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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
TEAC 516E CD-RW


1. Introduction

TEAC CD-516EB IDE CDR-W - Page 1

Introduction:
This year turned out very productive for many CD-RW drive manufacturers. In November 2000 Yamaha first shipped its 16x model. In the following months TDK gave its 16x recording proposal (January) and Plextor did not stay out of the game announcing Plexwriter …..in February. Meanwhile TEAC didn't show any market activity till March2001, when decided-a little late- to strike again with a new drive solution for your recording needs.

After launching the CD-W512EB 12X CD-RW drive last year, the company entered the 16X recording market with the new CD-W516EB CD-RW drive. All previous TEAC CDR-W drive had excellent seek times and fast reading speeds. All we have to see is if the new drive will fulfill user's needs for a drive upgrade at 16X recording. Is TEAC's proposal worth waiting? What about the other 16x writing competition?

- Features:
The Teac CD-W516EB supports 16x writing (CLV), 10x re-writing and 40x reading (in some modes CAV and in others Z-CAV:

CD-ROM Mode1,CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (form1) (40x CAV)

CD-RW, CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (form2), CD-DA (17-32x Z-CAV)

That of course as you can imagine gives Teac a bit lower reading speeds, especially in the DAE but we will see that later. Teac's excellent (<85ms) seek time is also here (standard for all Teac CD-ROM/CDR-W drives) and a huge >100.000 MTBF gives users another point to think about.... Last even Teac doesn't write it anywhere, the drive supports BURN-Proof technology. For some reason Teac says that the drive supports "Write-Proof" technology and not "BURN-Proof". Different words for the same subject? Possibly...

- Supplied Package:
The package supplied was both the retail and bulk Europe versions. Both packages contain: The drive itself, 1 CD-R 74min blank, 1 High Speed RW Blank and Nero 5.5 (!) as the main CDR software. The retail has in addition: an operation manual, Audio cables and the neseccery IDE cable.

Let's take a look at the drive itself. The front of the drive looks like a exactly the same as the previous CD-W512EB 12X drive, since nothing seems to have changed. You can see the usual eject button, the headphone input jack/volume selector and two leds:

At the back of the drive you will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive to Master/Slave option, the analogue and the digital audio output connectors and 3 jumpers which are not used (factory reserved).

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 "TEAC CD-W516EB". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted. The drive was a March 2001 model with firmware revision v1.0A.For most of our tests we used the Nero v5.5.1.1 among with Ahead InCD v2.11 (for packet writing tests), CloneCD 3.0.0.9 and Padus DJ 3.00.780.

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
Yamaha CRW2100E v1.0h
PleXWriter PX-W1610A v1.01 (TLA #0000)
Sanyo CRD-BP1400P v5.29
TEAC CD-W516EB v1.0A


2. Data Tests

TEAC CD-516EB IDE CDR-W- Page 2

Data Tests

Test Method:
- SCSI Mechanic v3.0 & CD Speed 99 v0.80 Tests: With these tests we attempted to compare the I/O performance of TEAC's CD-516EB to other various CDR-W drives (see charts) and we also checked the drive performance. In all of our following tests we used a pressed CD containing PlexTools v1.08 original CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0 results:

TEAC CD-W516EB gave quite good results at the Random and the Sequential I/O tests but it seems that it doesn't manage so good its internal cache memory as shown in the Same Sector I/O test. At the left part of the graph you can see a very good Random I/O performance (883), which can be explained due to the very good seek times of the drive. At the Sequential I/O test TEAC holds the second best performance with 4434 Kb/s following the leader PlexWriter PX-W1610A. As it seems Teac engineers needs to improve the drive mechanism in order to reach the top.

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

Not badly performing, TEAC CD-W516EB gave average data reading results according to the above chart. The drive started reading the PlexTools v1.08 pressed CD at a 17.69X and ended the session at 39.39X. Its average speed was 29.93X which places TEAC in the third result position behind the PlexWriter's and the Sanyo's CRD-BP1400P performances. Certainly TEAC could manage it better.

On the contrast, as you can see above it seems that TEAC engineers kept their promise for under 80ms random seek time. The results were beyond the competition and maybe are the best seeking results we ever had in our CD-RW drive tests. With no doubt, the fact will please the TEAC's future users, although someone might claim that seeking capability is not the major parameter for a CDR-W drive.

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

The TEAC 516EB with CDR media still doesn't manage to outpeform both PleXWriter PX-W1610A and Sanyo CRD-BP1400P...


