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Old 14 Jun 2006, 11:53 PM   #1
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Default CD-DVD Speed: User guide

Introduction

CD-DVD Speed is a software designed to execute a number of tests to verify optical drives (both burners and readers) functionality and to determine burned media quality.

With every update, other than bugfixes, can be introduced some new functionalities and changes in user interface, so it's necessary to do now some clarifications.

When I wrote this guide, latest official version available was 4.51.1, and I used this version to execute all tests and create pictures published in this guide.

Recently, on September 2006, the new version 4.60 was released. To avoid repeating again all tests every time a new version is released, I decided that is easier and faster leave this guide as is, adding at the end of this guide anything necessary to cover new features and updates.

Anything described here, even if pictures are not referred to latest version, is valid also for latest version available on official CD-DVD Speed website.

CD-DVD Speed is an apparently light software (a standalone executable with file size of only 1.38 MB), but it allows the user to execute many different tests, so it can be a little intimidating for a new user to read all parts of this guide. I'll try to maintain the discussion as simple as possible, with only few technical details, because this guide is aimed at the novice user not the expert technician, who already knows this software in all it's parts.

The main purpose of this guide is to describe CD-DVD Speed in all it's parts, not to describe in a detailed way the tests that it allow to do. In this guide tests will be described only in a superficial way, but those who are interested interested can find a lot of information in the CD Freaks forum.
This guide is written according the following general scheme:


Guide scheme
  1. Main Window: Description of main window in all its parts
  2. Options: User Interface
  3. Options: Standard Tests
  4. Options: Transfer Rate
  5. Options: Access/Seek Times
  6. Options: Save
  7. Options: Autorun
  8. Options: Disc Quality
  9. Options: Capture
  10. Base Tests: Introduction
  11. Base Tests: Benchmark
  12. Base Tests: Create Disc
  13. Base Tests: Disc Info
  14. Base Tests: Disc Quality
  15. Base Tests: Scan Disc
  16. Menu: File
  17. Menu: Run Test
  18. Menu: Extra
  19. Menu: Help
First parts of the guide, from 1 to 9, are exclusively descriptive, i.e. are only a list of all parts of CD-DVD Speed and of all available functions. Each available function and its significance (described in a simple way only) will be described in the second part of the guide, from 10 on.

A last consideration is related to the pics of this guide. I created all images executing all tests described, except some special tests that I wasn't able to execute because they require some special equipment that I don't own. For this I must thank two moderators of CD Freaks: Eltranquil (who did all tests with A-BEX discs) and Dee-27 (who gave me some pics of overburning tests done with DVD media).

I hope that this guide can be useful to all users that want to use this great software.

Last edited by geno888; 11 Sep 2006 at 04:56 AM
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Old 15 Jun 2006, 12:10 AM   #2
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Main Window

CD-DVD Speed is freely downloadable from its webpage and is contained in a ZIP archive. The first thing to do is extracting the executable from the zip file in a folder. The user can choose any folder, because CD-DVD Speed doesn’t require installation, but it's a standalone executable.

When CD-DVD Speed starts, you'll see the main window, that appear as in the following image:





Main window contains various elements, that will be described in detail.

In the top-left corner, there is the menu bar:




Right below the menu bar there is CD-DVD Speed's logo. On the right there is a Combo Box from which is possible to select the drive to be tested. In this example, there are three optical devices connected to the computer, all listed in this box.




Important: In this box CD-DVD Speed shows not only what drives are present in the computer, but also the exact drive model and the firmware installed in each drive.




The red square shows drive model, and the green arrows show the firmware installed in each drive.

On the right of the drive list there is a little button:




This button allows you to open the window containing the global options of CD-DVD Speed.

Finally, on the right there are two buttons, "Start" and "Exit". When a test is running, the "Start" button changes it's name and becomes "Stop". Its function is pretty intuitive: it allow to interrupt a test if the user decides to do it.

In the window upper bar is showed the name and the version of the software. In the right there are two other little buttons.




The button showed in the pic with the number 1 is for "Clipboard Copy". Pressing this button, all the content of the main window is copied in the clipboard as a picture, and can be pasted in any graphic software (like MS Paint for example) to allow any modification the user wants to do.

The button showed in the pic with the number 2, with the little floppy disc, is for "Save" the main window appearance on hard disc. Pressing this button opens a "Save as" dialog window asking where image must be saved.




The picture can be saved in various formats:
  • Bitmap (*.bmp)
  • JPEG (*.jpg)
  • Portable Network Graphics (*.png)
  • Tagged Image File Format (*.tiff).
For practical uses, the best format (and the one I strongly suggest) is PNG. Images saved in PNG format have a better quality than JPEG, but differently from BITMAP and TIFF file dimensions are much smaller. To post in the forum it's the best choice.

BEWARE: the image must be saved before to removing the media from the drive. If image is not saved, when media is removed the pic will be deleted. So to avoid to losing anything, remember to save first, and then remove the media.

