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Appeared on: Monday, July 08, 2002
Waitec sfinx16


1. Introduction

WAITEC SfinX 16 IDE Combo DVD/CD-RW - Page 1

- Introduction

This time Waitec offers an attractive IDE recording / DVD playback solution for all those who need a combo device for fast and easy CD burnings and complete playback support for all the DVD formats. The Waitec SfinX 16 can write your CD media at 16x and playbacks your favorite DVD movie at fast and comes to compete other manufacturers with respective products like Philips and Toshiba. In our test results we compare the Waitec SfinX 16 with an already tested drive, the Toshiba SD-R1202.

- The drive

The combo drive supports 16x CD writing (CLV), 10x re-writing, 40x (CD) and 10x DVD-ROM reading. The firmware version installed is v.B1.1 and the cache buffer of the drive is 8 MB.

Nero Info tool also states that the drive can read CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, Video CD, supports Packet writing and TAO, DAO, SAO, RAW SAO 96 and RAW DAO 96 modes.

The drive came with Region code 2 set and the region can totally change 5 times.

 

- The package

The retail package includes the SfinX 16 drive, CyberLink PowerDVD v3.0 DVD playback software, Nero Burning Rom v5.5.7.1, InCD v2.82-- for CD creation and back-up, one piece each of CD-R and CD-RW blank media, IDE BUS and audio cables, mounting screws and an installation instruction manual .

The generic looking front panel of the drive includes the"Waitec SfinX", "DVD-ROM" and "HS-RW" logos. There is also one operation led 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).

The IDE connection can be run in PIO Modes, DMA Mode 2 (16.6 MB/s), or DMA mode 2 and UDMA mode 2, depending on what you set in the motherboard's BIOS. There is no way to force the drive into DMA mode via jumpers.

- Installation

Waitec SfinX 16 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 "Waitec SFINX16 ". Under WinXP, DMA was activated automatically.

The drive is a March 2002 model , with vB1.1 firmware revision installed. The available buffer underrun protection is the "SafeLink". We used Nero v5.5.9.0, InCD v3.21 and CloneCD v4.0.1.9 for our tests.


2. CD / DVD Data Tests

WAITEC SfinX 16 COMBO IDE CD-RW/DVD-ROM - Page 2

CD / DVD Data Tests

- Pressed CD results: (Click to see the CD Speed Graph)

Using Nero CD Speed 0.85g, we measured the transfer rate of the drive. We compare the performance of Waitec SfinX16 with another CD-RW/DVD combo, the Toshiba SD-R1202. The average reading speed for Waitec is 31.73x, where Toshiba is a little slower.

Waitec SfinX 16 is gave also lower seek times in the random, 1/3 and full modes.

- CDR Media: (Click to see the CD Speed Graph)

In the CD-R media reading test, both drives were faster than in the pressed CD test, and Waitec is still slightly faster than the Toshiba drive.

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

For the RW tests, we used Ricoh's HS-RW media. Waitec SfinX 16 is definitely faster than Toshiba SD-R1202 and gave a 23x average reading speed.

- DVD Speed results: (DVD Speed graphs for DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW , DVD+R, DVD+RW)

We used the same pressed DVD-ROM disc with both drives in order to test their reading performance. Both drives started reading in the same speed, but Toshiba SD-R1202 finished the task in a higher speed and gave an average sped of 12156kb/s.

Toshiba SD-R1202 is a faster in the Random mode seek test, and slower in the 1/3 and full modes.

We ripped the same DVD movie to the HD for both drives. Waitec SfinX gave a high ripping speed but the Toshiba drive was even faster with 9109kb/s (average).

In the above chart you can see the average reading speed of both drives when various DVD writable media were inserted. The Toshiba SD-R1202 was faster than Waitec SfinX with all the available DVD formats. Notice than the Waitec drive failed in the DVDSpeed test with DVD-RW media. The drive recognized the disc contents but gave a read error during the test.

