Turn off the Ad Banner  

To print: Select File and then Print from your browser's menu.

    -----------------------------------------------
This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
-----------------------------------------------


Appeared on: Wednesday, February 20, 2002
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol3


1. Introduction

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 1

Which one is the faster?

- Introduction

The 32X recording family keeps growing. We have in our hands two new drives, from ASUS and TDK. ASUS CRW3212A supports 32X CD-R and 12X HS-RW while TDK Cyclone CDRW321040X writes CDs at 32X and rewrites at 10X. The results are expected to be interesting, since we will compare the performances of these drives and the previous we have already tested in the 32X CD-RW Roundup Vol 2. Enjoy :-)

- ASUS CRW-3212A

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, has an 2MB Buffer and includes "FlextraLink", "FlexSpeed" and "DDSS II" technologies.

ASUS explains : ".. FlextraLink, technology prevents users from buffer underrun problems and eliminates the creation of unusable discs, while FlextraSpeed technology enhances accuracy and reliability when reading, writing, re-writing across a broad base of certified media. Throughout the recording process, FlextraLink technology consistently monitors the data buffer status, whereas FlextraSpeed continously monitors the recording media and sets the optimal writing speeds to ensure best recording quality. Both ASUS proprietary technologies occupy minimal system resources so the PC remains full operational and available for other applications even during recording process.

The ASUS CRW-3212A drive also features advanced mechanical designs, including the patented ASUS DDSS II technology and unique dust resistance design. DDSS II is an enhanced follow-up to the first generation Double Dynamic Suspension System developed by ASUS. The DDSS technology is designed to minimize the vibration caused by the spindle motor and resonance between components as well as the drive and PC cases. The patented DDSS II stabilizes the pick-up head of the drive in both horizontal and vertical directions that makes tracking and focusing even more precise, and successfully reduces the vibration and noise caused by high revolution of the spindle motor..."

The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x,16x (CLV), 24x (16-24x), and 32x (16-32x) (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 2x,4x, 8x, 10x and 12x (CLV). The drive also supports 40x (CAV) reading speed. The drive supports all the known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW), among with packet write/overburning option but not Mt. Rainier format support. Last the drive is based upon MediaTek chipsets.

- ASUS 32x writing speed

ASUS CRW-3212A supports 32x writing speed using the Z-CLV writing technology. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph which illustrates the use of Zone-CLV writing technology:

The 32x writing speed range is divided into four zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from lead-in till the 6mins, then shifts up to 20x until 12mins, shifts to 24x at 18mins, and lastly shifts to 32x at 36mins and stays there until the end of the burning process. The average recording speed is 26.86X.

- The package

The package supplied contained: the drive, 1 piece of ASUS 80min 32x CD-R blank (manufactured by Acer, 97m 22s 67f), 1 piece of ASUS 80min 4-12x HS-RW blank (Acer 97m 22s 60f), audio cable and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.6.4 and Ahead InCD v3.19(for packet writing use). The package also containes a manual, and an Info/product photos CD-ROM.

 

We don't know yet if the ASUS CRW-3212A comes with a 2-year warranty (only in Europe) or not. Lastly as the package says the drive is "XP" compatible which was confirmed from our test results, since the drive worked without any problems at UDMA-33 mode.

On the front of the drive there are the "ASUS" and the "32x12x40" logos. You will also find only two leds, the eject, audio files skip buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

In the rear panel of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector, the analog/digital output connectors and 3 jumpers which are used to setup the drive's working mode, PIO-4Mode (default) or UDMA33. For setting up the UDMA33 mode you just have to remove the middle jumper:

- Installation

ASUS CRW-3212A was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as "ASUS CRW-3212A". We used WinXP for the recording, reading tests and the DMA was automatically enabled.

The drive was a January 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00 installed. We used the newer build of Nero (5.5.7.2), InCD (3.21), and CloneCD (3.3.4.1) for our recording tests. Note that the tested firmware revision (v1.00) doesn't support 24x writing speed, only 32x! ASUS said that with future firmware upgrade will support the 24x writing speed.

ASUS CRW-3212A reduces the writing speed when low quality or 99 min media are inserted for burning. The photo below comes from Nero when we tryied to burn a 99 min blank media.