In the main window there are five tabs, each dedicated to a different section of CD-DVD Speed:
  1. Benchmark
  2. Create Disc
  3. Disc Info
  4. Disc Quality
  5. Scan Disc



Clicking with left mouse button on each tab it's possible to open the five main sections of CD-DVD Speed. Each section is aimed at specific functions, and for convenience each section will be described in the following parts of this guide.

The last element of the main window is a text box that show to the user various information on the current executing test.




In this picture the box is empty, but we'll see in detail that during a test execution there will be some information. Right above the text box there is a bar that show the progression of the running test.

Last edited by geno888; 16 Jun 2006 at 10:35 PM
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Old 15 Jun 2006, 12:15 AM   #3
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2 - Options

To open the options panel, it is sufficient to click in the little button with gears near the "Start" button.




Alternatively, it's possible to go to menu "File" and select the command "Options".




The options window is organized in sections, listed in the left panel.




Each section contains a group of specific options. Let's see in detail each option's group.

Last edited by geno888; 16 Jun 2006 at 10:36 PM
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Old 15 Jun 2006, 12:29 AM   #4
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2 - Options: User Interface


This first group allows you to customize the main interface of CD-DVD Speed specifically regarding colors and language.






Language


CD-DVD Speed was translated in various languages. To change the language, it's sufficient to select the preferred one from the combo-box.





Disc info (DVD)

These options rerfers exclusively to DVD media: when a CD media is loaded in the drive, these settings will be ignored. From these settings is possible to select what CD-DVD Speed will show in the "Benchmark" tab of the main window when a DVD media is loaded in the drive. There are two possibilities:

  1. Disc Type
  2. Book Type
Selecting "Disc Type", CD-DVD Speed will show the type of the disc loaded in the drive. Selecting "Book type", CD-DVD Speed will show the book type of the disc loaded in the drive.

DVD media are available in different standard formats: +R/RW ("Plus" media), -R/RW ("Minus" media), RAM (a rewritable media different from the previous formats), and ROM (know also as "Pressed" discs). Recently introduced were also other disc standards, know as Blu-ray and HD-DVD. These media are still under development, and will not be included in this guide. Here is sufficient to know that according to the option selected, in the main window of the "Benchmark" tab will be shown a different information.

The "Book Type" is an information localized in discs that is read by optical drives anytime a disc is loaded. This information is necessary to the drive to know how that media must be used. More details are in the section "Menu --> Extra --> Bitsetting" of this guide. More details can be found also in Wikipedia.

Right now is sufficient to say that when a +R/RW media (the only media in which booktype can be modified) is loaded in the drive, the disc will be showed as what it is actually (when the option "Disc Type" is selected) or as the drive "sees" that media (i.e. as ROM if the option "Book Type" is selected and if the booktype was changed during the burn of that media).



Priority





This option allows to change the priority of CD-DVD Speed. Each process running in Windows is executed with a different priority regarding the access to computer resources (CPU usage, memory access, etc). According to the option selected, CD-DVD Speed will be executed with a different priority.

This option was added starting from version 4.50, so in previous versions changing priority can be done only manually, using Windows Task Manager. Set priority to the value "High" it is possible to avoid interferences during test execution by other processes running in the same time on the computer. For example, surfing on the web when a test is running could cause some false results, but by setting priority as high these interferences can be reduced almost completely.

Obviously, is anyway it is preferable to avoid using other programs when a test is running, particularly tests that heavily access the HDD (like an antivirus scan) or that extensively use CPU (like a video encoding).



Colors

These settings allow to change colors of main window.





Theme: CD-DVD Speed contain four themes, i.e. four predefined combinations of colors of the main window. The user can select a theme or can manually select colors according what he/she likes. Important: If the user wants to manually select colors, first of all it is necessary to select the "Custom" item from the combo box list, or any color selected will be ignored.




To change colors it is sufficient to left click on the little square with the color to modify. The colors that can be modified are:

Background 1: the background color of the window in which graph will be plotted.

Background 2: the background color can be uniform or can be shaded. Selecting this option, background color will be shaded between two colors, the one selected in the "Background 1" item, and the one selected here. Unchecking this option, background color will be uniform, the one selected in the "Background 1" option.

Speed: the color of the line expressing speed (reading or writing speed according to the selected test).

Buffer level: the color of the line expressing buffer level when burning.

RPM: the color of the line expressing disc rotation speed.

CPU usage: the color of the line expressing CPU usage when burning.


To make easier reading of the graph, it's possible to plot a grid, and the user can select grid colors.

Grid (primary): the color of primary grid.

Grid (secondary): the color of secondary grid.

Show horizontal grid: if this option is checked, in the graph will be plotted also horizontal grid.

Show vertical grid: if this option is checked, in the graph will be plotted also vertical grid.

If both show-grid options are unchecked, the graph will not contain any grid.

All these colors can be modified by the user in the preferred way, but it's important to consider that colors can't be selected randomly, because resulting graphs can be unreadable. For example a yellow line on a white background will be hardly visible.

My suggestion is to use the color theme used in the picture.

