Turn off the Ad Banner  

To print: Select File and then Print from your browser's menu.

    -----------------------------------------------
This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
-----------------------------------------------


Appeared on: Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Sony DRU-530A


1. Retail Package - Installation

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 1

About a month ago, Sony released onto the market it's very promising dual DVD recorder, the DRU-530A. After a lot of waiting (due to some problems in the post), our Sony drive finally arrived thanks to the official European distributor. Eagerly, like mad scientists, we set forth, putting the unit through its paces in our labs, and what follows is our appraisal of a drive from which we expect a lot.

The recorder is capable burning at speeds of 8x for DVD+R media, 4x for DVD+RW, 4x for DVD-R and 2x for DVD-RW. The maximum allowed recording speeds for CD media are 40x for CD-R and 24x for CD-RW.

Features

The DRU-530A recorder uses the Power-Burn feature to prevent buffer under-run errors. This feature includes Sanyo's well known Burn-Proof technology. Bellow are presented the specifications for the drive, as they have been declared by the manufacturer:

Specifications

The drive has a 2MB buffer memory store and supports RAW DAO 96 writing (CD). However the Sony drive does not support Mount Rainier, nor does it read or write DVD-RAM media.

The drive uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 4 times. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

- The drive

The european retail package includes one DVD-ROM, containing all the appropriate software for using the drive. Included is the Record Now CD/DVD burning software from Sonic, DLA for packet writing and MyDVD, also from Sonic, for editing/authoring. Finally, there's Power DVD 5 for DVD playback, and Musicmatch.

The warranty, a quick start guide, an IDE/ATAPI cable, sound card to recorder connection cable and mounting screws complete the retail package contents.

The drive's front panel is colored off-white with a transparent perspex cover on the tray door. On the tray door there are the DVD-R/RW logo on the left, the Compact Disc ReWritable logo in the center with the SONY brandname logo directly above, and at right the DVD ReWritable logo. Below and at right, is the eject button, while a little to its left is the activity/power led and emergency eject hole. The activity led turns orange during playback and blinking orange while burning.

On the rear panel 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 on the photo for an enlarged view.

The drive is designed around the same chipset as that used by the Optorite DD0401, manufactured by Optorite. In addition, the mainboard looks exactly the same.

- Installation

The SONY DRU-530A was connected to our test PC and was identified as "DVD RW DRU-530A" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware revision v1.0c. By the time this review goes to air, Sony Japan will have released the new firmware (v1.0d), which is supposed to improve the writing performance of the drive.

The following pages include the test results for the Sony DRU-530A drive in comparison with two other dual DVD burners, the Optorite DD0401 (an interesting comparison here since both drives use the same chipset) and the LiteOn LDW-811S.


2. Data CD Reading Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 2

Data CD Reading Tests

- Pressed CD (Click for CDSpeed results)

In this pressed CD reading test, there wasn't much between the drives with the LiteOn LDW-811S being marginally faster. With a final speed of 40.37x, the SONY drive confirms the manufacturers specifications for 40x reading.

Again, the Sony and Optorite drives had similar times with the Sony being slightly slower, and both being faster that the LiteOn, especially in the full seek where the LiteOn needed 200ms for the Full seek.

- CD-R (Click for CDSpeed results)

We made a copy of the previous pressed CD in order to test the drive's behavior with a CD-R media. The resulting speeds are very close to those of the test with the original pressed media from above. This is good, steady behavior with different media from all three drives.

Here too, the seek times are almost identical to those of the same test with the original media and again the Optorite drive returned a very slow full seek time.

- ReWritable Media (Click for CDSpeed results)

For the reading test we used 24x High Speed rewritable media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

Both the Sony and Optorite drives returned speeds very close to those of the previous tests and both managed to reach 40x reading speed, something which was not the case with the LiteOn which reached a final speed of 33.48x, however, its specifications indicate 32x CAV with rewritable media. The times for the Sony drive in general have been quite good and steady, and the drive does not appear to be affected by the CD media type used.


