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Appeared on: Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Asus DRW-0804P


1. Retail Package - Installation

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 1

ASUS recently introduced its latest DVD ReWriter supporting both 8 X DVD-Write and 8 X DVD+Write. The all-new ASUS DRW-0804P also features 4 X DVD-ReWrite, 4 X DVD+ReWrite, 12 X DVD-ROM, 24 X CD-Write, 24 X CD-ReWrite and 40 X CD-ROM to provide flexibility with high-speed operation.

- Features
- Specifications
 
Buffer Size
2 MB
Access Time

DVD Family :140ms
CD Family : 130 ms

Write Speed
DVD+R: 2.4X, 4X, 6X, 8X (ZCLV)
DVD+RW: 2.4X, 4X (CLV)
DVD-R: 1X, 2X, 4X, 6X, 8X (ZCLV)
DVD-RW: 1X, 2X, 4X (CLV)
CD Family
CD-R: 4X, 8X, 16X, 24X (ZCLV)
CD-RW: 4X, 10X, 16X, 24X (ZCLV)
Read Speed
DVD Family
12X max. (CAV)
CD Family
40X max. (CAV)
Supported
Read Formats
DVD Family
DVD-ROM, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM

CD Family
CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-R, CD-RW

Writing mode
DVD Family
DAO, Incremental Recording, Multi-Border Recording
DVD-RW: Restricted Overwriting
DVD+R: Incremental Recording
DVD+RW: Random Recording
CD Family
CD-R/RW: DAO, TAO, SAO, Packet Write
Support OS
Windows XP/ NT/ ME/ 2000/ 98SE
Dimensions
148 x 42.3 x 198 mm (WxHxD)
Weight
1100g g
Interface
Enhanced-IDE (ATAPI)
Support both 8 cm and 12 cm disc of CD and DVD family
 

As shown in the above snapshots, the drive has 2MB buffer, supports TAO, DAO, SAO, and RAW modes but does not support DVD+R DL reading and writing.

- Retail package

The retail package includes the well packaged Asus drive, an IDE cable, mounting screws and one emergency eject pin.
For reading reference the user will find a printed two language manual with installation and usage details. On the software side, there is one CD with Nero Burning Rom and the firmware upgrade utility.

 

 

- The drive

The drive's front panel, has an activity led indicator, the eject button and the emergency eject hole, as well as the usual array of CD and DVD logos.

- Installation

Our test PC was a 1.8 GHz P4 configured with 512Mb RAM, an 80GB 7200rpm hard drive and Windows XP Professional SP1. The drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "Asus DRW-0804P ". All reading tests were done with firmware v1.12.

- Firmware upgrade process


2. Data CD Reading Tests

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 2

Data CD Reading Tests

In order to test the reading performance of the Asus drive, we used the latest version of NeroCDSpeed with different CD media formats.
- Pressed CD results (Click for CDSpeed results)

To check the reading performance of the Asus with pressed CD media, we used NeroCDSpeed and a data pressed disc.

The Asus DRW-084P was fastest in the comparison with an end speed of 42.26X with CAV reading strategy. The seek times graph shows that the Asus drive had the highest seek times in all modes, with an especially high full seek time.

- CD-R results (Click for CDSpeed results)

To check the reading performance of Asus with CDR media, we used NeroCDSpeed and a clone of the previously tested pressed media.

Although the Asus drive had the fastest reading speeds in the transfer rate test, as was the case with pressed media, it also had the slowest seek times, especially the full seek.

- ReWritable Media (Click for CDSpeed results)

To check the reading performance of the Asus with US-RW media, we used NeroCDSpeed and an USRW disc from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

The Asus DRW-0804P supports 32X RW reading speed and therefore the drive reported the slowest reading speed.


3. Error Correction Tests

Asus DRW-0804P - 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: 1266600
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 60324
Avg: -73.2dB(A)
Max:-34.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3957
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 40 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
76.4 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The maximun error loudness is quite good.

- ABEX TCD-726

 

 

Errors total
Num: 522
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 23
Avg:-62.8 dB(A)
Max: -50.4 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
92.7 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

This is about average performance with both the Abex TCD-721R and TCD-726 test discs.

