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Appeared on: Monday, December 17, 2001
CyQve RW8080A FireWire CD-RW

1. Introduction/Installation

CyQ've RW8080A- Page 1

- Introduction

Until now, we have tested various portable CD-R/RW drives. These drives, except from their obvious advantage- portability- against the internal brothers, come with an attractive design, small dimensions and weight, high compatibility and sometimes not easily ignored performance. This time we have in our labs another portable CD-R/RW drive by CyQ've. The "CyQ've RW8080A" is an 8/4/24 portable drive that supports both USB and FireWire interfaces, and optimistically comes to gain a part in the portable drive market. We will test the drive's performance, and compare it with two other category drives, PleXWriter PX-S88TU and TEAC CD-R/W 280PU.

- The package

CyQ've RW8080A was provided by MET Technology Co.,Ltd. The retail package includes the CyQ've RW8080A drive, a PCMCA card bus and a USB (4x4x6) cable. The attached recording software is Nero Burning-Rom. Although the drive supports the FireWire interface, there was no FireWire cable in the retail package.

In the right picture you can see the CyQ've FireWire adapter with three FireWire connectors, that allow multiple serial FireWire device connection. For our tests, we connected the drive through the FireWire interface, in order to test its full capabilities (8x4x24).

The drive has a gray external color, with the "CyQ've" logo in the middle of the top side. On the right-top side there is an operation red led. The tray is front-open and is not fully extended as you press the eject button, you will have to pull it out and push it back inside when you load o CD. Its exact dimensions are 137mm x 23mm x 162mm (WxHxD). On the bottom side of the drive, there is the CyQ've label.

TEAC CD-W280PU LookTEAC CD-W280PU Bottom

The picture below is the drive's front side (tray). There is the eject button, a reading/writing green led and the emergency eject button.


On the back of the drive you can find a line out connector, the data output connector, the on/off switch and the power connector. The drive is powered with DC5V, 2A, which means that you have to use an AC/DC adapter in order to power it up from your home AC power connector.

The drive mainly has the following specifications: 8x writing, 4x rewriting and 24x reading, 2MB Buffer, USB 1.1 /FireWire compatible. When the drive is connected via a USB 1.1 interface its writing/reading capabilities are limited to 4x writing, 4x rewriting and 6x reading. The drive does support both 12cm and 8cm CDs and has 150ms access time according to the specifications.

- Installation

The drive was installed through the FireWire interface. You can also install it through USB 1.1/PCMCIA interfaces, but with a lower reading/writing performance (4/4/6 - 8/4/12).

CyQ've RW8080A was identified as "CD-R/RW RW8080A" inside the OS system. As Nero reports it supports 8x writing, CD-Text, overburning but no buffer underrun protection.

- PC Setup

Intel P3 866@950
QDI Synactix 2EP
Adaptec 3100LP USB 2.0 card
Adaptec's USB 2.0 v1.0 drivers
WinMECyQ've RW8080A firmware v1.1
TEAC CD-R/W 280PU firmware v1.1A
PleXWriter PX-S88TU firmware v1.02 #TLA 102

2. Data Tests

CyQ've RW8080A- Page 2

Data Tests

Test Method

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x: This was used to compare the drive's  I/O performance against other various CDR-W drives (see charts). We used a pressed CD containing PlexTools v1.08 for all tests.
- Nero CD Speed v0.84b was also used to check the drive's performance with pressed CDs. For that test, we also used the PlexTools v1.08 pressed CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

CyQ've RW8080A did not perform very well in the SCSI Mechanic test. In both Random and Sequential tests, the drive takes the third position behind PlexWriter PX-S88TU and Teac CD-W280PU. In the same sector reading test, things are tougher for the CyQ've drive, since it gave just a 968 Kb/s result.

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 results: (CyQ've RW8080A CD Speed graphs)

Using Nero CD Speed 0.84, we confirmed the SCSI Mechanic results. PleXWriter PX-S88TU and TEAC CD-RW280PU are faster than CyQ've RW8080A. CyQ've RW8080A starts reading at 10.86X, in faster speed than Teac, but fails to end up at a compatible to the other drive's speed. As a result, the drive takes the third position with a 16,8X average speed performance.

