CD/DVD Performance Tests
Nero Burning ROM Ultra 6
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 Plextor PX-708A and included the
results of the Teac DV-W50D drive for comparison.
Please note that in each test, the
represents Transfer Rates while the
represents Rotation Speed.
Nero CD-DVD Speed - CD Data Test:
In our first run
of Nero CD-DVD Speed we'll focus our efforts on standard
CD-ROM performance. With this benchmark, we loaded a 703MB
CD-R in the
drive and let CD-DVD Speed run through its cycle of tests.
| Teac DV-W50D
The graphs are remarkably
start to finish, except the Plextor's was shifted higher
than the Teac's due to its higher CD Read rating. The
PX-708A started reading around 20X and slowly but surely
made it's way up beyond 40X, finishing at 42.73X with an
average speed of 32.40X. The DV-W50D followed the same
pattern, from 15X to 33X, with an average speed of 25.33X.
Seek times were generally much better on the PX-708A, about
half those found on the Teac DV-W50D at 1/3 and full
stroke. The Burst Rate on the Plextor drive was also greater
than that found on the Teac (22MB/s > 15MB/s).
Nero CD-DVD Speed - CD Audio Test:
To test each drive's audio
extraction performance, we placed in an audio CD by Shania
Twain. The CD ran over 73 minutes, and although the
test runs similar to the CD data test, it also
measures how well the drive can
extract audio tracks. In order to do this, audio
sectors are extracted to the hard drive at three different
locations on the CD. The same sectors are 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.
We got identical results when using a
pressed audio CD on the Plextor PX-708A that we got with the data
CD. The start, average, and end speeds may have dropped off
slightly, but at negligible amounts. If there's any concern
here, it would be the access times, which almost doubled across
the board. Although the access times were higher than data
CD scores, they do match up evenly with the Teac's access times.
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 4GB of AVI files.
On the Teac, the rotation speed
held steady as the transfer rate went from 2.5X all the way
up to 6X. The Plextor drive started off well, at about
3.3X and marched on up to just under 8X, it's rating for
reading DVD+R discs. However, at about 3.5GB of data,
the rotational speeds, and hence the data transfer, took a
dip. Whether or not this was due to the media, we
could not say, but the results were repeatable using the
same DVD on both drives. Seek times were well within
reported limits on the PX-708A, but the 40ms seek time at
full stoke must be a function of the weirdness we saw at the
end of the graph. Generally speaking, we were
surprised by the high CPU usage on the PX-708A, especially
at 4X where the Teac DV-W50D was only using 26%.
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
Daredevil, grabbed a snack, and clicked on the Start
button to get the results.
Both drive's implement CLV technology
for reading the DVD movie, in which the data rate remains constant
while the rotation speed decreases. In doing so, data
transfer is sustained while the drives remain noticeably quiet.
Although it appears that the 2X rating is slow compared to what
the drives are capable of doing, rest assured that this is an
ample transfer rate for watching a movie. Both drives
are close in the seek times and CPU
utilization. A small win, if you will, for the Teac drive is
its quicker load time, a full five seconds quicker than the
CD-R/DVD+R Write Tests &