Last edited by geno888; 4 Jul 2006 at 01:30 AM
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Old 15 Jun 2006, 05:01 AM   #5
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2 - Options: Standard Tests

In this window there is a list of all available standard tests that can be done with CD-DVD Speed. In this section will be described only the options panel, and test discussion will be done in the "Basic Tests" section of this guide.





Selected tests

In this panel the user can select which tests will be automatically executed pressing the "Start" button in the "Benchmark" main window. It's also possible to run each test individually, even tests not selected here in the global options of CD-DVD Speed, selecting it from the "Run Test" menu.

Default setting is all tests selected, but user can change this how he/she likes.




Available tests are (as said, more informations on these tests will be given in the "Basic Tests" section of this guide; this is only a list):
  1. Transfer rate
  2. DAE quality (Digital Audio Extraction quality)
  3. Access/Seek time
  4. CPU Usage
  5. Burst rate
  6. Spin up/down
  7. Load/Eject
  8. Create data disc
  9. Verify data
Spin-up time




Before a test can be executed, CD-DVD Speed start a disc rotation for a while. This is important to stabilize disc and drive. It's like a car, when a driver leaves his/her engine running at minimum for a while he/she sets off.

Default setting is 10 seconds, but it can be changed by user. Sometimes, for example, it occur more than 10 seconds for a drive to reach full rotation speed.

Speed




CD-DVD Speed allows you to select both reading and writing speed.

Read speed: This is the speed that CD-DVD Speed use to execute the "Transfer Rate Test". I suggest the use of "Maximum", because in this way the drive and/or discs will be tested in the worst conditions. If a drive is able to read correctly a disc in the worst conditions, then it's a high quality drive. The same can also be applied also to burned media. If a disc is readable under the worst conditions, then burning was successful.

Available options are:

Maximum: maximum speed that the drive can reach.

Current: current speed. CD-DVD Speed does not modify speed in any way. Speed will be determined by other system settings (drive firmware settings, softwares running in background like Nero Drive Speed or Plextools, etc).

Selected: speed is selected manually by the user.

Write speed: This setting requires a special consideration. In CD-DVD Speed versions previous to 4.50, a writing test can be executed only in the "Benchmark" window. Starting from version 4.50, writing test can still be done from the "Benchmark" window, but a new way has been introduced a new way to do the writing test. This test will be described in detail in the dedicated section of this guide.
In this panel of CD-DVD Speed global options, the "Write speed" value is referred to the "classic" test executed in the "Benchmark" window, i.e. is the speed at which the disc will be burned in the "Create Disc Test". This setting has no influence on the writing speed of the "new" Create Disc Test.

Last edited by geno888; 16 Jun 2006 at 10:55 PM
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Old 15 Jun 2006, 05:17 AM   #6
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2 - Options: Transfer Rate


These settings are specifically referred to the Transfer Rate Test (TRT) of the "Benchmark" window.





Graph




In this panel can be modified settings relative to graph drawing.

Test Length: This slider allows the user to select accuracy of TRT.




The user can select if he/she wants to do a fast or an accurate test. A higher accuracy will show a more detailed graph but the test will take longer.

My suggestion is to select max accuracy, because the main purpose of TRT is to test readability of burned media.

Show RPM: selecting this option




in the TRT graph the disc rotation speed will also be shown. If this option is unchecked, TRT will not show the disc rotation speed.

Maximum Speed CD: this setting allow the user to select the maximum value displayed in the graph scale when a CD media is inserted in the drive.




I suggest to insert a value a little higher than max read speed of installed drives, to avoid that a segment of the curve could be drawn on the window margin. For example, for a drive able to read up to 52x speed, I suggest a value of 53 is inserted.

Maximum Speed DVD: this setting allows the user to select the maximum value displayed in the graph scale when a DVD media is inserted in the drive.




Again, I suggest the user inserts a value a little higher than max read speed of the installed drives, to avoid that a segment of the curve could be drawn on the window margin. For a 16x drive, I suggest a value of 17 is inserted.

Show minimum/maximum: If checked, this option will show in benchmark window minimum and maximum values of speeds recorded in Transfer Rate Test (TRT).




If the curve is regular, minimum value will be the start speed, and maximum the end speed.

If the curve is irregular, minimum value will be the lowest speed recorded, and maximum the highest value reached.

High resolution graph: This setting allows to select whether graph must be drawn at low or at high resolution.




This option can be set both for read and for write tests. I suggest to select both these options to have a clearer image of test results.


Write options




In this section can be changed writing options. It's possible to select the writing method, to do overburning, how much to overburn, and to set other burner options.

Write mode: Media can be written in different ways:



  • SAO (cue sheet) (Session At Once)
  • TAO (Track At Once)
Here it's possible to select writing mode when CD-DVD Speed do a create disc test. Default setting is SAO.

In SAO mode can be selected also the so-called "Overburning", i.e. to write more data than the official capacity of the disc. Selecting this option, CD-DVD Speed will write on the disc the exact amount of data specified in the box (see the red arrow). Beware: not all burners supports overburning, and writing in overburning can damage the drive. Moreover, to do overburning is better to use special suited media, or data can be unreadable.

