Turn off the Ad Banner  

To print: Select File and then Print from your browser's menu.

    -----------------------------------------------
This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
-----------------------------------------------


Appeared on: Monday, December 24, 2001
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol1


1. Introduction

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 1

The battle of the Titans begin!

- Introduction

The 'need for speed' has been forcing manufacturers to produce faster and faster CD-RW drives. Most users noticed a dramatic reduction of the writing time when the first 4x, 12x, 16x models produced. The writing time was shortening even further with the arrival of 24x recorders, while that was more or less the start of the end of Zone-CLV writing technology. At the begging of 2002 year, the 32x recorders arrive and promises even shorten writing time.

After our first preview of the 32x writing proposal of Mitsumi (model CR-480ATE), LiteOn and Freecom ship their first retail 32x recorders. Both drives have the same writing speed (32x) but follow different implementations. We compare side to side the three 32x recorders among with the faster 24x recorder (Yamaha 3200E). How faster 32x recorders really are, compared to the 24x models? What about the recording quality at the highest recording speed ever available? Continue reading...

- LiteOn LTR-32123S

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 2MB Buffer and "SmartBurn" as the main anti-buffer under run technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 8x, 12, 16x (CLV), 20x (16-20x), 24x (16-24x) and 32x (16-32x) (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 10x and 12x (CLV). The drive doesn't seem to support Mt. Rainier format as LiteOn had promised in the press release (maybe this will come later with a newer firmware update). What we have noticed is the addition of C2 error reporting which previous the 24x model missed. Ending, the drive supports all known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW).

means Smart Monitoring & Adapting Recording Technology for Burning. To get the best burning quality & reliability with smart burning strategy such as media condition check, vari-speed burning, running OPC & buffer under run free technology. The basic philosophy can be concluded in the following picture:

As happened with the previous LTR-24102B series, the LTR-32123S drive contains a predefined list of good quality media. When the CD is in that list, the drive burns at a pre-specified speed with pre-defined writing strategy and you have the maximum writing speed. When an unknown disc is inserted the drive will burn it with specified speed, default strategy and running OPC at the same time. Last, when a bad quality disc is inserted, LiteOn 24x will burn at vari-speed in order to produce the maximum quality result. LiteOn continues to use Mediatek's chipsets which are: ........ Last the "Smart-X" means Smart Monitoring & Adjusting Read-speed Technology -for- eXtraction. CD-DAE/VCD data extraction speed will increase or decrease by host system demand (lower for playback or higher for copy) & media quality condition.

- LiteOn's 32x writing speed

The LiteOn LTR-32123S supports 32x writing speed with the use of the Z-CLV writing technology. LiteOn will use P-CAV for higher recording speeds (40x/48x). Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph which illustrates the use of Zone-CLV writing technology:

The 32x writing speed range is divided into 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from lead-in till the 2mins, shifts up to 20x at 6mins, shifts up to 24x at 16mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 42mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 26.23X. From what we have noticed the shift points are fixed in all cases. The LiteOn drive has the exact shift points with Mitsumi's CR-480ATE but the Mitsumi 32x drive is slightly faster.

- The package

The package supplied was the retail version. This included: the drive itself, a quick set-up guide, 1 piece of LiteOn 80min CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek), 1 piece of LiteOn 80min 4-12x High-Speed RW blank (actual manufacturer NAN-YA Plastics), audio cable and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.5.6 and Ahead InCD v3.1.2 (for packet writing use).

There is not any printed manual included - just an electronic PDF file. It's nice to see at last a bulked 80min HS-RW media. We don't know yet if the LiteOn LTR-32123S has 2 years of warranty (only in Europe) or not. Last as the package says the drive is "XP" compatible which was confirmed from our test results.

The front of the drive is exactly the same as with the 24102B series. The drive includes the LiteOn's website url and the, the HS-RW logo and the drive's features (32x12x40x). You will also find only one led, the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

At the back of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector, 3 jumpers which are not used (factory reserved) and the analog/digital output connectors.

- Installation

TThe LiteOn LTR-32123S was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "LITE-ON LTR-32123S". We used both WinXP and WinME for the recording/reading tests. Both OS's enabled DMA automatically.

