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Afreey DD-4012E - CD-ROM Performance Results

  May 15, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  

For an overview on methodology, click here.

CD-ROM Performance Results

Low-Level Measurements

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Ziff-Davis' venerable CD Winbench 99 measures random access times and sustained transfer rates.

The Afreey, while performing at rated speeds, is still the slowest of the 40X readers with a maximum transfer rate of 6063 KB/sec - a virtual tie with Toshiba's SD-M1401.

Access times come in at 92 ms, a hair slower than the 90 ms spec. Again, this leaves the Afreey in 5th place out of 6 drives.

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 result is an average from four different test discs obtained from Ziff-Davis. This tests each drive's ability to read from a range of discs pressed with identical data.

Here the Afreey climbs to 4th place in the comparison with a score of 1360 KB/sec. Competition from Artec and Pioneer remain significantly ahead with scores ranging from 1710 KB/sec to 1548 KB/sec.

File and Disc Copy

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The file copy test emphasizes sequential transfer rates by copying a single, 634 MB file. Again, the Afreey is the slowest of the 40X readers, averaging 2:49 to copy the test file. Only Ricoh's 32X reader takes longer.

The disc copy test introduces random accesses through multiple files and folders on the test CD. Like their 56X CD-ROM, Afreey's DVD-ROM drive appears to reduce spindle speed during this test. Unfortunately, this leads to disc copy times of 3:44 - slightly slower than the 32X-rated Ricoh.

Digital Audio Extraction

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We use two programs to measure DAE: 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 the hard drive.

CDSpeed99 measures a DAE potential of 14X-32X CAV. Average DAE is over 24X...easily the fastest we've seen for a DVD-ROM drive. Only Pioneer's DVD-116 comes close to keeping up. CDSpeed99 reports perfect extraction quality as well as support for accurate streaming.

When extracting the same CD with CDDAE99, speeds average only 15X. As Ian over at CDR Labs points out in his review of this drive, the Afreey only seems to extract at full speed after running CDSpeed99. Running CDDAE99 directly after a CDSpeed99 run yields an average DAE of 23.5X. Unfortunately, extracting from our CD without this preemptive action yields DAE speeds of approximately 10X-20X CAV.

It appears as though the drive's firmware detects something with CDSpeed99 that defines a certain spindle speed for audio extraction. CDDAE99 and other audio extracting programs do not seem to trigger this same algorithm, so the drive's firmware sets a reduced spindle RPM for audio extraction. This effect lasts until the system is rebooted. Since Afreey does not specify DAE speeds, we're not certain which of these two sets of extraction rates are correct. Thus, we cannot say if the issue lies with the drive or CDSpeed99. Regardless, even the slower set offers above-average DAE speeds - tying the Artec for 2nd place behind the Pioneer's 16X CLV speeds. [Note that a recently introduced firmware upgrade purports to fix this problem]

CD-R Media Compatibility and Performance

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Duplicates of our pressed test CD assess a drive's ability to read from a variety of CD-R and -RW media.

With CD-R media, the Afreey pulls slightly ahead of the Toshiba with a maximum transfer rate of 6180 KB/sec. Like almost every tested optical drive, the Afreey is slightly faster reading from CD-Rs than from pressed CDs. Access times drop a little to 89 ms. There are no compatibility issues with a variety of brands and dye colors.

CD-RW Media Compatibility and Performance

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CD-RW read speeds drop to 1630-3320 KB/sec, about equal to the Artec and Toshiba. The Ricoh and Pioneers are much quicker with CD-RWs, reading them at 32X max speeds. The Afreey's access times remain at 92 ms here, and the drive is fully compatible with various brands of both low and high-speed media.

 DVD-ROM Performance Results...


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