Disk type (Simulation only): Some drives can do simulated burnings, i.e. do a burn without writing anything on the disc.




You can choose to simulate writing an audio or a data disc.


Finally, there are some other burner settings:




Buffer underrun protection: Checking this option, will be enabled the drive's buffer underrun mechanisms if available. These allow to interrupt burning process if drive buffer is empty, and to resume burning when buffer is again full. By unchecking this option, buffer underrun mechanisms of the burner will be disabled. Important: it is recommended to leave this option checked when testing the write performance for Z-CLV write modes.

Write and verify: This option is related with RAM media writing. Checking this option, writing of RAM discs will be done with the verify option on, i.e the disc is checked during the burn, and if there are errors, the wrong sectors of the disc are written again. If unchecking this option, there will be no verification during the burning, and the writing time will be shorter.

Direct overwrite: This option is aimed at telling CD-DVD Speed how to burn rewritable media. There are two possibilities: first erase and then burn, or directly burn without erasing. Checking this option, rewritable media will be overwritten without erasing. Unchecking this option, trying to write on a not-empty media will give the following error message:




Burn image file: Again there is an important consideration: this option is related only with the writing test done in the "Benchmark" window. Checking this option, CD-DVD Speed will run the "Create Disc Test" burning an image file created by user (ISO or NRG). Unchecking this option, the "Create Disc Test" will burn on the disc binary data up to the full disc capacity or up to the value selected by user if "Overburning" was selected.

Include test data: Checking this option, besides binary data or image file, CD-DVD Speed will also burn on the disc also some additional data: the drive used to do the burn, installed firmware, and burning graph. This information can be seen in the "Disc Quality" test graphs. This can be useful to interpret scan results. Unchecking this option prevents the saving of these additional informations on the burned disc.

Checking this option can be useful because sometimes error spikes in scans are related, for example, with buffer emptying during burn. In this way it's easier to find what can be the cause of a group of errors on a burned media.

Last edited by geno888; 11 Sep 2006 at 10:11 AM
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Old 15 Jun 2006, 05:21 AM   #7
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2 - Options: Access/Seek Times


These settings are related specifically with the "Access/Seek Times" test.




Measure: Here the user can select what test must be executed. Possible choices are "Seek Time" and "Access Time".




We'll see in more detail what these tests are aimed in the relative section of this guide.

Number of operations: Here the user can select how many times to execute measures of previous selected parameters.

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Old 15 Jun 2006, 05:35 AM   #8
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2 - Options: Save

These settings are related with file saving.




Autosave: Checking this option CD-DVD Speed will save automatically all test results.




Files can be saved in different formats, and the user must select how to save files. Possible choices are two: "Binary" (file extension .CSV) or "HTML" (file extension .HTML).

Include Status: Checking this option CD-DVD Speed will save not only graph but also all informations contained in the little window under graph, i.e. test name, start time, end time, etc.

File Name: In this section user can select file name that CD-DVD Speed will use if "Autosave" option is checked.




Show file dialog: By checking this option CD-DVD Speed shows a "Save as" dialog window to ask the user where save files. By unchecking this option, all files will be automatically saved in the default folder or in a user defined folder. To create an user-defined folder, it's sufficient to press the little button showed by arrow.

On the left of the button there is the selected save folder, in our example "K:\CDFREAKS\".

File name can be also generated automatically according some parameters defined by the user. These parameters can be inserted in the text box. Available options are:
  • %M - Drive name
  • %V - Firmware currently installed in the drive
  • %D - Date
  • %T - Time
  • %I - MID, i.e disc mediacode.
According to the parameters used, a file name will be generated automatically, and it's possible to see a preview of the filename created (see the red square).

These parameters can be inserted in any order, and the following are some reported examples. Each color shows the corresponding info:

Parameter...........Result
%M %V...............HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13
%I %M %V.........MCC004_HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13
%M %V %I.........HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13_MCC004
%T %M %V.........17_31_HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13

If the "Show file dialog" option is checked, the user can manually modify filename. If "Show file dialog" is unchecked, results will be saved with the file name automatically generated according to parameters defined by user.

To avoid file overwritings, I suggest to insert also date and/or hour (%D and %T), in this way it's highly improbable that two files can have the same automatically generated name. Alternatively, the user can manually change the file name.

If in the textbox is not inserted any value, file name can't be generated automatically, and must be inserted manually by user.

Last edited by geno888; 16 Jun 2006 at 11:13 PM
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Old 16 Jun 2006, 11:20 PM   #9
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2 - Options: Autorun


These settings determine how CD-DVD Speed will execute the tests.




Start selected tests automatically: Checking this option, CD-DVD Speed executes automatically all selected tests in "Standard Test" panel immediately after a disc is inserted in the drive. Unchecking this option, tests must be started manually by user.

Continuously run selected tests: This setting determines how many times CD-DVD Speed will execute all selected tests. User must select two options:

Delay between test runs: How much time CD-DVD Speed must wait between each test run.

