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Appeared on: Wednesday, September 11, 2002
CyberDrive CW088D


1. Installation/Package

CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 1

- Introduction

CyberDrive increases the competition in optical recording market with the new IDE proposal for writing at 48X. Judging from the previous models of the Taiwanese company, we expect a fast recorder that will fairly share the leading positions with manufacturers such as Yamaha, Asus and LiteOn, in the performance charts. Furthermore, and of the strong weapons of CyberDrive is the attractive price..

- Features

The CyberDrive CW088D supports 48X maximum reading speed (CAV) for CD-R, 16X re-writing speed (CLV) and 48X writing speed (CAV). The current firmware version installed is v.110F and of course is equipped with flash memory allowing easy firmware upgrade.

The drive also includes a 2MB cache buffer, and the supported disk formats are CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM / XA, mixed mode, Video-CD, Photo CD, Enhanced CD, CD Plus, CD-G, CD-Text among with the CD-UDF compatibility.

Buffer Underun errors are avoided with the "ExacLink" adopted feature. The drive's specifications also give the CyberDrive an 100ms average access time and a 40X maximum audio extraction speed. The drive utilizes a High Precise Sledge Control (HPSC) type traverse mechanism to improve access time while reducing acoustic seek noise.


- Recording speeds

CyberDrive CW088D uses the CAV for the 48X and P-CAV for the 40X speed. Nero CDSpeed reports that the average theoretical writing speed for the 48X category is 37.80X.

While using several media, we noticed the drive reached 50X writing speed, increasing further the average writing speed to 38.03X:

The 40X P-CAV also leads to a 31.86X average writing speed. For the rest supported speeds, the adopted technology is the Z-CLV, as you can see in the corresponding CDSpeed graphs for the 32X and 36X.

Lastly, with HS-RW media the CW088D can write up to 16X:

- Unpacking

The European retail package includes the drive, a multilingual user's manual CD-ROM, a quick installation guide, an audio cable and mounting screws. Nero Burning Rom and InCD are the writing/packet writing software offered among with one 700MB blank 48X CD-R, and one 650MB 16X HS-RW disc. The price for Europe is Euro 87 plus V.A.T.

On the front panel (tray) there are just the "HS-RW" logo, the eject button, the operation led and a emergency eject hole. Notice that the drive does not include the CyberDrive logo, headphone jack and volume control button, as it is showed in the retail kit package. CyberDrive ensured that the future shipments you will have in your hands will have a complete front bezel.

On the rear panel there are Power connector IDE interface connector , Device configuration jumper (Master, Slave, CSEL), Analog audio line out (4P), Digital audio out (2P)

- Installation

Windows XP recognized the drive July 2002 model as "CyberDrv CW088D". It supports both PIO mode 4 and UDMA mode 2.


2. CD Data Tests

CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 2

Data CD Tests

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

In the result charts we include the results of two competitive drives, the Asus CRW4816A and Yamaha CRW-F1E. CyberDrive CW088D is slower than the Asus drive, due to the lowest reading speed in the beginning of the test. The Yamaha drive follows with 32.33X, as it supports 44X max speed.

In the same test, we measured the seek time of the drive. CyberDrive is fast, and the 104 ms result for the random seek mode meets the drive's specifications. However the Asus drive is slightly faster with 89 msec.

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

All the drives improved their reading performance with the CDR media. The fastest drive is the Asus again, closely followed by CyberDrive CW088D, which reached the 49.76X speed in the end of the test.

In the seek test, CyberDrive is the fastest in all the seek modes. The Asus drive seems to have some problems with the CD-R since it gave higher times than in the pressed CD test, especially in the Full mode seek.

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

For the RW tests for CyberDrive we used the CyberDrive 16X HS-RW media that come with the retail kit. The Yamaha drive is the faster HS-RW reader with 33.05X average speed. CyberDrive CW088D supports 40X maximum HS-RW reading speed, and gave a 30.82X average, getting the second place in the test. Asus is slower and read the disc at 21.75X.


