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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Sanyo CRD-BP1500P CD-RW


1. The first 24x recorder is here!

Sanyo CRD-1500P IDE CDR-W - Page 1

The first 24x recorder is here!

- Introduction:
We all knew Sanyo as the leader in the CD recording area, since it shipped first, the fastest CDR-W drives in the planet. Back in 2000 that was about to change. Yamaha released the first 16x (even partial CAV) recorder and Sanyo's (real) 16x CLV recorder followed after several months. The race of the fastest recorder has been warmed up after Yamaha's strike (with 2100E series)..

Sanyo introduced new techniques to rise the recording speed and protect the user from buffer underruns. The basic three new technologies are the "Zone-CLV" recording mode, "FlexSS-BP" quality control mechanism and the "BURN-Proof" anti-coaster technology.

- The New features

(Constant Linear Velocity) is the recording technology used from Sanyo's latest generation recorders (CRD-BP1500P/CDR-BP5) in order to achieve a higher recording speed. Most previous recorders used CLV (constant linear velocity aka constant recording density) as the main recording method. The rotation speed, in the inside, of a disc at 16x recording speed reaches up to 8000rpm per minute! The high rotation causes problems to the recorder's mechanism and produces loud noise. Sanyo developed the Zone-CLV recording method in order to avoid the above two problems using the latest available technology. When a recorder uses the Zone CLV recording method, the CD is divided in 3 zones from the inner to the outer parts of the CD, in which the recording speed varies.

As you can see in the left picture, the recording speed at Zone1 (inner disc) is 16x speed, increases in Zone2 (after t1 time) at 20x speed and reaches 24x-recording speed at Zone 3 (after t2 time). After that, the drive accesses the recorded data area, reads and checks them and executes synchronization between the Zone1/Zone2 and Zone2/Zone3 areas. The BURN-Proof technology is used for executing synchronization between the Zone1/Zone2 and Zone2/Zone3. There isn't any gap between the various Zones as Sanyo states.

is the generic name for "Flexible Speed" and "Flexible Strategy". This new technology is used from Sanyo CRD-BP1500P in order to avoid problems with bad media (low quality), when writing at 24x (or 20x) speed.

The "FlexSS-BP" works in 2 ways. When the drive judges that it hardly can trace the inserted disc correctly -because of the variation of discs including some serpentine tracks and off centred discs- and that the placed disc cannot stand a high power laser at high-speed recording, the drive selects the suitable recording speed for the disc and continues the recording. Thus it monitors the physical condition of disc in real time during record, and it flexibly switches recording speeds in order to maintain the optimum recording condition. In addition, the Flexible Strategy measures and evaluates the recording condition of recorded area at switching zones. Previously, the recording condition could not be checked until the recording had been completed, but a Flexible Strategy drive can restart the recording after the check of pit condition at the recording stop position and the optimisation of the recording parameters.

The "FlexSS-BP" technology sounds similar to "JustSpeed" , from Ricoh, but Sanyo engineers support that it's better: "...The point FlexSS BP is excellent than Just Speed is "that keeps checking from start to finish of writing". Just-Speed cannot change the writing speed once it is fixed at the first stage of writing. But, FlexSS BP can change the writing speed at any time...". On the other hand "FlexSS-BP" sounds exactly like the "SafeBURN" mechanism , from Yamaha, which is also able to drop up and down the recording speed in the full CD area.

has mainly two new features: the "shockproof operation" and a system for preventing the "link blocks" previously caused by interruptions to writing when using BURN-Proof. BURN-Proof avoids the "Buffer-Underrun error" caused by an "empty" data buffer. It does so by means of a controller, which, throughout the write process, continuously monitors the status of the data buffer.

If the available data drops below 10% of the total buffer capacity, the controller initiates a controlled interrupt to the writing process and sets a write marker. New data is then loaded to the cache and the laser is repositioned. The drive synchronizes the data already written with the new data in the buffer and repositions the laser "behind" the sector most recently written. BURN-Proof also avoids the usual scenario in which CD writing completely locks up your PC. It ensures instead that, throughout the write process, your PC remains fully operational and available for other applications.