3. CD Error Correction Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 3

Error Correction Tests

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

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 126635939
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 592873
Avg: -38.2 dB(A)
Max: -4.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 23162
Avg: 3338.1 Samples
Max: 3584 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 18
Avg: 1314.9 Samples
Max: 2939 Samples
Total Test Result
45.2 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The performance here is anything but good. The total error count is extremely high, as are the average and maximum loudness error level at -38.2dB and -4.8dB respectively. The skipped samples are also high and the final score of 45.2 is a good indication of just how badly the drive performed. Please note that the drive was very slow in the ripping process of the test disc. This indicates a general strategy of the Sony DRU-530A, to lower the reading speed when the condition of the disc is bad. Although this strategy could be legitimate in some cases offering accurate results, it turns out to be ineffective with heavily scratched discs.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 11145
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 48
Avg: -38.2 dB(A)
Max: -23.3 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 26
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
89.2 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is much easier for drives in general to read. While the SONY DRU-530A managed to do better this time, the score which is a good one, isn't as good as we have seen from most drives where 100.0 is the norm, especially for a good drive. Strangely enough, the results for these two ABEX disc tests for the Optorite drive yielded almost identical behavior and scores. The explanation for was mentioned in the previous test. The drive is able to accurately read scratched media, as far as the the size of the scratch is lower than 1.500mm approximately.

- 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
SONY DRU-530A
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5

The drive successfully passed all of the 5 check levels for this test. Notice that the 5th check level has a scratch a size of 1.500 mm, and it is difficult to be read with most drives. Hence, we can say that the drive is exceptionally good at correcting this type of defective disc.

- Summary

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
45.2
ABEX TCD-726
89.2
Average Score
67.2

So, summarizing we can say that the drive is very good at correcting badly scratched discs, since it has been one of very few drives to read all five check levels with the CD audio test disc. Nonetheless, the ABEX test results weren't good and it will be interesting to see how the drive performs in the remainder of our test. Up to now, the SONY and Optorite drives have performed as though they were one and the same drive. It will be interesting to see if this will carry through to the remainder of our test suite.


4. DVD Reading Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 4

DVD reading tests

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

In the DVD single layer read test, Sony and Optorite performed identically, although not quite reaching 12x, while LiteOn was the fastest.

There's not a lot of difference in the seek times, but again the LiteOn drive had the better seek times. Despite this however, the times for both the Sony and Optorite drives are quite acceptable.

- 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 the outer tracks for each layer.

The pattern continues. Not a lot of difference amongst the drives. So far, quite good times from all three drives.

Once more, the LiteOn drive was the fastest in the seek times, and appears to be slightly faster as a DVD reader.

- 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.

 

Sony's reading of the contents of this test disc is a little peculiar. Reading starts at 3.48x and begins increasing in speed, but not for long before a sudden drop to just over 2x. And as suddenly as it dropped, it accelerates up to 4.22x which is maintained up to near the end of reading. At the end, there is again a sudden drop in speed.

This is not how a drive should perform with P-CAV. It should begin at a low speed and steadily increase reaching the top speed which it then maintains up to the end of the first layer (i.e. outer tracks). In the case of the dual layer disc used here, this is then mirrored as the drive reads back towards the inner tracks.

We have noticed this strange behavior previously, again with a SONY drive, the Sony DRU-500A. Despite this, the test finished without reporting any errors.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD-Video ripping speed of the SONY DRU-530A using the latest version of DVD Decrypter. The DVD Video title is the "Matrix" pressed DVD-Video.

Sony proved very fast ripping the DVD title. Looking at the graph above, the speed of 9373kb/s attained is a very high transfer rate. The LiteOn drive is close behind, while the Optorite drive is a good deal slower.

- DVD Recordable / Rewritable reading Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed average reading speed results with DVD recordable and rewritable media.

It should be added that when we originally tested the drive, with 4x DVD+RW and 2x DVD-RW media, the resultant graphs showed a large drop in speed towards the end of reading. We upgraded the firmware, where this anomaly is remedied by changing from 8x CAV to 4x CLV for DVD+RW (4x), while for DVD-RW, the 8x CAV reading was fixed. In case of 2.4x DVD+RW, the drive read it at 8x CAV, with some reading problems in the outer areas of the disc, however. Both sets of test graphs are given in each case below.


5. DVD Error Correction Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 5

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the SONY DRU-530A drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark 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 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 reading errors. There were no speed deviations while reading the defective areas on the disc's surface. The only setback is the rather slow reading speed (4x), especially when we consider that other drives accelerate up to 12x with DVD-ROM media.

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.

