Performance in CD WinBench 99
I’m going to start out with the synthetic CD WinBench 99 test:
The AOpen COM5232/AAH is an unrivalled leader in this test. It was the fastest reader both at the inner and outer areas of the disk and notched a good access time, although a bit worse than the new Samsung had.
Performance during CD-R Burning
I used Verbatim Datalife 52x blanks from Mitsubishi Chemicals for this test:
Drives of the same speed formula don’t greatly differ in their real speeds (the new and old devices from Samsung differ by 17%). The slowest drive took 26 seconds more to burn the disc than the fastest one. It’s up to you to decide if this difference matters, considering the total burn time of about 3 minutes. Anyway, the Samsung SM-352N won the test at 52x speed, while the new Samsung was the slowest. At 24x, the leader remained the same, but the other Samsung forced the AOpen down to the third place.
Burned CD-R read graphs at 52x speed
In fact, all the drives did a good job of reading the blanks written at the maximum speed. The AOpen COM5232/AAH had the same result with any firmware version. This device was the fastest as it reached a speed of 52x at the final areas of the disc, while the Samsungs both stopped at 42x. Anyway, the difference between the models is negligible, about 1-2 seconds. The Samsung TS-H492A drew an ideally smooth graph, without any slumps or humps. The SM-352N produced certain undulations at the starting areas of the blank. But again, all the drives were very good in this test.
The AOpen can boast the best average read speed as well as the minimal access time. Well, we already know it from the CD WinBench 99 test. On the other hand, this drive is worse than the Samsungs as concerns the burst rate. The AOpen was also the best in ergonomics – it makes you wait for 9.35s for the disc to be recognized after the load. The Samsung SM-352N takes a disc in and recognizes it in 10.15s; the Samsung TS-H492A needs 12.49s to do the same.
Now let’s examine the quality of the burned CD-R discs. Again, I burned the discs at the maximum possible speed as well as at 24x speed.
Burned CD-R read graphs at 24x speed (Nero Quality Check)
Nero Quality Check report
I used the version 1.09 firmware with the AOpen COM5232/AAH in this test.
All the three drives had a single surge of errors of the second encoder: 103 with the AOpen and 105 with the Samsung TS-H492A. The Samsung SM-352N had more C2 errors – 266. As for the errors of the first decoder, the Samsung TS-H492A made few of them; the Samsung SM-352N is the second best in this respect, and the AOpen COM5232/AAH had the worst result. All in all, the new Samsung and the AOpen behaved much alike in this test. At 24x, the drives burned really high-quality discs. I could say the same about the SM-352N, but it had more C2 errors than the other two.