CW038D IDE CDR-W - Page
established in Taipei back in 1994. Since then the company has grown to become
one of the leading Taiwanese CD-ROM drive manufacturers. The main weapon of
Taiwanese manufacturers has always been a good performance that comes at a low
price. With the introduction of CW038D Cyberdrive has brought up something unique
in the recording industry. The first recorder with 12x re-writing speed! Despite
the fact that there isn't any specification standard for such an increased re-writing
speed, CyberDrive's engineers dared to take on the challenge, and currently
this recorder is the fastest re-writer around. How can this new proposal handle
some already established recorders from Plextor, LiteOn and Teac? Can the increased
12x re-writing speed be the only reason why you should buy this drive?
The drive supports 16x writing speed -max- with "ExacLink" as the
main anti-buffer underrun technology. The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x
(CLV), 16x (Z-CLV?) and re-writing speeds at 2x, 4x and 12x (CLV). The drive
has a buffer of 2MB, supports all available writing modes (TAO, DAO, Multisession
and Packet Writing) and RAW writing.
is a technology developed by OAK Technologies and has been used by Yamaha, LG,
Mitsumi and CyberDrive as an anti-buffer underrun solution. OAK describes ExacLink
as: "....allows high speed, high quality writing of discs on the first
try, regardless of the computer performance and drive buffer size. Buffer under-runs
are no longer a problem with ExacLink since the drive automatically responds
to the condition and continues writing as soon as more data is available without
causing a buffer under-run error...."
The drive also utilises a quality media detection system, which automatically
lowers the maximum recording speed, according to the media condition. The same
system can also be found on the Mitsumi
CR-4808TE, which also uses ExacLink, and that leads us to the conclusion
that both these drives use the same ExacLink ICs chipsets.
- The package:
package in which the drive arrived was the retail European version. This included:
The drive itself, a multilingual manual, 1 piece (16x certified) of CyberDrive
74min CD-R blank (real manufacturer CMC Magnetics), 1 piece of CyberDrive 74min
HS-RW Blank (real manufacturer CMC Magnetics), audio cable and mounting screws.
The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v220.127.116.11 OEM and Ahead
InCD v2.2.6 (for packet writing use). The package will be available in the retail
stores at 132 EURO (plus the VAT valid in the corresponding country).
The front of the drive doesn't have the CybeDrive logo, and illustrates the
exact features of the drive "16x/12x/40x" - 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:
CyberDrive CW038D was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive
worked in UDMA33 mode and after rebooting, it identified itself as the "CW038D
ATAPI CD-R/RW". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked
DMA and rebooted.
The drive was a July 2001 model with firmware revision v0.97c installed. After
the shipment of the drive a newer firmware update (1.00C) was made available
to all users, which improved the writing performance mostly with HS-RW media.
We used Nero Burning ROM (18.104.22.168), Ahead InCD (2.26), CloneCD (22.214.171.124) and
Padus DJ (3.50.799) for the recording tests.
- Test Machine:
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
CyberDrive CW038D firmware v1.00c
PleXWriter PX-W1610A firmware v1.03
TEAC CD-516EB firmware v1.0A
LiteOn LTR-16101B firmware vTS0N
2. Data Tests
CW038D IDE CDR-W - Page 2
- 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:
The CyberDrive CW038D is the slowest drive in the SCSI Mechanic tests. The
drive gave the lower performance results in the Average Sequential and Same
Sector I/O and the third best for Random I/O. As it seems the CyberDrive cannot
threaten the popular hot selling drives.
- Nero CD Speed v0.84 results: (click here
to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
Using Nero CD Speed 0.84b, we confirmed the SCSI Mechanic results. The CyberDrive
has the lowest average reading speed with 29.78X. The PleXWriter PX-W1610A holds
the first place and the LiteOn 16101B follows right behind it.
In the "Seek Times" test, the CyberDrive also gave average seek
times and the only drive that is slower than that performance is the Plextor
one. Its average random seek time is 108secs. Both Teac and LiteOn are much
faster with under 95ms seek time.
- PSX Pressed Media
For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image
to HD with CloneCD. We measured the reading times and the CyberDrive CW038D
is the slowest drive among the competition. The drive needs 463secs to complete
the reading of the PSX CD, while the Plextor needs only 54secs:
- CDR Media: (click here
to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
With CDR media, the CyberDrive performs better than pressed CDs, and has around
30.46X average reading speed, slightly higher than the TEAC 516EB.
3. RW reading tests
CW038D IDE CDR-W - Page 3
RW reading tests
- Nero CD Speed v0.84 Test: (Click here
to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
For the RW tests, we used TDK's HS-RW media. The CyberDrive CW038 has an 18.9X
average reading speed, which is the third best in this test :
We used CloneCD (v126.96.36.199) 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 CyberDrive CW038D. We also tested its reading performance
with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between the
original and the backup media. For comparison reasons we added the results of
the already tested PleXWriter PX-W1610A, Teac CD-W516EB and LiteOn LTR-16101B.
