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
(CD/DVD)
DVD +/-R Write DVD +/-RW Write DVD +/-R DL Write CD-R/RW Write CD/DVD Read Buffer Size
BenQ DW1640 BSHB 120ms/
120ms
16x/16x 8x/6x 8x/NA 48x/32x 48x/16x 2MB
LG GSA-4163B A104 125ms/
145ms
16x/16x 8x/6x 4x/NA 40x/24x 40x/16x 2MB
NEC ND-3540A 1.01 120ms/
140ms
16x/16x 8x/6x 8x/6x 48x/32x 40x/16x 2MB
Pioneer DVR-109D 1.55 120ms/
130ms
16x/16x 4x/6x 6x/NA 40x/24x 40x/16x 2MB
Sony DRU-720A JY03 140ms/
135ms
16x/16x 8x/6x 4x/NA 48x/24x 40x/16x 2MB
Toshiba SD-R5372 TU55 100ms/
120ms
(200ms DVD-RAM)
16x/16x 8x/6x 5x/NA 48x/24x 48x/16x 2MB

Index 16x -R - MCC 03RG20
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  • IceWindius - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Wheres the damn Plextor 716A in the review???? Thats like blasphemy! Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

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


    Purav
    Reply
  • DrZoidberg - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Just imagine if these drives tried to burn generic media. The PI errors would be in the millions and half the drives cannot read the discs then.

    Anyway burning 8x dvd is like 8 mins now so its fairly quick, just watch tv drink a beer and your done. Prefer a few more mins and half the number of PI errors anyway
    Reply
  • USAF1 - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    I agree with the lynch mob above that the drives should be tested with a wider variety of media before crowning a winner. Also, the thing that I found most disturbing about the review is that it contradicts the recommendation made in the July 2005 storage guide from two days ago. I suppose the 1640 isn't yet available in the US and thus wasn't an option in the storage guide or maybe Anandtech hadn't yet received the 1640 to test. However, if I'd listened to the quote below from the storage guide and went ahead and bought an NEC 3540, I'd certainly be upset to see it perform poorly relative to a competing drive two days later. I guess that's the price you pay to be on the cutting edge...

    "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the best DVD burner these days; NEC's 3540A"
    Reply
  • USAF1 - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • timmiser - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    I would like to have seen tests of how well a burned DVD would work in a DVD player? I regularly produce DVD's and to mass burning processes but reliability in set top DVD player is my highest priority.

    -Tim
    Reply
  • RMSe17 - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    How come Plextor 716 wasn't part of the reviewed drives? Isn't it supposed to be one of the best?
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    #20, I hope your reply was a joke, seeing as that's what Princo media generally is --a joke. It's cheap crap, and a major rule of DVD burning is that if you use crap media, you'll get crap results. Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    We do miss Plextor drives and will definitely include the new 16x unit in our next roundup. We have been using PlexTools for a while now and the only drive that will work with the software is a Plextor drive. Maybe its time we update our Plextor unit though :).

    As far as media testing goes, we chose MCC/MKM and Ritek media because of their track record with us. However, nothing is set in stone and we would be happy to hear any suggestions for future reviews.

    Thanks,

    Purav
    Reply
  • Dennis Travis - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    I loved the review. Only thing I would like to eventually see is the latest Plextor 16X drive tested so I can compair it to the other new drives. Reply

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