3. RW reading tests
TEAC CD-516EB IDE CDR-W - Page 3

RW reading tests

- CD Speed 99 (HS-RW media) results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)

For the RW tests we used the Verbatim HS RW media written at 10X speed. TEAC CD-W516EB read the HS RW with an average speed of 28.36X. The performance was close enough to the 29.64 the Yamaha CRW2100E had given. TEAC started reading at 17.61X speed coming to the end at 32.05X:

CloneCD 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 of TEAC CD-W516EB. 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 of the already tested Yamaha CRW2100E, PleXWriter PX-W1610A, Sanyo CRD-BP1400P. The following graph is showing the TEAC's CD-W516EB capabilities. The following picture is showing the TEAC's CD-516EB device capabilities:

- Results:

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

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

c) SecuROM Results: Vrally2 Expert - 343767 sectors

As all our tests indicate, the Teac 516E is a bad performer in our CloneCD reading tests. The drive ability to skip error is very poor and that is visible from the time, which is needed for making an image of SD1 protected CD (22mins), when the competitors need only few minutes. The same thing happens with LaserLock protected CDs and the drive seem performing better in the SecuROM test.


4. DAE Tests

TEAC CD-516EB IDE CDR-W - Page 4

DAE Tests

- Test Method:
We used CD DAE 99 v0.21 beta and EAC v0.9 prebeta 9 software in order to check the DAE performance of TEAC CD-516EB with various AudioCDs. We brought EAC back to the testing arena since many of you requested it. Note that 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 much 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 isn't "Caching" data and supports "Accurate Stream" and "C2" error info.

 

- Pressed AudioCD results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
The Teac support only up to 32x DAE, when the rest drives participating to the test support 40X DAE (max) according to their specifications. Therefore the TEAC CD-W516EB stays back (takes the third place) with a 26,4X average ripping speed. As for the CPU usage TEAC CD-W516EB gave a normal 27% result:

- CDR AudioCD results: (click here to see the CD Speed 99 graph)
Behaving as in the pressed CD DAE test, TEAC CD-W516EB finished the DAE ripping session with a 25.4X average speed, which is not a poor performance but far away from the competition:

- Advanced DAE Quality:

As you can see all drives got a perfect 100 score in the Advanced DAE Quality test. TEAC CD-W516EB gave a good performance (27.52X) almost equal to PlexWriter's and Yamaha's. The Advanced test confirmed that the drive supports reading of SubChannel data but also showed that it does not support CD Text reading however this doesn't apply with other softwares. We tested this option using Feurio's CD Manager v1.61 built-in CD Text Player. The CD we wrote with TEAC CD-W516EB contained CD-Text and read CD-Text without any problem...

- Ripping 90 and 95mins AudioCDs
We tested TEAC's CD-W516EB ripping performance with a 91min CD -overburned 90min CD and with a 95min CD. We tried to rip the audio files using CD DAE 99 v0.21 and EAC v0.9 but the procedures were extremely slow. As a result we turned to the CDSpeed 99 alternative in order to test the drive's performance. The 91min compilation was read in a 28.38X average speed but as it is shown in the graph above the drive produced a lot of reading errors and the DAE quality seems very bad (scored with 10). The 95min CD was partially read since the drive ripped up to 94min the of audio files and returned a read error…

What we could say is that TEAC CD-W516EB is able to rip a 94min audio CD (max). Also keep in mind that both 90 and 99 minute CDs are out of CD standards:


Reading 90minutes CD >> Reading 95minutes CD


5. CDR Tests
TEAC CD-516EB IDE CDR-W - Page 5

CDR Tests

TEAC CD-W516EB drive supports 16X writing (CLV) speed among with "Write-Proof" buffer-underrun technology (which actually is BURN-Proof). We confirmed the 16x writing speed of the drive using the CD Speed99 built-in writing speed test

PadusDJ  writing features screen- Procedure: We tested TEAC CD-W516EB with Nero v5.5.1.1, CloneCD v3.0.0.9, Padus DJ v3.00.780 software and with the following media: Verbatim 74min (16x) & 80min (16x), Mitsui 74min (16x), Prodisc 80min (16x) and with TDK/Plextor/Verbatim 74min HS RW. We didn't saw any particular problems with the various tested CD-R.

- 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 you can see it took 427secs for TEAC CD-W516EB to write a 74min CD at 12X speed. Its writing time is 23secs extended compared to the rest of the drives. The delay might find an explanation considering TEAC's O.P.C (Optimum Power Control) function. The drive applies the O.P.C procedure three times before starting any reading/writing process (most of the drives support a single time O.P.C). As a result the drive calibrates the power of the laser beam more sufficiently in order to optimize the drive's performance, with an unavoidable cost in writing time. The question is whether this cost in time is balanced by the quality gain of the recording results, which is what the company officially claims.

In the 16X writing process TEAC CD-W516EB behaved the same way as at 12X process, giving a 330sec writing result. The 74min writing compilation we used for this test is the same we used for the 12X test.