3. CD Error Correction
CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 3

CD Error Correction tests

In the following tests we examine the error correction capabilities of CyberDrive CW088D. We use the built-in Nero CD Speed v1.0 CD Quality test. The reference test media come from ALMEDIO and Philips corporations.

- ABEX TCD-714R

This test disc has been produced for measuring and adjusting the tracking servo characteristics of the drive, against the eccentricity of compact disc. The fundamental characteristics of this disc other than on eccentricity are compatible with the standards in "Red Booklet".

The test examines the ability to trace eccentricity of the compact disc player. In reference to a zero eccentricity disc, we check the following phenomena:

a. There is skipping of sound tracks
b. Requires excess time to locate or cannot locate the starting point of the tune.
c. Mechanical noise is heard from the CD player
d. Requires excess time to read or cannot read the TOC information
e. The spindle motor runs wild

Physical characteristics of disc:

Eccentricity: 280 micro meters
Deviation: 3 micro meters

CyberDrive behaved in a very strange way in this test. The error rate is extremely high and definitely cannot reflect the real error correction capabilities of the drive. As it seems, there is an incompatibility between the CDSpeed implementation of ABEX TCD-714R and the way the CyberDrive CW088D retrieves C2 errors.

- ABEX TCD-721R

This test disc is produced with the objective of measuring and adjusting the CD player's tracking servo characteristics and error correction ability against scratches on the disc. Artificial scratches with lengths from 1.8 mm to 3.0 mm are found on the disc. The phenomenon that may occur during playback of the disc contents are:

a. Noise is created
b. The sound skips
c. The same section is repeatedly played
d. Start of the tune cannot be detected
e. The spindle motor rotates erratically (reverse rotation, change in revolution, e.t.c)

The same behavior as in the previous test is showed here. This time, the drive reduced the reading speed in some hard to read areas, but again the amount of errors marked is unduly high.

- ABEX TCD-726

This disc is produced for measurement and adjustment of error ability and tracking / focusing servo characteristics of a CD player against defects included in some discs. Three kind of defects, interruption, black dots and fingerprints are prepared in this disc. The interruption defects are sized from 0.5 mm to 1.0 mm. The black dots are from 0.4 mm to 1.0 mm. Lastly, the fingerprints are from 65 to 75 micro meters.

- PHILIPS SBC-444A

Another test disc that comes from Philips. The purpose of this disc is adjustment / checking of the CD player. Note that the disc is not within specification concerning local defects. The defects found on the disc are interruptions of the information layer, black dots at out-read area, and simulated fingerprint.

The situation remains the same in the ABEX TCD-726 and Philips SBC-444A. The errors occur from the beginning of the test and we should not take these results as a reference for the drive's performance.


4. CloneCD Reading Tests
CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 4

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD 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

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to the HD with CloneCD. Cyberdrive CW088D finished the task in 6min. The drive was not so fast and the competitive drives, especially the Asus CRW4816A, take the first two places.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

Cyberdrive CW088D finished the task in approximately 6 minutes, for the pressed disc. In the backup CD test, the drive showed a very strange behavior and skipped the "bad sectors" very slowly. As a result , it took it almost 3 hours to finish. Yamaha CRW-F1 lead the race, followed by Asus CRW4816A.

- LaserLock v.2 Results

With the LaserLock v.2 protected disc, Cyberdrive CW088D takes the second best position behind the Asus drive, which is the fastest in the test. The Yamaha drive is even slower with both pressed and backup test discs.

- SecuROM v2.0 Results

Cyberdrive CW088D takes its revenge in the SecuROM v.2 test, and gives the best performance with 2624.18kb/sec for the pressed disc and 2604.30kb/sec for the backup one.


5. DAE Tests

CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 5

DAE Tests

- DAE features

EAC v0.9 beta4 reports that CyberDrive CW088D does not support "caching" of data, does not retrieve "C2" error info and gives "Accurate Stream".

