Ricoh MP9060A Performance
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Set-up
The Media Master MP9060A sets up like any other CD-ROM although it is a bit longer than a typical CD-ROM drive.  Still, all you need is a 5 1/2in open drive bay, a free power supply drive connector and available IDE channel.  The drive offers both analog and SPDIF/out to hook up to your sound card.  Once you're hooked up close up your case and install the software accompanying the drive. 

Ricoh Media Master MP9060A Test Configuration

Motherboard EPoX EP-7KXA
Processor AMD Athlon 750MHz
Memory 1 X 128MB PC133 Generic CAS3 SDRAM
Hard Drive  Western Digital WD102BA 
10.2G 7200RPM UltraATA/66
Additional Drives TEAC 32X SCSI CD-ROM
Shuttle 50X IDE CD-ROM
Graphics Card Matrox Millennium G400 32MB AGP
Operating System Windows 98 Second Edition

DVD-Playback
Ravisent's Software Cinemaster is included to software DVD playback and is VGA independent so you can use it with virtually any graphics card.

It offers decent support for using the Media Master's DVD playback functionality although if you're using a TV-out card to watch on your home television the quality cannot compare to a stand-alone hardware DVD player or even a PC hardware DVD decoder card.  Cinemaster is pretty straightforward and easy to use though.  The MP9060A offers good 4X DVD playback and the Sandra 2000 benchmark puts this in good perspective...

CD-ROM Performance
The MP9060A offers decent CD-ROM playback and data throughput rates for a CD-RW drive as evidenced below...

CD-R/RW Performance
Unfortunately this is where the MP9060A fails to perform up to standards.  There is a workaround that we had great luck with though.  When first installed we set the drive up as Master on the Secondary IDE channel.  In this configuration the CD-R/RW properties of the Media Master were, for all intents and purposes, worthless 13 out of the first 15 attempts to copy or create a data or audio CD met with failure.  Heck, we thought the whole family was in for a set of matching coasters this Christmas.  However, moving the drive to EPoX UDMA66/USB add-on card's Primary Master offered much better performance consistently burning successful audio and data copies and masters off of the test system's hard drive.  In fact we only had two failures out of 11 tries and I am not at all sure the MP9060A was at fault in those instances. We copied successfully from both IDE and SCSI CD-ROM drives within the system and had no problems at all with DVD or CD-audio playback using the add-on card.

Conclusion
While we cannot in good conscience recommend the MP9060A for most systems, if you have an add-on UltraATA/66 PCI card the Media Master performs quite well.  We'd love to see a SCSI version hit store shelves as the performance would probably equal or surpass the IDE version on an add-on card.  Remember, this is fairly new technology and with anything new is sure to have a bug or two that will no doubt be conquered in time.  Our advice - wait!

You can find out more about the MP9060A by visiting Ricoh's DMS home page at http://www.ricohdms.com/

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