- The package

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P we got was the pre-release OEM drive, which will be used from various companies in retail packages with mostly front/tray changes. The drive uses new IC chipset "LC 898098Y". The front of the drive is the same as with previous Sanyo models. The drive includes 2 leds (Busy, Write), the manual eject hole, the headphone jack/volume control which most CD-Rom/RW drives have and 2 logos - the "BPRec" and the "High-Speed Recording" logo:

- Installation :
The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P was installed as Master in the primary IDE BUS. The drive worked in PIO Mode4 and after booting, identified itself as the "GENERIC CRD-BP1500P". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted. The drive was a February 2001 model with firmware revision v6.p32. After a while Sanyo provided us a newer firmware revision V.vz32, which corrected some of out initial problems. The drive is under developement so there will be many firmware updates till the final release, which will fix the bugs we mostly found during our tests. We used Nero v5.5.1.1, CloneCD v3.0.0.9, PadusDJ v3.00.780 and Ahead InCD v2.11 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-BP4 firmware v4.29
Sanyo CRD-BP1400P firmware v5.32
Sanyo CRD-BP1500P firmware vV.vz32
Yamaha CRW2100E firmware v1.0n
PleXWriter PX-W1610A firmware v1.01


2. Data Tests

Sanyo CRD-BP1500P IDE CDR-W - Page 2

Data Tests

Test Method
- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x: This was used to compare the Sanyo'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.
- CD Speed 99 v0.80 was also used to check the drive performance with pressed CDs. For that test we used PlexTools v1.08 pressed CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P has more or less the same performance as the previous CRD-BP4/1400P had. The BP1400P and BP1500P have the same exact "Average Random I/O" (625kb/s) and stay far away from the leader PX-W1610A. Also the "Average Sequential I/O" is the same with CRD-BP4 (4461kb/s), which also is far away from the PleXWriter PX-W1610A can deliver. We assume that not many improvements are done in this area...

- CD Speed 99 v0.80 results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)

Using CD Speed 0.80, we can see that the BP1500P has the second "Average Speed" ,behind the first PX-W1610A. The drive's performance seems slightly improved over the previous BP4/1400P but still needs some work to reach the level of the PleXWriter.

The average seek times are more or less the same for the CRD-BP1400P/1500P. The CRD-BP4 seems to be winning this test with the highest performance among the 4 tested CDR-W drives. The PleXWriter PX-W1610A comes last.

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

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P has again the same level of performance with CDR media as with the previous CRD-BP1400P model. The drive seems to be able to compete the PleXWriter but needs some extra tuning to reduce the 0.44x performance gap. The CRD-BP4 seems to be having some problems and gives a rather strange performance graph.


3. RW reading tests
Sanyo CRD-BP1500P IDE CDR-W - Page 3

RW reading tests

- CD Speed 99 v0.8 Test: (Click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)

For the RW tests we used TDK's HS-RW media. The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P performed very well and gave the best average reading result (25.25x) among the 4 tested drives:

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure:
We used CloneCD (v3.0.0.9) and 3 original CDs (Rally Masters, Euro2000 and Vrally 2 Expert) in order to test the reading time for Sanyo CRD-BP1500P. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs since the reading speed varies among original and backup media. For comparison reasons we added the results from Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P and PleXWriter PX-W1610A.

- Results:

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

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P for a strange reason doesn't like at all SafeDisc v1.0/v2.0 protected CDs and reads them in a terrible slow speed, compared to the other Sanyo/Plextor models. The total time for making an image of the Euro 2000 CD was about 1:05:23 hrs. We hope that something will be done in order to improve the error skipping hardware capability of the drive, with a future firmware revision.

