Testing Routine and Initial Benchmarks
Asus DRW-0804P 8x DVD+/-R/RW
Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+/-R/RW
Asus P4P800 Deluxe (i865PE) Motherboard
Pentium 4C 2.4GHz CPU
512MB Kingston HyperX PC3500 DDR
BFG 5900XT OC Video
On-board ADI AD1985 SoundMAX Audio
20GB Western Digital ATA100 Hard Drive
Standard Floppy Drive
Windows XP Professional SP1
Utilities and Media Used For Testing:
|SiSoft SANDRA Pro 4 SP1
|698MB AVI file for Sandra CD Data Tests
701MB of MP3 files for Nero CD Data Tests
Prodigy - Fat of the Land for CD Audio Tests
Once Upon a Time in Mexico for DVD Movie Tests
Nero InfoTool can give us a quick reference screen showing the various reading and writing capabilities of CD and DVD drives. We've taken screenshots that show the various disc formats that are supported when being used as a CD or DVD drive.
There's not much that the Asus DRW-0804P doesn't support. A quick run through of the checkboxes shows that the only formats that can't be read by the DRW-0804P are CD+G, normally used for Karaoke CDs, DVD-RAM, and Mount Rainier. While not having Mount Rainier support may have seemed like a big deal a year or two ago, this
SiSoft SANDRA 2004 SP1:
Next, we ran the CD/DVD-ROM benchmark from SiSoft Sandra 2004. Using this benchmark, we were looking to compare the performance of the DRW-0804P with Plextor's PX-708A. To run these two tests, we needed to create two discs that had large files on them. We used a CD-R with a single 698MB AVI file for the CD Data test, and then a DVD+R with multiple large AVI files totaling 4.3GB. Each disc was read, benchmarked, and then a score was shown comparing the performance to other drives in Sandra's database.
Read Performance - CD Data
Although the two drives may differ in CD writing speed, the read speed is exactly the same with both drives rated at 40x. We had expected the CD benchmarks to be similar, and that's exactly what we got. The PX-708A was a few KB/s faster than the DRW-0804P, a negligible difference. The buffered reads on the PX-708A were larger, but so was the average access time at more than 45 milliseconds slower than the DRW-0804P. Also note that the drive speed does not accurately reflect the maximum speed of the drive, but rather the initial speed, explaining why 18x was listed rather than the actual rating of each drive.
Read Performance - DVD Data
In the DVD Performance test, we saw the Asus DRW-0804P take a huge lead over the Plextor PX-708A, leading by a whopping 25%. Since both drives were rated with the same read speed, we found this to be quite an issue, and re-ran the benchmark on each drive two more times. Each attempt came out with the same results. We also saw a quicker initial access speed for the DRW-0804P at 29x (rated as a CD speed) and, once again, a quicker average access time, although this time the difference was smaller.