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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.

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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.

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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
  • pirateboy
    no LiteOn device? why?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    pirateboyno LiteOn device? why?The eHBU212 wasn't available yet when this roundup was initiated last spring. Sorry, other reviews had deadlines.
    Reply
  • vdr369
    Yeah, LG drive looks really cool and performs better, nice design and lavish looking
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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 essentialIt'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.
    Reply
  • dimar
    When do we finally get eSATAp?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply