Samsung TS-H552U 16X DVD±RW - CD Read and Write Tests

Article Index
Samsung TS-H552U 16X DVD±RW
The Drive, Bundle and Software
Test System and Info
CD Read and Write Tests
DVD Read and Write Tests
The End - Conclusion

CD Read Tests:

Because this is the first Samsung Optical Drive I've ever looked at, I really didn't know what to expect.  I never even knew how fast it was rated to read and write CD's.  I did know that it was capable of DVD+R DL writing at 4x, and DVD±R writing at 16x.  To get us all educated, let's first take a look at how it reads CD's.

This first test shows how the drive reads a full data CD created using the "Create Data Disk" function of Nero CD Speed.  This disk is full, and therefore should showcase the drives maximum read ability.  On this disk the drive easily reached it's rated speed and then some.  It finished the test at almost 50x.  Notice that seek times are very good, and burst rate is in line with ATA33 drives.

This next test is of an Audio CDR that I used for the majority of my CD Audio Read testing.  This is a compilation CD that is just over 77 minutes long and has a few minor scratches.  I am surprised to see that the TS-H552U reads this disk at full speed.  It finished the test over 48x, with good seek times, and a perfect 10 for DAE quality.  Burst Rate is also quite normal.

The above test gives a very bare analysis for Digital Audio Extraction.  To fully test out DAE quality we have to run a dedicated DAE testing program.  This program rips the audio from the CD as fast as it can, then compares the ripped audio with that of the original.  If there are any variations, they are reported as errors.  According to the Digital Audio Extractor I used the DAE quality of this drive is indeed perfect.  What surprised me however was the speed.  The TS-H552U read audio CD's at full speed, but when called to do DAE, it slowed down to 4x.  Weird.

Although the PX-716A struggled when reading CDRW's, the TS-H552U did not.  The drive is rated to read CDRW's at 32X, and it does.  It uses a conservative CAV method, but it reads these disks well.  Often with RW media, seek times can be quite high, but these seem to right on the money.  Burst rate on the CDRW media is normal as well.

This test is a new one to us here.  We've tested this before, but never included a screenshot.  The reason we are including a screenshot is due to the erratic reading of this disk.  The drive is capable of reading and writing 99 minute CDR's, but this is how it looks when it reads it back.  I ran this test several times and with different 99 minute CD's, and the results were the same.  It can read the disk, but it seems to have a bit of trouble.  That being said, I ran a check on the disk and it doesn't have any unreadable errors.

A test that we've added a few reviews back now is that of the drives ability to read scratched and dirty disks.  I have a backup of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast that I use for this test.  It is quite scratched up, and has some finger prints on it.  I keep it in this condition to run these tests.  As you can see below the Samsung drive had no trouble reading it at all.  The drive did slow down a little over half way through, but at least it can read the disk correctly.

CD Write Tests:

 

Now that we've seen how this drive is able to read CD's, lets take a look and see how well it can write CD's.  This first test we're going to show is done with a blank 80 minute CDR filled to capacity with CDSpeed's "Create Data Disk" feature.  The disk is written start to finish and includes a lead-in and lead-out.

This drive uses a fairly conservative P-CAV curve, but still manages to produce excellent write times.  It finishes an 80 minute disk in less that 3 minutes and averages over 34x.  Not bad at all.

Next, we'll take a look at how this drive performs when writing a 24x CDRW.  This drive writes the disk using an aggresive P-CAV.  It starts at 21x and quickly hits 24x and finishes the disk with an average of 23.78x.  Even though the write is happening at a maximum of 24x, the average speed is only slightly slower than when it reads this disk back at 32x. (see write tests above)  Very good CDRW writing performance.

In the last of the acutal write tests, we will look at how this drive fares when writing a 99 minute CDR.  It slows down from it's maximum write speed of 40x, and uses P-CAV, not Z-CLV to write this disk at 32X.  CD Speed incorrectly identifies the write strategy as there were numerous drop-offs in performance.  This disk tested fine though, and there were no unreadable errors.

What good is a drive with speed, if it can't get the job done with quality?  The last CDR test we look at is the quality of the write.  The test disk is a RiData 48X CDR that we use for general data storage here at the shop.  They are cheap, but seem to work good in most drives.

As you can see in the screenshot below, the TS-H552U had a little trouble with these disks.  I ran the test several times with different RiData disks written by the Samsung drive, and the results were similar.  The PX-716A we reviewed tested at 4566 errors on the sample media, and the TS-H552U tested over 8200.  Still not alarming numbers, except for the spikes noted below.  The media had no dust or smudges on it that I could see.

That wraps up the CD tests.  Head on over to the next page for the DVD tests.