DVD Read Performance

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-01-23 Print this article Print

We used Nero DVDSpeed 0.53 and DVDTach 2.51 to test DVD read performance.
We had to scratch our heads over the performance of the Sony drive in Neros DVD transfer rate tests. The behavior of the Sony drive looks suspiciously like DMA wasnt operational, even though the Windows Device Manager reported the Sony drive running in DMA mode 2. So we dug out our old copy of DVD Tach 98, version 2.51. The behavior of the Sony drive in DVDTach was essentially the same -- very little spread between the maximum and minimum transfer rates at both 32KB block size and 2KB block size. While the system is reporting DMA mode, perhaps the Sony isnt properly handling DMA transfers. At any rate, as a DVD player, the Pioneer moves data off the disk much faster than the Sony.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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