- Movie Tests

We tested the Waitec SfinX 16 with many DVDs and our overall impression was very good. When playing DVD movies, the average CPU Usage was 45% using PowerDVD v3.0 Build 0421. We noticed no problems during DVD playback, and the quality of the picture was high, without any "mosaic" problems.


3. CloneCD Reading Tests
WAITEC SfinX 16 COMBO IDE CD-RW/DVD-ROM - Page 3

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v4.0.1.9) 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 reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

- PSX Pressed Media

Toshiba SD-R1202 finished the PSX ripping fast in 79 seconds. Waitec SfinX was 18 seconds slower.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

With SafeDisc 2 protected CDs, the Toshiba drive is very fast in both tests. Waitec SfinX 16 was really slow and finished the task in 1 hour.

- LaserLock v.2 Results

Again in the LaserLock v.2 test, the Toshiba drive was faster than the Waitec, especially in the backup disc test.

- SecuROM Results

It took less than 3 minutes for both drives to finish the SecuROM v.2 test. The WAITEC SFINX16 can only read 16Bytes of SubChannel data, and not full 96Bytes (CD+G). The differences in the performance cannot be clearly made out and both drives are fast.


4. DAE Tests

WAITEC SfinX 16 COMBO IDE CD-RW/DVD-ROM - Page 4

DAE Tests

- DAE features

As EAC v0.9 beta 4 reported, the drive does not support "Caching" and "C2 Error info" and supports "Accurate Stream".

 

- Pressed AudioCD results

The DAE ripping speed of Toshiba SD-R1202 is 15.7x. Waitec SfinX is faster and ripped the audio CD in 20.2x.

- CDR AudioCD Results

In the CDR DAE test, the Waitec drive lowered the ripping speed to 14.6x, while the Toshiba kept its performance in the same levels of the previous test, but Toshiba SD-R1202 produced 20 reading errors.

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

EAC "secure" extract ripping mode ensures the maximum quality of the produced WAV files, during audio extraction. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
Toshiba SD-R1202
12.9
12.5
WAITEC SfinX 16
7.1
4.7

- Advanced DAE Quality

Waitec SfinX 16 completed the Nero CD Speed "Advanced DAE test" with a "99.9" quality score, since it produced 196 data errors. The average speed of DAE was 16.55x.

Nero CD Speed reports that the drive can read "CD-Text" AudioCDs, among with "SubChannel Data" and Leadin data.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
WAITEC SfinX 16
5/5
5/5
5/5
4/5
0/5

Waitec SfinX fulfilled fully the until third level requirement of CD-Check test disc. The drive didn't produce any pops during the playback process until that level. In the fourth level, the drive "passed" the test four times out of five.

- 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 v0.3beta 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 (%)
Toshiba SD-R1202
15.6
50774
0.01
WAITEC SfinX 16
The drive stopped ripping at 95% of the total disc

Toshiba extracted the audio files to the hard disk at 15.6x average speed. The drive does not lower the ripping speed due the bad condition of the test disc and the produced read error rate was just 0.01%. Waitec SfinX gave a read error after ripping the 95% of the total disc contents.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

 
Tested Drives
Ripping up to
WAITEC SfinX 16
Ripping up to 87min

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 2 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with 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
WAITEC SfinX 16
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips disc contents without any problem

The Waitec drive can handle only the "CDS200" audio protection. The drive can rip all the tracks with no problems. With the key2Audio protected CD, the drive could not recognize the disc contents.


5. CDR Tests
WAITEC SfinX 16 COMBO IDE CD-RW/DVD-ROM - Page 5

CDR Tests

Waitec SfinX 16 supports up to 16x (CLV) writing. We did our tests with Nero v5.5.9.0 . For the CDR tests we used: Creation 74min (12x), Taiyo Yuden 74 & 80min (24x), Intenso 80min (16x), Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min (24x), and Verbatim/TDK 74min HS-RW media.