- 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 reading music abilities and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a progressively difficult sequence. 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. Winamp, PowerDVD, Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone coming out from the speakers is clear and continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the drive.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Asus DRW-0804P
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The drive managed to playback the first three levels of the audio check disc without problem. The drive played back the three tracks without audible clicks while it found it hard to pass the last two error correction levels. Again, average performance.

- Summary

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
76.4
ABEX TCD-726
92.7
Average Score
84.55

The Asus DRW-804P received an average score of 84.55 points out of 100 with the two Abex test discs.


4. DVD reading tests

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 4

DVD reading tests

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

To check the reading performance of the Asus drive with single layer DVD-ROM, we used NeroCDSpeed and the 820A test disc from Abex.

The Asus drive read the single layer DVD-ROM with CAV reading strategy and showed the fastest reading speeds of the comparison in all three modes. On the seek times test, Asus proved slow once again, as was the case with the previously tested CD-ROM media seek times. The drive reported a full seek of 310ms.

- 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, where lies the beginning of each layer and progressing outwards towards to the outer tracks for each layer. The tools for this test are Nero CDSpeed and Abex 840 test disc.

The drive returned fast average reading speeds but not the fastest of the comparison. On the seek times test, the drive proved quite slow on full seek time.

- 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.

The CDSpeed screenshot shows smooth reading performance during the OTP reading test. The drive read the disc with CAV reading strategy and as the screenshot shows the performance was good.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD-Video ripping speed of the Asus drive using the latest version of DVD Decrypter using the Main files and Info option to rip the "Matrix" movie sized 4.7GB

The ripping performance of the Asus drive could be considered as slow since According to DVD decrypter, the drive had an Average Read Rate of 4.550 KB/s (3.3x), Maximum Read Rate: 7.424 KB/s (5.4X) while it needed 20:37min to finish the task.

- DVD Recordable / Rewritable reading Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed average reading speed results for the following formats:

The Asus drive returned very fast average reading speeds with all four tested media. The drive read all media with CAV strategy and reported about equal reading speeds for each format. The above two graphs show that the Asus' fastest time was with DVD+RW.


5. DVD Error Correction Tests

Asus DRW-084P - Page 5

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of Asus 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 above screenshot shows that the Asus drive managed to finish the error correction test without problem. The process was fast and with CAV reading strategy the test finished without read errors.

ABEX TDR-825
This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with 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.

Although this is test disc has more defects than the previous test media, the error correction test finished without read errors. Moreover, the drive didn't change reading speed while reading through the defective areas as the above screenshot shows.

- 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.

 

The Dual layer media was not a problem for the Asus drive. Once again with CAV reading strategy and a high end speed, the error correction test completed without read errors.

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 (micrometers).

 

The above screenshot comes from CDVD and shows the reading performance of the Asus DRW0804P during the reading process of the most difficult defective media. Once again the error correction performance of the Asus drive was excellent, since the drive finished the test without read errors and with a high end speed. As the screenshot shows, at some areas, the drive changed reading speed to overcome the defects but the overall performance wasn't effected.

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.

Click to enlarge

On this test, although the drive managed to read the first layer without problem, after the layer switch operation it changed the reading speed from 8X to 6X in order to read the defective areas. Although the average reading speed of the Asus wasn't as high as in the previous error correction tests, NeroCDSpeed reported no errors.

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 micrometers high fingerprints.

 

Click to enlarge

The last DVD error correction reading test, finished fast with a high end speed and no read errors.


6. Protected Disc Tests

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 4

Protected Disc Tests

- Reading Tests

To create an image of the various protected titles onto a hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% and the appropriate settings, depending on the protection type of the inserted discs. Below are summarized the capabilities of the Asus, according to CloneCD software. The summary below shows that the drive supports writing of CD+G under RAW DAO:

The game titles we used to test the reading speed 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

- Writing Tests
The drive supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with different SafeDisc versions. After making the image files of the various titles to the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol and we played each burnt disc on the following three devices. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Amplify Weak Sectors " enabled and one with the function disabled.

