ASUS is well known in the IT sphere for its broad range of original products.
In particular, it has a good line of optical drives of its own design. A while
ago the company entered a relatively young sector of DVD-R/RW drives. ASUS hasn't
bring out any models of its own design and still uses OEM drives from Pioneer.
One of its models, ASUS DRW-0402P, a top solution of the company's line, will
be tested today.
The drive came in the Retail package. The box also contains a blank CD-R, 2
CDs with software (software for CD/DVD recording and editing, AsusDVD player),
installation guide, cables (interface and audio) and bolts.
The drive is very similar to Pioneer's DVR-105 model. They have identical front panels with typical air vents, bolts above and the same printed-circuit boards. In this respect, ASUS's drive and the TEAC's one are as two peas in a pot.
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 of an ordinary CD-ROM drive. The drive needs no special drivers. Yo
can do just with the NeroBurning Rom ver 184.108.40.206 which identifies the drive
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.firmware-flash.com). However, you can use the DVD Region free program which provides the regional protection.
EAC (EAC Configuration Wizard) tells us about Audio CDs.
Well, it's typical of all drives from Pioneer to return information about C2
Now, when we have preliminary information on the drive, let's dive into the tests.
|Drive||recording at 1x, min.||recording at 2x, min.||recording at 4x, min.|
|Drive||fast clearing, min.||recording at 1x, min.||recording at 2x, min.|
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 939 revealed no problems with reading, the movies were played without artifacts.
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.
|Average speed||9.33x CAV|
|Random Seek||136 ms|
|Full Seek||305 ms|
|CPU usage (Max Speed)||2 %|
|SpinUp Time||0.01 sec|
|SpinDown Time||3.11 sec|
|Disc Recognition Time||1.01 sec|
|Average speed||2.06x CAV|
|Random Seek||138 ms|
|Full Seek||296 ms|
|CPU usage (Max Speed)||2 %|
|SpinUp Time||0.02 sec|
|SpinDown Time||3.12 sec|
|Disc Recognition Time||0.64 sec|
|Layer Change Time||256 ms|
The drive flawlessly reads all types of recordable DVD media, as well as multiborder DVD discs. But reading of DVD-R/RW media is still slow.
|CD-RW drive||Average speed|
|ASUS DRW-0402P||4.3 X|
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. The burning results will be partially represented in the graphical form.
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, - this mode is usually
used by music lovers to get the highest quality sound.
|CD-R disc||Burn time|
To extend the picture, I added the results of the Verbatim CD-RW 10x.
CD-RW recording in UDF format, 530 Mb test packet in 3550 files.
Verbatim DataLifePlus 10x
|CD-RW drive||Burn time (min.)||Formatting time (min.)|
Formatting and recording of the 80mm CD-RW disc in UDF, 4x write speed.
|CD-RW drive||Formatting time (min.)||Burn time (min.)|
The drive reads and burns 80mm discs quite well.
The most important part of the tests, and we here used the device described
in this article.
The error level of the most recorded discs is pretty low, that is why the record quality can be considered good.
The level of errors is not that high. Later we will publish the test results obtained with the professional equipment CDCATS SA3, and then we will see who is right in this test.
|CD-RW drive||80 min CD-R||90 min CD-R|
|Inside transfer||2420 Kb/s|
|Outside transfer||4680 Kb/s|
|CPU Utilization||0.97 %|
|Access Time||118 ms|
Test CD reading
|Average speed||25.20 CAV|
|Random Seek||131 ms|
|Full Seek||295 ms|
|CPU Usage 8X||6 %|
|Disc Recognition Time||0.12 sec|
Test CD-R reading
Low-quality CD reading
|Licensed disc||Pirated disc|
|Average extraction speed||18.6x||17.4x|
|Licensed disc||Pirated disc|
|Average extraction speed||6.0x||5.8x|
Note that the drive correctly reads Subchannel Data. In general, the drive copes well with this test.
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.
This test was made by the developer of the EAC, and it's called DAE Quality
(here you can find 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 we couldn't measure C2 processing
quality, and below are only general data on quality of audio track extraction.
The drive successfully copied the contents of the 780MB disc without errors.
|CD-RW drive||Tray||CD-Seek||CD general||DVD-Seek||DVD general|
The drive works pretty quietly except those cases when it works with CDs which are not properly balanced and when it works at the maximum speed.
|CD-RW drive||T inside PC case, C||T of the upper surface, C||T of the lower surface, C|
The drive doesn't get too hot even when used a lot. But be careful when placing other devices close to it as they can burn.
The drive vibrated a little when worked with such discs but it managed to finish their reading without errors, though the speed wasn't high.
We have just tested one more clone of Pioneer's drive. This is a classical
realization of a drive of the 4x DVD-R/2x DVD-RW class. It works with CD-R/RW
media at a too low speed and supports DVD-R media not from all manufacturers.
Unfortunately, there are no original realizations of DVD-R/RW drives on the market
except the one from Toshiba. Probably, drive makers focus on developing multiformat
models, and users have to get what's offered and wait further.
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