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Appeared on: Monday, September 23, 2002
Waitec Frisby II


1. Introduction

Waitec Frisby II external CD-RW - Page 1

- Introduction

Waitec releases another handy external recorder for laptop and desktop use. At a glance, the small dimensions of the new "Frisby II" could hide its promising performance. In fact he drive is a 40/12/40 USB 2.0 recorder that comes to compete all traditional IDE drives with the same specifications.

- Features

The Frisby II supports 40X maximum reading speed (CAV) for CD-R, 12X re-writing speed (CLV) and 40X writing speed (P-CAV). The current firmware version installed is v.7SX2 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 "SafeLink" adopted feature. The optimum writing speed is also decided by this feature, according to the media used. The drive's specifications also state that it supports 48X DAE speed. Lastly, the Waitec Frisby II supports the Mt Rainier technology.


- Recording speeds

Waitec Frisby II uses the P-CAV writing technology . Nero CDSpeed reports that the average writing speed for the 40X category is 31.59X. The 32X P-CAV also leads to a 28.90X average writing speed.

- Unpacking

The European retail package includes the drive, a user's manual CD-ROM, USB 2.0 cable, a power adaptor. The recording software supplied is Nero Burning Rom and InCD for packetwriting use.

The price for Europe is Euro 229 V.A.T included.

 

The dimensions of the drive are 152 x 44.3 x 198 mm (W x H x D) and its weight is 550g. As you can see in the pictures the design is elegant and handy. The "Waitec Frisby II" logo is placed on the top-opened tray. On the front panel of the drive you can find an operation LED and the skip/fast forward and eject buttons. Something that could make the drive more solid is a better design of the tray, which seems to be very elegant when it is open.

 

On the rear panel there are Power and the USB 2.0 connectors.

- Installation

Windows XP recognized the drive July 2002 model as "WAITEC FRISBYII". The drive is an August 2002 model.


2. Data CD Tests

Waitec Frisby II external 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 three IDE 40/12/40 drives, the LG GCE-8400B, the PleXWriter PX-W4012A and the Samsung SW-240B. All the drives read the test disc at 31X-32X average speed. Although Waitec Frisby II started reading at 20.47X, the average result it gave was 31.27X, slightly slower than the rest of the drives.

In the same test, Frisby II was the faster drive with only 87msec for the random seek mode. Samsung SW-240B has aproximately the same performance and the LG and Plextor drives follow.

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

All the drives improved their reading performance with the CDR media. This time Frisby II is the faster reader but the differences are not worth to mention since they are really small.

In the seek test, Frisby II is the fastest in all the seek modes. The Samsung drive is also fast and gave the second best performance.

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

For the RW tests for Frisby II we used LiteON 12X HS-RW media. Waitec Frisby II was fast but PlexWriter and Samsung share the first position slighlty faster.


3. Audio Error Correction Tests
Waitec Frisby II external CD-RW- Page 3

EAC CD-R Test Disc

- Introduction

We used the testing methodology as described in EAC website. The CD-R test disc includes 5 scratches and a black triangle defect. Using EAC's BURST mode, we ripped the test disc in the maximum and the 4X. The attached analyse.exe software used to get the necessary results.

The graph gives interesting information about the abilities of the drive. The quality of the optical system (and/or the error correction capabilities of the firmware) is shown among with the exact time index each error has occurred.

The grid of the graph has the following means:

· The X position of a grid line is always a start of a new minute position on the CD (in play time, up to 74 min).
· The Y axis shows the dB(A) value of the error in the extracted file. The 0 dB(A) baseline at the top is marked slightly different (black line). The graph shows a range of 6 dB(A) to -120.0 dB(A). Each line represents 6 dB(A) of volume (6 dB(A) louder means that the sound is double as loud). The lower the dB(A) the better. Numbers below -60 dB(A) (-61 ~ -120 dB(A)), are considered adequate.


- Explanation

After the analyse.exe software finishes, we will get a detailed report about the various errors:


- Errors total tells about the total number of wrong stereo samples. This includes areas of wrong samples that may also include some correct samples .

- Errors Loudness is the number of FFT analysis done. For that the average and maximum value tells the power difference of the two signals. No acoustic model is used for this calculation, so the audible error may differ from these values.

- Error Muting tells something about error hiding. On bad errors (or bad error hiding techniques), the last error free sample is held for some time until a new valid sample is found. The number of these mutings is given as first result, following the average and maximum sample length of these mutings.

- Skips are occurring when the sync was lost and the drive had to reposition again (and started on a slightly different position). Non-accurate stream devices would loose the sync very often and smaller and bigger skips occur (thus samples are missing or extraneous). The average and maximum values denote the length in samples of such skips.