2. Introduction - Page 2

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 2

- TDK CDRW321040X

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 10x re-writing, 4MB Buffer and "BURN-Proof" as the main anti-buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12, 16x, 20x (CLV) and 32x (20x-32x). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x and 10x. The drive doesn't support Mt. Rainier format. The drive includes a C2 error reporting and supports all known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW).

- TDK 32x writing speed

TDK CDRW321040X supports 32x writing speed with the use of the Z-CLV writing technology. Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the use of Zone-CLV writing technology:

The 32x writing speed range is divided in 3 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in area till 12mins, shifts up to 24x at 16mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 40mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 26.85X, which makes it as fast as ASUS CRW3212, at least according to the Nero CD Speed writing test. The drive will write almost all CDs at 32x, even lower quality media.

- The package

The package supplied was the retail European version. This included: the TDK drive, an installation guide, audio cable, a CD-R pen, 1 piece of TDK Reflex Ultra 80min 32x CD-R blank, 1 piece of TDK 80min HS-RW, mounting screws and a CD-R pen.. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5 / InCD v2, and TDK Digital MixMaster. TDK offers 2 Year On Site Collect and Return Service (in E.U., Norway and Switzerland). The complete package will be available at .... including 16% VAT. (s.r.p.).

The tray of the drive is blue and has the "TDK"logo. On the front panel you will also find two leds, the eject button, the headphone jack and the volume selector. As usual the tray has a fluorescent blue color adding a special hue to the drive:

At the back of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive as a Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog/digital output connectors. There are 3 jumpers at the left of the back. The 2 jumpers on the left are not used (factory reserved), and the third is being used for making the drive working at UDMA33 mode. If you remove the third jumper, the drive works at PIO-Mode4 mode - which is suggested in case your CDs are un-readable:

- Installation

The TDK 321040 was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE Bus. The drive worked in PIOMode4 and after booting, identified itself as "TDK CDRW321040X".

We used WinXP for the recording tests. In order activate DMA, under VIA chipset, you have to install VIA's IDE Busmaster drives or Intel's Application Accelerator , for Intel chipsets.

The drive was a Januray 2001 model with firmware revision v3.41 installed. We used Nero (5.5.7.2), InCD (3.21) and CloneCD (3.3.4.1) for the recording tests:


3. Data Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 3

Data Tests

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The AOpen CRW3248 and CyberDrive CW058D are the faster drives due to the increased 48x maximum reading speed. The ASUS CRW3212A is the faster drive with 40x reading speed. The drive has an average of 4743Kb/s at the Sequential test and the second best at the Random test. The TDK CyClone 321040 comes last at both tests with 4459Kb/s and with 665Kb/s at the Sequential and Random tests accordinaly.

- Pressed CD results: (Click to see the ASUS and TDK CD Speed Graphs)

At the Nero CD Speed test, the ASUS CRW3212A is the faster drive ,with 40x maximum reading speed. The drive has 32.54X average reading speed, which is very good. On the other hand, the TDK Cyclone 321040 comes last with 30.56X.

In the same test, ASUS gave the lower random seek times. The drive has a 79ms random seek time, while TDK drive comes last with 130ms. Note that with CDR media, the Seek times increased up to 110ms.

- CDR Media: (Click to see the ASUS and TDK CD Speed Graphs)

With CDR media, the ASUS CRW3212A continues to lead the race, for drives with 40x maximum reading speed. The ASUS drive keeps an average of 32.95X, while the TDK Cylone 321040 comes last with 31.2X.

- HS-RW media: (Click to see the ASUS and TDK CD Speed Graphs)

For the RW tests we used the Mitsubishi Chemical HS-RW written at 10x. The ASUS CRW3212A has the lower reading speed with 23.59X. The TDK CyClone is faster with 25.43X. Both drives should improve their performance to reach the top, which AOpen CRW3248 stronly holds:


4. CloneCD reading Tests
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 4

CloneCD Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v3.3.4.1) and 4 original CDs - No One Lives For Ever (SafeDisc 2), Desperados (LaserLock 2), V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) and NBA Jam Extreme (PSX) - in order to test the reading time of the drives. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. The following pictures show the drive(s) reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

 

- PSX Pressed Media

The ASUS CRW3212 is the faster reader with 53secs. The LiteOn LTR-32123S comes second with 138secs, and TDK Cyclone is much slower with 272 seconds.

