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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Monday, February 18, 2002
Ricoh MP7120A CD-RW


1. Introduction

Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 1

Thanks Mike for this help!

Introduction
Ricoh is well known to users from their CD and CDR-W drives. The MP7120A is the first model, which includes 12x write speed and 10x HS RW writing capabilities. The Ricoh 12/10/32 comes in 2 versions ATAPI (7120A) and SCSI (7120S). However, the drive is not supplied with any technology similar to BURN-Proof, which is what the competition supports. How can this drive compete in a tough market without any extra features? We have already previously tested the Plextor PX-W1210A and the Sanyo CRD-BP3, which have the same exact spec (read/writing features) but also have BURN-Proof. We have benchmarked the three drives and the results may well surprise you!

Improvements:
- Enhanced laser power and high-precision pulse
- Newly developed pick up module enabling stable data writing
- Newly developed high-speed-processing LSIs allow fast use of buffer memory for easy packet writing
- Features "Running OPC" (Optimum Power Control) to maintain optimal laser power while writing
- Low energy consumption and low heat generation
- Comprehensive anti-dust measures, including a pick up shield to enhance long-term stability.

Supplied Package:
The package supplied was the retail United States version. This included: The drive itself, a set-up guide, 1 CD-R blank, 1 High Speed RW Blank, Audio cables and mounting screws. The software supplied with the MP7120A was: Prassi PrimoCD Plus and Prassi abCD (packet writing software):

The drive also displays the High Speed Logo on the front tray as stipulated by the High Speed RW recording standard (we shall refer to this as HS RW from now on). Using CDR Identifier we were able to determine the manufacturer for the CDR and RW included media:

Ricoh HS RW Media:

ATIP: 97m 26s 65f
Disc Manufacturer: CMC Magnetics Corp.
Assumed Dye type: Phthalocyanine (Type 5)
Media type: CD-ReWritable
Recording Speeds:  min. 4X - max. 10X
nominal Capacity: 651.86MB (74m 12s 00f / LBA: 333750)

Ricoh CDR Media:

ATIP: 97m 27s 66f
Disc Manufacturer: Ricoh Company Ltd.
Assumed Dye type: Phthalocyanine (Type 6)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. 1x - max. 12x
nominal Capacity:  651.86MB (74m 12s 00f / LBA: 333750)

Noticed something weird here? Ricoh HS RW media manufactured from CMC Magnetics? Hmm...We also used Plextor CDRINFO (nice name ;) v1.1 utility which showed "UnKnown Manufacturer". Ricoh's answer was that: "...Ricoh is the only manufacture to our RW media. Ricoh as a fact is owning the technology for it. We are checking the issue with our QA how CMC ID got on the stamper. Ricoh engineer and produced it own RW high speed media to comply with the Orange Book part III Volume 2 V1.0 standarization. The dye type you are mentioning is for CDR Media only. The recording layer on the media made from Ag-In-Sb-Te (refer to periodic table for full description)..."

Installation:

ATAPI CDR-W drives are simple to install. Just decide what the drive should be, master or slave, set the appropriate jumper and start! After booting, the CDR-W identified itself as the Ricoh CD-R/RW MP7120A. We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted. The drive was a July 2000 model with firmware revision v1.10. After this review was written, Ricoh released new firmware revision v1.20. This improved reading/writing of CD-R media but did not solve all of our problems..

We also installed both Prassi abCD v1.3.161 (+ update to v1.5.169) and Prassi PrimoCD Plus v1.1.372. Most of our tests done with Nero 5.0.2.2. Even though Prassi PrimoCD Plus is very good CDR software, we find the user interface clumsy and difficult when you have lot of files to add/remove. Again it's our personal opinion..