- Total Score is calculated according to the previous errors. The higher score a drive gets, the better!


- Test Results (4X Reading)



Errors total
Num : 247220536
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num : 588729
Avg : -18.4 dB(A)
Max : -4.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num : 84095
Avg : 63.5 Samples
Max : 1920 Samples
Skips Samples
Num : 4
Avg : 21.0 Samples
Max : 42 Samples
Total Test Result
59.5 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The total test result for this task is only 59.5 points. The performance is low and what is really strange is the fact that the selected ripping speed was only 4X. The maximum error level was -4.6dB(A) and the average -18.4dB(A).


- Test Results (Max Reading)

Errors total
Num : 5400
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num : 19
Avg : -75.8 dB(A)
Max : -66.5 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num : 0
Avg : 0.0 Samples
Max : 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num : 0
Avg : 0.0 Samples
Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result
92.7 points (of 100.0 maximum)

In the maximum ripping speed, the results were surprisingly very good. The drive gets a 92.7 score, and seems that the drive is adjusted to give quality results in the highest speeds.

- ABEX TCD-721R


- Introduction
This test disc includes artificial scratches with lengths from 1.8 mm to 3.0 mm.

Using the ABEX TCD-726 as the reference disc, we created the reference.wav file that is needed for the comparison. We ripped the disc at full speed, using EAC's copy range and after running the analyse.exe software we got the error graph.


- Test Results (4X speed)



Errors total
Num : 29869948
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num : 82543
Avg : -45.1 dB(A)
Max : -7.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num : 30832
Avg : 9.4 Samples
Max : 1920 Samples
Skips Samples
Num : 0
Avg : 0.0 Samples
Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result
72.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The ABEX-721 is a very hard test disc for all the drives. Frisby II gave back reading errors and the total score is 72.3 points.

- Test Results (Max speed)


Errors total
Num : 10975580v
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num : 38834
Avg : -71.7 dB(A)
Max : -6.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num : 3267
Avg : 1.2 Samples
Max : 169 Samples
Skips Samples
Num : 0
Avg : 0.0 Samples
Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result
76.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)

In the highest reading speed, the results are better and the drive gets a 76.9 score. The signal peaks show that errors occurred but the amount is lower than in the slowest speed.


- ABEX TCD-726


- Introduction


The ABEX TCD-726 includes three kinds 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.

- Test Results (4X Speed)


At 4X reading speed, the drive showed very better behavior. The amount of errors is lower, and the most of them appear in the heavily scratched area. Other interruptions and fingerprints on the disc did not affect the reading. However, the -23.8dB(A) signal level lowered the score to 74.6.

Errors total
Num : 4656
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num : 14
Avg : -23.8 dB(A)
Max : -7.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num : 26
Avg : 52.6 Samples
Max : 282 Samples
Skips Samples
Num : 1
Avg : 494.0 Samples
Max : 494 Samples
Total Test Result
74.6 points (of 100.0 maximum)


- Test Results (Max Speed)

Errors total
Num : 96
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num : 12
Avg : -67.1 dB(A)
Max : -23.4 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num : 2
Avg : 12.0 Samples
Max : 12 Samples
Skips Samples
Num : 2
Avg : 580.0 Samples
Max : 666 Samples
Total Test Result
76.0 points (of 100.0 maximum)

In the maximum reading speed, the drive gave less errors and the average Signal/noise ratio is lower, giving a 76 points score.
- Conclusion

Test Disc Reading Speed Score
EAC CD-R 4X 59.5
Max 92.7
ABEX TCD-721R 4X 72.3
Max 76.9
ABEX TCD-726 4X 74.6
Max 76
Average Score 75.3
The Waitec Frisby II gets an average 75.3 score out of 100 at our reading error correction tests.

- C2 Information accuracy

- Introduction

Advanced DAE Error Correction tests are available in the latest version of Nero CDSpeed. With the A-BEX TCD-721R disc, we can test the drive's C2 error information accuracy. First we created the image with the A-BEX TCD-714 test disc. Then we tested with the Advanced DAE Error Correction test, the C2 error information. According to the CD Speed author, the list of scores for the quality score test is:
0-50: bad
51-60: not so good
61-70: ok
71-80: good
81-90: very good
91-100: excellent


- Test Results (MAX Speed)

Waitec Frisby II drive got an 87.4% quality score (out of 100% max) and a 99.99% for the C2 accuracy. Both results are very good, especially the accuracy result, which means that the drive can retrieve C2 error information accurately.