Number of test runs: How many times CD-DVD Speed must execute all selected tests. Important: Selecting "zero" as a value, all tests will be executed indefinitely until the user stops manually. So be careful to set these options.
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Old 16 Jun 2006, 11:31 PM   #10
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2 - Options: Disc Quality


These options are related to "Disc Quality" test, often called also disc scan.




General: These settings allow to select some general options on Disc Quality test.




Detect speed settings: Quality Test can be executed at different speeds. These speeds vary according to the burner model and firmware, and are retrieved by CD-DVD Speed every time that the "Disc Quality" tab is selected in the main window.

If this option is checked, CD-DVD Speed will automatically retrieve this information. If this option is unchecked, available speeds must be retrieved manually by the user (see Disc Quality Test for more details).

Show errors limits: This setting allow to select how graphs will be seen in the "Disc Quality" tab in the main window. To explain this option, it's easier to use images as examples.

Each burner executes a Quality Test in a different manner. Max error value considered as acceptable vary according the error measuring method used. For example, in Liteon drives all errors comprised in the interval between 0 and 4 are considered acceptable; all errors comprised in the region between 4 and 9 are bad, but still acceptable; all errors over 9 are unacceptable.

Checking this option, CD-DVD Speed will show in different colors these intervals, and make it easier to evaluate a scan with a quick look.




Unchecking this option, the graph will have an uniform background color (or a gradient if this option was selected in color options, as explained below).




Show statistics: When a test is completed, the user can select if CD-DVD Speed must show a summary of test statistics (see pic).




Unchecking this option, statistics will not be shown.

Show disc label: By checking this option, in the "Disc Quality" window, the disc label will be shown. Unchecking this option, label is not shown.

Quick Scan: Quality Test can be executed in two modalities: full (or complete), and quick.




Options to select if CD-DVD Speed must run quick or full scan are localized in the "Quality Test" window. Here there are only options regarding how the quick scan must be executed. Quick scan tests only some part of the disc, and not all disc, so this test is faster, but also less precise than the full scan.

Measure points: Quick scan consist in do scan only in some segments of the disc. User must select how many points of the disc must be tested changing this setting.

Sample length: This setting is the length of each segment to be scanned. To explain better these options, see the following schematic pictures.

In first example, are selected 20 segments, each with a size of 5 MB. In this way, the disc will be divided in 20 parts, and 20 segments of 5 MB will be scanned. The green squares are the segments of disc that will be scanned; white zones are ignored. The green square in the upper part is the full scan (to compare with the quick scan).




In second example, are selected 5 segments, 20 MB wide. In this way, the disc is divided into 5 parts, and in each part will be scanned a segment of 20 MB. Again, the green square in the upper part is the full scan (to compare with the quick scan).




Graph Limits: These options allow the user to select scale values of a graph.




Errors: This option allow to select maximum value showed in scale of errors graph.




There are two settings:

Automatic: CD-DVD Speed modify automatically graphic scale according to maximum value of measured errors. Start values are 10 both for C1/PIE and for C2/PIF, but is an error above these values is measured, scale will be automatically changed to a higher value.

Locked: The user select maximum scale value. Checking this option max value on the graph scale will be fixed to a precise value. If this option is selected, maximum value must be specified by user (see below).

Usually the option "Locked" is used by the user at the end of a Disc Quality Test. If the user is not satisfied by the scale of the graph, doing a right click on the graph it's possible to open global options in this panel to manually change graph scale.

C1 Errors/PI Errors: This setting is the maximum value that user must select if "Locked" option is checked. This value is applied to C1/PIE graph.

C2 Errors/PI Failures: This setting is the maximum value that user must select if "Locked" option is checked. This value is applied to C2/PIF graph.

Maximum speed: This setting is the max value showed in C1/PIE graph for reading/writing speed.




These values must be selected by user manually, both for CD and DVD media. For CD media I suggest a value of 53, and for DVD a value of 17, to improve graph readability.

Colors: In this panel it's possible to customize colors of Disc Quality Test.




Some predefined themes are available, but users can modify manually any available color.

Important: To manually change any color, it's necessary to select the "Custom" theme, or any color modification will be ignored. Again, I suggest not to change colors randomly, to avoid an unreadable graph.

Available options are:

Background 1: Background color of the graph window.

Background 2: Checking this item, background color will be the one selected in previous option and will be progressively shaded to the color selected in this option. Unchecking this item, background color will be uniform, the one selected in previous option.

Grid (primary): The color of primary grid.

Grid (secondary): The color of secondary grid

Show horizontal grid: Checking this option will be shown horizontal grids. Unchecking this option, horizontal grid will not be shown.

Show vertical grid: Checking this option will be shown vertical grids. Unchecking this option, vertical grids will not be shown.

C1/PIE: The color of the C1/PI Errors in the graph.

C2/PIF: The color of the C2 Errors/PI Failures in the graph.

Jitter: The color of jitter in the graph (only for burners that support this function).

Read speed: The color of read speed curve in the graph.