 

- Pressed AudioCD results

In this test we examine the speed of the DAE of the drives. CyberDrive ripped the files to the disk at 34.9X, which is the best performance in terms of speed among the other drives. Asus follows with 34.1X, while Yamaha CRW-F1E stays behind with 30.6X.

- CDR AudioCD results

CyberDrive CW088D was slower in the CD-R ripping test, and gets the second position with 31.4X, behind the Asus drive.

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

EAC's secure extract ripping mode results, which ensures maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
Yamaha CRW-F1
7.2
7.3
Asus CRW4816A
10.4
10.7
CyberDrive CW-088D
13.7
13.4

CyberDrive gave the higher DAE speed with 13.7X for the pressed disc and 13.4X for the CD-R one.

- Advanced DAE Quality

All drives got a 100 score (best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The average speed for CyberDrive was 34.98X. The drive can also read data from SubChannel and CD Text.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Yamaha CRW-F1
5/5
5/5
5/5
4/5
0/5
Asus CRW4816A
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
CyberDrive CW088D
5/5
5/5
4/5
3/5
0/5

The results for CyberDrive CW088D could be better, since the drive failed to completely fulfill the error correction requirements of the test disc, during playback. The problems started from the 3rd level and continued in the 4th, with 3/5 successful playbacks. Among the other two drives, Asus is slightly better from the Yamaha drive, but none managed to pass the 5th level.

- Bad CDR Media results

We used CD DAE software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) to the hard disk.

Average Speed (X)
Errors
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
Yamaha CRW-F1
6
61230297
8.09
Asus CRW4816A
Drive locks when disc inserted
CyberDrive CW088D
19.3
65894059
8.71

CyberDrive CW088D ripped the files at 19.3X average speed, but the 8.71% of the disc contents were not correct. The Yamaha CRW-F1 gave an 8.09% error rate and ripped the files at 6X.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

CyberDrive CW088D did not have any problems to rip the contents of any 90min and 99min audio CD we tested.

- 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
EAC
Yamaha CRW-F1
Rips entire disc without problems
Asus CRW4816A
Cannot recognize disc contents
Can recognize the disc contents but cannot rip!
CyberDrive CW088D
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips entire disc without problems

The only drive that can read AudioCD protected discs comes from Yamaha. The CyberDrive can only rip CDS200 protected discs, while the ASUS drive failed even to recognize the disc contents.


6. CDR Tests

CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 6

CDR Tests

- Procedure

We tested the drive with latest version of Nero/CloneCD. The media list we used can be found in the Writing Quality page. Cyberdrive CW088D supports a variety of writing speeds starting from 4X up to 48X.

Cyberdrive CW088D decides the optimum writing speed for the disc inserted. The drive checks the inserted media and lowers the writing speed when the selected writing speed is higher than the maximum allowed for safe and accurate recordings. The below picture comes from Nero Burning Rom, where the maximum allowed writing speed is limited to 36X.

Cyberdrive recommends the following media for writing at the maximum 48X speed. As you may notice, the supported media list is pretty much limited to 9 brands. There is no way to force the drive writing at the maximum speed, all media:

For our recording tests at 48X, we used the Cyberdrive 48X media that came in the retail kit, Ciba Plasmon 80min 48X, and Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48X. We also managed to write in the maximum supported speed with SanyoDigital (Plasmon based) 80min 24X media. The duration of each writing process is showed below:

- CyberDrive 80min 48X : 2:40 min
- SanyoDigital 80min 24X : 2:38 min
- Ciba Plasmon 80min 48x : 2:36 min
- Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48x : 2:37 min

- Recording Tests

Cyberdrive CW088D is the fastest 48X writer in the test. The drive finished the writing in 156 seconds, 5 seconds faster than Asus CRW4816A. Note that in this test we just examine the writing speed and not the produced quality.

The following picture is from Nero after a successful burning of Cyberdrive CW088D at 48X.

