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Appeared on: Sunday, June 23, 2002
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol. 4


1. Introduction - CyQve3248

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 1

Which one is the faster?

- Introduction

The 32X recording looks appealing to new users, since there is no demand for high-end CD-R media and the retail prices of the drives are lower. We test two new drives from CyQve and LG that tend to compete with established performers. What new features the two new drives give to its possible buyers? How the two new drives look compared with other drives? Let's find out...

- CyQve 3248

The drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, has a 8MB Buffer and supports the "JustLink" and "JustSpeed" technologies.

The exact supported writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x (CLV), 20x, 24x, 28x and 32x (16-32x) (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x (CLV). The maximum reading speed is 48x (CAV). Initially the drive will read your discs at 40x. The key point for CQ3248 to reach 48x reading speed is to press the eject button for 5 or more sec. Then you will see the green light flash twice in the left side of the front panel and that means CQ3248 can read any data at 48x. Notice that each time you reboot your PC, you will have to press the eject button again.

However, we did not manage to make the drive a 48x reader, as you will see in the reading test results. MET with the latest firmware revision offers the 48x speed without the need of the above procedure, our attempts to upgrade the drive failed, that's why all tests have accomplished in the 40X speed.

The drive supports all the known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW), among with packet write/overburning option. There is no support of the Mt. Rainier format.

MET offers the "Perfect Write" recording software that can be used only with CyQve 3248/4048 recorders to fine-tune the writing with unknown media. The software tests various CD-R discs to figure out the writing parameters that suit your drive such as optimal burning speed, laser power and so on. Then user can save all the parameter settings for a future burning.

Usually, the supported media list is stored in the drive's firmware. If the disc you use is not on the list, the CD-RW drive will burn it with the default parameters. This may cause writing error or writing break. If you want your drive to extend its supported media list, you must wait for new firmware upgrade. "Perfect Write" allow you to burn enough media with your burner. However, this function only can go with special designed hardware and firmware. Only the CD-RW drives, which support "Perfect Write", can use this technology.

CyQve CQ 3248/4048 users can download this utility from this page..In order to use the "Perfect Write" software, you need the latest firmware.

- 32x writing speed

CyQve 3248 supports 32x-writing speed using the Z-CLV writing technology. Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph, which illustrates the writing technology:

The 32x writing speed range is divided into five zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from lead-in till the 4mins, then shifts up to 20x until 12mins, shifts up again to 24x at 16mins, climbs to 28x at 28mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 40mins and stays there until the end of the burning process. The theoretical average recording speed is 27.24X with 80min discs.

- The package

The package supplied contained: the drive, 1 piece of RICOH 80min 32x CD-R blank, 1 piece of CyQve 80min 4-12x HS-RW blank (unknown manufacturer 97m10s00f code), audio cable and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.7.2 and Ahead InCD v3.22 (for packet writing use).

The package also includes a demo version of CyberLink's PowerDirector v2.0 and a full version of InterVideo's WinRip (Mp3 Encoder/Player). You will also find a printed manual for the drive and for Nero software. The retail package costs around Euro80.

On the front of the drive there are the "CyQve", "32x12x48", "JustLink" and "High-Speed RW" logos. There is one operation led, the eject button 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 (UDMA33 or PIO-4Mode):

- Installation

CyQve 3248 was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as "CQ3248". We used WinXP for the recording, reading tests and the DMA was automatically enabled.

TThe drive is a March 2002 model with firmware revision v1.13 installed. We used the newer build of Nero (5.5.8.2), InCD (3.31), and CloneCD (4.0.1.6) for our recording tests. The drive can support the 32x writing speed with all media when you disable "JustSpeed". If you have this option enabled, the drive will limit its maximum recording speed when uncertified media are inserted:


2. Introduction - LG GCE-8320B

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 3- Page 2

- LG GCE-8320B

The drive supports 32x writing, 12x re-writing, 8MB Buffer and "SuperLink" as the main buffer underrun technology. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV).

