Date: January 15th, 2003
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Samsung Canada
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON A DVD BURNER IN THE UNITED STATES
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So, let's see what they give us with this purchase....
With this smart purchase of less than $100US, you get....
The package contains everything to get you up any running other than an actual DVD video itself. You will receive an owners manual which is written in every language other than the language of mordor and elvish (yes, I just watched Lord of the Rings), a CD-R and CD-RW sample media (always a plus!), a audio cable to connect the drive directly to your soundcard (whether it be built into your motherboard or a separate card itself), an IDE cable, mounting screws and a software package containing PowerDVD (best DVD software) and Ahead Nero (best burning software out there). Great to see that they don't skimp on the package. Nothing ticks me off more then a skimpy manufacturer.
When it comes to benchmarking optical drives, I find that to the normal consumer, if the drive records well, plays DVD's without a hitch and installs with no problems, that's all that matters. The numbers won't really mean much to the average consumer, but, for all you benchmarking buffs out there, here we go.....
As you can see, this drive can pretty well read any CD/DVD out there other than a DVD-RAM disk which needs a special drive. Another great feature included is the 8MB buffer. Most CD recording drives have an included 2MB, but Samsung said "Da hell with that, lets give it 4 times MORE!". Couple that huge buffer with buffer underrun protection and you can pretty well do anything short of kicking the computer down the stairs and your disc will come out perfect. Gone are the days of constant coasters!
As seen above, the cd read benchmarking went extremely well with the results in end being actually higher than the rating of the drive. The reading speed of this drive is supposed to be 40x, but in the benchmarking, we received a result 40.79x. This is an excellent result and I am indeed impressed. Another noted advantage of this drive is its load and eject times which can be seen in the white dialogue box under the graph portion of the photo. Samsung drives have always been the fastest in my experience.
I also burned a complete 700MB 80min Data CD at full speed (32x) and had a complete CD in my hand in 5min 45seconds. Not too shabby at all. It could be a little faster, but hey, this is not a pure CD burner.
Through the Sandra benchmarking program, you can see just how much faster this drive is when compared to older drives and their results.
When is comes to Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) or in other words, ripping a CD, the drive did not fair so well and brought about an average speed of 25.90x which in my mind is a little low for this drive. Getting this result forced me to do some research as to why I got such a low score and seeing the other much higher results from other website's reviews made me draw the conclusion that it might have something to do with the 4in1 Via drivers and a motherboard fault. Hopefully, the next release from Via might bring about some better results.
For the life of me, I could not get Nero DVD Speed to work properly. I kept on getting repeated errors when the program was initializing it benchmarking. This in no way means that the drive was faulty at all because DVDs play as smooth as melted butter. DVD's fire up within five seconds and when they do, they grace my 24in TFT with nothing but smooth crisp digital goodness. Want a sample, well say no more..
Now in my situation on such a large TFT, any problems can be seen immediately seen when the image is this big, but I never even encountered a broken pixel. Smooth and QUIET! Man, this drive is almost completely inaudible. I guess that sound suppressing technology that Samsung boasts about is really working.
Just to prove that the picture was excellent, I used my digital camera to optically zoom in on a portion of the screen just to show you the amazing clarity. I know, most of the credit should go to PowerDVD, but without a good drive, nothing but freezing and hiccups occur. Knock away Gandolf!
Let's wrap this up...