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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Monday, February 04, 2002
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol2


1. Introduction

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 1

Which one is the faster?

- Introduction

In our first "32x CD-RW Roundup" we examined how three 32x recorders from LiteOn, Freecom and Mitsumi performed. After 40days new firmware revisions for LiteOn, Mitsumi drives released and new drives arrived from Philips, AOpen and CyberDrive. In this roundup we will examine if performance for LiteOn/Mitsumi drives have been improved and how the new drives perform.

- AOpen CRW3248

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 8MB Buffer, "JustLink" as the main anti-buffer under run technology and "JustSpeed" as the media protection system. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 48x (CAV) making it the faster ever recorder, at least at the reading part. The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x (CLV), 16x, 20x (16-20x), 24x (16-24x), 28x (16-28x) and 32x (16-32x) (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 10x and 12x (CLV).

The drive's official specifications state that the drive will come with 2MB buffer and Mt. Rainier format. The current 0.98e firmware revision doesn't support "Mt. Rainier" format. We assume that newer firmware revisions may support this feature. Ending, the drive supports all known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW).

- AOpen's 32x writing speed

The AOpen CRW3248 supports 32x writing speed using the Z-CLV writing technology. 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 5 zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from lead-in till the 6mins, shifts up to 20x at 10mins, shifts to 24x at 22mins, 28x at 36mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 52mins and stays there until the end of the burning process. The average recording speed is 25.49X and it seems that it is the slower 32x recorder among the five drives tested.

- The package

The package supplied contained: the drive itself, 1 piece of AOpen 80min 32x CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek), 1 piece of AOpen 80min 4-12x HS-RW blank (actual manufacturer Plasmon), audio cable and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.6.1 and Ahead InCD v3.17 (for packet writing use).

We don't know yet if the AOpen CRW3248 comes with a 2-year warranty (only in Europe) or not. Lastly as the package says the drive is "XP" compatible which was confirmed from our test results, since the drive worked without any problems at UDMA-33 mode.

The front of the drive is not different from what we have used to see by Aopen . The drive doesn't have the AOpen logo printed on it. It includes the "High-Speed RW" and the "JustLink" logos. User will understand directly the drive's specs from the "32x12x48x" logo. You will also find only one led, the eject and next buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

At the backside of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector, the analog/digital output connectors and 3 jumpers which are used to setup the drive's working mode, PIO-4Mode (default) or UDMA33. For setting up the UDMA33 mode you just have to remove the middle jumper:

- Installation

The AOpen CRW3248 was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as "AOPEN CD-RW CRW3248". We used WinXP for the recording, reading tests and the DMA was automatically enabled.

The drive was a January 2002 model with firmware revision v0.98e installed. We used the newer build of Nero (5.5.7.2), InCD (3.21), and CloneCD (3.3.4.1) for our recording tests.

As the following Nero screenshot shows, the drive supports JustLink and JustSpeed functions. For our tests, JustSpeed was disabled since with the most of our 24x/32x media, the drive automatically reduces speed down to 16x. This happens due to the drive's early firmware revision. With newer firmware updates, more media will be supported. From our tests, with Ricoh/Mitsui 24x media we were able to record at 32x. Others (like TaiyoYuden/Mitsubishi Chemicals) were only recognized as 16x (with JustSpeed enabled):


2. Introduction - Page 2

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 2

- CyberDrive CW-058D

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 2MB Buffer and "ExacLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 48x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12, 16x, (CLV), 20x, 24x, 28x and 32x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x and 12x. The drive doesn't support Mt. Rainier format, which should be added in newer models. According to CyberDrive's press release "The drive supports all RAW formats including EFM correction", which however didn't confirmed from our test results...

The drive utilises a quality media detection system, which automatically lowers the maximum recording speed, according to the inserted media condition. The drive will reduce maximum writing speed down to 28x, 24x or even 16x in case it detects low quality of media.

- CyberDrive's 32x writing speed

The CyberDrive 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 5 zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from the lead-in area till 8mins, shifts up to 20x at 10mins, up to 24x at 24mins, to 28x at 36mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 52mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 26.41X, as Nero CD Speed shows, making it faster than AOpen CRW3248 but slower than Philips PCRW3210.

It's quite interesting how the drive passes from 16x to 20x since it almost doesn't lower its recording speed like other recorders do. This happens again at 20x -> 24x speed, where the drive doesn't lower at all the recording speed! That gives the drive an advantage, which affects the final recording speed. The drive instantly lowers the recording speed for shifting from 24x to 28x and from 28x to 32x.