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

Things are slightly better with the LaserLock protected CDs, since the CRD-BP1500P made the image in 12minutes. The error-skipping engine with the original CD is very good and stays in the same levels with the backup CD also. However notice that the previous Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P have almost the double speed reading performance. Another point that must be inspected from the Sanyo engineers.

c) SecuROM Results: Vrally2 Expert - 343767 sectors

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P has no problem reading SubChannel Data from Audio/Data tracks ever slowly. Both Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P seem to be reading SubChannel Data faster than their new brother (BP1500P) while the PleXWriter PX-W1610A holds the leadership.


4. DAE Tests

Sanyo CRD-BP1500P CDR-W - Page 4

DAE Tests

Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.21 beta and EAC v0.9 prebeta 9 softwares in order to check the DAE performance of the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P with various AudioCDs (both pressed and CDR). The posted DAE results are the average of both applications, but the CPU usage is only taken from CD DAE 99. EAC seems to occupy 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 9 to examine the drive's features. As the program reported, the drive doesn't "Caching" data or support "C2" error info, and supports "Accurate Stream". The specifications state that the drive can reach up to 40x DAE (max) with both pressed and CDR media.

- Pressed AudioCD results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P can go up to 40x DAE ripping speed without any quality problems.. The PleXWriter PX-W1610A still holds the first place but the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P is quite close:

- CDR AudioCD Results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P had some problems with CDR media. The drive denied to work correctly with most inserted CDR media with the 6.p32 firmware. After the new supplied firmware (V.vz32) the drive worked much better but again some glitches were noticeable in the CD Speed 99 graph test. Also we noticed that the drive slowed down during DAE with CDR media and gave a lower, than pressed CDs, Average DAE speed:

- Advanced DAE Quality

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P failed to complete the CD DAE 99 Advanced DAE test since produced read error when the harmonica "Read Test" started. Therefore we only have placed the "Average Speed" (30.08). The rest recorders doesn't have any problem at all. As we said earlier this is probably a bug which will be fixed with new firmware revision from Sanyo. From other tests we confirmed that the drive can read "CD-Text" and "SubChannel Data from Audio/Data tracks".


5. CDR Tests - Page 1

Sanyo CRD-BP1500P CDR-W - Page 5

CDR Tests - Page 1

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P is the first CDR-W drive that supports up to 24x writing speed. As we have said earlier the 24x writing speed is not in the whole disc but in a specific part of the disc. You might think that the overal time of the a disc recording at 24x ZoneCLV writing speed with the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P would be much lower than with a real 24x drive. That's not true.

The average recording speed of the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P is around 22x, as Sanyo states. Below we post two compasion charts, taken from the Sanyo's website, showing the time differences between 16x CLV (Sanyo CRD-BP1400P) and 24x Z-CLV writing recorder (Sanyo CRD-BP1500P):

As you can see the needed time for burning a full 74min CD with CRD-BP1500P is around 227sec (3.78min) and the time differences from a 16x CLV recorder is around 100secs! A real 24x CLV recorder would make around 3.20mins to finish the task.

The same principal applies for 80min CDs.The Z-CLVrecorder makes around 241secs (4.02mins) and a real 16x CLV recorder around 333secs (5.55mins).

Using CD Speed v0.8 we didn't managed to get the 16x-24x Zone-CLV writing graph since the drive gave back only 16x CLV recording speed:

- Procedure:

We tested the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P with Nero v5.5.1.1, CloneCD v3.0.0.9, Padus DJ v3.00.780 software.

The main problem is/was that there aren't any 24x certified media available in the market now. Ricoh, Verbatim, Mitsui, Taiyo Yuden have announced 24x certified media, which however will ship in middle/end of May. Exactly at the time that 20x/24x recorders will hit the market. That means some of our CDR tests (and problems) might not be 100% correct, due to the use of only 16x certified media.

For the CDR tests we used: Verbatim 74min (16x) & 80min (16x), Mitsui 74min (16x), Taiyo Yuden 74min (16x), Prodisc 80min (16x) silver and Plextor/Verbatim/TDK 74min HS-RW media.

