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I bet many of you have faced the situation at least once when you borrow a CD disc from a friend of yours and it turns out badly scratched. Or even worse, you get a valuable CD back and your system simply refuses to read it. Well, touch wood if you haven’t, but I am definitely not the lucky one here.

Usually if there is a problem with the system being unable to read the disc, you usually should blame the wearing out of the disc surface, which is inevitable if you are using it a lot. Some surface damage may also result from careless disc handling or simply from bad luck. The optical media manufacturers do their best to find a panacea against these problems by creating special types of optical discs, which should be robust to work surface damages like that.

Today we decided to pay special attention to the new TDK products: DVD+R/DVD-R discs. To make the overall picture complete we also added a few DVD-RW solutions from TDK and Verbatim that are certified for 4x write speed. Since we haven’t yet tested these discs for writing quality and performance characteristics, we decided it would be a good idea to combine the regular DVD media testing with the indepth disc quality investigation.

Testbed and Methods

For DVD burning quality tests we used Sony DW-Q28A drive (KYS1 version), which proved pretty successful in our previous test session, and LiteOn SHOW-1653S (CS09 version).

During our test session we burned MPEG4 movies and individual files onto the discs, so that we could fill them almost up to the maximum of their supported capacity.

The tests were run in the following system:

  • Intel Bonanza D875PBZ mainboard;
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU;
  • IBM DTLA-307015 15GB HDD;
  • GeForce2 MX400 64MB graphics card;
  • 512MB RAM;
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional with installed Service Pack 1 and DirectX 9.0c.

The optical drives were connected as Master devices to the second IDE channel.

During our tests we used the following benchmarking software:

  • Nero Burning ROM version 6.6.0.8;
  • Nero CD-DVD Speed version 4.00;
  • Nero Info Tool version 3.01;
  • DVD Identifier version 4.01;
  • DvdinfoPro version 4.15.

The discs were burned at the maximum supported speed claimed by the manufacturer. The burning quality was estimated by the drives themselves. The discs were scanned at the constant speed of 4x.

 
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