All the writing times for the various supported speeds of Cyberdrive are illustrated below:

The time differences between the faster recording speed of 48X and the rest are:

- 16X: 154secs
- 20X: 105secs
- 24X: 73secs
- 28X: 62secs
- 32X: 38secs
- 36X: 33secs
- 40X: 28secs

The following picture is from Nero after a successful burning of Cyberdrive CW088D at 40X.

We also noticed that sometimes, according to the inserted media, the drive may enable 36X or 24X writing speed, but the actual writing will be performed in lower recording speed. The below picture shows that 36X writing speed was selected, but the actual recording time, indicates 20X writing speed.

The next picture shows more clearly the reduction of the writing speed from 24X->16X:

- Overburning Tests

Tested Drive
Writing up to
CyberDrive CW088D
99mins

- CD-Text Results

The drive can read/write CD-Text without any problems.

- CloneCD Writing Tests

CloneCD reports that the drive support the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that both drives support the DAO-RAW writing mode at the following CD protections: SafeDisc 1/2, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2. Under DAO-RAW mode, the drive uses the maximum 48x recording speed, with the use of appropriate media.

For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with various SafeDisc 2 versions. For getting the maximum of them, we used the latest software patches. We used the CyberDrive CW088D both as reader/writer at maximum reading/recording speed. We burned two discs for each game (Amplify Weak Sectors On/Off) and the results are posted in the below table:

Game Title
Protection Build
Amplify Weak Sectors On
Amplify Weak Sectors Off
Emperor:Battle of Dune
Creative 52X CD-ROM
v.2.30.021
OK
OK
TEAC 40X CD-ROM
OK
OK
LiteOn LTR-32123S
+ Hide CDR
OK
OK
Max Payne v1.05
Creative 52X CD-ROM
v.2.50.020
OK
OK
TEAC 40X CD-ROM
OK
OK
LiteOn LTR-32123S
+ Hide CDR
OK
OK
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
Creative 52X CD-ROM
v.2.60.052
NO
NO
TEAC 40X CD-ROM
NO
NO
LiteOn LTR-32123S
+ Hide CDR
NO
NO

As the test results showed, the CW088D drive can backup up to SD2 v2.50.020 version without the need of Amplify Weak Sectors. However with the latest v2.51.021+ builds it will not produce 100% correct playback disc. The backup did not work in any drive, even when the backup was written with the amplify weak sectors enabled. According to the CloneCD official website, the drive doesn't support at all EFM correction.


7. Writing Quality Tests

CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 7

Writing Quality Tests

We used many media and burned them at various recording speeds with Cyberdrive CW088D. We used Nero 5.5.9.6 for all the recordings. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following table

Brand
Speed Recorded
C1
C2
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Max
Average
Octron 80min 24x
40X
18
1.7
0
3:04
SanyoDigital 80min 24x
16X
22
1.4
0
5:18
20X
23
2.3
4:21
48X
28
2.6
2:38
Emtec 80min 24x
36X
32
5.2
0
3:13
SmartBuy 80min 32x
32X
64
4.8
0
3:14
Aopen 80min 40x
40X
35
2.4
0
3:04
Ciba Plasmon 80min 48x
48x
26
1.8
0
2:36
CyberDrive 80min 48x
48x
57
4.2
19
0
2:40
40X
75
3.8
0
3:01
36X
24
1.8
0
3:09
32X
41
2.4
0
3:15
28X
23
2
0
3:38
24X
26
1.8
0
3:49
Mitsui SG Ultra 80min 32x
36X
33
1.3
0
3:10
Taiyo Yuden 80min 32x
40X
45
1.9
0
3:03
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48x
48X
28
1.5
0
2:37

The general writing quality of Cyberdrive CW088D is more than adequate, in all the recording speeds. The error rate in most cases is low and no C2 errors occurred, with just one exception with Cyberdrive 48X media. The best results at 48X came with Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48X media, where the average C1 rate was 1.5. The results also show that writing on non 48X certified media, will not always lead to low quality discs, but of course this can be considered more as an exception and not as a rule for your everyday burnings.