The drive was a December 2001 model with firmware revision vXS05 installed. We used a newer build of Nero (5.5.7.0), InCD (3.19), CloneCD (3.3.2.1) and Padus DJ (3.50.826) for our recording tests.

If we use low quality media, the drive automatically lowers its recording speed down to (16x/24x) before it starts writing. During our tests, the drive lowered the maximum recording speed down to 16x when Mitsubishi Chemical's 80min 32x certified (prototype) media was used. As it seems the media code (97 34 23) wasn't yet added in supported media list. The drive lowered maximum recording speed down to 24x ,when media based upon Plasmon/Maxell chemicals inserted. There isn't any way to force drive writing at 32x with low quality media, which many users might won't like, but its the only safe way to go :-)

LiteOn LTR-32123S lowers recording speed down to 16xLiteOn LTR-32123S lowers recording speed down to 24x


2. Installation

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 2

- Freecom 32A

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 10x re-writing, 4MB Buffer and "BurnProof" as the main anti-buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12, 16x, 20x (CLV) and 32x (20x-32x). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x and 10x. The drive doesn't support Mt. Rainier format. The drive includes a C2 error reporting and supports all known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW). Note that with the initial firmware revision this is done at only 16x (CLV) speed.

The drive also supports "FlexSS-BP" which is the generic name for "Flexible Speed" and "Flexible Strategy". The "FlexSS-BP" works in 2 ways. When the drive judges that it can hardly trace the inserted disc correctly -because a variation of media might include some serpentine tracks and off centred discs- and that the placed disc cannot stand a high power laser at high-speed recording, the drive selects the suitable recording speed for the disc and continues the recording. Thus it monitors the physical condition of the disc in real time during recording, and it flexibly switches recording speeds in order to maintain the optimum recording condition. In addition, the Flexible Strategy measures and evaluates the recording condition of a recorded area at switching zones. Previously, the recording condition could not be checked until the recording had been completed, but a Flexible Strategy drive can restart the recording after the check of pit condition at the recording stop position and optimise the recording parameters.

- Freecom's 32x writing speed

The Freecom 32A supports 32x writing speed with the use of the Z-CLV writing technology. Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the use of Zone-CLV writing technology:

The 32x writing speed range is divided in 3 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in area till 12mins, shifts up to 24x at 16mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 40mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 26.86X, which makes it the faster 32x recorder. Despite the use of FlexSS-BP, the drive keeps the shifting points same in all cases. That means, that even low quality media can be written up to 32x but with a major cost. The readability of the written disc.

As our tests showed the FleSS-BP probably is not working correctly (or at all) since we had C2 errors at the last minutes of each disc, especially at the 20x (CLV) writing speed. That was noticed in almost all media (even with Taiyo Yuden 24x certified). Similar problems were also noticed at the 32x writing speed, which made us worried about the writing credibility of the drive. We hope that a newer firmware revision will fix this...

- The package

The package supplied was an "early" retail European version. This included: the drive itself, an installation guide, a warranty registration form, IDE cable, audio cable, a CD-R pen, 1 piece of Freecom 80min CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek) and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Ez CD Creator v5.1/DirectCD v5.1 and a diskette with updated drivers. There is an additional CD with manuals for both Windows/MAC OS operating systems. The drive has 2 years of warranty (only in Europe). The drive's price is estimated to be 175 Euro plus Tax.

The front panel of the drive includes 2 leds (busy, write), the manual eject hole, the headphone jack/volume control and the logos of "Freecom", "BPRec" and the "High-Speed Recording":

At the back of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog / digital output connectors. There are 3 jumpers at the left of the back. The 2 jumpers on the left are not used (factory reserved), and the third is being used for making the drive working at UDMA33 mode. If you remove the third jumper, the drive works at PIO-Mode4 mode -suggested only for any major in-compatibility:

- Installation

The Freecom 32A was installed as a Master/Slave in the secondary IDE Bus. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode with the default jumper setting and after booting, identified itself as a "Generic Freecom32A".

We used only WinME for our recording/reading tests since under WinXP it was impossible to force DMA for the drive. We don't know if this major problem has anything to do with the Via's BustMaster drivers (4.37 installed) or firmware needs upgrade to support WinXP.

