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The Samsung WriteMaster TS-H552 is a pretty unremarkable drive on paper. The specs are nothing more than conservative – it will write to DVD+R and DVD-R discs at 16x, DVD+RW and DVD-RW media at 4x, while burning CD-R discs at 48x and CD-RWs at 32x. In fact, except for the 5x DVD-R DL performance, this Samsung really does appear to be nothing special.
However, despite its somewhat uninspiring specifications, the TS-H552 turned out to be the second fastest drive I’ve ever tested, and if it wasn’t for the latest NEC drive (the ND-3540A), it would be king of the hill. Of course the NEC ND-3540A was helped along by its next generation DVD-RW specification; something that the Samsung didn’t benefit from. So all in all, the TS-H552 put in a very solid performance indeed.
And that really sums up this drive from Samsung – solid. There aren’t really any outstanding performances in evidence across all the tests, but what you can see from the graphs is that the TS-H552 turned in consistently good times across the board, whereas many drives I test tend to excel with some media and fall behind with other formats.
Let’s look at the DVD+R Dual Layer performance first. Here the Samsung turned in some pretty respectable times, but not quite as fast as the Toshiba SDR-5372 which was also rated at 5x.
Next there’s the DVD-R tests, and here the TS-H552 just flew. Every single result that the Samsung turned in was below six minutes, undercutting the competition by a significant margin. DVD+R performance wasn’t quite so impressive, but it was still consistently good and up there with the best of the competition.
The DVD-RW times were consistently good, with only the NEC ND-3540A putting the Samsung in the shade. But to be fair the NEC is a 6x DVD-RW drive while the Samsung is only rated at a more conservative 4x.
If you’re still burning a lot of CD media, you’re going to love this drive, with every test whether on CD-R or CD-RW media coming in under three minutes. What was surprising is that Nero reported the CD-R performance to be only 40x, despite the 48x specification, but looking at the results the drive was clearly writing at the faster rate. The CD-RW performance was reported correctly, and the drive just blazed through the format and the 600MB burn.
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