LaCie d2 DVD±RW DL external drive with Firewire

 

The specifications of this drive tell us that it should write DVD+R and DVD-R discs at 8X speed. In this section, we will measure the write time for various types of DVD+R and DVD-R discs. We will also focus on write quality and media compatibility.

 

DVD-Writing performance:


 

In this test we will measure the time for writing to a DVD+R disc. We used Nero burning Rom to set up a new UDF/ISO compilation containing 4483Mb of data, and started the write process. We used the Disc-At-Once write method.

 


DVD+R

Look below for the results.

Write DVD data discs

DVD+R

DVD-R

Plextor
PX-708A

8m:01s

14m:57s
(4x speed)

NEC
ND-2500A

9m:34s

9m:30s

Lite-On
LDW-811S

8m:43s

15m:07s
 (4x speed)

Pioneer
DVR-107D

8m:45s

8m:27s

NU
DDW-082

8m:02s

14m:26s
 (4x speed)

Lite-On
SOHW-812S

8m:40s

9m:29s

BenQ
DW822A

8m:26s

16m:13s
(4x speed)

BTC
DRW1108IM

10m:34s

10m:03s

Philips
DVDRW885

8m:20s

Not supported

LaCie d2
DVD
±RW DL

9m:49s

9m:44s


As we could see, the LaCie drive is among the slowest 8x drive compared to the table, but let us see how the writing quality is.

 

Write quality:


 

You should first notice that this is not a scientific and professional way to test the discs. But according to our testing done in recent months, we would conclude that there is a clear link between the quality reported when scanning the disc and the playability of the disc in different devices. Also notice that different drives report different amounts of errors. K-Probe was designed to work with Lite-On DVD-Writers. So we recommend using a DVD-Writer from Lite-On, in this test we use a Lite-On SOHW-832S DVD-Writer, as already said; remember that scans done with a Lite-On DVD-ROM or Lite-On combo drive can’t be compared with the results obtained with a Lite-On DVD-Writer. Also remember that different PI/PO ECC sum settings along with different reading speeds in K-Probe will affect the result, we use these settings;  PI (Parity Inner) set to summarize 8 ECC blocks, PO (Parity Outer) set to summarize 1 ECC block, reading speed: 4X CLV (Constant Linear Velocity). Setting the PI sum to 8 and the PO sum to 1 will give a result that we may compare to the standards for DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW.

 

But what is a good scan? That is a discussion that we don’t think will end soon, as different drives report different amount of errors, some players is more picky about media than others, and so on. But as a comparison we present you with a scan from two pressed DVD discs:

 


This scan shows the results from a pressed DVD-ROM disc (Baldur’s Gate DVD-ROM).

 

 

This scan shows the result from a pressed DVD-Video disk (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). Notice the error jump when shifting to the second layer (the error level actually drops from the end of the first layer to the beginning of the second layer).

 

If you read below, you will see that both the pressed DVD-discs are well within the standards.

 

Download the ECMA 267 Standard for DVD-ROM, the ECMA 337 Standard for DVD+R/RW and the ECMA 338 Standard for DVD-R/RW at http://www.ecma-international.org if you want to look at the standards for yourself. Here is some data from the ECMA standards (same for DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW):

 

Random errors:

 

A row of an ECC Block that has at least 1 byte in error constitutes a PI error. In any 8
consecutive ECC Blocks the total number of PI errors before correction shall not exceed 280.

 

Here we see what a PI error is defined as a row in an ECC block having 1 byte or more containing errors. And that the sum of PI errors in 8 ECC blocks after each other should not exceed 280 PI errors.

 

But what is a row and what is an ECC block? Again, we refer to the ECMA standards. We do not copy and paste everything but if you are interested, look in the ECMA standards. A row is 182 bytes long, where the last 10 bytes contain PI (Parity Inner) information. An ECC block is 208 rows long where the last 16 rows contain the PO (Parity Outer) information. This gives us a maximum possible PI error amount of 208 errors per block and for 8 blocks after each other this sum is of course 8 times higher giving a maximum possible amount of 1664 PI-8 errors. In practical use a disc with 1664 PI-8 errors is unreadable.

