- CD Format
For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of Pressed CDs. Let's take a look at how the drive performed compared to the other two drives.
The NEC and BenQ drives supports 48X CD reading speed while the Plextor 40X. The BenQ was slightly faster.
All drives reported similar average speeds with this media.
In the case of AudioCDs, the NEC and Plextor support 40X DAE speed while the BenQ 48X. Unfortunately, the NEC drive was awarded a low score in the Advanced DAE Quality Test from Nero, while the two other drives had perfect scores.
- 90mins Audio disc
The NEC ND-4550A failed to read the 90min and 99min test discs.
- 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.
Similar performance from all three tested drives.
The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially
with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the
beginning of each layer, progressing towards its outer range. The NEC drive has the fastest starting speed but finishes off with the slowest end speed and clocks in the slowest average speed.
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. Here we see the NEC drive starting off very slowly in contrast to the PTP disc previously, but manages to finish up with an average speed that is only slightly slower than the other two drives.
The NEC drive supports 16X for DVD±R and 12X for DVD±RW. The BenQ has the same specifications as the NEC while the Plextor supports 12X for all four formats.
Excellent ripping performance was reported from all the drives.
The NEC ND-4550A can also read DVD-RAM discs at 5X.
Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs
CD Pressed / US-RW / AudioCD
DVD Pressed SL / DVD Pressed DL PTP / DVD Pressed DL OTP / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW / DVD-RAM