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

Drive

Fifa 2004
SD v3.1

Sims Superstar SD v2.9
Sims Unleashed SD v2.8
Serious Sam-Second Encounter v1.07
SD v2.60.052
Max Payne
SD v2.51.020
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
Toshiba
SD-M1502
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Creative CD5233E
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes

Asus

No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

The Asus drive proved weak with backups of protected games. Although the drive made copies up to v2.8, the discs were only playable on the Asus device itself while the other two readers couldn't start the backed up games.


7. DAE Tests

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 7

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The new Asus drive supports 24X maximum reading speed for DAE media and uses CAV reading strategy, and Nero CDSpeed confirmed these specifications.

- Advanced DAE Quality

CDSpeed advanced DAE quality test reported 26.95X average reading speed and award the tested device with a quality score of 100 (perfect). According to the software, the drive can safely be used as a reader for on the fly copying for speeds up to 16X. Moreover, on the advanced features, the drive does not read leadin and lead out information but can read subchannel Data and CD Text.

- Support of 90/99mins AudioCDs

The Asus drive managed to rip the contents of our 90/99min test discs successfully.

- 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
Asus DRW 0804P
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip tracks
OK
Optorite DD0405
OK
Recognized the disc. Ripped and played all tracks on the disc except the first.
AOpen 8x8 Dual DVD
OK
OK

On the above table we summarized the results for the three devices after the end of the protected Audio discs test. The Asus drive managed to read and rip only the CDS200 protected disc and could only recognize the Key2Audio media.


8. CD Recording Tests

Asus DRW-0804P- Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Writing Tests

To test the writing speed and writing method of the drive we used a blank 80min CD-R disc from TY and NeroCDSpeed to emulate the writing process.

Click for full graph

The above screenshot comes from NeroCDSpeed and shows that the Asus drive managed to reach the 24X maximum writing speed at around the 20min mark on the disc. The writing process started at 15.92X and finished at 24.92X resulting in an average speed of 22.47X

- Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc.

The graph shows the different writing times for each drive. The difference was to be expected since each device supports a different maximum recording speed.

According to the above graph, the Asus drive managed to write all media with about same average time.

- CD-RW Writing Tests

To test the writing speed and writing method of the drive we used a blank 74min CD-RW disc from TY and NeroCDSpeed to emulate the writing process.

Click for full graph

Below we provide a comparison of the three drives where we used Nero Burning Rom software to burn a 651MB data compilation onto a 24X US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

As the above graph shows, the Asus drive proved faster than the Aopen but slower than the Optorite. For a full erase of rewritable media, the Asus needed 260sec.


9. Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

Asus DRW-0804P supports a maximum writing speed of 24x and uses P-CAV writing strategy for the writing tasks. We expect to see quality values, since the supported writing speed could be considered as a safe writing speed for all writers since most currently available CD and DVD writers, support much faster writing CD-R speeds up to 52x and 40x respectively.

- 3T Pit results

The Pit Jitter measurement of all recorded CD-R media was in the main satisfactory. All discs gave returned values below the acceptable RedBook limit of 35ns, with the only exception being BenQ media which reported increased values at its outer area.

The average Pit Jitter values of the tested media, written with the Asus writer, were lower than the 35ns RedBook limit. According to the above graph, BenQ reported the lowest average value, despite having high Pit Jitter values at the end as we saw on the previous graph.

- 3T Land results

The Land Jitter results are slightly increased in comparison to those of the Pit values. Mam and TraxData recorded some high readings, while BenQ again had the highest values reaching 45ns.

The average Land Jitter values are higher in comparison to the Pit values. Despite this, the average Land Jitter values for all media are under the 35ns RedBook limit.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
MAM Golden Dye 52X
31.63
33.39
Yes
34 Pit, 36 Land
MMore 52X
30.85
32.46
No
33 Pit, 35 Land
BenQ 48X
27.20
28.78
Yes
45 Pit, 45 Land
TraxData 52X
33.00
34.22
Yes
38 Pit, 38 Land
TY 48X
27.71
30.17
No
31Pit, 32Land

According to the above table 3 out of 5 written media reported values over the 35ns RedBook limitation while TY showed the best quality writing.


10. Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

Asus DRW-0804P- Page 10

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 Plextools v2.11 and the reader was the Plextor Premium drive.


The quality measurements of the discs showed that the Asus is a quality writer with the CD-R format. Most discs gave back no CU errors while the C1C2 error levels were low.


11. DVD Recording Tests

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 11

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The Asus is a dual writer so it supports both minus and plus formats. The supported speeds are 8X for DVD+R/-R media and 4X for DVD+RW/-RW formats.

8X DVD+R/-R
The drive displayed the same writing strategy for the writing tasks of both +R and -R . NeroCDSpeed reported 8X maximum writing speed with P-CAV strategy.
4X DVD+RW/-RW

For the rewritable media the supported speed is 4X for both minus and plus formats. The drive wrote the disc with CLV, with average writing speed of 4X.

- Burning Tests

The following graphs show the maximum writing speeds of the three devices with all available DVD writable and rewritable media.

The Asus drive proved a fast DVD writer. The device had the fastest writing times among the tested devices with [+-]R formats but had slightly higher times from among the drives with RW media.

The above screenshots comes from Nero and show the times that the Asus needed to finish each media writing task.

Disc Label
Disc Information
Speed
CMC Magnetics 8X DVD+R
CMC MAG E01
4X
Mitsubishi Kagaku 8X DVD+R
MCC 003
8X
MMore 4X DVD+R
MBIPG101R03
4X
Traxdata 8X DVD+R
RICOHJPNR01
8X
CMC Magnetics 4X DVD-R
CMC MAG AF1
4X
MMore 4X DVD-R
MBI 01RG20
4X
That's 8X DVD-R
TYG02
8X
Traxdata 4X DVD-R
RITEKG04
4X
Traxdata 8X DVD-R
RITEKG05
8X
Verbatim 8X DVD-R
MCC 02RG20
8X
Traxdata 4X DVD+RW
RICOHJPNW11
4X
Traxdata 4X DVD-RW
RITEKW04
4X

12. DVD Writing Quality Tests _ Page 1

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 12

KProbe PI/PO quality results for DVD+R/RW

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

The software used for the measurements was KProbe v2.1.0, the ECC was set to 8 and the reading at 8x with reader the LiteOn LDW-811s. The specific methodology is very dependent on the drive used as a reader, while the reliability of the PI/PIF provided output is also not technically confirmed. Hence, we cannot safely come up with conclusive results, although we do make a comparison of the drive behavior when using various DVD recordable/rewritable media.

The recordable discs we used came from CMC, MMore, Maxell, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden and Traxdata. Further details about each disc type are presented at the bottom of this page.

CMC DVD+R 8x (Recorded at 4x)

Mitsubishi Kagaku 8x DVD+R (Recorded at 8x)

MMore 4x DVD+R (Recorded at 4x)

TraxData 8x DVD+R (Recorded at 4x)

Taiyo Yuden 8x DVD+R (Recorded at 8x)

3A 8x DVD+R (Recorded at 4x)

TraxData 4x DVD+RW (Recorded at 4x)
 
Disc Label
Disc Information
Speed
CMC Magnetics 8X DVD+R
CMC MAG E01
4X
Mitsubishi Kagaku 8X DVD+R
MCC 003
8X
MMore 4X DVD+R
MBIPG101R03
4X
Traxdata 8X DVD+R
RICOHJPNR01
8X
Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD+R
YUDEN000T02
8X
3A 8X DVD+R
PLASMON1C01
4X
Traxdata 4X DVD+RW
RICOHJPNW11
4X

13. DVD Writing Quality Tests _ Page 2

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 13

KProbe PI/PO quality results for DVD-R/RW

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

The software used for the measurements was KProbe v2.1.0, the ECC was set to 8 and the reading at 8x with reader the LiteOn LDW-811s. The specific methodology is very dependent on the drive used as a reader, while the reliability of the PI/PIF provided output is also not technically confirmed. Hence, we cannot safely come up with conclusive results, although we do make a comparison of the drive behavior when using various DVD recordable/rewritable media.

