DVD-ROM Performance Results
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As a DVD-ROM drive, the MP9120A performs close to specifications. Our measurements with DVDSpeed99 showed maximum transfer rates of 7.6X at the outer edge of the disc, very close to the 8X rating of this drive. Minimum transfer rates on the inner tracks were 3.4X, with an overall average speed of 5.7X across our test DVD.
CPU usage at 1X is comparable to other ATAPI DVD-ROMs we've tested. Ricoh's combo drive reported 8% usage; on the high end of the 6-8% range we've recorded on previously reviewed drives.
Subjective Playback Observations
We did hit one problem while watching a sampling of movies-The Matrix (a single-sided, dual-layer disc) would not play on the version of WinDVD packaged with the Ricoh, whereas all of our single-layer movies played just fine. Our investigations confirmed that this is a software problem and not an issue with the MP9120A: the older version of WinDVD installed on our optical testbed played The Matrix just fine with the Ricoh. Our Ricoh technical rep was kind enough to point us to an update to WinDVD 2000 on the web, but this patch did not fix the issue.
Movies looked great on our 21" Sony monitor playing through the Ricoh. Scenes from Twister and The Matrix (played on the older WinDVD version on our testbed), which are likely to tax some slower drives/systems, played smoothly on our P3-450 testbed. There were no issues with picture quality or performance that we could tell. In short, this amazing combo unit from Ricoh exceeds our expectations yet again.