The following picture shows the drive's reading/writing capabilities:
- SafeDisc 1/2 Results:
The CyberDrive drive skips bad sectors very slowly. It needs around 10mins
to create the image of a SafeDisc 1 protected CD, while the PleXWriter PX-W1610A
needs only 2minutes. The LiteOn LTR-16101B is much faster, and as for the Teac
516EB you probably need to buy an extra drive for reading protected CDs...
Again with SafeDisc v2.0 protected CDs, the CyberDrive continues
performing very badly...
LaserLock 1/2 Results:
In the LaserLock protected CDs test, the CyberDrive is the fastest drive with
the original CD and the second best with the backup CD. The competition has
many problems reading such protected CDs so the CyberDrive wins the first place
easily. With the backup CD, the PleXWriter PX-W1610A leads the race.
With LaserLock 2 protected CDs, CyberDrive is the fastest drive when reading
the original CD. The drive's performance is better with the backup CD, but once
again it cannot reach the performance of PleXWriter PX-W1610A.
The CyberDrive CW038D can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks without
any problems and very fast! Both Teac and PleXWriter cannot follow and the LiteOn
16101B doesn't support reading of SubChannel data.
4. DAE Tests
CW038D IDE CDR-W - Page 4
We used CD DAE 99 v0.21 beta and EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 software in order to
check the DAE performance of the CyberDrive CW038D 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
- DAE features:
As the program reported, the drive doesn't do "Caching" data, it supports
"Accurate Stream" and doesn't support "C2 Error info".
- Pressed AudioCD results: (click here
to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The CyberDrive supports up to 32x DAE speed with both pressed and CDR media.
The drive uses full CAV as the main reading technology. However, compared to
the other competitors, CyberDrive CW038D seems to have the lowest DAE performance:
The drive has an average of 24.2x, staying far away from the top performer
PX-W1610A, which leads the race with 30.3X(!). The LiteOn LTR-16101B comes second
with 28.0X and Teac 516EB third with 26.4X.
- CDR AudioCD Results: (click here
to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The drive performs the same as with the pressed media. The average DAE is
slightly lower and reaches 23.6X, far away from the top:
- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode:
After many viewers' requests 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:
Average DAE Speed (X)
- Advanced DAE Quality:
The CyberDrive CW038D performed marvellous in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE
quality test. The drive produced 0 data/sync errors and got a perfect score
(100). The drive can read "CD-Text" enabled AudioCDs and can read
"SubChannel Data" (from audio tracks) as the test results indicate:
- Bad CDR Media results:
Despite the fact that Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test stretches a drive's
mechanism to the max, we decided to do real life tests with a scratched disc.
The disc was dirty, and with some light scratches, enough 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 Of Total Disc (%)
As the tests proved, the CyberDrive's performance with bad AudioCD media is
not very good. The drive stops reading after 5secs and therefore you cannot
rip the wavs to HD. Other drives don't have any problems with it and Teac 516EB
is the champion with 0 errors.
- Ripping 90 and 99min CDs:
As we can see from the above graphs, the CyberDrive CW038D doesn't have any
problems ripping a 90min Audio CDR media. However it stops reading around 90mins,
as the Nero CD Speed test showed.
5. CDR Tests
CW038D IDE CDR-W - Page 5
CyberDrive CW038D supports up to 16x (CLV) writing speed. We used Nero CD Speed
build-in writing test in order to test the drive's writing performance. According
to Nero CD Speed the drive's average writing speed was 15.14x.
The interesting fact here is that the drive doesn't use pure 16x CLV writing
speed. The drive starts writing at 12x, for the first 12mins, then jumps up
to 16x at 18mins and stays there until the end. The writing method seems like
Z-CLV but we thought that OAK's chipsets didn't supported such writing method
drive also has a build-in system for recognizing lower quality media and automatically
reducing the writing speed. That means you are not allowed to write un-certified
media at 16x! Also note that the drive doesn't support simulation when "ExacLink"
is activated according to the Nero 188.8.131.52:
tested the CyberDrive CW038D with Nero v184.108.40.206, CloneCD v220.127.116.11 and Padus
DJ v3.50.799 software.
For the CDR tests we used: Verbatim 74min (16x) & 80min (16x), Taiyo Yuden
74 & 80min (24x), Mitsui 74min (24 & 16x) and Ricoh/Verbatim/TDK 74min
HS-RW media. The drive's build-in quality media detection system seems to have
some bugs and flaws, since it reported that our brand new Mitsui 24x CD-R media
can be written at only 12x!
- CD-R Tests:
We created a "DataCD" job with data slightly higher than 74mins
(74:03:65). We burned the same job with all 4 CDR-W drives:
The CyberDrive managed to outperform all the other recorders in the 12x writing
speed! The drive needs only 400secs to finish the task. Other recorders (LiteOn,
PleXtor) need 5-6secs and the Teac 27secs more!
While the drive's performance was superb in 12x recording speed, in the 16x
writing speed things are much different. Despite the fact that we used all different
brands of media, the drive kept giving the same burning time. According to our
tests, CyberDrive CW038D needs 15secs more than the rest to finish the task.
The answer can be found if we have a look at the Nero CD speed writing graph!