The drive managed to read the defective areas on the disc without problems. Once again the reading speed was slow at around 4x.

- 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.

Although the drive began normally, slowly accelerating from 4x up towards the 8x mark, a little after the half way point into the first defective region on the disc, the speed dropped back down to 4x and kept at this speed up until the end of the test. No read errors were reported.

ABEX TDR-845

This 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 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 (micrometers).

Both layers were read at approximately 4x. The defective areas did not pose a problem for the 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.

 

The drive read the TDV-541 test disc without reporting any errors. However we have a similar phenomenon here as we had when reading the TDA-841 ABEX disc where the speed accelerated and then dropped back to 4x, keeping that speed up until the end. The disc was readable, however, with some problems in the beginning of the second layer. Playing the disc through PowerDVD confirmed that both layers were readable.

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 micrometer high fingerprints.

 

 

This disc seems to be no problem for the Sony drive. The black dots and fingerprints were bypassed without any effort.


6. Protected Disc Tests

SONY DRU-530A 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.4.3.1.9 software and the appropriate settings, depending on the protection type of the inserted discs. Below are summarized the capabilities of the Sony drive, according to CloneCD software. The summary below shows that 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

Sony managed to rip the contents of all game titles tested. It gave acceptable ripping performance although it was the slowest with SafeDisc and SecuRom protected games. However it was fast with PSX. It displayed similar performance, reporting almost the same times as the Optorite drive.

- Writing Tests

The SONY DRU-530A 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
SONY DRU-530A
Max Payne
v2.51.020
No
Yes
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
v.2.60.052
No
Yes
The Sims Unleashed
v.2.8
No
Yes
The Sims Superstar
v2.9
No
No


7. CD-DA - DAE Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 7

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The SONY DRU-530A uses 40x CAV reading strategy for CD-Audio reading. Below is the resultant output from the CDSpeed transfer rate test with a pressed audio CD.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the average reading speed was 30.32x, while the reported seek times were rather good. This test confirmed the drive's 40x reading speed reaching a final speed of 40.11x.

 

 

 

We ripped the contents of the same audio disc to our hard disk, using the CDDAE software. The average ripping speed (burst mode) of 27.6x, was slow. Notice that LiteOn had 39.9x.

The same pressed audio disc was copied onto a CD-R and was read again with CDspeed. Once again Sony was the slowest and LiteOn the fastest.

- Advanced DAE Quality

In the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test, the Sony drive returned an average speed of 28.51x, which is acceptable performance, and a quality score of 100. CDSpeed reports that the drive can read Leadin, Leadout, Cd Text and Subchannel Data.

- Support of 90/99mins AudioCDs

Sony failed to rip the full contents of our 90/99min test discs. We tried to playback the discs, using Media Player, but the discs were readable up to the 80th minute.

- 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
SONY DRU-530A
OK
Recognized the disc but cannot rip or play the contents
Optorite DD0401
OK
Recognized the disc .Ripped and played all tracks on the disc except the first.
LiteOn LDW-811S
OK
OK

The SONY DRU-530A performed well with our Key2Audio disc, which it managed to read and rip. This wasn't the case with our other audio CD, with CDS200 protection, where the disc was recognized by the Sony drive, but unfortunately it could neither rip or play the contents of the specific disc. This was also the case with the Optorite drive, while the LiteOn managed to rip and play both discs.


8. CD Recording Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Writing Tests

The SONY DRU-530A supports 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x, 32x and 40x CAV writing speeds. Below you can see the CDSpeed writing simulation graph with Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R media.

The writing process began at 18.23x and finished at 41.19x reporting an average recording speed of 31.91x. According to this, the manufacturer's specification of 40x recording is confirmed.

 

 

 

- Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc. The drive's time was 3:13 minutes, with 40x writing speed selected. The performance is good for 40x recording speed. LiteOn was faster with only 2 seconds difference while Optorite needed 13 seconds more to complete the task.

Below are the best writing times For Sony DRU-530A drive at 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x, 32x and 40x with a Taiyo Yuden media.

