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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD-ROM

Monday, February 18, 2002

1. Introduction

Pioneer DVD-U05S SCSI DVD-ROM - Page 1

Pioneer introduced the U05S model at 12/12/2000. As the press release stated: "...The new DVD-U05S has improved performance and quality compared to its predecessors. It is the world’s fastest SCSI drive proving Pioneer position as leader in DVD technology. With a transfer rate of 13.5MB/s (max.); a faster average access time for DVD-ROM of 95ms (80ms for CD-ROM); also seek time has been reduced from 90msec to 85sec (70msec for CD-ROM). Compatibility with CD-DA/ROM/R/RW/Extra/Video CD and DVD-ROM/R/RW/VIDEO the drive is truly more versatile with multiple possible applications. The new 10X SCSI drive is also available in bulk version (DVD-305S).."

Pioneer feels that U05S are for professional use and that is most users feel about SCSI models. The drive as all previous models we have tested is slot-in and supports:

DVD Read Speed
4.1x - 10x CAV
CD-ROM Read Speed
17.2x - 40x CAV
Data Buffer Size
512 Kbytes
Average Access Times

95 ms
80 ms
Average Seek Times

85 ms
70 ms
DVD Formats
CD-ROM Formats
CD-DA, CD-ROM Mode 1, CD-XA Mode 2, CD-R, CD-RW, Video CD, Kodak Photo-CD, CD-Text, CD-Extra

We will see how the latest Pioneer SCSI model performs and compare it with other Pioneer DVD-ROMs in order to have a clear look if the drive is really improved! All DVD-Rom drives produced after January 1st 2000 are RPC2 compliant. This means that now the region lock is based on both hardware (drive) and software (player) and it gives the user the chance to change the region only 5 times. After that, the player is locked to the last region change. Read more about it over here.

- Package :
We received the retail version of Pioneer 10x SCSI DVD-Rom (DVD-U05S), which included the drive, manual, audio cable, jumpers and mounting screws. As you can see in the pictures, this model has a slot-in system for loading discs. You might find this drive at OEM version with the code DVD-305S. The front of the drive is identical to the previous 105S:

- Installation :
Since this model was SCSI we set the SCSI ID and rebooted. The drive identified itself as "Pioneer DVD-Rom DVD-305S" from both DOS and Windows. We checked "Sync Data Transfer" under WinME and after that we were ready to start the test. We also installed the latest PowerDVD version (3.0) for measuring the DVD performance.

The supplied drive was a November 2000 model with v1.00 firmware revision. You must specify one region when you first try to use the drive as a DVD player. We selected Region 2 for our tests and we had another four hardware changes left before the drive locks forever. Till now there is no region free solution as with previous Pioneer models.

Test Machine
WinMe OS
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
CL GForce2 GTS
Plextor UltraPlex 40max firmware v1.04
Pioneer DVD-105S firmware v1.22
Pioneer DVD-104S firmware v2.02
Pioneer DVD-U05S firmware v1.00

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