Pioneer DVD-500M 16X DVD-ROM Review
The Pioneer DVD-500M is a 16X DVD-ROM with a listed DVD data max transfer
rate of 21MB/s, currently putting it at the top of the market in terms
While the all encompassing Combo drive
(CDRW-DVD) has yet to really take the markets by storm, consumers are still quiet
comfortable buying their CDRW Burner separate from their DVD-ROM drive because it pretty much guarantees faster performance than
a Combo can offer. We still think that 3-in-1 drives are great, but they are
never a head of the curve, something that is essential for a lot
The DVD-500M uses a quiet belt-driven tray mechanism which is good for noise reduction.
The drive can be mounted horizontally or vertically depending on your preference and both a full sized 120mm
DVD and smaller half-size 80mm CD's can be read. The front bezel is clean with
just an eject button, indication LED, headphone jack and volume wheel for audio
||Ships with the following:
- User's Guide
- CD Audio cable (4-pin connector)
- Philips mounting screws
- IDE CABLE
The front bezel is very plain and flat, and
quiet boring. Compared to the Samsung drives we have reviewed recently, the DVD-500M
is not that attractive, but hey, its just a DVD-ROM! On the rear of the drive, only a four-pin analog audio cable available for use.
|Test System Specs:|
||AMD Athlon XP 2000+|
ATI Radeon 8500
256MB Corsair PC2400 CAS2
||IBM 40GB Deskstar 7200RPM|
||Windows 2000 Pro|
VIA 4in1 4.37V
||CD WinBench 99 V1.1|
Nero CD Speed
SiSoft Sandra 001
We made sure that the drive was
set to DMA to get the best possible results from it. If you are unsure of how to
set your drive to DMA a short explanation is included in the instructions.
In order to gauge the performance of the Pioneer
DVD-500M, Nero DVD Speed was used along with the "Matrix" DVD, to measure the
performance of the drives access time, transfer rate and CPU utilization. We
tested visual performance by connecting the Athlon 2000+ test system up to a 47"
HDTV (hey why not?) and played back the Matrix, specifically scene #28 (the
"Lobby Shooting Spree") and checked for any pauses, skipping, or jerkiness
during the film sequences.
DVD Speed is a DVD-ROM
benchmark which can test the most important features of a DVD-ROM
this test we use a pressed DVD-ROM with about 7.8GB of data on it.
|Pioneer DVD-500M - DVDSpeed
|Random Seek Time:
|1/3 Seek Time:
|Full Seek Time:
|CPU use: 1X
Between the older DVD combo drive and the DVD-500M there
is significant hit to performance. The Pioneer is capable of maintaining an
average read speed of 5.7x that actually peaks at around 8X by the looks of it.
Start and end read speeds hovered around the 3.5X times mark, and realistically
speaking the drive produced a good clean image when we hooked it up to a display
to watch movies.
Since we don't have the complete test data for the
DVD106, SD616, or SDM1212 we can only offer them for rough comparison (we no
longer have the drives). Unlike the SM-308, these drives are purely DVD-ROMs,
and since they were tested a while ago on another system I wouldn't pay too much
attention to the CPU usage numbers (we tested the DVD-500M on
a Athlon XP 2000+ system). What is interesting is the Average speed
results, and here the Pioneer DVD-500M competes very well with the Pioneer DVD-106 and Samsung SD616
which are also 16X DVD-ROM's. The Toshiba SDM1212 is a 6X DVD-ROM, and
thrown in for comparisons sake. Note that none of the 16X drives come near to using
all that speed.
The e-TestingLabs CD
Winbench99 benchmark runs a series of scripted programs from a special CD in the
drive and measures the time and data transfer capabilities as a result. Higher
numbers mean better performance.
|CD-WinBench 99 Benchmark Results|
||Samsung SW-224 (CD-RW)
||Samsung SC-152 (CDROM)
||Pioneer DVD-500M (DVD ROM)
||2440 kb/s |
||Samsung SW-216 (CD-RW)
The DVD-500M posts the best results of any of the other drives tested here. We have compared this DVD drive
against other optical drives because these tests are not specific to DVD playback.