Write speed: The color of write speed curve in the graph. This curve is showed only if in "Transfer Rate" panel of global options of CD-DVD Speed is selected the option "Include Data Test".

Last edited by geno888; 5 Jul 2006 at 11:20 PM
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Old 16 Jun 2006, 11:48 PM   #11
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2 - Options: Capture


These options are related to screen image capture function of CD-DVD Speed to save test results.




Capture to clipboard button: Checking this option CD-DVD Speed will show the little button on the window bar with "Copy to clipboard" function (number 1 in the pic). Unchecking this option, the clipboard button will not be shown.




Pressing this button all the content of the main window is copied to the clipboard, and can be pasted to any graphical software to save and/or modify images.

Capture to file button: Checking this option CD-DVD Speed will show the little button on the window bar with "Save as" function (number 2 in the pic). Unchecking this option, the Save button will not be shown.

Show file dialog: Checking this option, after pressing the Save button will be opened a dialog window to ask user to select a folder in which save images. Unchecking this option, all images will be saved directly in a predefined folder (see below how to select the predefined folder) with the automatically generated file name.

Picture format: This option allow to select what file type to use to save images. As already described, four different formats are available:
  • Bitmap (*.bmp)
  • JPEG (*.jpg)
  • Portable Network Graphics (*.png)
  • Tagged Image File Format (*.tiff).
I suggest using PNG format.

Folder: The folder in which all pictures are saved by default. To manually select a default folder, it's sufficient to press the little button pointed by the red arrow.

If "Show file dialog" option is unchecked, CD-DVD Speed can assign automatically a file name. To generate filenames, the user can use some parameters, described below:
  • %M - Drive name
  • %V - Firmware installed
  • %D - Date
  • %T - Time
  • %I - Mediacode
These parameters can be inserted in any order. Below there are some examples:

Parameter...........Result
%M %V...............HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13
%I %M %V.........MCC004_HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13
%M %V %I.........HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13_MCC004
%T %M %V.........17_31_HL-D-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13


A preview is showed, so the user can know the automatically generated name in real time.

If "Show file dialog" option is checked, the user can manually modify the automatically generated file name and the folder in which save files. If "Show file dialog" is unchecked, all images will be saved directly in a predefined folder (see below how to select the predefined folder) with the automatically generated file name. Important: To avoid files overwriting, I suggest also the use of date and time (%D and %T) as parameters for automatically generated file names. Alternatively, it's better to select the option "Show File Dialog" and select manually file names.

If no parameter is selected, file names must be inserted manually by the user.

Last edited by geno888; 16 Jun 2006 at 11:52 PM
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Old 16 Jun 2006, 11:56 PM   #12
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3 - Basic Tests


Basic tests are the ones listed in "Standard Tests" panel of global options of CD-DVD Speed, and are executed in the "Benchmark" tab of the main window.

There are two ways to execute these tests: singularly or all in sequence. Each test can be selected singularly from "Run Test" menu. To execute tests in sequence, the first thing to do is select, in global options, which tests must be ran. Then, it's sufficient to press the "Start" button.

As seen in introduction, there are five tabs in main window. Here will be given only a list of these parts, but each will be described in detail in its dedicated section.

Benchmark: The section dedicated to all basic tests. This interface is pretty much the same in all versions of CD-DVD Speed.

Create Disc: Starting from version 4.50, was introduced a new section that allows the user to execute a little improved writing disc test. However, the "classic" writing test can be still executed in the "Benchmark" section.

Disc Info: Show some detailed informations about media loaded in the drive.

Disc Quality: The section dedicated to quality test of burned media. Often this test is also called "Scan".

Scan Disc: The section dedicated to a little different quality test of media.
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 12:13 AM   #13
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3 - Basic Tests - Benchmark


In this section of CD-DVD Speed it's possible to execute most of available tests, i.e Basic Tests:
  1. Transfer rate
  2. DAE quality
  3. Access/Seek time
  4. CPU Usage
  5. Burst rate
  6. Spin up/down
  7. Load/Eject
  8. Create data disc ("classic" version; the new one will be described in "Create Disc" section.
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 12:15 AM   #14
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3 - Basic Tests - Benchmark


Transfer Rate Test


This test measures transfer speed of data and shows results in a graph. In other words, it shows reading speed of data from a disc. This test can be done for two main reasons:
  1. To test a drive (reader or burner)
  2. To test a burned media (CD or DVD)
If the main purpose is to test a drive, can be used some special discs containing standard defects, like A-BEX discs.

If the main purpose is to test a burned media, the test is aimed at verifying that burning was done correctly and that the media is readable and all data retrievable.

In this test are showed two lines. If colors were not modified by the user, there will be a green line that represents transfer speed, and a yellow line that represents disc rotation speed in revolutions per minute (RPM).

In the bottom scale there is disc capacity, in Megabytes (MB) for CD media and in Gigabyte (GB) for DVD media. In the left scale there is reading speed, and in the right scale there is disc rotation speed (in RPM x 1000).




