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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Sanyo CRD-BP4-1400P CD-RW


1. First 16x CLV writing CDR-W drive!
Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P CDR-W - Page 1

The buffer underrun eliminator strikes again and ship first 16x CLV writing CDR-W drive!

- Introduction:
Sanyo has been the only manufacturer, which for a long time have leaded the race for the fastest CDR-W drive until.. Yamaha decided to regain the lost ground and ship the first 16x CDR-W drive. That made a quick huge impact among the users, which had used Sanyo to be the leader of CD recording speed. The Yamaha's 16x solution was not *real* 16x writer (CLV) but partial CAV which in theory takes more time to finish the burn. Sanyo the next day after the official press release of Yamaha CRW2100E announced their 16x solution to the public making user to start wondering who will this time win. This time Yamaha has the lead since their 16x solution is already available to users. Sanyo based 16x CDR-W drives should be out in the first quarter of 2001.

- The features:
Sanyo's Sanyo's 16x solution is real 16x (CLV) writer which in theory can burn a full 74min CD under 5mins (including lead-in and lead-out time)! The drives also support the HS RW writing standard (10x re-write) as well 40x reading speed (which is not so real as you will notice later). The new Sanyo drives also include the improved BURN-Proof version which now shrinks to 2-5nm ,when the original BURN-Proof had 40n, the gap length. Last Sanyo added support for 90min CDs and DAO-RAW writing (a long requested feature..). e battle of the partial CAV against full CLV writing mode started. Who will be the winner?

- The package

The drives we got were pre-release OEM drives. That mean various companies which ship similar drives based on the drives we have. There might be some changes to the look of the drives but the inside will remain the same. Both drive uses latest Sanyo's IC chipsets for BP4: LC 898023KW and for BP1400P: LC 898093KW. If we take a closer look over the inside the most noticeable difference is an extra cables at the BP4 model:

Below there is the front picture of the Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P. We post only one picture since both drives share the same front:

As you can see 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. All BURN-Proof enabled drives include the "BPRec logo". In the back you will notice some differences due to ATAPI and SCSI interfaces. Below is the back picture of the BP4 model which more or less is the same as the BP1400P Both drives have an empty place for additional fan ;)

- Installation :
The installation was very easy. We left the default SCSI ID to 4 for BP4 and we placed the BP1400P as master in the secondary IDE bus. After booting, the CDR-W drives identified as Sanyo CRD-BP3 and CRD-1400P.

We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked Sync Data Transfer (for BP4), DMA (for BP1400P) and rebooted. Both drives were September 2000 models and came with 4.a28 (BP4) and 5.a28 (BP1400P) firmware revisions. Sanyo provide us new firmware revisions 4.h28 (BP4) and 5.h28 (BP1400P), which corrected several bugs with 90 and 99min CDs. Until the final drive comes out there will be for sure several other firmware updates.

We used Nero 5.0.3.1 for all our burning tests and Ahead's InCD v1.70 for packet writing tests. There is a issue here since not many software managed to recognize the increased (16x) writing speed of the Sanyo drives (Padus DJ, Feurio..). Don't worry since soon both drives will be fully supported from most CDR software.

- 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
Plextor UltraPlex 40max firmware v1.04
PlexWriter PX-W1210S firmware v1.00 (TLA#000)
Sanyo CRD-BP4 firmware v4.h28
Sanyo CRD-BP1400P firmware v5.h28
Yamaha CRW2100E firmware v1.0g


2. Data Tests

Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P 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 v1.06 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 v1.06 original CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0 results

Both Sanyo drives are very fast and they managed to give out the best performance around. The SCSI model has the best "Average Sequential I/O" (4460kb/s) and the ATAPI model comes third with only 4268kb/s. We noticed a problem with the ATAPI model ?slowed down at the end of disc, which probably kept it back from delivering the even higher performance. The CRW2100E still manages to be very fast but BP4 takes the lead this time. On the other hand both Sanyo drives gave very low results on the "Average Same Sector I/O" (1787kb/s), which is much far away from the competition.

- CD Speed 99 v0.80 results

Using CD Speed 0.80, we can see that the BP4 clearly is the fastest 40x CDR-W drive . The BP1400P and CRW2100E come second with similar performance. Plextor of course cannot compete but we suspect when the PX-W1610A/S model arrives will have similar (or maybe even better performance).

The BP4 model gave back very low seek times. The BP1400P model comes very close so does the competition.

- CDR Media

Again BP4 model continues to lead the race and performs slight better than with pressed CDs and reaches 30.21x average when the BP1400P stays behind with only 28.5x. If you also notice the speed end result you will see that BP1400P model slows down and that costs the third place. This is a point, which Sanyo should look better and fix in the future.