Test Machine:
ABIT BH6
Celeron 300A over clocked to 450 MHz
164 MB SDRAM PC 100
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
ATI AIW 128
Plextor UltraPlex 40max firmware v1.04
PlexWriter PX-W1210A firmware v1.04
Sanyo CRD-BP3 firmware v1.03
Ricoh MP7120A firmware v1.20


2. Data Tests (Pressed CDs)

Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 2

Data Tests (Pressed CDs)

Test Method
- SCSI Mechanic v2.1h: This was used to compare the Ricoh's I/O performance against other various CDR-W drives (see charts). We used a pressed CD containing PlexTools v1.05 for all of the tests. Explanation of the tests are listed below:

- Random I/O: Random sector numbers are generated, and then that sector is read. This measures average access time.
- Sequential I/O: The initial sector number is set to 0. The sector is read and the sector number is incremented. Most drives do well with this, as each track is read and then cached.
- Same Sector I/O: The same sector is read repeatedly. If the drives cache works correctly, this should show the max transfer speed for the device, since after the first read, the sector is always in cache.

- CD Speed 99 v0.70 was also used to check the drive performance with pressed CDs. For that test we used PlexTools v1.05 original CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v2.1h results:

Asyou can see from the graph above, the Ricoh drive performed well in the Random and Sequential I/O tests. It produced the best Random I/O (689kb/s) and second best Sequential I/O (3620 kb/s) results. The PleXWriter PX-W1210A produced the best Sequential (3705kb/s) and Same Sector (10217knb/s) I/O test results. The Sanyo CRD-BP3 came off worst in the Random (562kb/s) and Sequential (3590kb/s) I/O test results. You are probably wondering why the PleXWriter PX-W1210A has superior performance in the Same Sector I/O test. The explanation is more than likely because Plextor drives have better software and cache management. The Ricoh MP7120A is able to achieve an average reading transfer rate of 3.59mb/s. It cannot compete with the PleXWriter PX-W1210A, which has the best read performance of any CDR-W drive we have tested!

- CD Speed 99 v0.70 results:

Using CD Speed 0.7, we can see what our previous results confirmed: The PX-W1210A holds first place, the MP7120A second and the Sanyo BP3 comes in last.

For Seek time results, the Ricoh MP7120A really beats the competition. It is 58% faster than the PX-W1210A and 35% faster than the BP3. This is very good performance, and will be useful when you have CDs that have many small files.

Verdict of data (pressedCDs) tests:
The Ricoh MP7120A is a good performer for a CDR-W drive. It doesn't have the best performance in terms of Sequential reading, when compared to the Plextor, but has very impressive seek times. Its average reading speed using PlexTools v1.05 was 24.45x compared to the PX-W1210A, which had 24.98x, and the CRD-BP3, which had 23.33x. It's seek times, as we said earlier, are currently the best you can get from a CDR-W drive.

In the SCSI Mechanic tests, the Ricoh MP7120A took second place behind the PX-W1210A. The drive delivered an average sequential reading result of 3.59mb/s compared to the PX-W1210A that gave 3.70mb/s. Both the Sanyo and Ricoh do not seem to be able to handle cache management as well as the Plextor. Their performance therefore appears to be much lower. Overall, we feel that Ricoh should consider a little fine-tuning. This is definitely required when directly comparing read performance with the Plextor PX-W1210A.


3. Data Tests (74min CDs)

Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 3

Data Tests (74min CDs)

Test Method: CD Media 74min tests
We created a DataCD with Nero 5.0 using the Sanyo CRD-BP2 CDR-W drive. Several copies were created on different media types at 12x speed. This test was performed in order to test the compatibility with various CD media, that have been written at 12x, how the Ricoh MP7120A drive performs. CD Speed 99 v0.70 was used to measure the performance of the drive with the different media.

Notice when you read the graphs, to check both the three tests results (start, end, average) since they give the most complete view of each media performance. Most users however, will prefer just to read only the average speed results. ;)

DataCD comparison (12x write speed)

As the test results shows, the Ricoh MP7120A does not have any problems reading various media, written at 12x.

- 80min tests:

The PX-W1210A continues to have the best-read performance (25.26x) even with 80min CDs. The BP3 and MP7120A have similar performance (24.5x) results. The previous test results showed that the MP7120A still has the best seek times:

- RW reading tests:
The Ricoh MP7120A has very good RW reading performance and is equal to the Sanyo's CRD-BP3 model (24.1x). The Plextor PX-W1210A limps behind with only 18.32x read performance:

Using Ricoh HS RW media MP7120A gave the best reading results (24.41x) with BP3 (24.38x) and the PX-W1210A (18.37x):

Verdict of CDR Media Tests:
The tests results with 74min and 80min CDR media showed that the Ricoh MP7120A has very good performance. Of course, it doesn't compare to the PX-W1210A in terms of sequential reading. It did however, beat the PX-W1210A in the seek time and RW media tests. As for the Sanyo BP3, it appears that improvements are required to catch both of other drives. This is the oldest of all the models and maybe improvements will happen when Sanyo release a new model ;)


4. CloneCD Tests

Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 4

CloneCD Tests

Procedure:
We used CloneCD (v2.7.8.1) and 3 original CDs (Rally Masters, Euro2000 and Incoming) in order to test the reading time for Ricoh MP7120A. We also tested the reading performance with the backups of the original CDs since the reading speed varies from original to backup media.

Results:

a) SafeDisc Results: Euro 2000 (Total: 257982 sectors - 10141 bad sectors) - Reading Speed: Max

Drive

Firmware

CD

Fast Skip Error - O retries - Software Correction

Fast Skip Error - O retries - Hardware Correction

Intelligent Bad Sector Scanner

"Intelligent Bad Sector Scanner" + Best "Fast Skip Error" result

Ricoh MP7120A

v1.10

Original

2:33 min

9:15 min

1:15:10 h

8:49 min

Backup

8:59 min

9:48 min

1:17:05 h

9:09 min

b) LaserLock Results: Rally Masters (Total: 321528 sectors - 6317 bad sectors) - Reading Speed: Max

Drive

Firmware

CD

Fast Skip Error - O retries - Software Correction

Fast Skip Error - O retries - Hardware Correction

Intelligent Bad Sector Scanner

"Intelligent Bad Sector Scanner" + Best "Fast Skip Error" result

Ricoh MP7120A

v1.10

Original

35:47 min

38:35 min

25:51 min

10:32 min

Backup

3:39 min

10:51 min

20:13 min

9:27 min

c) SecuROM Results: Incoming (Total: 241898 sectors) - Reading Speed: Max

Drive

Firmware

CD

Reading SubChannel Data

Ricoh MP7120A

v1.10

Original

3:26 min

Backup

5:51 min

Verdict of CloneCD Tests:
The Ricoh MP7120A didn't perform the way that we anticipated. Previous Ricoh models have had a reputation for very good CloneCD performance. What was the problem? The drive reported more bad sectors when reading than what actually existed on the CDs! This was proven by reading the CDs with other readers i.e. read BUG! For example, the drive continued to report read errors above 10141 sectors in the SafeDisc test until the end of the CD! The Same thing happened with LaserLock CDs (using both original and backup CDs). We suspect that this is a firmware error and we hope that a newer version would correct those problems.. Firmware v1.20 didn't seem to solve this problem..

On the other hand drive performed very well with SecuROM protected CDs and was able to read the whole CD in 3:26mins.The PX-W1210A read the same CD in 3:55min. Note: When using the backup CD for reading SecuROM the times goes 2x (5:51mins.).

Overall, the Ricoh MP7120A really needs improve when reading CDs with errors. The drive had real problems correctly reading the original protected CDs.


5. DAE Tests (Audio pressed CDs)

Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 5

DAE Tests (Audio pressed CDs)

Test Method:
We used CD DAE 99 v0.2with AudioCDs in order to check DAE performance of the Ricoh drive and we compared it with the Plextor PX-W1210A and Sanyo BP3.

- CD DAE 99 v0.2 results:
The Ricoh MP7120A is the new KING of DAE performance! The drive goes up to 32x and our tests showed that the MP7120A managed to outperform both the Plextor PX-W1210A and the Sanyo CRD-BP3:

As you can see, the Ricoh averaged 22.6x and at the same time, the Plextor averaged 21.0x and Sanyo BP3 12.6x DAE speed.