The exact supported writing speeds are 8x, 12, 16x (CLV), 24x and 32x (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 10x and 12x. The drive doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format.

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.

- 32x writing speed

LG GCE-8320B supports the 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 this technology:

The 32x writing speed range is divided in 4 zones: The drive starts writing at 16x from the lead-in area till 2mins, shifts up to 20x at 6mins, up to 24x at 16mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 42mins and stays there until the end. The theoretical average recording speed is 25.98X, which makes it slower than other 32x recorders.

- The package

The package supplied was a bare drive among with Ez CD Creator CD-R software. The drive has a 2-year warranty for the European territory and can be found at the price of $ 63.

The front of the drive includes the "LG" / 'HS-RW' logos and the drive's features - "32x/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-8320B was installed as Master in the secondary IDE Bus, it worked at PIO-Mode4 and under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive is a March 2002 model with firmware revision v1.02 installed. A newer firmware revision is already available (v1.04) and was installed for all the recording/reading tests. The drive lowers its recording speed when low quality media is detected. Recording software will allow users to write at any media at max speed, however the final recording time will show that the writing speed was internally reduced during process.


3. Data Reading Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 3

Data Tests

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

Both CyQve 3248 and LG GCE-8320B are slower than other readers due to the 40x maximum reading speed. The LG GCE-8320B is slightly faster than CyQve 3248. The AOpen 3248 is the faster reader with 5514Kb/s. In the Average Random I/O test, the LG GCE-8320B gets the highest score with 938Kb/s, while CyQve 3248 stays in the third best position with 870Kb/s.

- Pressed CD results: (Click to see the CyQve and LG CD Speed Graphs)

Nero CD Speed test showed that CyQve 3248 and LG GCE-8320B have the exact same average reading speeds (31.22X).

In the same test, the CyQve and LG drives have the second and third best scores respectively. The best performance comes from AOpen with 89ms.

- CDR Media: (Click to see the CyQve and LG CD Speed Graphs)

With CDR media, the LG GCE-8320B the performance is not changed. The faster drive still comes from AOpen with 37.6X.

- HS-RW media: (Click to see the CyQve and LG CD Speed Graphs)

For the RW tests we used the Mitsubishi Chemical HS-RW written at 12x. The CyQve 3248 would have a higher average reading speed if hadn't lower its reading speed after 68mins. The LG GCE-8320B gets the last place with 24.98X:


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

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v4.0.1.6) 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. The following pictures show the drive(s) reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

- PSX Pressed Media

The LG GCE-8320B has the lower reading speed with 55secs. The CyQve 3248 follows with 173sec, while the CyberDrive CW-058D stays behind with 499sec.

- SafeDisc 2 Results

Both the CyQve 3248 and LG GCE-8320B are very slow with SafeDisc 2 discs. The AOpen CRW3248 performed better than the rest drives.

- 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 CyQve and LG drives share the first two positions.


5. DAE Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 5

DAE Tests

- DAE features

We used EAC to examine each drive features. Both the CyQve 3248 and LG GCE-8320B support: "Caching" of data, "Accurate Stream" and includes "C2" error info.

- Pressed AudioCD results

The faster drive comes from AOpen. The drive has a 35.3X average reading speed. The LG GCE-8320B gets the third place with 29.1X while the CyQve 3248 comes last with 27.4X:

- CDR AudioCD results

The LG GCE-8320B improved its reading performance with CD-R media and now gets the second place with 30.3X. The CyQve 3248 still gets the last position

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

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

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
CyQve 3248
10.9
11.0
AOpen CRW3248
20.1
20.3
CyberDrive CW-058D
11.2
11.3
LG GCE-8320
9.9
9.8

- Advanced DAE Quality

All tested drives got a 100 score (best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The faster drive comes from AOpen with 35.32X.