- CD-R Tests:
We created "DataCD" job with data slight higher than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all 4 CDR-W drives:

As we can see the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P needs 3 more seconds to finish the test burn than CRD-BP1400P and 8more than PX-W1610A. The average CPU usage is a bit higher than the other 4 recorders.

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

In this test Sanyo CRD-BP1500P again needs 2 more seconds to finish the task compared to the CRD-BP1400P. The CRD-BP4 has the highest time and again the PX-W1610A the lowest.


6. CDR Tests - Page 2

Sanyo CRD-BP1500P CDR-W - Page 6

CDR Tests - Page 2

- 24x Zone-CLV against 16x CLV recording

Let's now see the most interesting test. How much time is needed for burning a full 74min/80min task at 24x Z-CLV recording speed? Our tests showed that for a full 74mins (74:03:65) task, the drive needs around 3:53mins (including lead-in/out time). That is very close to what Sanyo gives as the recording time. For a full 80min 80:01:47) task the drive needed around 4:13mins to complete the task:

- Testing various media at 24x Z-CLV writing speed

The majority of the tested media had several problems writing at 24x Z-CLV writing speed. The most common problem was that the drive could't calibrate the media and the burn didn't started at all since the "No Seek Complete" error message appeared. Sometimes the burn started and either completed in the expected time OR delayed to finish (we guess FlexSS-BP works and drops the writing speed).

In order to test the drive's ability to write at 24x , with 16x certified media, we done the following test: We tried to burn 5 CDs in ROW of each media at 24x writing speed in order to see the behavoir of Sanyo's CRD-BP1500P. For this test we used Nero 5.5.1.1 and the results showed:

Tested Media
Best Burn Time
Worst Burn Time
Failed Burns
Completed Burns
% Success
Taiyo Yuden 74min 16x
3:51
3:55
3 (no seek complete)
2 out of 5
40%
Mitsui 74min 16x SG
4:51
5:44
3 (no seek complete)
2 out of 5
0%
Prodisc 80min 16x (silver bottom)
6:41
-
4 (no seek complete)
1 out of 5
20%
Verbatim DataLife Plus 74min 16x
3:57
-
4 (no seek complete)
1 out of 5
20%
Verbatim Datalife Plus 74min 24x(?)
4:15
-
4 (no seek complete)
1 out of 5
20%
Verbatim DataLife Plus 80min 16x
4:13
4:16
3 (no seek complete)
2 out of 5
40%
TDK D-View 80min 16x (colour top)
failed
failed
all
none
0%
99min (?x)
3:38
-
4 (no seek complete)
1 out of 5
20%
Infinity 80+ (90min) (?x)
failed
failed
all
none
0%

Our tests showed that the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P didn't worked very good with almost all 16x certified tested CDs in 24x Z-CLV writing speed. This was something that we knew since Sanyo has warned us "..Most current 16x certified media will NOT work at 24x certified speed..". But we had to make the tests anyway since there aren't any 24x certified speed selling in the market now. When we have 24x certified media, recording tests will be repeated and our review will be updated. Stay tuned! The best results ,at 24x Z-CLV writing speed, came with Taiyo Yuden's 74min 16x media and Verbatim's DataLife Plus. The recorder denied working with TDK D-View 80min 16x and Infinity's 90min CDs. That's also that will be fixed with a newer firmware.

- Overburning Tests

We used 90min CDs (from Medea International) and 99min CDs (from Disc4You) in order to check the drive's ability to overburn. With the CD Speed 99 overburn test we got that drive can to up to 93mins only with 99mins. The drive refused to work with 90min CDs:

90min

99min

BP1500P

-

93:47:52

Afterwards we used Nero and confired the above results. We managed to burn up to 822mb of data in 99minutes CD (93:30:25).

- 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

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P support DAO-RAW writing according to the CloneCD v3.0.0.9. The drive also suports "SAO-RAW" mode and simulation mode :). The CloneCD supports fully the 24x writing speed so you only have to select the writing speed.

