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Samsung SM308 8x4x32x8 DVD-CDRW Review
Samsung SM308 8x4x32x8 DVD-CDRW Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Not only do Combo drives read CD-ROMs, and Audio CD's, they also write CD-R, rewrite CD/RW, and most importantly read DVD-ROMs.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Optical Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung Dec 14 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Optical Drives > Samsung SM308

Samsung SM-308 8x4x32x8 DVD-CDRW Review

Combo drives have only recently made their way onto the optical storage marketplace, and the wait has really been too long. These unique drives bring together four optical technologies under one 5.25" drive bay.

Not only do Combo drives read CD-ROMs, and Audio CD's, they also write CD-R, rewrite CD/RW, and most importantly read DVD-ROMs. With one drive you can do all the work of a standard CD-ROM, burn disks like a good CD-RW, and watch movies on DVD. Other than a savings in cost, the SM-308 Combo drive physically takes up less space then three separate devices.

Additionally, for those of you who have two or three hard drives, only one IDE position need be occupied. With CD burners now having entered the arena of standard devices it is no wonder that advances are progressing so quickly.

Samsung SM-308 Combo Drive
Ships with the following:
  • User's Guide
  • Easy CD Creator 4
  • Recording Media (CDR, CDRW)
  • Power DVD software
  • CD Audio cable (4-pin connector)
  • Philips mounting screws

Manufacturer: www.samsung.ca

Optical Drive Features:

I suppose one of the largest features any CD-RW capable device should have these days is support for JustLink or BurnProof. These two software based technologies prevent the dreaded buffer underrun error that plagues many earlier burners during the burn process. Unfortunately, the SM-308 was released just on the cusp of the release of JustLink and so it is not supported. This increases the chance of errors popping up despite the small 2MB buffer.

Looking at the physical ports on the SM-308, we can see that is has the standard jumpers for master/slave/cable settings, IDE host connector, and 4-pin molex power terminal. Alongside those connections is a 4-pin analog audio connector and a 2-pin digital audio output terminal.

The packaging and layout are fairly straight forward. The only gripe I have with this packaging is the omission of the 2-pin digital audio cable, which would have been a nice addition. Most manufacturers usually seem to forget to include the 2-pin digital audio cable in their respective retail boxed units as well. The user's guide that is included in the box, is easy to read and has the basic information listed in terms of installation, product features/specifications, a diagnostic troubleshooting section.

The general specs on the drive are as follows:

  • 8X Write, 4X ReWrite, 32X Read, 8X DVD
  • Interface : EIDE/ATAPI
  • Drive Type : Internal Type
  • Buffer Memory : 2MB
  • Burst Transfer Rate: PIO Mode 4 (16MB/s), DMA Mode 2 (16MB/s)
  • Loading Type : Motorized Tray Type
  • Average Access Time : 140ms DVD, 120 CDms
  • Drive Mounting : Horizontal/Vertical
  • Writing Method : DAO, TAO, SAO, Multisession, Packet Writing
  • Supported Disc : DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-Video, CD-R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, Video-CD, CD-I, Photo CD, CD-EXTRA, CD-TEXT.

At first glance the 4X rewrite seems kind of slow, but remember that your average blank CD-RW media is going to only be capable of 2X or 4X unless you are accustomed to shelling out the big bucks. I'd be willing to bet that most of us shop for recordable media by price first, colour second (silver, blue, gold).

Test System Specs: and Test Setup

PCstats Test System Specs:

AMD AthlonXP 1900+
256MB PC2100 Twinmos DDR-RAM
Aopen AK77 Plus Motherboard
Maxtor 60GB @ 7200RPM
Prolink GF2Ti Video Card
Enermax 430Watt P/S

Software: Windows 2000 SP1

Nero CDspeed 99, DVD Speed 99, WinMark 99

We made sure that the drive was set to DMA to garner 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 any case, the first benchmark we used to test the read capabilities of the SM-308 was the venerable SiSoft Sandra. Using Sandra 2001 the SM-308 achieved a drive index of 2046, which is fairly respectable.

Next up was e-TestingLabs CD Winbench99. This is a more professional optical drive benchmark that runs a series of scripted programs from an actual CD in the drive, measures the time and data transfer capabilities as a result.

CDWinBench 99 Ver 1.1

CDRW: Setting: WinMark99
Samsung SM-308


1550 KB/s

© 2022 PCSTATS.com Next Page >


Contents of Article: Samsung SM308
 Pg 1.  — Samsung SM308 8x4x32x8 DVD-CDRW Review
 Pg 2.  Benchmarks: CD/Audio/DVD
 Pg 3.  Conclusions

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