The drive was a December 2001 model with firmware revision v2.40 installed. We used Nero (5.5.7.0), DirectCD (5.1), CloneCD (3.3.2.1) and Padus DJ (3.50.826) for the recording tests.


3. Data Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 3

Data Tests

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The LiteOn LTD-32123S is the definite winner at the SCSI Mechanic tests, since it has the highest performance of all competitor drives. The drive has an average of 4623Kb/s when reading pressed CDs, while its' "Average Random I/O" mark is high with 856Kb/s. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes second and Freecom 32A comes third with 4464Kb/s "Average Sequential I/O" mark. The drive's "Average Random I/O" mark is rather poor with only 659Kb/s due to its high seek times, compared with the rest of the drives. Finally, the Yamaha CRW3200E needs improvement since it comes last with 4459Kb/s.

- Pressed CD results: (Click to see the Freecom & LiteOn CD Speed Graphs)

At the Nero CD Speed test, the LiteOn 32x drive continues holding the first place with 31.49X average reading speed. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes second but now Yamaha CRW3200E comes third with 30.56X and Freecom 32A last with the minimal 0.01X difference from the Yamaha 24x drive. The LiteOn 32x needs some extra fine tuning in order to beat the PleXWriter PX-W2410A that holds the title of the fastest CD-RW reader with 31.79X (with pressed CDs).

Things change when we look over the seek times. The Yamaha beats the competition with only 84msecs, while Mitsumi and LiteOn have similar times (113msecs). The Freecom 32A comes last with 126ms.

- CDR Media: (Click to see the Freecom & LiteOn CD Speed Graphs)

All drives improved their reading performance when CD-R media was used. The LiteOn LTR-32123S gave an outstanding performance with 32.3X over passing the competition. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes again second (31.45X), Freecom now gets the third place (31.19X) and Yamaha CRW3200E comes last with only 30.56X.

- HS-RW media: (Click to see the Freecom & LiteOn CD Speed Graphs)

For the RW tests we used the Mitsubishi Chemical/LiteOn Hs-RW media written at 10x/12x speeds. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE is currently the faster drive when HS-RW media was used with a 31.35X average reading speed. The Yamaha CRW3200E comes close after with 31.13X, LiteOn LTR-32123S comes third and Freecom 32A last with 24.93X:


4. CloneCD Tests
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 4

CloneCD Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v3.3.2.1) 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 time of the drives. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. For comparison reasons we have added the results of the already tested Yamaha CRW3200E and Mitsumi CR-480ATE. The following pictures show the drive(s) reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to the HD with CloneCD. The LiteOn LTR-32123S is again the faster reader with only (?) 155secs. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE needs 265secs while the Freecom needs 273secs. The Yamaha CRW3200E comes last with 307 secs. All drives need improvements since the PleXWriter PX-W2410A does the same task at only 54secs:

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results

The Mitsumi CR-480ATE performed very well with SafeDisc 1 CDs, outperforming Plextor PX-W2410A but stays in the second place behind Yamaha CRW3200E. The LiteOn LTR-32123S since it has hardware error correction; it manages to skip bad sectors slow enough to get the third place since the Freecom 32A needs over one hour to finish the task.

With SafeDisc2 protected CDs the LiteOn LTR-32123S has an average reading performance, while the Mitsumi CR-480ATE keeps its performance high enough to get the first place, at least with the original CD. The Freecom 32A continues to hold the last place.

- LaserLock 1/2 Results

With LaserLock 1 protected CDs, the LiteOn LTR-32123S performed good enough to get the first place with the original CD. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE performs very well, especially with the backup CD while the Freecom 32A strongly holds the last place.

The LiteOn LTR-32123S continues to perform well with an original LaserLock 2 protected disc. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE performs low with the original CD, but makes a fast image with the backup.

- SecuROM Results

All tested drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. The Yamaha 3200E is the fastest reader, with the LiteOn LTR-32123S following at the second place. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes third with a small difference from LiteOn drive and finally Freecom 32A comes last.