Under the graph there is a little window containing some extra informations on running tests. For example are reported date and time, test type, reading type, etc.




On the right of graph there is a group of four boxes containing results of Transfer rate Test (TRT):




Current: The current speed during test execution. When test ends, this box changes name and becomes "Average", i.e. the mean value calculated from maximum and minimum values recorded in the entire test.

Start: The lowest speed detected in the entire TRT. If the reading curve is regular, this value is the same of the starting speed; if the curve is irregular, this is the lowest value recorded in the entire test (see picture).

End: The highest speed detected in the entire TRT. If reading curve is regular, this value is the end speed; if curve is irregular, this is the highest value recorded in the entire test (see picture).




You can see in that picture with an irregular graph, that TRT starts around 7x speed, and ends around 9x speed. In the Start box is shown 1.83x and in the End box it's reported 13.89 x. These are, respectively, the minimum and the maximum detected speeds in the entire TRT. These values are used to calculate the "Average" speed.

Type: TRT doesn't measure only reading speed, but also the reading type. There are different modes to read a disc. To understand these modes, it's important first to describe some basic notions: "Linear Speed" and "Angular Speed".




In this image the black arrow is the optical pickup route, and the three blue arrows are three different parts of the disc. Each blue arrow represent a segment of a disc track read by optical pickup. All segments run along the same angle, in our example 90░, but from the image is clear that segments (tracks) in the more peripheral parts of the disc run along a longer linear distance: 1 cm inner track, 5 cm intermediate track, and 10 cm external track. In the picture all values are given only as an example, and are not absolutely exact.

"Angular speed" is the amount of angle ran along in the time unit when the disc rotates. If a disc rotate at a constant speed, angular speed is constant too, because every part of the disc run along the same amount of angle.

"Linear speed" is the amount of length ran along the time unit when disc rotates. If disc rotates at a constant speed, linear speed vary according the distance from the center of disc. The most inner parts of the disc, near center, run along the shortest distance, and then have the lowest linear speed. The most external parts of the disc, instead, have the highest linear speed because they run along the longest distance.

In optical drives, disc reading starts from the center and goes externally when pickup is moved along a radius of the disc (the black arrow in the picture). If rotation (angular) speed is constant, the most internal tracks run at the lowest linear speed (i.e. are read at the lowest speed), and linear speed increases progressively toward the external parts of the disc (i.e. reading speed increases toward the external).

Optical drives can use four different reading types: CLV, CAV, P-CAV, e Z-CLV.

CLV (Constant Linear Velocity): Reading speed is constant in all disc parts. This means that when a disc rotates tracks run along the same linear distance. Consequently, when optical pickup moves toward external parts of disc, rotational speed is reduced progressively.





CAV (Constant Angular Velocity): Rotation speed is constant and reading speed increases progressively from the center toward external parts of the disc.





P-CAV (Partial-CAV): Rotation speed is constant and reading speed increase progressively up to a certain value. From here, reading speed remains constant, and rotation speed decreases progressively.





Z-CLV (Zoned Constant Linear Velocity): Usually this type is used for writing on a disc more than reading. In this type, writing speed is constant for a given segment of the disc, then increases to write another segment, and so on up to the end of disc.





In each segment, linear (writing) speed is costant, and angular (rotation) speed is progressively reducing; at the end of first zone, rotation speed is increades to allow writing at a higher speed, and so on up to completion of disc writing.

In "Benchmark" window, after inserting a disc in the drive, are showed two other pieces of informations: disc type and its capacity.




For example, inserting an audio disc in these boxes will appear "Audio CD" and disc duration. Inserting a video DVD, will be showed "DVD-Video" and disc capacity in GB. Inserting a burned disc, according to selected settings in global options of CD-DVD Speed, will show the disc type (+R/RW, -R/RW, blank media) or disc booktype (+R/RW, -R/RW, or ROM).




To avoid confusion, remember what settings were selected. If in options is selected to show disc type, a +R disc with changed booktype to ROM will be still showed as +R.

Finally, according to the disc type loaded in the drive, the Transfer Rate Test will show different results.

Data disc (CD or DVD): TRT measure data reading speed.




If the data disc is a dual layer DVD, graph will show two more colored vertical lines. Red line is total disc capacity, and fucsia line is the layer transition. This latter line divides the graph in two parts, and each part is the the reading of a disc layer.




Audio CD: TRT measure Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) Speed.

Blank disc: inserting a blank media it's measured the writing speed. Writing test will be described in more detail later.

Last edited by geno888; 17 Jun 2006 at 12:26 AM
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 12:56 AM   #15
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3 - Basic Tests - Benchmark (continued)


DAE Quality


The "DAE Quality test" measures how well the drive can extract audio tracks. This test is done in two parts.




First some audio sectors are extracted to the HD at three different locations on the CD. The same sectors are read again and compared to the sectors written to HD. Depending on the number of differences, the DAE quality will be rated from 0 to 10, where 10 means perfect DAE (no differences).

Next CD-DVD Speed will try to determine whether the drive supports "Accurate Streaming". When accurate streaming is not supported the drive is unable to locate the requested audio location at any time.

