MSI XA52P CD-RW+DVD-ROM Serial ATA Combo Drive

CD-R/RW Burn Times and Conclusion

CD-R and CD-RW Burn Times
I smell burning....

Nero CD-R Writing Times:

Although reading CD's/DVD's maybe the primary use for the MSI XA52P, it's a CD-R as well.  Below are the recording times for burning a 600MB file from our hard drive to Memorex and Sony media using Nero Burning ROM 6. The CDs were finalized as a non-multisession disk.  When the CD was finished, we wrote down the times and compared the three.


CD-R Burn Times - 700Mb File


Memorex 52x CD-R (mm:ss)

Sony 48x CD-R (mm:ss)

 Plextor 48x24x48x 03:04 02:48
 Plextor Premium 52x32x52x 02:57 02:49
 MSI XA52P 52x24x52x 02:32 02:27

In reference to the numbers above, one can see that all drives faired better with the Sony Media even though it was only rated at 48x.  Nevertheless, between both sets of media, the XA52P took the lead in each case with the fastest time being 2 minutes, 27 seconds, roughly 10% faster then the second place Plextor Premium.

Nero CD-RW Writing Times:

The next set of times is the result of burning the same 600MB Zip file onto Memorex 12x CD-RW media.  The "Write" time depicts how long it took to copy the file onto the CD, while the "Quick Erase" time shows how long it took to erase the same file off the disk.

CD-RW Burn Times - 700Mb File

Memorex 12x CD-RW


Write (mm:ss)

Quick Erase (mm:ss)

 Plextor 48x24x48x 07:40 00:45
 Plextor Premium 52x32x52x 07:40 00:48
 MSI XA52P 52x24x52x 07:37 00:36


This test was closely matched between all three drives.  The two Plextor units fared the same, while the MSI took the lead with a time of 7 minutes, 37 seconds.  Though we would not deem a 3 second difference as a "commanding" lead over the others, it is technically faster.  As for the quick erase portion, the  XA52P continued to hold it's lead with a time of 36 seconds to remove the data from the disk.

Overall, we are impressed with the MSI XA52P.  With obvious care taken during the fabrication process, users should enjoy a long period of trouble free operation.  We also liked the fact that this drive had a SATA interface.  Though it did not increase the performance, the trouble free installation and minimal cabling will surely be attractive features to the average computer user and case modders alike.  The XA52P is also a quality CD burner, that's able to record a full CD in less than 3 minutes.

The XA52P does have a few shortcomings, however.  Putting forth the lowest score in the SANDRA benchmarks and being unable to maintaining a maximum read speed across the entire surface of a disk, this drive may not be right for consumers who are strictly looking for raw speed.  These issues could be resolved with a firmware update though.

In the end, we feel the XA52P is a quality drive with some unique features.  Retailing for about $60 USD at the time of this review, we here at HotHardware feel confident about recommending this drive to anyone who is looking for a fast CD burner that uses the SATA interface.  Just remember, the ActivePanel only comes in three colors; black, silver and beige and a native SATA controller is a must.

We give the MSI XA52P CD-RW+DVD-ROM Serial ATA Combo Drive an 8 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.

Tags:  MSI, DVD-R, DVD, CD, drive, MS, A5, rom, CD-R, Ive, COM

Related content