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Lite-On LTR-16101B - CD-ROM Performance Results

  August 23, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  

For an overview on methodology, click here.

CD-ROM Performance Results

Low-Level Measurements

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

The LTR-16101B fulfills 40X specs by pulling in 6060 KB/sec transfers at the outer edge of our test disc. Although it comes in third 3rd in this comparison, the Lte-On trails the leader by less than 1%, a statistical dead heat.

In the access time measure the drive ducks in under its 120 ms spec with an average result of 118 ms, good enough for 4th in the comparison.

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 drawn 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.

With a score of 1130 KB/sec, the Lite-On's trails Ricoh's MP7200A by over 30%. It does outdo units from Plextor and AOpen, though. Scores deviate by only 5% between the four test discs, indicating the Lite-On reads a variety of pressed discs with consistency.

File and Disc Copy

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The file copy test emphasizes sequential transfer rates by copying a single 634 MB file. The LTR-16101B completes the task in a swift 2:45, trailing only the Ricoh.

The disc copy test introduces random accesses through the multiple files and folders on the test CD. Here the Lite-On again performs respectably with a copy time of 3:25. Only drives from Teac and Ricoh (hands down the two fastest-reading burners) defeat the LTR-16101B in this test.

Digital Audio Extraction

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SR measures DAE using two programs: CDSpeed99 and CDDAE99. CDSpeed99 measures low-level 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 reveals that the Lite-On is a P-CAV audio extractor like Teac's drive. In fact, results are nearly identical to the CD-W516EB with speeds averaging 28X. Lite-On's drive consistently extracts at full speed even with scratched media and is rewarded by CDSpeed99 with perfect extraction quality. However, CDSpeed99 occasionally reports that the Lite-On does not support accurate streaming. Accurate streaming relates to hitting the correct location when randomly accessing audio and does not necessarily yield poor extraction quality. In the majority of cases, even drives with no support for accurate streaming provide acceptable extraction quality since most correction abilities are far-reaching enough to mask a "missed" random access. We have no explanation for why CDSpeed99 sometimes reports support for accurate streaming and sometimes does not.

With CDDAE99, our CD is ripped in 2:26 for an average speed of 27X. This is equal to the Teac and only 6 seconds slower than the Plextor. CDDAE99 also reports perfect extraction quality with zero errors found in various trials with different audio CDs. Informal listening tests with extracted audio tracks confirm CDDAE99's quality results - no abnormal sounds are detected during playback.

CD-DA Error Correction

Digital Recordings' CD-CHECK tests each drive's error correction abilities with audio CDs. CD-CHECK is a reference disc with five levels of error gap sizes, each isolated to its own track. Error size and other details may be viewed here.

In each track, a continuous 20-second tone plays. The larger the error gap, the more difficult it is for the drive's error correction to mask the error without an audible pop or click occurring during playback of the tone.

All drives are tested by playing each track five times with each successful playback (no audible pops or clicks) noted. A result of 5/5 indicates that no pops or clicks were heard in 5 out of 5 playbacks of a particular track. A result of 0/5 indicates pops or clicks occurred during all 5 playbacks of a particular track. Digital Recordings indicates the following interpretation of results:

  • Level-1 Pass: player meets minimum requirements
  • Level-2 Pass: Average error correction
  • Level-3 Pass: Good error correction
  • Level-4 Pass: Very good error correction
  • Level-5 Pass: Excellent error correction
CD-Check Performance
Error Level 1 2 3 4 5
Lite-On LTR-16101B 5/5 5/5 3/5 0/5 0/5
Plextor PX-W1610TA 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5
AOpen CRW1232A 5/5 5/5 4/5 0/5 0/5
Ricoh MP7200A 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5 0/5
Yamaha CRW2200E 5/5 0/5 0/5 0/5 0/5
Teac CD-W516EB 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5

The Lite-On delivers perfect error correction up to Level-2. At Level-3, error correction drops to 60% successful and falters to 0% by Level-4. No test drive has yet completed even a single pass at Level-5. While not up to the level of the Teac and Plextor, the Lite-On does provide better playback error correction than the Ricoh and Yamaha.

CD-R Media Compatibility and Performance

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Low-level performance measurements on duplicates of the pressed test CD assess a drive's ability to read from a variety of CD-R and -RW media.

Lite-On's drive improves to 6110 KB/sec at the outer edge with CD-R media. Again, most of the 40X readers group tightly together in transfer rate performance. Lite-On's access times improve slightly to 116 ms. There are no read issues with a variety of CD-R media of different brands and speed ratings.

CD-RW Media Compatibility and Performance

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With CD-RW media the Lite-On drops to 10X-20X CAV transfer rates - easily the slowest of the bunch. The rest of the competition reads CD-RWs at 32X CAV speeds or higher. Access times regress to 123 ms. No issues arise when reading from a variety of different CD-RW brands.

 Write/ReWrite Performance Results...


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