- The package

The package supplied was the retail European version. This included: the drive itself, an installation guide, audio cable, a CD-R pen, 1 piece of CyberDrive 80min 32x CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek), 1 piece of CyberDrive 74min HS-RW (actual manufacturer Plasmon) and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5.6.9 and InCD v3.12. We don't know if the drive has a 2-year warranty (only in Europe). The complete package will be available at €129 including 16% VAT. (s.r.p.).

The front of the drive doesn't have the CyberDrive logo, and just gives the features of the drive "32x/12x/48x" - no HS-RW logo is present. You will also find only one led, the eject/stop/play/next buttons 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 setting the drive as a Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog/digital output connectors:

- Installation

The CyberDrive CW058D was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive was a January 2002 model with firmware revision v0.72 installed. CyberDrive supplied two new firmware revisions (0.96D/0.98D) that fixed some of our initial problems. The latest version used for all recording/reading tests. We used Nero (5.5.7.2), InCD (3.21) and CloneCD (3.3.4.1) for the recording tests.


3. Introduction - Page 3

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 3

- Philips PCRW3210

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 10x re-writing, 4MB Buffer, "SeamLess Link" as the main anti-buffer underrun technology and "Thermo Balanced Writing" for better writing quality. 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).

- Philips 32x writing speed

The Philips PCRW3210 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 26.85X, which makes it the faster 32x recorder, at least according to the Nero CD Speed writing test.

The drive will write almost all CDs at 32x, even lower quality media. That may cause some problems especially when the drive is connected at UDMA33 mode (default). We experienced some unreadable CDs, and the problem was solved as soon as we forced the drive to work at MultiDMA2 or PIO Mode4 by removing the UDMA33 jumper. We advise our users to perform the same task in order get the maximum writing readability.

- The package

The package supplied was a "GOLD" retail European version. This included: the drive itself, an installation guide, a warranty registration form, audio cable and one (1) piece of Philips 80min 32x CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek). The package doesn't offer a HS-RW media. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5.5.6 and InCD v3.14. The drive has a 2-year 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 "Philips", "High-Speed RW" and "CDRW3200 Series". The tray colour tends to be GOLD:

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 - which is SUGGESTED!

- Installation

The Philips PCRW3210 was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE Bus. The drive worked in PIOMode4 and after booting, identified itself as "Philips CDRW3210S".

We used WinXP for the recording tests. Note that Windows standard IDE Busdriver's DMA was not activated and the test results were poor. Even when we installed VIA's 4.37 drives didn't fixed the problem. To have the best performance, you must install VIA's IDE Busmaster drives (3.14) of course in case you are using a VIA chipset motherboard. Note that after installing VIA's IDE Busmaster drivers, some recording software (InCD) will not function properly...

The drive was a December 2001 model with firmware revision v3.41 installed. We used Nero (5.5.7.2), InCD (3.21) and CloneCD (3.3.4.1) for the recording tests:


4. Data Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 4

Data Tests

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The AOpen CRW3248 is the definite winner at the SCSI Mechanic tests, since it has the highest performance of the competitor drives. The drive has an average of 5514Kb/s when reading pressed CDs, due to its increased 48x maximum reading speed. The CyberDrive CW058D follows with 5367Kb/s and LiteOn LTR-32123S, Mitsumi CR-480ATE and Philips PCRW3210 follow. At the random I/O tests, the LiteOn LTR-32123S holds the first position with 895Kb/s. AOpen CRW3248 follows with 889Kb/s, Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes third with 837Kb/s, CyberDrive forth with 752Kb/s and Philips PCRW3210 last with 665Kb/s.

- Pressed CD results: (Click to see the Philips, AOpen & Cyberdrive CD Speed Graphs)

At the Nero CD Speed test, the AOpen CRW3248 drive keeps holding the first place with 37.71X average reading speed. CyberDrive CW058D follows with 36.83X, LiteOn LTR-32123S comes third with 31.64X, Mitsumi CR-480ATE forth with 30.79X and Philips PRCW3210 last with 30.55X. Even both AOpen and CyberDrive have 48x maximum reading speed; AOpen is faster due to its increased start/end speeds.