In the Random seek test, CyQ've RW8080A is faster than the Plextor drive. TEAC models usually have the lowest seek times, and from our tests this was confirmed once again.

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to HD with CloneCD. We measured the reading times for both tested drives. Plextor is the winner here with only 122secs, while the TEAC needs 28 more seconds to complete the image. CyQ've RW8080A is slower again with 172 sec for the whole task.

- CDR Media: (CyQ've RW8080A CD Speed graphs)

With CDR media, all the drives performed better than with the pressed test disc. The PleXWriter still holds the first place, with 18.53X while Teac and CyQ've follow with 18,39X and 16.92X, respectively. CyQ've RW8080A does not manage to reach a high enough speed in the end, so its average speed is limited to 16.92X.

3. RW/CloneCD Tests
CyQ've RW8080A- Page 3

RW reading tests

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 Test: (CyQ've RW8080A CD Speed graphs)

For the RW tests, we used TDK's HS-RW media. Especially for CyQ've RW8080A, we used a 2x-4x CD-RW by Plextor, since the drive does not support writing of HS-RW media. The TEAC CD-RW280PU has its reading speed locked to 8x (CLV) with HS-RW media, while PleXWriter goes from 7X-10X and is actually slower. CyQ've RW8080A gets the first place with 10.49X, and finished the reading at 13.79X.

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v3.2.3.1) and 5 original CDs - Euro 2000 (SafeDisc 1), No One Lives For Ever (SafeDisc 2), Rally Masters (LaserLock 1), Desperados (LaserLock 2) and V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) - in order to test the reading performance of CyQ've RW8080A . We also tested its reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between the original and the backup media. The following pictures show reading/writing capabilities of the drive. The drive is not compatible with RAW-DAO mode and also does not support any anti-coaster technology. As you will see in the following CloneCD tests, the produced backups by CyQ've RW8080A did not play in any drive we tested.

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results

PleXWriter PX-S88TU is a great performer with SD1 protected CDs. The drive needs only 3.3mins to finish the task and skips errors very fast. TEAC CD-RW280PU skips errors very slowly and needs 48mins to end the task. CyQ've RW8080A takes the second place, but the produced backup cannot be used.

With SafeDisc v2.0 protected CDs, the PleXWriter PXS88TU showed a strange behavior. With our normal test disc (NOLF), the drive needed over one hour to make the image. The bad news was that the drive kept reporting bad sectors than the actual ones (which ended at 10041). We made another test with "Max Payne" original CD, and this time the drive needed only 4mins to make the image but again reported more bad sectors than the actual ones. With backup CD, the drive didn't show any problem. The TEAC CD-RW280PU continues to skip error slowly and needs 45mins to end the task. CyQ've RW8080A needed 19:22:00 to finish.

- LaserLock 1/2 Results

In the LaserLock protected CDs test, the TEAC CD-RW280PU is faster than the PleXWriter, at least with the original CD. With the backup CD, the PleXWriter easily outperforms the TEAC. CyQ've RW8080A seems to be a faster reader than Teac, but the produced backup does not work, as mentioned before. Remember that LaserLock errors are very hard for any drive to skip.

With LaserLock 2 protected CDs, the TEAC seems faster, again with the original CD. CyQ've RW8080A gave the second best performance. PleXWriter gets a revenge and ends first with the backup CD.

- SecuROM Results

CyQ've RW8080A ended the task fast but the backup does not work in the most readers. TEAC CD-RW280PU is a lot faster than PleXWriter with both pressed/backup CDs.

4. DAE Tests

CyQ've RW8080A- Page 4

DAE Tests

- Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.21 beta and EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 software in order to check the DAE performance of both drives with various AudioCDs (both pressed and CDR). The posted DAE results are the average of both applications, but the CPU usage was only taken from CD DAE 99, since EAC occupies the system a lot more. As a last note, we used the "BURST" reading mode of EAC. We made a full CD Rip starting from the first to the last track of the CD. The Average DAE reported speed along with the CPU Usage is displayed in the test graphs.