DAE Tests (CD media)

Test Method:
We made several copies with Feurio v1.51written at 12x (used the Sanyo CRD-BP2 CDR-W drive) in order to check the DAE performance of the drive. We measured ripping speeds with CD DAE 99 v0.2and compared it with Plextor PX-W1210A and Sanyo CRD-BP3.

CD DAE 99 v0.2 results:

- Princo 74min AudioCD:
The Ricoh MP7120A easily lead the DAE speed race and gave an average 22.8x DAE speed:

Maxell media-DAE results

Advanced DAE Tests (CD Media)

Test Method:
The latest CD Speed v0.75 included new series of DAE benchmarking. It has 2 reading test modes:

-The Sequential read test simulates DAE under perfect conditions. Most drives will pass this test without errors.
- The Harmonica read test is very though for the drive. Most drives will not pass this test without errors. Based on the number of errors a score is given. A score of 100.0 is a perfect score

We made the test CD using the build function. For that propose we used Princo name CDR media, which burned with Sanyo CRD-BP3. After that we run the full tests at our 3 test competitors. Some explanation here:

Data Errors: These are just audio samples, which are read incorrectly. The cause of these errors is usually bad media. A solution is to use different media or decreasing the drive's speed. If the number of data errors is not too high you probably won't hear them because the internal error correction routines of the drive should be able to fix them. CD Speed 99 detects them by comparing the read bytes with the known data from the test disc.

Sync Errors: A sync error occurs when the drive does not read the audio sector requested by the application but a sector near it. For example when the application requests sector 1000 the drive may return the data from sector 999. When this happens either some samples are missing or samples are repeated. This error is probably audible. The test disc contains data, which allows CD Speed 99 to determine whether the correct sector is read.

Test Results:

CD Speed author promises: "?The Advanced DAE Test will reveal all DAE problems a drive may have. By using a special test disc, which must be created with CD Speed 99, even the slightest error will be detected.." Our tests revealed a slight problem with the PX-W1210A and some serious problems with Sanyo CRD-BP3. The Ricoh drive passed the test and got the highest score of 100 (and the absolute maximum). The Plextor gave 2 Sync errors and that cost the drive first place in our test. It placed second with a score of 98.5The Sanyo drive got the worst overall score (75) as it failed to read the test CD. Also noticeable are the high Data errors numbers.

Verdict of DAE Results:
Ricoh advertising on its retail box states: "Reads audio data (DAE) up to 32x. Allows high-speed creation of WAVE files." Our tests confirmed that these claim are valid and that the Ricoh has scorching DAE performance.  The drive took the first place in all our tests (even in the advanced one). The Plextor PX-W1210A took second position, in the DAE tests, and this something that should trouble Plextor. All their previous drives were DAE "Kings"! The Sanyo BP3 has its DAE speed locked at 13x. Sanyo informed us that in the near future the drive would achieve 24x DAE speed with a firmware update. Until then, the BP3 gets the wooden spoon.


6. CDR Tests

Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 6

CDR Tests

- Recorder properties: (Screenshot from Feurio v1.55 b4)

Feurio Device Info

As we can see, the Ricoh MP7120A supports most current CDR/W writing modes including DAO RAW but not BURN-Proof (Feurio still doesn't fully supports the drive features). Having been testing BURN-Proof drives since the beginning of this year, we were wondering how the Ricoh would perform without BURN-Proof in a normal user desktop.

Ricoh have developed a similar technology to Sanyo's "BURN-Proof", which is called "JustLink" and owns the patterns of it. Ricoh's "JustLink" approach is different but the final result is the same, since eliminates coasters and ,according to Ricoh press release, deliver better quality CDs than what "BURN-Proof" does. The Ricoh MP7120A does not include "JustLink". The upcoming Ricoh MP9120A (12/10/32+8xDVDRom) is apparently going to support it.

