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Appeared on: Monday, June 03, 2002
40x CD-RW Roundup Vol. 2


1. CyberDrive CW078D

40x CD-RW Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 1

- Introduction

After the first 40x recorder from Plextor, many manufacturers introduced other 40x recording solutions. At this time, June of 2002, almost all manufactures released their 40x recording proposals. In this roundup we attempt to examine each drive specs and compare them with the competition. In our first roundup we compared drives from LiteOn, Cendyne and ASUS, in this roundup we compare six new drives from CyberDrive, LG, Mitsumi, Samsung, TDK and Waitec. Which one is the faster recorder? What new recording technologies are offered in this platform? Let's find out…

- CyberDrive CW-078D

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV), 16x re-writing, 2MB Buffer and "ExacLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 48x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12, 16x, 20x (CLV), 24x, 28x, 32x, 36x and 40x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x and 16x. The drive doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format with current firmware, but since the OAK chipsets are Mt. Rainier ready, CyberDrive plans to release Mt. Rainier compatible firmware around August of 2002. The drive supports RAW reading/writing and doesn't support any hardware but only software EFM correction, with the proper software solution.

The drive utilises a quality media detection system, which automatically lowers the maximum recording speed, according to the inserted media condition. The drive will reduce the maximum writing speed down to 36x, 28x or even 16x in case it detects low quality media. As our recording test have shown, there are cases in which even 40x writing had been speed can be selected, the actual recording speed was lower, since the drive lowered its recording speed during the writing process.

- 40x CD-R writing speed

The CyberDrive supports the 40x writing speed adopting the Z-CLV writing technology. Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the use of Zone-CLV:

The 40x writing speed range is divided in 5 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in area till 6mins, shifts up to 24x at 10mins, up to 28x at 22mins, to 32x at 32mins, up to 36x at 44mins and lastly shifts to 40x at 58mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 31.68X, as Nero CD Speed shows. If you notice the drive doesn't write at exactly 20x but 20.56x making it also faster in lower recording speeds (at 16x writes at 16.35X).

- CyberDrive's 16x HS-RW writing speed

The CW078D is the first ever recorder that supports 16x re-writing speed. The Orange Book standard describes only the 4-10x re-writing speeds. However several manufacturers shifted the supported speeds from 10x to 12x and CyberDrive adopted first the 16x re-writing speed. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the 16x Re-writing speed:

Not much to comment here. Just notice that the drive actually writes at 16.32X and not at 16.00X making it even faster than you might have expected. The drive supports 16x HS-RW for both normal and packet writing modes. CyberDrive said that discs written at 16x re-writing speed are compatible with drives that support the "MultiRead" logo. In other words you should expect the same compatibility with normal HS-RW media. You may face problems with older drives (24x and below readers).

For now, the CW078D, supports 16x only with the following media, else only the 12x writing speed will be available:

When 16x certified media is inserted, Nero displays the 16x recording speed under the drive's properties, at the erase dialogue and the write tab

- The package

The package supplied was the retail European version. This included: the drive, an installation guide, audio cable, one CD-R pen, 1 piece of CyberDrive 80min 40x CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek), 1 piece of CyberDrive 16x 74min HS-RW (manufacturer Plasmon) and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5.8.1 and InCD v3.27. We don't know if the drive has a 2-year warranty (for Europe). The complete package will be available at €126 including 16% VAT. (s.r.p.).

The front of the drive is very 'clean', including CyberDrive logo and drive's features - "40x/16x/48x". You will also find only one led, the eject/stop/play/next buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

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:

- Installation

The CyberDrive CW078D was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus, it worked under UDMA33 mode and under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically. The drive is a May 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00E installed. You can find the supported media list for CD-R and HS-RW media at CyberDrive's European website.


2. LG GCE-8400B

40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 2

- LG GCE-8400B

The LG GCE-8400B is one of the few drives that support the P-CAV 40x writing technology. The drive supports 40x writing, 12x re-writing, 8MB Buffer and "SuperLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV), making it slower than its competitors. The exact supported writing speeds are 8x, 12, 16x (CLV), 24x, 32x, and 40x (P-CAV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x. The drive doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format with current firmware, but LG mentioned that a firmware upgrade should support it. There are two versions of the same drive. One comes with a 8MB buffer and one with a 2MB buffer. There has been lot of talk about this, and the bottom line is that lower buffer means less cost for each manufacturer. The drive supports RAW reading/writing with hardware EFM correction.

- 40x CD-R writing speed

The LG GCE-8400 supports the 40x writing speed with the use of the Partial-CAV writing technology. Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the use of P-CAV:

The drive starts writing at 20.30X and gradually increases its writing speed, reaching the 40x (CLV) speed at 54mins. The use of P-CAV technology gives higher average writing speeds and lower noticeable noise compared to Zone-CLV solutions. The average theoretical recording speed is 33.41X, making it the faster 40x recorder around, according to the Nero CD Speed test. Real life recording tests, showed slightly different results with various media.

With the use of some media, the drive lowers its initial recording speed, coming to lower average writing speed (33.34X):

Lastly if you use Imation 80min 32x certified media you will notice a dropdown in the recording speed as the following graph illustrates:

The LG GCE-8400B starts writing at 20.28X and increases the speed up to 32X. At 66minutes detects problem and lowers its recording speed down to 24x to avoid recording errors.

- The package

The package supplied was the retail European version that includes: the drive itself, a quick installation guide for Nero/InCD, a printed manual, a printed warranty card in 5 languages, audio cable and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5.7.6 and InCD v3.23. The drive includes two years of warranty for the European territory. The complete package is available at €.... including 16% VAT. (s.r.p.). Notice anything missing? The retail package doesn't include any CD-R or HS-RW media. LG's answer was that users could easily find CD-R/RW media now days at low prices. Even this is correct; we still feel that retail packages should come complete, including at least HS-RW media.

The front of the drive includes LG, 'HS-RW' logos and the drive's features - "40x/12x/40x". You will also find two leds (Read/Write), the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

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:

- Installation

The LG GCE-8400B was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus, worked at PIO-Mode4 and under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive is an April 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00 installed. A newer firmware revision is already available (v1.01) and was installed for all the recording/reading tests.


