Three External USB And eSATA Blu-ray Burners Tested

Test Hardware And Configuration

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge), LGA 1155, 3.40-3.80 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache. O/C at 1.25 V to 4.00 GHz
CPU CoolerThermalright MUX-120 with Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
MotherboardAsus P8P67 Deluxe: BIOS 1502 (03/02/2011), Intel P67 Express, LGA 1155
RAMKingston KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX: DDR3-1600 CAS 9-9-9-27, 4 GB x 2 (8 GB)
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580: 722 MHz GPU, 1.5 GB GDDR5-4008
Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD 
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM: 760 W, ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 270.61 WHQL
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.0.1019


We didn’t need a super-powerful PC to test the capabilities of optical drives, yet we didn’t want to leave any question about our system’s capabilities. We clocked Intel’s Core i7-2600K to 4.00 GHz on Asus’ P8P67 Deluxe, completing the system with Kingston RAM, a GeForce GTX 580 graphics card, and an ultra-fast Samsung flash drive.

The biggest limitation of today’s tests could be the media we're using, since we weren’t able to find any 12x BD-Rs. We were, however, able to import some of Sony’s legendary NN3 discs from Japan (at no small cost, we admit), and the company also sent two more directly. This 6x-rated media is well-known for its 12x overspeed capability.

Verbatim might not be known for 12x overspeed, but its 6x dual-layer media is also some of the best in the industry. We also sourced our 8x dual-layer and 16x single-layer DVD media from Verbatim, and best of all is the knowledge that all of these discs are available in the U.S.

Further details are available on today’s intended media choices by clicking on the below images.

 

After reexamining our options, Nero DiscSpeed became the obvious choice for all of our testing needs. Best of all, it’s free.

Benchmark Configuration
Speed TestsNero DiscSpeed 6.2.3.100
Blank MediaVerbatim BD-R DL 6x, DVD-R 16x, DVD+R DL 8x; Sony BD-R NN3 6x
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24 comments
    Your comment
  • pirateboy
    no LiteOn device? why?
    2
  • Crashman
    pirateboyno LiteOn device? why?
    The eHBU212 wasn't available yet when this roundup was initiated last spring. Sorry, other reviews had deadlines.
    3
  • vdr369
    Yeah, LG drive looks really cool and performs better, nice design and lavish looking
    0
  • Anonymous
    Could you please add a chart about the quality of the burned data itself.
    (I do not know if this is possible?) A lot of people still burn audio CDs and for this the burn quality is normally essential
    0
  • Crashman
    Mille23Could you please add a chart about the quality of the burned data itself.(I do not know if this is possible?) A lot of people still burn audio CDs and for this the burn quality is normally essential
    It's in the photo album:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/gallery/bd-sl-scan-ASUS,0101-302721-9789-0-0-0-jpg-.html See no errors know no errors.
    0
  • dimar
    When do we finally get eSATAp?
    1
  • Crashman
    dimarWhen do we finally get eSATAp?
    It's been replaced with USB 3.0, and neither of those has enough amperage to power these drives.
    2
  • dimar
    CrashmanIt's been replaced with USB 3.0, and neither of those has enough amperage to power these drives.


    Not true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESATAp
    I already have the bracket for eSATAp where I have the power supply connected using the 12v/5v molex cable.
    -1
  • Crashman
    dimarNot true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESATApI already have the bracket for eSATAp where I have the power supply connected using the 12v/5v molex cable.
    That's fine, but it doesn't contradict what I said.

    Let me be more specific: USB 3.0 is primarily for portable devices, eSATA is primarily for stationary devices, and eSATAp is something in the middle that doesn't have enough power for "big" drives such as these.

    The purpose of eSATAp WAS to combine the convenience of USB 2.0 with the performance of eSATA. But the purpose of USB 3.0 IS to combine the convenience of USB 2.0 with the performance of PCIe. This is a was vs is debate, Windows XP is still great too but many people have simply quit using it.

    Hey, I remember external SCSI too!

    BTW, some of these drives DO support eSATA. Forget the P, a USB power connector won't power these drives!
    3
  • dimar
    CrashmaneSATAp is something in the middle that doesn't have enough power for "big" drives such as these.


    You don't get it. You actually connect the power supply power cable to the back side of the eSATAp connector. It gets the full 12v and 5v load.
    -3
  • dontknownotsure
    Cool, thou I must confess that I have use desktop PC without single optical disk drive for 5 years already
    -1
  • Anonymous
    ok thank your rceive ,so how to solve the problem about the mother board ?
    -1
  • gwolfman
    Did you test if any of these drives are RipLocked!?!
    0
  • pirateboy
    CrashmanThe eHBU212 wasn't available yet when this roundup was initiated last spring. Sorry, other reviews had deadlines.


    ok, thx for the heads up on that.
    I hope you can review the LiteOn drive later.
    0
  • QEFX
    OK, now I just need a plausible reason to justify one of these for my home use.