- 80min CDs:
As with the previous test, we created a DataCD (80:02:16) and used the same media for all burns:

The time difference between Teac 516E and the rest drives is stable at 30secs. At the 16x writing speed, the time gap drops at 25secs from the faster drives. Some people might be troubled from that behavior but this is what Teac decided to follow - sacrifice quality for burning speed.

- Overburning Tests:
We used 90 and 99min CDs (from Medea International and Copy4All) and using Nero we were able to write up to 89minutes. Using CD-Speed 99 overburning test we managed to push the drive up to 89minutes. The drive denies to go higher and that means you can forget 99mins CDs. The 90min media could be written entirely.

- 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:
According to CloneCD v3.0.0.9 TEAC CD-W516EB supports both DAO and SAO-RAW writing modes. As happen with many CDR-W drives, it also supports "Simulation". Our real life tests showed that the drive works with DAO-RAW and that means you can backup all your favorite protected CDs.

SD2 Support:
For the SD2 test we used the "No One Lives For Ever" CD title and the Teac as reader/writer. The backup CD worked perfectly in the drive itself but refused with many other CD-ROMS/CDR-W drives. That leads us to assume that the Teac 516E produces partial working SD2 backups.

- Buffer Underrun tests:
TEAC CD-W516EB supports BURN-Proof technology (with a gap length of 2micro meters), which eliminates buffer under-runs. As well known, the technology suspends recording until the buffer is refined. Also allows users to burn safely while running multiple applications. The drive will work fine, even under heavy pressure from the user. Our simple tests confirmed that BURN-Proof is working perfectly with the drive.

Verdict of CDR Results:
The TEAC CD-516EB is a real 16x (CLV) writer ,at least in the specs, since the real life tests showed that the drive needs around 30secs more to finish the various tasks than other 16x CLV writers. The answer to this behavior is the fact that the TEAC CD-516EB does triple O.P.C check before start writing, which according to TEAC ensures the best possible writing quality!

We didn't found any serious problems in the other tests since the drive worked very good. There are however 2 more issues that might interested you: 1) Limited overburning (Plextor goes up to 95min, Sanyo at 93), and as most of the other competitor drives cannot produce working SD2 backups.


6. RW Writing Tests
TEAC CD-516EB IDE CDR-W - Page 6

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.1.1 for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. All other drives wrote at 10x RW writing speed, except from the Yamaha CRW2100E since it writes the HS RW media in 8X speed:

We could say that TEAC CD-W516EB managed to stay into the competition with a 493sec performance. The drive used in average the 9.7% of the CPU while burning and erased the HS-RW CD in 69sec.

- Packet Writing Tests:
We used Ahead InCD v2.11 for all Packet Writing tests. The drive is packaged with v1.80 and we suggest upgrading to the latest one. We used Verbatim HS-RW media and we formatted it. The formatting of the media takes around 7min. After formatting, we tested all four drives for their packet writing performance.

The formatted disc had 534mbs 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 errors:

The results above show that TEAC CD-W516EB has a very good packet reading/writing performance. The drive wrote the tested file to the CD at 7.135X and read it from the disk at 7X.


7. Conclusion
TEAC CD-516EB IDE CDR-W - Page 7

Conclusion

Positive (+):

Negative (-):

- 3x OPC checking ensures maximum quality
- Excellent Seek times
- Supports "Burn-Proof" anti-coaster technology
- Good DATA reading performance
- Good DAE ripping performance
- Good performance with various CDR media
- Supports HS RW standard (10x re-write)
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports CD-Text
- Supports Overburning (write up to 89mins)
- Audio ripping up to 94min
- Supports reading of SubChannel data
- Good price ($155 OEM v - $185 retail box)

- Not real 40x reading with all CDs...
- Produces partial SD2 backups
- Extended writing time due to multiple O.P.C checking
- Very bad CloneCD reading performance

TEAC did not let us down with this new drive shipment. CD-W516EB generally supports the performance standards established by the competition. Additionally it gives excellent seeking times and good transfer rates. As for its DAE performance, the drive cannot reach the top due to it's limited 32x (max) speed. Also, TEAC CD-W516EB supports Z-CAV reading technology and is capable of ripping a 94min audio CD. Someone might accuse TEAC CD-W516EB for giving extended writing times. The O.P.C issue is the answer which affects to the writing time with an almost 20sec delay. A second thought about this would convince you that this trade off in time is balanced by the writing results. The quality burn provided assures the produced CD will be readable in the most of the players you might test it.

TEAC CD-W516EB failed to read aquadately copy protected CDs. The drive read SefeDisc and LaserLock protected CDs in a very low speed, but treated the SecureROM protected media in a better way since it was faster. Lastly, the very good price of TEAC CD-W516EB will certainly motivate the consumer for having the drive. The $155 price for the OEM version is very attractive and kicks off the competition making TEAC CD-W516EB one of the lowest priced 16X drives available.



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