Verdict of data tests

There is no doubt that the new Sanyo drives are the fastest CDR-W drives (compared to existing Yamaha CRW2100E mode). The BP4 model works very good and manages to outperform both ATAPI competitors. Also it delivers the lowest seek times again compared to the ATAPI competitors. The BP1400P model could perform better but the drive seems slow down at every CD we tested with..

Sanyo supports reading of 99min CDs so you will not have any problem with them. The problem of course is to write them since Sanyo drives stops writing at 93mins. We will talk about this later.. Last you will notice the low noise which both drives produce when reading at 40x speed compared to the annoying noise, which CRW2100E produces.


3. RW reading tests

Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P CDR-W - Page 3

RW reading tests

For the RW tests we used Ricoh HS RW media written at 10x speed. As you will notice the drives goes maximum at 32x and not at 40x as CRW2100E does. Yamaha 16x drive keeps the first place here:

CloneCD Tests

- Procedure:
We used CloneCD (v2.8.3.1) and 3 original CDs (Rally Masters, Euro2000 and Vrally 2 Expert) in order to test the reading time for both Sanyo drives. 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 Plextor PX-W1210S and Yamaha CRW2100E.

- Results:

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

Both Sanyo drives don't perform so good with SafeDisc protected CDs and want 60% more time than CRW2100E does to finish the task. This happens since Sanyo drives doesn't support software but hardware skip error mode. :(

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

The Sanyo drives performed very good with the LaserLock protected CDs and at least when using original CD smashes the competition (5mins to make the image when competition wants 30).

c) SecuROM Results:
Both Sanyo drives don't support reading from Subchannel data..:(

Verdict of CloneCD Tests:
We must say we expected better performance from Sanyo drives. As we noticed at the previous data tests the BP4 is faster than the BP1400P model but slower in some cases than the competition. The biggest negative is that both drives doesn't support reading SubChannel data from data/audio tracks.


4. DAE Tests

Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P CDR-W - Page 4

DAE Tests

Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.2 with AudioCDs in order to check DAE performance of the Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P and we compared it with the Yamaha CRW2100E and Plextor PX-W1210S models.

- Pressed AudioCD results

Both Sanyo drives have similar DAE performance (much improved over previous BP3/1300P models) but far away from what Yamaha CRW2100E manages to deliver. Noticeable is the high CPU usage even for the SCSI model:

- Princo 74min AudioCD

The Sanyo drives with CDR media have the same performance as they do with pressed CDs:

- Advanced DAE Quality

The Sanyo drives are much improved over the previous 12/10/32 series and now get almost perfect score in the CD Speed 99 advanced test. The BP4 model gets 99.9 since it produced 2350 data errors. The BP1400P model seems not suffering from those problems and gets 100 (perfect) score. Both drives produces sync errors in the CD Speed 99 - on the fly copy simulation test - which means you will not be able to use them as the source for audio ,on the fly, copies and at the same time get accurate wavs.


5. CDR Tests

Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P CDR-W - Page 5

CDR Tests

The Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P models are the first, which support 16x CLV writing. The difference with partial CAV 16x writing supposed to be less than 15sec but as you will read later it's not. Using CD Speed v0.8 we confirmed that the drive has 16x writing speed (16.01x average):

- Procedure

We tested both Sanyo drives with Nero v5.0.3.1, CloneCD v2.8.3.1 software and with the following media: Princo 74min (12x) & 80min (16x), Ricoh Platinum 80min (12x), Verbatim 74min (16x), TDK 74min (12x), Ricoh and Plextor 74min HS RW. You will notice that we didn't use 16x rated 74min media. We searched for such media in the local market but we were unlucky. We hope soon get 16x rated 74min media and re-do the tests.

- CD-R Tests:
For most of our tests we used Nero v5.0.3.1. We made a Data CD job with data slight higher than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all 4 CDR-W drives:

As you see all 3 drives (BP4, BP1400P, CRW2100E) gave the same exact burning time. The Plextor model wants 3 more seconds to finish the task. The CPU usage is increased over the new Sanyo models even in the SCSI one.

- 80min CDs

As previous we created a DataCD with Nero 5.0.3.1 and used the same media for all burns:

The Sanyo drives gave the lower burning time in this test. The competition wants 4 (CRW2100E) and 6 extra seconds ( PX-W1210S) to finish the task. Let's head over to the most interesting part..The 16x write speed!