3. Mitsumi CR-485C

40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 3

- Mitsumi CR-485C TE

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 2MB Buffer and "ExacLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed is 48x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 16x CLV), 24x, 32x and 40x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x. There will be a limited amount of drives with increased buffer (up to 16MB), but the major amount of drives will include 2MB buffer.

The CR-485CTE supports Mitsumi's AEGIS WRITE technology with the following features:

- Automatically check media quality and set limit to writing speed.
- Automatically optimize to OPC method and select the optimum write strategy from the large capacity database.
- Monitor writing condition and optimize writing speed to achieve the safe speed automatically.
- Monitor the writing condition and compensate for optimum write laser power by Mitsumi WPC (Write Power Compensation) technology.

Additional and essential knowledge is required for successful high-speed CD recording sessions.

· Understanding of CD media characteristics
· Knowledge of various types of CD media
· Identifying and determining the best recording speed for the media
· Identifying and determining the best recording method
· Understanding of CD recording conditions

AEGIS WRITE is designed with CD recording intelligence so the user can focus on what to record onto CD, while AEGIS WRITE focuses on providing a successful CD recording session each time.

Below you can find a presentation of Mitsumi's "AEGISWRITE" system. In Greek mythology, AEGIS is the name of the shield Zeus gave to his daughter Athena. AEGIS means “The shield that protects from all evil.”. To provide users with the best in recording speed and quality, Mitsumi combined it’s already popular high-quality recorders with Mitsumi’s original safe and easy recording technology, and created AEGIS WRITE.

A nti-coaster: AEGIS WRITE is equipped with Exac-Link buffer under-run protection technology; enabling successful CD recording sessions and eliminating CD “coasters.”. Buffer under-runs occur when the data transfer speed from the PC cannot keep up with the recording speed of the CD recorder. The CD recording session fails thus creating a “coaster.” AEGIS WRITE can temporarily stop data transfer BEFORE the buffer under-run occurs, protecting the CD recording session.

E asy: AEGIS WRITE makes CD recording easier with its ability to detect disc quality. Insert the disc into the CD recorder and AEGIS WRITE does the rest.

G uard: AEGIS WRITE monitors the CD recording session with its Write Condition Monitoring System. This enables AEGIS WRITE to adjust the recording speed based on the changing conditions of the recording process, thus providing additional protection to guard against CD recording failure.

I ntelligent: AEGIS WRITE has an extensive database of CD media profiles based on Mitsumi’s research and studies of media recording characteristics. AEGIS WRITE refers to the database to select the most suitable laser shape and power to insure a high quality CD recording.

S ystem

- Mt. Rainier

The drive does support the Mt. Rainier format, and Mitsumi says that it is the only drive compatible according to Philip's EasyWrite testing suite. The following test results come from the last Mt. Rainier Plugfest.

- 40x CD-R writing speed

The Mitsumi drive supports the 40x 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:

The 40x writing speed range is divided in 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in area till 6mins, shifts up to 24x at 10mins, up to 32x at 32mins and lastly shifts to 40x at 60mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 29.63X, as Nero CD Speed shows. The average writing speed of the Mitsumi drive makes it slower than what the competition offers. According to CDR software the drive doesn't seem to lower its maximum recording speed but judging from the final recording time, you can understand if the drive dropped its recording speed during the write process.

- 20x HS-RW writing speed

The CR-485C TE is the first ever recorder that supports 20x writing speed with blank HS-RW media. Keep the last sentence in your mind. The 20x (CLV) writing speed is only valid with brand new HS-RW media. If you insert already used HS-RW media, the maximum writing speed will be 12x. Even if you perform a full erase you cannot have the 20x recording speed. Again the 20x (CLV) speed is not described at the Orange Book, but Mitsumi engineers felt it can be accomplished with current media/technology. Mitsumi calls this mode "SSW" (Super Speed Write). For writing a full 74min task at this speed you will need 4:21mins:

Below it's the Nero CD Speed writing graph that illustrates the 20x Re-writing speed:

The drive starts writing at 20x (CLV) the whole disc. Mitsumi CR-485E TE with current firmware (1.0B) supports the following media for 12x and 20x. As you can see almost all HS-RW media can be written at 20x, at least once:

Inside Nero, when a brand new blank HS-RW media is inserted, you will see the 20x recording speed under the writing tab:

- The package

The package supplied was the not the final European retail kit, but a special test version. This included: the drive, a printed supported media list for CD-R/RW media, 2 pieces of Verbatim's 4-10x HS-RW media and one piece of Hitachi-Maxell 80min 40x CD-R blank. The software supplied with the drive was Nero v5.5.8.2D, InCD v3.82, EasyWrite and some additional utilities. The retail kit includes 2 years of warranty (only for Europe) and will cost €... including 16% VAT. (s.r.p.).

The front of the drive changed from previous drives and now contains only the "HS-RW" logo and drive's features - "40x/20x/48x". You will also find only one led, the eject buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector. Mitsumi has placed the 20x re-writing spec in the front of the drive, which may be kind of confusing, since it works only with brand new HS-RW media:

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:

- Installation

The Mitsumi CR-485C TE was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus, worked under UDMA33 mode and DMA was activated automatically under WinXP. The drive is a May 2002 model with firmware revision v1.0B installed.


4. WAITEC Storm40
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 4

- WAITEC STORM 40

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 4MB Buffer and "SafeLink" as the main anti-buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 48x (CAV). The exact supported writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 16x, 20x (CLV) and 24, 32x and 40x (Zone-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x.

Even WAITEC advertises the compliance with "EasyWrite" format, the drive doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format, with current firmware. A firmware upgrade that will add Mt. Rainier compatiblity is on its way and hopefully next month , after the next PlugFest, will be available. The drive includes C2 error reporting and supports all the known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW).

- Embedded Technologies

Apart from SafeLink, the drive supports:

FlexSS-BP technology, which automatically selects the optimum recording speed for each disc.

Click for more information! technology which detects shock and prevents a writing mistake.

Click for more information! which detects recording error due to irregular mechanical characteristics. "Safe-BP" is the function which stops the recording at the occurrence of disarrangement making error of recording performance, and restarts the recording with changing the recording speed with monitoring pickup servo in real time. You can enjoy the comfortable high-speed recording without being concerned about deterioration of recording quality and interrupt of recording.

