iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Toshiba SD-R5112 DVD-R/RW Drive Review

September 29, 2003

Toshiba's optical drives do not raise much noise when enter the market. On the one hand, they don't have extraordinary characteristics, on the other hand, users value Toshiba's drives for their reliability and quality. Last time the company brought out its own DVD-R/RW  drive, while other companies simply placed orders with the only OEM drive maker at that moment - Pioneer. The device was pretty successful and the price was low. Recently this company has released a new DVD recorder. The new model isn't multiformat and supports recording of only DVD-RW standards, but its speeds keep in line with the up-to-date level, and the price is almost equal to the previous model. Now let's have a look at the new model to decide how good it is.


  • Write formats supported.
    • DVD: DVD-R, DVD-RW
    • CD: CD-R, CD-RW

  • Read formats.
    • DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD-R (Ver 1.0, Ver 2.0), DVD-RW (Ver 1.1).
    • CD: CD-DA, CD+(E) G, CD-MIDI, CD-TEXT, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I, CD-I Bridge (Photo-CD, Video-CD), Multi-session CD (Photo CD, CD-Extra, CD-R, CD-RW, Portfolio), CD-RW, CD-R (read)

  • Write speeds.
    • DVD-R: 4X CLV
    • DVD-RW: 2X CLV
    • CD-R: 16X Z-CLV
    • CD-RW: 10X CLV

  • Read speeds (max).
    • DVD-ROM : 12X CAV
    • DVD-RAM : 1X CAV
    • CD-ROM/R: 40X CAV

  • Access time
    • DVD: 130 Msec
    • DVD: 200 Msec
    • CD: 110 Msec

  • Interface: ATAPI/IDE
  • Data buffer: 2 Mbytes
  • Mounting: horizontal and vertical.
  • MTBF: 100,000 hours
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 146 x 189.5 x 41.5 mm
  • Weight: 1 kg.

The drive came in the OEM package, i.e. without any accessories. The design is unsophisticated, the front panel contains just the Eject button and a one-mode LED. Well, the 5002 looks very similar to the 5112. On the back you can find a digital audio-out.

It's a rare case when we've got a chance to look inside an original solution instead of multiple clones.

As you can see, the drive is based on Toshiba's own chipset. The optical part is not parallel to the drive's sides but turned by a certain angle.

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. You can do just with the NeroBurning Rom v6.0.0.9.

Toshiba SD-R5112

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:

Toshiba SD-R5112

As you can see from the screenshot, it's possible to make it RPC-1 (according to http://www.rpc1.com/). 

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

Test results

DVD recording

The DVD-R media was recorded without problems, the drive detected and burnt various models. Also, the drive records 1x DVD-R discs selling under the trademarks of Digitex, Memorex and Princo at 2x. Unfortunately, the current firmware version doesn't work correctly with 4x DVD-R media from Princo: it agrees to write such discs at 4x, but the actual speed is 1x.

DVD-R recording 
Drive burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min. burning at 2x, min.
Toshiba SD-R5112 59:00 29:33 14:52
ASUS DRW-0402P 57:24 28:42 14:41

DVD-RW recording 
Drive fast clearing, min. burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min.
Toshiba SD-R5112 00:28 28:44 58:46
ASUS DRW-0402P 00:24 28:21 57:16

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.  We used various discs, high-quality and low-quality ones.

Toshiba SD-R5112, 4x DVD-R burn speed (Verbatim)

Toshiba SD-R5112, 2x DVD-R burn speed (TDK)

Toshiba SD-R5112, 2x DVD-R burn speed (Princo)

Toshiba SD-R5112, 1x DVD-R burn speed (Princo)

Toshiba SD-R5112, 2x DVD-RW burn speed (Verbatim)

Toshiba SD-R5112, 2x DVD-RW burning speed (Princo)

In general, the drive burns various DVD media pretty well.

DVD media reading


Test DVD reading

Toshiba SD-R5112 1-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Data)

Toshiba SD-R5112 ASUS DRW-0402P
Average speed 9.28x CAV 9.33x CAV
Random Seek 116 ms 136 ms
Full Seek 216 ms 305 ms
SpinUp Time 1.38 sec 0.01 sec
SpinDown Time 2.30 sec 3.11 sec
Disc Recognition Time 10.18 sec 1.01 sec

Toshiba SD-R5112 2-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Video)

Toshiba SD-R5112 ASUS DRW-0402P
Average speed 6.28x CAV 2.06x CAV
Random Seek 120 ms 138 ms
Full Seek 222 ms 296 ms
SpinUp Time 1.41 sec 0.02 sec
SpinDown Time 1.83 sec 3.12 sec
Disc Recognition Time 0.26 sec 0.64 sec
Layer Change Time 70 ms 256 ms

Reading of recordable DVD

DVD+R reading

Toshiba SD-R5112

DVD+RW reading

Toshiba SD-R5112

DVD-R reading

Toshiba SD-R5112

DVD-RW reading

Toshiba SD-R5112

The drive flawlessly detects and works with multisession DVD media.