5. DAE Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 5

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 the drive 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

Freecom Ripping FeaturesLiteOn Ripping FeaturesWe used EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 to examine the Freecom 32A DAE features. As the program reported, the drive doesn't "Caching" data, supports "Accurate Stream" and doesn't include "C2" error info. The LiteOn LTR-32123S does "Caching" data supports "Accurate Stream" and includes "C2" error info. All 4 tested drives support up to 40x (CAV) DAE speed.

- Pressed AudioCD results

The Yamaha and Freecom 32A hold the fist place with 29X average DAE speed. The LiteOn LTR-32123S has lower DAE speed since the drive delays to spin up (spins up fully when it reaches the 3rd track) to full reading speed (CAV). When the drive is rotating at full speed the numbers are higher (29.8X) but for fair comparison we chose the lowest numbers. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE performance wasn't good enough to compete the other drives and comes last with only 28.0X:

- CDR AudioCD results

The Yamaha CRW3200E holds the first place with 28.9X average DAE speed. The Freecom 32A gets the second place with 28.4X and Mitsumi the third place with 28.1X. The LiteOn LTR-32123S needs to reduce its spin-up time in order to compete to the rest of the drives. In this test gets the last place with 27.31X:

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

After many requests from numerous visitors we have added the EAC's secure extract ripping mode results, which ensures maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
LiteOn LTR-32123S
4.4
5.0
Freecom 32A
11.6
11.5
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
11.0
11.1
Yamaha CRW3200E
5.5
-

- Advanced DAE Quality

All tested drives got a 100 score (best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The Freecom 32A drive's average reading speed was 29.20x and no errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read CD-Text/SubChannel Data:

Freecom 32A Nero Advanced DAE Tests Results

The LiteOn LTR-32123S didn't perform so well and finished the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test with only 26.09X average speed. No error was produced, while this drive can read CD-Text/SubChannel Data too:

LiteOn LTR-32123S Nero Advanced DAE Tests Results

- Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test stretches 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 in order 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
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
LiteOn LTR-32123S
12.9
17579697
2.32
Freecom 32A
Drive stops reading at 65%
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
17.1
202102
0.03
Yamaha CRW3200E
5.2
8840120
1.17

The LiteOn LTR-32123S didn't perform well with our bad CDR test disc. The drive reported 17579697 errors (2.32% of total disc). The Freecom 32A stops reading at 65% (read error). The Mitsumi CR-480ATE complets the test with the lower error rate.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

ThThe Mitsumi CR-480ATE recognizes both 90/99min AudioCDs without any problems. The LiteOn/Freecom drives can recognize 90mins without any problems but failed to read 99min CDs.

- Reading Protected AudioCDs

Since many latest AudioCDs are protected we decided to add such tests in our reviews. For the test procedure we used 2 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony KeyAudio
* CDR AudioCD protected with Cactus Data Shield (CDS100) - made with Clone Audio Protector v1.1 (adding 30 secs lead-out)

KeyAudio
CDS100
LiteOn LTR-32123S
Cannot recognize CD at all It ejects the CD out!
Reads all tracks as Data tracks - ripping impossible
Freecom 32A
Can read the contents of the disc (17 tracks Audio tracks + 2 Data tracks) but stops reading around 94%
Mitsumi CR-480ATE

As the test results showed, both AudioCD protections can prevent you from ripping the CD contents if you are using the false reader. The Cactus Data Shield (CDS100) disc couldn't be ripped from any drive since all tracks are showed as "Data" and not as "Audio". Sony's KeyAudio is also effective with LiteOn 32x (drive ejects the CD out!) while the Freecom 32A can rip its contents up to 94% (it then reports a reading error).


6. CDR Tests - Page 1
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 6

CDR Tests - Page 1

- Procedure

We tested the LiteOn LTR-32123S/Freecom 32A with Nero v5.5.7.0, CloneCD v3.3.2.1 and Padus DJ v3.50.826 software. We used various media for performing our tests: Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min 24x/32x certified, Mitsui 74min 24x certified, Taiyo Yuden 74/80min 24x certified, Ricoh 74min 24x certified, Creation 74/80min 16x, Sanyo Digital 74min 16x and TDK/Ricoh/LiteOn's 74min HS-RW. The only 32x certified media we had was from Mitsubishi Chemicals but also other manufactures have 32x media ready. Note that the posted recording times below, are the best we had from our test results. Different media can increase the time differences.

