|Review: Mad Dog MD-16XDVD9|
Reviewer: Wesley Novack
Provided by: Mad Dog Multimedia
Manufactured: August 2004
Mad Dog history and information:
According to their website; Mad Dog Multimedia is a technology company that designs, manufactures and markets multimedia and peripheral products under a mantra of what they call “uncompromising excellence”. Mad Dog exists to satisfy the consumer by creating cutting-edge products that set the bar for quality and value and provide uncomparable service and support for these products.
At Mad Dog, they pride themselves on creating quality graphic cards, sound cards, optical storage solutions and PC accessory products, “Techie Toyz”. Mad Dog is a company built on world-class systems and logistics, and personnel who are committed to the satisfaction of every customer. Mad Dog’s success comes from maintaining manufacturing excellence while ensuring that their authorized resellers always have adequate supply to meet the demand of the consumer. This strategy has produced nearly 1,000,000 users and positioned them for continued growth.
In less than 3 years, their competitive spirit has made Mad Dog into a $52 million technology company with over 200 new products scheduled to launch in 2004. Mad Dog is proud of the fact that their success has resulted from their reputation for high quality products and outstanding customer service. Mad Dog is a company that has survived and thrived in a challenging economy and will continue to forge ahead with “uncompromising excellence”.
These are the specifications of this drive, found at the Mad Dog webpage:
MD-16XDVD9 ‘“ DVD+/-RW Drive Features:
MD-16XDVD9 ‘“ DVD+/-RW Drive
DVD-Video, DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-18, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW
CD-DA, CD-ROM XA (Mode 1, Mode-2 (Form-1, Form-2), CD-R, CDRW, Bootable CD, Photo CD (single and multi-session), Video CD, Super Video CD, CD-Extra, Mixed-Mode CD, CD-Text, CD-Graphics
DVD-Video, DVD-Data, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW
Track-at-once, Disc-at-once, Multisession, Packet Writing (fixed and variable), CD Digital Audio, Direct-Over-Write on CD-RW, Simulation Write
Data Transfer Rate(s)
Read 16X (~22 MB/sec) Max.
Read 5X (~6.9 MB/sec) Max.
Read 8X (~11 MB/sec) Max.
Read 16X (~22 MB/sec) Max. (SL)
Read 5X (~6.9 MB/sec) Max.
48X (7,200 KB/s) for CD-R Recording (Max.)
DVD – 120mm Disc
DVD – 140ms (Average)
Buffer Under Run
IDE Bus Interface
PIO Mode 4
2.20 lbs. (1.0kg) Body Only
146mm x 42mm x 171mm (W x H x D)
Horizontal or Vertical
FCC, UL, CSA, TUV, CE
Operating: ~ 41Â°F – 113Â°F (20% – 80% RH)
20% to 90% (non-condensing)
100,000 Hours (POH)
Windows XP / 2000 / ME / 98SE
Nero Express 6
Roxio EasyCD Creator, WinDVD and PowerDVD
Minimum System Requirements
Pentium III 800 MHz or equivalent (minimum)
128 MB RAM (minimum)
1 ‘“ 10 GB HDD available storage
Mad Dog also provides a 2 year warranty for this drive:
We guarantee this product with our industry leading 2 Year limited warranty.
These specifications are very competitive and help to make this drive a very considerable choice in the current DVD writer market. However, specifications do not reflect the quality of performance. You will have to read on to find out more about how this drive actually performs.
Note: Initially we found that the box and the Mad Dog website had incorrectly listed a write specification of 8X for DVD+RW. We reported this error to Mad Dog and they immediately corrected their website and assured us that future boxes would contain the correct specification of 4X write for DVD+RW. Thumbs up for the immediate response and action from Mad Dog!
What‘s inside the box?
On this page we will take a look at what the drive came shipped with as well as take a look at the drive and its’ technology.
The box advertises and highlights the 16X DVDR writing speeds, the Double Layer 4X writing speed, and the 8.5GB DL capacity. Let us take a closer look at the contents of the box:
This bundle is somewhat small compared to some other DVD writer retail packages and contains:
- The drive itself
- Nero software installation CD
- Quick Setup Guide
- 4 mounting screws
Along with the standard retail package, Mad Dog was also kind enough to send us 1 Verbatim 2.4X DVD+R DL disc, 1 Imation DVD-R disc and 1 Verbatim DVD-R disc.
The Quick Setup Guide contains pictures and step by step instructions, which should help anyone to easily install the drive and software.
This is what we believe should be added to the bundle: Blank discs (preferably at least one DVD recordable and one DVD ReWriteable), an IDE cable, and an audio cable. On the positive side, it does have Nero 6 bundled, which is one of our favorite recording softwares.
Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself:
We can see that the bezel has a large MAD DOG logo, a DVD Forum (DVD-R/RW) logo, a DVD Alliance (DVD+R/RW) logo and a Compact Disc ReWriteable logo. The bottom half of the bezel contains a single LED, an emergency eject hole, and a standard eject button. The drive does not have a headphone jack or volume control. The LED is a single green color, which blinks green during writing and stays lit solid green during reading. We would prefer an LED with 2 different colors for reading and writing.
We could see that the drive is made in Malaysia. We are surprised to see that the FCC ID differs from the NEC 3500AG, because this drive uses identical hardware and is actually manufactured by NEC. Our sample was manufactured in August 2004.
On the back of the drive starting from the left, we can see the digital audio connector; analog audio connector; pins and jumper to set the drive to cable select, slave or master; IDE connector and finally the power connector.
We had no trouble quickly installing the drive in our test system. Here is a screenshot from Nero InfoTools’ Drive Info tab:
Our drive came shipped with firmware 2.F8. We performed some tests using 2.F8, but we then updated to 2.F9 and then later to 2.FA as soon as they became available. The majority of the tests were done using 2.F9, but we also redid any tests that had poor results with the newer 2.FA firmware. Mad Dog claims that the only change in 2.FA (compared to 2.F9) is the added support for Ritek DVD+R DL discs. It does not support DVD-RAM reading/writing nor Mt. Rainier, however very few drives support these features. The buffer size is listed as 2MB, however some other drives are built with an 8MB buffer. A larger buffer is preferred, but this is a minor complaint. All in all, the supported features look very good.
Here is another shot from Nero Burning ROM:
On the next page we will take a look at the test machine, the testing software, the drive features and the included software…