DVD+/-RW Drive Round-up 2007

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Test System and SANDRA Benchmarks

How we configured our test system:
When configuring our test system for benchmarking these DVD+/-RW drives, we first entered the BIOS for our MSI P6N Diamond and chose its "Optimized Default Settings".  We saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS a second time, and manually set memory timings for DDR2-800 at 4-4-4-12 1T latency.  The RAID array was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional SP2 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we installed the drivers necessary for our components, and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were then disabled, and we set up a 768MB permanent page file on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.  To remain consistent, each drive was installed individually, using the same SATA cable and port.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Inside


Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
(1.86 GHz)

MSI P6N Diamond (NVIDIA 680i Chipset)

2 x 512MB Corsair PC2-6400
CL 4-4-4-12-1T - DDR2-800

MSI GeForce 7900 GT

On-Board X-Fi Xtreme Audio
Creative Labs X-Fi Fatal1ty Audio Card

2 x 250GB Western Digital SE16
7,200 RPM SATA 3.0 GB/s in RAID 0

Windows XP Pro SP2
Intel INF
Intel Matrix Storage Manager 6.2.1
DirectX 9.0c
NVIDIA nForce 9.53
NVIDIA Forceware 163.71



Asus DRW-2014L1T
Lite-On LH-20A1L
Plextor PX-810SA


NERO InfoTool 5
NERO DiscSpeed 4


Taiyo Yuden 16X DVD+R
Sony 16X DVD+R
Memorex 16X DVD-R
Ridata 16X DVD-R
Memorex 52x CD-R
Philips 52X CD-R with LightScribe

Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA XII
Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran the CD-ROM and DVD Benchmark using a test DVD+R comprised of both large and small files. Although we will ultimately compare the drives against each other, we also had the opportunity to view results from four other drives in SANDRA's database.

Asus DRW-2014L1T

Lite-On LH-20A1L

Plextor PX-810SA

Although the graphs don't seem to tell us the story we were expecting, SANDRA was perfect for comparing our three drives in relation to the Drive Index (measured in MB/s) and Access Time (in milliseconds).  Even though the Asus and Lite-On drives are considered the faster drives, able to read DVD+R discs at 20x, and the Plextor at 18X, the Drive Index shows that the Lite-On drive solely occupied the top spot, measured at 13 MB/s or 9.5X speed.  The Asus and Plextor match up more as equals with a Drive Index score of 10MB/s or a 7.7X speed.  As far as Access Times go, the Lite-On drive again pulls away from the other two drives with a speedy 8ms random access time.  Asus was in second at 23ms, and the Plextor drive well in the distance at a disappointing 107ms.  Although not shown in the screen captures, but shown in the results, SANDRA also records what it determines as the maximum read and write speeds.  We take these numbers with a grain of salt, as they are synthetic results, but the Asus DRW-2014L1T was shown to only have a 16X max DVD writing speed, whereas the Lite-On and Plextor drives were rated at 18x each.

Tags:  DVD, round-up, drive, Ive

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