- CyQve 3248

The drive's average reading speed was 29.49x and no data/sync errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read SubChannel Data and CD-Text:

- LG GCE-8320B

The drive's average reading speed was 29.66x and no errors were produced. The drive can read CD-Text/SubChannel Data and from the lead-in area:

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc
Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
CyQve 3248
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5
LG GCE-8400B
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5

The LG drive reached the 4th level without producing any playback clicks. The CyQve drive passes the third level of error correction.

- Bad CDR Media results

The disc has fingerprints and includes 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 are posted in the following table:

Average Speed (X)
Errors
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
CyQve 3248
Stops reading at 83%
AOpen CRW3248
8.4
313
0
CyberDrive CW058D
27.2
17617
0
LG GCE-8320B
Stops reading at 40%

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. Both the LG GCE-8320B and CyQve 3248 failed to complete the test since they stopped during the reading process.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

Both drives can read up to 99mins without problems.

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

Key2Audio
CDS200
CDDAE
EAC
CDDAE
EAC
AOpen CRW3248
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips up to 91%
Rips entire disc without problems
CyberDrive CW058D
Rips entire disc without problems
Rips entire disc without problems
Problems recognize 1st track
Rips entire disc without problems
CyQve 3248
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips entire disc without problems
Rips entire disc without problems
LG GCE-8320B
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip
Recognizes disc contents cannot rip

The CyQve 3248 can only rip CDS200 protected discs and failed to recognize the contents of Key2Audio disc. The LG GCE-8320B failed to recognize both CDS200/Key2Audio discs.


6. CDR Tests
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 6

CDR Tests

- Procedure

We tested the two drives with latest version of Nero/CloneCD. We used various media for our tests: Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 40x certified, Mitsui 80min 32x/40x certified, Taiyo Yuden 80min 32x/40x 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. Check the writing quality tests for details upon each drive's compatibility

- Comparison

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

Both drives start writing at 16x speed. The CyQve 3248 needs 4 shifts to reach the 32x speed, while the LG needs only 3 shifts. As you can see the LG drive lowers the recording speed more in the speed shifting points, resulting to a lower average recording speed.

Both drives start rotating at 8.000rpm gradually reduce the rotating speed. The CyQve keeps its rotation high in order to achieve faster recording. Both drives have a more quiet operation than other 32x recorders.

- Recording Tests

For all the recording tests, we used slightly more than 80min data (80:01:47). The CyQve 3248 has the second best recording time for the 16x writing speed. The LG GCE-8320B has the highest time with 336secs:

At the 32x writing speed, the faster drive comes from CyQve with 214secs. The LG GCE-8320B stays at the third place with 230secs.

Below are the Nero screenshots for the CyQve 3248 and LG GCE-8320B

- Overburning Tests
Tested Drives
Writing up to
LG GCE-8400B
99mins
CyQve 3248
99mins

- CD-Text Results

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

- CloneCD Writing Tests

CloneCD v4.0.1.6 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 drive that supports hardware EFM correction is the LG GCE-8320B. However, you can backup all protected discs with the "Amplify Weak Sectors" setting enabled:

Tested Drives
DAO-RAW writing speed
Software EFM Correction
Hardware EFM Correction
CyQve 3248
32x
Yes ( v2.50.021+)
with Amplify Weak Sectors
No
LG GCE-8320B
16x
Yes ( v2.50.021+)


7. Writing Quality of CyQve 3248
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 7

Writing Quality Tests of CyQve 3248

We used many media and burned them at various recording speeds with CyQve 3248A. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables.

- 32x writing speed (firmware v1.13)
Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Prodisc 80min (32x)
(JustSpeed On)
22
2.2
3:34
Maxell 80min (32x)
(JustSpeed On)
25
3.7
3:35
MitsuBishi Chemicals 80min (40x)
(JustSpeed On)
23
1.0

3:36

MitsuBishi Chemicals 80min (40x)
(JustSpeed Off)
57
2.0

3:35

SKC 80min (24x)
(JustSpeed Off)
29
0.9

3:36

Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x)
(JustSpeed Off)
971
58.6
3:36
Philips 80min (40x)
(JustSpeed Off)
18
1.1
3:40
Mitsui 80min (40x)
(JustSpeed Off)
34
0.9
3:36

