HotHardware Test Systems
DFI KT400A LAN Party Motherboard
AMD AthlonXP 2500+
512MB GEiL PC3500
2 IBM ATA100 7200RPM 80GB
ATi Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
Standard Floppy Drive
Windows XP Professional
ATi Catalyst 3.6
VIA Hyperion 4.48v
Utilities and Media Used For Testing
An audio CD 63:33:02 in Length
703MB of MP3 Files for all
Data Write Tests
CD-ROM Performance Tests -
Speeding Things Along
& Sandra MAX3!
To start things
off we loaded Nero InfoTool to take a look at the drive's
feature set. To give a frame of reference, we compared the Teac
CD-W552E to the popular Plextor PX-W4012A.
Essentially the main difference between the two drives is
drive speed, cache size and support for Mount Rainer. While the Teac drive is clearly
the faster of the two, it only has half the cache of the Plextor,
weighing in at 2MB. When it comes to performance, we like to see
a larger cache size, although 2MB should be sufficient and
will help keep the cost of the drive at competitive levels.
The TEAC CD-W552E drive also supports Mount Rainier, a
technology developed by Philips. Mount Rainer enables
native support for data storage on CD-RW discs, letting the
disk behave much like a floppy disk. If you want
to learn more, check out the the
Rainer website for details.
To give us a quick gauge of read
performance, we loaded a CD with one 698MB AVI file into each drive
and launched SiSoft Sandra MAX3! This is a good, quick way
to give us an idea of what to expect in read performance. During the test the
Teac drive averaged 19X read speeds while the Plextor hit 17X, a narrow
margin for the two. Next we'll get a little more physical
with each drive, running several other handy testing applications from
Ahead software, the makers of
Nero Burning ROM, have an excellent selection of free
utilities to test the functions of various types of optical
drives. Each of these small applications perform a
number of specific tasks that shows us what each drive is
capable of. In this next section we ran several of
these tests on the Teac CD-W552E and included the results
of a Plextor PX-W4012A drive for comparison.
Please note that in each test, the
represents Transfer Rates while the
represents Rotation Speed.
Nero CD Speed
The first test, Nero CD Speed, runs a
full spectrum of diagnostics to assess the drive's overall
Plextor PlexWriter PX-W4012A
It was no surprise to see the Teac
drive did peak at 52X during the test, while averaging over 39X.
Compared to the Plextor drive, the Teac showed increased CPU utilization adding a
slight 1 point increase with the 4X and 8X test.
Interestingly, with the overall better performance of the Teac
drive with higher speeds and faster seek times than the Plextor
drive, the burst rate of the drive was actually 1MB less Vs the
Plextor. This is most likely due to the smaller cache
and possible slower memory used.
One last thing to point out is the CD
spin-up time of the drive. One of the biggest issues with Plextor drives is their
spin-up times from the point the CD tray
closes to the time the CD is readable in Windows. The Plextor drive
took over 9 seconds to complete while the Teac was far more
efficient at 1.70 seconds.
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