- SafeDisc 2 Results

The ASUS CRW3212A performed very good and only the Mitsumi CR-480ATE is faster. The drive seems reading slower with backup CDR disc. The TDK CyClone 321040 is very slow and needs almost one hour to finish the task.

- LaserLock 2 Results

With LaserLock v.2 protected CDs, ASUS CRW3212A performed very well and gets the first place. TDK Cyclone gets the second position in the original CD test, but did not keep the good performance in the backup CD test.

- SecuROM Results

All tested drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. The ASUS CRW3212A comes second, behind LiteOn LTR-32123S with 2034.12 sectors/sec and 1975.67 sectors/sec in the original/backup test. The TDK Cyclone 321040 gets the last place with a low performance.


5. DAE Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 5

DAE Tests

- Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.3 beta and EAC v0.9 beta 2 software in order to check the DAE performance of the drive with various AudioCDs (both pressed and CDR). The posted DAE results are the average of both applications. We made a full CD Rip starting from the first to the last track of the CD. The Average DAE reported speeds are displayed in the test graphs.

- DAE features

We used EAC v0.9 beta 2 to examine the drive(s) features:

- ASUS CRW-3212

The drive supports "Caching" of data, "Accurate Stream" and includes "C2" error info.

- TDK

The drive doesn't "Caching" data, supports "Accurate Stream" and doens't include"C2" error info.

- Pressed AudioCD results

The ASUS CRW3212A is the second faster reader below AOpen CRW3248. The ASUS drive manages to outperform all other drives with maximum 40x reading speed and keeps a 30.8X average DAE ripping speed. The TDK CyClone 321040 has also good performance with 29.0X but stays away from the top:

- CDR AudioCD results

All the drives behaved the same in the CDR DAE test, as in the previous pressed CD test.

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

For each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
LiteOn LTR-32123S
4.4
5.0
TDK Cyclone 321040
11.5
11.3
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
11.0
11.1
AOpen CRW3248
20.1
20.3
CyberDrive CW-058D
11.2
11.3
ASUS CRW3212A
10.6
10.2

- Advanced DAE Quality

All tested drives got a 100 score (best), except from the ASUS, which stayed at 98.6 in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The ASUS CRW3212A also produced 44767 errors.

- ASUS CRW3212A

The drive's average reading speed was 29.51x and 44767 errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read SubChannel Data and CD-Text:

Freecom 32A Nero Advanced DAE Tests Results

- TDK CyClone 321040

The drive's average reading speed was 29.88x and no errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read CD-Text/SubChannel Data:

LiteOn LTR-32123S Nero Advanced DAE Tests Results

- Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test stretches drive's mechanism to the max, we decided to do real life tests with a scratched disc. The disc was dirty, and with some light scratches, enough in order cause problems to most of the tested drives. We used CD DAE 99 software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) and the results were very interesting:

Average Speed (X)
Errors
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
LiteOn LTR-32123S
14.4
906044
0.12
TDK Cyclone 321040
8.1
23285
0
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
10.9
353411
0.05
AOpen CRW3248
8.4
313
0
CyberDrive CW058D
27.2
17617
0
ASUS CRW3212A
30.8
16364922
2.16

The best reader for this test is AOpen. The drive lowered its reading speed down to 8x and managed to produce the lower reading errors at this roundup. The TDK Cyclone 321040 comes third with 0% error rate but 23285 errors. The ASUS CRW3212A was really fast but produced too many errors (2.16% overall).

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

- TDK Cyclone drive can recognize 90mins without any problems but failed to read 99min CDs.
- ASUS CRW3212A recognizes 90/99 min CDs.