In the following graph you can see the recording times with various media brands. We selected the maximum speed (40x) for all the recorded discs, although the drive lowered this speed to 24x or even less, with Mam-E and Creation media:

- CD-RW Writing Tests

The SONY DRU-530A supports 24x P-CAV maximum rewriting speed, with Ultra Speed rewritable media. Below are the results from the CDSpeed writing simulation test with blank 24x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

The test once again confirmed the drives specifications for 24x rewriting. The burning procedure started at 18.34x and finished at 24.03x having an average speed of 23.43x.

 

We also used Nero Burning Rom software to burn a data disc using 24x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals. The data compilation, which we burned, had a size of 651 MB. The duration of the recording process was 3:44 minutes.

Just for comparison, we provide the rewriting time of the Sony drive against those of the Optorite and LiteOn.

- Packet Writing Tests

Using InCD and Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x US-RW media for all Packet Writing tests, quick format took 37sec. The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (412.822 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
3:38 min
12.6X
Write
3:38 min
12.6X

- Other features

Overburning
Up to 94 min
CD text reading/writing
Yes


9. 3T Jitter Tests - Page 1

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

On an 80min 48X CD-R disc from Taiyo Yuden we burned the same AudioCD project at 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x, 32x and 40x. The 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs are presented here.

- 3T Pit results

Looking at the graph above, we can conclude that generally the Sony drive performed well, keeping the jitter levels below the Redbook limit of 35ns at all speeds except for 40x, where it reached a fairly high level at around 45ns, and 32x which reached 37ns at the very end.

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

The average Pit jitter for recording speeds of 24x and over is satisfactory, and very good for those below.

- 3T Land results

At 8x and 16x recording speeds, the performance is good. 4x can also be considered acceptable even though it oversteps the mark with 36ns. At all other speeds, the Land jitter performance is not good reaching a high of 52ns at 40x speed.

The following average values graph confirms the unacceptable levels at the higher speeds. At such levels, the possibility of errors or even audible clicks during playback is increased.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
4X
29.66
33.98
Yes
31 Pit, 36 Land
8X
28.90
29.63
No
30 Pit, 31 Land
16X
31.02
32.78
No
33 Pit, 34 Land
24X
33.90
37.80
Yes
35 Pit, 40 Land
32X
33.34
40.37
Yes
37 Pit, 45 Land
40X
34.39
42.73
Yes
45 Pit, 52 Land
- Summary

With the SONY DRU-530A, the pattern that is obvious is that at higher recording speeds we have higher jitter levels, and with the case of land jitter, the levels are unacceptable.

Right after we finished the measurements, Sony announced a new firmware upgrade, which according to the manufacturer, improves the writing quality of the unit. You can download the latest firmware HERE

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 - Page 2

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

The same Nero compilation used in the previous jitter tests was used once again, this time with media from different brands. The recording speed was the maximum 40x in all cases. The following graphs show the 3T Pit & Land Jitter results.

- 3T Pit results

With all the media brands used with the Sony drive, the jitter levels were generally good. Only SKC media and to some extent Memorex, produced levels above the 35ns limit.

The average 3T Jitter values for all manufacturers discs are illustrated in the following graph.

- 3T Land results

Once again all the media brands gave low land values, with the exception of SKC media which near the end, where writing takes place on the outer tracks of the disc, we had high jitter values and Memorex media which hovered just above the limit throughout.

The average values presented below illustrates the drives recording ability.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
Mam 52X
28.39
31.22
No
34 Pit, 35 Land
Memorex 52X
33.34
35.68
Yes
37 Pit, 38 Land
Imation 48X
31.71
31.93
No
35 Pit, 34 Land
Creation 48X
27.78
28.15
No
30 Pit, 31 Land
SKC 48X
31.95
35.80
Yes
40 Pit, 48 Land
- Summary

Generally, from this series of tests, we can conclude that the drive is a good CD recorder although, we had expected slightly better results. MAM, Imation and Creation discs gave the best results, but note that they were not recorded at full 40x.

Again we provide the link to the firmware upgrade for the Sony DRU-530A which may offer better performance here.

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

SONY DRU-530A 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 was the Optorite DD0203 drive.

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
Memorex 52x
Fuji 97m:26s45f
79:59:73
CMC Magnetics 48x
CMC Magnetics 97m26s66f
79:59:71
Creation 48x
Plasmon 97m27s18f
79:59:71
Mam 52X
Mitsui 97m27s58f
79:59:71
SKC 48X
SKC 97m26s26f
79:59:73
- Summary

The results are good with all media brands. The C1 levels are all quite low and consistent in their levels. Generally the drive performed well.


