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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD-ROM

Thursday, December 20, 2001
DVD-Rom Roundup Vol2

1. Introduction

DVD Round-up Vol2 - Page 1

- Introduction

It's a fact that the various DVD related recording formats are trying to be established in the market and to earn the confidence of the candidate users. However, the DVD recording speed and the compatibility between these formats are some of the main issues that may be confusing but also interesting. DVD-ROM manufacturers are following the DVD technology formats and try to expand their DVD media reading compatibility list, and to improve the performance of their products.

Behavior Tech Computer (BTC) presents its DVD reading proposal with a new drive, the "BTC BDV316B". The ATAPI internal drive supports 16X DVD reading speed and 48X CD speed. On the other hand, Pioneer offers the "DVD-106S/2", another ATAPI internal DVD-ROM drive also supporting 16X DVD reading speed and 40X CD speed. Both drives are compatible to the most of the CD/DVD formats and come with one-year warranty. We compare both drives with the already tested LiteOn LTD-163 and AOpen 1648 DVD-ROMs.

- Pioneer DVD-106S/2

Pioneer DVD-106S/2 is the OEM of DVD-A06S/2 ATAPI internal DVD-ROM drive. It supports 16x DVD and 40x CD reading speeds. It supports the UDMA66 interface, which will give you lower CPU usage in the various tasks, and has an analog and a digital output (SPDIF). The drive comes with a 256KB cache buffer and supports almost all DVD and CD formats: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, CD-DA, CD-ROM/XA, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-I, Video CD, Photo-CD, CD-Extra. Its price is approximately $75.

In the picture below there is the front side of the drive. As you can see, the drive is slot-in, and has the "DVD-ROM" logo just below the media slot. You will also find the usual connectors: headphone jack, volume control, power-on busy led, and the eject button:

On the rear panel of the drive we have the power/ide connectors, the analog/SPDIF audio connections and 3 jumpers on the left hand side, which are used for setting up the DMA connection mode.

We installed the drive as MASTER on the secondary IDE BUS at DMA66 mode. The drive identified itself on both DOS and Windows as "PIONEER DVD-ROM DVD-106". We enabled DMA and after rebooting we checked the region status of the drive. It was an August 2001 model with 1.22 firmware revision. According to the "Drive Region Info" the drive has RPC 2 region protection, and you can only change the drive's region 4 times.

- BTC BDV316B

BTC 316B supports 16x DVD (single layer), 10X (dual layer) and 48x (CD-ROM) reading speeds. It comes with a 512KB buffer cache and supports the of the most CD/DVD formats: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, CD-DA, CD-ROM/XA, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-I, Video CD, Photo-CD, CD-Extra. Its price is around $65.

The front of the drive has the "DVD-ROM" and "CD" logos. You will also find the usual connectors: headphone jack, volume control, power-on busy led, play/next/load/eject buttons and the emergency eject hole:

On the back of the drive we have the power/ide connectors and the analog/SPDIF audio connections. We installed the drive as MASTER on the secondary IDE BUS at DMA33 mode (default). . We enabled DMA and after rebooting we checked the region status of the drive. The firmware version of BTC 316B was the 0.47, and as with Pioneer, it has RPC 2 region protection, therefore you can change region only 4 times before the permanent lock of the drive.

- Test Machine

WinMe OS
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
ATI AIW 128




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