CD Read Tests
The Sony and Plextor drives did best in our transfer-rate test, with an average speed of more than 34x. In the access time test, the Toshiba writer led the pack.
DVD Read Tests
In DVD mode, the Toshiba SDR-5472 showed the best capability at high speeds. It was closely followed by the DRU-810A from Sony and the Pioneer DVR-110D.
Our video extraction tests showed the Plextor, Pioneer and Sony drives in a three-way tie, with an average speed of 8.7x and a maximum speed of 12x for the Pioneer.
CD-R Writing Tests
The speed trophy went to the Toshiba SDR-572, which burned a 700 MB (80 minute) CD-R in 2 minutes 41 seconds. That's an average burn speed of almost 38x!
CD-RW Writing Tests
While all the writers tested in this article can write CD-RWs at 32x, it's hard to find media compatible with that speed. So we tested with 24x media. Oddly, the Toshiba had the lowest score here; the NEC came in first at 4 minutes 11 seconds.