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The front panel with a scattering of logos and controls may please those users who don’t like the now-fashionable “bare” design. It’s all simple, neat and functional: a volume control, a headphones socket and a Play/Slip button next to the standard Eject button.

The rear panel is absolutely standard, with a traditional set of interface connectors and a jumper for selecting the drive’s status on the IDE channel. The connectors are labeled right there, so even inexperienced users should have no trouble attaching this device to the computer. There are no vent holes here, not mentioning active cooling, but this is hardly a drawback considering the speed formula of this drive, while the noise level as well as the level of dust inside the device should be much lower with this design.

  

Now, let’s have a look at the inside. This model is based on the previous-generation MediaTek MT1818E/MT1816E chipset. What’s curious, the capabilities of this chipset, which is employed in many other drives including Sony DRU-700A, Lite-On SHOW-812S, and Teac DV-W58G-A, are much better than the specifications of the GO-0404A. The manufacturer shows “thriftiness” using the same chipset for several optical drive models. Running a little ahead, the top-end GO-0804A model that we will discuss below is based on the same MT1818E chipset, too.

Now let’s see what the manufacturer has left from the chipset’s capabilities in this device:

  • Supported burn speeds:
    • DVD-R: 1x, 2x, 4x (CLV);
    • DVD-RW: 1x, 2x (CLV);
    • DVD+R: 2.4x, 4x (CLV);
    • DVD+RW: 2.4x, 4x (CLV);
    • CD-R: 16x, 24x, 32x, 40x;
    • CD-RW: 4x, 10x, 16x, 24x (P-CAV);
  • Supported read speeds:
    • DVD-ROM (single-layer): 12x CAV;
    • DVD-ROM (dual-layer): 6x CAV;
    • DVD+R/RW: 6x;
    • DVD-R/RW: 6x;
    • CD-ROM: 40x CAV;
    • CD-RW: 32x CAV;
  • Supported disc formats:
    • DVD-ROM, DVD+R Double Layer, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-Video CD, CD-DA, CD-ROM (XA), CD Extra, Video CD, Photo CD, CD Text, multi-session;
  • Buffer size: 2MB;
  • Average access time: 160 milliseconds (DVD) and 130 milliseconds (CD);
  • Weight: 1 kilogram.

The drive evidently has a predilection towards the DVD+R/RW format as it processes such discs considerably faster than –R/RW ones. The specs above say that this model belongs not even to yesterday, but to the day before yesterday. But speaking about the real exploitation conditions, do we really need higher speeds? Well, 4x-speed recording of write-once media may be slow – 8x would be better.

The manufacturer says the drive should be positioned horizontally. Yes, vertical placement is but seldom used, but anyway… You should mark this fact.

That’s enough for a first glance. Here’s what Nero Info Tool and DVD Info report about this product:

  

Let’s make a note of support of S.M.A.R.T. and Streaming technologies.

 
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