    How many MP3s do I need to archive to 1 disk at a time .... rats can't OK it yet. Maybe January 2012 sales.
    0
  • killerb255
    With eSATAp, it depends on the implementation. Just from the little I've read, there are a few ways to do it:

    1) eSATAp using a (e)SATA port and a USB port via a cable. Data speed and power limitations are dependent on the ports being plugged into. For example, if using SATA 1.5 and USB 1.1 ports, you're not going to get, say, SATA 6 speed or USB 3.0 power. On the other hand, if the cable has the proper USB 3.0 "A" connection, then I would think that you could get SATA6 speed and USB 3.0 power through the cable and into your eSATAp device.

    2) eSATAp header to SATA port on motherboard and floppy/molex/SATA power from a standard ATX power supply. From there, the power limitations are dictated by the floppy/molex/SATA interface (unless eSATAp has a power limitation itself that would bottleneck this).

    3) eSATAp port on an ExpressCard that requires an external AC Adapter.
    0
  • jamesedgeuk2000
    Seriously? Does anybody really care? CD/DVD had their day but Blu-ray was outdated before it hit the shops, why spend money to burn the last optical format when you can just stream to your media player over your home network? why archive data when hard drives cost as much per GB ad BR-R? Why record something to take to a friends when you can just stick it on a USB stick or 2.5" HDD.
    0
  • aries1470
    jamesedgeuk2000Seriously? Does anybody really care? CD/DVD had their day but Blu-ray was outdated before it hit the shops, why spend money to burn the last optical format when you can just stream to your media player over your home network? why archive data when hard drives cost as much per GB ad BR-R? Why record something to take to a friends when you can just stick it on a USB stick or 2.5" HDD.


    Really?.. Let me see, I can see a few reasons. Unless you want to be carrying around a 2.5" HDD. Now there is a reason somewhere, oh yes, a 2.5" hdd cost here in Australia around $60-$70Aud for a 320-500Gb drive, now at around $1.25 per 25Gb per disk, some simple math... that would be 13 disks for a 320Gb so 13 * 1.25 = $16.25. Then, over here, the average 4Gb USB stick costs about $5-$8, so it defeats the purpose. Just read the article a little more:
    And yet, while USB thumb drives are the 21st century's floppy disk, that whole measure of price per gigabyte gets prohibitive when it comes to distributing lots of storage to lots of friends, coworkers, or family members.

    So, the article already mentions a good reason for their use.
    Can't wait for the quad layer drives disks.
    0
  • dontknownotsure
    aries1470Really?.. Let me see, I can see a few reasons. Unless you want to be carrying around a 2.5" HDD. Now there is a reason somewhere, oh yes, a 2.5" hdd cost here in Australia around $60-$70Aud for a 320-500Gb drive, now at around $1.25 per 25Gb per disk, some simple math... that would be 13 disks for a 320Gb so 13 * 1.25 = $16.25. Then, over here, the average 4Gb USB stick costs about $5-$8, so it defeats the purpose. Just read the article a little more:
    And yet, while USB thumb drives are the 21st century's floppy disk, that whole measure of price per gigabyte gets prohibitive when it comes to distributing lots of storage to lots of friends, coworkers, or family members.
    So, the article already mentions a good reason for their use.Can't wait for the quad layer drives disks.


    wtf I carry 2.5 hdd to work everyday and what is this?

    false dilemma much?

    also for archival purpose, 2tb 3.5 in. HDD in at current market price in my place already beat the Blu-ray in price per GB, plus it's rewritable & fast, and also It's in RAID array.

    Are there something wrong with private torrent sharing stuff with lots of friends?? sometime across continents?? even when failing that I still have private home ftp server that friends can access.

    Hmm let me just do the math and see how much does It costs to share large amount of data across lots of people, oh wait, Its zero.
    0
  • aries1470
    Just a request to the reviewer, Thomas.
    Is there a possibility to make available test resaults using USB2.0, since ALL drives would support that, not to mention that people with a little older hardware would also be interested in this, instead of them buying USB3.0 or e-Sata.
    That is an interface that can check ALL 3 drives and give a conclusive determinitation on how they work for "backwards" compatability.

    I guess that extra paragraph with graphs would be interesting to see how each companies selected controller works, and also another idea would be to open up the cases and see what drives are used inside and check the physical internal interfaces. Are they direct e-Sata and an adapter for USB to SATA inside or what?
    Also what about the Lightscribe support, why not check that out too. There are a few different "colour" disks now too. Check to see which of the two drives does a better image and how fast they do it at the best setting. Also note that the implementation is different for CD's compared to DVD's, so they do not have the same contrast. As for BD-R lightscribe, that is slated for later this year or early next year.

    Another thing to consider is also compatability of the media itself with older BD Players.
    Quote:
    pre-2009 Blu-ray player incompatibilities that are appearing with the newer LTH series of BD-R blanks
    for a full read of the thread here is the linkhttp://www.lightscribe.com/discussionboards/index.aspx?g=posts&t=5407. Also some google searching will turn up more information.

    Elsewise, this is a great article.
    0