12. DVD Recording Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 12

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The SONY DRU-530A supports DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW writing. The maximum supported speed for DVD+R is 8x (4x~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 which we tested came from Mitsubishi Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden and CMC Magnetics.

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, and its "create disc" function.

The drive supports speeds of 8x Z-CLV, 4x and 2.4x for DVD+R media. It started the writing at 4.02x, maintaining this speed until the 1250MB address mark on the disc, where the drive steps up to 8x writing for the rest of the recording (hence Z-CLV). The average speed is 6.88x.

 

Following are the same tests with DVD-R, DVD+RW and DVD-RW media. Supported writing speeds for each type are 4x and 1x for DVD-R, 4x and 2.4x for DVD+RW, and 2x and 1x for DVD-RW.

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 Optorite DD0401 and LiteOn DRW-811S drives.

All the drives had very good times and there was very little between them. Only with DVD+R media is there a difference where the LiteOn drive is noticeably faster. With all other media, the difference in times is negligible.

The following screen shots were taken from Nero, after successful burnings. The amount of data is the same for all the tests.

 

Media
Code
Speed
Mitshubishi Chemicals 8x DVD+R
MCC003
8x
CMC Magnetics 8x DVD+R
CMC MAG E01
8x
Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD+R
YUDEN000 T01
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+R
MCC002
4x
N-Tech 4x DVD+R
MEDIA ID 001
4x
TDK 4x DVD-R
TTG01
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, media name and media code for the various discs used.

- Packet Writing Tests

For this test we copied a 403 MB file (412.822 KB) from the hard disk (on the same PC as the recorder) to the formatted RW media through Windows explorer (drag and drop).

DVD-RW
Duration
Average speed
Read
5:10 min
1X
Write
5:07 min
1X

DVD+RW
Duration
Average speed
Read
2:17 min
2.2X
Write
2:05 min
2.4X

13. KProbe PI/PO Error Measurements

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 13

PI/PO quality results

The following screenshots show the PI/PO results for various DVD-/+R and DVD-/+RW media, recorded with the SONY DRU-530A at the maximum allowable speed.

The software used for the measurements was KProbe v1.1.28, the ECC was set to 8 and the reading drive was the LiteOn LDW-811s. 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 behavior when using various DVD recordable/rewritable media.

The recording discs used came from Mitsubishi Chemicals, CMC Magnetics, Taiyo Yuden, N-Tech, Pioneer, Sentinel, TDK and Ritek. Further details about each disc type are presented at the bottom of this page.

Media
Code
Mitshubishi Chemicals 8x DVD+R
MCC003
CMC Magnetics 8x DVD+R
CMC MAG E01
Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD+R
YUDEN000 T01
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD+R
MCC002
N-Tech 4x DVD+R
MEDIA ID 001
TDK 4x DVD-R
TTG01
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. 8x DVD-R recording

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 14

8x DVD-R recording

After the release of the new firmware upgrade v2.0a, which adds 8x DVD-R recording to Sony DRU-530A, we set our unit on our test PC in order to confirm this new feature.

At first, the CDSpeed confirmed the ability of the new firmware for 8x DVD-R recording. As it can been seen from the following screenshot the drive begins the writing process at 4x, maintaining this speed until the 1,2GB address mark on the disc, where steps up to 8x writing for the rest of the recording. The average speed was 6.87x.

The media we used was by CMC Magnetics, 8x DVD-R certified.

 

Burning a 4.3GB DVD-Video with Nero Burning Rom confirmed the 8x writing speed, although the duration of the task was increased (9:48min). This is due to the 4-8x Z-CLV writing strategy used, instead of the 6-8x used by some competitive drives:

According to specifications of the new firmware upgrade, the drive increases its DVD-RW recording from 2x to 4x. This is also confirmed after running a simulation recording under CDSpeed using a Mitsubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-RW media. The drive burned our test media at 4x CLV.

 

 

Below are available all the media we burned with the upgraded DRU-530A. As you can see the drive burned at 8x only with CMC magnetics media. On the other side, the Nec-2500A had burned all the media below at 8x.

