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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 8x

Monday, June 21, 2004
Ricoh MP5308D

1. Retail Package - Installation

Ricoh MP5308D DVD±R/RW Recorder - Page 1

as a member of the DVD+RW Alliance produced one of the first DVD+R/RW recorders, the MP5120A. Its successor, the MP5125A was a hot selling drive for quite long time, until most manufacturers developed their own DVD recording solutions. In the meantime, Ricoh made several alliances (Funai Electric etc) in order to further develop DVD recording technology. However, for quite sometime Ricoh did not produce any other drive, at least not with any interesting features.

After this year's CeBIT, we had the chance to see a new 8X DVD±R/RW recorder from Ricoh with the codename "MP5308D". The drive's specs were promising and we soon had the drive in our labs and under the microscope for testing. Today we present a review of the drive, with the usual basic information and results from our burning tests for both CD/DVD formats.

- Drive specifications

The MP5308D is an 8X DVD±R, 4X DVD±RW, 32X CD-R and 16X CD-RW writer. In addition, it supports 12X DVD-ROM and 40X CD-ROM reading specifications. The specs are more or less the same with other well known models on the market, so it would be interesting to see how it compares with the competition. But first lets take a look at the full specs:

Interface ATAPI
Supported media for writing DVD+RW, DVD+R,CD-R, CD-RW, High Speed CD-RW
Write speed (DVD+RW) 2.4x, 4x speed
(DVD-RW) 1x, 2x, 4x speed
(DVD+R) 2.4 x, 4 x, 8x speed
(DVD-R) 2x, 4x, 8x speed
(CD-R) 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x, 32x speed
(CD-RW) 4x, 10x, 16x speed
Read speed (DVD-ROM/DVD+RW/DVD+R) Max. 12x speed
(CD-ROM/CD-R/CD-RW) Max. 40x speed
Recording capacity (DVD+RW/DVD+R) 4.7GB
(CD-R/CD-RW) 650MB,700MB
Data transfer speed (on the interface) Max. 33MB/s (Ultra DMA Mode 2)
Average access time (DVD) 140 ms (8x)
(CD) 120 ms (32x)
Buffer memory 2MB
Write mode (DVD+RW) Random Access Write, Sequential Write
(DVD+R) Sequential Write
(CD-R/CD-RW) Disc At Once, Session At once, Track At Once, Multi-Session, Packet Write
Write format (DVD+RW/DVD+R: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video
(CD) CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD Extra, CD-I*3, Mixed-ModeCD, VideoCD, Photo-CD, CDTEXT, Bootable CD
Installation Horizontal/vertical
Power supply DC +5V/+12V
Weight 1.02 kg
Dimensions ( W x D x H) 148 X 190 (including front panel) X 42mm

NeroInfoTool gives us a quick look at the drive's capabilities. The drive uses a 2MB buffer memory, supports buffer underrun technology for both the CD and DVD formats, RAW DAO 96 writing (CD), and its firmware is v1.B2 that was used for all the recording tests. Mount Rainier support is excluded as happens in most cases of late, since it appears this technology will probably not be developed further.

DVDInfoPro gave us some additional details about the drive's abilities:

- The package

The drive arrived at our labs without cables, software or media. The retail package includes Nero 6.0 OEM, InCD4 and Nero Vision Express 2. The price of the drive is around €140 according to Ricoh's website. The price in retail shops is expected to be lower.

The drive itself looks like an ordinary "Ricoh" drive with the brand name, codename and CD-RW, DVD-R/RW and DVD+RW logos. There's a single activity led for reading/writing indication, along with the emergency eject hole.

On the label of the drive can be seen the manufacturing date (February 2004) and the manufacturing line (Made in Malaysia)

After removing the bottom plate, we can see the internal structure of the drive. The main chipset comes from NEC and the whole design looks very similar to the NEC 2500A drive. You might notice the label "2100" on the board, that indicates the basic board used to develop the 2500A series.

Click for high resolution image

The drive was installed as a secondary master and under WindowsXP recognized as "RICOH DVD+RW MP5308D". Below is a picture from Nero Burning Rom, showing the drive's specs.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v2.20
  2. Nero Info Tool v2.11
  3. KProbe v2.1.0 (Reader: LiteOn SOHW-812S firmware vUSOJ, Reading speed 4X CLV)
  4. PlexTools v2.14 (Reader: Plextor Premium firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV)
  5. DVDInfoPro v2.47
  6. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.10

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