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Appeared on: Sunday, February 17, 2002
LiteOn LTR-24102B CD-RW


1. Introduction

Lite-On LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - Page 1

- Introduction:

has been a company that ships quality products at a very affordable price. Even if LiteOn doesn't lead the writing race, follows very quickly and previous models were a sales hit due to good performance/cost mark. With the announce of LTR-24102B, LiteOn enters the 24x writing race, following Sanyo's first 24x recorder. Could the new LTR-24102B model be an alternative for users who already thinking of buying Sanyo/TDK 24x and/or waiting for the Plextor PX-W2410A?

- Features:
The LiteOn LTR-24102B supports 24x writing, 10x re-writing and 40x reading speeds. The drive's exact writing/re-writing speeds are as follows - CD-R: 8X(CLV), 12X(CLV), 16X(CLV), 20X(Z-CLV), 24X(Z-CLV) and CD-RW: 2X, 4X, 8X, 10X (all CLV). The drive is also equipped with technologies that will eliminate buffer underruns, increase DAE speed and produce perfect writing quality. Let's give them an extensive look.

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:

Click To Enlarge!

As you can understand the LiteOn 24101 CD-RW contains a predefine list with 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 bad quality disc is inserted, LiteOn 24x will burn at vari-speed in order to produce the maximum quality result.

LiteOn no more uses Sanyo chipsets for having anti-coaster technology, at least in the LTR-XX102B models... LTR-24102B still has such function which can avoid buffer under run. LiteOn calls this "Smart-BURN", LiteOn own technology, including smart burning strategy, such as media condition check, vari-speed burning, running OPC, etc. The chipsets for "Smart-BURN" come from MediaTek (MT1501E/0122-FYS/M4F20, MT1505E/0119-AYS/M4A29, MT1506E/0119-BYS/M4F18).

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.

Click To Enlarge!

Click To Enlarge!Click To Enlarge!

means Zone Constant Linear Velocity technology. The data read/write rate keeps constant within a zone at the inner track then increases to higher constant rate at outer track as another zone. For example at 24X(Z-CLV) writing speed, the drive starts burning inner from 16X(CLV), switch to 20X(CLV) at 6min and switches to 24X(CLV) at 16min, this is so called Zone-CLV, 3 zone total. The drive also supports Vibration Absorber System (VAS) to reduce vibration & noise, Over-Burn and Raw mode copy.

- The package:
The package supplied was the retail European/rest of the world(?) version. This included: The drive itself, a quick set-up guide, 1 piece (24x certified) of Lite-On 80min CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek), 1 piece of Lite-On 74min 4-10x High-Speed RW Blank (actual manufacturer Plasmon Data), audio cables and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.0.3b and Ahead InCD v2.26 (for packet writing use). There is not any printed manual included - just an electronic PDF file, which is -in our opinion- deficient, especially for the novice users.

The front of the drive is what we can call "generic". The drive doesn't even have the LiteOn's logo (it has the URL for the homepage instead) while doesn't also includes the "High-Speed RW" logo. You will notice that LiteOn has taken care that users will understand the drive's features easily, hence the "24x10x40x" logo. 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:
The Lite-On LTR-24101B was installed as a 'Master' in the primary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "LITE-ON LTR-24102B". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted. Note that even Nero reports the drive supports BURN-Proof this is not accurate, since LiteOn has now their own "Smart-BURN" technology.

The drive was a July 2001 model with firmware revision v5S01 installed. We used the Nero (5.5.2.4), InCD (2.26), CloneCD (3.0.5.1) and Padus DJ (3.50.799) for the recording tests.

- 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
Sanyo CRD-BP1500P firmware vHg.35
TDK CyClone 241040 firmware v6h.35
Lite-On LTR-24102B firmware v5S01


2. Data Tests

Lite-On LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - Page 2

Data Tests

Test Method:
- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x: This was used to compare the LiteOn's  I/O performance against other various CDR-W drives (see charts). We used a pressed CD containing PlexTools v1.08 for all of the tests.
- Nero CD Speed v0.83b was also used to check the drive's performance with pressed CDs. For that test, we used PlexTools v1.08 pressed CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results:

The LiteOn drive was the fastest 24x recorder of the 3 tested drives. All drive's marks where much higher than Sanyo and TDK 24x recorders and also managed to produce the highest Average "Sequential"/"SameSector" I/O marks we have ever witnessed in our labs. The drive's low seek times helps it to have a good Average Random I/O mark (751kb/s) and the drive's internal caching is very good with 26.1Mb/s.