The AOpen CRW3248 continues to perform very well and gives the lower random seek times. The drive has a 89ms random seek time, while LiteOn LTR-32123S comes second with 93ms. The rest of the drives (Mitsumi, CyberDrive and Philips) gave seek times higher than 110ms.

- CDR Media: (Click to see the Philips, AOpen & Cyberdrive CD Speed Graphs)

All drives improved their reading performance when CD-R media were used. The AOpen CRW3248 continues to take the first place with 37.77X and CyberDrive CW058D follows with a very low performance gap (37.6X). The LiteOn LTR-32123S comes third with 32.18X, Mitsumi CR-480ATE forth with 31.45X and Philips PCRW3210 comes last with 31.2X.

- HS-RW media: (Click to see the Philips, AOpen & Cyberdrive CD Speed Graphs)

For the RW tests we used the Mitsubishi Chemical HS-RW written at 10x. The AOpen CRW3248 is currently the faster drive when HS-RW media were used with a 38.42X average reading speed. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes second with 31.35X, CyberDrive CW058D third with 30.61X and LiteOn/Philips last with 25.93X/25.43X respectively:


5. CloneCD reading Tests
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 5

CloneCD Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v3.3.4.1) 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. 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 the faster reader with 138secs. The AOpen CRW3248 comes second with 174secs, Mitsumi CR-480ATE third with 263secs, Philips PCRW3210 forth with 272secs and CyberDrive last with 499secs:

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results

The Mitsumi CR-480ATE performed very well with SafeDisc 1/2 CDs, outperforming the competition. The LiteOn LTR-32123S gets the second place and AOpen CRW3248 follows, with a significant difference from the Mitsumi CR-480ATE. The CyberDrive comes forth and as for the Philips PCRW3210A, users should choose another drive as reader, since it needs almost one hour to finish the task.

- LaserLock 1/2 Results

With LaserLock 1 protected CDs, the LiteOn LTR-32123S performed good enough to get the first place. The AOpen CRW3248 comes second, CyberDrive third, Mitsumi forth and Philips last.

With the LaserLock2 protected disc, the Philips PCRW3210 gets the first place (with pressed disc). The LiteOn LTR-32123S gets the third and the second place with original/backup discs. Both Mitsumi and CyberDrive perform bad enough to get the last two places.

- SecuROM Results

All tested drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. The LiteOn LTR-32123S gets the first place, Mitsumi CR-480ATE come second, CyberDrive CW058D third and Philips/AOpen gets the last two places.


6. DAE Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 6

DAE Tests

- Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.3 beta and EAC v0.9 beta 2 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. We made a full CD Rip starting from the first to the last track of the CD. The Average DAE reported speeds are displayed in the test graphs.

- DAE features

We used EAC v0.9 beta 2 to examine the drive(s) features:

- AOpen CRW3248

The drive doesn't "Caching" data, supports "Accurate Stream" and includes "C2" error info.

- CyberDrive CW-058D/Philips PCRW-3210

The drive doesn't "Caching" data, supports "Accurate Stream" and doens't includes "C2" error info.

- Pressed AudioCD results

The AOpen CRW3248 supports up to 48x DAE ripping. The drive's average DAE speed was 35.3X outperforming the competition. The drive produces a lot of noise in such a high speed. The CyberDrive CW058D follows with 29.5X and LiteOn LTR-32123S is very close 29.3X. The Philips PCRW3210 comes third with 29X and Mitsumi CR-480ATE last with 27.5X. The newer firmware of LiteOn drive improved the spin-up time and the results are now better than our first test:

- CDR AudioCD results

The AOpen CRW3248 doesn't have any problems ripping with the very good 35.4X from CDR media. The LiteOn LTR-32123S improves its reading speed and now reaches almost 30X (29.7X). The CyberDrive comes third with 29.4X and Mitsumi/Philips have the same performance (28.4X):

- 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
Philips PCRW3210
11.6
11.5
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
11.0
11.1
AOpen CRW3248
20.1
20.3
CyberDrive CW-058D
11.2
11.3

- Advanced DAE Quality

All tested drives got a 100 score (best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. None of the five drives produced any errors during the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test.