We tried to backup protected CDs using various CD protections and our tests for "SafeDisc 1", "LaserLock" and "SecuROM 2" were succeful.

- SD2 report:
For the SD2 tests we used the "No One Lives For Ever" CD title. We used the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P both as reader/writer. The results were ,as expected, the same we had with the previous Sanyo drives:

Worked
Didn't worked

Plextor PX-40TS
Sanyo CRD-BP4
Yamaha 2100E
Ricoh MP7125A
PleXWriter PX-W1610A
TDK CyClone 161040
Sanyo CRD-BP1400P
Pioneer DVD-U05S
Sanyo CRD-BP1500P

The above test showed that the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P cannot produce SD2 working backups CDs...

- Buffer Underrun tests

The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P supports the second generation of the "BURN-Proof" technology ,which has 0 gap length. The drive worked fine even under heavy pressure from our side (100% CPU Usage). The "BURN-Proof" technology promises to make our burning life even more easier ;-).

- Verdict of CDR Results

The Sanyo's CRD-BP1500P 24x Zone-CLV recording engine sounded very fast from specifications and the real life tests confirmed it. Just place the CD, select 24x as the writing speed and after 3:51mins you will have ready a full 74min data/audio CD. As you have read earlier the drive had problems at 24x writing speed with 16x certified media, which from one way is natural. The firmware is still developing and the 24x certified media are coming in middle of May 2001. So we must wait a little longer till we can say with great confidence how the 24x Z-CLV writing mode performs.

The drive also supports overburning (up to 93mins) and DAO-RAW writing mode. Last the BURN-Proof technology worked perfectly and will save you from any possible possible buffer underruns (and coasters).


7. RW Writing Tests

Sanyo CRD-BP1500P CDR-W - Page 7

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.1.1 for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the tested drives in 10x HS-RW media. All drive support fully the HS-RW writing standard:

As we can see, the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P gave back the exact same writing time as the other Sanyo drives do. The PleXWriter PX-W1610A seems slightly faster (4 secs) from all the Sanyo drives. The erase time seems higher than from other Sanyo models.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v2.11 for all Packet Writing tests. We used Ricoh HS RW media and we formatted it. The formatting of the media takes around 10min. After formatting, we tested all four drives for their packet writing performance.

The formatted disc had 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 error:

The results shows that the Sanyo CRD-BP1500P is improved over the previous models, since it now has around 6.8x reading/writing packet formated HS-RW media. The PleXWriter PX-W1610A still holds the first place in terms of absolute performance...


8. Conclusion

Sanyo CRD-BP1500P CDR-W - Page 8

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 24x writing speed! Fastest recorder ever!
- "BURN-Proof" anti-coaster technology
- "FlexSS-BP" quality protection system
- Very good DATA reading performance with CDs/HS-RW media
- Very good DAE ripping performance (with pressed CDs)
- Good packet writing performance
- Supports HS-RW standard (10x re-write)
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading of SubChannel data
- Supports CD-Text
- Supports Overburning (write up to 93mins)

- Bad CloneCD reading performace (with SafeDisc 1/2 protected CDs)
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- Problems with CDR Audio media
- No UDMA-33 interface support

Sanyo seems very determined to lead the writing speed race and manufactured a very interesting drive from many aspects. "...The Sanyo CRD-BP1500P supports 24x Z-CLV writing speed, 10x re-writing and 40x reading and is the fastest recorder around. In addition, it supports many new technologies that help users create their CDs at maximum speed with the lowest problems. The "FlexSS-BP" and "BURN-Proof" technologies are here to bring the best possible recording quality among with protection against Buffer-Underruns. Burning 650mb at 3:51mins is just something you have to see with your own eyes to believe..."

How the competition looks like? We are not sure yet, since we haven't tested Ricoh and Yamaha's 20x writing proposals, but they have one extra advantage and it's called "shipping time". Ricoh's 20x writing solution is already out, Yamaha plans to ship in middle of May and as we heard the first retail 24x recorders will come around July...This summer will be hotter than ever. Stay tuned!



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