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Appeared on: Monday, October 07, 2002
Sony CRX210E1


1. Introduction

Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW - Page 1

- Introduction

Although the latest optical storage news from Sony could make some of us believe that the company is more interested in the development of the DVD devices, the competition still demands new solutions for the CD recording. The 48X CAV recording strategy is currently supported by Plextor, Yamaha, ASUS, Cyberdrive and many more manufacturers. The new Sony CRX-210A is a 48/12/48 IDE recorder and is definitely an alternative solution for all users who intend to replace their old recorder with a faster one.

- 48X Reading / Writing speed Speed

By default, Sony CRX-210A supports the 40X maximum reading / writing speed. In order to increase this speed to 48X CAV, user should enable the "Turbo Boost" function, by pressing the eject button for 5 seconds. Sony notes that in rare occasions, some discs may not be able to tolerate the 48X speed, with a possibility to break. It is recommended not to use the 48X speed for reading deeply scratched media. In addition, the "Turbo Boost" function does not guarantee a 48X writing speed. Depending on the condition of the disc you are using, this speed can be lower. Lastly, the feature does not increase the read/write speed with CD-RW media.

- Specifications

"PowerBurn" is the anti-coaster technology that uses the Sony CRX210A, among with the 2MB of cache buffer. Using Nero Info Tool software, we can see the drive's properties / main features.

As we have mentioned, the drive supports 40X read/write speeds by default, which is increased to 48X CAV when the turbo mode is enabled. The maximum rewriting speed is 12X CLV, and the supported transfer modes are the PIO Mode 4 (16.7MB/sec) and Ultra DMA Mode 2 (33.3MB/sec). CD-ROM XA, Audio/Video CD, CD Extra, Multisession and packetwriting are some of the main supported modes. Nero infotool also reports that the drive is compatible to DAO, SAO, TAO, RAW DAO 96 writing modes.

- The package

We got a bare drive in our labs. The retail package the CRX-210A, an ATAPI cable, a quick install guide, the Limited Warranty Card and mounting screws.

The attached software installation CD-ROM contains the B's Recorder Gold software for your daily burning tasks and B's Clip software for packetwriting.

Sony offers an one year-warrantee for the candidate buyers.

On the front panel of the Sony CRX-210A you can see the "Sony", "HS-RW" and the "48x/12x/48x" logos, printed on the tray. The eject button, volume selector, and the headphone jack are also present, as usual in the E-IDE models. The operation indicator (LED) is green, when reading /writing in the default speeds and orange, if you have switched to the turbo mode.

On the rear panel will find the power connector, the IDE cable connector, jumpers for setting up the MASTER/SLAVE/CABLE select status and finally, the analog/SPDIF connectors.

- Attached software

The software that comes with the retail package is the B's Recorder Gold and the B's Clip for packet writing. The attached CD-ROM gives the following info:

We installed the B's Recorder Gold and selected the Sony drive. The software gives all the necessary options for your burnings.

- Installation

Sony CRX-210A was installed as a Master in the primary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-33 mode. After booting, it identified itself as a "SONY CRX210E1 ". We used Nero v5.5.9.9, CloneCD v4.0.1.10 and Ahead InCD v3.37.1 for the recording tests.

The firmware version installed was v.2YS1. Nero Burning Rom reports that the drive also supports the "SmartBurn" feature, for accurate burnings to various media. When you un-tick the "SmartBurn" box, a warning message comes up with information about the usability of this option. In short words, you can write every media at 48X when "SmartBurn" is disabled!


2. Data Tests
Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW- Page 2

Data Tests

- Notice: To create the graphs, we used both the default reading speed (40X) and the (48X) with the activation of the "turbo mode".

- Pressed CD results: (Click to see the CD Speed Graph for 40X & 48X)

We compare the reading speed performance of the Sony CRX-210E1, PlexWriter PX-4824A and Cyberdrive CW088D. The Sony and Plextor drives support optional 48X maximum reading speed. We set the 48X speed for both drives and it seems that Sony CRX-210E1(36.89X) is faster than the PX-W4824A (35.66X), and slightly faster than Cyberdrive CW088D. In the 40X maximum reading speed, the Plextor drive is 0.3X faster than the Sony.