Let's head over to the CDR tests now:

Procedure:
We tested the MP7120A with the latest software which supports it and with several media:

- Software used: Nero v5.0.2.2 /  Padus DJ v3.00.712 / CloneCD v2.7.8.1 / Feurio v1.55b4
- Media: Princo 74 & 80min / Ricoh Platinum 74 & 80min / Mitsui Gold& SG / TDK 74min / Verbatim 74min / Plextor HS RW / Ricoh HS RW

CDR-R Tests:
The Ricoh MP7120A arrived with Prassi PrimoCD Plus and Prassi abCD software. We used the latest Nero version (5.0.2.2) for all of our tests. Lets start with 74min CDs (74:03:65):

Nero v5.0.2.2 - DataCD (74:03:64-651mb)

Burning Speed

Total time (including lead-in and lead-out)

Average CPU usage

12x

6:44min

12.80%

8x

9:58min

9.02%

4x

19:42min

4.55%

Let now see the competition:

As the tests results showed, all of the drives had different writing times when using the SAME amount of data and media. The Ricoh had the lowest burning time and the Sanyo came very close with only a 2 sec time gap. The Plextor drive appeared to write at a slower speed than the others and took 12 seconds longer than the Ricoh to finish the job. What are the reasons behind these differences? This happens because some drives need more time for laser calibration and the write speed isn't really exactly 12.00x since it varies (ex. from  11.97x to 12.06x). As for the CPU Usage, the Sanyo drive (9.85%) had the lowest when burning at 12x. This is due to it being a SCSI drive connected to a bus-mastering controller. The Ricoh (12.8%) came in second and Plextor (13.4%) came in last.

- 80min CDs:
As previous we created a datacd with Nero 5.0.2.2 and used the same media for all burns (Ricoh 80min 12x):

Nero v5.0.2.2 - DataCD (80:01:47-704mb)

Burning Speed

Total time (including lead-in and lead-out)

Average CPU usage

12x

7:16min

13.50%

8x

10:40min

8.50%

4x

21:01min

4.50%

How does the competition compare?

As we saw, previously with the 74min CDs, all of three drives had timing differences between them. This time, the Sanyo had lowest burning time. The Ricoh came in second and once again, the Plextor took the longest time to finish the job. The CPU usage levels are similar to the 74min tests carried out previously.

- Overburning Tests:
We tested to see if the Ricoh drive could write 90 and 99mins.As you may well know, both 90 and 99min can be written only if the drive can overburn! We inserted a 90min (from Medea International) and guess what! The drive couldn't recognize it. We were out of luck with the 90min CDs. After that we used 99min media which was supplied from Copy4all. The drive recognized the media and we tried to perform the overburning test in order to see the exact amount of extra data that the drive could overburn. We used the latest Feurio v1.55.4 for those tests. However, the drive failed on those tests since it didn't report an error in order for FEURIO to calculate the exact overburning time. I.e. read BUG!

So, what do we do now? Real tests! As you may or may not know, the Ricoh MP9060 can burn up to 89:00mins. We decided to prepare an Audio CD up to 88:32mins in order to see if it would really burn them. This attempt failed miserably since Feurio reported a drive error. So where did the actual burning stop? Since the Audio CD was burned in DAO mode, we weren't entirely sure ;)

Time for ripping we thought! We used a Plextor 40x CD-Rom and DAE 99 v0.2 to "rip" a CD. The drive stopped reading at 85mins so we assumed that the maximum overburn time was around 85 minutes. Correct? Nope.

Second attempt. Using Nero v5.0.2.2, we "burned" an Audio CD to 89:09min at 12x! The job completed without any glitches. "Hmmm?strange" we thought, Time for ripping! Using CD Speed 99, v0.2 the drive stops reading after 16 tracks. However when using EAC (v0.9 prebeta6) we were able to read the whole CD (even the Plextor 40x slowed at the last song.). So we believe it is possible to burn with 90min media with the MP7120A even un-official. Ricoh users could pressure Ricoh to support it!

- AudioCD Tests:
We created several Audio CDs (including CD-Text). All of the CDs we created were tested with the Plextor PX-40TS and Plextor's CD-Text compatible CD player. From what we saw, everything worked just fine.