- 16x CLV against 16x partial CAV writing

Hmm. Have you noticed something weird here? How come the BP4 model takes 2 less secs to finish the task from the CRW2100E model when it supposed to be faster? The answer is that both Sanyo drives take about 8-10secs to perform the power calibration with all media we tested. Also the BP4 takes 8more secs(!) to finish the task than BP1400P do (using Verbatim 16x rated media). The same thing happened with 80min CDs tests. The BP4 model had again higher time than BP1400P model. Below are our test results for 16x and 12x certified media, both 74 and 80min tasks, written at 16x with the 3 fastest CDR-W drives around (all results include the lead-in and lead-out writing times):

 

BP4

BP1400P

CRW2100E

Simulation time for
74min project

4:57min

4:57min

5:06min

Verbatim 74min (16x)

5:22min

5:14min

5:24min

Princo 74min (12x)

5:21min

5:13min

5:24min

Colorless 74min (?x)

5:18min

5:22min

5:37min

 

Simulation time for
80min project

5:18min

5:19min

5:37min

Princo 80min (16x)

5:38min

5:35min

5:58min

Ricoh 80min (12x)

5:36min

5:39min

5:48min

Notice that with both Verbatim and Princo media all 3 drives gave back the same time, which of course is far away from what simulation gave. When we used the new Colorless media the time were much different for the 3 drives. The BP4 model gave back lower time(!), BP4 and CRW2100E much higher time. The same thing happens with the 80min CDs.. If Sanyo can improve the power calibration times for both SCS and IDE model then we could reach the 5mins barrier. As it seems the quality of the media will make a great deal for 16x recording speed.

- Overburning Tests

We used 90 and 99min CDs (from Medea International) and using Nero we were able to write up to 92minutes. Both drives stop writing at 93mins so you will not be able to use fully the increased capacity of 99min CDs. The 90min media can be written entirely:

 

90min

99min

BP4

92:08:51

93:44:25

BP1400P

92:08:21

93:46:32

- 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:
Both Sanyo drives support DAO-RAW writing according to the CloneCD v2.8.3.1. We used Yamaha CRW2100E as the read source and we backuped up VRally 2 Expert without any problems. Remember that the backup plays only from CD-Rom drive.

Another interesting point is that the drive support simulates writing with DAO-RAW mode (which for example Plextor models doesn't). Last the CloneCD doesn't display the 16x write speed option but if you set the write speed at "MAX" it will do the job ;)

- Buffer Underrun tests

Both Sanyo drives include the improved BURN-Proof technology which eliminates buffer underruns and of course coasters. The drives worked fine even under heavy pressure from our side (100% CPU Usage). The BURN-Proof technology really changed the way we see high-speed recording.

Verdict of CDR Results

The Sanyo 16x models worked very good with most of our tests. The increased writing speed (16x) is not working as fast we expected since both drives take a lot of time to adjust the laser power in order to complete the task. The Yamaha CRW2100E seems to handle slight better the 12x and 16x rated media than both Sanyo drives do. Remember that both Sanyo tested drives are not FINAL products and there is time for improvement. We should sraw definite conclusions when other manufacturers (TDK, Plextor) releases their 16x retail drives.

The overburning feature will please you since it supports fully 90min CDs but not 99mins media. The DAO-RAW feature works great so you will be able to backup your favorite CDs without any problem. Last the BURN-Proof feature will protect your burns from possible buffer underruns (and coasters).


6. RW Writing Tests

Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P CDR-W - Page 6

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.0.3.1 for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the tested drives. All other drives write at 10x RW writing speed except Yamaha CRW2100E since it supports only 8x re-write:

Both Sanyo drives gave the same time 491 secs in the HS RW writing test. Plextor PX-W1210S gave the lowest time (3 sec less) and Yamaha gave the highest time (due to 8x re-write speed). The erase times also are similar for both Sanyo drives.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v1.70 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 both Sanyo drives have low packet writing performance (compared to Plextor's). The BP4 model wrote at 5.68x and the BP1400P at only 4.51x. The reading of packet formatted CDs is better but still needs improvement.


7. Conclusion

Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P CDR-W - Page 7

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- First *real* 16x writer on the market
- Improved BURN-Proof technology
- Best DATA reading performance around
- Very good DAE ripping performance around
- Supports HS RW standard (10x re-write)
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports CD-Text
- Supports Overburning (write up to 93mins)
- Low noise when reading at max speed

- Not so good CloneCD performance
- Doesn't support reading of SubChannel data
- Bad packet writing performance

The Sanyo CRD-BP4/1400P are the first *real* 16x writers on the market. Burning a full 74min CD under 5mins sounds very attractive! However in order to get that performance you will need 16x certified media. The reading speed for both drives is very good and the re-write speed (10x) works fine. If you add the improved BURN-Proof technology and the DAO-RAW feature you have a killer combo ready take away your Xmas savings!

The competition from Yamaha 16x drive still is hot since the Sanyo drives are expected to hit the market first quarter of 2001. The only manufacturer for sure which will use Sanyo drives seems to be TDK (expected at January 2001 in Europe). There are still many other manufacturers (Plextor, LG, Teac, Verbatim, Iomega, Lacie) which possible ship 16x drives but there is no info about possible shipping date.



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