There is also an utility that can enable/disable the 'Safe-BP checking' for each media. This way you can be sure that the drive will write at the maximum speed all inserted media. You can also set the polling interval timer of the Safe-BP from 1, 5 and 10 secs or of course disable polling. By default, Safe-BP is ALWAYS turned on every time a CD-R media is inserted:

The following graph comes from Nero CD Speed with Servo Detection Control enabled. The average writing speed is 30.17X:

With the special utility you can de-activate the "Servo Detection Control" and gain small increase in the recording speed:

This time the drive wrote a little faster and the average writing speed is 30.24x. The gain with 'Servo Detection Control' would be around 4-6secs with specific media.

- 40x writing speed

The WAITEC Storm40 supports the 40x 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:

The 32x writing speed range is divided in 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from the lead-in area till 12mins, shifts up to 24x at 10mins, up to 32x at 30mins and lastly shifts to 40x at 56mins and stays there until the end. The average recording speed is 30.13X, which makes slower than the competition in this category.

With some media, the drive will avoid writing at the maximum recording speed and will lower its writing speed down to 32x, producing higher quality discs:

- The package

The package supplied was the retail European version. This included: the drive itself, an installation guide, audio cable, mounting screws, one piece of WAITEC 80min 40x CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Plasmon Data Systems) and one WAITEC HS-RW media. The supplied software comes from Ahead, Nero v5.5.8.1 and InCD v3.27. The drive has a 2-year warranty (only in Europe). The price of the retail kit is expected around 140Euro plus 16% VAT.

The front panel of the drive includes 2 leds (busy, write), the manual eject hole, the headphone jack/volume control and the logo of "WAITEC" among with the codename of the drive (STORM40):

At the back of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive 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.

- Installation

The drive was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE Bus. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as "WAITEC STORM".

We used WinXP for the recording tests. WinXP activated automatically the DMA for the drive; however we noticed some problems during the test process, especially with VIA chipset system. Even WinXP activated DMA, after some tests; the drive lost the DMA function, epsecially after reading LaserLock 2 discs.

Installing latest VIA 4in1 drivers didn't help much and after some research we found out that there is a registry key that must be deleted in order to re-gain the DMA option. Open the Regegit software and search for the: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0001 (or 0002 if you have installed the drive in secondary IDE channel). Now delete the MasterIdDataCheckSum string, reboot and now DMA should be re-enabled ;-)

The drive is a March 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00 installed. We upgraded the drive with a newer firmware (v1.01 + firmware upgrade utility) and used Nero (5.5.8.2), InCD (3.28) and CloneCD (4.0.1.3) for the recording tests.

The following media are suggested for maximum writing quality:

Company
R/RW
Product No.
CMC
CD-R

CDR80LH (40x media use.)

DAXON
CD-R
ACER40R80, DAXON40R80 (40x media use.)
HITACHI-MAXELL
CD-R
CDR74MIX-1P10S, CDR74MIX-1P20S, CDR80MIX-1P10S (The disc is specified as 32x supported media on the package.)
MBI
CD-R
CDR-80MBI (40x media use.)
MITSUI CHEMICAL
CD-R
CDRV80MG-10P, CDRV80US-10P, CDRV74MG-10P, CDRV74US-10P00040379, 00040383, 00041118, 00041130, 00040882, 00041202, 00041133, 00041044, 00041035, 00041117, 00041232, 00041018
RITEK
CD-R
CD-R80JS (40x media use.)
TAIYO YUDEN
CD-R
CDR-80TY10PR, CDR-80WPY10PR, CDR-80AC5Y10SR


5. TDK CyClone 401248B
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 6

- TDK CyClone 401248B

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 2MB Buffer and anti-buffer under run technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 48x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12, 16x (CLV), 20x, 24x, 32x and 40x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 10x and 12x (CLV). The drive is Mt. Rainier ready and can author AudioCDs up to 40x recording speed. Lastly, the drive supports all the known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW) including hardware EFM correction. It is quite possible that with a newer firmware upgrade drive to adopt the P-CAV as the main recording technology.

- 40x writing speed

The drive supports the 40x writing speed with the use of the Z-CLV writing technology. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph, which illustrates the use of Zone-CLV writing technology:

The 40x writing speed range is divided into 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 20x from lead-in till the 4mins, shifts up to 24x at 8mins, shifts up to 32x at 28mins and lastly shifts to 40x at 54mins and stays there until the end. The theoretical average recording speed is 30.58X making it faster than some other drives in the same category.

- The package

The package supplied was the European retail version. This included: the drive itself, a quick set-up guide, a techical support printed guide, 1 piece of TDK 80min CD-R blank (actual manufacturer Ritek), 1 piece of TDK 80min 4-12x High-Speed RW blank (unknown manufacturer - 97m 10s 00f - Cyanine), audio cable, mounting screws and a CD-R pen.

The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.7.5, Ahead InCD v3.22 (for packet writing use) and TDK's Digital MixMaster v1.2.2.13. There is also an electronic PDF manual which user may want to take a look before start using the drive. The drive includes 2 years of warranty (applies only for the European territory).

The front of the drive is very simple and according to the previous CyClone series. In the front contains only the "HS-RW" logo and the drive's features (40x12x48x). You will also find only one led, the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

In the back of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector, 3 factory reserved jumpers and the analogue/digital output connectors.

- Installation

TDK CyClone 401248B was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "TDK CDRW401248B". We used WinXP for the recording/reading tests. DMA was automatically activated from the operating system. The drive is a March 2002 model with firmware revision vZ7S4 installed.

If you use low quality media, the drive automatically lowers its recording speed down to (even down to 16x) before it starts writing. There is a way for end user to overpass it with de-activating "Smart-Burn" technology.

Inside the recording software (in our case Nero under CD Recorder properties), you can un-check the "Smart-Burn" function and write ANY media at ANY recording speed (even at 40x). After un-checking the "Smart-Burn", Nero will display the following warning you notify you about the risk. Turning the Smart-Burn off can also decrease the writing time with higher quality media but there are questions about the quality of the written discs, so it advised from our side to leave 'SmartBurn' always on!


6. Samsung SW-240B
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 6

- Samsung SW-240B

The drive supports 40x writing (Z-CLV) max speed among with "JustLink" and "JustSpeed" technologies, using Ricoh's chipsets. The supported writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x (CLV), 24x, 32x and 40x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds 4x, 10x and 12x (CLV). The drive includes 8MB of buffer and supports all available writing modes (TAO, SAO, DAO, Multisession and Packet Writing). There is no support for Mt. Rainier format even Samsung had announced it would be supported with this model :(.