- CloneCD Tests:
If you have read our CloneCD article you may remember that we said Ricoh and some Philips drives are the only drives that allow both DAO and SAO RAW writing with CloneCD. Plextor drives support generic DAO and SAO RAW writing with CloneCD BUT return garbage with SAO RAW, the CloneCD author removed SAO writing for Plextors. Most users will stick to DAO RAW writing. We used the Ricoh MP7120A to create "backups" of protected CDs (SafeDisc, LaserLock and SecuROM) with a Plextor 40x to create the image file. ALL tests finished ok:

- Buffer Underrun tests:
As we have previously stated the Ricoh MP7120A does not support any anti-coaster protection. How easy is it to create buffer underruns with your PC? This drive has a 4MB buffer, which can prevent buffer underruns. True? Yes, only if you don't overload your PC.

Let us try something:
Open Nero 5.0.2.2. Set buffer 20mbs (File>>Preferences>>Buffer).
Insert media in your drive (we used Ricoh 10x HS RW media ;).
Make a Data Job around 650mbs. Press "Burn" (set maximum speed).
Leave job running and when it reaches 10% start opening as many programs you can.

By doing this, did we manage to cause a buffer underrun? Yep! We opened Word, Excel, FrontPage 2k, Dreamwaver Ultra Dave, and SoundForge 4.5c. After that, we opened an Mp3 file with SoundForge and applied a sound effect. This created a buffer underrun ;)

Buffer underruns are caused when your hard disk cannot continue to deliver data to the recorder. Software usually caches small files and hopes that you will not start opening heavy software (such as SoundForge). We believe that most current software will keep up in your normal use. However, if you want to play games and burn CDs at the same time -go for a drive, which supports anti-coaster technologies (such as Sanyo's "BURN-Proof" or the impending "JustLink").

Verdict of CDR Results:
The Ricoh MP7120A will not let you down when the time for burning comes. It worked very well with Nero and completed all tests without any problems. Burning 74min and 80min CDs at 12x caused no problems. Overburning also works but only up to 89:00mins. The drive however failed to recognize 90min media. The 4MB of buffer can handle a normal load but if you start overdoing it you will get a buffer underrun. The drive is 100% compatible with CloneCD so you will be able to use it for making backups of your favourite CDs. Lastly even though the drive didn't have any cooling options, its external temperature was not hot enough to worry us. It appeared to run at the same temperature as most CDR-W drives do.


7. CDR-W Tests

Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 7

CDR-W Tests

The Ricoh MP7120A is the first Ricoh model that supports 10xRW-writing speed. Using HS RW media, you can burn a full 650 MB in 8:00mins. The drive doesn't support 8x writing as other Sanyo based solutions do. This does not make any difference, as we prefer the fastest speed of course ;) The drive can write normal to 4x RW media at 4x as all HS RW enabled drives do.

- RW tests:
We used Nero 5.0.2.2 for writing CDs in 10x RW writing speed. Below are the results from various RW writing speeds:

Nero v5.0.2.2 - DataCD (73:18:36 - 645mbs)

Burning Speed

Total time (including lead-in and lead-out)

 Average CPU usage

Quick Erase Time

Full Erase Time

10x

7:59 min

10.90%

31 sec

8:31 min

4x

19:31 min

4.50%

53s ec

19:37 min

Let check the competition:

The Ricoh drive again had the lowest time for completing the data task. The Sanyo came second and Plextor third. In addition, the Ricoh had the quickest time when erasing the HS RW media. This was measured with PadusDJ v3.00.712. Sanyo came second with 39secs and Plextor third with 44secs. The Ricoh and Plextor have similar CPU Usage and Sanyo has the lowest CPU usage (SCSI). We can safely say that the Ricoh is the RW writing leader when compared to the other two drives.

