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Appeared on: Sunday, February 17, 2002
ASUS CRW2410S CD-RW


1. Introduction

ASUS CRW2410S vs. WAITEC MEGALUS - Page 1

- Introduction

ASUS and WAITEC did not stay out of CD-RW recording at 24X. ASUS presents the CRW 2410S and WAITEC the MEGALUS model. The drives come to join the already widely supported 24X market by TDK, Sanyo, Plextor, Lite-on. Since the recording time of 24X "Z-CLV" recording technology is "established" in approximately 4 min, our interest is focus to those specific details that can make the difference to any of the tested models. A look at the testing results will give an answer to all of our questions...

- Features

Both ASUS CRW-2410S and WAITEC MEGALUS support 24x writing, 10x re-writing and 40x reading speeds. With 24x writing speed you can have a full 74min CD under 4mins! That is the fastest current recording speed you can get, but for getting that level of performance you will have to use very good quality media! The drive is also equipped with "BURN-Proof" technology also supports: "Zone-CLV" recording mode and "FlexSS-BP" quality control mechanism. Read more about those 2 technologies over here.

- The packages

The package supplied for ASUS CRW-2410S v6h35 was the retail version. This included: The drive itself, a user's manual, a Ricoh 24x CD-R blank, an ASUS High-Speed RW Blank, Audio cables, mounting screws and an IDE cable. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.3.5. The drive updated with newer 6.36 firmware for all recording/reading tests.

The WAITEC Megalus package included a user's manual in a CD-ROM, a WAITEC 24x CD-R blank, a WAITEC High-Speed RW Blank, Audio cables, mounting screws and an IDE cable. The software supplied with the drive was Prassi PrimcoCD 2.0. The specific software version is can be updated to Prassi Primco Plus 2 for Megalus, using another supplied CD-ROM. Also in the package there was a CD-ROM contained a collection of pictures of various WAITEC's products.

On the front of both drives there are two leds, the headphone jack, the volume control, and the eject button. Both models have the "BP Rec" logo.

The back of both drives is similar. We find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive as Master/Slave and the SPDIF (analog/digital) output connectors. As you can see there are also some slots used for extra cooling but the drives are not equipped with any cooling fan.

- Installation

Both drives were installed as Master in the secondary IDE BUS (separately tested). They worked in PIO MODE-4 mode and after booting they were identified as "ASUS CRW-2410S" and "WAITEC MEGALUS", respectively. We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted.

- Test Machine

WinMe OS
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
ATI AIW 128
ASUS CRW 2410S firmware v6.36
WAITEC MEGALUS firmware v6.34
TEAC CD-W524E firmware v1.0A
PleXWriter PX-W2410A firmware v1.02


2. Data Tests

ASUS CRW2410S vs. Waitec MEGALUS - 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

Both ASUS and WAITEC drives have similar performance as was expected. The ASUS CRW2410S seems slightly faster than WAITEC MEGALUS , possibly due to the newer firmware revision. Both drives are faster than TEAC CD-W524E but slower than PleXWriter PX-W2410A.

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 results

The Nero CD Speed results confirmed our previous tests results. In this test, both ASUS CRW2410S and WAITEC MEGALUS had the exact same performance. The TEAC CD-W524E stays behind and the PleXWriter PX-W2410A holds the first place.

The seek times of ASUS and WAITEC drives should be considered rather high compared to the TEAC CD-W524E, which has the lowest in the industry. Both drives have around 125ms performance. The PleXWriter needs improvement in this particular test to reach the competition.

- 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 time of the ASUS CRW2410S and WAITEC MEGALUS. Both drives need 273ses to end the task when the PleXWriter PX-W2410A does the same task at only 54secs. Only the TEAC CD-W524E is slower with 330secs:

- CDR Media

The ASUS and WAITEC MEGALUS drives improved their reading performance with CDR media. Both drives have 31.19X average reading speed, which is again faster than TEAC CD-W524E but slower than PleXWriter PX-W2410A.


