NERO DiscSpeed Read Tests
We continued our testing of the trio of burners using NERO's DiscSpeed 4. This is an exceptionally versatile tool that allows us to peer into the drive's behavior during various operations. We ran several read tests on each drive using various types of media. Please note that in each test, the Green line represents Rotation Speed while the Yellow Line represents the drive's progress.
Nero DiscSpeed 4 - CD Read Test:
With our first test we inserted a CD-R with a single 677MB AVI file and initiated the read test.
Although not discussed as fervently as in days past, reading CDs is still the number one priority for the majority of drives. Speeds have actually been dropped from highs of 52x and 56x typically to somewhere in the 40s. Of the three drives in our round-up, the Lite-On has the fastest CD-R read speed at 48x, and not surprisingly leads the other two drives in average read speed, topping out at 49.21x. It also posted the lowest random access time at 2ms, although the Plextor was right behind at 3ms. The slowest times overall were found on the Asus DRW-2014L1T, however, this drive also posted the lowest CPU usage.
Nero DiscSpeed 4 - DVD+R Read Test:
In our next test we inserted a DVD+R full of both large and small files to test DVD data read rates.
Try as we might, we could not get the Asus DRW-2014L1T to read any of our test DVD+Rs. Each attempt was met with DiscSpeed crashing to the tune of "Logical Unit Communication CRC Errors". Without the Asus drive in the hunt, the Lite-On LH-20A1L dominated the Plextor PX-810SA in average speed, top speed, and burst rate. We did notice, however, that CPU usage was pretty high with the Lite-On, starting at 25% at 1x and moving upward.
Nero DiscSpeed 4 - DVD-R Read Test:
We tried another round of read tests using a DVD-R full of average size MP3s.
Although the graph of the DVD-R read performance for the Lite-On drive was all over the place, overall it managed to produce a higher average speed at 10.67x compared to the low 9s for the Plextor and Asus drives, and a top speed that just bested the Asus DRW-2014 at 12.28x to 12.11x. Access times for the Asus burner continue to be poor, always in double digits, whilst the other two typically come in at 2-3ms.
Nero DiscSpeed 4 - DVD-ROM Read Test:
Finally, we popped in a copy of BloodRayne, a dual-layer DVD-ROM, to see how the drives performed.
In DVD-ROM read performance, the Plextor PX-810SA garnered the highest average speed and top speed, just outpacing the Lite-On drive in both categories. Possibly in order to maintain its lower noise output, the Asus drive uses slower rotational speeds throughout the test, not even eclipsing 8X at its highest point.