Samsung WriteMaster TS-H552 – DVD Writer Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £42.00

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.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.