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 Athlon 64 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

We are testing the Pioneer DVR-110D with firmware version 1.08. We cannot guarantee that this will be the latest firmware out at the time that this review is published, so do take that into consideration when making your buying decisions.

Again, we have taken all of your feedback into consideration and have decided to go back to focusing more on the write quality of each media instead of just the write speeds. Our results are displayed on the following pages. The screenshots are again ZIPed into packages corresponding to the type of media.

About the DVR-110D DVD+R Media
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  • yanon - Saturday, September 17, 2005 - link

    I am glad that I just bought a Benq 1640A. I can't wait to test it on Tuesday. Reply
  • deathwalker - Friday, September 16, 2005 - link

    Its sad to see such poor product development work being done a Brand name Mfg. There is no excuse releasing a product for production that does not meet the expectations of not only the buying public but also a product that does not live up to a companies reputation. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Thursday, September 15, 2005 - link

    heres the 1.17
    http://www.pioneer-eur.com/eur/content/support/sup...">http://www.pioneer-eur.com/eur/content/support/sup...

    since the review was so negative, I think it deserves an addendum with FW 1.17
    Reply
  • RyanVM - Thursday, September 15, 2005 - link

    When are you guys going to review the PX-716A? Reply
  • imaheadcase - Thursday, September 15, 2005 - link

    How come we don't see SATA based CDROM/DVD/DVD burners? Is it lack of standard for those? Expensive? Even if performance was not a reason, sure would look nicer in a case than the old ribbon cables..

    Just seems like lately i've noticed lots of computer parts seems, well outdated compared to how fast other stuff changes. hehe
    Reply
  • Anton74 - Friday, September 16, 2005 - link

    Indeed.

    On the same token, why can I buy 1GB of RAM for less than $100, but most all optical drives seem to have a 2MB buffer, or 8MB at the most for the more expensive models?


    Similar story for hard drives, which could potentially benefit even more. Why aren't there models with something like 64MB or even 128MB buffers? I'd be perfectly willing to pay ~$20 more for the increased performance.

    /soapbox
    Reply
  • xsilver - Saturday, September 17, 2005 - link

    most of the memory on hdd's and optical drives is provided via 1 memory chip
    your usual ddr/ddr2 uses a 8/16 chip configuration
    they also try to use lower latency/higher frequency ram

    however, yes I do agree though that devices should come with a 32mb buffer, which is feasable
    Reply
  • joex444 - Thursday, September 15, 2005 - link

    Indeed, as already commented, the Plextor 712SA and 716SA are both SATA drives, 12x and 16x (which also has some more features over the 712SA). Last I checked, the 716SA ran about $120 or so.

    I was considering buying one, but realized that it would be incompatible with my SATA chip, which is one reason that you don't see more of these drives -- motherboard compatibility. Apparently the SATA chips were designed for HDs or something stupid like that...
    Reply
  • bldckstark - Thursday, September 15, 2005 - link

    The SATA reviews are just one Google search away.

    http://www.hothardware.com/viewarticle.cfm?article...">Plextor's PX-712SA Dual-Format DVD+/- SATA Drive
    http://www.tomshardware.com/storage/20040709/">MSI's DVD Drive Gets The SATA Connection

    It's a big world out there, you should take a look sometime.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, September 15, 2005 - link

    Unfortunately, OSD manufacturers don't have mature unbridged SATA interfaces. Thus, they need to rely on a bridge to support SATA, but the logic goes if you're buying a DVD/CD drive you've probably got an older computer (because new computers come with DVD/CD drives).

    On the other hand, there is some market for OEM components, as removing the PATA interface for some companies (Dell) saves them a fraction of the production cost -- but unfortunately then the OSD manufacturer ends up eating that cost with the bridge chip.

    Plextor did just that for a bunch of people at first, and coincidentally the company is in trouble now. When the margin on these kind of products is so razor thin, *anything* to increase the cost is a huge problem for manufacturers.

    So in short - there is no market to support SATA on OSD right now.

    Kristopher
    Reply

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