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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD-ROM

Monday, September 12, 2005

1. Introduction

CDRinfo had already tested the ASUS DVD-E616P2 DVD-ROM drive some months ago, and it proved to be a very fast and reliable reader. Now has ASUS pushed the limit even further. Their latest DVD-E616A reader promises even better compatibility, being able to read DVD-RAM discs.

- Features

The E616A has the same features as the E616P2, but Random Access times are reduced, the Data Buffer size is increased and of course, DVD-RAM media is now supported. Additionally, the Speed Auto Switch function controls the speed of the drive to achieve more reliable readings. Attention should be given to the Double Dynamic Suspension System and the Airflow Field Modification, features that are present in all QuieTrack series drives.

  • DVD-ROM max. data transfer rate: 21640 KB/s (16X)
  • CD-ROM max. data transfer rate: 7200 KB/s (48X)
  • Interface: E-IDE/ATAPI
  • Random Access Time: DVD: 110 ms vs. CD: 100 ms typical
  • Data Buffer: 2 MB
  • Application Formats: Capable of reading most of the DVD-ROM/R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-Video, CD-ROM/R/RW discs and DVD-RAM discs.
  • High-Speed Digital Audio Extraction

  • Unique Dust Resistant Design
  • Supports Speed Auto-Switch Function
  • DDSSII – Double Dynamic Suspension System. Superior Stability with Low Vibration. Reduced vibration on traverse & drive case; resonance frequency control; reduced vibration noise; enhanced readability & playability
  • AFFM (Airflow Field Modification)
    AFFM is designed to change the uneven airflow field inside the drive because even pressure distribution leads to quieter and more stable operation.

- Specifications

Sustained DataTransfer Rate 16X max:21640 KB/s (DVD)
48X max:7200 KB/s (CD)
Burst Data Transfer Rate 99.9MB/s (Ultra DMA/100 Mode)
66.6MB/s (Ultra DMA/66 Mode)
33.3MB/s (Ultra DMA/33 Mode)
16.6MB/s (PIO Mode 4 & Multi-Word DMA Mode 2)
Random Access Time DVD:110ms typical
CD:100ms typical
Interface ATAPI Specification
Disc Formats DVD
CD XA(Video), CD XA(Audio), CD RW(Video),CD RW(Audio), CD RW(UDF), Multi-Session(Data), Multi-Session(Audio), Bootable CD, CD ROM, Karaoke CD, CD-MixMode, CD-Extra, CD-I, Photo CD
Disc Diameters 8cm & 12cm
Data Buffer Size 2 MB
Mounting Orientation Horizontal & Vertical
Compatibility Windows 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP, DOS6.xx, Linux
Audio Outputs Line out Output: 0.7V rms typical
Reliability MTBF:
100,000 Power On Hours (POH)
0.5 hr
Environment Temperature
Operating: 5~45° C
Storage: -20~60° C
Operating: 20~80% (non-condensing)
Storage:15~85% (non-condensing)
Configuration Dimension: 14.85 x 4.26 x 17.3 cm (W x H x D)
Weight: 830g
Power Requirement Voltage:DC + 5V / DC + 12V
Tolerance:5% / 10%

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times.

- The package

In the retail box, you will find the ASUS DVD-E616A drive, one audio cable, a CD with DVD Playback software, a user manual, a quick installation guide and finally, the mounting screws.

The front panel on the drive is the same as that of the E616P2. The device that arrived at our lab was white, but the drive is also available in black and silver.

On the rear panel, you will see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

We strongly advise against removing the drive's cover, as this will void the drive's warranty. Instead, use the following pictures if you are curious and want to see what is hidden inside. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:

click to enlarge!

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and WindowsXP recognized it as "ASUS DVD-E616A". The drive arrived with firmware version v1.03.

There are numerous utilities available that allow you to change the default speed of the drive, in order to achieve more reliable or quieter operation. The following screenshots are from Nero DriveSpeed.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v4.04
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v3.03
  5. KProbe v2.4.1

In this review, we will be comparing the ASUS drive with the Samsung TS-H352A and the LiteOn SOHD-16P9S DVD-ROM.

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