Now we get to the nitty gritty of this drive. How does it perform in general usage as a CD-ROM device? To check this out, I did a number of functions that I would do with a normal CD-ROM drive.
The first test that I threw at the unit was to toss in just about every disk that I could find that had burned data on it. I used data disks, music CD's, program backups…anything and everything that I could find. I have yet to find a single disk that could not be read. I even mixed up ISO modes and used different burning techniques to try to throw it a curve, but they were all read without a hitch. This makes me feel MUCH better about using it as a replacement drive.
Loading programs from disk went very smoothly. I used a number of different types of programs from games to utilities to graphics, and all loaded without any problems at all. No missed files, no corrupt installs, nothing at all out of the ordinary. I never really expected any problems in this area, but it's just nice to know that it went as smoothly as I had hoped it would.
Music played well also with this drive. I used both commercial CD's and also some that I had burned and all played back with good quality. No skips or hiccups were noticed while they played.
This drive has many good features that allow me to give it a high recommendation. it's very fast when it comes to both CD and DVD data rates, it is compatible with nearly every known media format available, and it plays movies with exceptionable quality.
It also comes from a company who has been in the business of manufacturing electronics for many years, and a company that is known to stand behind what they sell. Pioneer is one of the old-timer companies when it comes to making components, so it will come as no surprise for them to be just as successful in the PC Component market.
About the only negative that I can come up with is that the drive is rather loud. I'm running a large amount of fannage in my system so it wasn't unbearable, but it bears noting that the noise level is considerably higher than other drives that I have used. It didn't get in the way of watching movies, nor did it distract me when playing music during Deathmatch gaming, so while it is noticeable, it's not intolerable.
Rating - 9 / 10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award!