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Appeared on: Sunday, February 17, 2002
Mitsumi CR-4808TE CD-RW

1. Introduction

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- Introduction

is a well known peripheral manufacturer that also ships optical storage products. Mitsumi's previous models have been well known, since CR-4804TE was the first recorder that supported 99min CDs. However Mitsumi failed to follow the fast-recording race. When 16x recorders came out, Mitsumi released an 8X writer and nowadays when 20x and 24x recorders are a fact, Mitsumi releases a 16x writer. How succeful Mitsumi's attempt will be in the 16x writing race and could it really compete the existing best selling 16x recorders from Plextor, LiteOn and Teac?

- Features:
The drive supports 16x writing (CLV) speed -max- among with "ExacLink" as the main anti-buffer underrun technology. The exact writing speeds are 2x, 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x (CLV) and re-writing speeds 2x, 4x, 8x (CLV). Mitsumi released two versions of the CR-4808TE. The first batch of drives had 8MB of buffer, as our sample unit, but the massive retail drives will only have 2MB of Buffer. Finally, it supports all available writing modes (TAO, DAO, Multisession and Packet Writing).

- The new features:

ExacLink, and not ExactLink, technology was developed by OAK Technologies and has been used by Yamaha, LG and Mitsumi as an anti-buffer underrun solution. Yamaha's 2200X series was the first recorder that used OAK's "ExacLink" anti-buffer underrun technology but with a different name "SafeBurn" , due to increased 8MB of buffer and the monitor writing quality system. We can call "ExacLink" a light version of "SafeBurn", which's destiny is for medium level recorders...

Let's now see how OAK describes ExacLink : "....allows trouble free creation of CD audio and other disc types under the most difficult conditions. The ExacLink feature 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 ExacLink feature allows the drive to pause the write operation when data flow to the drive is interrupted due to other computer activity. When the drive receives enough data to continue, it begins writing again at the exact point where the previous write was stopped and with the exact power level and frequency used during the previous write. In this way, it appears to a reading device as if the writing operation had never been interrupted. This feature is valuable for writing CD audio discs since without the ExacLink feature, the drive would not be allowed to stop and re-start writing at random times since the resulting disc would be unreadable or contain errors..."

- The package:
The package in which the drive arrived was the retail European version. This included: The drive itself, a quick starting guide in 14 languages, 1 piece (24x certified) of Ricoh 80min CD-R blank, 1 piece of Mitsumi 74min (4x only) RW Blank, data/audio cables and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.2.4 OEM and Ahead InCD v2.2.3 (for packet writing use). There is also an electronic PDF manual included in the attached CD among with 3 games.

The front of the drive is what we can call "generic". The drive doesn't have the Mitsumi logo in the front of it, while it has the "High-Speed RW" logo which indicates its RW speed. 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 assigning the drive as a Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog/digital output connectors:

- Installation:
The Mitsumi CR-4808TE was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "CR-48X8TE". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted.

The drive was a June 2001 model with firmware revision v1.1b installed. We used the Nero (, InCD (2.26), CloneCD ( and Padus DJ (3.50.799) for the recording tests. In case your Mitsumi CR-4808TE doesn't have 'ExacLink" activated you can use this utility to enabled it.

- Test Machine:
WinMe OS
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
Mitsumi CR-4808TE firmware v1.1B
PleXWriter PX-W1610A firmware v1.03
TEAC CD-516EB firmware v1.0A
LiteOn LTR-16101B firmware vTS0N

2. Data Tests

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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 v0.83b 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 Mitsumi CR-4808TE performed satisfactory in the SCSI Mechanic test. It gave back 820kb/s in the "Average Random I/O" test, which is the second best below Teac 516EB. However Mitsumi drive seems faster in the "Average Sequential I/O" test, with 4450 instead of 4434kb/s of Teac. Both LiteOn and Plextor drives are faster.

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

Using Nero CD Speed 0.83b, we confirmed the SCSI Mechanic results. The Mitsumi CR-4808TE is faster than Teac 516EB but slower than LiteOn and Plextor PX-W1610A. The drive's average reading speed is around 30.44X.

