- CD Format
For our CD transfer speed tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of both Pressed and CDR media. Lets take a look at how the drive performed compared with the other two drives.
Although the NEC and Pioneer drives have the same chipset, NEC has chosen a higher CD reading speed at 48X, while Pioneer 40X. The Philips also supports 48X reading speed and reported the highest speeds.
Same applies here with a supported 40X reading speed for the NEC and Philips drives while the Pioneer supports 32X.
For this tests we used a pressed AudioCD and its copy on a CD-R.
In the case of AudioCDs, both the NEC and Pioneer drives support 40X DAE speed while the Philips supports 48X. All drives reported a perfect score in the Advanced DAE Quality Test from Nero.
90min test disc
The NEC ND-4551A failed to read the 90min test disc while it couldn't recognize or access the 99min.
- DVD Format
Now let's have a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of DVD media was used, both SL and DL.
Same specifications for all drives and hence, similar performance.
The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially
with the drive starting the reading process from the inner part of the disc, which is the
beginning of each layer, progressing towards its outer range.
Once again the supported reading speeds were the same for all drives. However, the Pioneer was slightly faster.
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 main difference being 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 towards the inner part of the disc. The same performance was achieved with the PTP reading test.
The supported reading speeds for DVD±R/RW media are something very important since these are the most common formats. Here, the NEC drive gives excellent results, supporting 16X for DVD±R and 12X for DVD±RW. The Philips drive has the most consistent performance, supporting 12X for all formats. While the Pioneer drive has the lowest supported DVD±RW reading speeds of the three drives at 8X, which is quite noticeable in the tests...
Unfortunately, the NEC drive is not as fast with the DVD-Video format. The rip lock feature that we had seen with past models is not in use but still, the drive cannot rip this format at a fast rate. Using DVD Decrypter, the NEC drive reported 5.9X average ripping speed while the maximum was 7.3X. Philips and Pioneer dominate in this test.
The NEC ND-4551A can also read DVD-RAM discs at 5X.
Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs
CD Pressed / CD-R / US-RW / AudioCD / AudioCD-R
DVD Pressed SL / DVD Pressed DL PTP / DVD Pressed DL OTP / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW / DVD-RAM