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      RICOH MP5125A DVD+R/+RW Review

     
     Date: January 13th, 2003
     Type: Review
     Supplier: RICOH
     Author: mayhem
     RRP: $595 AUS

    Introduction:
    With CD-R/-RW recording equipment becoming common place among new computers a new technology has been brewing for some time, that is DVD recording. Although it has been out for a while already, the drives have been high priced and featured slow recording speeds. Just like its predecessor (CD's), DVD recording is becoming more common place in the market with the units dropping in price and increasing in features.

    Introducing the MP5125A DVD+RW / DVD+R writer from Ricoh, the trusted supplier of state-of-the-art office automation equipment for over 60 years. The Ricoh MP5125A does it all, burning DVD+RW, DVD+R, CD-R and CD-RW discs. The ideal DVD solution for both DVD video recording as well as PC data storage!

    About DVD+RW/+R
    DVD+RW is a direct descendant of CD-R/RW and has been promoted by the DVD+RW Alliance, formed by companies that have played a central role in the promotion of CD-R/RW. With a large storage capacity of 4.7GB, DVD+RW supports stress-free fast writing and free appending/editing even after data has been recorded. DVD+RW is well suited to applications where data may need to be freely overwritten in everyday use, such as for storing data or making DVD-Videos, and can be used for almost all applications. On the other hand, DVD+R has been developed for those instances where important data should never be erased or data is to be distributed/exchanged and compatibility is extremely important. While keeping data from being erased or overwritten, the discs share a high level of compatibility because of its physical specifications that are basically the same as DVD-ROM discs. With its excellent compatibility, recorded DVD+R media can be read or played by almost all the DVD-ROM drives and DVD players. Click Here for Compatibility List.

    Random access and rewritability make DVD+RW an excellent and affordable storage format for backups, storage or any application that requires editing. With the supplied packet writing software you can use a DVD+RW as if it were a 4.7GB hard drive attached to your computer, this makes backups and file sharing from location to location simpler and more cost effective than tape solutions.

    Features

  • 2.4x DVD+RW
  • 2.4x DVD+R
  • 8x DVD Read
  • 12x CD Record
  • 10x CD ReWrite
  • 32x CD Read
  • Ricoh's new buffer underrun error prevention technology 'Just Link'
  • 2MB Buffer
  • Internal Type ATAPI
  • S/PDIF terminal for digital audio output
  • Anti-dust, low power consumption design
  • One Year Australian Warranty
  • Contents:
    The drive comes in complete kit form, with everything you will need to create your own data, audio or video DVD's.

    This kit includes the following:

  • DVD+R/+RW Drive
  • 1x DVD+RW Media
  • 1x DVD+R Media
  • Quick Start Instructions
  • On-line User's Manual CD
  • Software CD including:
      • B's Recorder GOLD v3.2
      • B's CLIP v3.2
      • neoDVD Standard v2.6
      • WinProducer 2
      • WinDVD 3.2
  • Analog Audio Cable
  • 4x Mounting Screws
  • Setting Up:
    As with most 5.25" drives, the Ricoh MP5125A is a cinch to install into your machine, all you have to do is slide it into an available bay and screw it in securely. Once that is complete then you need to connect a free ATA connection into it, all it requires is a an ATA33 cable and it is probably a very good idea to put it on your secondary IDE controller as to separate it from your hard drives (this improves the stability and data flow). If your fortunate enough to own a board with 4 IDE ports (i.e. a RAID board or similar) then you can probably set the DVD burner on its own cable, this is how the burner was setup in our test system.

    Once you have installed the drive and your system has recognised its presence you should see something like the following in your drives list:

    Testing:
    In order to put the unit through its paces we burnt all support media types, that is DVD+RW, DVD+R, CD-RW and CD-R to see how the unit performed. Once burned the media was tested in a variety of DVD/CD readers to test for quality.

    The test drives for reading were:

    • Pioneer 16 x Tray Loading DVD-ROM Drive
    • Sony Home DVD Player
    • Voxson Home DVD Player ($178 at your local Dicksmith Electronics)

    DVD+R/+RW recording speeds - Although you may thing 2.4x is rather slow, in actual fact its quire fast, this relates to almost 20x CD recording and can record full DVD's in under 25 minutes, here are some tests that were run:

    From the above you can see that the time depends mainly on the amount of data that is being recorded, but don't forget the more sessions or files that it must record also affects the total recording time (although not nearly as much).

    As you can see the quick erase time is not really dependent on the size of the disc, this is because it simply wipes the FAT (File Allocation Table) and doesn't completely format (so to speak) the DVD.

    NEXT: Testing continued and Conclusion

     

      Supplier Information

     

    RICOH Australia has been in the business of optical recording technology and media since its conception many years ago. They have built up a reputation for reliable and affordable CD-RW drives in the past and are fast making a name for themselves in DVD recording technology. For more product information and specifications please visit the Ricoh Australia website which can be found here: http://www.ricoh.com.au/

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