In the "Seek Times" test, the Mitsumi CR-4808TE is slower than both Teac and LiteOn drives. It's average random seek time is 111secs. Both Teac and LiteOn are much faster with under 95ms seek time.

- PSX Pressed Media
In order to fulfil user requests, we have included a test with mixed mode CDs (mainly PSX). 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 Mitsumi CR-4808TE is clearly not the best solution for someone who wants to have fast PSX images ripped into his HD, since it's the slowest among the four tested drives:

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

With CDR media, the Mitsumi performs better than pressed CDs and has around 31.08X average reading speed.

3. RW reading tests
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RW reading tests

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

For the RW tests, we used TDK's HS-RW media. The Mitsumi CR-4808TE has a 18.6X average reading speed, which is the third best from the tested drives:

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 performance of Mitsumi CR-4808TE. 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 Mitsumi drive skips bad sectors very slow. It needs around 10mins to make image of a SafeDisc 1 protected CD, when PleXWriter PX-W1610A needs only 2minutes. The LiteOn LTR-16101B is also faster and as for the Teac 516EB let's just forget it...

With SafeDisc v2.0 protected CDs, the Mitsumi CR-4808TE continues performing in the same way as with SafeDisc v1.0 CDs.

LaserLock 1/2 Results:

In the LaserLock protected CDs test, the Mitsumi CR-4808TE needs 38mins with the original and only 9mins with the back CD. The competition also has problems reading the original CD fast, but with the backup PleXWriter PX-W1610A holds the first place.

With LaserLock 2 LaserLock 2 protected CDs, Mitsumi is the faster drive as far as it concerns the original CD. However it didn't come up with the same behaviour with the backup CD, as in the case of LaserLock v1.0 protected CDs...

SecuROM Results:

The Mitsumi CR-4808TE can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks and very fast! The rest drives simply cannot follow...

4. DAE Tests

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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 Mitsumi CR-4808TE 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:
As the program reported, the drive doesn't "Caching" data, supports "Accurate Stream" and doesn't support "C2 Error info".

- Pressed AudioCD results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The Mitsumi supports up to 24x DAE with both pressed and CDR media. The drive uses full CAV as the main reading technology. However compared to the other competitors, Mitsumi CR-4808TE is much slower:

The drive has an average of 17.0x, staying far away from the top performer PX-W1610A. The LiteOn LTR-16101B comes second and Teac 516EB third.

- CDR AudioCD Results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The drive performs exactly the same as with the pressed media. The average DAE is again around 17.2X:

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode:

After many viewer's 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:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
LiteOn LTR-16101B
Teac 516EB
PleXWriter PX-W1610A
Mitsumi CR-4808TE

- Advanced DAE Quality:

The Mitsumi CR-4808TE performed excellently at 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 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 (%)
LiteOn LTR-16101B
Teac 516EB
PleXWriter PX-W1610A
almost 0
Mitsumi CR-4808TE
almost 0

As the tests proved, the Mitsumi drive has very good DAE quality. The drive reported only 95 errors, when PleXWriter PX-W1610A has 5069 and LiteOn 155252. Of course it cannot compete the Teac 516EB, since it's the absolute king of this test.

- Ripping 90 and 99min CDs:

As we can see from the above graphs, the Mitsumi CR-4808TE doesn't have any problems on ripping a 90min Audio CDR media. However it failed to recognize and rip 99min CDs, despite the fact that it can write them. The drive seems reading up to 89minutes:

5. CDR Tests
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CDR Tests

Click To Enlarge!The Mitsumi CR-4808TE2 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. The drive's average writing speed is 15.98X as Nero CD Speed showed.

The 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

- Procedure:

We tested the Mitsumi CR-4808TE with Nero v5.5.3.5, CloneCD v3.0.5.1 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. We didn't notice any problems with non-certified media, since the drive lowers the recording speed from 16x down to 12x or even 8x.

- 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 Mitsumi needs 412secs to finish the task. The test result is 5-6 higher than what both LiteOn and PleXWriter can do. Perhaps the not exact 16x CLV (15.98X) makes the difference.

The drive's performance at 16x seems very good and stays very close to the competition. The drive needed 415secs to finish the task, 3 more than PleXWriter PX-W1610A and 3 less than LiteOn LTR-16101B. Teac 516EB needs 15secs more to finish and it's almost as slow as an 16x P-CAV recorder.

