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ASUS DRW-0402P/D DVD±RW/DVD±R Drive Review

December 14, 2003






ASUS optical drives subdivision promptly reacts to the market situation and continuously updates its model row with up-to-date drives. The DRW-0402P/D DVD is one of its latest products; actually, it was designed in collaboration of Pioneer and ASUS and it's one of OEM versions of the DVR-106. Let's have a closer look at the drive. 

ASUS DRW-0402P/D




Specification

  • Read formats supported. 
    • DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD-R(v2.0), DVD-RW(v. 1.0 & 1.1), DVD+R(v. 1.0 & 1.1), DVD+RW(v. 1.2) 
    • CD: Kodak Photo CD Single and Multisession, CD-Extra, Video-CD, CD-R, CD-RW

  • Write speeds. 
    • DVD-R: 1/2/4 X CLV
    • DVD-RW: 1/2 X CLV
    • DVD+R: 2.4/4 X CLV
    • DVD+RW: 2.4 X CLV 
    • CD-R: 4/8/12/16 X CLV 
    • CD-RW: 4/10 X CLV 

  • Write methods: 
    • CD: Track At Once, Session At Once, Disc At Once, Packet Writing
    • DVD: Disc At Once, Random Recording, Restricted Overwriting, Incremental Recording, Multi-border Recording

  • Read speeds (max). 
    • DVD-ROM: 12 X CAV
    • CD-ROM/R: 32 X CAV 

  • Access time (Random Average) 
    • DVD: 160 Msec 
    • CD: 150 Msec 

  • Interface: ATAPI (EIDE) support U-DMA mode 2/PIO-Mode 4
  • Data buffer: 2 Mbytes 
  • Installation: horizontal or vertical. 
  • MTBF: 60.000
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 148 x 42.3 x 197.7 mm 
  • Weight: 1.1 kg. 

Asustek didn't redesign the exterior, like that of the previous model TEAC DV-W50E. The front panel looks identical to other DVD recorders of this Pioneer's series: they have air vents in front and space for a fan behind. The front panel design is simple: it houses a one-color status LED, an emergency ejection hole and an Eject button.

The drive has a standard set of proprietary technical features first used in the Pioneer 105 and later improved and extended in the 106. You can check them here

The drive comes with several software CDs, 700 Mb CD-R, 4x DVD-R from TEAC, IDE and analog audio cables, screws and a couple of leaflets. 




Software supplied: 

  • Sonic's utilities - popular software for recording CD and DVD drives for burning all types of media in various formats.
  • Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2 SE - all kinds of operations with video: capture, editing and recording on CD and DVD media. 
  • ASUSTek ASUSDVD XP - software DVD-Video player based on the CyberLink's PowerDVD; it also allows playing Video CD and multimedia files. 

Here you can see its insides: 




The insides are identical to the Pioneer DVR-106. Below you can see how it looks inside. 




The label on top provides information on the location and time of production.




The installation caused no problems. A user is offered a standard procedure, like that for an ordinary CD-ROM drive. The drive needs no special drivers. You can do just with the NeroBurning Rom; as for me, I used the latest version  - 6.0.0.9. 




Now let's use other utilities to get more information on the drive; for example, Nero Infotool, which tells what formats and disc types the drive supports:
 





As you can see from the screenshot, it's still impossible to turn the drive into RPC-1 (according to www.rpc1.com). However, you can use the DVD Region free program which provides the regional protection. 

EAC (EAC Configuration Wizard) tells us about Audio CDs. 




Test results

DVD recording

As usual, we recorded several types of brand-name and non-brand discs. No problems occurred, the drive successfully detects and records most discs. 

Recording of the discs of both formats was flawless at all speeds available. 

Below is the burn time for various discs. 

DVD-R burning
Drive burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min. burning at 4x, min.
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 59:02 25:34 14:58
NEC ND-1300 58:36 30:48 14:33

DVD-RW burning
Drive fast cleaning, min. burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min.
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 00:30 58:14 28:03
NEC ND-1300 00:32 58:23 29:11

DVD+R burning
Drive burning at 2.4x, min. burning at 4x, min.
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 23:20 14:23
NEC ND-1300 23:14 14:26

DVD+RW burning
Drive fast cleaning, min. burning at 2.4x, min.
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 00:23 24:05
NEC ND-1300 00:24 22:41

All DVDs recorded passed the control reading test on two reference DVD-ROM drives Toshiba SD-M1712 and Pioneer DVD-117LJ. The tests on the home DVD player BBK 916 revealed no problems with reading. 

