iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Sony DDU1621

  • Interface: Enhanced IDE (ATAPI).
  • Formats supported:
    • DVD-ROM : Single or double side / 1 or 2 layers , DVD-R, DVD-Video
    • CD-ROM : all CD formats
  • Reads discs of 8 and 12 cm in diameter
  • Data buffer: 512 KBytes
  • Data rate:
    • DVD Transfer Rate 16X
    • CD Transfer Rate 40X
  • Access time:
    • DVD 100 ms
    • CD 85 ms
  • Installation: horizontal and vertical
  • Weight: 906 g

The drive came in an OEM version. The drive is unusually small: its length is only 176 mm against standard 198-203 mm. Such dimensions solve a problem of housing a drive inside a system block. No secret that some cases like minitower have only two (out of four or six) 5" bays for drives of a normal length (203 mm), and others are partially covered with a mainboard. This drive excellently suits such "deprived" bays. The front panel has a rubber pad to reduce noise during operation and provide dustproofing. There is only one button on the front panel - Load/Eject.

Test results

Quality of operation with CDs

CDWinBench 99

  • CDWinMark99 - 1720
  • CD-ROM Transfer Rate
    • Inside - 2410 KBytes/s
    • Outside - 5460 KBytes/s
  • CPU utilization - 9.4%
  • CD-ROM Access Time - 86 ms

Nero CD-Speed

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

  • Vendor : SONYI
  • Product : DVD-ROM DDU1621
  • Firmware version : S1.5
  • Buffer size : 512 KBytes
  • Maximum read speed : 7040 KBytes/sec (40 X)
  • CDDA accurate : yes
  • C2 pointers : yes
  • Speed settings : 4-8-16-20-24-28-32-40 X
  • Read RAW mode : yes

The drive supports a wide range of speeds and all functions necessary for accurate capture of audio tracks.

Testing of the drive using a standard CD

  SONY DDU1621
Average Speed 28.50x
Start Speed 16.53x
End Speed 37.79x
Random Seek 92 ms
1/3 Seek 111 ms
Full Seek 146 ms
Reading type CAV
CPU usage 1x 1%
Accurate stream Yes
DAE quality Score 10
SpinUp Time 3.48 sec
SpinDown Time 4.33 sec
Disc Recognition Time 5.86 sec

CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

CD-R reading

CD-RW reading

Reading of a scratched CD

Advanced DAE Quality(Nero CD-Speed)

Offset 2256 bytes (564 samples)
Sequential Read Test Average Speed: 21.79 X
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0
Harmonica Read Test Average Access Time: 121 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
Copying at 16 X
CD Text Drive is capable of reading CD Text information
Subchannel Data Test 1
Track (01): 01
Relative position (01:05.00): 01:05.40 -> incorrect!
Absolute position (01:07.00): 01:07.40 -> incorrect!
Index (5): 5

Test 2
Track (17): 23 incorrect!
Relative position (01:33.00): 01:51.40 -> incorrect!
Absolute position (33:35.00): 51:53.40 -> incorrect!
Index (1): 1

Test 3
Track (36): 53 incorrect!
Relative position (00:00.00): 02:30.40 -> incorrect!
Absolute position (70:02.00): 112:02.40 -> incorrect!
Index (1): 1

Leadin Drive cannot read data from the Leadin
Leadout Drive cannot read data from the Leadout

Soundtrack extraction from audio CDs (CDDAE 99)

  Licensed CD Pirated CD
Average extraction speed 19.4X 18.6X
Total errors 0.00% 0.00%

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

The drive read the 780 MBytes disc quite good, though there was an error during reading the last files, but when we pressed "Continue" the reading was resumed. The time of full copying is 6 min. 55 sec.

Quality of operation with DVD discs

Nero DVD Speed

Testing with a two-layer DVD disc

  SONY DDU1621
Average Speed 7.93x
Start Speed 4.33x
End Speed 5.57x
Random Seek 109 ms
1/3 Seek 118 ms
Full Seek 177 ms
Reading type CAV
CPU usage 1x 11%
SpinUp Time 2.61 sec
SpinDown Time 3.14 sec
Layer Change Time 235 ms
Disc Recognition Time 9.60 sec

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.

Noise characteristics

  • Tray - 7/10
  • CD
    • Seek - 7/10
    • Total noise - 8/10
  • DVD
    • Seek - 7/10
    • Total noise - 8/10

At the maximum speed the noise level was acceptable. The most noisy was operation of starting the engine. But no whistle could be heard (obviously due to the rubber pad). The reduction is possible only by means of exterior programs (CDBremse, Nero DriveSpeed). The programs allow settings any specified speed. I think it is the quietest drive I've ever seen.


When the drive worked with badly balanced CDs it didn't shine. The vibration was quite noticeable. The drive also vibrated when it read normal CDs. However, it didn't prevent from successful reading of the disc at a high speed.

Thermal conditions

There are no any complains about its thermal conditions. The data were read after an intensive 2-hour operation:

T inside the case - 35°C
T of the upper surface - 37°C
T of the lower surface - 39°C

Possibility to make a multizone drive (RPC-1).

According to www.firmware.fr.st, the drive can become a multizone one by changing its firmware version.

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