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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Friday, January 29, 2010
LiteOn eTAU108

2. CD/DVD reading tests

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Opti Drive Control and the Nero DiscSpeed benchmark utilities, as well and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM and DVD-R/+R/ROM SL/DL/+R DL/-R DL /DVD-RAM media. The drive can read CD media at a maximum speed of 24X and DVDs at 8x max.

-CD-ROM

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 17.78x 19.68x 18.52x
Random seek times 147 msec 149 msec 121 msec

- US RW

The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media. Reading reached a maximum of 24x, as per the specifications (15.12x average).

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 15.12x 19.56x 18.38x
Random seek times 138 msec 145 msec 122 msec

- AudioCD

In the DiscSpeed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 17,10X with a quality score of 100.0:

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 17.10x 18.13x 17.06x

Digital Audio Extraction or DAE is important when we try to read the files stored on an audio CD and store them in our hard disk drive. The procedure is not always that simple and the fidelity of the extracted data depend on the way each drive handles these data.

The majority of the software that support this procedure, commonly known as "ripping", will just read the audio files and store them on your hard disk. However, this approach is not recommended for all drives, since it may result to read or sync errors if your drive does not support report of C2 error pointer information and also what the author of the EAC (Exact Audio Copy) software describes as "accurate stream" and " non-caching."

According to EAC, the LiteON eTAU108 drive does not support "caching " but it does "Accurate stream" and reports "C2 error" pointer information.

Accurate stream and C2 error reporting is always welcome and contribute to reliable and fast audio extraction. Generally, if you select a drive for extraction better have a look that the drive does not cache audio data.

If you are sure about the physical condition of your audio CD and you need faster extractions, you may chose other utilities such as the CD DAE software. A typical DAE task with an 80min non-protected Audio CD produced 16.8x average ripping speed. Not bad at all for such a small drive:

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 16.8x 15.3x 17.01x

- 90 mins Audio disc

 

The drive could not complete the 90min audio CD reading test and the Opti Drive Control utility returned a read error in the end of the data area.

A read error was also reported with the 99min audio CD.

DVD Format

Now let's take a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of SL and DL DVD media was used. The drive is capable of reading at 8X maximum speed for single layer DVD ROM and at 6X for dual layer DVD ROM media.

- DVD-ROM SL

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.06x 6.12x
Random seek times 143 msec 142 msec 126 msec

- DVD-ROM DL PTP

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 drive slowed down reading right in the end of Layer 0. It resumed later and finished the test, although the software gave an error in the Full stroke seek test. It is obvious that there is a problem here. We ran the same test using the Nero DiscSpeed utility, with no better luck.. This time the error came earlier during the data reading procedure. It is obvious that there is a problem here..

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.30x 3.02x 4.532x
Random seek times error 173 msec 136 msec

- DVD-ROM DL OTP

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 and progresses towards the inner part of the disc.

We had the same issue here. We got a seek error and also some problems were reported as the drive was trying to switch from Layer 0 to the Layer 1.

So we fired up Nero DiscSpeed utility and got the following result:

The disc was eventually read at a 5.98x average speed.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.98x 4.51x 4.52x
Random seek times 143 msec 151 msec 136 msec

- DVD-R

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.07x 6.09x
Random seek times 143 msec 143 msec 139 msec

- DVD-RW

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.07x 4.63x
Random seek times 148 msec 148 msec 154 msec

- DVD+R

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.07x 6.13x
Random seek times 127 msec 150 msec 124 msec

- DVD+RW

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 6.19x 6.09x 4.65x
Random seek times 137 msec 145 msec 142 msec

- DVD+R DL

It is obvious that the drive has a problem reading the dual-layered DVDs. We got an error in the seek time test, as you can see in the screen shot below:

 

We ran the same test using Nero DiscSpeed software. This time the read error occurred during the transfer rate test.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.07x 4.58x 4.71x
Random seek times error 152 msec 135 msec

-DVD-R DL

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 6.02x error 4.73x
Random seek times error error 140 msec

Again, the sequential transfer rate test (read) was finished but the seek times could not be measured, with the drive returning an error.

-DVD RAM (5x)

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 4.64x - 4.61x
Random seek times error - 211 msec

- Summary of reading tests

The drive will read your CD discs without any issues. However, we are concerned about the drive's behavior when it is accessing dual-layered DVD discs. We got read errors during the sequential or random reading tasks with the DVD-ROM OTP, DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs. After some retries, the data of these discs were retrieved but still, the drive's unstable behavior should be noted.




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