- Recording preferences

LiteOn LTR-32123S Recording SpeedsAs we explained before, the LiteOn drive supports all speeds above 8x. That includes 12x, 16x, 20x, 24x and of course 32x. Many users might be disappointed since the drive doesn't offer lower recording speed than 8x! The drive includes the "Smart-Burn" system in order to prevent buffer underruns but also for checking the inserted media.

Freecom 32A Recording SpeedsThe Freecom drive supports 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 20x and 32x recording speeds. The drive makes a lot of noise at both 20x/32x recording speeds since reaches around 10.000rpm! The attached FleSS-BP system seems to be needing improvement since most of our written media contained C2 errors.

- Comparison

Before starting the recording tests, let's see how the drives are compared in the writing/rotation speeds. The Freecom 32A is the faster drive for now since it starts writing at 20x (CLV):

As we can see the Freecom 32A starts writing at higher writing speed than the competitor drives and also shifts up to 32x earlier than both LiteOn/Mitsumi drives. That boosts Freecom 32A average writing speed up to 26.86X when using a 80min CD. The LiteOn/Mitsumi drives even have almost the same shifts points, the Mitsumi CR-480ATE is faster by 0.11X:

CDR-W drives
Average Writing Speed with 80min CD (X)
Yamaha CRW3200
23.61
LiteOn LTR-32123S
26.23
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
26.34
Freecom 32A
26.86

The Freecom 32A starts writing at the highest -up to now- rotation speed (10.050rpm) which is gradually reduced towards 16mins. The drive makes a lot of noise during the writing process but it's necessary. The LiteOn/Mitsumi drives start rotating at 8.000rpm and don't exceed 8500rpm anywhere during the writing process.

- 74min CD-R Tests

We created a "DataCD" job with data slightly more than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all 4 CDR-W drives:

The Yamaha CRW3200E has the lower burning time at 16x (CLV) writing speed. It needs exactly 310secs to end the task. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE follows, while LiteOn LTR-32123S comes third with 315secs and Freecom last with 317secs.

Mitsumi CR-480ATE and Yamaha CRW3200E don't support 20x writing speed option. However the other drives do, so we have a comparison chart :-)

As we can see the PleXWriter PX-W2410A holds the lower recording time with 259secs. The Freecom 32A comes second with 262secs. The LiteOn LTR-32123S and AOpen CRW2440 are last with 266secs. This test shows that Freecom's 20x CLV writing speed is not faster than Plextor's 16-20x Z-CLV implementation...

Let's see what is happening at the 24x writing speed. As we were expected the Yamaha CRW3200E is the faster recorder at this category. The TEAC CD-W524E holds the second place with 11secs time difference. The Mitsumi and LiteOn drives come last with the exact burning time (239secs).

At last we hit the maximum recording speed of 32x. The Freecom 32A is the faster recorder and its time difference varies from media to media. The best result we had was 211secs (3:31mins). The Mitsumi CR-480ATE is slower by 7secs and LiteOn LTR-32123S by 10secs.


7. CDR Tests - Page 2
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 7

CDR Tests - Page 2

- 80min CD-R Tests

In our normal burning tests the 80min CD contains slightly more than 80min data (80:01:47):

With 80min CDs, the Yamaha CRW3200E holds the first place with 333secs. The Freecom 32A comes second and the Mitsumi CR-480ATE third. The LiteOn comes last.

Again at the 20x writing speed, the Freecom 32A takes the second place. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A come first with 278secs, the LiteOn LTR-32123S comes third 284secs and AOpen CRW2440 last with 285secs.

At the 24x writing speed, the Yamaha CRW3200E still holds the fist place with 240secs. The TEAC CD-W524E follows with 247secs and the Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes third with 253secs. The LiteOn LTR-32123S comes last with 255 secs.

With 80min CDs, the time differences between Freecom 32A and the competition are increased. The Freecom 32A drive comes first with 220secs, the Mitsumi CR-480ATE is 9secs slower than LiteOn LTR-32123S 11secs slower.

