Just a couple of months after the release of the SM-352N model, the manufacturer announced a substitute: the TS-H492A. This device was developed by the TSST team, too, and Toshiba engineers played the main role in the development process.
I had the OEM version of the drive, so I can’t say anything about its accessories. The drive’s design is similar to that of the Samsung SM-352N. The only exception is the front panel, which now has a decorative golden strip. Otherwise, the two models look like twins with the same controls and case construction. The new one looks of course better than earlier drives from Samsung, though. The developer claims the tray was redesigned to reduce the noise and to protect against dust. However, even a close examination of the trays of the SM-352N and the TS-H942A couldn’t reveal any differences between them. The amount of dust that finds its way into the case is hard to estimate, but in terms of noise, the new model, subjectively, doesn’t differ much from the previous one. So are there any differences at all? First of all, we have a different chipset here:
The Samsung TS-H492A is based on the Media Tek MT1688E chipset, while the SM-352N employed the MT1628E. By the way, Samsung came to use Media Tec chipsets only recently. The company thinks those chipsets are optimal as concerns the performance of the devices. Then, the drive’s firmware was rewritten – the Toshiba engineers were fully responsible for the development of the DVD-related part of the firmware.
You may notice certain differences in the mechanics of the drives, comparing the snapshots above.
The same can be said about the PCB design.
Thus, despite the visible similarity, the Samsung TS-492A is a completely new model, with both software and hardware (mechanics and electronics) parts updated and revised.
The basic technical characteristics of the drive:
- CD-R writing: 52x, 40x, 32x, 24x (P-CAV), 16x, 8x, 4x (CLV);
- CD-RW writing: High Speed 10x, 4x (CLV), Ultra Speed 32x, , 24x, 16x (P-CAV);
- CD-ROM reading: 52x, 40x, 32x, 24x, 16x (CAV);
- CD-DA reading: 16x;
- Mixed CD reading: 32x;
- VideoCD playback: 16x;
- CD-R/RW: 40x;
- Maximum DAE speed: 52x;
- Writable/rewriteable DVD reading: 8x;
- Molded single-layer DVD reading: 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x (CAV);
- Molded dual-layer DVD reading: 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x (CAV);
- DVD-RAM reading: 4x (Z-CLV);
- DVD-Video playback: 8x (CAV);
- Supported CD media: 120mm CD-ROM, 80mm CD, 800/700/650MB CD-Recordable, 700/650MB Low / High / Ultra Speed CD Rewritable;
- Supported DVD media: /9/10/18G DVD-Single / Dual (PTP, OTP), 3.9/4.7G DVD-ROM, DVD±RW, DVD±R, DVD-RAM, 80mm DVD;
- Supported CD formats: CD-DA (Red Book) - Standard Audio CD &CD-TEXT, CD-ROM (Yellow Book Mode1 & 2) - Standard Data, CD-ROM XA (Mode2 Form1 & 2) - Photo CD, Multi-Session CD-I (Green Book, Mode2 Form1 & 2, Ready, Bridge), CD-Extra/ CD-Plus (Blue Book) - Audio & Text/Video, Video-CD (White Book) - MPEG1 Video, CD-R (Orange Book), CD-RW : HSRW (Orange Book) : US-RW;
- Supported DVD formats: DVD-ROM (Book 1.02), DVD-Video (Book 1.1), DVD-R (Book 1.0, 3.9G), DVD-R (Book 2.0, 4.7G) - General & Authoring, DVD+R (Version 1.0), DVD±RW, DVD-RAM;
- CD burn modes: DAO (Disc-At-Once), TAO (Track-At-Once), SAO (Session-At-Once), Variable & Fixed Packet Write;
- Cache buffer: 2MB;
- Declared average access time:
- СD-ROM/R: 95msec;
- CD-RW: 110msec;
- DVD-ROM (single-layer/dual-layer): 110/130msec;
- Written DVDs: 130msec;
- DVD-RAM: 200msec.
I’d like to draw your attention to a few points among all this abundance. Firstly, we have DVD-RAM disc support here. It might come in handy at times. Secondly, the drive can drop its speed when playing video both from CDs and DVDs. This is not good for copying DVDs (it take more time to burn a disc), but is certainly a plus when playing video back, since the noise from the drive is reduced. Then, I remind you once again that I had the OEM version of the device, so it only had 2MB of cache memory. The retail version of the TS-H492A comes equipped with an 8MB cache buffer.
Here’s information that Nero InfoTool and DVDInfo Pro are telling about this drive:
Now we can proceed to the tests.