Below is the C1/C2 graph from the CyberDrive 80min 48X media, where C2 errors occured:

In the following chart you can see the manufacturing details of the media we used for our tests.

Name
Manufacturer
Code
Capacity
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48x
Mitsubishi Chemicals
97m34s23f
79:59.73
Taiyo Yuden 80min 32x
Taiyo Yuden
97m24s01f
79:59.72
CyberDrive 80min 40x
Postech
97m26s11f
79:59.73
Plasmon 80min 16x
Plasmon
97m27s19f
79:59.74
SmartBuy 80min 32x
Prodisc
97m32s19f
79:59.74
SanyoDigital 80min 24x
Plasmon
97m27s19f
79:59.74
Octron 80min 24x
Ritek
97m15s17f
79:59.73


8. HS-RW/Packet Writing Tests

CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 8

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. CyberDrive CW088D supports 16X CLV maximum HS-RW writing speed. For the writing test we used the CyberDrive 16X HS-RW media that came with the drive package.

The Yamaha drive is faster due to the 24X (P-CAV) maximum supported speed. Between CyberDrive and Asus, the second is faster by 8 seconds. In the quick erase test, both Asus and CyberDrive drives gave the same result. Below is the screenshot from Nero, while writing a HS-RW media at 16X:

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD for the packet writing tests with the CyberDrive media bulked in the retail package. The formatted disc had 534 MB 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 Yamaha CRW-F1 supports 24X rewriting so is the faster writer in this test with 17.35X average speed. CyberDrive and Asus follow with 11.5X and 11.28X respectively. In the reading part, Yamaha CRW-F1 is slower with 12.94X, slightly faster than Asus CRW4816A. CyberDrive is faster with 17X.


9. Conclusion

CyberDrive CW088D IDE CD-RW - Page 9

Conclusion

Positive

Negative

- Supports 48X CAV writing speed
- "ExacLink" anti-coaster technology
- 40X HS-RW reading
- Good seek times
- Very Good DAE ripping speed
- Very fast CD-R writer
- High writing quality
- Supports DAO-RAW writing mode
- Can read/write SubChannel Data from Audio/Data tracks
- Supports CD-Text (read/write)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface
- Low price (87 Euro + V.A.T)

- Doesn't support hardware EFM correction
- CloneCD performance slower than competition
- Weak error correction/error concealment
- Cannot handle "Key2Audio" protected audio discs
- Doesn't support ,yet, Mt. Rainier format

Cyberdrive CW088D is easily characterized as a very fast recorder and reader. The 48X CAV writing strategy gave the drive the first position in the writing tests, and the interesting point is that the produced discs did not fall short of quality. The ExacLink feature interferes to assure a safe burning process and adjusts the maximum writing speed according to the inserted media limits. In the data reading part, the Cyberdrive CW088D is also fast and the seek times seems to be adequate. Especially in the HS-RW reading test, the drive reached the 40X speed giving approximately a 31X average speed.

Cyberdrive CW088D can read / write subchannel data from audio /data tracks, supports overburning up to 99 minutes and leads in the DAE speed with audio CDs. However, the DAE quality is questionable, since the drive gave a high error rate in the "bad medium" test, and the CD Check test showed that the drive's concealment performance with audio CDs could be higher. Some indications in the ABEX tests also could make us believe that the drive needs some improvement in the error correction part. Of course, the possible lack of C2 error retrieving of the drive or even some CD Speed Quality test incompatibilities with the drive could give a faulty picture for this matter. As for all the CloneCD users, CyberDrive CW088D is not the faster reader of protected discs, with an exception in SecuROM v.2 titles, and the latest SafeDisc v.2 build was impossible to be overpassed with software or hardware EFM correction feature.

Cyberdrive CW088D is available in a very attractive price for its category, and can be found in the price of Euro 87 plus V.A.T. Therefore it gets our "Safe Buy Award".



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