- Nero CD Speed v0.83b results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)

Using Nero CD Speed 0.83b, we confirmed SCSI Mechanic results. The LiteOn drive is faster than both Sanyo and TDK drives, but the performance gap is low (0.33X).

In the "Seek Times" test, the LiteOn drive had an average random seek times of 90ms, which is much lower than what both Sanyo and TDK 24x recorders can do.

- PSX Pressed Media:
In order to fulfil user requests, we have included a test with mixed mode CDs (mainly PSX). For these 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 LiteOn seems a good choice for someone who wants to have fast PSX images ripped in his HD:

- CDR Media: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)

The LiteOn continues to lead the race even with CDR media. The drive had an average 31.41X, which is by 0.21X faster than the Sanyo and TDK drives.


3. RW reading tests
Lite-On LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - Page 3

RW reading tests

- Nero CD Speed v0.83 Test: (Click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)

For the RW tests, we used TDK's HS-RW media. The Lite-On drive gave the worst average reading test result (16x CLV):

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure:
We used CloneCD (v3.0.5.1) 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 LiteOn 24102B. We have 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 Sanyo CRD-BP1500P and TDK CyClone 241040. The following picture shows the LiteOn reading/writing capabilities, as the CloneCD software reports:

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results:

The LiteOn LTR-24102B performed very bad with SafeDisc 1 protected CDs and needs exactly 1:30h in order to make the image of the CD in HD. Of course the Sanyo and TDK drives are not far away...

The Lite-On performed much better with SafeDisc v2 protected CDs.

LaserLock 1/2 Results:

During the LaserLock protected CDs test, we had some weird problems since the drive locked up when we enabled the "Bad Scanner Engine" setting on CloneCD. This only happened with the original CD, while with the backup CD everything worked just fine. We don't know if the problem lies in the drive or in the CloneCD software...The drive performed very good with the backup CD.

The same effect we witnessed with the LaserLock 1 protected CDs, happened also with the LaserLock 2 protected CDs. Of course you can enable the "Fast Skip Error" setting only but this will take much more time. The backup CD was read with no problems at all.

SecuROM Results

The LiteOn drive supports reading/writing of SubChannel data from Audio/Data tracks. Its performance was very good and got the first place in this test.


4. DAE Tests

Lite-On LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - 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 the Lite-On LTR-24102B 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 drive does "Caching" data, "Accurate Stream" and "C2 Error info".

 

- Pressed AudioCD results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The LiteOn supports up to 32x DAE with both pressed and CDR media. The drive uses full CAV as the main reading technology. However the final result is not the expected one. The drive read the first track of both our pressed/CD-R media at 8X so the final average speed is much slower than the competition:

LiteOn commented that LTR-24102B uses a different pickup than LTD163 (which has superb DAE speed) and that drive automatically adjusts ripping speed for getting maximum quality. Maybe LiteOn will tweak drive's capabilities with future firmware revision and improve it.

- CDR AudioCD Results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The drive performed the same way with our CDR media. Again the first track is read at 8X so the final average DAE speed is low, compared to what Sanyo and TDK drives can give:

- Advanced DAE Quality

The LiteOn got 100 (perfect) score in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The Sanyo and TDK drives also got 100. The average reading speed was 22.665x and as we can see from the following picture, the drive can read "CD-Text" enabled AudioCDs and "SubChannel Data" (from audio tracks):

- 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 to cause problems to most of the tested drives. We have 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 (%)
Sanyo CRD-BP1500P
16.4
28103
almost 0
TDK CyClone 241040
14.4
0
0
LiteOn LTR-24101B
22.9
1
0

As the tests showed, the TDK CyClone managed to give 0 reading errors but with much lower reading speed than LiteOn LTR-24102B. The LiteOn LTR-24102B produced only one (1) error during the entire process.

- Ripping 90 and 99min CDs

Click to Enlarge!

As we can see from the above graphs, the LiteOn 24102B doesn't have any problem ripping both 90 and 99min CDs. Remember that even the drive supports writing up to 24x with 99mins, we advise to lower the recording speed down to 8X.


5. CDR Tests - Page 1

LiteOn LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - Page 5

CDR Tests - Page 1

The LiteOn LTR-24102B is the fifth recorder, following Sanyo BP1500, Ricoh MP7200 and Ricoh MP9200 and Acer 2010 that supports Zone-CLV writing technology. The drive uses Zone-CLV to achieve both 20x and 24x writing speeds. We used Nero CD Speed 0.83 build-in writing test in order to test the drive's writing performance at the maximum (24x) writing speed.