- AOpen CRW3248

The drive's average reading speed was 35.32x and no errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read SubChannel Data but not CD-Text:

Freecom 32A Nero Advanced DAE Tests Results

- CyberDrive CW-058D

The drive's average reading speed was 29.88x and no errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read CD-Text/SubChannel Data:

LiteOn LTR-32123S Nero Advanced DAE Tests Results

- Philips PCRW3210A

The drive's average reading speed was 28.92x and no errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read CD-Text/SubChannel Data:

- 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
14.4
906044
0.12
Philips PCRW3210
8.0
23302
0
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
10.9
353411
0.05
AOpen CRW3248
8.4
313
0
CyberDrive CW058D
27.2
17617
0

The best reader for this test comes from AOpen. The drive lowered its reading speed down to 8x and managed to produce the lower reading errors at this roundup. The CyberDrive CW058D comes second with much higher errors but low overall error rate. The Philips PCRW3210 comes third with 0% error rate but 23302 errors. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes forth with 0.05% and LiteOn LTR-32123S last with 0.12%.error rate.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

- The Mitsumi CR-480ATE recognizes both 90/99min AudioCDs without any problems.
- The LiteOn/Philips drives can recognize 90mins without any problems but failed to read 99min CDs.
- The AOpen CRW3248 recognizes both 90/99min AudioCDs without any problems.
- The CyberDrive CW-058D stops reading at 96mins.

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 3 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE v0.3b/EAC v0.9 beta2) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony KeyAudio
* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)
* CDR AudioCD protected with Cactus Data Shield (CDS100) - made with Clone Audio Protector v1.1 (adding 30 secs lead-out)

Key2Audio
CDS200
CDS100
CDDAE
EAC
CDDAE
EAC
CDDAE
EAC
AOpen CRW3248
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips up to 91%
Rips entire disc without problems
Reads all tracks as Data tracks - ripping impossible
CyberDrive CW058D
Rips entire disc without problems
Rips entire disc without problems
Problems recognize 1st track
Rips entire disc without problems
LiteOn LTR-32123S
Cannot recognize disc contents
Problems recognize 1st track, cannot rip
Recognizes tracks, cannot rip
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip
Rips entire disc without problems
Cannot recognize Audio Tracks
Cannot recognize Audio Tracks
Philips PCRW3210A
Rips entire disc without problems
Rips entire disc without problems
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip/PC Halts
Rips all tracks exept 1st one

As the test results showed, not all the recorders are prepared to "handle" protected AudioCDs. The best reader for such discs comes from CyberDrive, which can rip contents of Key2Audio/CDS200 discs without any problems only when using the EAC software. The AOpen CRW3248 can also rip CDS200 discs (even with CDDAE) but fails entirely to recognize Key2Audio discs. The Philips PCRW3210 can handle Key2Audio discs and can rip CDS200 titles, except from the first track. Lastly, both LiteOn/Mitsumi drives need further improvement to handle AudioCD protected discs.


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

CDR Tests - Page 1

- Procedure

We tested all five drives with latest version of Nero/CloneCD. We used various media for our tests: Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min 24x/32x certified, Mitsui 74min 24x certified, Taiyo Yuden 74/80min 24/32x certified, Ricoh 80min 24x certified and Mitsubishi Chemicals/LiteOn HS-RW media. This time we had also 32x certified media from Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi Chemicals. Soon other manufacturers (Prodisc, Ritek, and Ricoh) are expected to ship 32x media.

We burned CDs at almost all recording speeds from 16x up to 32x using the SAME amount of data for all drives. The posted recording times are the best we had from our test results. Using other media can increase the final burning time.

- Comparison

Before starting the recording tests, let's see how the drives are compared in the writing/rotation speeds:

As we can see the Philips PCRW3210 starts writing at higher writing speed (20x CLV) than the competitor drives and also shifts up to 32x earlier than the other drives. That gives Philips PCRW3210 theoretical average writing speed up to 26.85X when using an 80min CD. The second faster recorder comes from CyberDrive with 26.41X. Despite the fact that both AOpen and CyberDrive seems to have the same shift points, the AOpen CRW3248 is the slower recorder at this test:

CDR-W drives
Average Writing Speed with 80min CD (X)
AOpen CRW3248
25.49
LiteOn LTR-32123S
26.23
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
26.34
CyberDrive CW-058D
26.41
Freecom 32A
26.85

The Philips PCRW3210 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 that seems to be necessary. The AOpen/CyberDrive drives start rotating at 8.000rpm and don't exceed the 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 five tested drives:

The faster drive at the 16x writing speed comes from AOpen. The drive ends the task at 310 (JustSpeed disabled). The Philips PCRW3210 comes second with 311, CyberDrive third with 312secs, Mitsumi CR-480ATE forth with 314 and LiteOn LTR-32123S last with 315secs.


