iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail







  • Enhanced IDE (ATAPI) bus interface (UDMA/66)
  • Formats supported:
    • DVD family: Single or double side / 1 or 2 layers, DVD-R,DVD-ROM,DVD-Video
    • CD family: Audio CD, CD-ROM, Mode 1 and Mode 2, Mixed Mode CD (Audio combined data),CD-R,CD-RW, Video CD, CD-Extra

  • Reads discs of 8 and 12 cm in diameter
  • Data buffer: 512 KBytes
  • Data rate:
    • DVD Transfer Rate 12X max CAV 6500 ~ 16224 KBytes/s max
    • CD Transfer Rate 40X max CAV 2750 ~ 6500 KBytes/s max

  • Access time:
    • 12X DVD: 110 ms typical
    • 40X CD: 85 ms typical

  • Error-free running time:
    • MTBF 120,000 Power On Hours (POH)
    • POH at the working cycle not more than 20%

  • Weight: 1 kg

Accessories: user manual, fastening bolts, CD audio cable, a CD with drivers, a CD with drivers and a soft-DVD player (WinDVD). DDSS2 (Double Dynamic Suspension System) supported. Unfortunately, there is no an 80-conductor ATA/66 cable for connection to a respective controller. As a rule, such drives are installed as Master on the secondary IDE channel, and a mainboard is traditionally supplied with just one 80-conductor ATA/66 cable. However, the tests show that it doesn't matter how the drive is connected - as UDMA/33 or UDMA/66. The only thing that changes is CPU utilization, but the difference is rather small - 12%. The front panel has two buttons for Audio CD playback - Open/Close/Stop and Play/Skip. These buttons can also change the drive's speed: 40x-32x-24x-8x. You should just press and hold Play. To return to the maximum speed press Open twice.

Test results

Quality of operation with CDs

CD WinBench 99

  • CDWinMark99 - 1600
  • CD-ROM Transfer Rate
    • Inside - 2860 KBytes/s
    • Outside - 5520 KBytes/s

  • CPU utilization - 7.53%
  • CD-ROM Access Time - 82.7 ms

Nero CD Speed

The following information on the drive is obtained with the Drive check utility:

  • Vendor: ASUS
  • Product: DVD-ROM E612
  • Firmware version: 1.4B
  • Buffer size: 640 KBytes
  • Maximum read speed: 7040 KBytes/sec (40X)
  • CDDA accurate: yes
  • C2 pointers: yes
  • Speed settings: 6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20-22-24-26-28-30-32-34-36-38-40X
  • Read RAW mode: yes

A list of speed modes is really striking, though there are only 4 intermediate speeds given in the specification. The buffer size is specified also as 512 KB. Probably, a part of the buffer is used for the drive's firmware, or the program doesn't correctly read data.

Testing of the drive using a standard CD

Average Speed 24.72x
Start Speed 14.22x
End Speed 32.44x
Random Seek 115 ms
1/3 Seek 107 ms
Full Seek 161 ms
Reading type CAV
CPU usage 1x 0%
Accurate stream Yes
DAE quality Score 10
SpinUp Time 2.62 sec
SpinDown Time 7.03 sec
Disc Recognition Time 9.08 sec

CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

CD-R reading

CD-RW reading

Damaged CD reading

Advanced DAE Quality (Nero CD Speed)

Offset 2256 bytes (564 samples)
Sequential Read Test Average Speed: 12.36 X
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0
Harmonica Read Test Average Access Time: 184 ms
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0

Total Data Errors: 0
Total Sync Errors: 0
Quality Score: 100.0

On The Fly Copying Simulation Copying at 1 X
Copying at 2 X
Copying at 4 X
Copying at 6 X
Copying at 8 X
Copying at 10 X
Copying at 12 X
too slow
Copying at 16 X
too slow
CD Text Drive is capable of reading CD Text information
Subchannel Data Drive cannot read Subchannel Data directly
Leadin Drive cannot read data from the Leadin
Leadout Drive cannot read data from the Leadout

Soundtrack extraction from audio CDs (CD DAE 99)

Licensed CD Pirated CD
Average extraction speed 16.8x 14.3x
Total errors 0.00% 0.00%

Direct copying of data from a 780 MBytes CD-R onto a hard disc.

The drive failed to read the 780 MBytes disc - there were failures and attempts to start reading again at 96% of the copying. In couple of minutes the copying process hung, though the drive worked flawlessly.

Quality of operation with DVD discs

Nero DVD Speed

Testing with a two-layer DVD disc

Average Speed 5.49x
Start Speed 3.47x
End Speed 3.28x
Random Seek 157 ms
1/3 Seek 139 ms
Full Seek 203 ms
Reading type CAV
CPU usage 1x 15%
SpinUp Time 1.43 sec
SpinDown Time 6.84 sec
Layer Change Time 345 ms
Disc Recognition Time 9.31 sec

The speed fell down when the drive was moving to the second layer. Reading of the second layer at a high speed is actually a problem for all DVD-ROM drives. It is also worth noting that the time of layer changing is quite big.

DVD-Video playback with the Cyberlink PowerDVD 2.55

The DVD-Video was played without any problems; no artifacts were noticed. During changing the layer the DVD quality didn't get worse, although a layer changing time is quite big; probably it is due to the large cache buffer.

Noise characteristics

  • Tray - 6/10
  • CD
    • Seek - 3/10
    • Total noise - 4/10

  • DVD
    • Seek - 4/10
    • Total noise - 6/10

At the maximum speed the noise level wasn't acceptable. But it is possible to reduce a speed with the help of the front buttons and external programs (though not all, for example, CDBremse doesn't suit it). The Nero DriveSpeed can't determine speed parameters of the drive but it can work blindly with it. It is even better as when using the PLAY button you will have to implement this operation again every time the computer boots.


The drive is equipped with the DDSS2 system. When working with badly balanced CDs the drive shined. The vibration wasn't noticeable, even at a high speed.

Thermal conditions

There are no any complains about its thermal conditions, though I do not recommend you to install other devices tightly to its lower surface. The data were read after an intensive 2-hour operation:

    T inside the case - 36°C
    T of the upper surface - 43°C
    T of the lower surface - 45°C

Possibility to make the drive region free (RPC-1)

To make it region free you should remove a jumper from the service unit on the rear panel:

Although the drives with the 1.4B firmware are said not to provide this possibility, I made sure that it worked:

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