An unassuming appearance is a distinguishing feature of optical drives from Toshiba – the front panel of the SD-M2012 is very plain-looking. The tray carries a device type symbol, under which a rectangular Eject button and a LED indicator are located. Analog and digital audio connectors, power and interface connectors, and a jumper with pins are located on the rear panel of the case.
As for technical characteristics, the drive supports DVD read speeds up to 16x. The manufacturer details this information: 2x with DVD-RAM, 6x with recordable and rewritable DVDs. The maximum CD read speed is 48x. The average access time is 100ms with CDs and 110ms with DVDs. The cache buffer is 512 kilobytes big. The drive supports the following media formats: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R (Version 1.0), DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R (DL), CD-DA (Red Book), CD-TEXT, CD-ROM (Yellow Book Mode 1 & 2), CD-ROM XA (Mode 2 Form 1 & 2), Photo CD, CD-I /FMV (Green Book, Mode 2 Form 1 & 2, Ready, Bridge), CD-Extra/CD-Plus (Blue Book), and Video-CD (White Book). The dimensions of the drive are 42x148.2x184mm; its weight is 0.7kg.
The average retail price of this device is $22.
Testbed and Methods
We used the following programs and utilities to explore the operational parameters of the DVD-ROM drives:
- Nero CD-DVD Speed 4.01
- Nero Info Tool 3.01
- Nero CD DAE 0.4B
- Andre Wiethoff Exact Audio Copy (EAC) version 0.95 prebeta 5
- Nic Wilson DVDINFOPro 4.25
- Ziff Davis Media CD WinBench 99 version 1.1.1.
The testbed was configured like follows:
- Intel Bonanza D875PBZ mainboard
- Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU
- IBM DTLA-307015 15GB hard disk drive
- GeForce2 MX400 64MB graphics card
- 512MB DDR SDRAM
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 and DirectX 9.0b.
The tested drives were attached to the mainboard’s second IDE channel as “Master”. Sony’s drives worked at their maximum 48x speed when reading CD media. We tested the drives in the same state as we had received them (or as you would have them right after the purchase).