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Appeared on: Thursday, May 09, 2002
LiteOn LTR-40125W CD-RW


1. Introduction

LiteOn LTR-40125S P-CAV Recorder - Page 1

Introduction

As many other manufacturers, LiteOn used Zone-CLV to reach 40x recording speed. Yamaha has been the only manufacturer that used P-CAV as the main recording strategy in all models above 12x. LiteOn with a newer firmware upgrade, "changed" from Z-CLV to P-CAV among with the adoption of Mt. Rainier format. In our first review of LiteOn LTR-40125S, we had noticed two negative points concerning the recording speed and the lack of Mt. Rainier. We examine how the new firmware performs in those two categories and of course the whether the results are competitive.

Features

Using the Nero Info Tool software, we can see the drive's properties. What has now changed in the new firmware revision (ZS0D) are:

- The buffer size (1984KB instead of 2MB as reported with previous firmware
- Mt. Rainier support

Nero 5.5.8.2 also reports the drive's new features. Mount Rainier is now supported:

LiteOn's 40x writing speed

LiteOn LTR-40125S with the new firmware, supports the P-CAV 40x writing speed. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph, which illustrates the use of P-CAV writing technology:

The drive starts writing at 18.97X and gradually reaches 40x (CLV) speed, at the 68 minutes, and continues until the end in that speed. The average writing speed is now 31.53X, instead of 30.49X with the ZS08 firmware.

The above graph shows the writing speeds of LiteOn LTR-40125S with ZS08 (Z-CLV), with ZS0D (P-CAV) and are compared with the faster 40x recorder from TEAC CD-W540E. Despite the fact that TEAC CD-W540E reaches 40x speed at around 50 minutes, the LiteOn LTR-40125S with P-CAV writing technology is faster.

Drive
Average Writing Speed (X) with 80min CDs
PleXWriter PX-W4012A
29.91
ASUS CRW-4012A
30.39
LIteOn LTR-40125S (Z-CLV)
30.49
TEAC CD-W540E
31.25
LiteOn LTR-40125S (P-CAV)
31.53

The above table gives the average writing speed of various 40x recorders. The LiteOn LTR-4125S with the use of P-CAV is faster without any doubt.

The LiteOn drive continues to keep its rotation speeds high enough, above 9000rpm. The drive is noisy but the operation is smoother due to the lack of increased rotation speed shifts (as happens with Z-CLV recorders).


2. Writing speed tests

LiteOn LTR-40125S P-CAV Recorder - Page 2

Writing speed results

74min CDs

74min CD - 32x Writing Speed
Drive
Burning Time (sec)
LiteOn LTR-40125S (Z-CLV)
193
TEAC CD-W540E
194
LiteOn LTR-40125S (P-CAV)
187

The LiteOn drive at 32x speed is faster by 6secs from the Z-CLV implementation. It needs only 3minutes and 7 seconds to end the task.

74min CD - 40x Writing Speed
Drive
Burning Time (sec)
LiteOn LTR-40125S (Z-CLV)
188
TEAC CD-W540E
184
LiteOn LTR-40125S (P-CAV)
179

At the maximum speed, LiteOn's P-CAV is 9secs faster than the LiteOn Z-CLV model, but only 5 seconds faster than the TEAC CD-W540E.

80min CDs

80min CD - 32x Writing Speed
Drive
Burning Time (sec)
LiteOn LTR-40125S (Z-CLV)
203
TEAC CD-W540E
206
LiteOn LTR-40125S (P-CAV)
197

With 80min CDs the LiteOn LTR-40125S with P-CAV is again 6seconds faster than the Z-CLV implementations.

80min CD - 40x Writing Speed
Drive
Burning Time (sec)
LiteOn LTR-40125S (Z-CLV)
195
TEAC CD-W540E
193
LiteOn LTR-40125S (P-CAV)
187

At the maximum writing speed, the LiteOn (P-CAV) is 6secs faster than TEAC CD-W540E and 8secs faster than the LiteOn (Z-CLV).


3. Writing Quality tests

LiteOn LTR-40125S P-CAV Recorder - Page 3

Writing Quality

We used Mitsui 80min 32x & 40x certified media burned many CDs at 32x and 40x recording speeds with LiteOn LTR-40125S. We used Nero 5.5.8.2 as a CDR software. The produced CDs were measured by DigitalDrives and the results are illustrated in the following tables:

32x writing speed
Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Mitsui 74min 32x (SmartBurn On)
82
2.3
3:07
Mitsui 80min 32x (SmartBurn On)
21
0.4
3:17

As it seems with 74min CDs, LiteOn LTR-40125S has some problems to keep the writing quality high in the first 10 minutes. The drive makes a high peak at around 5mins, which is worrying. The writing quality in the rest of the disc seems very good. This problem was not noticed when writing 80min CDs, and the average C1 error rate is low (0.4). Below is the C1 error rate graph when writing 74min CDs:

40x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Mitsui 74min 32x (SmartBurn On)
379
4.2
0
3:00
Mitsui 74min 16x (SmartBurn On)
25
3.1
2:59
Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x (SmartBurn On)
8
0.2
2:59
Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x (SmartBurn Off)
13
0.2
2:59
Ricoh 74min 24x (SmartBurn On)
28
1.6
3:00
Mitsui 80min 32x (SmartBurn On)
22
0.7
3:09
Mitsui 80min 32x (SmartBurn Off)
19
0.6
3:07
Imation 80min 32x (SmartBurn On)
137
4.4
161
0.3
3:09

