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Asus CDS-5000 CD-ROM Review

Asus CDS-5000 CD-ROM Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: When one thinks about CD-ROM drives, it is likely that the name Asus isn't one of the first names on people's minds. Known for their ever so popular motherboards (and even graphics boards), one might wonder whether or not such a motherboard centric company can dish out the quality in goods such as CD-ROM drives.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Optical Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Asus Apr 12 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Optical Drives > Asus CDS-5000

CD Winbench99

At first glance, the results are something one would normally expect from a 50x drive. The performance in the inner and outer tracks lie pretty much between the 52x and the 48x drives. The same could be said for the CD Winmark scores. CPU Utilization is a bit higher on the Asus 50x drive.
The performance differences are not very dramatic under this benchmark. The number to look out for is the CPU access time of the 3 drives where the Asus 50x comes out the clear winner. We all know that in hard disks, the access times are so low already that 1-3 milliseconds do not make much of a difference in overall hard disk performance. When turning to CD-ROM drives, the story is a bit different.
In fact, the Asus 50x drive's access is up to 30ms+ lower than 2 drives compared. After one of the tests, this benchmark suite reported the access time to be as low as 68.5ms! So what am I getting at? You will see the explanation later on after the real world benchmarks are displayed.

Both installations of NFS 3 and Unreal were set at minimal, meaning that only the bare files needed to run these games were installed on the hard drive. The remaining files are to be read from the CD-ROM. The games were loaded into the main menu and the time taken during both games was from selecting a new game till the time the game was loaded.

Not much of a difference in this area. Though it is interesting to see that the performance of the 50x leans towards the performance of the 52x rather than the 48x drive.

CD speed explanation

Before moving further it should be made clear why certain CD-ROM drives rarely (rather never) sustain their rated transfer speeds. Many CD-ROM drives on the market are label as 48x MAX or 50x MAX, etc. The MAX part of it doesn't really signify the name of the drive but rather describes that the rated speed is the maximum attainable transfer rate of the CD-ROM drive. In order to understand what they mean by maximum attainable transfer rate, you must be aware of the way that the CD-ROM spins and the way the CD-ROM drive reads. The outer edges of a given CD "spin faster" than the inner edges of the CD.
As the circumference of the outer parts of a CD are greater than the inner areas, at a given RPM, more data can be read off of the outer edges of a CD per revolution than the inner edges. There are two methods which are utilized by CD-ROM drives known CLV and CAV.

CLV, or Constant Linear Velocity is a method which describes the way a CD-ROM drive reads a CD. In CLV, the CD rotational speed is adjusted in order to maintain a constant rate of data transfer on both the inner and outer edges of a CD-ROM. As mentioned above, the outer edges of a CD-ROM drive are read faster than the inner edges. A CD-ROM drive which exploits the use of CLV means that the CD will spin slower at the outer edges of a CD-ROM and faster at the inner edges in order to keep data transfer rates constant. So this means that a 24x drive utilizing CLV will read data at a 24x transfer rate all of the time.

The other method is known as CAV, or Constant Angular Velocity. Instead of varying spin speeds, CAV keeps the RPM of a CD constant and reads data at whatever speed is being delivered. Taking a 40x MAX CD-ROM as an example, the data transfer rate at the inner edges of a CD might only be 18x-20x as data transfer rates are slower in that region.
On the other hand, when the lens is reading data from the outer edges of the CD, transfer rates increase up to the maximum rated speed. This is where the MAX term comes into play and why drives labeled with MAX do not transfer data constantly at their rated speed. The Creative 50x drive is an example of a CAV type CD-ROM drive. By look at the benchmarks above and after reading this explanation, you should now understand why the inner track speed is slower than the outer track speed on this type of CAV-based mechanism.

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Contents of Article: Asus CDS-5000
 Pg 1.  Asus CDS-5000 CD-ROM Review
 Pg 2.  First Look/Instataion
 Pg 3.  — CD Winbench99
 Pg 4.  More Results

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