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Samsung SW-216B - CD-ROM Performance Results

  October 10, 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 Samsung's maximum transfer rate of 4960 KB/sec (33X) brings up the rear in the comparison...most other 16X burners offer 40X read speeds.

However, the SW-216B ducks in well under its 120 ms access time spec with a measured result of 95 ms. This leaves it in good company with speedy offerings from Teac and Ricoh.

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

Surprisingly, the Samsung edges out Teac's CD-W516EB in the Winmark test with a result of 1395 KB/sec. This leaves the SW-216B only 6% behind the Ricoh MP7200A despite a 25% disadvantage in transfer rates. Even better, the Samsung's scores deviate by less than 1%, delivering consistently fast performance with a variety of pressed media.

File and Disc Copy

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The file copy test emphasizes sequential transfer rates by copying a single, 634 MB file. Because of this, the Samsung trails most of the competition due to its lower 32X transfer rates. Still, considering the 25% difference between 32X and 40X, its result of 3:05 trails the leader by only 13%.

The disc copy test introduces random accesses, through the multiple files and folders on the test CD. Once again, the SW-216B holds up the rear because of its 32X transfers. Its disc copy time of 3:42 trails the leader by 15%.

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.

In CDSpeed99, the Samsung extracts audio at its maximum read speeds: 32X CAV. It actually approaches an optimistic 34X by the end of our test disc with an overall average rate of 26X. This nearly ties it with Yamaha's CRW2200E, leaving it trailing Plextor's drive by 17%. CDSpeed99 reports perfect extraction quality as well as support for accurate streaming.

With CDDAE99, the SW-216B averages a slightly lower 24.4X when extracting our entire test disc. It takes 2:40 to extract the CD, roughly 20 seconds slower than the leaders. CDDAE99 detects no errors in extraction quality, even with scratched discs. There is a slight slowdown in the extraction process, though, with scratched media. We test this with a pair of identical CDs - one brand new while the other is scratched from years of use. The Samsung extracts the scratched disc roughly 10% slower than the new one.

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 by clicking here.

A continuous 20-second tone plays in each track. 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 tested drives play 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 means pops or clicks occurred during all 5 playbacks of a particular track. Digital Recordings provides 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
Plextor PX-W1610TA 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5
Teac CD-W516EB 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5
Lite-On LTR-16101B 5/5 5/5 3/5 0/5 0/5
Ricoh MP7200A 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5 0/5
Samsung SW-216B 5/5 0/5 0/5 0/5 0/5
Yamaha CRW2200E 5/5 0/5 0/5 0/5 0/5

The Samsung unfortunately fares poorly in our CD-CHECK test. While passing Level-1, the drive produces countless pops and hissing during all other tested levels. This ties it with the Yamaha CRW2200E for the worst performance we've yet seen in this test and means that those with lots of scratched audio discs should consider other drives if they plan to use their burner to play their CDs.

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.

The SW-216B has no problems reading from various brands of CD-R media. It hits maximum rates of 4810 KB/sec, slightly slower than its pressed CD reads but still at 32X-rated speeds. Access times improve a bit to 93 ms, though

CD-RW Media Compatibility and Performance

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With CD-RW media, the Samsung maintains its 32X CAV transfer rates while access times measure in a bit higher at 97 ms. Again, no issues arise with a variety of brands of media.

 Write/ReWrite Performance Results...


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