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Appeared on: Tuesday, December 11, 2001
DatOptic SpeedBurn24 CD-RW


1. Introduction

DatOptic SpeedBurn24 - Page 1

- Introduction

External drives give the chance to add an extra device to your PC when your IDE channels are reserved or even to move the drive between PC Desktop / Notebook without Reset / Power Down your computer. The drive we have in our hands is an external LiteOn LTR-24102B and is provided by "DatOptic".The drive comes with a Firewire / IEEE-1394 interface which offers plug and play compatibility.

In addition, "DatOptic" provided us with a 1394-IDE Bridge Board Firewire to ATA/ATAPI card, ideal to convert your existing IDE devices such as CD-ROM, CD-R HD, to plug-and-play FireWire, versions.

- The package

The supplied retail package contained DatOptic's SpeedBurn24, which is based upon the famous 'LiteOn LTR-24102B' external drive, a Firewire connection cable, a PCI Firewire card (for using with the External FireWire drive) and a driver floppy disk.


The drive is packed into the essential blue plastic case. In the picture you can see the front side, which reveals the familiar Lite-ON 24202B, with the extra power button on the right-top side of the case.

On the rear side of the external case, there are two FireWire connectors, allowing the serial connection of the drive to other FireWire devices, an audio output used for speaker connections, a cooling fan and the AC input connector.

In the picture below you can see the internal of the case without the drive.

Beginning from the left bottom side, you can see on the audio cable, the IDE to FireWire bridge card with the IDE cable in the side of the drive. On the right side of the case there are the power conversion circuits, which supply the drive with the appropriate operation voltage. The same circuits also power the cooling fan.

This is a top uncovered view when the drive is connected into the external case.

The topside of the case has the yellow "FireWire" label, the "SpeedBurn24" logo by Dat Optic Inc.


2. Installation

DatOptic SpeedBurn24 - Page 2

DatOptic's 1394-IDE Bridge Board FireWire to ATA/ATAPI card

With the integrated Serial Bus Protocol (SBP-2 Target Revision 4), the 13940-IDE uses generic FireWire/IEEE-1394 device drivers available in the Win9x, Win2k and MacOS 8.6 or higher operating systems.

The 13940-IDE is appropriate interface for applications in removable media drives such as: CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-RAM, Tape back-up and Hard disk drives. These peripherals can be quickly converted to plug-and-play FireWire versions. Both of ATA and ATAPI devices are supported.

DAT Optic Inc. 1394-IDE Bridge board provides an up to 400mbps data connection between ATA/ATAPI peripheral devices and 1394/FireWire computer ports. This offers vendors the opportunity to continue to take advantage of the ATA/ATAPI low cost while presenting high performance, hot swappable devices into PC and MAC rapidly expanding 1394/FireWire markets.

DatOptic states that "...When using the converted IDE device to FireWire device with our Internal FireWire Bridge Adapter, your computer will gain back up 85% of CPU's power. Computer now can run faster, smoother, and better. In addition, with our Internal FireWire Bridge Adapter computer system is no longer subject to four IDE devices and IRQ limitation. Now you can have up to 63 Internal or External IDE devices with only ONE IRQ..."

- Specifications

Operating Temperature

Operating Humidity

Dimension

IDE peripherals

Operating System

IDE Interface


IEEE 1394 Interface

 

Connectors

 

Power Requirement

0 C to 50 C

5% to 95% non-condensing

7.3(L)cm x 4.4 (W)cm

CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, Hard Disk, MO Drive, Jaz, Zip, Tape Back up.

Win98SE, ME, Win 2000, MAC 8.6 or higher

ATAPI/ATA-66. P/N: 1394-IDE
ATAPI/ATA-100. P/N: 1394-IDE5

IEEE 1394-1995, IEEE 1394a compliant. Support data transfer rate up to 100, 200, 400 MBps. SBP-2 Target Revision 4 compliant.

40-pin IDE connector x 1
6-pin IEEE 1394 connector x 2
4-pin power connector x 1

5V/ DC ; 130mA ~ 200mA

- Installation

We installed the drive through the FireWire interface and Windows Millennium recognized the drive as "Lite-On 24102B". The drive was originally flashed with v5S.01, and we attempted to upgrade it to the new v5S.54. Unfortunately, the firmware installer failed to recognize the SpeedBurn24 drive. For that propose we flashed it after connecting the drive through the IDE interface.