4. CloneCD Reading Tests
Waitec Frisby II external 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. The Waitec drive finished the task in 2:17 min. The drive was not so fast and the competitive drives, especially the PlexWriter and the LG are faster.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

Waitec Frisby II finished the task in approximately 3 minutes, for both the pressed and the backup disc. The performance is not the best in the test, allowing the Plextor and Samsung drives to take the first positions.

- LaserLock v.2 Results

With the LaserLock v.2 protected disc, Frisby II takes the first position in the pressed CD test, and the second in the backup one. Plexwriter PX-W4012A leads the race in the backup disc test with 1944.03 sectors/sec.

- SecuROM Results

Frisby II takes second position in the SecuROM v.2 test, with 2022.16 sectors/sec for the pressed disc. In the backup disc test, the Samsung drive is the faster with 2322.75 sectors/sec, while Waitec Frisby II kept the same performance as in the test with the pressed disc, taking the third place.


5. DAE Tests

Waitec Frisby II external CD-RW - Page 5

DAE Tests

- DAE features

EAC v0.9 reports that Waitec Frisby II supports "caching" of data, retrieves "C2" error info and gives "Accurate Stream".

 

- Pressed AudioCD results

In this test we examine the speed of the DAE of the drives. Waitec Frisby II ripped the pressed disc at 29.4X average speed, just 0.7X slower than PleXWriter PX-W4012A.

- CDR AudioCD results

In the CD-R ripping test, the Plextor drive was slower and the difference from the Frisby II is smaller. The Waitec drive improved the ripping speed to 29.5X.

- 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
Waitec Frisby II
10.3
3.8
LG GCE-8400B
5.9
6.2
PleXWriter PX-W4012A
7.3
7
Samsung SW-240B
9.7
9.9

Waitec Frisby II finished the test with the pressed disc at 10.3X, but with the copied CD, the drive lowered the ripping speed very much and finished the task at only 3.8X.

- Advanced DAE Quality

All drives got a 100 score (best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The average speed for Waitec drive was 29.01X. The drive can also read data from SubChannel and CD Text.

- 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 (%)
Waitec Frisby II
8.8
124065957
14.6
LG GCE-8400B
Ripping stopped
PleXWriter PX-W4012A
22.6
86674027
11.46
Samsung SW-240B
13.2
152005
0.02

Waitec Frisby II ripped the files at 8.8X average speed, but the 14.6% of the disc contents were not correct. PleXWriter had given an 11.46% error rate and ripped the files at 22.6X. The best result had come from the Samsung drive, with just 0.02% errors.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

Waitec Frisby II stopped ripping at 98min with the 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
Waitec Frisby II
Cannot recognize disc contents
Recognizes the disc contents but cannot rip
LG GCE-8400B
Cannot recognize the disc contents
Can recognize the disc contents but cannot rip
PleXWriter PX-W4012A
Rips entire disc without problems
Rips entire disc without problems
Samsung SW-240B
Cannot recognize the disc contents
Can rip disc contents but the extracted files have errors

Audio protections seems to be tough for Waitec Frisby II. The "Key2Audio"protected disc was not recognized and the "CDS200" disc contents were recognized but could not be ripped.


6. CD-R Recording Tests

Waitec Frisby II external 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. Waitec Frisby uses the P-CAV writing technology.

Waitec Frisby II uses the SafeLink feature, which 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.

For our recording tests at 40X, with the SafeLink enabled, we used Ciba Plasmon 80min 48X, Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48X, Mitsui SG Ultra 80min 32x, Taiyo Yuden 80min 32x and Prodisc 80min 32x media. The duration of each writing process is showed below:

- Taiyo Yuden 80min 32x : 3:05 min
- Prodisc 80min 32x : 3:03 min
- Ciba Plasmon 80min 48x : 3:16 min
- Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48x : 3:05 min
- Mitsui SG Ultra 80min 32x : 3:09 min

The time results above came with the SmartBurn enabled. The same tasks were in most cases faster when the SafeLink was disabled.

- Recording Tests

Waitec Frisby II is the fastest drive in the maximum supported speed. The 3:03 min result came with Prodisc 80min 32X media with SafeLink On/Off. The LG drive is 3 seconds slower and PleXWriter follows with 206 seconds.

The following picture is from Nero after a successful burning of Waitec Frisby II at 40X, SmartBurn enabled.

The drive gave the exact writing time, with the SmartBurn disabled.

- Overburning Tests

Tested Drive
Writing up to
Waitec Frisby II
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.