DVD Video copying with Smart Ripper

CD-RW drive Average speed
Toshiba SD-R5112 4.7 X
ASUS DRW-0402P 4.3 X

CD media testing

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-)
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Plasmon Data Systems Ltd.

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

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

Verbatim 48x
Disc Type = CDR (A+)
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 Toshiba SD-R5112 ( Philips 32x, phthalocyanine)

The diagram looks similar for recording of Verbatim 48x. Unfortunately, the maximum read speed for the Mirex drives is lower.

Recording on the Toshiba SD-R5112 ( Mirex 48x, phthalocyanine)

We also tested the drive's ability to burn cyanine discs at the minimal speed as this mode is often used by audiophiles to ensure high record quality.

CD-R disc Toshiba SD-R5112 ASUS DRW-0402P
Philips 32x 5:49 5:22
Verbatim 48x 5:47 5:21
Mirex 48x 7:12 5:22
SKC 4x 21:09 21:14

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

Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Plasmon Data Systems Ltd.

Recording on the Toshiba SD-R5112 (eproformance 10x CD-RW)

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

Reading of the Philips CD-R disc burnt with the Toshiba SD-R5112

Reading of the Verbatim CD-R disc burnt with the Toshiba SD-R5112

Reading of the Mirex CD-R disc burnt with the Toshiba SD-R5112

Reading of the SKC CD-R disc burnt with the Toshiba SD-R5112

Reading of the eproformance CD-R disc burnt with the Toshiba SD-R5112


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
Toshiba SD-R5112 81:48.48 94:57.40
ASUS DRW-0402P 81:22.42 96:01.05

Time of CD-RW full formatting in UDF with InCD

Verbatim 10x CD-RW recording in UDF format, 550 Mb test packet in 4500 files.

Drive Formatting time (min.) Burn time (min.)
Toshiba SD-R5112 14:06 8:28
ASUS DRW-0402P 14:34 11:58

Operation with 80mm CDs (CD-RW disc used).

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

Drive Formatting time (min.) Burn time (min.)
Toshiba SD-R5112 9:18 6:34
ASUS DRW-0402P 9:31 6:58

CD reading: main parameters

CDWinBench 99

Toshiba SD-R5112 ASUS DRW-0402P
Winmark 1770 1180
Inside transfer 2840 Kb/s 2420 Kb/s
Outside transfer 5840 Kb/s 4680 Kb/s
CPU Utilization 1.87 % 0.97 %
Access Time 115 ms 118 ms


Toshiba SD-R5112 tested with a standard CD

Toshiba SD-R5112 ASUS DRW-0402P
Average speed 31.86x CAV 25.20x CAV
Random Seek 110 ms 131 ms
Full Seek 301 ms 295 ms
SpinUp Time 1.51 0.01
SpinDown Time 2.29 3.11
Disc Recognition Time 0.43 sec 0.12 sec
Accurate stream Yes Yes

CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

CD-R reading with Toshiba SD-R5112

CD-RW reading with Toshiba SD-R5112

Low-quaity CD reading with Toshiba SD-R5112

Direct copying of information from 780 MB CD-R to HDD

The drive couldn't copy successfully the contents of the 780MB drive: the errors occurred at 98% .

CD audio track extraction (CDDAE 99, EAC)

Toshiba SD-R5112
Average extraction speed 14.8x 4.1x
Total errors  0.00% 0.00%

Advanced DAE Quality(Nero CD-Speed)

Toshiba SD-R5112 drive

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.

Toshiba SD-R5112 drive

    Toshiba SD-R5112
  • Errors total Num : 14523906
  • Errors (Loudness) Num : 85838 - Avg : -30.5 dB(A) - Max : -1.2 dB(A)
  • Error Muting Num : 20610 - Avg : 66.8 Samples - Max : 3584 Samples
  • Skips Num : 141 - Avg : 17.4 Samples - Max : 240 Samples
  • Total Test Result : 55.5 points (of 100.0 maximum)
  • C2 Accuracy : 52.6 %

Drive's physical characteristics 


Drive Tray CD-Seek CD total DVD-Seek DVD total
Toshiba SD-R5112 7/10 7/10 7/10 7/10 7/10

The is pretty quiet except those cases when it works with CDs which are not properly balanced and when it works at the maximum speed. Also, sometimes it produces irritating though not very loud whistle. Probably, such noise appears as there's no tightening layer in the tray.

Thermal conditions

CD-RW drive T inside PC case, C T of the upper surface, C T of the lower surface, C
Toshiba SD-R5112 36 46 47

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.

Vibration in case of unbalanced CDs

The drive vibrated a little when worked with such discs but it managed to finish their reading without errors at high speed.


The drive has much in common with the previous solution. They have similar results in audio track extraction tests, recording and reading of CD-R/RW media. But the newer solution reads and burns recordable DVD media faster. Since the multi-zone (RPC-1) firmware version was released almost immediately after the drive launching the 5002 and 5112 most likely have the same elemental base. Well, Toshiba's new model can be a good choice for home and office usage due to its low price and good characteristics.

Roman Shelepov (srl@ixbt.com)

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