- Comparison of different writing technologies

The above graph shows the main differences between 24x Z-CLV, 24x P-CAV and 32x Z-CLV recording speeds. The Freecom 32A is the faster recorder at the maximum speed of 32x and its time differences at 74min CDs are:

- 25secs faster than TEAC CD-W524E
- 14secs faster than Yamaha CRW3200E
- 7 secs faster than Mitsumi CR-480ATE

With 80min CDs, the time differences with rest of the recorders are now higher:

- 27secs faster than Samsung SW-224B
- 20secs faster than Yamaha CRW3200E
- 9 secs faster than Mitsumi CR-480ATE

The time differences between various technologies points that 32x Z-CLV isn't really a major breakthrough. Of course there would be users that always seek for the faster and best recorder but...speed has its cost. In order to get maximum speed you must use at least 32x certified CDs which not only would be hard to find but possibly even higher priced than 16/24x media. Yamaha, with P-CAV, shows the way to real increased speed towards rest manufacturers. Most next generation recorders would use P-CAV in order to boost up further recording speeds (up to 40x/48x).

- Zone-CLV visible zones

As most users have noticed, when using Zone-CLV recorders and specific media (mostly based upon Cyanine) you can separate the recording zones with an eye view. This effect happens due to different laser power and due to the reflection of the light upon each zone. The visible separation of recording zones doesn't affect the readability of the drive.

Below are 2 examples of written CDs with the Freecom 32A and LiteOn LTR-32123S:

The above pictures don't reflect the true image of the burned CDs due to a limitation of the scanning process. However after the addition of the recording zones you can separate each zone. From what our eyes have seen, the recording zones between 24x and 32x for the Freecom 32A are harder to disguise from the zones of the LiteOn LTR-32123S. You can easily see, after lead-in, the first zone (20x CLV) but not rest (24x/32x). At the LiteOn LTR-32123S we have 4 zones (16x/20x/24x/32x). With other media (mostly GOLD) the visibility of the zones becomes almost impossible.

- Overburning Tests

Using Nero CD Speed, we saw that the LiteOn drive can overburn up to 99mins, while Freecom 32A stops around 93mins.

- CD-Text Results

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

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD v3.3.2.1 reports that both drives support the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that both drive support the DAO-RAW writing mode at the following CD protections: SafeDisc 1.0, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2. Note that the Freecom 32A writes only at 16x when DAO-RAW writing mode is used :(

- SD2 Support
For the SD2 test we used the "No One Lives For Ever", "Max Payne" and "Emperor Battle of Dune" game titles. We used the LiteOn/Freecom drives both as reader/writer. The produced backup from Freecom 32A didn't work using the same or any drive we tested with. Therefore, the Freecom 32A cannot produce SD2 working backups. On the other hand, the produced backup from LiteOn LTR-32123B did work in many drives we tested. Therefore the LiteOn 32x model can produce SD2 working backups.


8. Writing Quality Tests - Page 1
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 8

Writing Quality Tests for Freecom 32A

We used many media ,mostly 24x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with Freecom 32A. We used Nero 5.5.7.0 as the CDR software. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables:

- 20x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
107
9.1
118
0.1
4:24
Mitsui 74min (24x)
152
11.1
110
0.2
4:24
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
121
11.2
118
0.1
4:22
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
107
13
112
0.1
4:40
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
138
17.3
114
0.2
4:39
Ritek 80min (24x)
111
9.4
116
0.1
4:43
Ricoh 80min (24x)
128
18.7
110
0.2
4:39

As the tests results shows, the Freecom 32A managed to produce C2 errors with all tested media at the 20x writing speed. All C2 errors were present above 65mins till the end.

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
20
0.8
0
3:38
Mitsui 74min (24x)
53
2.3
33
0
3:34
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
37
3.0
0
3:31
Maxell 74min (12x)
194
23,3
76
0.1
3:34
Creation 74min (16x)
43
34
0
3:40
Sanyo Digital 74min (16x)
26
1.3
0
3:33
Creation 80min (16x)
128
19
83
0.1
3:40
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
46
5.6
2
0
3:43
Ritek 80min (24x)
78
2.8
28
0
3:45
Ricoh 80min (24x)
82
5.3
68
0
3:43
Maxell 80min (32x)
67
32.1
24
0
3:45
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
80
2.0
52
0
3:44

At the maximum writing speed (32x) the Freecom drive has better behaviour since the produced CDs contained lower error rate and not C2 errors. With some media the drive produced many C1/C2 errors. New firmware updates can correct this problem.