- 40x Writing speed

In order to achieve the 40x writing speeds Samsung has chosen the Z-CLV writing technology. When a recorder uses the Zone CLV recording method, the CD is divided into zones from the inner to the outer side of the CD, and within each these zones the recording speed varies but it's always constant (CLV). The recording process starts from the beginning of the disc in a constant speed in the first zone. After a pre-defined time (when the next zone starts) the recording speed automatically elevates to a higher speed. At the speed switching point, the anti-buffer underrun technology (in our case JustLink) is used to assure the transition with no data loss or corruption.

Samsung starts writing at 16x in the lead-in area, shifts up to 20x at 4mins, shifts up to 24x at 12mins, shifts up to 32x at 30mins finally shifts up to 40x at 56mins and continues to write until the end of the disc at that speed. The drive's theoretical average writing speed is 29.84X making it slower than other 40x recorders.

- The package

The tested drive was the retail European package and included: the drive, a printed manual in 4 languages, 1 piece (40x certified) of Samsung 80min CD-R blank, 1 piece of Samsung 74min 4-10x High-Speed RW Blank, audio and IDE cables and mounting screws. The attached software was Ez CD Creator 5.1 Basic and Direct CD v5.1 (for packet writing use). There is also an alternative package with Nero and InCD as the attached software.

 

The front of the drive includes the "Samsung", "High-Speed RW" and the "RW40-12-40" logos, that show up the drive's features. You will also find only one small led, the eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector. Both the led and the eject button are back lighted with a green colour:

In the backside of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and the analog/digital output connectors:

- Installation

The Samsung SW-240B was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in PIOMode4 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "Samsung CD-R/RW SW-240B". Under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive was a May 2002 model with firmware revision vR401 installed. Using Samsung's Live Firmware updater we upgraded the drive to vR402 that was used for all recording/reading tests. The drive includes "JustSpeed" recording technology that can be de-activated in order to get the full recording speed of the drive.


7. Data Reading Tests
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 7

Data Reading Tests

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The CyberDrive CW078D gets the first place with 5383Kb/s. TDK CyClone 401248B follows with 5378Kb/s, Waitec STORM40 comes third with 5352Kb/s and Mitsumi CR-485C forth with 5280Kb/s. The LG GCE-8400B and Samsung SW-240B get the last two places since both support only 40x (max) reading speed. The LG GCE-8400B comes fifth with 4589Kb/s and Samsung SW-240B last with 4574Kb/s. Mitsumi CR-485C gets the first place in the "Random I/O" test with 930Kb/s, LG GCE-8400B second with 925Kb/s, WAITEC STORM40 third with 860Kb/s, TDK CyClone 401248B forth with 860Kb/s, Samsung SW-540B fifth with 782Kb/s and CyberDrive CW078D last with 725Kb/s.

- Pressed CD results: (Click to see graphs for CyberDrive, LG, WAITEC, Mitsumi, Samsung and TDK)

In the Nero CD Speed test, CyberDrive come first with 36.77X, TDK CyClone 401248B follows with 36.72X, WAITEC Storm40 third with 36.66X , Mitsumi CR-485C forth with 36.17X, LG GCE-8400B fifth with 31.43X and Samsung SW-240B last with 31.32X.

In the same test, the seek time results are very interesting. CD Speed reported very low results with the Mitsumi CR-485C, which we are not so sure they are correct. Mitsumi gives 100ms for access time. The Samsung SW-240B has seek times down to 89ms, TDK CyClone follows with 90ms, LG GCE-8400B comes third with 90ms, CyberDrive CW078D forth with 114ms and WAITEC Storm40 last with 115ms.

- CDR Media: (Click to see graphs for CyberDrive, LG, WAITEC, Mitsumi, Samsung and TDK)

With CDR media, the TDK drive comes first with 37.54X, WAITEC STORM40 comes second with 37.43X, CyberDrive CW078D third with 37.41X. The Mitsumi CR-485C lowers its maximum reading speed down to 40X with CD-R media. The Samsung SW-240B comes forth with 31.99X, LG GCE-8400B fifth 31.81X and Mitsumi CR-485C last with 31.16X.

- HS-RW media: (Click to see graphs for CyberDrive, LG, WAITEC, Mitsumi, Samsung and TDK)

For the RW tests we used the Mitsubishi Chemical HS-RW written at 10x. The faster reader comes from TDK with 32.27X:


8. CloneCD Reading Tests
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 8

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v4.0.1.3) and 4 original CDs - Serious Sam 2 (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. Click to see the CloneCD reading properties for each drive: CyberDrive, LG, Mitsumi, Waitec, Samsung and TDK.

- PSX Pressed Media

The faster reader for PSX media comes from LG. The drive needs only 55secs to end the task. The slower drive comes from CyberDrive with 367sec:

- SafeDisc 2 Results

The faster readers for SafeDisc 2 discs are the Samsung SW-240B and the Mitsumi CR-485C.

- LaserLock 2 Results

With LaserLock v.2 protected CDs, the best reader comes from TDK. The LG GCE-8400B needed 3hours and 41mins to end the task with original disc, while with backup disc, we interrupted the read process after 4hours...

- SecuROM 2 Results

All tested drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. The faster reader comes from CyberDrive with 2664.86 Sectors/second.


9. DAE Tests
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 9

DAE Reading Tests

- DAE features
CyberDrive CW078D/
WAITEC STORM40
LG GCE-8400B/
TDK CyClone 401248B
Samsung SW-240B
Mitsumi CR-485C

- Pressed AudioCD results

The CyberDrive CW078D has the highest average reading speed of 34.6X and WAITEC STORM40 comes close with 34.3X. TDK CyClone 401248B comes third with 33.7X and Mitsumi CR-485C forth with 33.4X. The LG and Samsung drives get the last two places with 27.9X and 26.3X respectively.

- CDR AudioCD Results

With CDR media, results are different. WAITEC's STORM40 comes first with 34.6X , TDK CyClone 401248B second with 33.1X, CyberDrive CW078D third with 32.7X. Again Mitsumi CR-485C lowers its maximum reading speed to 40x and that affects the average DAE speed. The only drive that produced errors while reading was the CW078D. Although the amount of errors is low, errors were reported with all the media we used.. CyberDrive engineers should consider these results.

