Samsung SD612 12x DVD ROM
Samsung, a company well known for their consumer electronic products, also
manufacturers various computer related items such as monitors, CD Writers, and
DVD ROM drives. Their latest model, the SD 612S, is capable of reading DVD's at
12x, and CD ROM's at 40x (both rating are "maximum" speeds, which are usually
only attainable at the outermost regions of a disc). Available as an internal
IDE solution, the 612S is designed to appeal to those who are planning to
migrate to DVD, but are looking for a relatively affordable solution to do
Details and more
The following table illustrates the SD 612's specifications, as provided by
||Data Transfer Rate: DVD 12X
(16,200KB/sec), CD 40X (6,000KB/sec)|
||Burst Transfer Rate: PIO Mode 4 (16.6
MB/sec), DMA 2 (16.6 MB/sec), Ultra DMA supported|
||Average Access Time of 110ms (DVD) and 90ms
||MPEG Compatible with various Soft MPEG
players and MPEG II cards|
||128kb FLASH memory|
||Permits for both horizontal and vertical
||Supported Media: DVD ROM, DVD R,
DVD Video, CD ROM, CD R,CD RW,CD DA, CD ROM/XA, Video CD, CD I/FMV,
Multisession Photo CD, Extra CD, MixedCD, CD Text|
||S/N Ratio >
Not too much to discuss in terms of these specifications, as they are
generally average for a 12x DVD ROM drive. As we'll see in the benchmarks later
in the article, the above statistics are quite accurate, which is a definite
plus (after all, few things are worse than overrated performance claims).
The out of box experience of this particular DVD ROM drive was
nearly flawless. The drive comes bundled with an IDE cable, mounting screws, a
CD audio connector for "most" sound cards, and a copy of Cyberlink's PowerDVD
2.55 software decoder/playback application. A note to users of Creative's
Soundblaster Live (and possibly other new cards as well): make sure you have an
existing CD audio cable for your drive, as the provided cable isn't compatible
with these cards.
Installation was quite easy, considering there are no
drivers needed for any DVD ROM drive for Windows. Upon mounting the drive and
starting up my computer, the DVD ROM was identified without any problems. As I
do with any hard drive or CD ROM/DVD drive, the first thing I did in Windows was
to enable DMA mode in the DVD ROM's properties dialog box in Device Manager.
DMA, or Direct Memory Access, is a method used to speed up operations, and is a
must if you wish to achieve the maximum performance of your
Over the past few weeks, I've played through dozens of movies.
With a Pentium III 700, 256mb RAM, eVGA Geforce2 MX, and Hercules Game Theater
XP soundcard, playback was flawless. Not once did I notice any dropped frames or
visual glitches. Even a relatively scratched up DVD played astonishingly well (a
major contrast to an older 5x OEM DVD I had, which had major troubles with the
disc). Overall, I was very impressed with the playback quality of the
In testing actual read
performance using Nero CD Speed 2000 (version 0.83 beta), the drive attained a
maximum data transfer rate of 41.36x with an average read speed of 28.79x.
DVD read performance measured 11.82x (max) with an average of 8.43x
(single layered media). While not best of breed performance, it is definitely
acceptable, and still offers plenty of speed for loading programs, browsing
through a DVD ROM encyclopedia, and other disc intensive
the Samsung SD 612 lives up to its maximum speed claims, one still needs to
realize that 12x DVD reads are not terribly important by today's standards as
the majority of software applications are still being distributed on CD ROM.
Luckily, this drive fares quite well with such discs. If you are looking for a
replacement to an older CD ROM drive, yet have been thinking about making the
move to DVD, the SD 612 is a solid choice.Since
completing the review of this drive, I have received numerous reader submissions
regarding a problem reading dual layered DVD titles.
While I have not experienced these problems with this particular unit, the number of
people with problems is too much to ignore.