Mitsumi CR-480ATE doesn't support 20x writing speed option

The faster recorder at the 20x writing speed comes from CyberDrive with 257secs. The LiteOn LTR-32123S comes second with 260secs,Philips PCRW3210 comes third with 261secs and AOpen CRW3248 last with 266secs. The Philips PCRW3210A should be faster than the competitor drives but it isn't. A possible explanation is the high calibration time it needs at start, while other drives start immediately writing at 16x and later shift at 20x.


Philips PCRW3210 doesn't support 20x writing speed option

At the 24x writing speed, we have few surprises. The faster recorder comes from CyberDrive with the incredible time of 224secs. This is even faster than Yamaha's 3200E (225secs)! The LiteOn LTR-32123S comes second with 235secs, Mitsumi CR-480ATE third with 241secs and AOpen CRW3248 last with 249secs.

At the 28x writing speed, the CyberDrive is faster than AOpen's drive. The CW058D needs 209secs while CRW3248 227secs to end the task.

At last we hit the maximum recording speed of 32x. The CyberDrive CW058D is the faster recorder and its time difference from competition cannot be ignored. The best result we had was 203-206secs (3:23-3:26mins). Below are two Nero screenshots that proves it:

That result made us troubled since Philips PCRW3210 was supposed to be faster due to its 20x-32x (Z-CLV). This can be explained since:

a) The Philips PCRW3210 takes longer time during calibration of CD. The CyberDrive starts writing almost immediately, due to its 16x recording speed at the lead-in till 6mins...

b) The CyberDrive passes at the first three zones (16x->20x, 20x->24x, and 24 x -> 28 x) without any drop of speed. The Philips PCRW3210 does drop its recording speed low enough during the various shifts of recording speeds (20x->24x, 24x->32x). Newer firmware could improve the Philips drive recording performance.

c) The Philips PCRW3210 doesn't exactly write constantly at 20x/32x but is a bit slower.

Note that only CyberDrive CW058D was recognized as 32x capable, with Taiyo Yuden' 24x and 32x media.


8. CDR Tests - Page 2
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 8

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 CyberDrive CW058D holds the first place with 324secs. The drive doesn't write exactly at 16.00X but at 16.33X, which gives an advantage over the competition, producing lower recording times. The AOpen CRW3248 comes second with 334secs, the Philips PCRW3210 third, the Mitsumi CR-480ATE forth and LiteOn LTR-32123S last with 339secs.


Mitsumi CR-480ATE doesn't support 20x writing speed option

At the 20x writing speed, the Philips PCRW3210 takes the second place with 278secs. The LiteOn LTR-32123S comes second with 280secs, The CyberDrive CW058D third with 281secs and AOpen CRW3248 last with 300secs.


Philips PCRW3210 doesn't support 20x writing speed option

At the 24x writing speed, the CyberDrive CW058D holds the fist place with 239secs. The drive is even faster than Yamaha's 3200E (24x P-CAV) drive and of course faster than the competition. The LiteOn LTR-32123S comes second with 251secs, the Mitsumi CR-480ATE third with 255secs and AOpen CRW3248 last with 265secs.

At the 28x writing speed, the CyberDrive CW058D continues to hold the first place with 229secs. The AOpen drive is slower by 26secs!

With 80min CDs, the time differences between CyberDrive CW058D and the Philips PCRW3210 are decreased. The CyberDrive needs almost 218secs (average) to end the task, while Philips PCRW3210 needs 222secs. The LiteOn LTR-32123S follows with 227secs, Mitsumi CR-480ATE needs 231secs and AOpen comes last with 235secs.


9. CDR Tests - Page 3
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 9

CDR Tests - Page 3

- Comparison of different writing technologies

The above graph shows the main differences between the five 32x Z-CLV recorders. Despite the fact that all drives support the same recording technology (Z-CLV) the final recording times are much different. The main reason is the implementation of each manufacturer and how good the firmware is developed. We all expected Philips PCRW3210 to be the faster recorder at this roundup but real life tests showed the opposite.