- Recording Tests

We created a DataCD (80:01:47) and used the same media for all burns:

At 16x, Waitec SfinX 16 is 15 seconds faster than the Toshiba drive. A possible reason for this is that Toshiba SD-R1202 uses Z-CLV writing technology when Waitec has chosen the CLV.

- Writing quality

We used Mitsubishi Chemicals and SmartBuy media and burned them at 16x with Waitec SfinX 16. The burning software was Nero v5.5.9.0. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives .

The maximum C1 error value in the above graph is 45 and the average rate is 5.9. The results come from SmartBuy 80min 32x certified media, and the recording speed was 16x. The writing quality is adequate.

- Other features

Overburning Writing
Up to 88mins
CD-Text (Read/Write)
Yes/Yes
8cm CDs
Yes

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The 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" and "Medal Of Honor" game titles. We performed both software/hardware EFM corrections test. The drive did not manage to make a working backup in both tests. Also failed to backup SecuROM v2.0 discs.


6. RW-Packet Writing Tests

WAITEC SfinX 16 COMBO IDE CD-RW/DVD-ROM - Page 6

RW-Packet Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.9.0 for writing CDs in maximum RW writing speed for drives tested in 10x HS-RW media. Waitec SfinX 16 supports fully the HS-RW writing standard:

The Toshiba drive was 11 seconds faster than Waitec in the burning test. Waitec was also 10 seconds slower in the HS-RW quick erase task.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.31 for all Packet Writing tests. We used 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).

Waitec SfinX 16 had a good performance in the writing test, and even a better one while reading. The average reading speed is 15x.


7. Conclusion

WAITEC SfinX 16 COMBO IDE CD-RW/DVD-ROM - Page 8

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- CD/DVD-ROM Combo
- Will support in near future Mt. Rainier format with firmware upgrade
- Supports all DVD formats
- Good DVD ripping performance
- Adopted anti-coaster technology
- Good CD/DVD seek times
- Good data reading performance with CD-R/HS-RW media
- Good CD-R writing quality
- Good DAE speed
- Can handle CD200 audio protection
- 16x CLV writing speed
- Good DVD playback/reading performance
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 88mins)

- Low DAE quality
- Cannot handle Key2Audio protected CDs
- Low CloneCD performance
- Doesn't support either software/hardware EFM correction
- Doesn't support SecuROM v2.0 backups
- Does not support reading of 96 bytes of SubChannel data
- Reading problems with DVD-RW media

Considering the drive as a 16x CD-RW recorder, we could say that the Waitec SfinX 16 is a fast CD-R reader with good access times, good CD-R writing quality and good DAE speed compared to the Toshiba SD-R1202. The drive can rip CD200 protected audio discs, read/write CD-text on Audio CDs. On the other hand, Waitec SfinX 16 does not support reading of 96 bytes of Subchannel Data, doesn't support software & hardware EFM correction, reads SD2 protected discs very slow and doesn't seem to handle correctly the writing under DAO-RAW mode, since SecuROM 2 backups didn't worked either.

The DVD reading features of the drive are also interesting. Waitec SfinX 16 ripped the DVD-Video disc to the hard disk in a high speed and also read fast the inserted DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW media. DVD playback was smooth and with no picture quality problems. However when we inserted DVD-RW media, the disc contents were recognized but the drive refused to complete the reading test.

Waitec SfinX 16 combo CD-RW / DVD-ROM drive will not disappoint the candidate user who does not want to spent money for two separate drives; a CD-RW and a DVD-ROM drive. The overall performance is good, even with glitches when user will try to backup protected discs. Waitec offers a 2-year warranty and the price for the drive is Euro 139 VAT excluded.

Lastly we can mention that Mt. Rainier is working almost perfect. The current firmware doesn't support it, but a newer beta firmware completely passes the "EasyWrite" logo requirements and will be released soon :-)



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