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Appeared on: Monday, May 13, 2002
Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW


1. Introduction

Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW - Page 1

Introduction

Waitec enters the DVD recording for PC market with a new DVD+RW data drive. DVD recorders are certainly be the fastest growing consumer electronics products ever launched, and the competition is already established among the different DVD recording formats. Waitec adopts the +RW format in order to offer consumers abilities for data back-up or digitally video recording material onto a re-writable optical DVD disc. The "Waitec X-FILE" currently supports only CD/DVD+RW writing and comes to compete other manufacturers such as Aopen, Ricoh and Philips.

The drive

Waitec X-FILE supports 12x (CD) and 2.5x DVD+RW writing, 10x re-writing, 32x (CD) and 8x (DVD-ROM/+RW) reading. The drive also supports "SafeLink" in order to avoid buffer underruns for CD format . Its writing speeds are: 2x, 4x, 8x, 12x (CLV) writing and 2x, 4x and 10x (CLV) re-writing.

The writing speed for DVD+RW format is 2.4X CLV (X factor is now 1385Kb/s) which is equivalent to the 20x CD-RW drives. The drive doesn't support CAV writing technology. The supported cache buffer is 2MB, and supports RPCII region control system, allowing a four times region change. Waitec X-FILE does not support writing to DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD-RW and of course to DVD-RAM media.

The package

The supplied package included the Waitec X-FILE drive, Nero Vision Express CD/DVD video editing/authoring/burning software, Power DVD player software, one piece of Waitec 4.7GB DVD+RW media, 1 Waitec CD-R 80min 24x media, an installation guide, screw sets and audio cables.

On the front panel of the drive there are the "Waitec X-FILE ", "High-Speed RW", and the "DVD+RW" logos. The drive has a reading/writing operating led, headphone jack, volume control and the eject button.

On the rear panel of the drive there are the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive as Master/Slave/Cable Select, the SPDIF output connector and 3 jumpers which are not used (factory reserved):

Installation

Waitec X-FILE was installed as "master" in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-2 mode and after boot up, it identified itself as the "DVDRW6001".

The drive was a March 2002 model with an initial firmware revision v1.51. The drive is equipped with 2MB cache buffer.

PC setup

WinMe/XP OSs
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
Waitec X-FILE firmware v1.51
Ricoh MP5120 firmware v1.30
Philips DVDRW208 firmware v1.35
AOpen RW5120 firmware v1.37


2. CD / DVD Data Tests

Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW - Page 2

CD / DVD Data Tests

SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

Waitec X-FILE showed a good CD reading performance in the Sequential and the Same Sector I/O tests, and is close to the competition in the Random I/O test.

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

The Nero CD Speed 0.84 showed that all the drives in the test have approximately the same average CD reading speed, and Waitec X-FILE keeps the good performance with an 24.75X result.

In the same test, we measure the seek times of Waitec X-FILE. In the random seek test, the drive was fast and the 106 ms result is compatible to the other drives. The problem seems to be in the Full seek test, where the drive finished in 275 ms, slower than the Aopen, Ricoh and Philips drives.

CDR Media: (Click to see the CD Speed graph)

With CDR media, Waitec X-FILE is still fast and met the competition requirements established by the other drives.

HS-RW media: (Click to see the CD Speed graph)

For the RW tests, we used Ricoh's 4-10x HS-RW media. Again, all the drives behaved in a similar way and finished the reading test at 25X average speed.

DVD Speed v0.52: (DVD Speed graphs for DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW ,DVD+R, DVD+RW)

Waitec X-FILE gave a high DVD-ROM average reading speed and leads in this test. The drive started and ended the reading test in a higher speed than the other drives.

The seek times of Waitec X-FILE are low and the drive gets the second position in the random / 1/3 seek test. The Full seek test result was also surprisingly high.

When ripping DVD movies, Waitec X-FILE has an average ripping performance of 7997Kb/s, slightly faster than the second best performance from Philips DVDRW1208.