As Nero reports, the new firmware version installed is the 5S54. In the picture there are also showed the other known features supported by the drive.

Apart from the external drive installation, in order to test the DatOptic IDE to Firewire card, we had to install the card on the back of an IDE drive. Beginning from the card, we could say that it is has a delicate structure and users should be careful when they will try to place the card.

The front of the adapter has two Firewire connectors, to be connected to your PC Firewire card. On the back of the adapter you will find the IDE connector in which you should plug the IDE device in. The adapter is powered by the PC through a regular power cable similar to those you normally power all the internal devices on your computer.

With careful handles, we attached the adapter card on the back of an IDE drive. AS shown in the picture, we connected the Firewire and power cables to the PC. Have in mind, that the jumper setting on the drive for this connection is not "master" or "slave" but the "cable select".

The drive was not identified immediately after the connection, but some seconds later. The drive is now ready for use.


3. Performance

DatOptic SpeedBurn24 - Page 3

Performance

The DatOptic SpeedBurn24 drive we had in our hands gave more or less the same level of performance with the LiteOn 24102B we had tested in our previous tests. The external FireWire drive was easily installed and worked smoothly throughout all the writing or reading tasks we performed. The main difference was that the external drive used less CPU than the IDE drive as most of our tests showed. DatOptic SpeedBurn24 can be bought directly from CalOptic for a holiday special price of $189.

We tested the DatOptic IDE to Firewire card under Windows Millennium and Windows XP. We connected an IDE CD-RW drive through the card. The drives we connected through the Firewire card were an ACER CRW2010A (firmware vH.KF) and a Yamaha CRW3200E (firmware vT.3a). Both drive recognized under WinMe without any problem.

Under Win XP, the drives were not identified with their names, but Windows reported the new devices as "DAT OPTIC INC. IEEE 1394 SBP2".

For measuring the CPU usage we performed 2 major tasks:

a) Copy on the fly between the FireWire enabled drive and the Pioneer DVD 106S IDE DVD-ROM drive. For the copy process we used Nero Burning Rom v5.5.6.4

b) Copy from HD (image to CD). For that propose we used PlexTools v1.08 to create an image to the HD with Nero Burning Rom v5.5.6.4. Afterwhile we burned the image with the FireWire enabled recorder.

In both cases for measuring the CPU Usage, TaskInfo 2000 was beeing used. For double checking the test results we used the buld-in CPU monitor of WinXP, which gave similar results.

- WinME

Copy On The Fly
CPU % Usage
Drives Connected
IDE connection
DatOptic Convertor
Yamaha CRW3200E
36
30
Acer 20x
29
24.5
Average CPU utilization saving: 15.9%

Copy from HD
CPU % Usage
Drives Connected
IDE connection
DatOptic Convertor
Yamaha CRW3200E
6.68
6.32
Acer 20x
5.44
4.9
Average CPU utilization saving: 7.36%

- WinXP

Under WinXP we could't use the Acer 20x FireWire enabled drive since not only Nero but other CDR software (CloneCD) failed to recognize it. The main cause for this situation is that Acer CRW2010A doesn't return a complete ID string to the system but only "CD-R/W 20X10". Both Yamaha CRW3200E and other drives (Aopen CRW2440) we tested worked fine.

Copy On The Fly
CPU % Usage
Drives Connected
IDE connection
DatOptic Convertor
Yamaha CRW3200E
15.3
13.5
Acer 20x
17
-
Average CPU utilization saving: 15.4%

Copy from HD
CPU % Usage
Drives Connected
IDE connection
DatOptic Convertor
Yamaha CRW3200E
8.5
7
Acer 20x
4
-
Average CPU utilization saving: 17.6%

- Test Results

The above test results show that the usage of the IDE to Firewire adapter could save 8%-16% of your computer resources during any process that uses an IDE device. The profit in CPU utility is bigger under Win XP OS. Whether your processor gives you enough power or not for your daily needs, the IDE to Firewire convert card by DatOptics is an extra help to carry out a smooth and easy operation of your external IDE devices. In addition, the plug-and play capability the Firewire interface gives an easy and quick device connection and installation.

DatOptics 1394-IDE Bridge board comes in two versions, with ATA66 and ATA 100 support. The ATA100 drives costs $58 and can be obtained from CalOptic's.



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