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 - 1–2%. 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.
Quality of operation with CDs
CD WinBench 99
Nero CD Speed
The following information on the drive is obtained with the Drive check utility:
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
CD-ROM Drive Analyzer
Damaged CD reading
Advanced DAE Quality (Nero CD Speed)
Soundtrack extraction from audio CDs (CD DAE 99)
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
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.
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.
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 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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