The CyQve performed better with JustSpeed On than with JustSpeed Off. The best recording result comes from Prodisc 80min 32x. The drive seems to have problems with Taiyo Yuden 80min 40x media since it produces a high C1 error rate:


8. Writing Quality of LG GCE-8320B
32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 8

Writing Quality Tests for LG GCE-8320B

We used many media and burned them at various recording speeds with LG GCE-8320B. 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 80min (40x)
16
0.4
4:15
SKC 80min (24x)
20
1.0
3:50
SmartBuy 80min (32x)
42
3.6
5:36
Mitsui 80min (40x)
49
9.1
4:18
Imation 80min (32x)
65
8.1
5:34

The drive did not manage to give very high quality results. The best quality was produced with Taiyo Yuden 80min (40x) media, but the recording time was longer than with other media. Using SKC 80min (24x) media we had fast recordings and an adequate quality result, compared to the results with the other media.


9. RW-Packet Writing Tests

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 9

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.8.2 for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. The CyberDrive, CyQve and AOpen drives support the 12x re-writing speed. The best result came from CyberDrive with 394secs. The CyQve comes third with 410secs and LG forth with 482secs (10x re-writing speed).

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.31 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 best performance comes from the CyberDrive. The CyQve follows with 8.45X, while the LG GCE-8320B gets the last place with 6.89X. At the reading process, the faster reader comes from AOpen with 23.17X and the slowest from Philips with 6.2X.


10. Conclusion

32x CD-RW Roundup Vol 4 - Page 10

Conclusion

CyQve 3248

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Faster 32x recorder using Zone-CLV recording technology
- Supports JustLink and JustSpeed technologies
- 8MB Buffer
- Can"handle" some protected AudioCDs
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing?)
- Supports Overburning (reading/writing up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Complete retail package contains Nero/80min HS-RW media

- Perfect Write Software can support new un-recognized media into the hardware

- Recording stability needs improvement
- Low DAE reading performance
- Doesn't support 'Mt. Rainier' format
- Low CloneCD reading performance
- Doesn't support hardware EFM correction
- Didn't managed to finish the BAD DAE test
- Competition offers 2 years of warranty

LG GCE-8320B

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Drive is quiter than other Z-CLV recorders
- 8MB Buffer
- Supports "SuperLink" anti-buffer underrun technology
- Mt. Rainier may 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 (reading/writing up to 99mins)
- Offers two years of warranty

- Is one of the slowest 32x Zone-CLV recorders
- 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
- Didn't managed to finish the BAD DAE test
- Cannot "handle" protected AudioCDs
- Supports only PIO-Mode4 connection

Many users have in their minds the last achievements in the recording speeds that now reach the 48x (CAV). Despite that, there are many users who wish a slower drive with a wider media support and of course a lower price. Both the CyQve 3248 and LG GCE-8320B come to fulfil those needs. Lets see each drive separately.

The CyQve CQ3248 gave the faster recording results for the 32x Zone-CLV category, with several media. The 8MB Buffer and JustLink will protect from buffer underruns, while the JustSpeed will auto-detect the best possible writing speed for the drive. In addition, CyQve offers the "Perfect Write" technology that can recognize new un-supported media and offer improved writing quality. On the dark side, we can list the lower DAE reading speed than competitor drives, the bad DAE test failure and the lack of hardware EFM correction. Lastly it doesn't offer 2 years of warranty like other competitors, at least for the European territory.

The LG GCE-8320B is another successful recorder from LG. The main power features aren't the fastest reading/writing speeds, but the quite operation, its wide CD-R media list and the hardware EFM correction. Many users will find this drive as an alternative solution for LiteOn and ASUS 32x drives. Of course there are several negatives that didn't make us happy. If you are thinking of buying the LG GCE-8320B, it would be a good idea either to spend some extra cash and buy the LG GCE-8400B drive that is faster and better tuned drive ;-)



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