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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD External

Monday, April 10, 2006
LG GSA-5169D

2. Reading Tests

- CD Format

As with all latest release drives, the LG 5159D supports up to 48X reading speed for CD media and up to 32X for RW media. We used both media types to verify the drive's reading speed, using the CD-DVD Speed utility. Here's what we got.

All three drives had more or less similar performance when using Pressed CD media, reporting close average and end speeds. On the other hand, the Samsung drive managed to outpace the other two drives when it came to HS-RW media, due to its higher supported speed with the specific format.

- AudioCD

For these tests, we used a pressed AudioCD and the Advanced DAE CDSpeed feature.

As we can see from the Average DAE Speed test, the drive performed was slightly slower than the other two drives. As the CD-Speed Advanced DAE Quality test reports, the drive was awarded 100 quality score and an average DAE speed of 28.65X, while it supports Leadin, as well as CD Text and Subchannel Data.

- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

Unfortunately, the drive could not read the 90mins Audio disc, but it managed to successfully read all the way to the end the 99min Audio disc, even though reading was accomplished at very low speeds.

- DVD Format

We repeated the reading tests, this time using a collection of pressed SL and DL DVD media to test the drive's reading capabilities with DVD media and posted the results in the following graphs.

All three drives support up to 16X reading speed with Pressed SL media. Only the LiteOn drive did not reach the maximum speed, falling short at 14.2X end speed.

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 the outer range, for each layer. Max supported speed for this media was 8X for all drives.

The graph shown above indicates the reading performance of the drive with OTP dual layer media. 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 of 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. Again, all three drives support 8X max reading speed with DL media.

With WriteOnce media, the reviewed drive reached 12X average reading speed, thanks to its ability to read write once media at 16X max, while the next best was the Samsung drive at 9X. With ReWriteable media, all three drives, reported similar average speeds around 6X.

The reported ripping speed for the LG drive was 8743Kb/s or 6.6X ripping speed, approx.


As with most Multi drives, the LG 5169D can read DVD-RAM at a max speed of 5X.

Overall, the LG GSA-5169D is a good reader, with the ability to read WriteOnce media (non pressed) at a speed of up to 16X, so it is ideal for DVD reading. Unfortunately, with DL media, the drive cannot offer the same performance.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs

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