- DAE features:
As the EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 reported, CyQ've RW8080A doesn't do "Caching" of data, supports "Accurate Stream" and no "C2 Error info".

- Pressed AudioCD results: (CyQ've RW8080A CD Speed graphs)

The PleXWriter PX-S88TU supports up to 24x (CAV) DAE with both pressed and CDR media. CyQ've RW8080A follows with an 9.7X average DAE speed. As for TEAC CD-RW280PU, the DAE speed is locked at 8x (CLV), and therefore it cannot really compete against the other drives:

- CDR AudioCD Results: (CyQ've RW8080A CD Speed graphs)

CyQ've RW8080A and the other drives performed with CDR media as with pressed CDs:

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

EAC's secure extract ripping mode test ensures the maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
PleXWriter PXS88TU
CyQ've RW8080A

TEAC CD-RW280PU was much faster than the other drives, mainly because it doesn't support "caching" of data. During the DAE process EAC reported many sync errors, however the final CRC for all tracks were OK. CyQ've RW8080A and PleXWriter keep their speed under 3X.

- Advanced DAE Quality

All drives performed excellently in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test. They produced 0 data/sync errors and got a perfect score (100). CyQ've RW8080A gave the second best performance with 9.9X average speed.

- Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test stretches a drive's mechanism to the max, we decided to do real life tests with a scratched disc. The disc was dirty, and with some light scratches, enough to cause problems to most of the tested drives. We used CD DAE 99 software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) and the results were very interesting:

Average Speed (X)
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
PleXWriter PXS88TU
CyQ've RW8080A

CyQ've RW8080A is not the best reader, since it produced too many read errors.

- Ripping 90 and 99min CDs


We inserted a 90min CD in the CyQ've RW8080A and ran the CDSpeed test. The drive gave a reading error at 88:00:00. As for the 99min media, they are not even recognized by the drive.

5. CDR Tests
CyQ've RW8080A- Page 5

CDR Tests

PlexWriter and Teac drives support 8x (CLV) writing with USB 2.0 interface. When connected to USB 1.1 the writing speed drops at 4x (CLV). In addition, both drives support anti-buffer underrun technologies - TEAC supports "JustLink", and PleXWriter "BURN-Proof". CyQ've RW8080A does not support any anti-coaster technology, but the supported 2MB buffer memory seemed enough to keep us away from coasters. We tested all the drives with Nero v5.5.6.4, CloneCD v3.2.3.1 and Padus DJ v3.50.799 software. For the CDR tests we used: Creation 74min (12x), Taiyo Yuden 74 & 80min (24x), Mitsui 74min (24 & 16x) and Verbatim/TDK 74min HS-RW media.

- CD-R Tests

We created an 74mins "DataCD" job . We burned the same job with all drives, using the same media:

TEAC CD-RW280PU was faster than CyQ've RW8080A and PleXWriter PX-S88TU with all tested media. TEAC needs 598min to finish the task, while CyQ've RW8080A needs just 4 extra seconds. The CPU Usage is very low for all the recorders! CyQ've RW8080A needed the lowest CPU %, mostly because of the use of FireWire interface.

- 80min CDs

Following the same procedure as in the previous test, we created a DataCD with data lower than 80min (79:49:50). CyQ've RW8080A and TEAC don't support overburning and we used the same media for all burns. TEAC CD-RW280PU only 1 sec faster than CyQ've RW8080A! CyQ've RW8080A also occupied less CPU than the other drives for this task.

