The combination is useful if you want to avoid using two 5.25in drive bays for individual DVD and CD-R drives. The 9120A can also be installed vertically, if you have the right computer housing.
The MP9120A is Ricoh's first CD-RW drive to offer the company's JustLink buffer-underrun protection - meaning no more flawed discs or "coasters" due to momentary system glitches. Like Sanyo's Burn-Proof, this function enables the program to shut off, realign, and relight the drive's write laser if the drive's buffer runs out of data to write.
DVD movie playback - using the bundled WinDVD 2000 software player on the Celeron 400 test PC - was smooth. For optimum sound quality when watching a DVD, an SP/DIF terminal for digital audio output is incorporated. The unit also supports a wide range of less widely used writing formats including CD-DA, DC-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD Extra, CD-I, Mixed-ModeCD, VideoCD, PhotoCD, CD Text and Bootable CD.
On the subject of writing, Ricoh recently dropped the Easy CD Creator/DirectCD software from Adaptec (now Roxio) in favour of Prassi's PrimoCD CD mastering and AbCD packet-writing packages.
With Prassi's programs at the helm, the shipping unit burned the 430MB test folder to CD-R in a speedy 4 minutes, 58 seconds, and it burned the 100MB test folder to CD-RW in a record-tying 1 minute, 27 seconds. Testa Labs' DVD Tach gauge rated the MP9120A's DVD-ROM reading speed at 5.2x. The unit has a specified 100ms average access time, a 2MB buffer, and ships with a one-year Ricoh Australia warranty.
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