Desja - 2007-09-26 12:51:51 in Optical Drives
Category: Optical Drives
Reviewed by: Desja   
Reviewed on: October 3, 2007
GF City Computers
Price: $44.83 USD


If you are like me, you remember when burners first came out. My first burner was a whopping 8x CD writer. In order for Nero to work correctly, I had to turn every single application off, including my virus scan (I had myself a wonderful AMD K6-2 450). By far, burning a cd was the most irritating operation I've ever gone through. Not only could I not successfully burn at 8x, I couldn't even pull it off at 4x! Continually cranking my speed down to 2x, just so my boat anchor of a pc wouldn't wreck any more discs, and if you remember at that time they were $1 a piece! But I digress. Today's burners have come a long way.

Everything has come a long way since those days. One of those advances is the ATA connector called Serial ATA (SATA). IDE (also referred to as Parallel ATA) had a burstable data rate of 133MB/second, where as the first iteration of SATA had a burst rate of 150MB/second. More recently, SATAII doubled that, coming in at a whopping 300MB/second. With these numbers it should be clear to everyone that SATA blows IDE out of the water, but is that really the case? IDE drives are still being made; are they simply being grandfathered out or are they up to par? Let's find out together by taking a look at a couple of optical drives.


LG Electronics has continually gained more and more recognition as of late. With its offering of a low cost, good quality product, LG has solidified its place in today's market. LG strives to attain the ambitious goal of being a key architect of today's and tomorrow's digital age.



Closer Look:

When I received the LG SATA DVD burner, I must say I wasn't sure what to think. I must admit I have used several brands of optical drives, such as Benq and Asus. Currently I am already using LG in my main system and have yet to have any problems with it.

As is normal in an OEM product, the GSA-H62N came in a plastic bag along with a CD-ROM sleeve containing PowerDVD, Nero Express, InCD, and Power Producer. I did have to find myself a Molex to SATA power cord converter because my power supply only has one SATA power connector, already being used.

Although the software included was great, I decided to use my Nero 7 Ultra edition software for testing this optical drive's benchmarking and burning tests.






Here we can see the connectors, which may be a strange site for anyone familiar with IDE and not the newer SATA connectors.




Although the OEM product did not come with an installation manual, it was fairly standard, as is any optical drive install. Most basic users could figure it out quite quickly. As I stated before, I needed a Molex-to-SATA power connector to perform the install, which many users with older power supplies may find necessary as well. To start, just plug your SATA cable into the motherboard and then connect to the alloted spot on the back of the optical drive, then connect the power connector.





Screw in at least two screws to secure the drive to the chassis. I usually only have two screwed in on my drives; I hate having to open both sides of my case to swap out drives. It is a personal preference and if you are afraid of excess vibration, I suggest tightening all four screws into your drives.





Once the drive is secured, turn on your PC and Windows should auto-detect the new drive and install the correct drivers with out any major hiccups.





When you boot up the CD, it looks something like the image below, listing all of the applications I mentioned before: PowerDVD, PowerProducer, Nero Express, and InCD. If you do not already have applications like these already installed, I strongly suggest trying them out.







18x SATA Internal Super Multi DVD Rewriter Access Time:

CD-ROM 125 msec

DVD-ROM 145 msec

DVD-ROM DL 220 msec

DVD-RAM 270 msec

Data Transfer Rate: DVD: Max 22,160 KB/s, CD: Max 7,200 KB/s

Buffer: 2MB

Dual Layer Compatible

Compatible with all DVD Formats


:DVD-R/RW/ROM(SL/DL) 16x/13x/16x/12x max.

:DVD-R DL 12x max. :DVD-RAM (Ver.1.0/2.2) 2x/ 2x, 3x-5x PCAV, 6x CLV, 6x-8x PCAV, 6x-12x PCAV

:DVD-Video (CSS Compliant Disc) 4.8x max. (Single/Dual layer)

:DVD+R/+RW 16x / 13x max.

:DVD+R DL 12x max. :CD-R/RW/ROM 48x/40x/48x max.

:CD-DA (DAE) 40x max.

:80 mm CD 10x max.


:DVD-R DL 2x, 4x, 6x CLV, 10x ZCLV :DVD-RW 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x CLV

:DVD-RAM 2x, 3x ZCLV, 3x-5x PCAV (Ver.2.2), 6x ZCLV, 6x-8x PCAV, 6x-12x PCAV

:DVD+R 2.4x, 4x, 6x CLV, 8x ZCLV, 8x, 12x, 16x PCAV, 18X CAV :DVD+R DL 2.4x , 4x , 6x CLV, 10x ZCLV

:DVD+RW 2.4x, 4x, 6x CLV, 8x ZCLV (High Speed DVD+RW: 6x CLV, 8x ZCLV)

:CD-R 4x, 8x, 16x CLV, 24x, 32x, 40x PCAV, 48x CAV

:CD-RW 4x, 10x,16x CLV, 24x, 32x ZCLV

Transfer Rates

Write :(High Speed: 10x, Ultra Speed: 16x, 24x, US Plus: 16x, 24x, 32x)

ACCESS TIME :DVD-ROM 145 ms typ. (190ms Limit :DVD-ROM DL 220 ms typ. (300ms Limit)

:CD-ROM 125 ms typ. (180ms Limit)

:DVD-RAM (Ver.2.2) 270 ms typ. (400ms Limit)

DATA TRANSFER RATE :DVD-ROM 22.16 Mbytes/s (16x) max.