- 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. Below are the test results:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
CyberDrive CW078D
8.5
8.8
WAITEC STORM40
5.5
5.7
Mitsumi CR-485C
5.7
5.2
LG GCE-8400B
5.9
6.2
TDK CyClone 401248B
11.1
11.2
Samsung SW-240B
9.7
9.9

- Advanced DAE Quality

All drives expect from the CyberDrive CW078D got a perfect (100) score in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The drive reported 13930 data errors with only 18.13X average reading speed and got a near perfect score of 99.6. Click to see the Advanced DAE Quality results for CyberDrive, LG, Mitsumi, Samsung, TDK and Waitec drives.

- 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 software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) and the results were very interesting:

Average Speed (X)
Errors
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
CyberDrive CW078D
.3.7
509053
0.07
WAITEC STORM40
Cannot recognize disc contents
Mitsumi CR-485C
Stops ripping at 94%
LG GCE-8400B
Stops ripping at 78%
TDK CyClone 401248B
11.2
95021416
15.56
Samsung SW-240B
13.2
152005
0.02

As the test results show, only 3 drives managed to rip entirely the disc. The Samsung performed well with 0.02% errors of the total disc with 13.2X average reading speed. The CyberDrive comes second with 0.07% and TDK last with 15.56%.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc
Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
CyberDrive CW078D
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
WAITEC STORM40
5/5
5/5
5/5
4/5
0/5
Mitsumi CR-485C
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
3/5
LG GCE-8400B
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
TDK CyClone 401248B
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
Samsung SW-240B
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The only drive that passed the forth level of CD-Check test disc test comes from CyberDrive. The drive didn't produce any pops during the playback process.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs
Tested Drives
Ripping up to
CyberDrive CW078D
96mins
WAITEC STORM40
Cannot recognize disc contents
Mitsumi CR-485C
98mins
LG GCE-8400B
99mins
TDK CyClone 401248B
99mins
Samsung SW-240B
99mins

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 2 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE & EAC) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)
* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

Key2Audio
CDS200
CyberDrive CW078D
Can rip disc contents without any issues
Can rip disc contents without any issues
WAITEC STORM40
Can rip disc contents without any issues
Can read the disc contents, cannot rip the first track but the rest without any issues
Mitsumi CR-485C
Can rip disc contents without any issues
Can rip disc contents without any issues
LG GCE-8400B
Cannot recognize the disc contents
Can recognize the disc contents but cannot rip!
TDK CyClone 401248B
Cannot recognize the disc contents
Can recognize the disc contents but cannot rip!
Samsung SW-240B
Cannot recognize the disc contents
Can rip disc contents but the extracted files contain errors

The CyberDrive and Mitsumi drives had no problem to recognize and rip the contents of Key2Audio and CDS200 protected discs. The WAITEC STORM40 has some issues with CDS200 protection, while both LG and TDK drives cannot either recognize or rip the disc contents of both Key2Audio/CDS200.


10. CDR Tests - Page 1
40x Roundup Vol.2 - Page 10

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 80min 40x certified, Mitsui 80min 32x/40x certified, Prodisc 80min 32x certified, Taiyo Yuden 74/80min 24/32x/40x certified. We burned CDs at almost all recording speeds from 16x up to 40x 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.

- Comparison

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

The above chart displays the different approaches towards the 40x Zone-CLV recording strategy. All three drives start writing at 20x, and shift at 24x in the same time, however CyberDrive drops lower its writing speed. The CyberDrive continues to shift writing speeds with the minimum drop of recording speed, and the recording tests confirm the results. The Mitsumi CR-485C reaches the 40x recording speed later than the rest two drives so it is expected to have the highest recording speeds. The WAITEC drive does reach the 40x earlier than the two other drives, however in all the shifting positions the drive lowers enough its recording speed.

All drives have the same rotation speeds in the beginning. The CyberDrive keeps its rotation speeds higher than the competition in order to achieve higher recording speeds.

- 74min CD-R Tests

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 comes from CyberDrive. The drive doesn't write exactly at 16X but at 16.32X producing a lower recording time. The drive needs 296secs to finish. The second best drive comes from TDK with 304secs and the slowest drive is Samsung SW-240B with 315secs:

The faster recorder at the 20x writing speed comes again from CyberDrive with 244secs while the TDK needs 252secs. Note that the Waitec, Mitsumi, Samsung and LG drives do not support the 20X writing speed.

CyberDrive CW078D has the lowest recording times for the 24x recording speed. Its difference between other competitors is around 11secs and ends the task at 213secs. The LG GCE-8400B comes second with 221secs. Remember that CyberDrive is a Z-CLV and the LG a P-CAV drive. The TEAC and TDK drives have the same performances with 222secs, WAITEC needs 227secs and Mitsumi CR-485C 238secs.

At the 32x writing speed the faster drive comes from LG, as expected. P-CAV is faster than Zone-CLV but only by one second. The CyberDrive comes second with 184secs. The slowest drive comes from Mitsumi with 221secs. The difference between the first the last drive is 38secs.

At the maximum writing speed of 40x, CyberDrive CW078D ends first with 2:56mins. Although the CW078D has only a 31.68X average writing speed, it overpasses the LG drive. The LG drive needs 2:59mins. The third faster drive comes from TDK with 3:09mins. The Mitsumi CR-485C comes last with 3:27mins.

Below is the screenshot of CyberDrive and LG drives of writing a full 74 disc in less than 3 minutes!


11. CDR Tests - Page 2

40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 11

CDR Tests - Page 2

- 80min CD-R Tests

In our normal burning tests the 80min CD contains slightly more than 80min data (80:01:46). With 80min CDs, the CyberDrive CW078D gets the first place with 313secs:

The faster recorder at the 20x writing speed comes again from CyberDrive with 263secs. The TDK CyClone 401248B is very close with 268secs:

At the 24x writing speed, CyberDrive needs 229secs to end the task. The second faster drive comes from TDK and the LG GCE-8400B third with 235secs. The Mitsumi CR-485C comes last with 255secs:

The LG GCE-8400B again leads the race for the 32x recording speed with 195secs. The CyberDrive CW078D follows with 196secs and Mitsumi CR-485C comes last with 232secs.

