|ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD-RW SATA Optical Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Wednesday, 10 February 2010|
Page 4 of 7
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Detailed Features
The DRW-24B1ST drive itself looks much like any other DVD burner you might find. The ASUS logo is displayed along the drive tray, as well as advertisement of some of the several functions that the drive performs. The ASUS DRW-24B1ST uses the E-Green (Energy Green) Engine. This nifty little feature puts the drive into an energy saving mode that closes drive applications automatically if they are not in use. This helps the drive to draw at only 1W of power at idle. That's about half of what a normal DVD burner runs at. The DRW-24B1ST is a relatively short drive as well, at only 17cm long. It's about 3cm shorter than the IDE MAD DOG drive I tested it against.
The E-Green program that comes with the DRW-24B1ST on the installer disc with nero8 Essentials. The program is designed to tell you just how much energy the DRW-24B1ST is saving you. It also shows the reduced CO2 emissions due to the saved energy. The program isn't much, just a small window that pops up. The top of the small window tells you how much power you have saved during the current session, and its comparative CO2 savings. The bottom half tells you the overall power savings that you have experienced throughout the life of the drive. There isn't much detail about the program that I could find from ASUS. I'm not really sure if the drive communicates somehow with the program, or if it is just an estimate.
Another program that comes bundled with the DRW-24B1ST on the nero8 disc is E-Hammer. This is actually quite a useful little tool. The idea behind E-Hammer is to give you a way to destroy a disc and make it completely unreadable with all the information being unrecoverable. There is a really easy way to take care of this without the program; you just smash up the disc. But in an effort to clean up office space all over the world, ASUS has created a simple program that will do this for you. Another method a lot people used to get rid of the old data was scratching the discs. With the E-Hammer program, ASUS essentially takes care of any data on the disc that you might want to keep out of the hands of, well, anyone. It destroys the disc completely, leaving each and every sector unreadable by any drive. Other programs that have a similar function fall short by allowing the data to still be recoverable by some extraordinary and extremely expensive means. Supposedly, the E-Hammer program makes all the data unrecoverable. I wasn't able to test that part, but I did use E-Hammer to destroy a couple of discs, and it certainly made then unreadable on any DVD device I could get my hands on.
Most of the recent ASUS drives, including the DRW-24B1ST use what ASUS refers to as Optimal Tuning Strategy (OTS) when burning a disc. OTS runs through a test burning prior to completing the actual burning. During the test it checks the disc variables and the drive variables and even the operating temperature. Using all of this information, the drive then selects the optimal strategy for burning the disc. This ensures that you almost never end up with a bad burn and a ruined disc. In fact, while using the ASUS DRW-24B1ST, I have burned 15 DVDs (home videos) and not a single one has ended up ruined. Well, one did, because I used the E-Hammer program to destroy it! Another nice feature of OTS is that it will remember the exact profile of the media that was used in the burn and use the same strategy the next time that same media is used.
Have you ever noticed that when you have an optical drive mounted vertically, it seems to make a lot more noise? Well ASUS has an answer for you. The DRW-24B1ST comes fully equipped with another amazing feature as well. It's called AVRS, the Auto Vibration Reducing System. AVRS takes a look at the drive's balance, whether it's mounted horizontally or vertically. It then takes steps to balance the disc and the spindle while the drive is in operation. This should help reduce the vibration caused by the spindle, as well as the vibration between the drive and the other components, such as your case. It sounds complicated, but I have to admit, the drive is much, much quieter than my MAD DOG drive that it is mounted underneath. After using the ASUS drive for a while, I went back to the MAD DOG to get test results. I felt like the entire room was shaking! Well, ok, not that much, but I was surprised by the difference.
So our question from the beginning was, a DVD Burner is a DVD Burner right? I think we have conclusively proven that all DVD Burners were not created equal. Its true that a 24x DVD Burner is nothing new. We have had those speeds for quite a while now. ASUS has been able to take what we know about a conventional DVD Burner, though, and take it to an all new level. Technological advancements like OTS and AVRS are making DVD Burners ruin media less often and make less noise. The days of listening to the vibrations of your case as your favorite music CD plays have come to an end. The E-Green function of the DRW-24B1ST makes us feel better, even if only minutely, about our effects on the environment. And the E-Hammer program puts our minds at ease concerning our private data. All these things combined with the undoubtable quality of the ASUS brand make the DRW-24B1ST an excellent choice for your next DVD Burner. But just for fun, lets take a look at the results of some testing.