- Packet Writing Tests:
We tried to use Ricoh MP7120A with PacketCD v3.00.209. However, PacketCD refused to write with the Ricoh drive. Since no new drive pack was available from Cequadrat we decided to install Prassi abCD v1.3.161. However Prassi released a newer version up to v1.5.169. After updating the old version and reboot Prassi' s logo welcomed us:

We used Ricoh HS RW media and we formatted it. The formatting of the media took around 8min (add 2 extra minutes if you erase the media also):

After formatting, we tested all three drives for their packet writing performance. The formatted disc had 530mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.1476kbs) 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 error:

The results show clearly that the Ricoh MP7120A had the best reading/writing speed results when compared to the other two drives. It's average packet writing speed was 7.07x, although the Plextor followed closely with 7.0x. The Sanyo didn't seem to perform that well and produced a result of 5.39x average writing speed.Ok you wrote you data..One day you will try recovering your data. The Ricoh gave outstanding read performance and reached 17.09x average read speed. The Plextor had nearly the half speed (8.42x) and the Sanyo 2.36x results. Erasing files from the formatted media took only a couple of seconds to complete.

Verdict of CDR-W Results:
Ricoh has managed to make MP7120A a true champion in the RW and packet-writing arena. The drive performed well in all of our (RW) tests and outperformed both the Plextor and Sanyo drives. Imagine waiting 17mins to read your data with the Sanyo CRD-BP3 when the Ricoh MP7120A took only 2:17mins to read!!!!!!!


8. Conclusion
Ricoh MP7120A IDE CDR-W - Page 8

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Supports HS RW (10xRW)
- Supports 12x writing
- Good Data reading speed
- Superb DAE speed
- Superb RW+Packetwriting performance
- Supports DAO/SAO RAW
- Supports CD-Text
- Burns up to 89:00min
- Supports overburn
- Support most burn speeds (1x,2x,4x,8x,12x)
- Good retail package

- Not enough overburn for using 99mins CDs
- Doesn't support any anti-coaster technology (BURN-Proof or JustLink)
- Bad performance reading protected CDs
- Failed to recognize 90min CDs

The Ricoh MP7120A will possibly trouble possible buyers, who are looking to get the fastest drive that they can buy. BURN-Proof or not? Common sense says "Go for the BURN-Proof enabled" drive. However, if you carefully examine the MP7120A you could possibly have a tough choice. A direct comparison with the PleXWriter PX-W1210A and the Sanyo CRD-BP3 is not fair if you consider that Plextor and Sanyo drives are technological advanced (due to the adoption of BURN-Proof technology). But since all 3 drives have the same price tag we feel that we must take the user's point of view..

Should I buy or not? What is cool about the drive and what is not?

What's cool:
- Great DAE speed (32x max)
- Superb RW and Packet Writing performance
- Good read performance
- Reliable reading as shown in our CDR tests
- Supports DAO and SAO RAW writing, with CloneCD, (most drive in the market place will not.)

What's not cool:
- Doesn't support any anti-coaster protection. We cannot pretend that you will never get any coasters using the drive when using lots of software at once.
- Returns more bad sectors when reading protected CDs. That indicates a problem, which of course can be fixed with next firmware revision
- Failed to recognize 90min media. Oops! That also can be fixed with next firmware version.

We feel that "BURN-Proof" technology has really changed the way people burn their CDs. People who have already tested "BURN-Proof" enabled drives say that they would never go back to previous generation drives. This is what they tell us at www.cdrinfo.com! Ricoh's answer to Sanyo's BURN-Proof is called "JustLink". However the MP7120A doesn't include it. This is what will cause problems troubles for buyers when they are evaluating this model. If the Ricoh 7120A had "JustLink" incorporated then it would be a drive that would be very real alternative to the PleXWriter PX-W1210A. However, it doesn't and this is a real shame.

- Do you want a CDR-W drive that can read/write data to both CDR and RW media at very impressive speeds? Don't care about new technologies, which eliminate coasters? If the answer is yes-Go for the Ricoh MP7120A!
- Do want to burn data at the maximum possible speed without any concern about possible coasters? Go for the Plextor PX-W1210A.

We didn't included CRD-BP3 drive to our buying comparison plans since the drive is not selling directly from Sanyo. You could possible get it from Iomega, IODATA, Logitec, Lacie. You can buy the drive directly from Ricoh's on-line store at $279.00 We also found a cheaper price (259$) over Price Watch so might want to check it out.



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