I have acquired a V1.0 Xbox with a Samsung DVD drive (Manufactured 8/21/02), and I took this opportunity to compare it to a V1.1 Xbox with a Phillips DVD drive.
I first compared the CD ripping speeds to the hard drive. For this test I use the Eminem Show (Explicit Version), the total CD length is 77:30.
First I compared the ripping speeds from tracks located at the beginning, middle and end of the CD.
Track 2 (Length 5:24)
Samsung 1:12 (29.4% faster)
Track 10 (Length 4:50)
Samsung 1:08 (8.1% faster)
Track 19 (Length 4:27)
Samsung 1:00 (1.6% faster)
Entire CD (Length 77:30)
Samsung 19:04 (7.5% faster)
The only other test I performed was to test how fast a game loads. In this instance I chose Shenmue II (from Xbox logo loading screen to disclaimer screen that is game is a work of fiction).
Samsung 0:15 (16.7% faster)
As most of us already know the Samsung will read all CDR and CDRW disks, while the Phillips will read CDRW and some CDRs.
The Samsung drive does seem to have one flaw, unlike the Phillips drive, it has trouble easily running the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition DVD. Apparently this issue exists with many Samsung stand alone DVD players and PC-DVD drives. This is easily remedied by turning on your Xbox and ejecting the drive, place the DVD in the drive and turn the Xbox off (causing the Xbox to close the DVD drive door). Next turn on the Xbox and during the boot-up sequence it should load the DVD normally.
Overall the Samsung drive appears to outperform the Phillips drive in each test, showing an approximately 2-29% improvement in performance. While this may not translate to real noticeable improvements in game play, any performance gains would be to your advantage.