Below is a quick overview of specifications on the drive:

 ASUS DRW-0402P/D DVD-/+R Drive
Interface IDE
CD Write Speed 16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Rewrite Speed 10X, 4X (CLV)
CD Read Speed 32X Max (4,800KB/s) (CAV)
DVD-R Write Speed 4X, 2X, 1X (CLV)
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed 2X, 1X (CLV)
DVD+R Write Speed 4X, 2.4X (CLV)
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed 2.4X (CLV)
DVD Read Speed 16X Max (16,620KB/s) (CAV)
Supported Modes DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Supported Formats DVD+R (incremental)
DVD+RW (random)
DVD-R (DAO, incremental, multi-border)
DVD-RW (restricted overwrite)
CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-DA, CD-ROM XA, Mixed Mode, CD Extra Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, Mount Rainer
Access Time CD: 130ms
DVD: 140ms
Buffer 2000 KB

Notice the absence of Mount Rainier from the supported modes. Even though Mt Rainier is still a developing write mode, UDF should be pursued for its future compatibility.

The specifications on the drive vary compared to what the manual and product website actually advertise. The manual claims the CD rewrite speeds are only 10X and 4X, when in fact, the drive recognized 16X, 12X, 4X and 2X in Nero 5.5. We will talk more about these differences later in the review. For those of you who have Pioneer A06 drives, you will notice that these specifications are identical. It is our knowledge that both drives are most likely manufactured in the same facility.

Click to enlarge.

Our original drive came with firmware version 1.05, which at time of publication was the highest available. Interestingly enough, the ASUS 1.05 firmware download contains a Changelog of firmware upgrades, which states “Pioneer” at the top and mentions firmware revisions running through 1.07. Unfortunately, attempting to download the Pioneer A06 upgrades do not work. Forcing the upgrade is perhaps possible, but probably not a good idea.

Click to view spreadsheet.

Construction Testing the Drive
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  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 3, 2003 - link

    Hmmmmmm. It appears as though DVD-/+R is almost ready for prime time. Almost... Thought the ASUS product would rock, but it merely spins. And I was bummed to see that ASUS was not the OEM. They usually do a great job. We'll wait until after Xmas I think...Ho ho ho.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 22, 2003 - link

    Maybe I misread the review, but Nero test alone don't really give enough information - what about actual burn tests? Just because it handles a certain media in the speed test doesn't mean it won't burn a coaster everytime.

    In fact, often times the actual burn will be faster or slower then the testing, or will so a weakness for certain media that the CD Speed won't uncover.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 22, 2003 - link

    What about Sonys DRU510, thats faster than all these drives in specs atleast and available for the same price.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 22, 2003 - link

    In this review, I am wondering the price for each drives in the market. If you chack the www.newegg.com, it is much higher than the quoted price.
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 21, 2003 - link

    Slightly off topic, I'm wondering how you guys rank the media? Maybe that should get it's own article sometime in the future?

    In the US at least, Fujifilm has been using Taiyo Yuden (until recently) for their CDRs which are generally regarded as the top quality. For the DVDRs theyve been using the latest Ritek revision and from what I have read around the net, these are showing very good results as well.

    So I'm wondering how you came to the conclusion that their DVD are of lesser quality than TDK/PNY/Imation? I don't know anyone that touches PNY and Imation while TDK's history in CDR changes manufacturers so much they aren't consistent either.
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 21, 2003 - link

    FYI: The AnandTech Staff are at Computex right now (we just got in!)

    I get to speak to LiteOn tommorow. We will see what new products are on the horizon soon!

  • ViRGE - Sunday, September 21, 2003 - link

    FYI, in the Review Index, there are 2 "Final Thoughts" pages, 6 and 7. 6 is the real one, and 7 is blank, so I'm guessing someone should delete it.
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 21, 2003 - link

    Hope you can get the oportunity to compare with the new LiteOn CD-RW/DVD+/-RW unit that goes for an almost unbelieveably low price. Given LiteOn's positive record in regard of their pure CD-RW drives a combo writer will get a lot of attention.

    Now if only there were SATA models of these units as well.

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