Below are also results of reading of the recorded discs for the Lite-On drive with the KProbe utility. The KProbe utility is a new test program developed for OS Widows which estimates a level of C1/C2 errors on a disc tested. The outcome may depend on whether the drive favors a given disc, but we can obtain some general data anyway. 

ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD-R 4x (Digitex)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD-R 2x (Digitex)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD-R 4x (TDK)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD-R 2x (TDK)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD-RW 2x (Digitex)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD-RW 2x (TDK)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD+R 4x (Ricoh)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD+R 2x (Digitex)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD+R 2x (Ricoh)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD+RW 2.4x (Digitex)



ASUS DRW-0402P/D, DVD+RW 2.4x (Ricoh)



DVD media reading

NERO DVD Speed

Test DVD reading

ASUS DRW-0402P/D 1-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Data)



  ASUS DRW-0402P/D NEC ND-1300
Average speed  9.42x CAV 8.76x CAV
Random Seek 136 ms 122 ms
Full Seek 314 ms 180 ms
CPU usage (Max Speed) 3 % 3 %
SpinUp Time 0.01 sec 0.04 sec
SpinDown Time 4.17 sec 2.86 sec
Disc Recognition Time 9.38 sec 12.04 sec


ASUS DRW-0402P/D 2-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Video)



  ASUS DRW-0402P/D NEC ND-1300
Average speed  2.01x CAV 3.47x CAV
Random Seek 146 ms 127 ms
Full Seek 316 ms 193 ms
CPU usage (Max Speed) 1 % 2 %
SpinUp Time 0.01 sec 0.08 sec
SpinDown Time 3.01 sec 0.73 sec
Disc Recognition Time 11.34 sec 14.24 sec
Layer Change Time 54 ms 58 ms


Traditionally, the drive limits the speed at 2x for DVD-Video. It makes good for movie playback as it reduces noise, but it's inconvenient for making backup copies. 

Reading of recordable DVD

DVD+R

ASUS DRW-0402P/D



DVD+RW

ASUS DRW-0402P/D



DVD-R

ASUS DRW-0402P/D



DVD-RW

ASUS DRW-0402P/D



The drive successfully reads all types of recordable discs, including multiborder DVDs. 

DVD Video copying with Smart Ripper

CD-RW drive Average speed
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 1.9 X
NEC ND-1300 3.4 X

CD media tests

CD burning time 

Traditionally, we used two types of media, with cyanine and phthalocyanine coating. The number of the trade marks were lift up to 4, 2 of each type, to provide more information of how the drive treats discs of different trade marks. Below is the ATIP for the discs tested. 

Mirex 48x
Disc Type = CDR (B-)
Lead In = 97:27:18
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Plasmon Data Systems Ltd.

SKC
Disc Type = CDR
Lead In = 97:26:24
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = SKC Co., Ltd.

Philips 32x
Disc Type = CDR (A-) 
Lead In = 97:15:17
Lead Out = 79:59:73
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 73f/LBA:359848)
Manufacturer = RiTEK Corporation

Verbatim 48x
Disc Type = CDR (A+) 
Lead In = 97:34:23
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation

The burning results will be partially represented in the graphical form.

Recording on the ASUS DRW-0402P/D (Mirex 48x, phthalocyanine)



The screenshot above looks the same for all trade marks of the discs. The burn speed was the same for all trade marks and types of media. We also tested ability of the drive to record cyanine discs at the minimal speed, the mode usually used by audiophiles to get the highest quality sound. 
 

CD-R  ASUS DRW-0402P/D NEC ND-1300
Philips 32x 5:31 5:26
Verbatim 48x 5:30 5:24
Mirex 48x 5:30 5:25
SKC 4x 21:28 21:19

To extend the picture, I added the results of the Verbatim CD-RW 10x. 

Verbatim 10x
Disc Type = HIGH SPEED CD-RW 
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation
 


Recording on the ASUS DRW-0402P/D (eproformance 10x CD-RW)



Time of CD-RW full formatting in UDF with InCD 4.0.17

CD-RW recording in UDF format, 530 Mb test packet in 3000 files. 

Verbatim 10x CD-RW
 

CD-RW drive Burn time (min.) Formatting time (min.)
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 10:06 12:54
NEC ND-1300 10:04 12:14

Operation with 80mm CDs (tested with a CD-RW disc), formatting and recording in UDF

Formatting and recording of the 80mm CD-RW disc in UDF, 4x write speed. 
 

CD-RW drive Formatting time (min.) Burn time (min.)
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 9:12 5:56
NEC ND-1300 8:50 5:59

The drive reads and burns 80mm discs quite well. 