The Cyberdrive CW058D ,with 74min CDs, is:

- 25secs faster than AOpen CRW3248
- 17secs faster than Mitsumi CR-480ATE
- 15secs faster than LiteOn LTR-32123S
- 8secs faster than Philips PCRW3210

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

- 17secs faster than AOpen CRW3248
- 13secs faster than Mitsumi CR-480ATE
- 14secs faster than LiteOn LTR-32123S
- 4secs faster than Philips PCRW3210

What the tests results showed, compared to our first 32x CD-RW roundup, is that LiteOn improved the LTR-32123S various recording times, while Mitsumi with the final mass retail firmware (1.0b) made the drive slower by a few seconds. The CyberDrive CW-058D does offer increased writing speed compared to what a 24x Z-CLV (PleXWriter PX-W2410A) and a 24x P-CAV (Yamaha 3200E) offers:

The CyberDrive CW058D with 74min CDs is faster by 27secs from PleXWriter PX-W2410A and 22secs from Yamaha CRW3200E. With 80min CDs the time differences lower down to 31secs from PleXWriter PX-W2410A and 22secs from Yamaha CRW3200E.

- Overburning Tests

Using Nero, we saw that the AOpen/LiteOn/Mitsumi and CyberDrive drive(s) can overburn up to 99mins, while Phillips PCRW3210 stops around 93mins.

- CD-Text Results

We created several AudioCDs with CD-Text enabled. The AOpen/Philips and CyberDrive can read/write CD-Text AudioCDs without any problems.

- 8cm Media Tests

For this proposed we used a 8cm RW media and we burned up to 185MB. None of the tested drive had problems writing/reading from the 8cm disc.

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD v3.3.4.1 reports that all drives support the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that both drives support the DAO-RAW writing mode at the following CD protections: SafeDisc 1.0, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2. Note that the both AOpen CRW3248 and Philips PCRW3210 write only at 16x when DAO-RAW writing mode is selected. The Philips PCRW3210 tends to lock at the end of writing (however CDs working just fine).

 

- 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 each drive both as reader/writer at maximum reading/recording speed. The results are posted below:

- The AOpen CRW3248/Philips PCRW3210/Mitsumi CR-480ATE and CyberDrive CW058D cannot produce SD2 working backups
- The LiteOn LTR-32123S can produce working SD2 backups


10. Writing Quality of AOpen
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests of AOpen CRW3248

We used many media ,mostly 24x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with AOpen CRW3248. We used Nero 5.5.7.2 as the CDR software. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables. Note that almost all CDs were written with JustSpeed DISABLED:

- 20x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
13
0.6
0
4:26
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
11
0.4
5:00

The C1 error rate at the 20x recording speed is low.

- 24x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
37
4.5
0
4:09
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
11
0.4
4:25

At the 24x recording speed, the C1 error rate is increased but stays below CD standard limits.

- 28x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
12
0.9
0
3:47
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
22
0.7
4:15

At the 28x writing speed, the AOpen CRW3248 has a low C1 error rate.

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
15
0.5
0
3:49
Mitsui 74min (24x)
14

0.4

3:45
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
167
17.5
1
0
3:48
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
12
0.2
0
3:49
Mitsui 74min (16x) (JustSpeed On)
31
1.1
4:07
Mitsui 74min (16x) (JustSpeed Off)
18
0.8
3:50
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
105
12.0
3
0
3:54
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
564
54.7
3
0
4:11
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (34x)
34
1.4
0
3:51
Ritek 80min (24x)
143
9.7
3:53
Ricoh 80min (24x) (JustSpeed On)
36
3.4
4:10
Ricoh 80min (24x) (JustSpeed Off)
31
3.7
3:53
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
15

0.8

4:09

The AOpen CRW3248 shows a good behaviour at the 32x recording speed, mostly with TaiyoYuden 74min CDs. The drive seems not to have a stable performance with 80min CDs. In several cases produced a high C1 error rate and even C2 errors. Remember that the drive's firmware is still under 1.0 revision. Newer firmware updates could improve media compatibility.


11. Writing Quality of CyberDrive
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 1 - Page 11

Writing Quality Tests of CyberDrive CW-058D

We used many media ,mostly 24x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with CyberDrive CW-058D. We used Nero 5.5.7.2 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)
18
0.3
0
0
4:17
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
12
0.1
0
0
4:41

The CyberDrive produces very good quality CDs at the 20x Z-CLV recording speed.

- 24x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
17
0.2
0
0
3:43
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
21
1.7
0
0
3:44
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
13
0.2
0
0
3:59
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
15
3.1
0
0
3:56

At the 24x writing speed, C1 errors are higher mostly when Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x media were used.