If your drive does not get a perfect score with this test (10/10 and Accurate Stream checked) it is highly recommended to use a CD ripper with a verify function to extract audio tracks.

One of the best CD rippers is Exact Audio Copy.





Access/Seek time


This test measure access and seek times.




Three measuring are done:

Random: Optical pickup is moved in a random position on the disc.

1/3: Optical pickup is moved from the start of the disc to 1/3rd of the length of the disc.

Full: Optical pickup is moved from the start of the disc to the logical end of the disc, i.e where are located the last data of the disc. The term "logical end" is used because not always the end is in the most external part of a disc. For example, in a disc burned only for half of its capacity, the logical end is where the last data is located, and not in the most external part of the disc, that instead is empty.

Remember: Executed test must be selected in global options of CD-DVD Speed.




What are exactly seek and access times?

In Seek Time test is measured the amount of time necessary to move optical pickup to a specified position on the disc.

In Access Time test is measured the amount of time necessary to move optical pickup to a specific position on the disc plus the time necessary to read a single sector.

Then, access time is always higher than seek time (usually a few milliseconds).

Again, remember: in global options must be selected how many times to execute this test.






CPU Usage


This test measure CPU utilization at 1X, 2X, 4X and 8X.






Burst rate

The Burst Rate Test measures the transfer rate from the host adapter to the drive.

Usually an optical drive is connected by the proper cable to the IDE channel of mainboard. In this situation Burst Rate test measure speed transfer of IDE channels.

However, it's also possible to connect a drive with different interfaces. For example, it's possible to use an IDE to UDB or IDE to Firewire adapter. in this situation, the Burst Rate test will be useful to determine if the adapter is enough fast to support high speed burnings (this is true mostly for DVD burners).

Important: results are accurate only if the drive caches the data. Since many drives don't cache audio data it is recommended to run this test using data CDs.




Spin up/down


For high speed drives it is necessary to spin down the drive to lengthen the life of the optical parts.

The spin down test measures how long it takes to stop the drive.

The spin up test measures how long it takes before the drive can read data after it has stopped. Shorter times are better.

Faster drives will have higher spin up/down times.




Load/Eject


This test will measure the time it takes for a drive to eject, load and recognize a disc.

The time needed to recognize a disc depends on the type of disc. For example a drive needs much more time to recognize a multisession disc than a single session disc.

The eject and load times should always be about the same regardless of which disc is used, because the drive requires the same time to open and close the tray apart from the disc inserted in the drive.




Create data disc


This function will write predefined binary data in a selectable number of files on a blank media. Total file number written on the disc is variable, because data is added until the last sector which makes the disc very suitable to test the read performance, so a DVD will contain much more data than a CD media.

While the disc is created the write performance is shown in the same way as the Transfer Rate Test (TRT). In this case, obviously, the graph is not the reading speed, but the writing speed.

There is also a verify function available which checks the data just written on the test disc. This function must be activated in global settings of CD-DVD Speed.




In versions previous to 4.50, the writing tests were available only in "Benchmark" tab of the main window of CD-DVD Speed. Starting from the version 4.50, it's available a new dedicated tab ("Create Disc") to execute a writing test that allows to collect more informations than the "classic" test available in the Benchmark tab. Here will be described the "classic" writing test, and the new one will be described in the dedicated section of this guide.

When executed in the Benchmark tab, the writing test will show in a graph writing speed and disc rotation speed.




Disc rotation speed can be omitted by the graph unchecking the "Show RPM" setting in global options of CD-DVD Speed (See Options --> Transfer Rate).




The "classic" writing test can be executed in two ways, according the selected options (See Options --> Transfer Rate).




Create Data Disc: This function will write predefined binary data filling the disc up to its maximum capacity.

Burn Image File: This function will write the content of an image file (supported types are ISO and NRG) created by user.

To start the test it's sufficient to select the desired one from the menu "Run Test"




As already said, a verify function is available . If the user wants to use it, it's necessary to enable it from the global settings. Verification results will be shown in the little window under the graph.






Test Procedure


In the "Benchmark" tab, it's possible to execute all basic tests. These tests can be executed singularly, or in a row.


To execute a single test, it's sufficient to select that test from "Run Test" menu




To execute more than one test in sequence, the procedure is the following:


1) Select the drive




2) Open CD-DVD Speed global options



3) Select "Standard Test" panel





4) Select what tests must be executed and uncheck all undesired tests



5) Set properly all other relevant settings



6) Insert a disc in the drive. If also a writing test was selected, it's necessary to insert a blank media or there will be an error





7) Press the button "Start" or alternatively select "Selected" from "Run Test" menu



8) Wait until all tests are completed



9) Save results in HDD from menu "Save" or pressing the little floppy button (number 2 in the pic) to save a screenshot in PNG file



Note: saving only the screenshot will save only the graph, but results of all other tests will be lost. If more than one test is done, I suggest to save from the menu "Save".

Last edited by geno888; 6 Jul 2006 at 12:06 AM
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