The Test

Our benchmarks include a few tests to show the performance of each of our test drives. We first use Nero CD-DVD Speed to create a data disc, which tests the write capabilities/performance of the drive. We then run a transfer rate test to benchmark the read capabilities as well as verify the data on the disc.

Finally, we use our Plextor PX-712A drive to read the media for PI/PO errors. According to the ECMA standard...
A row of an ECC Block that has at least 1 byte in error constitutes a PI error. In any 8 consecutive ECC Blocks, the total number of PI errors before correction shall not exceed 280.

A row is 182 bytes long where the last 10 bytes contain PI (Parity Inner) information. An ECC block is 208 rows long where the last 16 rows contain the PO (Parity Outer) information. This gives us a maximum possible PI error amount of 208 errors per block and for 8 blocks after each other, this sum is of course 8 times higher giving a maximum possible amount of 1664 PI errors.

If a row of an ECC Block contains more than 5 erroneous bytes, the row is said to be “PI-uncorrectable” or PIF (Parity Inner Failures).

In any ECC Block, the number of PI-uncorrectable rows should not exceed 4.
Now, some writers may create discs with more than 208 PI errors and they are not necessarily unreadable, but they are not the best quality discs around.

Our test bed:

AMD Athlon64 3500+ (2.2Ghz)
Giga-byte GA-K8NXP-SLI
NVIDIA 6600GT SLI Edition (single 128MB card)
1GB (512MBx2) Corsair XMS4400
Plextor PX-712A, Firmware v1.07

Microsoft Windows XP SP2
Nero CD-DVD Speed 4.00
PlexTools Professional XL 3.03

The Competition

  Firmware Access Time
DVD +/-R Write DVD +/-RW Write DVD +/-R DL Write CD-R/RW Write CD/DVD Read Buffer Size
BenQ DW1640 BSHB 120ms/
16x/16x 8x/6x 8x/NA 48x/32x 48x/16x 2MB
LG GSA-4163B A104 125ms/
16x/16x 8x/6x 4x/NA 40x/24x 40x/16x 2MB
NEC ND-3540A 1.01 120ms/
16x/16x 8x/6x 8x/6x 48x/32x 40x/16x 2MB
Pioneer DVR-109D 1.55 120ms/
16x/16x 4x/6x 6x/NA 40x/24x 40x/16x 2MB
Sony DRU-720A JY03 140ms/
16x/16x 8x/6x 4x/NA 48x/24x 40x/16x 2MB
Toshiba SD-R5372 TU55 100ms/
(200ms DVD-RAM)
16x/16x 8x/6x 5x/NA 48x/24x 48x/16x 2MB

Index 16x -R - MCC 03RG20


View All Comments

  • Quanticles - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - link

    Sounds like things need to be standardized better if there are this many failures... any drive should work with any media as long as both the drive and the media are within spec. Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - link

    i'm pretty certain that the benq dw1640 is better than the nec 3540a. maybe the 4550a will give the crown back to nec but the drive will cost a lot more since it will have lightscribe and the license for that must be expensive (there are no cheap lightscribe drives yet).

    the new plextor is a joke. the 740a is a exactly the same as the dw1640. even plextools do not work on the plextor 740a (even though it is a "plextor" drive and they are included in the retail package).

    i'm not sure if they've fixed it now but plextools don't work with the plextor 740a because of the above reason.
  • nserra - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - link

    #27 LoneWolf15

    If recorder record crap media and read crap media = good recorder

    If recorder record crap media and don’t read crap media = bad recorder

    If recorder don’t record crap media and don’t read crap media = bad recorder

    50 DVD-R 8x Princo crap's same price of 25 DVD of other manufactures

    My NEC drive has difficulties reading Princo media, LG not a problem. Writing OK on both writers.
  • Miggle - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - link

    I have the toshiba SD-R5372V. Its cheap but not a great writer. Pretty slow. But you'll be fine if you use good discs. Just bought the LG yesterday, a bit faster than toshiba drive and lets me overspec writes. Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - link

    "What no PRINCO media, useless review!"

    Interesting, as I use almost only PRINCO media now (however, I have some small DVD-R made by Memorex and I can't wait to use them for something... too bad I don't know yet what to use them for
  • Calin - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - link

    xsilver (or #16), my DVD writer (LG 4160, capable of DVDRAM, Dual Layer and so on) can write some media with no problems at 4x (the max rated speed) but gives consistent failures at 2.4x (which is any lower speed). I find out that using the same media but rated at 4x (well, it looks just the same but have certified speeds 1-8x) can burn at 4x and 8x with no problems (I haven't tested that media at 2.4x). Reply
  • Dennis Travis - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - link

    Can't you people read? Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    funny they have no plextor in their review. Reply
  • USAF1 - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    You REALLY should have included a Plextor... ;) Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    AGAIN, for those of you wondering why we did not include the Plextor PX-716 drive, we simply could not get a unit in time. HOWEVER, we do hope to include a Plextor unit in the next roundup.



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