:CD-ROM 7,200 kB/s (48x) max.



LOADING :Motorized Tray

Drive OS Compatibility

Read/Write :Windows Millennium Edition (Me) / Windows Vista X86, X64

:Windows 2000 Professional

:Windows XP Home Edition, Professional, Media Center Edition

Supported Formats

Reads/Writes :DVD-ROM: 4.7GB (Single Layer), 8.5GB (Dual Layer)

:CD-Audio Disc :Mixed mode CD-ROM disc (data and audio)

:CD-Extra :CD-Text

:CD-R (Conforming to “Orange Book Part 2”: read & write)


:DVD-R: 4.7GB (Ver. 2.0 for Authoring: read only), 4.7GB (Ver. 2.1 for General: read & write), (DL) 8.5GB (Ver. 3.0)

:DVD-RW: 4.7GB (Ver. 1.2/ Rev 1.0, 2.0, 3.0)

:DVD-RAM: 2.6GB/side (Ver. 1.0: read only), 1.46GB/side, 4.7GB/side (Ver. 2.2)

:DVD+R: 4.7GB (Ver. 1.3), (DL) 8.5GB (Ver. 1.1)

:DVD+RW: 4.7GB (Vol. 1/Ver.1.3, Vol. 2/Ver.1.0)

:CD-ROM Mode-1 data disc

:CD-ROM Mode-2 data disc :CD-ROM XA, CD-I, Photo-CD Multi-Session, Video CD

WRITE METHOD :DVD-R/RW Disc at Once, Incremental Recording, Restricted Overwrite (DVD-RW only)

:DVD-R DL Disc at Once (DAO), Format4(Layer Jump Recording)

:DVD-RAM/+RW Random Write

:DVD+R Sequential Recording

:DVD+R DL Sequential Recording :CD-R/RW Disc at Once (DAO), Session at Once (SAO), Track at Once (TAO), Packet Writing

MOUNTING :Vertical and Horizontal installable


INDICATORS :Busy indicator

REAR PANEL CONNECTIONS :USB Connector, Power Connector, Power Switch


MPEG-2 Software :PowerDVD SIZE (WxDxH) :146 x 41.3 x 165 mm WEIGHT :1.5 kg max.




For testing I am going to be burning a 1GB file and a 500MB file to DVD and timing the difference between the IDE and the SATA drives. I will also be burning a 100MB file to CD and testing the difference in speeds. Both drives will be tested at 16X for DVD and 48X for CD. I will also be performing a seek time, transfer rate (both CD and DVD), and a cpu usage test on both optical drives.

Testing System

Remember, the lower the number, the faster, and better the drive performed on this test.

The lower the time in this case, the better the drive performed


Using Nero CD-DVD speed application we will test the transfer rates for both drives for both DVD and CD.





The faster the drive gets up to speed in these benchmarks, the better the drive is performing. You will notice a graph in the picture, but pay closer attention to the number given on the side.



DVD transfer rate (IDE)



DVD transfer rate (SATA)



So going by the numbers, we can see the SATA is inching ahead of the IDE in the DVD test. Now we'll see how it does in the CD test.



CD transfer rate (IDE)



CD transfer rate (SATA)



Again we see SATA pulling ahead, this time with a much more forcefull lead over the IDE drive.



CPU usage test:

One thing that is important to most enthusiasts is resources. How much or how little resources your computer has at any given time seriously effects system performance. In this test we will see how your CPU is effected by IDE and SATA at 8X. The lower the CPU usage, the better.






Although there is a major jump in the data rate from IDE to SATA, these tests showed that it is not a huge overall improvement. One major benefit to SATA over IDE, I would have to say, is they got rid of Molex connectors. Anyone who has cut their fingers open or smashed their knuckles on their case fighting with a Molex connector can sympathize with me. Although the times didn't differ too much, for the most part SATA did win in almost every test. Just in space consumption alone, I'd choose SATA's connectors any day over IDE's bulky, cumbersome connectors. The LG drive was nice and quiet in both cases, thus showing LG does supply quality for low cost. I did not receive any under run or read errors throughout the entire test on either drive. I would say that because of the times and less cpu usage, I have to give SATA the clear victory here. IDE had its day in the sun; it's time for something new. It will be some time before the optical drives take full advantage of SATA like the SATA hard drives, but for now they are still worth your money if you like a clean case and just that little extra oomph when you need it. In summation, SATA is the clear winner in this epic battle of the optical drives.