 

According to our tests the specified max PI-8 sum of 280 for good discs seems to be a good guideline, as some readers have problems reading discs when the PI-8 errors is over 300 and most players starts to have problems when the PI-8 error level reaches 600 or more.

 

But what are the PO errors that K-Probe reports? Actually, the PO errors that K-Probe reports is the Parity Inner uncorrectable errors, meaning errors left after PI correction. Only the ECMA 337 standard describes the Parity Inner uncorrectable errors. So how is a Parity Inner uncorrectable error defined? Here are what ECMA 337 states:

 

‘If a row of an ECC Block as defined in 13.3 contains more than 5 erroneous bytes, the row is said to be ‘PI-uncorrectable”.”

 

In theory an ECC block may in the worst case have 208 PI uncorrectable errors since every ECC block is 208 rows long. But the ECMA 337 standard goes further and specifies the max amount of accepted PI uncorrectable errors allowed on a good disc:

 

‘- In any ECC Block the number of PI-uncorrectable rows should not exceed 4.”  

 

This means that when the PO sum is set to 1 the maximum error value should not exceed 4. The theoretical maximum value for PO errors is 208 errors.

 

But what makes a disc unreadable? A PO uncorrectable error will make the disc unreadable, but K-Probe does not display the PO uncorrectable errors.

 

Notice that there are other aspects such as disc reflectivity, jitter, tracking errors and so on that also will affect the readability of a DVD disc ‘“ but for this we do not have measuring equipment available.

 

And another note is that we have scanned the discs at 4X CLV speed, by lowering the speed to 2X(DVD-R/RW)/2.4X(DVD+R/RW) or 1X the amount of reported errors may drop on some discs. We scanned at 4X CLV due to lower speeds taking to much time.

 

To see if there is a connection between the reported amount of errors and readability of the discs we also include the reading curve from a JLMS XJ-HD166S DVD-ROM that is using a modified firmware and thus tries to read the discs at full 16x speed. Reading the discs at full 16x speed could almost be considered a ‘torture” test and most discs will slow down near the end. Only the best of the best discs will be able to get a perfect reading curve, so our limit for good discs will be: A speed drop at the end is accepted, but the reading speed should not drop below 6x for longer periods (small dips below 6x are accepted).

 

Easier explanation on how to read the test results.


 

Maybe this got too technical, and you are wondering what to look for in Kprobe reports?

 

Use this as a guideline for good discs:

 

PI(Parity Inner): No larger areas on the disc should exceed 280 PI-8 errors, do not worry too much about high single spikes that exceed 280.
PO(Parity Outer): No larger areas on the disc should exceed 4 PO-1 (actually PI uncorrectable) errors, do not worry too much about high single spikes that exceed 4.

 

As always; lower is better.

 

Also, look at the reading curve, some slowdowns are expected with most media, but the reading speed should not drop below 6x for longer periods (small dips below 6x are acceptable).

 

DVD+R media compatibility and write quality:


 




Read test done with modified firmware.

 


Read test done with original firmware. 

 

Brand:

Maxell

Manufacturer:

Taiyo Yuden Company Limited

Code:

Yuden000 T01

Disc Type:

DVD+R

Capacity:

4483MB

Certified Speed:

1x-4x

Write Speed:

8x

Write Time:

9m:29s

PI-8 errors Average/Sec:

0.10

PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:

0.00

 

Excellent media and kprobe result. This 4x certified media was even burned at 8x with LaCie. The drop in speed at the end is a minor problem.

 




Read test done with modified firmware.

 


Read test done with original firmware. 