At the maximum writing speed, CyberDrive CW-078D completes the task first with 184secs. The LG GCE-8400B follows with 186secs and Mitsumi CR-485C comes last with 217sec.

The following pictures show the faster drives from LG and CyberDrive:


12. CDR Tests - Page 3
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 12

CDR Tests - Page 3

- Comparison of different writing technologies

The above graph shows the main differences between 24x Z-CLV, 24x P-CAV, 32x Z-CLV and 40x Z-CLV recording technologies. The CyberDrive CW078D is currently the faster recorder and its time differences at 74min CDs are:

- 54secs faster than PleXWriter PX-W2410A
- 49secs faster than Yamaha CRW3200E
- 27secs faster than Mitsumi CR-480ATE

With 80min CDs, the time differences with rest of the recorders are now higher:

- 65secs faster than PleXWriter PX-W2410A
- 56secs faster than Yamaha CRW3200E
- 34secs faster than Mitsumi CR-480ATE

Judging from other 40x Z-CLV recorders, the most of us expected that the LG GCE-8400B using P-CAV to be the faster recorder, especially at the maximum 40x recording speed. Test results showed that a Zone-CLV recorder can be faster than P-CAV with the proper implementation. The time differences from a 24x Zone-CLV are now over 60secs for 80min CDs, which cannot be neglected. However almost all newest recorders require specific media for maximum performance which might disappoint users who wish to use cheap media for their burns.

- Overburning Tests
Tested Drives
Writing up to
CyberDrive CW078D
99mins
WAITEC STORM40
93mins
Mitsumi CR-485C
99mins
LG GCE-8400B
98mins
TDK CyClone 401248B
99mins
Samsung SW-240B
99mins

- CD-Text Results

All tested drives can read/write CD-Text without any problems.

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD v4.0.1.3 reports that all drives support the DAO-RAW feature. For the EFM correction (SD2 test) we used 'Serious Sam - The Second Encounter" game titles. We performed both software/hardware EFM corrections test. The only drives that support hardware EFM correction are the TDK CyClone 401248B and LG GCE-8400B, while with the proper software, you could backup all protected discs with the "Amplify Weak Sectors" setting:

Tested Drives
DAO-RAW writing speed
Software EFM Correction
Hardware EFM Correction
CyberDrive CW078D
40x
Yes ( v2.50.021+)
No
WAITEC STORM40
16x
No
Samsung SW-240B
24x
No
Mitsumi CR-485C
32x
No
LG GCE-8400B
32x
Yes ( v2.50.021+)
TDK CyClone 401248B
40x
Yes ( v2.50.021+)


13. Writing Quality of CyberDrive
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 13

Writing Quality Tests for CyberDrive CW078D

We used many media, including 40x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with CyberDrive CW078D. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables:

- 32x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
29
1.2
0
0
3:04
Mitsui 80min (40x)
31
0.4
99
0
3:16

The drive produces low C1 error rate with Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x) and also very good recording times. With Mitsui 80min (40x) media, the recording quality is very good but C2 error is also present.

- 36x writing speed
Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
11
0.4
0
0
3:00
Mitsui 80min (40x)
23
0.3
93
0
3:09

Again the recording quality is very good with Taiyo Yuden 24x media and the average C1 error rate with Mitsui 40x even its low, C2 error are also present.

- 40x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Mitsui 74min (40x)
20
0.2
0
0
2:56
Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x)
282
7.0
384
3.8
3:33
Prodisc 80min (32x)
36
2.4
24
0
3:04
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (40x)
21
1.1
0
0
3:06
Imation 80min (32x)
46
3.7
73
0
3:17
Vivastar 80min (16x)
3830
547.7
1932
121.1
3:29
Hitachi Maxell 80min (32x)
24
1.8
46
0
3:10
Mitsui 80min (40x)
26
0.7
97
0
3:10

The recording time tests from the 40x speed are very good with specific media. The drive gives the absolute recording times but not with the perfect quality. The drive needs improvement in that area since even with high quality media C2 errors are present. When using Vivastar 80min media, the results are very bad, since the drive doesn't lower enough its recording speed. As it seems the lower recording times comes with a price in writing quality.

The following picture comes from Taiyo Yuden 74min write at the 24x recording speed. The writing quality is very good until 50mins. Then the drive produces high error rate.

The following graph comes from Hitachi-Maxell 80min 40x media written at the 40x recording speed. The writing quality is very good but a C2 error occurs at the end of the disc. This also happened with several other media:

The following graph comes from Taiyo Yuden 80min 40x media written at 28x recording speed. The writing quality above 60mins seems lower and high C1 and C2 errors occur:

The following graph comes from Taiyo Yuden 80min 40x media written at 40x recording speed. The writing quality above 60mins is decreased and high C1 and C2 errors occur:


14. Writing Quality of WAITEC
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 14

Writing Quality Tests for WAITEC STORM40

We used many media, including 40x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with WAITEC STORM40. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables. The most interesting results comes from the maximum recording speed of 40x.

- 40x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x)
29
0.7
3:25
Prodisc 80min (32x)
41
2.4
3:22
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (40x)
17
1.3
3:24
Imation 80min (32x)
63
4.4
4:26
Vivastar 80min (16x)
(Servo Contro Detection On)
5038
1120.6
3248
228.5
4:31
Vivastar 80min (16x)
(Servo Contro Detection Off)
5249
659.7
3928
307.7
3:23
Hitachi Maxell 80min (32x)
26
2.1
 
3:22
Mitsui 80min (40x)
(Servo Contro Detection On)
24
1.7
3:27
Mitsui 80min (40x)
(Servo Contro Detection Off)
27
1.4
3:23

The writing quality of WAITEC Storm40 is quite good in general. The drive doesn't have any serious problems, except with Vivastar 80min 16x. When the Servo Control (Safe-BP is enabled, the recording speed lowers to 20x but the writing quality is pretty bad. When the Servo control is disabled, the writing occurs at 40x speed and as it is expected the disc almost un-readable.


15. Writing Quality of MITSUMI
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 15

Writing Quality Tests for Mitsumi CR-485C

We used many media, including 40x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with Mitsumi CR-485C TE. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables. The most interesting results comes from the maximum recording speed of 40x.