Press to see the complete graph!As Nero CD Speed showed, the drive starts writing at 16x (CLV), jumps to 20x (CLV) at 6mins, climbs up to 24x (CLV) at 16min and continues to write at this speed until the end of the burn. The average writing speed of 24x (Zone-CLV) writing speed setting is around 22.78x making it slightly faster, reaching the Sanyo and TDK 24x recorders, from what our tests showed in specific CDR media.

The drive doesn't have any system to lower writing speeds in low quality media, like JustSpeed, but as LiteOn says the drive will monitor the quality of the produced CDs and will adjust the writing speed accordinally. From our media tests, you are allowed to write even up to 24x with 16x and 12x certified CDs but the recording will happen in 20x writing speed instead.

- Procedure

We tested the LiteOn LTR-24102B with Nero v5.5.2.4, CloneCD v3.0.5.1 and Padus DJ v3.50.799 software. Notice that Padus 3.00.780 fails to identify the drive's writing speed capabilities correctly.

We used many different brands and types of media: Verbatim 16x, Mitsui 16x & 24x, Prodisc 16x, Ricoh 8x & 24x, TDK D-View 12x, Princo 16x, Maxell 16x, Taiyo Yuden 24x and Verbatim/TDK 74min HS-RW media.

- CD-R Tests:
We created a "DataCD" job with data slightly over 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all 3 CDR-W drives:

As you can see, the LiteOn LTR-24102B needs the same time as the Sanyo and TDK recorders to finish our burning task. The drive uses CLV for achieving 16x writing speed.

Let's see how the drives behave at 20x writing speed. The LiteOn LTR-24102B did higher recording time at 20x than the Ricoh MP7200/9200 recorders. The drive needs 267secs (4:27mins) 5 more than MP9200 and 2 more than MP7200. The CPU Usage is the same levels as the competition does.

At the maximum writing speed, LiteOn LTR-24102B is around 8secs faster than Sanyo and TDK recorders. Note that this test result occurred ONLY when using a specific media type (Ricoh 74min 8X) and that with most other media the drive is equally fast to the 2 other drives (average writing time around 3:59-4:00minutes).

- 80min CDs:
As with the previous test, we created a DataCD (80:01:47) and used the same media for all burns:

On this test, the LiteOn needed 3more seconds than the Sanyo and 1 more than TDK drives to finish the task.

At 20x writing speed, the LiteOn gave back the exact same time with the Ricoh MP9200 drive. The CPU Usage is around 16%, in the same levels as the competition.

At the maximum writing speed (24x), the LiteOn LTR-24102B is again faster than Sanyo and TDK drives. The drive is 7secs faster than TDK CyClone 241040, again using a specific type of media. The CPU Usage seemed stuck at 18%, which is acceptable.


6. CDR Tests - Page 2

LiteOn LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - Page 6

CDR Tests - Page 2

- Comparison Charts

Let's see how LiteOn's 24x Z-CLV compares against Sanyo's 24x Z-CLV writing speed.

Click To Enlarge!

As the above graph shows the LiteOn has the exact same speed change points, as the Sanyo 24x. However the Sanyo 24x drops its writing speed lower at those points and this is why LiteOn is faster in the Nero CD Speed writing test.

Click To Enlarge!

The LiteOn LTR-24102B has the same rotation speeds with Sanyo BP1500P. However we noticed that the drive is quieter when writing speed jumps off, which shows that the VAS (anti-vibration system) works pretty well. The LiteOn LTR-24102B is faster than the rest of the drives:

CDR-W drives
Average Writing Speed (X) with 80min CD
Yamaha CRW2200
18.44
Ricoh MP9200
19.70
Sanyo CRD-BP1500P
22.58
LiteOn LTR-24102B
22.78

The following chart illustrates the differences between 20x P-CAV, 20x Z-CLV and 24x Z-CLV writing speeds:


(Note: The above recording times are the lowest from our media tests)

The LiteOn LTR-24102B is ,currently, the faster recorder around. The drive is 48secs faster than the Yamaha 2200E, 30secs than the MP9200 and 8secs faster than the Sanyo BP1500P with 74min CDs. With 80min CDs the time differences are slightly higher, 57secs than the Yamaha 2200E, 33secs than the MP9200 and 14secs than the Sanyo BP1500P.

- Overburning Tests:
The LiteOn LTR-24102B supports overburning up to 99mins, as our tests showed:


(Note: For getting the maximum quality results we advice writing 99min CDs at 8x)

- CD-Text Results:
We made several AudioCDs with CD-Text and our tests showed that the drive can read/write CD-Text format.

