iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Toshiba SD-M1612

  • Interface: ATAPI (ATA Packet Interface).
  • Formats supported:
    • CD-ROM : CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-DA, CD-I, CD-I Bridge, CD-MIDI, CD-G, CD-RW, CD-R, CD-TEXT Multisession (Photo-CD,CD-EXTRA)

  • Reads discs of 8 and 12 cm in diameter
  • Data buffer: 512 KBytes
  • Data rate:
    • DVD Transfer Rate 16X (21,600KByte/s)
    • CD Transfer Rate 48X (8,212KByte/s )
    • DVD-RAM Transfer rate 2X (2,704KByte/s)

  • Access time:
    • DVD 95 ms
    • DVD-RAM 170ms
    • CD 85 ms

  • Installation: horizontal and vertical
  • Weight: 990 g

The drive came in an OEM version. There is only one button on the front panel - Load/Eject. There is no even a headphones jack (maybe because the market is glutted with mainboards with integrated sound). The drive can read also DVD-RAM discs.

Test results

Quality of operation with CDs

CDWinBench 99

  • CDWinMark99 - 1610
  • CD-ROM Transfer Rate
    • Inside - 3090 KBytes/s
    • Outside - 6380 KBytes/s

  • CPU utilization - 9.04%
  • CD-ROM Access Time - 87.8 ms

Nero CD-Speed

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

  • Vendor : TOSHIBA
  • Product : DVD-ROM SD-M1612
  • Firmware version : 1004
  • Buffer size : 512 KBytes
  • Maximum read speed : 8467 KBytes/sec (48 X)
  • CDDA accurate : yes
  • C2 pointers : yes
  • Speed settings : 8 X
  • Read RAW mode : yes

According to these data the drive supports all functions necessary for accurate capture of audio tracks. As we found out later, the speeds defined by the program are not correct.

Testing of the drive using a standard CD

Average Speed 32.89x
Start Speed 19.08x
End Speed 43.62x
Random Seek 1 ms*
1/3 Seek 1 ms*
Full Seek 1 ms*
Reading type CAV
CPU usage 1x 2%
Accurate stream Yes
DAE quality Score 10
SpinUp Time 1.14 sec
SpinDown Time 2.93 sec
Disc Recognition Time 4.64 sec

* Unfortunately, the Nero CD-Speed program failed to define the Seek parameters on all DVD-ROM drives from Toshiba.

CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

CD-R reading

CD-RW reading

Reading of a scratched CD

Advanced DAE Quality(Nero CD-Speed)

Offset -2008 bytes (-502 samples)
Sequential Read Test Average Speed: 21.95 X
Data Errors: 0
Sync Errors: 0
Harmonica Read Test Average Access Time: 132 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
too slow
CD Text Drive is capable of reading CD Text information
Subchannel Data Test 1
Track (01): 01
Relative position (01:05.00): 01:05.01 -> incorrect!
Absolute position (01:07.00): 01:07.01 -> incorrect!
Index (5): 5

Test 2
Track (17): 23 incorrect!
Relative position (01:33.00): 01:33.01 -> incorrect!
Absolute position (33:35.00): 33:35.01 -> incorrect!
Index (1): 1

Test 3
Track (36): 53 incorrect!
Relative position (00:00.00): 00:00.02 -> incorrect!
Absolute position (70:02.00): 70:02.02 -> 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 20.4X 21.7X
Total errors 0.00% 0.00%

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

The drive copied the 780 MBytes disc flawlessly. The time of full copying is 5 min. 30 sec.

Quality of operation with DVD discs

Nero DVD Speed

Testing with a two-layer DVD disc

Average Speed 3.68x
Start Speed 2.01x
End Speed 2.58x
Random Seek 2 ms*
1/3 Seek 2 ms*
Full Seek 2 ms*
Reading type CAV
CPU usage 1x 21%
SpinUp Time 1.31 sec
SpinDown Time 1.75 sec
Layer Change Time 65 ms
Disc Recognition Time 6.98 sec

* Unfortunately, the Nero DVD-Speed program failed to define the Seek parameters for all DVD-ROM drives from Toshiba.

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 - 5/10
  • CD
    • Seek - 6/10
    • Total noise - 5/10

  • DVD
    • Seek - 7/10
    • Total noise - 6/10

At the maximum speed the drive makes quite a lot of noise. The reduction is possible only by means of exterior programs (CDBremse, Nero DriveSpeed). The speed, thus, can be 48x-32x-20x-8x. The Drive check program showed only 8x in the list of possible speed settings.


When the drive worked with badly balanced CDs it didn't shine. The vibration was quite noticeable. But it didn't prevent the drive 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 - 41°C
T of the lower surface - 42°C

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

According to www.firmware.fr.st, this drive can be turned into a multizone one.

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