- 28x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
29
1.7
0
0
3:29
Mitsui 74min (24x)
15

0.5

0
0
3:28
Mitsui 74min (16x)
14

0.7

0
0
3:29
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
30
0.5
0
0
3:41
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
56
8.6
1
0
3:49

At the 28x writing speed, C1 errors rate it still very low, with Mitsui media. The drive does seem to have problems with TaiyoYuden media, especially with TaiyoYuden 80min 32x certified. In those cases we also noticed some C2 errors.

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
24
0.7
0
3:32
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
16
0.2
0
3:23-3:26
Prodisc 80min (16x)
0
3:33
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
12
0.4
3:49
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
24
0.6
3:39
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (32x)
42
1.8
3:43
Ritek 80min (24x)
15
0.9
3:42
Ricoh 80min (24x)
15
0.7
3:38

At the maximum writing speed (32x) the CyberDrive has a stable performance ONLY with Taiyo Yuden 74min 32x certified CDs. The drive accepts only the TaiyoYuden media as 32x compatible. Newer firmware updates can support more media. The recording times with TaiyoYuden 74min 32x certified are between 3:23-3:26minutes. With Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x media, the drive did produce higher recording times (3:32).


12. Writing Quality of Philips
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 12

Writing Quality Tests for Philips PCRW3210

We used many media ,mostly 24x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with Philips PCRW3210. We used Nero 5.5.7.2 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)
15
0.5
0
4:23
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
16
0.4
4:21
Mitsui 74min (16x)
20
0.8
4:22
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
35
1.5
4:20
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
40
2.5
4:39
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
31
1.8
4:39
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
40
2.6
4:39
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (32x)
25
1.9
4:39
Ritek 80min (24x)
24
1.6
4:45
Ricoh 80min (24x)
21
1.4
4:39

As the tests results shows, the Philips PCRW3210 performs quite well mostly with Taiyo Yuden 32x CDs. The drive doesn't produce any C2 errors.

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
18
0.7
0
3:32
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
15
0.5
3:32
Mitsui 74min (16x)
25
0.5
3:43
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
40
3.5
3:31
Maxell 74min (12x)
150
20,3
5
0
3:31
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
46
5.6
0
3:42
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (32x)
25
0.9
3:47
Ritek 80min (24x)
40
2.0
3:45
Ricoh 80min (24x)
35
1.6
3:43
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
35
1.5
4:44
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
20
0.8
3:43

The Philips drive doesn't have any problem writing all inserted CDs at the maximum speed of 32x. In one case when low quality media were used, Maxell 74min 12x, the drive did produce high C1 and C2 errors. With high quality media no problems were spotted.


13. RW-Packet Writing Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 13

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.7.2 for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. The four of the five tested drives supports 12x re-writing speeds, while the Philips PCRW3210 supports 10x writing speed:

The CyberDrive CW-058D not only is the faster recorder but also the fastest re-writer. In case you don't remember, CyberDrive was the first manufacturer that ever introduced 12x re-writing speed with CW-038D model. Therefore the 394ses that needed for finishing the task could be expected. The Mitsumi CR-480ATE comes second with 406secs, AOpen CRW3248 third with 409secs, LiteOn forth with 413secs and Philips PCRW3210 last with 486secs.

The CyberDrive doesn't have any problem in writing 4-10x HS-RW at 12x. However the AOpen CRW3248 has problems writing at 12x, Mitsubishi Chemical's 4-10x HS-RW media. The produced CD wasn't readable. This can be fixed with newer firmware upgrade. When using certified 4-12x HS-RW media we didn't noticed any problems.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.21 for the packet writing tests with the LiteOn 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 and CyberDrive CW-058D are the two faster re-writers under the packet writing mode with 8.81X. The LiteOn LTR-32123S follows with 8.55X, AOpen CRW3248 with 8.35X and Philips PCRW3210 comes last with 7.1X. The AOpen CRW3248 takes the lead over the reading part with 23.17X.


14. Conclusion

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 14

Conclusion

AOpen CRW3248

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Supports 32x writing, 12x re-writing and 48x reading speeds
- 8Mb of buffer
- Supports JustLink and JustSpeed
- Faster reader at 48x speed with pressed/cdr/hs-rw media
- Fastest DAE speeds (up to 48x)
- Can rip scratched AudioCDs with low errors
- Low seek times
- Can "handle" some protected AudioCDs
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Retail package contains Nero/80min HS-RW media

- Recording speeds needs improvement in order to reach competition
- Makes lot of noise when reading at full speed
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- CloneCD reading performance could be higher
- Cannot recognize Key2Audio protected AudioCDs
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- DAO-RAW writing only at 16x speed (?)

