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Asus CDS-5000 CD-ROM Review

Asus CDS-5000 CD-ROM Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: When one thinks about CD-ROM drives, it is likely that the name Asus isn't one of the first names on people's minds. Known for their ever so popular motherboards (and even graphics boards), one might wonder whether or not such a motherboard centric company can dish out the quality in goods such as CD-ROM drives.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Optical Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Asus Apr 12 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Optical Drives > Asus CDS-5000

First Look/Instataion

The evaluation unit I received came in a relatively big box packaged quite nicely to ensure against any damage to the drive while shipping. Upon opening it, I found included: Asus 50x CD-ROM drive, brief installation manual, floppy with DOS drivers, 4 phillips type screws for mounting and an analog CD-Audio cable to connect the drive's CD-Audio OUT into its corresponding IN on the sound card. The CD-ROM drive provides both digital and analog audio out headers. Of course, not many soundcards (at least the commonly available ones) provide support for a digital CD-IN but having the provision is always nice.

Installation went smooth and without any incident. One thing I noticed with the DOS driver is that it does provide support for Ultra DMA/33. Of course, not many people use DOS these days but it looks like ASUS wanted to ensure optimum performance under both the DOS and Windows platforms. Setting up the drive for use in Windows 98 required no effort on my part and the drive was detected by the operating system without asking for a reboot or asking me to insert the Windows 98 CD. In this regard, I haven't experienced anything different with any other CD-ROM drives as well.

The one thing that does make one think is the high rotational speed exhibited by the Asus 50x Max. At a 10,400 rotational speed, it spins a lot faster than most hard disks out there in the market. Before setting up the drive for use, I normally use the Creative 48X CD drive which certainly gives out a heck of a lot of vibration.

So you could say that I am used to having my cabinet shake a bit when the Creative drive is in use. Just for your information, even when the Creative drive is not in the cabinet, the drive housing does its own rattle and hum making me wonder about the overall finishing of the product. Moving up to 50x, I expected the same 747-esqe noise characteristics (if not more) than the 48x drive that I am currently using.

To my surprise, the level of vibration had gone down significantly after the change of drives. Sure, the Asus drive still makes some noise while in use, but MUCH less than the 48x. Asus has incorporated the use of something called as DDSS II, or Double Dynamic Suspension System II to limit the noise and reduce the vibration of the motor. I find that it does make a difference, but do expect some noise to be there. You can think of DDSS II as a muffler added to a non muffled car. Expect to hear the difference.

Let us move on to see how well this drive performs.

Test Bed Setup

- Celeron 400 CPU (66x6)
- 96MB PC100 SDRAM
- Soltek 67KV Apollo Pro 133A Motherboard
- VIA 4-in-1 drivers installed
- Creative 52x 5220 CD-ROM drive
- Creative 48x 4820 CD-ROM drive

In order to benchmark the drives, Ziff-Davis CD Winbench 99 was used to calculate various transfer rates in the inner and outer region of the CD, access times and CPU utilization. Each test was run 4 times with the resultant score being the average of the 4 test runs. In addition, real world testing was done by copying various CD to another storage medium. In this case, the hard disk. The number of files as well as the amount of space used is described with its resultant graph showing copy times. A couple of other applications were also used to compare loading times between the 3 tested CD-ROM drives.

Direct memory access is enabled throughout the duration of the tests using Windows 98 as the operating system.

Move on to the next page for some results...

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Contents of Article: Asus CDS-5000
 Pg 1.  Asus CDS-5000 CD-ROM Review
 Pg 2.  — First Look/Instataion
 Pg 3.  CD Winbench99
 Pg 4.  More Results

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