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Shuttle SD561 56X CDROM
Date: Dec 15, 2001
Author: HH Editor
Shuttle SD561 56X CDROM - Page 1

Shuttle's SD-561 56X CD-ROM Drive

A Frugal and Nimble Solution

3/14/00 - By, Marco ?BigWop? Chiappetta

I?ve been around PC hardware for quite a while and have used just about every ?speed? CD-ROM since my trusty ol? Creative Labs 1X. Having used all these different drives I?ve learned a couple things:  1.) The speed on the box is usually not what you should expect and  2.) One company?s 50x is another?s 20x!

With that being said, I introduce to you the Shuttle 56x CD-ROM.  Is it really a 56x Drive?  Let?s find out.  I?m not going to go too deeply into the specs of this drive, as they are very similar to just about any mid to high end drive out there, but these are a few of the more prominent features.

SD-561 Specifications / Features
Straight-up 56X

  • Maximum 8400KB/sec. data transfer rate

  • Front Panel with Play/Skip & Stop/Eject buttons, volume control and headphone jack

  • ATAPI Enhanced IDE Interface (PIO mode-4, Multi-word DMA mode-2 and Ultra DMA/33)

  • Access Time: 80ms

  • Supports: Audio CDs, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Karaoke CD, Video CD, CD-I, CD-R,CD-RW, CD+ and I-Trax

  • MBTF (Mean Time Between Failure) Longevity 50,000 hours

  • Motorized Easy-Touch Loading

  • Vertical/Horizontal Mount Capable

  • MPC level 3 compliant

  • ISO-9660 standard compliant

 Initial Impression:

My initial impression of this drive was very good.  From the second I removed it from the box, it had a sturdy ?feel? to it.  The drive was relatively heavy and didn?t feel like it had any ?loose? parts floating around inside.  I don?t mean broken parts, but ?loose? parts.  If you?ve ever lightly shaken a CD-ROM drive with it?s laser mechanism loosely mounted on rubber grommets you know what I mean.  Even the drive?s physical appearance was cool.  Not too flashy or weird looking, just a simple ?56x? designation and the control layout was very good.  The buttons have a firm feel with a tactile click.


Installation / Setup
No surprises with the SD-561

Installation of this drive (or just about any IDE CD Drive for that matter) is very simple, and went without a hitch.  All there really is to do is set a single jumper on the rear designating whether or not the drive will be a Master or Slave on the channel, and plugging it into one of your motherboards IDE ports.  Just for the record, this drive was set to Master on the Secondary IDE port of my motherboard (VIA133a based) and was alone on the cable.

The drive comes with a DOS driver installation floppy, if you?re setting up your PC for the first time and haven?t installed Windows yet, mounting screws and also a standard MPC CD Audio cable.  If you?re just replacing a current CD-ROM and Windows is already installed, the drive will automatically be found.  The only setting you?ll want to change is to enable DMA in device manager.

Noise Level, Spin-Up, Sound Quality:

Most new high speed CD-Rom drives (40x +) sound like a turbine firing up when they spin at their maximum speed.  I?m happy to report that, although there is a very noticeable sound emitted from this drive, it was actually relatively quiet compared to some other lesser quality drives I?ve installed and worked with.  This drive was less noisy than a generic 48x drive I have here that?s installed in a customer?s personal system.

Spin-Up time is not a strong point for this drive.  From the time a CD is inserted until you hear the drive spin-up there is about a 1 ? 2 second delay.  This is by no means a killer for the drive.  I?ve seen worse but I?m use to my SCSI Plextor drive that starts churning almost immediately.

I also played a few audio disks just to hear the sound quality.  I did not hear any noticeable distortion and highs were crisp.  People who like to play music while surfing will not have any problems with this drive.

Performance, that's what it's all about...


Shuttle SD561 56X CDROM - Page 2

Shuttle's SD-561 56X CD-ROM Drive

A Frugal and Nimble Solution

3/14/00 - By, Marco ?BigWop? Chiappetta

Test System
The reference hardware

Tyan S1854 Trinity 400 Motherboard, PIII 733 Overclocked to 770MHz.,  256MB PC133 RAM, Shuttle 56x CD, IBM 22GXP HD, Via IDE Busmaster Drivers, Windows 98SE, DirectX 7.0


Benchmarks with the Shuttle SD-561
What is she made of?

Now let?s get down to some actual numbers.


 SiSoft Sandra 2000


As you can see, the drive doesn?t live up to the ?56x? moniker (not many CD-ROM drives do), however, it does outperform the Memorex 48X drive used for comparison in Davo?s Kenwood review.



CD-Speed 99


The CD-Speed 99 benchmark again shows that the drive never hit it?s advertised max of 56x, however, the drive was very consistent.  Its access time was also slightly slower than advertised, but look how smooth the graph is.  It also fairs well with respect to other drives listed in the CD Speed database here.  As you can see, it ranks right up there with top 50-56X performers.  Make no mistake, the drive is fast, there?s just a little bit of marketing involved in that 56x number.

Note:  DAE Performance

I also tried Audio Catalyst 2.1 to rip some CD?s, and the drive consistently ripped between 8x and 20x, which is again respectable.



Telling it like it is

All in all, the Shuttle SD-561 56x CD-ROM reviewed here is a good all around drive. Although it never hit its peak advertised speed, it did perform at a very high level.  Its not quite at the same level of a Plextor SCSI or Kenwood TrueX EIDE drive.  However, if you?re considering a CD-ROM purchase and don?t want to drop the big bucks on one of those other drives, I?d have no problems recommending this product.  We have seen this drive retailing on the net for around $55.  It is hard to beat that kind of price/performance ratio.

We give the Shuttle SD-561 56X CD-ROM Drive a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of...


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