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Pioneer DVD-115 - DVD-ROM Performance Results

  July 17, 2000 Author: Tim Zakharov  

DVD-ROM Performance Results

Low-Level Measurements

 Optical Testbed I DVD Speed 99 - DAE Transfer RateDetails... 
DAE Transfer Rate - Average
Windows 98 SE using FAT 32
Pioneer DVD-115 (ATA-33) - 8.60|
Toshiba SD-M1212 (ATA-33) - 4.34|
Pioneer DVD-303S (U-SCSI) - 4.27|
DAE Transfer Rate - Start
Windows 98 SE using FAT 32
Pioneer DVD-115 (ATA-33) - 5.01|
Pioneer DVD-303S (U-SCSI) - 2.56|
Toshiba SD-M1212 (ATA-33) - 2.54|
DAE Transfer Rate - End
Windows 98 SE using FAT 32
Pioneer DVD-115 (ATA-33) - 11.39|
Toshiba SD-M1212 (ATA-33) - 5.75|
Pioneer DVD-303S (U-SCSI) - 5.59|

At the inner edge of our test DVD (Twister), the Pioneer is already reading at 5X speeds, twice as fast as the two 6X DVD drives in our comparison. However, our test unit only reached a disappointing 11X by the outer edge of our disc, well below the expected 16X transfer rates. In contrast, our two comparison drives nearly equaled their rated speeds at the outer edge. Informally, we threw a few different DVDs at our test unit to see if it perhaps had issues with our test media. We found, though, that the drive would consistently top out at approximately 11X no matter which DVD we tested with. Considering the DVD-115's less-than-12X maximum transfer rates, Toshiba's new 12X DVD-ROM drive will make for an interesting comparison. We hope to get a hold of one of these soon!

The Pioneer's cpu utilization, as measured by DVDSpeed99, is a low 6% at 1X playback. Unfortunately, at this time we have only two comparison scores, one of which is apparently inflated by a firmware revision issue. You may recall from our first DVD-ROM review we discussed the possibility that Pioneer's 1.10 firmware revision causes abnormally high cpu utilization scores with DVDSpeed99 and Pioneer's DVD-303S. This leaves us at present with only one score to compare with-the 7% result Toshiba's SD-M1212 yielded. Despite the generational differences between the units, both scores are admirable.

Subjective Playback Observations

Considering the 1X transfer rates that DVD-Videos are limited to during playback, there should not be a discernible difference in movie smoothness when comparing most modern DVD-ROM drives in this respect. So it comes as no surprise when we report that the Pioneer DVD-115 played movies back flawlessly on our testbed. The Orpheus/Neo Matchup scene in The Matrix exhibited no jerkiness in playback; Twister's "wheat field flyby" scene whizzed by at eye-pleasing framerates. Of course, our two 6X comparison drives played movies just as well, as one would expect.



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