- CloneCD Tests:
CloneCD v3.0.5.1 reported that the drive did support the DAO-RAW writing feature (only), and anti-coaster technology. From our tests results DAO-RAW writing works without any problems for SafeDisc 1/2, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2 protected CDs.

- SD2 Support:
For the SD2 test we have used the "No One Lives For Ever" CD title. We used the LiteOn LTR-24102B as both reader and writer. The produced backup played flawlessly at the drives we tried.

Update: After our viewers request we have another SD2 title with "stronger SD2 protection", the "Emperor - Battle Of Dune". Again we used LiteOn LTR-24102B both as reader/writer and we didn't had any problems at all CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-RW drives we tested:

Worked:

Pioneer DVD-305S
TDK CyClone 241040
Ricoh MP7200
Ricoh MP9200
Plextor PX-W40TS
Yamaha 2100E
LiteOn LTR-24102B

Didn't Work:

-

LiteOn LTR-24102B will make its users happy since it's the first 24x CD-RW drive that supports perfect backups of SD2 protected CDs.

- 8cm mini CDs:
As LiteOn said: "...LTR-24102B supports reading & writing of 8cm & card type CD / CD-R media, but we found there was a lot of noise during reading / writing such media. The LTR-24102B with the latest firmware (>= 5S03) will keep reading/writing such media at 8X, even when end-users choose higher speed for such media..."

- Buffer Underrun tests:
The LiteOn LTR-24102B supports "Smart-BURN", LiteOn's own pattern for avoiding buffer underrun errors. We have made several tests and from what we noticed, the drive's buffer underrun works very well. Note that all CDR software recognizes that the drive supports anti-buffer underrun (even with BURN-Proof/JustLink names). No information is given ,yet, about the gap length of continue links.


7. RW Writing Tests

LiteOn LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - Page 7

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.2.4 for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the tested drives in 10x HS-RW media. All drives support fully the HS-RW writing standard:

The Lite-On needs 490secs to finish the task. The drive is faster than Sanyo and TDK drives by 5 and 7 secs. The erase time (35 secs) and CPU Usage are also low.

- Packet Writing Tests:
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) we completed the test twice to eliminate possible time measurement faults and user errors:

The results showed that the LiteOn drive has a very good packet writing/reading performance. The drive is faster (in both writing/reading tests) than the Sanyo and TDK drives.


8. Conclusion

LiteOn LTR-24102B IDE CDR-W - Page 8

Conclusion

Positive (+):

Negative (-):

- Supports 20x and 24x writing (Z-CLV) speeds
- "Smart-BURN" anti-coaster technology
- Very Good data reading performance
- Very Good Seek times
- Very Good DAE ripping quality
- Very good packet reading/writing performance
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Can read/write SubChannel Data from Audio/Data tracks
- Can produce perfect SD2 backups!!!
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Very good behavior even with non-24x certified media (not even a single coaster!)
- Retail package contains Nero 5.5x
- Low noise when operating
- Low price (170$<=) compared to the competition

- Low reading performance with HS-RW media (16x CLV)
- Low DAE ripping speed compared to the competition...
- Very bad CloneCD reading speeds
- Doesn't support lower recording speeds than 8X
- No cooling fan

LiteOn's attempt at the 24x writing speed is much more than satisfactory. The LTR-24102B seems to be the faster recorder, for now, and managed to outperform both Sanyo and TDK 24x drives in many reading/writing tests. The drive's overall performance was very good and -for sure- users will enjoy both 20x and 24x writing speeds. Other important features such as: support for SD2 protected discs, overburning (up to 99min) and reading/writing SubChannel data are present. Of course nothing is perfect and the drive needs improvement at the DAE ripping speed and when reading protected CDs. Also the drive doesn't support 1X, 2X, 4X recording speeds, which maybe be wanted from some users.

LiteOn's 24x recorder also has another advantage over the competition, which can be concluded in 5 letters: "price". LiteOn's estimated retail price is 170$, which means that real price in stores will be much lower. The Sanyo and TDK 24x recorders (retail packages only) can be found at 170$+ and 200$+ and the announced PleXWriter PX-W2410A is expected to cost around 200$+. Of course we haven't, yet, tested Plextor's 24x drive but LiteOn 24x has -for sure- an advantage in the price tag.

The LiteOn LTR-24102B is expected to hit the market in the second half of August 2001 worldwide and for sure will be a sales hit for LiteOn. The only question that has been un-answered is.."Can the LiteOn LTR-24102B dominate the 24x writing speed?" We cannot answer that question yet since Plextor's 24x recorder is un-tested but pretty soon we will know... Stay tuned ;-)



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