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Pioneer DVD-116 - CD-ROM Performance Results

  March 27, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  

For an overview on methodology, click here.

CD-ROM Performance Results

Low-Level Measurements

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We use Ziff-Davis' venerable CD Winbench 99 to measure random access times and sustained transfer rates.

The DVD-116 lags the competition a bit in access times. A measured average of 92.5 ms comes in a bit slower than previous Pioneer DVD-ROM drives.

In sustained transfers, the DVD-116 remains neck-and-neck with the DVD-115 and 305S. This means the drive exceeds its 40X specification by over 4X, keeping it well ahead of Toshiba's 40X offering.

CD-ROM Winmark 99

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CD Winbench 99's CD-ROM Winmark test runs through a timed script of routines from a variety of popular software programs. The presented score averages results from four different test discs obtained from Ziff-Davis. This allows us to test each drive's ability to read from a range of discs pressed with identical data.

The DVD-116 averages 1548 KB/sec, putting it about 5% behind the 305S. The slower access time likely contributes to this small difference. We're pleased to see very little deviation in the scores between the four test discs, though.

File and Disc Copy

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Our file copy test places emphasis on sequential transfer rates in copying a single, 634 MB file. As expected, the DVD-116 keeps pace with the 305S and 115 - all three have nearly identical sustained transfer rates and all three copy our test file in about 2:18.

The disc copy test introduces random accesses, due to the multiple files and folders on our test CD. Looking back at our low-level figures, the DVD-116 has the slowest access time of the three Pioneers. Accordingly, it therefore trails its brethren slightly in this test.

Digital Audio Extraction

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We measure DAE with two programs: CDSpeed99 and CDDAE99. CDSpeed99 is more of a low-level measurement of DAE capabilities, while CDDAE99 is an actual audio ripping program that converts audio tracks on CD-DAs to .wav files on your hard drive.

CDSpeed99 pegs the DVD-116 at just over 16X CLV, right in line with Pioneer's specs. Extraction rates remain unchanged even with scratched CDs. CDSpeed reports a quality score of 10 (perfect), with support for accurate streaming detected.

CDDAE99 reports similar performance. Average extraction speeds are at 16X for both individual tracks and the entire CD and no errors are detected during verification. When we disable verification (which doubles extraction times by extracting each track twice and comparing for errors), the DVD-116 can extract our entire 65-minute test CD in four minutes flat.

These results make the DVD-116 the fastest, most accurate audio-extracting DVD drive we've yet tested.

CD-R Media Compatibility and Performance

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To test each drive's ability to read from a variety of CD-R and -RW media, we duplicate our pressed test CD to these discs and measure low-level performance with them.

With CD-R media, transfer rates remain tied with the 305S and 115 at almost 45X. There are no issues with reading from TDK and Imation 12X media, but there are intermittent problems reading from Verbatim 16X discs. We copied our test CD to six different Verbatim 16X discs trying to pin down the issue...the 116 can read two of these at full speed. The other four discs cannot be read at top speeds. The drive attempts full-speed reads, then quickly drops RPMs, resulting in slow read/copy times. Suspicious that the discs might be defective, we tried them in a couple of other optical drives, but these drives could read the discs at full speed. Thus, it appears that the DVD-116 might have a compatibility issue with Verbatim's new 16X CD-Rs with the metal azo recording layer.

CD-RW Media Compatibility and Performance

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Fortunately, our tests with a variety CD-RW media show no compatibility issues. Read speeds, however, drop to 32X max, just like the DVD-115 and 305S.

 DVD-ROM Performance Results...


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