We checked the drive's performance when reading DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW media. For this test, we compare Waitec X-FILE with Ricoh MP5125A. Waitec X-FILE is a good DVD-R / +RW / +R reader, and is faster than the Ricoh drive. The Waitec drive was slower in the DVD-RW reading test.

Movie Tests

We tested Waitec X-FILE with many DVDs and our overall impression was very good. When using various DVD movies we didn't encountered any playback problems.


3. CloneCD Reading Tests
Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW - Page 3

CloneCD Reading Tests

Procedure

We used CloneCD (v4.0.0.1) and 5 original CDs - No One Lives For Ever / Serious Sam (SafeDisc 2), Desperados (LaserLock 2) and V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) - in order to test the reading time of Waitec X-FILE. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. The following picture shows the drive's reading/writing capabilities:

PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to HD with CloneCD. We measured the reading times for Waitec X-FILE, which is low (87secs).

SafeDisc v.2 Results

Waitec X-FILE seems to have problems with SafeDisc v.2 protected CDs. The drive was reading slowly and Aopen RW5120 / Philips DVDRW1208 are faster.

LaserLock v.2 Results

In the LaserLock v.2 test, Waitec X-FILE was slow in the original CD test but in the backup test was faster and gave the second best performance, following Ricoh MP5120A.

SecuROM Results

Good performance for Waitec X-FILE in the SecuROM v.2 test. The drive shares the first performance position with the Ricoh and Philips drives in the original title test, and kept the same performance in the backup CD test.


4. DAE Tests

Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW- Page 4

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

As the EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 reported, Waitec X-FILE supports "Caching" of data, "Accurate Stream" and "C2 error info".

 

Pressed AudioCD results

Waitec X-FILE does not support a very fast DAE speed, but is faster than the other drives in this category and finished the test at 23.5X average ripping speed.

CDR AudioCD Results

Waitec kept the same performance as in the previous test, and ripped the audio CD-R at 23.4X.

EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

After many requests from numerous visitors we have added the EAC's secure extract ripping mode results, which ensures maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
Waitec X-FILE
0.5 (sync errors)
0.4 (sync errors)
Philips DVDRW208
1.1
6.5 (sync errors)
Ricoh MP5120A
12.3
11.6
Aopen DVDRW5160
1.7
1.6

During the test. Waitec X-FILE reduced the ripping speed dramatically in order to maintain a quality ripping result. Although the very low average ripping speed, the drive gave many sync errors and audible noise points were present during the playback of the produced wav.* files.

Advanced DAE Quality

The advanced DAE test results were not bad for Waitec X-FILE. The drive got a "100" score and the reading speed was high. The drive also can read Subchannel Data and CD-Text:

Bad CDR Media results

This is a real life DAE test with a scratched disc. The disc was dirty, and with some light scratches, enough to 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 (%)
Waitec X-FILE
8
52957773
7
Philips DVDRW208
8.6
50368737
6.66
Ricoh MP5120A
8.7
31033674
4.10
Aopen DVD5160
8.7
82424857
10.89

Waitec X-FILE ripped the disc at 8x average speed, slower than the other drives and produced a specific amount of data errors (7% of the total data).

CD-Check Audio Test Disc

Digital Recordings CD-CHECK is a compact disc which allows evaluation of the CD player's "error correction headroom" (i.e. player's ability to correct data errors) and "tracking" (i.e. player's ability to stay on track despite of disc surface or other errors). CD-CHECK uses special digital signals in combination with disc error patterns arranged over five tracks. The five tracks contain a sequence of progressively difficult tests referred to as Check Level-1 to Check Level-5. The higher the Check Level passed the more reliable the sound reproduction of the CD player. A smooth, continuous tone of 20-seconds indicates the player passes that Check Level. Any clicks, interruptions, skipping or looping indicates failure of a Check Level.

