Toshiba, one of the pioneers on the combo drive market launches new solutions quite rarely, though its products are very reliable and have a lot of admirers in spite of some disadvantages. New solutions from Toshiba do not make their arrival triumphant, but it doesn't make them less interesting. Today we are going to test a new combo drive named Toshiba SDR1412T.
The drive came in the OEM package, i.e. without any accessories.
The new model from Toshiba doesn't differ in appearance and design from the other models in the line of optical drives. Toshiba's optical drives are a classic example of an ascetic device without any controls on the front panel. There's only an Open/Eject button and an emergency eject hole and a two-color LED.
Look at the drive's base.
The chipset is Toshiba's proprietary solution.
The photo above shows the contents of the drive case.
The label on top provides information on all drive's features.
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 - 22.214.171.124.
Now let's use other utilities to get more information on the drive; for example, Nero Infotool tells what formats and disc types are supported by the drive:
According to www.firmware-flash.com it's still impossible to turn the drive into RPC-1. However, you can use the DVD Region free program which provides the regional protection.
EAC (EAC Configuration Wizard) tells us about Audio CDs.
CD burn time
Traditionally, we used two types of media, with cyanine and phthalocyanine coating. The number of the trade marks were lifted up to 4, 2 of each type, to get more information of how the drive treats discs of different trade marks. Below is the ATIP for the discs tested.
Recording on TOSHIBA SDR1412T (Mirex 48x, phthalocyanine)
Recording on TOSHIBA SDR1412T ( Verbatim 48x and Verbatim Pastel , cyanine)
The drive selects different write speeds for different media types.
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.
The choice of burn speeds is not that rich.
To extend the picture, I added the results of burning of CD-RW discs.
Recording on TOSHIBA SDR1412T (Verbatim 24x CD-RW)
Time of CD-RW full formatting in UDF with InCD 4.1.0
CD-RW recording in UDF format, 530 Mb test packet in 3000 files.
Verbatim 24x CD-RW
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 burn speed.
Reading of the recorded discs on the Lite-On drive with KProbe
Reading of Verbatim CD-R recorded on TOSHIBA SDR1412T
Reading of Mirex CD-R recorded on TOSHIBA SDR1412T
New Mirex discs with ATIP Plasmon are incorrectly identified by some programs,
like it takes place in this case.
Reading of TDK 12x recorded on TOSHIBA SDR1412T
Reading of Verbatim 24x recorded on TOSHIBA SDR1412T
CD reading parameters
|MITSUMI DR-6800TE||TOSHIBA SDR1412T|
|Average speed||37.83x CAV||36.37x CAV|
|Random Seek||96 ms||109 ms|
|Full Seek||320 ms||189 ms|
|CPU Usage 8x||3%||15%|
|Disc Recognition Time||10.20 sec||6.42 sec|
Low-quality CD reading
|Average extraction speed||14.6x||7.4x|
The drive was also tested for ability to read a file that contains a signature that turns into a sequence of data repeating Sync Header. This problem was closely studied in this article. The drive has successfully read the test files.
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, here you can find the HTMl help file.
This test was made by the developer of EAC, and it's called DAE Quality (see
its description here).
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, you just look at the
general data on quality of audiotrack extraction.
The drive successfully copied the contents of the 832MB drive without
|MITSUMI DR-6800TE||TOSHIBA SDR1412T|
|Average speed||12.03x CAV||11.42x CAV|
|Random Seek||96 ms||125 ms|
|Full Seek||165 ms||219 ms|
|SpinDown Time||3.17 sec||2.15 sec|
|Disc Recognition Time||10.08 sec||5.02 sec|
|MITSUMI DR-6800TE||TOSHIBA SDR1412T|
|Average speed||7.74x CAV||6.27x CAV|
|Random Seek||102 ms||130 ms|
|Full Seek||177 ms||220 ms|
|SpinDown Time||2.97 sec||1.54 sec|
|Disc Recognition Time||9.52 sec||6.95 sec|
|Layer Change Time||91 ms||105 ms|
The drive successfully reads all types of recordable discs, including multiborder DVDs.
|MITSUMI DR-6800TE||4.8 X|
|TOSHIBA SDR1412T||5.8 X|
|Drive||Tray||CD-Seek||CD total||DVD-Seek||DVD total|
The drive is not that noisy; but you may feel discomfortable when working with CDs at high speeds. Besides, the drive is very sensible to the disc balance quality, and it might vibrate if they are poorly balanced. The speeds can be reduced with external programs (CDBremse, Nero DriveSpeed). The programs allow setting the following read speeds: 48x-40x-32x-24x-16x-12x-8x-4x.
|Drive||T inside PC case, C||T of the upper surface, C||T of the lower surface, C|
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.
The drive is very sensible to the disc balance quality. It vibrates and makes a lot of noise when reading poorly balanced discs at high speeds but it managed to finish reading the test CD. I thought the disc could get damaged but it didn't.
The new combo drive from Toshiba doesn't possess any outstanding features,
it keeps in the middle. The new model is faster at writing and reading
CDs. The burn and read quality is very good for all media types. Unfortunately,
the read speed of recordable DVDs is still low but I hope that it will
be solved when the cracked firmware becomes available, like it happened
to Toshiba 1802 DVD-ROM. The new-comer is very critical to the disc balance
quality, and such discs usually make the drive vibrate and produce a lot
of noise. On the whole, Toshiba maintains its high-level authority, and
this drive can be recommended for any user.
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