When writing at Mitsui 74min CDs the drive again has problems and produces high C1 error rate in the first 10 minutes. With other media, even with Mitsui 16x the error rate is lower. Especially with Taiyo Yuden media, the C1 average error rate is 0.2. The picture below comes from Mitsui 74min 32x certified:

With Imation 80min 32x CDs, the drive produced C2 (un-correctable) errors in the end of the disc:


4. AudioCD Authoring

LiteOn LTR-40125S P-CAV Recorder - Page 4

Authoring AudioCD at 40x P-CAV

LiteOn permits the authoring of AudioCDs at 40x writing speed. Despite that fact that P-CAV doesn't have any fast speed shift points, the produced writing quality does seem to have problems, especially in the beginning. If we see the error rate in the duration of the disc, we can see a high C1 error rate at the first few minutes (2-8). There is a high peak of an 150 C1 error rate that rises the average error rate up to 3.9.

The produced CD also causes problems to the same drive, when trying to read it, as CD Speed shows:


5. Mt. Rainier tests

LiteOn LTR-40125S P-CAV Recorder - Page 5

Mt. Rainier support

With the new firmware update, the drive also supports Mt. Rainier format. For these tests, we used WriteCDRW! PRO by Software Architects and Ahead InCD. After installing latest InCD v3.28, the following screen comes up when inserting a blank HS-RW media:

After formatting the disc which takes less than 2 minutes, InCD prompts us that the disc is ready for use:

Lets check the drive's properties. Mount Rainier option is there:

If we leave the disc inside the drive for around 15minutes the disc background format will be completed:

If we make an early eject, then our disc will be partially formatted :

In order to test the Mt Rainier capabilities of the drive with WriteCDRW! software, we had to uninstall the InCD first. After we installed the WriteCDRW! PRO v3.0.4 and rebooted, we were ready to proceed to the HS-RW format. The following window came up:

Recording Tests

For testing the Mt. Rainier performance of the drive we performed two tests.

First Test

After the format process, we immediately start the recording process (drag & drop). When the drive finishes, we start the reading process back to the HD. At this mode, the drive writes, reads the quality of the written data and background formats the disc at the same time. The recording performance of each drive is displayed in the below table:

Drive
Average Writing Speed (X)
Average Reading Speed (X)
TEAC CD-W540E
(v1.0b firmware)
3.45
3.77
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
(v1.0E firmware)
2.38
5.40
Yamaha CRW3200E
(v1.0d firmware)
2.55
-
LiteOn LTR-40125S
(vZS0D)
8.40
(InCD)
8.60
(InCD)
LiteOn LTR-40125S
(vZS0D)
1.3
(WriteCDRW!)
19.8
(WriteCDRW!)

The InCD results seems to be strangely high. We believe that the results we had with the WriteCDRW! software are more reasonable and the InCD v3.28 possibly supports a different formatting process in order to give these results. LiteOn LTR-40125S was a slow writer but a very fast reader under Mt Rainier format.

Second Test

At the second test, we left the drive alone to complete the background formatting and afterwards, we repeated the above tests. The recording/reading performance in this case is higher for all the drives, since now only record & read are performed. The disc has been scanned for bad sectors during the format process:

Drive
Average Writing Speed (X)
Average Reading Speed (X)
TEAC CD-W540E
(v1.0b firmware)
2.65
7.03
Mitsumi CR-480ATE
(v1.0E firmware)
3.34
8.76
Yamaha CRW3200E
(v1.0d firmware)
3.89
18.32
LiteOn LTR-40125S
(vZS0D)
8.40
(InCD)
19.44
(InCD)
LiteOn LTR-40125S
(vZS0D)
5.5
(WriteCDRW!)
19.8
(WriteCDRW!)

In the InCD test, the LiteOn LTR-40125S has the same speed as before. The reading speed has been increased dramatically up to 19.44X which is the fastest compared to other drives. The WriteCDRW! showed a lower performance than InCD but the drive is still faster than the competition. The disc was checked and all files were readable. In the reading part, LiteOn LTR-40125S is the fastest among the other drives.


6. Conclusion

LiteOn LTR-40125S P-CAV Recorder - Page 6

Conclusion

For sure it was a very good surprise to see a company to change the writing technology for a CD-RW drive with a simple firmware update. The LiteOn LTR-40125S was one of the faster 40x recorders, and now with the new P-CAV writing technology it becomes the faster recorder in all speeds. There were some glitches at the writing quality but hopefully the final firmware will have its problems fixed. LiteOn already ships its new drives with P-CAV implemented (LTR-30125W and LTR-40125W). The other requested feature, Mt. Rainier is present and seems to work. Of course, the support level of this format is still in an early stage for all the drives.

Several other manufacturers plan to use P-CAV for their high-speed recorders. Sony with CRX195 and LG with the GCE-8400B will ship two more 40x P-CAV recorders, while Yamaha is around the corner with a new P-CAV recorder that promises to break the time limits. As for other manufacturers, we would like to see more P-CAV implementations in the near future...



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