9. Writing Quality Tests - Page 2
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 8

Writing Quality Tests for LiteOn LTR-32123S

We used many media ,mostly 24x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with LiteOn LTR-32123S. We used Nero 5.5.7.0 as the CDR software. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables:

- 20x writing speed

Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
10
0.2
4:28
Mitsui 74min (24x)
14
0.5
4:26
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
16
2.4
4:26
 
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
22
0.3
4:45
Ritek 80min (24x)
21
0.6
4:48
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
13
0.1
4:44

The LiteOn LTR-32123S produces low C1 error rate at the 20x writing speed. For writing a fully 74min CD needs around 4:26mins and for a 80min 4:45mins.

- 24x writing speed

Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
15
0.2
4:00
Mitsui 74min (24x)
18
1.3
3:59
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
17
2.3
3:58
Maxell 74min (12x)
19
3,3
4:06
Creation 74min (16x)
24
1
4:04
Sanyo Digital 74min (16x)
23
0.8
4:05
     
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
29
4.5
4:20
Ritek 80min (24x)
19
0.6
4:18
Ricoh 80min (24x)
20
2.0
4:14
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
18
0.2
4:15
Creation 80min (16x)
25
3.5
4:17

The drive continues to produce low C1 error rate at the 24x writing speed. For writing a full 74min CD needs around 4:00mins and for an 80min CD 4:15mins.

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
13
0.2
3:43
Mitsui 74min (24x)
23
1.7
3:41
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
65
4.7
3:41
     
Ritek 80min (24x)
62
3.1
3:53
Ricoh 80min (24x)
21
2.7
3:52
Maxell 80min (32x)
91
32.6
3:53
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
103
1.2
3:52
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
21
4.5
3:53

At the maximum writing speed (32x) the LiteOn LTR-32123S needs 3:41mins for 74min CD. For writing an 80min CD needs 3:52mins. The C1 error rate is higher than 20/24x speeds but its natural.


10. CD-RW Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 9

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.7.0 for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. The LiteOn LTR-32123S support both 10x/12x writing speeds, while the Freecom 32A supports 10x writing speed:

The Mitsumi CR-480ATE is currently the faster re-writer with 408secs for writing a 74min HS-RW media. The LiteOn LTR-32123S needs 423 to finish the same task. We did notice problems when Ricoh's HS-RW (4-10x) media was used for writing at 12x writing speed. Even the project ended successfully, the media was un-readable. When we used LiteOn's 4-12x HS-RW no problems were noticed. Last the Freecom 32A needs 486secs to complete the task.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.19/DirectCD v5.1 for the packet writing tests with a Mitsubishi Chemicals HS-RW media. The formatted disc had 534mbs 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 Windows Explorer (we dragged and dropped) and we completed the test twice to eliminate any possible time measurement faults and user errors:

The Mitsumi CR-480ATE is still the faster writer at the packet writing mode with 8.81X. The LiteOn LTR-32123S follows with 8.55X and Yamaha CRW3200E comes third with 7.15X. The Freecom 32A comes last with 7.09X. The Yamaha CRW3200E is the faster reader for packet writing formatted discs with 20.45X and LiteOn LTR-32123S follows with 18.18X.


11. Conlcusion

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 11

Conclusion

Freecom 32A

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Faster 32x Z-CLV recorder around!
- 4Mb of buffer
- Supports Burn-Proof
- Can write any media at 32x writing speed but....
- Very good DAE speeds
- Supports HS-RW standard
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 93mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Has 2 years of warranty (applies only for Europe)
- Complete retail package

- FleSS-BP quality monitor system seems not working correctly (or at all) since many C1/C2 errors produced even when 24x/32x CDR media used!!!
- 20x CLV recording speed is slower than 16x-20x Z-CLV speed
- Makes lot of noise when writing at 32x speed
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- Very bad CloneCD reading performance (get another reader for such use)
- Higher seek times than competition
- Cannot handle AudioCDs with errors
- DAO-RAW writing only at 16x speed
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- Low PSX ripping speed
- WinXP in-compatibility (?)
- Failed to read 99min CDs