CyberDrive CW058D

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Currently THE faster recorder at both CD-R/RW formats
- Supports 12x re-writing (CLV) and 48x reading (CAV) speeds
- "ExacLink" 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
- Very Good DAE speeds
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- 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)

- Only 2Mb of buffer
- Higher seek times than competition
- No manual included at retail package
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- Very low CloneCD reading speed
- Very low PSX ripping speed
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs

Philips PCRW3210

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 4Mb of buffer
- Supports Burn-Proof
- Can write any media at 32x writing speed but in some cases produces high C1 errors
- Very good DAE speeds
- Can "handle" protected AudioCDs with proper software
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 93mins)
- Has 2 years of warranty (applies only for Europe)
- Retail package includes Nero

- Drive MUST be installed at PIOMode4 in order to prevent un-readable CDs
- Competition supports 12x RW speed
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- Makes lot of noise when writing at 32x speed
- Higher seek times than competition
- DAO-RAW writing only at 16x speed
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- Very bad CloneCD reading performance
- Retail package doesn't include HS-RW media!

After our first 32x CD-RW roundup we were are convinced that 32x Zone-CLV recorders couldn't offer any major improvements to the overall recording times, compared to the 24x recorders. That statement still stands. Until now, the highest time you could save is approximately 22secs, with Yamaha CRW3200E, but now CyberDrive CW058D managed to break our labs watches. Even the drive didn't show up as the faster 32x recorder, finished the burning first in the most of our recording tests. The secret behind those recording times is the low time during calibration and the drop-less passage through 16x->20x and 20x->24x recording speeds.

The CyberDrive CW-058D had the lower recording times also with HS-RW media-no surprise since CyberDrive was the first manufacturer that ever shipped a 12x RW recorder. The drive also performs very well at the reading part and can handle some protected CD without any problems (both Data/Audio). The C1 error rate was low when 32x certified media were used. On the bad side we can say that the attached 2Mb buffer will bring up many buffer underruns in case of such high recording speeds and when many tasks are performed. Other vendors have increased buffer up to 4Mb/8Mb or even 16Mb to reduce un-wanted buffer underruns. Of course ExacLink will prevent buffer underruns but...the less buffer underruns the better. Lastly, CloneCD users should't be happy since cannot backup SD2 CDs and reads very slowly the protected CDs.

The AOpen CRW3248 had the best overall reading performance. No surprise here due to its increased 48x reading speed. The drive can also rip CDs at 48x giving an overall of 35.5.X! The DAE ripping quality is very good, something that has been fixed from the previous models. Note that in such high rotation speeds, noise is higher. On the other side, the drive needs further improvement at the writing part. The drive was the slowest 32x recorder among the five tested drives. Of course the firmware is not final yet (0.98e) and in future we plan to revise our recording tests. CloneCD users will be partial satisfied from the drive's reading performance but will be also disappointed since the drive cannot create working backups of SD2 CDs.. Lastly, even if the drive's specs mentioned support of "Mt. Rainier" the current firmware (0.98e) didn't support it.

The Philips PCRW3210 has to compete four other drives that support 12x re-writing speed. So it starts with a negative point. The drive's overall performance is good at both data/DAE reading part and would lead this roundup if CyberDrive drive wasn't present. The 20x-32x recording policy was supposed to deliver the faster recording speed but real life tests didn't confirm it. The drive with further firmware tweaking can improve its performance.

There are also another two 32x recorders from LiteOn and Mitsumi that appearing in this roundup. LiteOn has improved the writing performance of LTR-32123S with latest firmware, while Mitsumi did increase the recording times. Mitsumi CR-480ATE is the only drive in this roundup that offers the "Mt. Rainier" format and a big 16MB buffer. For sure, the drive needs to improve its overall reading/writing performance to reach the top competitor drives.

As it currently stands, the CyberDrive CW-058D and LiteOn LTR-32123S are the two most complete solutions. The CyberDrive offers increased reading speed, lower recording times and better handling of protected AudioCDs. The LiteOn LTR-32123S has proven SD2 compatibility and showed the better overall CloneCD reading performance. As always the choice is yours :-)



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