3. RW reading tests
ASUS CRW2410S vs. Waitec MEGALUS - Page 3

RW reading tests

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 Results

For the RW tests we used the Ricoh's HS-RW media written at 10x speed. The WAITEC MEGALUS had a very good reading performance, while ASUS CRW2410S showed some reading problems with the test disc, lowering the average reading speed:

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure:
We used CloneCD (v3.1.1.0) 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 the tested 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 added the results of the already tested TEAC CD-W524E and PleXWriter PX-W2410A. The following picture shows both ASUS/WAITEC reading/writing capabilities:

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results

The ASUS CRW2410S and WAITEC MEGALUS have the worst reading performance compared to the TEAC and Plextor drives. Both drive needs around 50mins to finish the task while PleXWriter PX-W2410A needs only 2mins.

With SafeDisc2 protected CDs the performance is slight better but still worse than PleXWriter's.

- LaserLock 1/2 Results

With LaserLock 1 protected CDs, the ASUS/WAITEC drives needs around 48mins to end the task.

The LaserLock 2 protected CDs are very hard for all recorders to read. Both ASUS/WAITEC need over one hour (1:21:33h) to end the task with the original and only 21mins with the backup CD.

- SecuROM Results

Both ASUS/WAITEC can support reading of SubChannel from Data/Audio Tracks. The reading performance is very good both with the original/backup CDs.


4. DAE Tests

ASUS CRW2410S vs. Waitec MEGALUS - 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

We used EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 to examine the drive's features. As the program reported, the drives doesn't "Caching" data, supports "Accurate Stream" and doesn't include "C2" error info. All 4 tested drives supports up to 40x (CAV) DAE speed.

- Pressed AudioCD results

The ASUS and WAITEC drives have similar performance. The average DAE ripping speed is around 29X making the drive faster than TEAC CD-W524E but slower than the PleXWriter PX-W2410A:

- CDR AudioCD results

The DAE performance with CDR media is the same as with pressed CDs. The average DAE performance is 28.8X while the TEAC CD-W524E has 29.3X and PleXWriter PX-W2410A 30X:

- 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
TEAC CD-W524E
5.6
4.5
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
8.7
9.6
ASUS CRW2410S
11.7
11.3
WAITEC MEGALUS
11.5
11.6

- Advanced DAE Quality

Both ASUS/WAITEC drives get a 100 score (best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The drive's average reading speed was 29.13x (ASUS) and 29.5x (WAITEC) and no errors were produced.

- Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that CD Speed 99 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 (%)
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
27.7
2946403
0.39
TEAC CD-W524E
26.5
1
0.00
ASUS CRW2410S
*
*
*
WAITEC MEGALUS
13
3500
0.00

The WAITEC MEGALUS performed well with our test disc but the ASUS CRW2410S aborted reading after 5th track. The TEAC CD-W524E has a superb performance with only one error and the PleXWriter PX-W2410A needs further improvement to reach the top.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

Both drives recognized 90min AudioCDs without any problems; however they had problems with 99min CDs.


5. CDR Tests
ASUS CRW2410S vs. Waitec MEGALUS - Page 5

CDR Tests

Both ASUS and WAITEC drives use Z-CLV for achieving 24x-writing speed. Below is a graph that represents the main differences of ASUS's implementation of Z-CLV writing technology compared to the fastest 24x Z-CLV recorder from Plextor. The graphs show the 24x writing speed for ASUS CRW2410A among with the second 24x writing speed strategy that applies for lower quality media:

Click To Enlarge!

ASUS CRW2410S starts writing at 16x (0 mins), shifts to 20x at 6mins, shifts again up to 24x at 16mins and writes at 24x till the end of the disc. The ASUS drive has the same exact shift points with the PleXWriter PX-W2410A only when Ricoh's 74/80min 24x certified CDs are used.

When other media ,such as Taiyo Yuden/Mitsubishi Chemicals are used, a second writing strategy is applied. Now the drive writes at 16x till 15mins, shifts up to 20x at 18mins and up to 24x at 30mins. In that case the average writing speed, according to the Nero CD Speed is only 21.55X. Even ASUS tweak will be appreciated by the average user, it needs improvement since the drive doesn't recognize other media except from Ricoh 24x, which can be written at 24x speed.