CD-CHECK error sizes
Check Level-1
standard manufacturing errors
Check Level-2
0.375 mm
Check Level-3
0.750 mm
Check Level-4
1.125 mm
Check Level-5
1.500 mm

We tested the drive with the following procedure: We used WinXP Windows Media Player to playback the disc, and using headphones we listened all tracks. A continuous tone of 20 seconds plays in each track. If the drive playbacks without an audible pop or click occurring during playback of the tone it passes the check level. The tests are repeated five times. A result of 5/5 indicates that no pops or clicks were heard in 5 out of 5 playbacks of a particular track. A result of 0/5 means pops or clicks occurred during all 5 playbacks of a particular track. Digital Recordings provides the following interpretation of results:

· Level-1 Pass: Player meets minimum requirements
· Level-2 Pass: Average error correction
· Level-3 Pass: Good error correction
· Level-4 Pass: Very good error correction
· Level-5 Pass: Excellent error correction

Test Results

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Waitec X-FILE
5/5
0/5
0/5
0/5
0/5

The drive did not manage to completely fulfill the 2nd level error correction requirements, and failed to successfully playback (no audible pops or clicks) the other level tones.

Ripping 90 and 99min CDs

The drive managed to read 99 min CD.

Reading Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 3 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony's KeyAudio
* 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)

KeyAudio
CDS200
CDS100
Waitec X-FILE
Cannot recognize the disc contents
Can rip the contents of the disc but the tracks have too many audible errors
Reads all tracks as Data tracks - ripping impossible

As the test results showed, Waitec X-FILE cannot handle any audio protections. In the CDS200 test, the drive managed to rip the disc contents but the produced files had too many errors.


5. CDR Tests
Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW- Page 5

CDR Tests

Waitec X-FILE supports up to 12x (CLV) writing. The drive includes 'SafeLink' as the main Buffer Underrun Technology. We did our tests with Nero v5.5.8.0, CloneCD v4.0.0.1 and Padus DJ v3.50.799 software. For the CDR tests we used: Taiyo Yuden 74 & 80min (24x), Imation 80min (32x) and Verbatim/TDK 74min HS-RW media.

74 min CDs

We created a "DataCD" job with data slightly higher than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all three drives, using the same media:

Waitec X-FILE gave a fast writing time with 404 secs. The Philips DVDRW208 needs one second less than Ricoh MP5120A (406secs) to finish the task. All the drives have the same performance in this test. The following picture is from Nero when we used Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x) media:

80min CDs

Following the same procedure as in the previous test, we created a DataCD with data higher than 80min (80:01:47). the Waitec X-FILE gets the first place with 433secs, Aopen follows with approximately the same time, and Ricoh is 6 seconds slower :

The following picture is from Nero when we used Imation 80min (32x) media:

Writing Quality Tests

We used Imation and Taiyo Yuden media and wrote a full 74min CD. All CDs were burned with Nero 5.5.8.0, and they were data CDs with a 74:03:65 length size. The produced CDs were measured from DigitalDrives:

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min 16x - written at 12x
39
0.4
0
288
Imation 80min 32x - written at 12x
61
3.4
433

The writing quality of Waitec X-FILE is generally high, especially with Taiyo Yuden media. The following graph comes from the Imation 80min 32x media.

Click To Enlarge!

Other features

Overburning Writing
Up to 99mins
CD-Text (Read/Write)
Yes/Yes
8cm CDs
Yes

CloneCD Writing Tests

CloneCD v4.0.0.1 reports that the drive supports the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that the drive supports the DAO-RAW writing mode at the following CD protections: SafeDisc 1, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2 CD protections.

SD2 Support

For the SD2 test we used the "Emperor: Battle for Dune", "Max Payne", "Serious Sam - The Second Encounter" and "Medal of Honour Allied Assault" game titles. We used the drive both as reader/writer at the maximum reading/recording speed. The produced backups did not work in all the drives we tested.


6. HS-RW Writing Tests

Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW- Page 6

HS-RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.8.0 for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for all the tested drives in 10x HS-RW media. Waitec X-FILE support the HS-RW writing standard:

Waitec had the same burning time performance with the rest of the drives in the test. The erase time of the drive is low and just one second slower than Philips DVDRW1208.

Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.28. We used Verbatim's 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 errors:

Waitec X-FILE performed well under the packet writing mode. However, the writing/reading performance was slightly slower than the competition.


7. DVD Tests

Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW - Page 7

DVD Tests

Writing Performance

We used Nero 5.5.8.0 and wrote the same amount of data for all Waitec X-FILE/Ricoh DVD+RW MP5120A/Philips DVDRW208 and Aopen RW5120A drives. In the Nero's 5.5.8.0 writing tab, only the 2.4x writing speed is displayed. The results are listed in the following table:

DVD Recording Tests
Drives
Writing Speed
Average Writing Time (min)
Waitec X-FILE
2.4x
23:14
Ricoh MP5120A
2.4x
23:02
Philips DVDRW208
2.4x
22:31
Aopen DVDRW5120A
2.4x
22:30

Waitec X-FILE finished the writing process faster than Philips DVDRW208 and Aopen DVDRW5120A. Ricoh MP5120A is 12 seconds faster with 23:02 minutes.

Erase Time Performance

Average Erase Time (mins)
Drives
Quick
Full
Waitec X-FILE
0:35
11:45
Ricoh MP5120A
1:02
11:31
Philips DVDRW208
0:58
11:25
Aopen DVDRW5120A
0:59
11:27

Waitec X-FILE has very low erase times - less than one minute for quick erase and 12mins for full erase. The drive is the faster in the quick erase test, and close to the competition in the full erase task.

Packet Writing Performance

We used the same file/methodology as we are using for our CD packet-writing test. Waitec X-FILE is faster than the other drives in the writing test and slower in the reading part.

Packet Writing/Reading Tests
Drives
Average Writing Speed
Average Reading Speed
Waitec X-FILE
2.47x
2.47x
Ricoh MP5120A DVD+RW (2.4x)
2.4x
2.51x
Philips DVDRW208 DVD+RW (2.4x)
2.4x
2.50x
Aopen DVDRW5120A
2.4x
2.50x


8. Conclusion

Waitec X-FILE DVD+RW - Page 8

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- CD/DVD combo recorder
- Supports 8x DVD playback
- Supports reading of all DVD formats
- Supports "SafeLink" anti-coaster technology
- GoodCD/DVD/RW reading/writing packet writing performance
- Good access times
- Good CD writing quality
- Supports HS-RW standard (10x re-write)
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading of SubChannel data
- Supports CD-Text (writing)
- Supports Overburning ( up to 99mins)
- 2 years warranty

- Low DAE quality with dusted/scratched CDR media
- Poor error correction
- DAE speed could be higher
- Low CloneCD reading performance
- Does not support SD2
- Cannot handle all AudioCD protections

The Waitec X-FILE showed a good overall behavior during our tests. The drive is a fast CD-R/RW reader, writes CDs at 12x and offers fast seek times. Users will be able to overburn up to 99min in the appropriate media, read/write CD-text in audio CDs and will not be disappointed from the quality of the CDs they will write. In the main weaknesses of the drive we could include the limited to 25x DAE speed and the low quality of the audio extraction. Waitec X-FILE cannot also produce working SafeDisc v.2 backups.

The X-FILE also supports reading of all the DVD formats, and the reading speed is higher than competition in the most cases. However, we experienced some delays in the DVD media recognition when they were inserted, but this was not occurred constantly and was possibly a problem with the specific drive we had in our labs. In the DVD+RW burning part, the drives gave a low recording time and also low seek times in the DVD reading part. Most of the users could also expect a DVD+R writing feature from Waitec, but this is expected in future models.

Waitec X-FILE managed to reach its specifications and if what is offered is close to your daily needs, we believe that it would be worth to take a look in your local Computer stores. The drive is available from May and the price is Euro 493 + VAT, which could be lower. Waitec also offers a 2-year warranty for the drive:)


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