The seek times of Plextor and Sony does not seem to be affected by the maximum read speed set (40X or 48X). The faster drive is Plextor with approximately 65 msec for the Random seek mode, and 114 msec for the Full mode. Sony CRX-210E1 has the second best performance with 84 msec for Random and 142 msec for Full modes.

- CDR Media: (Click to see the CD Speed Graph for 40X & 48X)

With CD-R media, Cyberdrive CW088D is faster with 37.52X, leaving Sony CRX-310E1 in the second position with 35.71X, in the in the 48X test. The Plextor drive follows closely with 35.71X.

The seek times with the CD-R disc have not changed for all the drives, with PlexWriter PX-W4824A to lead with 63 msec for the random seek mode.

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

For checking the performance of the drives with rewritable media, we used the HS-RW from Ricoh. Sony CRX-210E1 is fast and takes the first position with 31.87X. The Plextor drive follows with 31.44X and Cyberdrive gets the third position with 30.82X. There were no difference in the average reading speed of the Sony drive with the 40X or 48X speeds selected.


3. Error Correction Tests
Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW - Page 3

Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examine the reading error correction capabilities of the PleXWriter PX-W4824A.

- 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 the "c2extract.exe" software and by setting the reading speeds with Nero Drive speed (max & 4X) we ripped the disc. The attached analyse.exe software used to get the necessary results.

The graph tells a lot about the abilities of the drive. The quality of the optical system (and the error correction capabilities of the firmware) can be estimated by checking the time positions the errors start, during reading. Higher wedges mean lower error correction capabilities.

The grid of the graph has the following means:

- Explanation

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

- Errors total tells about the total number of wrong stereo samples. This includes areas of wrong samples that may 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 gives information 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 start 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)

The defected area of the disc seems to be very hard for Sony CRX-210E1 to read. The spikes in this area are high, producing many errors. The scratched areas after the 48 min of the disc gave less errors, as you can see from the graph. The average signal/noise level is -81.7dB(A), which is low enough. The total score for the drive is 68.1. In the same test, the PlexWriter PX-4824A got 70.5.

Errors total
Num: 475916
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 12009
Avg:-81.7 dB(A)
Max:-12.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 682
Avg: 2.2 Samples
Max: 10 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 36
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result
68.1 points (of 100.0 maximum)

- Test Results (Max Reading)

Errors total
Num: 10180
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 742
Avg:-86.0 dB(A)
Max: -63.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max:0 Samples
Total Test Result
88.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)

In the maximum ripping speed, the results were unexpectedly improved over the previous we got in the 4X ripping speed. The amount of the Loudness errors is small and the average signal level is -86dB(A). In addition, no Muting and skip samples are reported, resulting to a very high score of 88.9 points. We are very skeptical for the accuracy of the results, but the phenomenon to get best results maximum ripping speed appeared in previous tests, as well. EAC author is aware of this and we hope that we will have a good explanation soon.

- ABEX TCD-721R

- Introduction

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

Using the ABEX TCD-714 as the reference disc, we created the reference.wav file that is needed for the comparison. Using the c2 extract software and by setting the reading speeds with Nero Drive speed (max & 4X) we ripped the disc. The attached analyse.exe software gave the comparison results.

- Test Results (4X speed)

Errors total
Num:13399272
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 105115
Avg: -77.7 dB(A)
Max:-25.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 4383
Avg: 1.2 Samples
Max: 358 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 71
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result
63.4 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The amount of the Loudness errors is not higher than we expected to be with this test disc. The score is not high, and the increased length of the error muting samples among with the skip samples, lead to 63.4 points total score.

- Test Results (Max speed)

In the maximum ripping speed the results are better. There are less errors loudness, and no skip samples. The error muting samples are also less, and the total score is 75.8 points.

Errors total
Num: 13457988
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 98603
Avg:-77.9 dB(A)
Max: -36.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num:4240
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 8 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: .0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
75.8 points (of 100.0 maximum)

- ABEX TCD-726

- Introduction

The ABEX TCD-726 includes three kinds of defects, interruption, black dots and fingerprints. 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 and the fingerprints range from 65 to 75 micro meters.

- Test Results (4X Speed)

The signal /noise rate is very low but the skip samples were large, leading to only 58 points total score.