- SD2 Support

For the SD2 test we used the "Emperor:Battle of Dune", "Max Payne"and "Serious Sam - The Second Encounter" game titles. We used the Waitec Frisby II both as reader/writer at maximum reading/recording speed. The drive had no problems with the SafeDisc v2.51.021 protected disc and the backup worked in any drive even with the amplify weak sectors disabled.


7. Writing Quality Tests

Waitec Frisby II external CD-RW - Page 8

Writing Quality Tests

We used many media and burned them at various recording speeds with Frisby II. 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
SmartBurn ON
40X
17
2
0
3:06
SmartBurn OFF
24
2
3:05
SanyoDigital 80min 24x
SmartBurn ON
32X
29
2
0
3:15
SmartBurn OFF
40X
42
6
3:04
Emtec 80min 24x
SmartBurn OFF
40X
85
19.5
0
3:04
Ciba Plasmon 80min 48x
SmartBurn ON
40x
44
2.4
0
3:16
SmartBurn OFF
36
2.8
3:05
Mitsui SG Ultra 80min 32x
SmartBurn ON
40X
79
10.5
0
3:09
SmartBurn OFF
69
9.5
3:04
Taiyo Yuden 80min 32x
SmartBurn ON
40X
22
3
0
3:05
SmartBurn OFF
132
8
56
0
3:05
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48x
SmartBurn ON
40X
86
18.1
0
3:05
SmartBurn OFF
74
13.6
3:05
Prodisc 80min 32x
SmartBurn ON
40x
28
2.7
0
3:03
SmartBurn OFF
5391936.5
4807
133.3
3:03

The writing quality of Frisby II is not bad, although it could be better. In non 40X certified media the Smart-Burn feature seems to give improved writing quality, even in cases where it did not limit the writing speed. With 40X or more certified media the feature will not make any important difference, since it is not nessecary. Frisby II seems to give a higher C1 error rate with Mitsubish Chemicals discs and also some C2 errors occured with Taiyo Yuden 32X media with the Smart Burn feature disabled.

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
SanyoDigital 80min 24x
Plasmon
97m27s19f
79:59.74
Octron 80min 24x
Ritek
97m15s17f
79:59.73


8. RW Writing Tests

Waitec Frisby II external CD-RW - Page 9

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. Waitec Frisby II supports 12X CLV maximum HS-RW writing speed. For the writing test we used the LiteOn 12X HS-RW media.

Waitec Frisby II finished the task in 403 seconds, just one second slower than PleXWriter PX-W4012A. The LG drive follows with 405 seconds and Samsung is the slowest drive with 411 seconds. In the quick erase task Frisby II shares the first position with the LG drive (32 sec).

- 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 (drag and drop).

In the writing part the Frisby II takes the third best position with 8.39X, behind the LG and the Samsung drive. Waitec Frisby II is the fastest drive in the reading task with 19.74X.


9. Conclusion

Waitec Frisby II external CD-RW - Page 10

Conclusion

Positive

Negative

- 40x writing, 12x re-writing, 40X reading speeds
- "SafeLink" anti-coaster technology
- USB 2.0 interface
- Good seek times
- Very Good DAE ripping speed
- Very fast CD-R writer
- Retrieves C2 errors accurately
- Can handle latest SD2 builds
- Supports DAO-RAW writing mode
- Can read/write SubChannel Data from Audio/Data tracks
- Supports CD-Text (read/write)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)

- Low performance in Bad Media test
- Medium error correction capabilities
- Cannot handle audio protected disc
- Noisy operation
- Elegant lid

Waitec Frisby II is a very fast external recorder that will not disappoint the candidate user for his everyday desktop use. The USB 2.0 interface provides fast transfer rates for quick writing and reading operations, among with easy installation in the PC or laptop. The test results showed that the drive can easily compete other 40X E-IDE recorders in terms of writing and reading speeds. The drive's mechanism gives low seek times for fast operations, and the 12X rewriting speed seems to offer low writing times at HS-RW media. Overburning, CD-Text and reading / writing of Subchannel data are included in the drive's capabilities, among with accurate retrieving of C2 information in the reading process.

CloneCD users will be satisfied from Frisby II, since it handles all the data CD protections, including the latest builds of SD2, without the need of extra help from the "Amplify Week Sectors" feature.

The DAE tests placed Frisby II in a leading position at least in terms of speed, since the produced quality was not very high, in hard tests such as the "bad medium" ripping test and the EAC quality test. Also the protected audio discs were hard to handle for Waitec. Lastly, Waitec Frisby II is loud when reading at maximum speed, and the drive's lid looks delicate and could be more solid.

The End-User price of Frisby II is Euro 229 VAT included, and can be purchased over the Waitec's website.



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