The drive uses Zone-CLV to achieve 16x writing speed! The PleXWriter PX-W1610A
still holds the first position with only 312secs.
- 80min CDs:
Following the same procedure like the one in the previous test, we created
a DataCD with data lower than 80min (79:49:50), since the drive doesn't support
overburning, and used the same media for all burns:
Again in the 80min CD task, the CyberDrive is the fastest recorder with only
429secs. The competition needs 6-9 more seconds to finish.
With 80min CDs at 16x writing speed, the CyberDrive is 12secs faster than
the Teac 516EB with 347secs. The PleXWriter comes first with only 334secs and
the LiteOn third with 341secs.
- Overburning Tests:
The CyberDrive CW038D doesn't support overburning!
- CD-Text Results:
We created several AudioCDs with CD-Text enabled. The CyberDrive can write/read
CD-Text enabled CDs.
- CloneCD Tests:
v18.104.22.168 reports that the drive supports the DAO-RAW as well as SAO-RAW writing
mode. CloneCD also recognizes that the drive also supports anti-buffer underrun
protection (even with the name BurnProof/JustLink). From our test results DAO-RAW
recording works without problems for the SafeDisc 1, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM
- SD2 Support:
For the SD2 tests we used the "No One Lives For Ever", "Emperor
Battle for Dune" and "Max Payne" CD titles. We used the CyberDrive
CW038D both as reader/writer. The produced backup didn't play using the same
drive or any drive we tested. Therefore the CyberDrive CW038D cannot produce
SD2 working backups.
- 8cm mini CDs:
The CyberDrive CW038D does support 8cm CDs.
- Buffer Underrun tests:
The CyberDrive CW038D supports "ExactLink" anti-buffer underrun
technology, which was developed by OAK Technologies. The drive worked without
any problems when we tried to caused buffer underruns intentionally. Whenever
we pressed ctrl+alt+del the drive's LED started blinking and when we un-froze
the PC the writing procedure was resumed :-)
6. RW Writing Tests
CW038D IDE CDR-W - Page 6
RW Writing Tests
We used Nero 22.214.171.124 for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the
tested drives. The CyberDrive supports up to 12x (CLV) writing, which of course
doesn't apply to the HS-RW format. The drive's original firmware (0.97c) produced
un-readable CDs at 12x, but the newer v1.00c seems to solve all the problems
we had faced. In order to achieve the increased 12x re-writing speed, you can
use normal 4-10x HS-RW media. We asked Ricoh if the increased 12x writing speed
can cause integrity problems to both the written data and the physical status
of the medium and the answer was negative. As it seems the already produced
4-10X HS-RW media can withstand higher re-writing speeds, but in order for other
manufacturers to support it, the specifications must be officially published
first. Therefore, in the near future we should be able to experience and use
re-writing speeds much higher than 10x :-)
The drive doesn't support 10x re-writing speed at all, as Nero 126.96.36.199 shows:
As you might have expected the CyberDrive CW038D is the fastest re-writer
around and the following graph proves:
The CyberDrive needs exactly 400secs to finish the task, due to increased
12x re-writing speed. The Average CPU Usage is also in the same levels as the
rest of the recorders, and the most impressive is the low quick erase time (only
- Packet Writing
We used Ahead InCD v2.26 for all 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 any possible time measurement faults
and user errors:
The CyberDrive CW038D leads the packet writing test, due to its increased
(12x) re-writing speed. The drive's average writing speed, in packet writing
mode, was 8.65X. That is the fastest writing time you can find! Reading speed
is also good, compared to what both LiteOn and TEAC can do.
CW038D IDE CDR-W - Page 7
- First drive to support 12x re-writing
- "ExacLink" anti-coaster technology
- Has build-in media quality detection system
- Good data reading performance with both CDR/pressed media
- Best re-writing/packet writing performance around!
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data (very fast!)
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Retail package includes Nero 5.5
- Low price (75$<=)
- 16x writing speed is Z-CLV
- Build-in media quality detection needs improvement
- Doesn't support overburning :(
- Problems with scratched Audio CDR media
- DAE performance lower than competition
- Low PSX ripping speed
- Bad CloneCD reading performance with SD1/2 protected CDs
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- Stops reading at 90mins
CyberDrive has brought something unique to the CD-RW scene. The first 12x
re-writer! Even if there isn't an official specification to support and set
the standards of the increased re-writing speed, the current HS-RW media can
handle it without any problems.
The CyberDrive CW038D doesn't support pure 16x CLV writing speed, and that
is a sacrifice that renders it slower than the competition. ExacLink and the
build-in media quality detection system are a big help to its performance. We
did notice detection problems with Mitsui's 24x media, which should be worked
on by CyberDrive engineers and finally solved in a future firmware release.
The DAE ripping speed is good but with scratched CDs you will have problems,
since the drive will deny reading them. Last, but definitely not least, CloneCD
users will like the drive's increased SubChannel reading speed and support for
almost all types of CD protection (except SD2).
The drive can be bought for around $74 on the market, which makes it a very
attractive solution. The competition is very close, with LiteOn 16x $80, Teac
516EB $108 and PleXWriter PX-W1610A $162.