Errors total
Num: 11384568
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 27248
Avg: -26.6 dB(A)
Max: -6.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 12765
Avg: 4.8 Samples
Max: 1920 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 10
Avg: 625.2 Samples
Max: 734 Samples
Total Test Result
58.0 points (of 100.0 maximum)

- Test Results (Max Speed)

The average Loudness errors is only -78.4dB(A). The total score for this test is 78.3 points.

Errors total
Num: 496
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 131
Avg:--78.4 dB(A)
Max: -23.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0
Skips Samples
Num: 1
Avg: 500.0 Samples
Max: 500 Samples
Total Test Result
78.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
PleXWriter PX-W4824A
Sony CRX-210E1
Score
EAC CD-R
4X
70.5
68.1
Max
69.8
88.9
ABEX TCD-721R
4X
Not completed
63.4
Max
68.1
75.8
ABEX TCD-726
4X
80.9
58
Max
81.5
78.3
Average Score
74.16
72.08

Compared to the total score of PlexWriter PX-W4824A, the Sony drive was not so accurate and could be improved.

- C2 Information accuracy

- Introduction

The Advanced DAE Error Correction tests are available in the latest version of Nero CD Speed. 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 accuracy. According to the CD Speed author, the C2 accuracy should be very high (99%) to be useful. The "Quality" test score table is shown below:

A newer version of EAC's analyse software also offers C2 accuracy %. Both results are posted below.

- Test Results (MAX Speed)

The C2 accuracy of the Sony CRX-210E1 is very high, and reaches the 99.96% of the total errors. Nero CDSpeed gave the drive a 79.9 total quality score (good).

The EAC results are the same, at least for the maximum speed, where the Sony drive gets a 100% score. Again the results are not so good for the 4X reading speed.

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score (%)
EAC CD-R
4X
79.8
Max
100.0
ABEX TCD-721R
4X
Max
ABEX TCD-726
4X
50.6
Max
100.0
Average Score
82.6


4. CloneCD Reading Tests

Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/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 times of the drive. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. The following picture show the drive reading/writing features 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 Sony drive is faster than Cyberdrive CW088D but finished the task in the double time the Plextor drive did.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

Sony CRX-210E1 finished the task in 11:25 minutes, but the Plextor drive is faster ripped the image at 1172.77 sectors/sec with the pressed disc and slightly slower with the copied one. Cyberdrive CW088D is also faster than the Sony drive in the original CD test.

- LaserLock v.2 Results

This time Sony CRX-210E1 gets the first place in the original CD test. The duration of the process was 20 minutes. In the backup test, the drive was also fast but the Plextor and Cyberdrive drives were faster.

- SecuROM v.2 Results

All drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. The Sony drive finished the task in 2:40 minutes. In the same test, Cyberdrive is faster and leads the race.


5. DAE Tests

Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW - Page 5

DAE Tests

- DAE features

- Pressed AudioCD

Sony supports 48X maximum DAE speed, with the "turbo mode" enabled. We measured the average DAE speed of the Sony drive, with the maximum reading speed set to both 48X and 40X. Cyberdrive was the fastest drive with 34.9X, and Sony follows with 34.8X. The Plextor drive supports 40X maximum ripping, and the average speed in the test was 30X.

- AudioCD-R media

With CD-R media, Cyberdrive keeps the first position with 31.4X. The Sony drive gave read errors and lowered the ripping speed during the process. As a result, the average speed was 29.6X in the 48X and 26.8X in the 40X test.

- 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 built-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
Sony CRX210E1
10.4
10.3
PleXWriter PX-W4824A
10.6
10.5
Cyberdrive CW088D
13.7
13.4

- Advanced DAE test

All the drives got a "100" score. The DAE speed for the Sony drive is 34.11X under the turbo mode and 29.3X in the default speed. Cyberdrive is slightly faster with 34.98X.

- 48X enabled

- Default 40X

- 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 (%)
Sony CRX210E1
Read error at 88% of total disc
Cyberdrive CW088D
19.3
65894059
8.71
PleXWriter PX-W4824A
22.3
27041048
35.74

The condition of the disc can be considered as very bad, so the purpose of this test is not to get the best results with no read errors, but to estimate the capabilities of the drive. Sony CRX-210E1 stopped reading in the end of the disc, where it was harder to rip. The Plextor drive gave a 35.74% error rate and 22.3X average ripping speed, and Cyberdrive was slower but more accurate.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

 
Tested drives
Ripping up to
Sony CRX210E1
Can read up to 98 minutes
Cyberdrive CW088D
Can read up to 99 minutes
PleXWriter PX-W4824A
The drive has problems reading 99min written discs.