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

Again in the 80min CD task, the Mitsumi CR-4808TE needs 6more seconds than PleXWriter and 3 more than LiteOn drive. The Teac 516EB needs 14 more seconds to finish and it's the slower drive among the four competitors.

With 80min CDs at the 16x writing speed, Mitsumi CR-4808TE has the second best writing time, behind PleXWriter PX-W1610A with 340secs. The PleXWriter comes first with only 334secs and LiteOn third with 341secs.

- Overburning Tests:
The Mitsumi CR-4808TE supports overburning up to 99minutes!

- CD-Text Results:
We created several AudioCDs with CD-Text enabled. The Mitsumi can write/read CD-Text enabled CDs.

- CloneCD Tests:
The CloneCD v3.0.5.1 reports that the drive supports the DAO-RAW writing feature. CloneCD also recognizes that the drive also supports anti-buffer underrun protection (even with the name BurnProof/JustLink). From our tests results DAO-RAW recording works without problems for the SafeDisc 1, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2 protections.

- SD2 Support:
For the SD2 tests we used the "No One Lives For Ever" and "Emperor Battle for Dune" CD titles. We used the Mitsumi CR-4808TE both as reader/writer. The produced backup didn't play using the same drive or any drive we tested. Therefore the Mitsumi CR-4808TE cannot produce SD2 working backups.

- 8cm mini CDs:
The Mitsumi CR-4808TE does support 8cm CDs.

- Buffer Underrun tests:
The Mitsumi CR-4808TE supports "ExactLink" anti-buffer underrun technology, which was developed by OAK Technologies. The drive worked without any problems when buffer underrun caused from our side. When you press ctrl+alt+del the drive will start blinking and when you un-freeze the PC will continue writing :-)

6. RW Writing Tests

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RW Writing Tests

We used Nero for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the tested drives. The Mitsumi CR-4808TE supports partial (8X) the HS-RW format and as you have might expected, has the worse writing time:

The Mitsumi -since it re-writes at 8X- has the longest writing time. The drive needs 601secs to finish the task. The erase time is the second best behind LiteOn LTR-16101B while the CPU usage is low, due to the lower recording speed.

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

The Mitsumi CR-4808TE has the lower reading/writing performance from all four tested drives. The answer is obvious. Since the drive re-writes only at 8X it cannot compete the other drives. The reading performance is also slow. The LiteOn LTR-16101B is the leader in the writing performance but stays behind in the reading part. The PleXWriter PX-W1610 is the leader in the reading but stays third in the writing part.

7. Conclusion

Mitsumi CR-4808TE IDE CDR-W - Page 7


Positive (+):

Negative (-):

- Supports 16x writing (CLV) speed
- "ExacLink" anti-coaster technology
- Has build-in media quality detection system
- Good data reading performance with both CDR/pressed media
- Very good DAE quality!!
- Supports HS-RW standard (even partial)
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data (very fast!)
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Retail package includes Nero 5.5
- Low price (95$<=)

- Supports only 8X re-write speed!
- Higher seek times than competition
- Low HS-RW reading performance
- Low DAE ripping performance with both CDR/pressed media
- Low packet writing/reading performance
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- Low PSX ripping speed
- Bad CloneCD reading performance
- Failed to recognize 99min CDs
- Retail package doesn't include HS-RW media!!

Mitsumi's Cd-recording proposal at 16x writing speed has missed to include something important...The full 10x re-writing speed. Almost all other competitor drives include this feature. The drive's other features (16x CLV, ExacLink anti-coaster technology, build-in media quality detection system) make it an interesting case for users who wish to enter the recording area with a cheap and good performer. The drive didn't have problems with various CDR media while the area in which some users might be dissatisfied is the low reading performance with DAE/protected CDs and of course the fact that no working SD2 backups can be made. Last but not least, Mitsumi certainly could add a HS-RW media in the retail package. Why the possible user has to pay for it?

The drive can be found from 95$-110$ in the market (in 'bare' form), which makes it an attractive solution. LiteOn 16x is around 91$, Teac 516EB 115$ and PleXWriter PX-W1610A 162$.

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