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 3 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE v0.3b/EAC v0.9 beta2) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony Key2Audio
* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)
* CDR AudioCD protected with Cactus Data Shield (CDS100) - made with Clone Audio Protector v1.1 (adding 30 secs lead-out)

Key2Audio
CDS200
CDS100
CDDAE
EAC
CDDAE
EAC
CDDAE
EAC
AOpen CRW3248
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips up to 91%
Rips entire disc without problems
Reads all tracks as Data tracks - ripping impossible
CyberDrive CW058D
Rips entire disc without problems
Rips entire disc without problems
Problems recognize 1st track
Rips entire disc without problems
LiteOn LTR-32123S
Cannot recognize disc contents
Problems recognize 1st track, cannot rip
Recognizes tracks, cannot rip
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip
Rips entire disc without problems
Cannot recognize Audio Tracks
Cannot recognize Audio Tracks
TDK Cyclone 321040
Rips entire disc without problems
Rips entire disc without problems
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip/PC Halts
Rips all tracks exept 1st one
ASUS CRW3212A
Cannot recognize disc contents
Problems recognize 1st track
Cannot rip the disc contents

Both ASUS and TDK drives have problems with protected Audio CDs.. The ASUS CRW3212A cannot recognize the Key2Audio protected discs and cannot rip CDS200 titles. Lastly, TDK Cyclone can rip the Key2Audio audio tracks and cannot rip the entire disc contents of CDS200 discs.


6. CDR Tests - Page 1
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 6

CDR Tests - Page 1

- Procedure

We tested all five drives with latest version of Nero/CloneCD. We used various media for our tests: Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min 24x/32x certified, Mitsui 74min 24x certified, Taiyo Yuden 74/80min 24/32x certified, Ricoh 80min 24x certified and Mitsubishi Chemicals/LiteOn HS-RW media. We burned CDs at almost all recording speeds from 16x up to 32x using the SAME amount of data for all drives. The posted recording times are the best we had from our test results. Using other media can increase the final burning time. Note that both ASUS/TDK drives doesn't support 24x writing speed.

- Comparison

Before starting the recording tests, let's see how the drives are compared in the writing/rotation speeds:

TDK Cyclone starts writing in a higher speed (20x CLV) than ASUS drive. However the ASUS CRW3212A shifts up to the maximum speed (32X) earlier , so the average recording speed is more or less the same.

TDK starts writing at the highest -up to now- rotation speed (10.050rpm), which is gradually reduced. The drive makes a lot of noise during the writing process but that seems to be necessary. Rotation speed for ASUS is 8000rpm in the beggining, and spins up to 9000 rpm earlier than TDK Cyclone.

- 74min CD-R Tests

Both ASUS and TDK drives refused to write CDs at 24X. We tested the drives at 16x, 20x and 32x soeeds.We created a "DataCD" job with data slightly more than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all five tested drives:

The faster drive at the 16x writing test is AOpen. The drive ends the task at 310 (JustSpeed disabled). TDK Cyclone also gave a good performance with 311sec, and ASUS /Cyberdrive follows with 312 seconds.


Mitsumi CR-480ATE and ASUS CRW3212A doesn't support 20x writing speed option

The faster recorder at the 20x writing speed comes from CyberDrive with 257secs. The TDK CyClone 321040 needs 261secs to end the same task.

At the maximum recording speed of 32x, the faster drive comes from CyberDrive. The ASUS CRW3212A needs 214secs and the TDK Cyclone finishes earlier with 211secs..

TDK CyClone 321040 32x writing speed

ASUS CRW3212A 32x maximum writing speed


7. CDR Tests - Page 2
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 7

CDR Tests - Page 2

- 80min CD-R Tests

In our normal burning tests the 80min CD contains slightly more than 80min data (80:01:47):

With 80min CDs, ASUS and TDK drive had the same performance and finished the task after 334/336 seconds.


Mitsumi CR-480ATE and ASUS CRW3212A doesn't support 20x writing speed option

At the 20x writing speed, the TDK Cylone comes second behind PleXWriter PX-W4012A. It needs 278secs to end the task.

At the 32x writing speed, the faster drive comes from CyberDrive (CW058D). The ASUS CRW3212A comes second with 224secs and the TDK CyClone 321040 third with 226secs.


8. CDR Tests - Page 3
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 8

CDR Tests - Page 3

- Overburning Tests

Using Nero, we saw that Asus CRW3212A can overburn up to 99mins, while TDK Cyclone stops at around 93mins.

- CD-Text Results

We created several AudioCDs with CD-Text enabled. The TDK Cyclone 321040 can read/write CD-Text AudioCDs without any problems. However we had some issues with ASUS CRW3212A. While the drive seems able to read, we couldn't write CD-TEXT with Nero.