 

Brand:

Medion

Manufacturer:

Ricoh Company Limited

Code:

Ricoh JPN R01

Disc Type:

DVD+R

Capacity:

4483MB

Certified Speed:

4x

Write Speed:

6x

Write Time:

10m:32s

PI-8 errors Average/Sec:

0.09

PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:

0.00

 

Another excellent result. This 4x certified media was burned at 6x with the LaCie drive. Also this time, there was a drop down in the speed at the end, but it did not affect the overall result. The best results overall in the DVD+R tests. Recommended!

 




Read test done with modified firmware.

 


Read test done with original firmware. 

 





























Brand:


Memorex


Manufacturer:


CMC Magnetics Corporation


Code:


CMC MAG F01


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


1x-4x


Write Speed:


4x


Write Time:


14m:17s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


1.92


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.00


A good burn, should not bring any problems.


 






Read test done
with original firmware. 


 

































Brand:


MMORE Thanks to MMORE Int. B.V for sending us this
media.


Manufacturer:


Moser Baer India Limited


Code:


MBI PG101 R04


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


1x-8x


Write Speed:


4x


Write Time:


14m:15s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


0.36


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.01


 


A good burn with low errors, the only drawback; this 8x
certified media was written at 4x with the LaCie drive. Maybe the firmware is a
bit out dated to write this media at 8x?







Read test done
with modified firmware.


 




Read test done
with original firmware. 


 

































Brand:


Platinum


Manufacturer:


CMC Magnetics Corporation


Code:


CMC MAG E01


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


8x


Write Speed:


8x


Write Time:


9m:26s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


0.58


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.00


 


This media is one of the cheapest (Germany) in our DVD tests, and the
results are very good. A drop down in the at the end, but nothing to worry
about.


 






Read test done
with modified firmware.


 




Read test done
with original firmware. 


 

































Brand:


Platinum


Manufacturer:


Ricoh Company Limited


Code:


Ricoh JPN R02


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


8x


Write Speed:


8x


Write Time:


9m:34s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


2.08


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.00


 


This media is one of the cheapest (Germany) in our DVD tests, and the
results are good. A drop down in the at the end, but nothing to worry
about.







Read test done
with modified firmware.


 



Read test done with original firmware.


 

































Brand:


Plextor


Manufacturer:


Taiyo Yuden Company Limited


Code:


Yuden 000 T02


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


8x-12x


Write Speed:


8x


Write Time:


9m:30s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


0.33


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.00


 


This media is the one the most expensive media in this DVD
test. Some high spikes at the beginning of the DVD+R, but that is a minor
problem. This even made it close to 16x with the modified firmware on the read
test. Overall a good media.






Read test done
with modified firmware.


 




Read test done
with original firmware.


 

































Brand:


SONY


Manufacturer:


Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation


Code:


MCC 002


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


1x-4x


Write Speed:


4x


Write Time:


14m:17s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


4.03


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.01


 


This media was a real torture for the DVD drive with
modified firmware. Yet, the scan is still good.






Read test done
with modified firmware.


 




Read test done
with original firmware.


 

































Brand:


Ultron


Manufacturer:


RiTEK Corporation


Code:


RITEK R03


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


8x


Write Speed:


4x


Write Time:


14m:11s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


0.68


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.03


Another 8x certified media that was written at 4x, overall
a good result. 

 





Read test done
with modified firmware.


 




Read test done
with original firmware.


 

































Brand:


Verbatim DataLife Plus (Advanced AZO)


Manufacturer:


Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation


Code:


MCC 003


Disc Type:


DVD+R


Capacity:


4483MB


Certified Speed:


8x


Write Speed:


8x


Write Time:


9m:29s


PI-8 errors Average/Sec:


0.16


PI-8 uncorrectable errors(PO) Avg/Sec:


0.01


 


Very good media with excellent kprobe and read back
results. Highly Recommended!



 


Perfect media compatibility and 4x certified discs that are
supported at 6x / 8x. The write quality is excellent.



 


 


On the next page you will find DVD-R writing
results…