LiteOn LTR-32123S

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Supports 32x writing (Z-CLV) speed
- Supports 12x re-writing (CLV) speed
- "Smart-BURN" anti-coaster technology
- Has build-in media quality detection system
- Low C1 errors when 24x/32x CDR media used
- Very good data reading performance with both CDR/pressed media
- Good re-writing/packet writing performance
- Good DAE speeds
- Supports HS-RW standard
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Good CloneCD reading performance
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Can produce 100% SD2 backups
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Complete retail package (includes Nero/80min HS-RW media)

- Is the slowest recorder at all recording speeds compared to the rest 32x recorders
- Doesn't support writing speeds below 8X
- Only 2Mb of buffer
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- Has high spin-up times that causes lower DAE performance than competition
- Many DAE errors when scratched media being used
- Low PSX ripping speed
- Failed to read 99min CDs
- Cannot "read" protected AudioCDs

The Freecom 32A and LiteOn LTR-32123S come after Mitsumi CR-480ATE to clear the clouds about the 32x recording speed. Many users expected that the 32x recorders would offer a major performance upgrade over the 24x recorders. The truth is that only Freecom 32A offers a noticeable time difference (20ses) against the faster 24x recorder (Yamaha CRW3200E). That time difference with 74min CDs is even smaller (14secs) which should make you start thinking if such small time differences are important. The Freecom 32A may have proved the faster recorder around, for now, but its produced written CDs contained not only C1 but also C2 errors. This isn't acceptable since your written discs could end up un-readable by several readers.

  Getting more in details we must also note that: the drive's 20x CLV writing speed is slower than 20 Z-CLV speed, lot of noise is produced when writing at 32x, CloneCD users should look for a good reader since the drive's performance is very poor, cannot backup SD2 CDs and we cannot guarantee that the drive is able to co-operate with WinXP (at least we didn't manage to). On the bright side, the drive has very good DAE performance and 2 years of warranty (applies only for Europe).
An alternative point of view
Maybe this last point should make you think again, about buying (or not) a 32x Recorder… especially in the case that you already have one which can burn at a decent speed (let's say 20x/24x) and considering an upgrade. Are 20 seconds less, really a difference? From our point of view we wouldn't think so. If you MUST go for an upgrade then you might want to look elsewhere; let's say the DVD-R / DVD-RW market. The speed is not THAT impressive there either, but... you will be able to burn disks that contain up to 4.7 GB of data, together with the 'cheap' CDR media you are now using. Besides, the future of the Media recording certainly is NOT lying on the CDR market anymore.

The LiteOn LTR-32123S supports not only "32x" recording speed but also 12x re-writing speed, which makes it directly comparable to Mitsumi CR-480ATE. The drive's writing performance was the lower among the 3 tested drive since at almost all recording tests, the LiteOn drive came last (after Freecom 32A and Mitsumi CR-480ATE). Firmware updates can improve drive's writing performance. The drive's built-in detection system will prevent users from writing low quality media at the 24x/32x speeds and the produced CDs will have very good writing quality as our tests results have shown. CloneCD users will be satisfied with both the ability to backup SD2 CDs and the fairly good reading performance. Last you would be able to write 99min CDs but not sure if you could read them afterwards.

It's quite interesting how good behaviour Mitsumi CR-480ATE had, even if the drive was an engineering sample with a beta firmware. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE has 2 unique features: It supports 16Mb Buffer and 'Mt. Rainier' format. Its not the faster 32x recorder, but has very good writing quality. The drive's weakest point ,against LiteOn LTR-32123S, is the lack of backup SD2 CDs...

Since both Freecom/LiteOn drives come from retail packages which most consumers will buy shortly after Xmas, this roundup offers an overview off all positive/negative points. Many other manufacturers are expected to ship 32x recorders during 2002 but as it seems, only the 40x/48x P-CAV recorders will be able to offer a real performance difference from the 24x recorders.

Merry Xmas And a Happy New Year!



Home | News | All News | Reviews | Articles | Guides | Download | Expert Area | Forum | Site Info
Site best viewed at 1024x768+ - CDRINFO.COM 1998-2014 - All rights reserved -
Privacy policy - Contact Us .