- 8cm Media Tests

For this proposed we used a 8cm RW media and we burned up to 185MB. None of the tested drive had problems writing/reading from the 8cm disc.

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD v3.3.4.1 reports that all drives support the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that both drives support the DAO-RAW writing mode at the following CD protections: SafeDisc 1.0, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2 CD protections. The TDK CyClone 321040 limits the recording speed down to 16x when DAO-RAW writing mode being used.

- SD2 Support

For the SD2 test we used the "No One Lives For Ever", "Max Payne" and "Serious Sam - The Second Encounter" game titles. We used each drive both as reader/writer at the maximum reading/recording speed. The produced backups were tested with various DVD-ROM and CD-ROMs. The TDK CyClone 321040 cannot produce perfect backups of any SD2 build.

* No One Lives For Ever

The No One Lives Forever has the SD2 v2.05.030 build protection. The ASUS CRW3212A doesn't have any problem to produce a perfect backup. The produced backup worked without any problems with all tested drives.

* Max Payne

The Max Payne has the SD2 v2.30.033 build protection. Again the ASUS CRW3212A produced perfect backups.

* Serious Sam - The Second Encounter

The Max Payne has the SD2 v2.51.021 build protection. The produced backup worked at all tested drives without any problems:

Drive
Worked (Yes/No)
Plextor PX-W40TS CD-ROM
Yes
LiteOn LTD163 DVD-ROM
Yes
ASUS DVD E616 DVD-ROM
Yes
Creative CD5233 CD-ROM
Yes
TEAC 540E CD-ROM
Yes

As the test results showed, the ASUS CRW3212A can backup any SD2 of 2.x-2.51 builds. The TDK CyClone 321040 cannot produce perfect SD2 backups. Your only choice with the TDK drive is to use the special settings which some CDR software (CloneCD/BlindWrite) offers in such cases.


9. Writing Quality of ASUS
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests of ASUS CRW3212A

We used many media ,mostly 24x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with ASUS CRW3212A. We used Nero 5.5.7.2 as the CDR software. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables.

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (16x)
30
0.9
3:33
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
22
0.4
3:38
Mitsui 74min (24x)
16
1.0
3:33
Taiyo Yuden 74min (16x)
36
1.5
3:36
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
17
2.0
3:31
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
12
0.3
3:36
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
25
0.6
3:47
Prodisc 80min (32x)
31
2.0
3:45
Ritek 80min (32x)
18
1.8
3:50
Ricoh 80min (24x)
43
1.8

3:44

Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
15
0.2
3:47

The ASUS CRW3212A does perform well during the writing process. The produced CDs have low C1 error rates. The best results come with TaiyoYuden's 32x certified media.


10. Writing Quality of TDK
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3 - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests for TDK CRW321040X

We used many media ,mostly 24x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with TDK CRW321040X. We used Nero 5.5.7.2 as the CDR software. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables:

- 20x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
18
0.6
0
4:23
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
17
0.5
4:21
Mitsui 74min (16x)
20
0.7
4:22
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
40
1.6
4:20
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
40
2.4
4:39
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
35
2.0
4:39
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
45
2.7
4:39
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (32x)
22
1.7
4:39
Ritek 80min (24x)
21
1.5
4:39
Ricoh 80min (24x)
17
1.2
4:39

As the tests results shows,TDK CRW321040X performs quite well mostly with Taiyo Yuden 32x CDs. The drive doesn't produce any C2 errors.

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
17
0.7
0
3:32
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
17
0.5
3:32
Mitsui 74min (16x)
28
0.5
3:43
Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min (24x)
42
3.5
3:31
Maxell 74min (12x)
145
20,3
2
0
3:31
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (24x)
29
1.3
0
3:42
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (32x)
28
1.1
3:47
Ritek 80min (24x)
42
2.2
3:45
Ricoh 80min (24x)
38
1.3
3:43
Taiyo Yuden 80min (24x)
35
1.4
4:44
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
20
0.9
3:43

TDK doesn't have any problem to write all inserted CDs at the maximum speed of 32x. In one case when low quality media were used, Maxell 74min 12x, the drive did produce high C1 and C2 errors. With high quality media no problems were spotted.