- Writing Quality Tests:

We used low quality media written at 8x, with both drives. The results are posted in the following table:

* Creation 74min 12x

Creation 74min - 12x - serial: 1B-11401-15:49
ATIP: 97m 27s 19f
Disc Manufacturer: Plasmon Data Systems, Ltd.
Assumed Dye type: Phthalocyanine (Type 9)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Nominal Capacity: 654.49MB (74m 30s 00f / LBA: 335100)
Disc subtype: Medium Type B, low Beta category (B-)
Target writing power: 5

8x writing speed
Average Burning Time (secs)
PleXWriter PXS88TU

Here we have a new winner here,CyQ've RW8080A produced the lowest C1 error rate (2.1 cps). As for the recording speed, Teac finished recording faster than the other drives but gave produced more C1 errors. CyQ've RW8080A also gave a compatible (607 sec) burning time. The following graphs come from the Creation 74min 12x media:

Click To Enlarge!

- Overburning Tests

CyQ've RW8080A does support overburning up only to 82mins.

- CD-Text Results

We created several AudioCDs with CD-Text enabled. Both drives can write/read CD-Text without any problems.

- CloneCD Tests

CloneCD v3.2.3.1 reports that CyQ've RW8080A supports only SAO-RAW+ SUB writing mode. According to our tests, the drive cannot backup any protected titles, even when using compatible RAW SAO+SUB mode. All produced backups (even of SD1) weren't playable!

- SD2 Support

For the SD2 tests we used the "No One Lives For Ever", "Emperor Battle for Dune" and "Max Payne" CD titles. We used CyQ've RW8080A as reader/writer. The produced backups didn't play in the same or other drives. Therefore the drive cannot produce SD2 working backups.

- 8cm mini CDs

CyQ've RW8080A support reading/writing to 8cm CDs. We are not so sure if business cards are supported.

- Buffer Underrun tests

CyQ've RW8080A does not support any anti-coaster technology, so you 'd better avoid to run any "heavy" applications while burning a CDR.

6. RW/Packet Writing Tests

CyQ've RW8080A- Page 6

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed (8X) for Plextor and Teac drives. For the CyQ've RW8080A, we used a Plextor CD-RW 2x-4x, since the drive does not support HS-RW media.

The CyQ've RW8080A drive has the biggest re-writing time due to its limited re-writing speed (4x). The erase time is around 2minutes and the CPU usage is very low.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v2.26 for all Packet Writing tests. For the Teac and Plextor drives, we used TDK HS-RW media and we formatted it. The formatted disc revealed 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 kbs) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media-using explorer (we dragged and dropped) and we completed the test twice to eliminate possible time measurement faults and user errors. In order to test the CyQ've RW8080A, we used 4x CD-RW media.

As it was expected, CyQ've RW8080A gave less than the half of the writing speed the other drives had given, due to the low rewritable speed supported.

7. Conclusion

CyQ've RW8080A - Page 7


Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 8x writing
- Elegant design
- Supports USB 1.1/FireWire interfaces
- Low access times
- Very good writing quality
-Good writing times
- Good DAE speed
-Supports 8cm CDs
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports overburning (up to 82mins)
- Low CPU Usage while operating
- Very good retail package
- Low noise/heat during operation

--No anti-coaster technology support
Competition has faster reading speed
- Limited re-writing speed (4x)
- No DAO-RAW support
- Does not recognize 90min/99min media
-Low PSX ripping performance
- Low DAE quality with scratched CDs
- FireWire cable is extra

The highs and the lows.. CyQ've RW8080A has it both. The support of dual USB1.1 /FireWire interface(s) gives user the chance to choose and plug-&-play compatibility. The low CPU usage is also positive, among with the very good writing quality even in low quality media. The writing times are not high for the 8x supported speed.

As for the demanding users, they will possibly think twice before buying the drive. The RAW-DAO support is missing, as well as the HS-RW writing performance. The reading performance is not the best concerning the speed and the quality as well. Anti-coaster technology should be adopted by CyQ've to obtain smooth recordings, since we did show some problems when we pushed the PC while writing. Maybe the drive had better luck if the strong competition from Plextor and TEAC wans't present. The PlexWriter PXS88TU/TEAC CD280PU are better drives with many features that CyQ've RW8080A doens't support. The price tag could be the strongest motive for the end user but since the time this article was written wasn't known to us...

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