- 40x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Mitsui 74min (16x)
46
2.6
0
3:59
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
16
0.2
3:27
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
10
0.2
3:28
Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x)
22
0.6
3:38
Prodisc 80min (32x)
23
1.5
3:51
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (40x)
21
0.9
3:37
Imation 80min (32x)
35
3.3
4:15
Vivastar 80min (16x)
1161
202.1
82
0.3
5:38
Hitachi Maxell 80min (32x)
34
1.9
0
3:37
Mitsui 80min (40x)
18
0.7
3:38

The following graph comes from Mitsui 74min (16x) and we tried to burn at the maximum speed. The drive didn't burn the disc at the maximum recording speed and lowered it, however the graph shows high C1 errors at the speed shift points.

When we used Vivastar 80min 16x media, the drive produces high C1 error rate after 80mins and also C2 errors at the end of the disc. Even when the drive lowered its recording speed down to 16x (5:38mins) it didn't avoid producing high error rate:


16. Writing Quality of LG
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 16

Writing Quality for LG GCE-8400B

We used many media, including 40x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with LG GCE-8400B. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables. The most interesting results comes from the maximum recording speed of 40x.

- 40x writing speed

Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Mitsui 74min (24x)
16
0.9
3:03
Hitachi Maxell 74min (40x)
24
0.8
2:59
Taiyo Yuden 74min (32x)
15
0.2
3:04
Plasmon Data 80min (40x)
60
9.4

3:18

Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x)
23
0.5
3:07
Prodisc 80min (32x)
21
1.6
3:14
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (40x)
22
0.9
3:11
Philips 80min (40x)
18
1.2
3:37
Hitachi Maxell 80min (32x)
23
1.4
3:06
Mitsui 80min (40x)
27
0.8
3:09

The writing quality of LG GCE-8400B is very good. The drive produces 0.5 C1 error rate with Taiyo Yuden 80min 40x but the best recording times come with Hitachi-Maxell 40 media in both 74 and 80min tasks.


17. Writing Quality of Samsung
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 17

Writing Quality for Samsung SW-240B

We used many media, including 40x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with Samsung SW-240B. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables. The most interesting results comes from the maximum recording speed of 40x.

- 40x writing speed

Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Mitsui 74min (24x)
77
10.4
3:30
Mitsui 74min (40x)
21
1.0
3:20
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
JustSpeed on
12
0.3
4:01
Taiyo Yuden 74min (24x)
JustSpeed off
16
0.3
3:54
Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x)
JustSpeed On
13
0.7
4:13
Taiyo Yuden 80min (32x)
JustSpeed Off
15
0.7
4:06
Prodisc 80min (32x)
JustSpeed Off
31
2.0
4:06
Samsung 80min (40x)
JustSpeed Off
79
21.6
3:30
TDK 80min (32x)
JustSpeed On
131
7.0
3:30
Hitachi Maxell 80min (32x)
JustSpeed On
23
2.0
3:31

The writing quality of the Samsung drive changes according to the JustSpeed function and the inserted media. With Maxell 80min 32x at 32x it produced an un-readable disc with very high C1 and C2 errors:

We also experienced some coasters either with JustSpeed enabled or disabled:


18. Writing Quality of TDK
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 18

Writing Quality of TDK CyClone 401248B

We used many media, including 40x certified, and burned them at various recording speeds with TDK CyClone 401248B. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables. The most interesting results comes from the maximum recording speed of 40x.

- 40x writing speed

Brand
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x)
18
0.7
3:19
Prodisc 80min (32x)
32
2.1
3:17
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min (40x)
20
1.2
3:17
Imation 80min (32x)
24
2.7
3:18
Vivastar 80min (16x)
Hitachi Maxell 80min (32x)
22
2.0
3:19
Mitsui 80min (40x)
2002
126.1
9
0
3:18

The writing quality of TDK CyClone 401248B is very good with an exception with Mitsui 80min 40x media. The following graph shows the C1 error rate in the full length of the disc. The TDK drive produces high error rate till 8mins.Afterwards the C1 error rate drops to normal levels.


19. HS-RW/Packet/Mt. Rainier Tests
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 19

HS-RW / Packet Writing Tests

- HS-RW Writing Tests

As we described in our introduction of each drive, the CyberDrive CW078D supports 16x writing speed, while all the rest drives 12x. As expected the CyberDrive CW078D is the faster re-writer with 306secs. The TDK CyClone drive comes second with 404secs and Samsung SW-240B last with 411secs.

CyberDrive writing at 16x HS-RW

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.28 for the packet writing tests. The CyberDrive CW078D was tested with bulked 16x certied media and the rest drives with normal 4-10x media from Verbatim. 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 CyberDrive CW078D is the faster re-writer under packet writing format. The average writing speed is 11.45X, while other drives stay at 8.65X. The WAITEC Storm40 had the lower writing and reading performance with 7.09X. The faster reader under packet writing format is the TDK drive with 23.02X, while CyberDrive follows with 11.45X.

- Mt. Rainier Tests

For testing the Mt. Rainier performance of the Mitsumi CR-485C and TDK CyClone 401248B, we performed two types of tests. The software we used was WriteCD-RW! by Software Architects.

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*
-

Mitsumi CR-485C TE
(v1.0B firmware)

1.88
5.26
TDK CyClone 401248B
(ZS74 firmware)
8.09
7.69

The results with both drives are totally different. The Mitsumi CR-485C has the lowest writing performance, while the TDK CyClone 401248B doesn't seem to work correctly since the recording speed is not according to wha the rest drives can give.

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

Mitsumi CR-485C TE
(v1.0B firmware)

7.05
15.58
TDK CyClone 401248B
(ZS74 firmware)
8.06
19.58

The TDK CyClone 401248B continues to have the higher reading/recording speeds than other drives. The Mitsumi CR-485C follows, while the rest drives that support Mt. Rainier stay behind.