Media
Code
Speed
CMC Magnetics 8x DVD-R
CMC MAG AE1
8x
TDK 8x DVD-R
TTG02
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-R
MCC 01RG20
4x
Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD-R
TYG01
4x
Mitshubishi Chemicals 4x DVD-RW
MCC 01RW4X
4x
JVC 4x DVD-RW
JVC0VictorD7
4x

KPRobe v1.1.28 measurements will give us a picture of the drive's DVD writing quality with DVD-R/-RW media.

The results are not any good since the PI/PO error rate is really high. The test was performed twice with the same results. The DVD-R disc was unreadable.

In case of DVD-RW media recorded at 4x, the results are better than in the previous case. However, readability was not very good as Nero CDSpeed reports.

Sony DRU-530A managed successfully to burn at 4x our DVD-RW media. The PI/PO measurements were in acceptable levels and the output was playable. However we cannot say the same for 8x DVD-R writing. We managed to burn only one media brand at 8x, since the other brands were not allowed recording at 8x but at 4x. Also the output was not playable in PowerDVD. We tried twice to burn different DVD-R media but both times playback had problems. The first disc was completely unplayable while the second one played just for the first few movie minutes. This happened with all different DVD burners /players we tried.


15. Conclusion

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 15

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

  • 8x DVD+R writing
  • 4x DVD+RW/-R writing
  • 40/24/40 CD-RW
  • Excellent behavior with CD-Check Audio Test Disc
  • Good DVD error correction
  • Good CD writing quality
  • Creates working backups of SafeDisc v.2.80
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Fast DVD ripping
  • Fast ripping speed with protected game discs
  • Overburning
  • Cannot playback/rip CDS200 Audio CD
  • Very slow with scratched CD/DVD media
  • 4x reading with dual layer DVD-ROM and DVD+RW
  • Slow DAE speed
  • Cannot read or rip 90/99min Audio CD's
  • Increased jitter at 40x recording
  • High PI/PO error rates
  • High price

We were expecting a lot from this drive, much better performance and we were certainly expecting to see it rank among the best. Unfortunately this was not the case. While it can be regarded as a good drive, it certainly isn't much more than that. The reading speeds for CD/DVD were good and the seek times were acceptable for CD media although they could be better with DVD media.

The behavior with our Audio CD's during the error correction tests was a little strange. Although the "Check Audio Test Disc" CD was played flawlessly reading up to the 5th level (1,500mm scratch - something we have seen only from the best drives), the TCD-721R test disc produced some of the worst levels we have seen. The other TCD-726, which is a much easier test disc to read, while giving a good score, was not indicative of a top drive. All of our test DVD's played successfully on the drive without any errors to be reported. The drive simply ignored the defective areas on those discs.

With protected disc backups, the drive could not make SafeDisc v2.9 working backups (most recorders have problems with this version), although versions v2.8 and earlier are supported.The drive was in most instances fast with ripping the game titles we tried, apart from Safedisc protected titles.

DAE was also a bit of a disappointment, where we had expected the drive to be faster. Unfortunately the drive didn't manage to play/rip the CDS200 protected Audio CD.

From the writing tests we did, we generally saw good performance, with low recording times and the tests confirmed the manufacturers specifications. And while only achieving 94min overburning, this is quite acceptable.

As far as CD writing quality is concerned, from the measurements that we did with the various manufacturers media, it can be generally said that it is good, with low jitter values, although it did go over the limits especially at the higher speeds. The C1 levels were good, while there were no C2 errors reported.

With DVD recording, we would like the drive to be faster, since the 9:30 minutes at 8x is not the best we have experienced. In addition, the Sony's DVD writing quality is not very good with almost every media type we trailed. The PI/PO measurements revealed high levels.

The drive's price on the market is around $170~220. Maybe with a bit of searching you may be able to find lower prices. At this price however, we would say that it is one of the more expensive drives, especially when you consider that you can find something like the Optorite DD0401 which is pretty much the same drive, for a good deal less.

One final note, for anyone that does end up buying this drive, definitely upgrade the firmware.

* After upgrading the drive with the latest firmware, the recording speed for DVD-R media was increased from 4x to 8x. However there are compatibility issues that should be solved.



Home | News | All News | Reviews | Articles | Guides | Download | Expert Area | Forum | Site Info
Site best viewed at 1024x768+ - CDRINFO.COM 1998-2014 - All rights reserved -
Privacy policy - Contact Us .