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Appeared on: Monday, February 18, 2002
Philips 48x CD-ROM


1. Introduction
Philips (Aopen) 48x IDE CD Rom - Page 1

This is the latest CD ROM from  Philips. Can it real reach speeds of 48x ? Or not? Does it make fast and accurate DAE ? Find out by reading the review..

CD Rom Specifications:

Interface

E-IDE/ATAPI

Transfer Rate

48X MTRP(TM) ~ 7200 KB/sec

Functions

Multi Read,  Horizontal & Vertical Mount, CAV/CLV, Analog & digital output, Plug-n-Play

Ultra DMA 33

Yes

Data Buffer

512KB (?)

Supported CD Formats

CD-DA, CD-ROM/XA (Mode 1, Mode2),  CD-I/MPEG, PhotoCD, Karaoke CD, CD-Extra(CD+), I-trax CD, CDR, CDRW

Package: The retail version included CD Rom, manual, drivers for Win 3.1 & Dos, cable for connect CD Rom to soundcard.

Philips (Aopen) front

Installation: Installation was easy. I enabled Ultra DMA and Master jumpers on the rear panel. After boot CD Rom intentified as PCA483CD from BIOS (both Dos & Windows). DMA checked on (AUTO since it is Ultra DMA compartible), unchecked Auto Insert notification and reboot. All was set and time to start tests..


2. Data Tests

Philips (Aopen) 48x IDE CD Rom - Page 2

Data Tests

Test Machine:
ABIT BH6
Celeron 300A over clocked to 464 MHz
128 MB SDRAM PC 100
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA
CL RivaTNT
CL AWE32
MS Windows 98 Build 4.10.2136
Teac 532E-A Firmware : v3.0a (with Auto Insert Notification & Sync transfer off)
Plextor UltraPlex 40max, Firmware v1.01, (with Auto Insert Notification off & Sync transfer on).

Test Method:
I used CD Speed 99 v0.2b & SCSI Mechanic v2.1e to run Data tests. Also used CDRWin v3.7b & Fire Burner v0.85b to determine specific details. All tests done with the same CD on every CD Rom.

CD Speed  results:       (Speed : Bigger is better,  Seek Times : less is better, CPU Usage : less is better)

Speed (x)

Seek Time (ms)

CPU Usage (%)

Start

Average

End

Random

1/3

Full

1x

2x

4x

8x

Teac 32x

15.14

24.74

31.73

85

93

161

2

4

9

18

Plextor 40x

18.65

31.62

41.90

87

89

126

2

3

7

14

Philips 48x

21.52

35.29

48.44

87

138

202

1

2

2

5

The first comparison shows Plextor rules at seek time from his opponents. Philips seems faster as expected and with less CPU Usage. Teac seems to be somewhere middle.

SCSI  Mechanic results:

Random I/O
throughput (kb/s)

Sequential I/O
throughput (kb/s)

Same Sector I/O
throughput (kb/s)

Min

Average

Max

Min

Average

Max

Min

Average

Max

Teac 32x

460

858

1056

923

4258

5951

643

1673

1847

Plextor 40x

377

720

921

832

4417

6590

547

1178

1456

Philips 48x

328

696

927

931

4329

7952

635

1541

1775

This test revealed several things such as if drive's succeed to reach their (supposedly) max speeds. The test showed that drive's can reach namely max speed but not sustain it for long time. Max speed is peek at (1) sec, not sustained data transfer rate. Average is close to reality. Teac here rules as (it has the smaller speed 32x which allows it to have less ppm and keep sustain data transfer rate). Plextor and Philips come behind. Now it is clearly speed isn't the main issue. When we use the drive we must look for the average data transfer rate. If the drive can sustain data transfer close to his  namely max speed is good. If not.. then we must look for another drive.

CDRWin and Fire Burner results:
That was a surprise. Both programs detected some different features from specifications (as the drive isn't capable of reading RW & CD+G CDs). More Fire Burner reported that the drive has only 128 KB cache instead of 512 KB (which Philips says.). So I tested missing features. The drive reads RW CDs. (RW closed & open session).  Didn't had a CD+G CD to test.


3. DAE Tests

Philips (Aopen) 48x IDE CD Rom - Page 3

DAE Tests

Test Machine:
ABIT BH6
Celeron 300A over clocked to 464 MHz
128 MB SDRAM PC 100
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA
CL RivaTNT
CL AWE32
MS Windows 98 Build 4.10.2136
Teac 532E-A Firmware : v3.0a (with Auto Insert Notification & Sync transfer off)
Plextor UltraPlex 40max, Firmware v1.01, (with Auto Insert Notification off & Sync transfer on).

Tested CD: The Chemical Brothers "Big Your Own Hole" - Track 10

Test Method:  I used EAC v0.81b & AudioGrabber v1.40 to test audio capabilities. Also  compared it with Teac and Plextor.

Comparing Method:
- Ripped Track10 of the CD with Drag & Drop (using CDFS) and with all the other CD Rippers.
- Edited all wavs with Hedit v2.0.04 and located the 2 following bytes "EA  68" (chosen randomly)
- Removed all previous bytes and saved.
- Then in a Dos window compared them using: FC /b x.wav y.wav

Philips DAE results

Program

Rip  Mode

Average  Speed

Program  Results

Hearing Quality

CDFS  Driver v4.00.130

Drag  & Drop

9.40x

-

No clicks..No sec  lost..Seemed ok!

EAC v0.81 beta

Burst  -
Rip Speed Default -
Allow speed reduction -
Error correction medium

7.8x

Copied  ok

No clicks..No sec  lost..Seemed ok!

EAC v0.81 beta

Secure  accurate -
Rip Speed Default -
Allow speed reduction -
Error correction medium

3.6x

Copied  ok -
Quality 100%

No clicks..No sec  lost..Seemed ok!

AudioGrabber  v1.40

Buffered  Burst -
Rip Speed Default

6.64x

Copied  ok -
Audio Problems 0

No clicks..No sec  lost..Seemed ok!

Results
The drive seem to reach max DAE speed of 9.40x with CDFS driver. Second comes EAC (burst mode) with 7.8x and 3rd AudioGrabber with 6.64x. All wav's produced by different method compared between them and found the same.


4. Final Verdict

Philips (Aopen) 48x IDE CD Rom - Page 4

Final Verdict

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

Multi Read
CAV/CLV
Digital output
Ultra DMA 33
Supports all CD Formats
Low CPU usage

Not great seek times
Noise !!!
Not great speed in DATA & DAE

Should you buy Philips 48x CD Rom ? Check the good's and bad's and decide..As for me will stick to my Teac & Plextor combo.. ;)



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