Reading of the recorded discs on the Lite-On drive with KProbe

Reading of the Philips CD-R recorded on ASUS DRW-0402P/D 



Reading of the Verbatim CD-R recorded on ASUS DRW-0402P/D 



Reading of the Mirex CD-R recorded on ASUS DRW-0402P/D



Reading of the SKC CD-R recorded on ASUS DRW-0402P/D 



Reading of the Verbatim CD-RW recorded on ASUS DRW-0402P/D 



The level of errors is not that high. Later we will publish the test results obtained with the professional equipment CDCATS SA3. 

Overburn

The discs used have the following ATIP. 

Verbatim 48x
Disc Type = CDR (A+) 
Lead In = 97:34:23
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation

Intenso 99 min
Disc Type = CDR (A-)
Lead In = 96:43:37
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = RiTEK Corporation
 
 

CD-RW drive 80 min CD-R 99 min CD-R
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 81:22.45 81:25.05
NEC ND-1300 81:52.45 89:48.65

CD reading parameters

CDWinBench 99

  ASUS DRW-0402P/D NEC ND-1300
Winmark 1240 1940
Inside transfer 2640 Kb/s 2840 Kb/s
Outside transfer 4820 Kb/s 5490 Kb/s
CPU Utilization  1.62 % 1.87 %
Access Time 118 ms 94.3 ms

NERO CD Speed

Test CD reading

ASUS DRW-0402P/D




  ASUS DRW-0402P/D NEC ND-1300
Average speed  25.48 CAV 28.64 CAV
Random Seek 127 ms 110 ms
Full Seek 299 ms 174 ms
CPU Usage 8X  6 %  6 % 
SpinUp Time 0.01 0.05
SpinDown Time 1.32 0.81
Disc Recognition Time 0.58 sec 0.13 sec
Accurate stream Yes Yes


CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

CD-R reading

ASUS DRW-0402P/D





CD-RW reading

ASUS DRW-0402P/D



Low-quality CD reading

ASUS DRW-0402P/D



CD audio track extraction (CDDAE 99, EAC)

ASUS DRW-0402P/D
  CDDAE  EAC 
Average extraction speed 22.3x  16.3x 
Total errors  0.00% 0.00%

 

Advanced DAE Quality(Nero CD-Speed)

ASUS DRW-0402P/D 





The detailed information on the tested parameters is given in the help file to the Nero CD Speed test program. If you don't want to download the utility, then here you can find the HTMl help file. 

DAE Quality (EAC)

This test was made by the developer of the EAC, and it's called DAE Quality (here's its description). In short, it measures quality of audio data extraction and quality of C2 error processing with a special test disc. In this case it's impossible to measure C2 processing quality, just look at the general data on quality of audiotrack extraction. 

ASUS DRW-0402P/D 



    ASUS DRW-0402P/D
  • Errors total Num : 904203
  • Errors (Loudness) Num : 25131 - Avg : -69.3 dB(A) - Max : -22.4 dB(A)
  • Error Muting Num : 8368 - Avg : 1.4 Samples - Max : 105 Samples
  • Skips Num : 2 - Avg : 6.0 Samples - Max : 6 Samples
  • Total Test Result : 71.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Direct copying of information from 780MB (90 min) CD-R to HDD

The drive successfully copied the contents of the 780MB drive without any errors. 

ASUS DRW-0402P/D 



Copy time

  • ASUS DRW-0402P/D - 6 min. 43 sec.
  • NEC ND-1300 - 10 min. 15 sec.

Drive's physical characteristics 

Noise

CD-RW drive Tray CD-Seek CD total DVD-Seek DVD total
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 7/10 7/10 7/10 8/10 8/10

There's no much noise if the drive works with properly balanced CDs or not at the maximum speed. 

Thermal conditions

CD-RW drive T inside PC case, C T of the upper surface, C T of the lower surface, C
ASUS DRW-0402P/D 36 48 48

The drive doesn't get hot even if used a lot. But be careful when placing other devices close to it as they can burn.

Vibration in case of unbalanced CDs

The drive vibrated when it worked with such disc but it managed to finish its reading without errors and at high speed. 

Summary

Performance of this drive was easy to predict as this is a good clone of Pioneer's solution under the mask from ASUS. We noticed no problems when dealt with it. By the latest standards the drive isn't that speedy, - in particular, its CD-R/RW part and DVD recording are relatively slow compared to 8X available in latest DVD recorders. But if you are not a man of fashion, this model can be a good choice. 
 
 

Roman Shelepov (srl@ixbt.com)
 

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