20. Conclusion
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 20

Conclusion

This roundup includes six new 40x CD-RW drives from CyberDrive, LG, Mitsumi, Samsung, WAITEC and TDK. The drives have several differences compared to what we have so far tested. The main changes are the P-CAV writing technology (LG), the 16x re-writing speed (CyberDrive) and 20x writing speed with blank HS-RW media (Mitsumi). Let's now see each drive positive and negative points:

a) CyberDrive CW078D: Without any doubt, this is the faster 40x recorder at this roundup, and generally in the 40x recorder category. The smart implementation of Zone-CLV manages to overpass the P-CAV writing technology. The drive also leads the race, providing the fastest re-writing speed of 16x (CLV). The DAE reading speeds are high and Mt. Rainier will be supported with future firmware upgrade. The price (120 Euros) is very attractive. On the negative side, the drive needs major improvement in the writing quality and it's reading speed with protected & PSX discs. Lastly, reading of Audio CD-R media needs further tuning because the drive returns many reading errors.

b) LG GCE-8400B: This is second faster 40x recorder that uses P-CAV instead of Zone-CLV recording technology. The drive could take the first place in the recording tests if CyberDrive wasn't present. The media compatibility and writing quality are very good, supports hardware EFM correction, it has a more quiet operation than the rest drives when reading/writing and includes 2 years of warranty offered. On the negative side, the drive is slower in the data/DAE reading speeds - due to lower maximum reading speed (40x), is SLOW when reading protected CDs and cannot 'handle' any protected Audio disc.

c) Mitsumi CR-485C: The drive supports 20x writing of blank HS-RW media, has good writing quality, can read fast and data protected discs and 'handle' protected Audio discs, offers Mt. Rainier out of the box and 2years of warranty. On the negative side, the drive is slower than its competitors at both writing/reading speeds, supports software EFM correction and lowers the maximum reading speed to 40x with CD-R media.

d) TDK CyClone 401248B: A balanced solution that offers Mt. Rainier, hardware EFM correction, writing of any media at 40x (with SmartBurn disabled) and good DAE reading performance. On the negative side, it cannot handle protected Audio discs, it is slow with protected data discs and produces low quality discs with Mitsui 40x media. There is the possibility that soon a new firmware upgrade will offer faster recording with the adoption of P-CAV writing technology, making it even more appealing!

e) Samsung SW-240B: It has to compete drives with faster maximum reading speed and higher average recording speeds. On the positive side we can say that drive has a good DAE ripping quality, high speed when reading protected discs, can 'handle' some Audio protected discs and has a low operation noise. On the negative side, it needs major improvement in the recording stability/quality and supports only software EFM correction.

f) WAITEC Storm40: WAITEC's proposal for the 40x recording speed offers a very high DAE reading speed, good writing quality, protected Audio discs ripping (partly) a 2 year-warranty. On the negative side, the drive supports only software EFM correction, RAW writing is performed at 16x and failed to recognize written 99min discs and our bad DAE test disc.

With so many different proposals at the 40x writing speed, the choice is for sure difficult. Each user much balances its needs and decides which drive fits best for him. As a final remark we list the retail prices of each drive as suggested from manufacturers or found over www.pricewatch.com

CyberDrive CW078D: $115
LG GCE-8400B: $100-115
Mitsumi CR-485C: ???
Samsung SW-240B: ???
TDK CyClone 401248B: $125
WAITEC Storm40: $145


21. Positive And Negative Of Each Drive
40x Roundup Vol. 2 - Page 21

Positive and Negatives

CyberDrive CW078D

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- The faster recorder for the both CD-R (40x) and CD-RW (16x) formats
- Supports ExacLink buffer underrun technology
- Mt. Rainier would be supported with a firmware upgrade
- Wide media support
- Very fast DAE speeds
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Can "handle" protected AudioCDs
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Retail package contains Nero/80min HS-RW media

- Writing quality needs improve, especially for the 40x recording speed
- Very low PSX reading speed
- 16x re-writing needs special media
- Supports only software EFM correction (SD2)
- Drive's DAE performance with CD-R media needs improvement
- Low CloneCD reading performance

LG GCE-8400B

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Uses P-CAV writing technology
- Writing quality is very good!
- Drive is quiter than Z-CLV recorders
- 8MB Buffer
- Supports "SuperLink" anti-buffer underrun technology
- Mt. Rainier would be supported with a firmware upgrade
- Supports HS-RW standard
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports hardware EFM correction (SD2 v2.51.x)
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Offers two years of warranty

- Drive's maximum reading speed is only 40X, making is slower than competition
- Retail package doesn't include CD-R/HS-RW media!
- Very LOW CloneCD reading performance
- Cannot "handle" protected AudioCDs
- Supports only PIO-Mode4 connection

Mitsumi CR-485C TE

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Uses P-CAV writing technology
- 8MB Buffer
- Supports "ExacLink" anti-buffer underrun technology
- Supports Mt. Rainier out of the box
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Good CloneCD reading performance
- Can "handle" protected Audiodiscs
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports UDMA33 connection interface
- Retail package comes with Nero and offers two years of warranty

- Drive is slower than competition in writing/re-writing/reading speeds
- With CD-R media, maximum reading speed is lowered at 40X
- 20x re-writing is allowed only with brand new HS-RW media
- Low PSX reading speed
- Supports only software EFM correction (SD2)

Samsung SW-240B

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 8MB Buffer
- Supports "JustLink" and "JustSpeed" technologies
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Very good CloneCD reading performance
- Can "handle" some protected Audiodiscs
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports UDMA33 connection interface

- Drive's maximum reading speed is only 40X, making is slower than competition
- Limited media support for the 40x writing speed
- Drive procuces coasters/low quality media when Justspeed de-activated
- Doesn't support Mt. Rainier format
- Supports only software EFM correction (SD2)

TDK CyClone 401248B

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- "Smart-BURN" and "Smart-X" technologies
- Build-in media quality detection system can de-activated
- Supports Mt. Rainier out of the box!
- Very good reading performance with both CDR/pressed media
- Good DAE speeds
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports hardware EFM correction (up to v2.51.x)
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Complete retail package (includes Nero/80min HS-RW media) and 2 years of warranty

- Problems with Mitsumi 40x media
- Only 2Mb of buffer
- Low CloneCD reading performance
- Low PSX ripping speed
- Cannot "handle" protected AudioCDs

WAITEC STORM40

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 4MB Buffer
- Supports "SafeLink" anti-buffer underrun technology
- Mt. Rainier would be supported with future firmware upgrade
- Very good DAE speeds
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Good CloneCD reading performance
- Can "handle" some protected AudioCDs
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 93mins)
- Supports UDMA33 connection interface
- Retail package comes with Nero and offers two years of warranty

- RAW writing is performed only at 16X
- Cannot recognize written 99min CDs
- Didn't recognized our BAD DAE disc test disc
- Supports only software EFM correction (SD2)



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