Asus' 8x Dual Format DVD Burner - The DRW-0804P

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CD/DVD Performance Testing with Nero

CD/DVD Performance Tests
Nero Burning ROM Ultra 6 Put to the Test

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 show us what each drive is capable of.  In this next section we ran several of these tests on the Asus DRW-0804P and included the results of the Plextor PX-708A for comparison.  Please note that in each test, the Green line represents Transfer Rates while the Yellow Line represents Rotation Speed.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - CD Data Test:

Our first tests with Nero CD-DVD Speed were focused on CD-ROM performance when using both CD-R media as well as a typical printed audio CD.  In our first test, we loaded a 701MB Memorex CD-R full of MP3s into each drive and let CD-DVD Speed run through its cycle of tests.

     
Asus                                                 Plextor

The two graphs look nearly the same, with almost identical starting, ending, and average speeds.  Each drive wound up slightly higher than the 40x listed in the specifications, with the PX-708A ending just shy of 43x and the DRW-0804P at 42x.    Contrary to what we saw in the Sandra benchmark, the seek times were generally much better on the PX-708A, 30ms faster at random and 1/3 strokes and triple that at full stroke. The Burst Rate on the Plextor drive was also much greater than that found on the Asus (21MB/s > 14MB/s).

Nero CD-DVD Speed - CD Audio Test:

For the next round, we popped in a printed audio CD, Prodigy's Fat of the Land, to see how these would be handled.  We were also able to test each drive's audio extraction performance in the process.  During the test, audio sectors were extracted to the hard drive at three different locations on the CD.  The same sectors were read again and compared to the sectors written to the hard drive.  Depending on the number of differences, the DAE quality will be rated from 0 to 10, with 10 being a perfect score.

     
Asus                                                 Plextor

The performance on each drive dropped off a bit from the original test, with a more profound hit on the Plextor drive than on the Asus DRW 0804P.  The Asus 0804P came the closest to achieving a 40x read, although we saw slight dips in the graph, apparently where each audio track began.  Access times were also slightly better on each drive, and CPU utilization remained roughly the same.  Both drives were able to achieve a perfect 10 in Digital Audio Extraction.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - DVD Data Test:

In the next two tests we focused on the drive's DVD reading performance.  Each drive is configured to perform differently based on whether a DVD movie or DVD data disk is inserted in the drive.  We started by placing in a DVD+R containing over 4.3 GB of AVI files.
 

     
Asus                                                 Plextor

When reading DVD+R discs on the Asus DRW-0804P, the rotation speed held steady as the transfer rate went from 3.46x up to just beyond 8x, with an average rate of 6.24x.  The Plextor drive started off at about the same speed, about 3.35x and also marched on up to just over 8x, its rating for reading DVD+R discs.  As we've seen with the CD reading tests, access times were always better with Plextor's PX-708A, almost halving the DRW-0804P at full stroke.  Seek times for both drives were well within expected limits.  CPU usage was much higher than before, especially when reading at 8x, where both drives were using about 50% of available resources.

Nero CD-DVD Speed - DVD Movie Playback Test:

In the final Nero CD-DVD Speed test we wanted to check the performance with a double-layered movie DVD.  We inserted a copy of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and clicked on the Start button to get the results.
 

     
Asus                                                 Plextor

The two drives differ in the way that DVD-Movies are read, although neither is technically considered better than the other.  Asus continues to use CAV for reading this disc format, while Plextor implements CLV technology , in which the data rate remains constant while the rotation speed decreases.  It is therefore meaningless to compare transfer speeds in this particular test.  Both drives, however, were close in the seek times and CPU utilization, although the Asus DRW-0804P did put up slightly better numbers.


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