The specifications of LG GSA-H22N state that the drive is able to write CD-R discs at up to 48x and CD-RW discs at up to 32x. In this part of the review we will find out how the drive performs in terms of speed and quality.
Writing speed with CD-R discs:
For our data writing tests, we created a new compilation of 703 MB using Nero Burning ROM software. The writing method used is DAO (Disc At Once), and the disc is set up as a non-multisession disc with "finalize disc" enabled. The screenshot below shows how long it took to write a disc at the highest speed (48x):
The drive took 2 minutes and 43 seconds to write the disc at 48x. The LG GSA-H22N is the fastest of all recently tested drives:
We test writing quality using CD-R discs from different manufacturers.
To measure the writing speed, we used the "create data CD" function of Nero CD-DVD Speed. The discs were written at the maximum speed supported by the drive.
For the quality test, we used KProbe 2, a tool developed by a Lite-On employee. It runs under Windows and works with drives made by Lite-On. We used a Lite-On LTR-24102B drive with firmware 5S5A and scanned the discs at 48x. (Note that different scanning drives and different scanning speeds may affect the results obtained during quality tests.)
In practice, a recorded CD-R disc will always have some C1 errors; C1 errors are easily corrected by the drive’s error correction capabilities.
The next level of errors is C2. While C2 errors are corrected by computer drive’s error correction mechanisms, they are not wanted on a good quality disc. A good disc should not contain any C2 errors, and preferably have an average C1 error amount of below 2.0 for the best quality discs, or at least below 10.0 C1 average for good quality discs. After C2 errors, there are only un-correctable errors that will make a disc unusable.
In short, our analysis will be based on these guidelines to determine the quality of the burned disc:
CD-R/RW quality scan guideline
Verbatim DataLifePlus CD-R media has no C2 errors and the average C1 error rate of 1.47, indicating that the LG GSA-H22N produces excellent quality burns with this media, and in record time too.
This Verbatim-branded media, manufactured by CMC Magnetics Corporation has no C2 errors and the average C1 error rate of 1.36, just as good as the DataLifePlus media. Again, the burn time of 2 minutes and 37 seconds is as short as it gets at 48x, and the LG GSA-H22N produces excellent quality burns with this media.
There is an increase in the C1 error rate in the last 10 minutes of the disc, but not enough to significantly raise the average error rate. The LG GSA-H22N burns this media very well, and the 48x CD-R burn is fast.
This Memorex-branded media manufactured by Ritek was burned by the LG GSA-H22N at 40x, taking 30 seconds longer than 48x burns. Burn quality is very good with an average C1 error rate of 3.41.
Writing quality with CD-RW discs:
We have performed a few write quality tests with rewritable media. The settings and the testing procedures are the same as with CD-R media. All discs used for these tests are new and have not been written to before.
The ultra-speed CD-RW has frequently been difficult for DVD drives to handle, and the LG GSA-H22N is no exception. C1 error rate is very high, and there are many C2 errors. This media appears to be unsuitable for audio recording.
However, our data disc is readable and exhibits only minor slowdowns when read by another drive, a BenQ DW1640.
This media was burned at 16x but it shows slightly better, but still far from good quality. Again, the BenQ DW1640 has no trouble reading the disc.
The LG GSA-H22N is a very fast CD-R writer creating high quality CD-R discs.
CD-RW burns appear problematic when we look at quality scans, but all recorded discs are read back fine.