The Good Satisfactory overall performance; affordable; quiet; low vibration.
The Bad Slow packet-writing and audio extraction; no extra software.
The Bottom Line Despite its average performance and spare bundle, the Samsung SW-232B stands out from other 32X drives because of its noise-dampening technology--a potential boon to crowded offices and homes.
Samsung SW-232B 32X/10X/40X EIDE
Emblazoned with logos and sporting a rounded faceplate, the Samsung SW-232B looks pretty slick for a CD burner. It's also affordable, and it offers generally good performance for a 32X/10X/40X burner. However, the SW-232B's biggest selling point is actually on the inside, where some great technologies make the drive both reliable and nearly silent. Although the SW-232B falls short on software and some performance tests, it's still a decent choice for home and small-office users who mainly need a budget-priced backup drive. Emblazoned with logos and sporting a rounded faceplate, the Samsung SW-232B looks pretty slick for a CD burner. It's also affordable, and it offers generally good performance for a 32X/10X/40X burner. However, the SW-232B's biggest selling point is actually on the inside, where some great technologies make the drive both reliable and nearly silent. Although the SW-232B falls short on software and some performance tests, it's still a decent choice for home and small-office users who mainly need a budget-priced backup drive.
The $150 Samsung SW-232B package includes just the basics: mounting screws, IDE and analog audio cables, a software CD, two 700MB blank CDs (a CD-R and a CD-RW), and a well-illustrated manual printed in four languages. Software is minimal, with just a light version of Roxio's Easy CD Creator 5.0 and DirectCD 3.2 for packet-writing. Installation is simple, but if you're not comfortable with the steps--opening the computer, fixing the drive in an available front-accessible drive bay, attaching the cables, and adjusting a jumper--then find a friend to help you. We burned our first CD within a few minutes of opening the box.
Science of silence
The Samsung comes with a host of useful technologies. First of all, it includes buffer-underrun protection, which helps circumvent data loss. It also has an 8MB buffer, about four times more than most high-speed burners, to better juggle the data coming into and out of the drive. But the enhancement that we find most interesting is the SW-232B's Dynamic Vibration Absorber (DVA). Generally, high-speed drives produce a lot of noise and vibration, but thanks to DVA, the Samsung runs very smoothly and almost silently.
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