The recordable discs we used came from CMC, MMore, Maxell, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden and Traxdata. Further details about each disc type are presented at the bottom of this page.

CMC 4x DVD-R (Recorded at 4x)

MMore 4x DVD-R (Recorded at 4x)

Thats 8x DVD-R (Recorded at 8x)

TraxData 4x DVD-R (Recorded at 4x)

TraxData 8x DVD-R (Recorded at 4x)

Verbatim 8x DVD-R (Recorded at 8x)

3A 8x DVD-R (Recorded at 2x)

Mam 4x DVD-R (Recorded at 4x)

TraxData 4x DVD-RW (Recorded at 4x)
Disc Label
Disc Information
Speed
CMC Magnetics 4X DVD-R
CMC MAG AF1
4X
MMore 4X DVD-R
MBI 01RG20
4X
That's 8X DVD-R
TYG02
8X
Traxdata 4X DVD-R
RITEKG04
4X
Traxdata 8X DVD-R
RITEKG05
8X
Verbatim 8X DVD-R
MCC 02RG20
8X
3A 8X DVD-R
POMS3A
2X
MAM 4X DVD-R
MAM4XG02
4X
Traxdata 4X DVD-RW
RITEKW04
4X

The above screenshots show that the Asus drive burned most media at an acceptable quality. The drive showed higher quality writing with the plus format since the average PI/PiF errors were down in comparison to the minus format. In any case, all media was playable with CDSpeed.


14. Conclusion

Asus DRW-0804P - Page 14

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

  • Full package
  • Fast CD/DVD reading speed
  • Good CD/DVD error correction
  • Fast DAE speed
  • Quality CD/DVD writing
  • Supports both +R/-R writing.
  • BookType change features
  • CD/DVD seek times.
  • Weak protected games back up abilities
  • Cannot backup Key2Audio protected CDs
  • Restricted CD-R writing speed at 24X

The latest Asus dual dvd writer is labeled and identified as the DRW-804P. The retail package was complete except for the inclusion of blank media. The drive supports both DVD+R and DVD-R writable format at the maximum current available speed of 8X, while for the rewritable format, the writing speed is 4X, and finally, the Asus drive is a CD-R writer with maximum supported writing speed of 24X.

Through the CD-R reading tests, the drive proved fast with quite acceptable reported speeds but had increased seek times. In all the reading tests, the Asus drive managed to surpass the manufacturer's specification for maximum reading speed while on the error correction tests, the overall performance could be considered as good since the drive finished all the tests without problems.

In the DVD reading tests, the drive reported results that met and slightly surpassed the manufacturer's specifications. The seek times, although high, just like in the CD reading tests, a factor that could be considered as a negative for the drive. On the other hand, the performance of the drive during the DVD error correction tests was quite acceptable as the Asus drive managed to finish all error correction tests without reading problems, meaning that the drive can be safely used a a reader for defective and old DVD discs.

A weak feature of the Asus writer was its inability to make working backups of protected games. The image making process of all tested media was not fast but not the slowest we have experienced. The resulting games backups were fully playable up to version 2.8v of Safedisc on the Asus drive itself, but the same media could not play on other drives.

In the DAE tests, the Asus drive proved fast with a high average ripping speed of about 27X and it was awarded with a good quality score by NeroCDSpeed advanced DAE quality check. The Asus drive could not handle the KEY2Audio protected audio disc but had no problems with the CDS200 protected disc.

For CD-R writing, the drive uses P-CAV strategy and supports 24X maximum writing speed. Since the maximum supported speed is lower than the competition, we didn't experience compatibility problems at the maximum writing speed with all tested media. The drive wrote almost all media with similar times while the quality measurement of the burned discs was quite acceptable, without C2 errors and low C1C2 errors.

In the DVD writing tasks, the Asus drive showed that media compatibility is restricted. NeroBurningRom was used for the writing tasks and most of the tested media reported 4X maximum writing speed despite some being certified for 8X maximum writing. Despite this, the drive managed to write a few media at 8X. Their quality measurements were quite acceptable and all burned media was fully readable.

The drive is already available on the market at prices between $95~120.



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