s58f
79:59:71
Hi-Space 48X
MPO 97m25s07f
79:59:00
SKC 48X
SKC 97m26s26f
79:59:73
- Summary

The results are somewhat mixed. Firstly, there were no C2 errors reported (red line in each of the graphs above). The C1 levels however, showed that Taiyo Yuden media had the most problems, along with Fujifilm. Ritek, as in the jitter tests, returned the best results while the remaining manufacturers media also faired well.


12. DVD Recording Tests

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 12

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The Pacific Digital U-30201 supports DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW writing. The maximum supported speed for DVD+R is 8x (6x~8x Z-CLV), 4x CLV for DVD-R, 4x CLV for DVD+RW and 2x CLV for DVD-RW media.

Currently, only a few 8x certified DVD+R media are available on the market. The supported 8x DVD+R media came from Mitsubishi Chemicals, CMC Magnetics, Ricoh and Taiyo Yuden.

8x DVD+R

An 8x DVD+R disc from Mitsubishi-Kagaku was used to check the 8x writing strategy of the drive. The software used was Nero CDSpeed with its "create disc" function.

The drive started writing at 6.11x. The resultant graph shown below, is the same as that produced by the LiteOn LDW-811S, where there was a slight glitch at the 1.25 GB address mark on the disc, with the drive's speed dropping and then rising to just a bit over 8x. Overall average speed was 7.49x.

 

The test was repeated with Mitsubishi 4x DVD-R and 4x DVD+RW media, and Fuji 2x DVD-RW media. The end results, presented in consecutive graphs further below, was a near perfect straight line on each occasion.

4x DVD-R

4x DVD+RW

2x DVD-RW

- Burning Tests

The best recording times are illustrated in the following table after burning 4315MB of data on various DVD±R, DVD±RW media, using the maximum allowed writing speed for each disc. For comparison, we also include the writing times for the LiteOn LDW-811S and Optorite DD0401drives. The Pacific Digital drive returned good overall times.

Mitsubishi 8x DVD+R media was burnt at 8x and gave the best writing time (8:22 min). The drive finished the same writing task with Ricoh 4x DVD+RW media in 14:41 min. With DVD-R media the time taken was 14.34 mins while for DVD-RW media the time required was 28.18 mins.

The following screenshots were taken from Nero, after successful burnings with Mitsubishi 8x DVD+R, Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD+R, and Ricoh 4x DVD+RW media. The amount of data is the same for all the tests.

Media
Code
Speed
Mitshubishi Chemicals 8x DVD+R
MCC003
8x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+R
MCC002
8x
Philips 2.4x DVD+R
RICOHJPN
2.4x
Fuji Film 4x DVD-R
TYG01
4x
Pony 4x DVD-R
RITEKG04
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-R
MCC 01RG20
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+RW
MKM A02
4x
Sentinel 2.4x DVD+RW
SENTINELW01
2.4x
Pioneer 2x DVD-RW
PVCW00V00245
2x
TDK 2x DVD-RW
TDK502sakuM3
2x

The table above presents the writing speeds of the drive for the various media formats.

- Packet Writing Tests
DVD-RW
Duration
Average speed
Read
2:30 min
2X
Write
2:38 min
1.9X

DVD+RW
Duration
Average speed
Read
2:27 min
2X
Write
1:23 min
3.7X

13. PI/PO Error Measurements

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 13

KProbe PI/PO quality results

The following screenshots show the PI/PO scans for the various DVD-/+R and DVD-/+RW media, recorded with Pacific Digital U-30201 at the maximum permitted speed.

The software used for the measurements was KProbe v1.1.26, the reader was LiteOn LDW-811s and the ECC was set to 8. The specific methodology is very dependent on the drive used as a reader, while the reliability of the PI/PO provided output is also not technically confirmed. Hence as a result, we cannot safely come up with conclusive results, although we do make a comparison of the drive's behaviour when using various DVD recordable/rewritable media.

The recordable discs used came from Mitsubishi Chemicals, Philips, Pony, Fujifilm, Sentinel, Pioneer, and TDK. Further details about each disc type are presented at the bottom of this page.

Media
Code
Mitshubishi Chemicals 8x DVD+R
MCC003
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+R
MCC002
Philips 2.4x DVD+R
RICOHJPN
Fuji Film 4x DVD-R
TYG01
Ritek 4x DVD-R
RITEKG04
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-R
MCC 01RG20
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+RW
MKM A02
Sentinel 2.4x DVD+RW
SENTINELW01
Pioneer 2x DVD-RW
PVCW00V00245
TDK 2x DVD-RW
TDK502sakuM3

14. Conclusion

Pacific Digital U-30201 DVD±RW recorder - Page 14

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

  • 8x DVD+R writing
  • 4x DVD+RW/-R writing
  • 40/24/40 CD-RW
  • Good CD/DVD error correction
  • Supports audio protected discs
  • Good CD-R writing quality
  • Creates working backups of SafeDisc v.2.80
  • Overburning up to 99min
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Supports 99min audio discs
  • Supports DAE 40x
  • Fast DVD ripping
  • Fast DVD recording
  • Limited media support for 8x DVD+R writing
  • Slow CD seek times
  • Reads 6x DVD+/-R, RW
  • High jitter and C1 error measurements

A lot of what applied for its twin brother, the LiteOn LDW-811s, can also be said of the Pacific Digital drive although in the main it did not seem to perform quite as well in the areas of jitter and quality. We make this comparison since the Pacific Digital and LiteOn drives are practically the same drive.

Like the LiteOn drive, it wasn't the fastest CD reader and there were some slowish seek times when compared to the Optorite DD0401 which was the third drive used as a comparison during the reading tests. Interestingly enough, while there wasn't much between it and the LiteOn drive, in the main it managed to produce slightly faster seek times. It also provided very good audio error correction capabilities.

Unfortunately, it did not manage to achieve the same performance as the LiteOn LDW-811S when it came to DAE, however it's speed was satisfactory. In any case, it appears to be a good CD writer achieving times similar to those of the LiteOn. It also supports overburning up to 99 minutes, backups of protected audio CDs and SafeDisc protection scheme (except v2.9).

As a DVD reader it performed quite satisfactorily, with a very good drive-to-hard disk ripping time. In the DVD error correction tests it performed very well and in the main can be regarded as a good reader. DVD writing times were also good and here to it can be regarded as a fast DVD recorder, there not being much between it and the other two drives in the comparison (LiteOn and Optorite DD0401).

The drive has an attractive price tag, being somewhere in the vicinity of $160.

 

 

Written and Edited by

Constantin Kioulafas



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