Everyone has optical drives and as time has passed they’ve gotten faster and faster, one problem I’ve encountered though is that for newer drives there is no media for the latest speeds, something I’ve never been able to quite figure out. IDE is becoming obsolete, with SATA becoming the new standard, first it was hard drives now more and more companies are coming out with optical SATA drives as well. On a personal note I’ve moved now to all SATA connections, so no more IDE for me in my main system.

Today I’ve got a combination review and article for you, more of a roundup, or comparison piece really. Samsung sent me their new Super Write-Master 22X DVD burner for review, just the drive though, the OEM version basically, and I’ve been meaning to do a small article about optical drives, comparing their speeds, so I figured why not incorporate the new Samsung into the article.

The Super Write-Master features LightScribe, which I’m sure everyone knows about by now, but it’s main feature is of course the speed of the drive, writing DVDs at 22x, though there is no media capable of that yet that I know of. Another great feature of this drive is the SpeedPlus which is an optomised algorithm for writing at the fastest possible speeds, along with that the drive also features Speed Adjustment Technology, low noise and Buffer Under Run Technology. I’ve put the Samsung up against four other drives for comparison, and interestingly, during my testing I found the Super Write-Master will burn a 16x DVD at over 18X speeds, coming in at just a little over 5 minutes to burn a DVD, with the closest competitor coming in at almost 6 minutes.

The drive I received for review from Samsung was a bare OEM drive, so no unboxing today, and not a lot of pictures:
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Samsung Super-WriteMaster 22x DVD Burner SH-S223Q

The SH-S223Q is a SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) drive with embedded LightScribe technology that lets users easily engrave labels, photos, and designs directly onto DVDs and CDs. LightScribe engraving produces a professional look without the cost and hassle of printing labels. The label-making software is pre-loaded on the drive and offers a variety of designs and label layouts.

SpeedPlus power speed technology for 22X writing
• Powerful over-speed support
• Low noise and vibration control system for high speed
• Optimised algorithm for fastest speed

S.A.T (Speed Adjustment Technology)
Diverse quality discs in the market. But just click to burn with no worries when you use SAMSUNG WriteMaster Smart enough to write in the most optimised speed for the disc automatically.

prevents Buffer Under Run error and enables high speed writing
• Buffer Under Run occurs in high speed writing, when speed is faster than data transfer speed.
• Buffer Under Run technology prevent the Buffer Under Run Error and it enables Multitasking on the PC.
• Supports high speed writing even in low performance PC.

The SH-S223 drives provide industry-leading recording speeds across a wide range of data media types including:
* 22X DVD±R recording
* 12X DVD-RAM recording
* 16X DVD+R Dual Layer recording
* 12X DVD-R Dual Layer recording
* 8X DVD+RW recording
* 6X DVD-RW recording

Samsung’s high-performance DVD writers are built on an aerodynamic frame design that reduces air-borne noise by preventing pressure concentration in any specific area of the drive. Their sound level ranges from 28 decibels (idle, at 3,400 rpm) to 53 decibels (22X, at 12,700 rpm), which is well within the general sound levels in the average home or office of 40 decibels to 65 decibels.

Price: $20-$40 Depending where you look

I threw four other drives I’ve got on hand for comparison to the Samsung Super-WriteMaster, here’s the list with Brand, Model, and DVD Write Speeds of all of the drives including the Samsung, along with the detailed results from the tests, below that you’ll find the graphs with the basic information compared.

*As a note, and I don’t think it matters much, but the Samsung and the LiteOn DH-20A6S are both SATA optical drives, the others are IDE interfaces.

Sony DRU-830A 18x

sony4 sony1   sony2sony3

Lite-On DH-20A4P 20x

liteon20a4p4 liteon20a4p1 liteon20a4p2 liteon20a4p3

Lite-On DH-20A6S/DX-20A6Q 20x

liteon206as4 liteon206as1 liteon206as2 liteon206as3

Pioneer DVR-111DBK 16x

pioneer1 pioneer2 pioneer3 pioneer4


samsung4 samsung1 samsung2 samsung3

I used Nero CD/DVD speed to test all of the drives creation time and benchmarks as well for both CDs and DVDs. I used 52x CD media and 16X DVDR+ media for testing.

First up is the CD comparison graph:

graph cd good

The LiteOn drives are a bit faster overall..

Here’s the DVD results:

  dvd graph good

as we can see the Samsung Super-WriteMaster is the fastest at creating DVDs, coming in at almost 30 seconds faster than the closest competitor.

I also noticed the Samsung tops out at a speed of 18.19X using the 16X media, so I’m guessing that’s the SpeedPlus kicking in there… I’m sure if I could fine media that burns at 22x it would be a bit quicker at DVD creation.

I also played with the LightScribe as well, which is rather cool, but it is time consuming, a good 20 minutes to create a label, and media costs a bit more than standard stuff.


DSCF8527 DSCF8518

There’s no doubt the Samsung Super Write-Master is most likely the fastest drive out there today, it’s quiet and from my testing results you can see it burns media pretty fast. The drive is also fairly quiet, which is very nice as some drives are very loud, I also had no problems with any media compatibilities either, it played every disc I put in just fine.

The drive also features Lightscribe, which is nice, but more of a novelty item that anything,  the time to takes to create the label is a bit much for me. I bought a 10 pack of Lightscribe DVDs and I most likely won’t be buying more after they are gone, my Sharpie works just fine fro labeling and it’s much faster…

Fairly quiet
SATA connection

None really

Overall score-10-10
Design score-10-10
Performance score-10-10