11. RW-Packet Writing Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page 11

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.7.2 for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. The ASUS CRW3212A supports 12x re-writing speeds, while the TDK CyClone 321040 only 10x:

The CyberDrive CW058D is the faster re-writer. The ASUS CRW3212A has the second best performance with 406secs. The TDK CyClone 321040 comes last with 486ses, due to lower re-writing speed (10X ).

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.21 for the packet writing tests with the LiteOn HS-RW media. 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 Windows Explorer (we dragged and dropped) and we completed the test twice to eliminate any possible time measurement faults and user errors:

The ASUS has a good writing performance under packet writing format with 8.64X. The TDK Cyclone 321040 comes last with 7.1X.. At the reading part, the ASUS CRW 3212A performs very good with 16.6X and the TDK CyClone 321040 comes again last with 6.2X.


12. Conclusion

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 12

Conclusion

ASUS CRW3212A

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Supports 32x writing and 12x re-writing speeds
- Supports FlexLink/FlexSpeed/DDSII technologies
- Faster reader at 40x speed with pressed/cdr media
- Very fast DAE speeds
- Low seek times with pressed CDs (80ms)
- Very good CloneCD reading performance
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Can produce perfect SD2 backups (up to v2.51)
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing?)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Retail package contains Nero/80min HS-RW media
- Low price (<$120)

-Only 2MB of buffer
- High seek times with CDR media (110ms)
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- Cannot "handle" protected AudioCDs
- Produces lot of errors with scratched AudioCDs
- Competition offers 2 years of warranty

TDK CyClone 321040

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 32x writing speed
- 4Mb of buffer
- Supports Burn-Proof
- Can write any media at 32x writing speed but in some cases produces high C1 errors
- Very good DAE speeds
- Can "handle" protected AudioCDs with proper software
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 93mins)
- Has 2 years of warranty (applies only for Europe)
- Retail package includes Nero

- Competition supports 12x RW speed
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- Makes lot of noise when writing at 32x speed
- Higher seek times than competition
- DAO-RAW writing only at 16x speed
- Failed to backup SD2 protected CDs
- Very bad CloneCD reading performance

During this roundup, we examined two new drives from ASUS and TDK. The ASUS CRW3212A has exactly the same specifications with Mitsumi CR-480ATE/LiteOn LTR-32123S, while the TDK CyClone 321040 has the same specs with Freecom 32A and Philip PCRW3210A. There are also two drives that support 48x reading speed (AOpen CRW3248 and CyberDrive CW058D). We cannot hereby announce a winner among the competitors, since there are drives that have either higher reading speeds, or lower recording speeds. Users should read carefully each drive's performance and decide of what they really needs.

The ASUS CRW3212A is the faster reader for the 40x reading speed. The drive supports 32x writing speed, 12x re-writing and 40x reading speed. It supports FlexLink to avoid buffer underruns, FlexSpeed to adjust recording speed automatically and DDSSII system to reduce vibration/noises. In addition it will rip AudioCDs and make images of your protected CDs very fast. Users will be able to make backups of their CDs, since the drive can backup even SD2 v2.51 builds. Last, overburning is allowed up to 99mins and you will be able to buy it at a low price of $120. On the dark side, the drive produces lot of reading errors with scratched AudioCDs, doens't support Mt. Rainier format and includes only 2MB of buffer, when the competition offers up to 16MB (Mitsumi CR-480ATE).

The TDK CyClone 321040 begins with one negative point. The low re-writing speed of 10X. The drive's overall performance is good at both data/DAE reading but the competition is faster at both reading/writing tasks. Users will be allowed to write almost all CDs at the maximum 32x writing speed, at the cost of writing quality in case of low rated media. Users might find annoying the noise which this drive produces while writing at maximum speed, but will be probably pleased from the 2 year of warranty (applies only for Europe).

Ending, we give the ASUS CRW3212A our "Safe Buy" award for its performance/value mark.



Home | News | All News | Reviews | Articles | Guides | Download | Expert Area | Forum | Site Info
Site best viewed at 1024x768+ - CDRINFO.COM 1998-2014 - All rights reserved -
Privacy policy - Contact Us .