In the following table we can see the average writing speed of the TEAC CD-W524E, PleXWriter PX-W2410A and ASUS CRW2410S:

CDR-W drives
Average Writing Speed with 80min CD (X)
TEAC CD-W524E
22.55
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
22.77
ASUS CRW2410S
22.77
ASUS CRW2410S*
21.55

Click To Enlarge!

The ASUS CRW2410S has the exact same rotation speeds as the PleXWriter PX-W2410A at the normal 24x writing mode. As the second 24x writing strategy is followed. the drive barely reaches 7000rpm during the entire CD.

- Procedure

We tested the ASUS/WAITEC drives with Nero v5.5.5.6, Ahead InCD v3.12b, CloneCD v3.1.1.0 and, Padus DJ v3.50.799 software. We used various of media for performing our tests: Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min 24x certified, Mitsui 74min 24x certified, Taiyo Yuden 74/80min 24x certified, Ricoh 74min 24x certified and Ricoh's 74min HS-RW. Both drives include FlexSS-BP system for reducing writing speed when low quality media are used.

- 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:

Both ASUS/WAITEC drives need the exact same time (318secs) to end the task, which are 7 sacs higher from Teac's CD-W524E performance. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A needs 313secs and keeps close to the top.

At the maximum writing speed, the ASUS CRW2410S seems to perform better than the WAITEC MEGALUS. The newer firmware revision can explain these performance issues. The lower recording time is achieved with Ricoh's 74min 24x certified media. When other media are used, the ASUS drive is slower than the TEAC CD-W524E by 4-5secs.

- 80min CD-R Tests

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

Again both ASUS/WAITEC drives are slower than TEAC CD-W524E.

The ASUS CRW2410S is not performing very well with 80mins. The drive seems 13secs slower than TEAC CD-W524E! The WAITEC MEGALUS doesn't seem to be faster than ASUS and needs 261secs to end the task.

- Overburning Tests

After using Nero CD Speed we saw that both drives can overburn up to 93:44 mins.

- CD-Text Results

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

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD v3.1.1.0 reports that both drives supports the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that the drive supports fully the DAO-RAW writing mode (Safedisc 1.0, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2). Note that the ASUS CRW2410S ,with 6.36 firmware, supports up to 24x writing speed at DAO-RAW mode, while the WAITEC MEGALUS only 16x.

- 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 both drives as readers/writers. The produced backups didn't work using the same or any drive we tested with. Therefore, both ASUS CRW2410S/WAITEC MEGALUS cannot produce SD2 working backups.

- 8cm mini CDs

Both ASUS and WAITEC drives, support reading/writing of 8cm CDs.

- Buffer Underrun tests

Both drives support the "BURN-Proof" anti-coaster technology. The drives worked perfectly under all heavy duty cycle attacks attempted by us, and will continue writing even you press ctrl+alt+del.


6. Writing Quality Tests
ASUS CRW2410S vs. Waitec MEGALUS - Page 6

Writing Quality Tests

We used Ricoh's 74min 24x CD-R media. All CDs were burned at 24x writing speed for each drive with Nero 5.5.5.6 and were Audio CDs with 74:51:27 in size. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables:

Ricoh 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
17
0.9
227
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
20
0.8
LiteOn LTR-24102B
28
3.8
252
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
22
1.3
247
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
40
1.5
246
Plextor PX-W2410A
14
0.5
234
TEAC CD-W524E
41
1.0
237
Mitsumi CR-4809TE
14
0.5
242
ASUS CRW2410S
21
0.9
236

The ASUS CRW2410S performed very well, when Ricoh's 74min 24x certified media were used. The average C1 error rate is 0.9 and the average burning time is 236secs, very close to the PleXWriter PX-W2410A. The following graph comes from the Ricoh 74min (24x) media:

Click To Enlarge!

The ASUS CRW2410S general writing quality was very good and the only part of the chart where the C1 error rate is high is at 5-7mins, where the shifting from 16x to 20x takes place.

- More Writing Quality Results

Mitsui 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
20
0.7
227
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
17
0.7
LiteOn LTR-24102B
64
0.9
242
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
18
1.2
246
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
26
1.7
245
Plextor PX-W2410A
17
1.5
230
TEAC CD-W524E
17
0.8
237
Mitsumi CR-4809TE
21
1.3
242
ASUS CRW2410S
19
1.3
239

With Mitsui 74min 24x certified media, the ASUS CRW2410S showed an average writing quality with only 1.3 C1 average error rate.

Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
28
0.6
228
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
53
3.0
LiteOn LTR-24102B
7
0.2
246
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
10
0.5
253
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
11
0.5
249
Plextor PX-W2410A
9
0.6
232
TEAC CD-W524E
9
0.4
238
Mitsumi CR-4809TE
11
0.3
245
ASUS CRW2410S
11
0.2
253

With Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x certified media, the ASUS CRW2410S CR-4809TE has very good performance with only 0.2 C1 error rate. However the burning time is high enough.

Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
12
2.1
259
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
12
2
225
LiteOn LTR-24102B
10
1.8
244
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
13
1.6
247
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
16
1.6
243
Plextor PX-W2410A
17
1.9
234
TEAC CD-W524E
15
1.8
236
Mitsumi CR-4809TE
21
2.0
242
ASUS CRW2410S
17
2.2
251

None of the tested drives seem to give a very good writing quality when Mitsubishi Chemicals (Verbatim) 74min 24x certified media used. The ASUS CRW2410S has the highest C1 error rate from the 24x Z-CLV recorders, while the average burning time stays at the same level as with the other media.

Various Brands at 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Ritek 80min 24x
20
0.8
271
Taiyo Yuden 80min 24x
12
0.2
268
MitsuBishi Chemicals 80min 24x
19
4.6
271
Verbatim 80min 16x
33
4.4
269
Creation 80min 12x
26
5.2
260
       
TDK D-View 74min 12x
50
5.4
253
Mitsui 74min 16x
22
2.7
237
Verbatim 74min 16x
24
2.2
253
Creation 74min 16x
21
1.2
246

7. RW Writing Tests

ASUS CRW2410S vs. Waitec MEGALUS - Page 7

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.5.6 for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the tested drives. For our tests we used Ricoh's 10x HS-RW media:

The ASUS CRW2410S didn't perform very well with the Ricoh HS-RW media. The drive needs 498secs, while the WAITEC only 492mins. The erase time of ASUS is rather high (70secs) when the WAITEC needs exactly 60secs.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.12b for the Packet Writing tests. 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:

The ASUS CRW-2410S performed very well and its writing (7.20X)/reading (7.18X) performance is at the same levels as the competition offers. The WAITEC MEGALUS is slightly slower (7.15X/7.0X). The PleXWriter PX-W2410A is the faster drive at this test.


8. Conclusion

ASUS CRW2410S vs. Waitec MEGALUS - Page 8

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

-Support 24x (Z-CLV) writing speed
-"BURN-Proof" anti-coaster technology
-"FlexSS-BP" quality protection system
-Very Good data reading performance with pressed/cdr media
-Good Seek times
-Good DAE ripping performance
-Good DAE ripping quality
-Good packet writing performance
-Supports HS-RW standard (10x re-write)
-Supports DAO-RAW
-Supports reading of SubChannel data
-Supports CD-Text (read/write)
-Supports Overburning (up to 93minutes)

- Writing times are higher than competition
- Failed to recognize written 99min CDs
- Very bad CloneCD reading performance
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- No UDMA-33 support
- Loud operation when reading
- Competition has lower price

Asus CRW-2410S and Waitec Megalus performed as expected. Both drives did not manage to hide their Sanyo alike behavior and performed pretty well among with the most of the tested CD-RW drives.

Getting into details about these drives we can say that their overall performance is a very good and the only point that will disappoint the user is the bad reading performance with protected CDs. We think that this should be a high priority matter for the manufacturers when they will be working on future improvements. On the other hand the drives do support reading of SubChannel data (from both data/audio tracks) although they cannot make a working SD2 backup. The writing times are higher than the competition and C1 error rates vary through different media.

Both proposals face the strong competition from TEAC/Plextor/AOPEN/LITEON/Mitsumi and Yamaha. The lack of several features will not please users who wish the absolute maximum performance among with the lowest price. The possible buyer should look carefully at the performance details and decide if he can get along with the drive's limitations or not.



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