- 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
Sony CRX210E1
Cannot recognize disc contents
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip
Cyberdrive CW088D
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips entire disc without problems
PleXWriter PX-W4824A
Rips entire disc without problems

With the Manual TOC option, it detects all tracks, but cannot rip above the 9th track. All tracks from 1st-9th contain errors when ripping with EAC's Burst mode.

With PlexTools it can rip all tracks but again errors are reported...

PleXWriter PX-W4824A is the only drive in the test that can handle "Key2Audio" protected discs. The Sony and Cyberdrive drives are not able to recognize the disc contents. In addition, the Sony drive cannot even handle the "CDS200" discs, where the Cyberdrive seems to be the best solution.


6. CDR Tests

Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW - Page 6

CDR Tests

Sony CRX-210E1 supports 4X, 8X, 12X, 16X (CLV), 18X-40X (P-CAV), and 21X-48X (CAV) writing speeds.

Using an 80min disc, we can see the drive's starting and ending recording speeds, according to the Nero CD Speed software. With the "turbo mode" disabled, the drive starts writing at 18.57X and gradually reaches 40X approximately in the 68min. The average theoretical recording speed is 31.50X:

In order to use the 48X writing speed, you should enable the "turbo boost function". After inserting a disc to the drive, you should press the Eject button for five seconds. The Busy indicator will blink twice and the speed switches to 48X. The busy indicator while writing is orange when the turbo boost is enabled, and green with the speed set to 40X. Notice that by opening the tray, the maximum speed is (re)set to the default value (40X). Nero CDSpeed writing test gives Sony CRX-210E1 an average writing speed (48X) of 37.21X:

Sony CRX-210E1 uses the "SmartBurn" feature in order to maintain the best writing quality for the inserted media. The maximum allowed writing speed is adjusted according to the disc specifications. Nero Burning Rom allows user to enable/disable the feature in the "choose drive" tab.

- Recording Tests

The amount of the data we burned was 704MB (80:01:26), for all the drives. Sony CRX-210E1 gave exactly the same result with Cyberdrive CW088D. The Plextor drive is 11 seconds slower.

The above graph shows the recording performance of the drive in the supported speeds. The results are the best we had for each speed. Compared to the performance at 16X CLV, the drive is:

The best recording times at 48X (turbo boost) came with SKC 24X media. The result was not expected, since these media are not 48X certified, and the total writing time was not affected by the SmartBurn feature. The following picture comes from Nero, after burning to these discs with Smartburn disabled:

We enabled the SmartBurn, and expected a different result. However, the total recording time was not different since the writing speed was not limited:

Notice that the SmartBurn feature adjusted the writing speed with other non-48X media we used.

Another interesting issue is that Nero Burning ROM allowed us to select the 48X recording speed although we had not enabled the turbo feature. That could be considered as a "bug" since user easily will confused and thought that already has enabled the "boost mode". The burning process started normally and only the total writing time (3:02 min) could reveal that the actual writing speed was 40X.

Sony could possibly allow the control of the "turbo boost" option into the burning software, since the current manual control can be easily neglected by the novice user, in his daily burning tasks. Lastly we have noticed with some media, that at 94-97% of the writing process, the writing speed dropped from 48X down to 32X. As it seems "SmartBurn" decides the media cannot handle the maxium speed and drops the writing speed to 32X. That is a nice feature and will protect from bad burns.

- Overburning Tests

The drive can overburn up to 97 mins without any problems.

- CD-Text Results

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

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD software reports that the drive supports the DAO-RAW feature. With the use of proper media, DAO-RAW writing can be performed up to 48X (CAV). For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 2 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions with the latest software patches installed. We used the Sony CRX-210E1 as reader/writer at maximum reading/recording speed. Two discs were burned for each game (Amplify Weak Sectors On/Off) and the results are posted in the below table:

Game Title
Tested Drive
SD2 Build
Amplify Weak Sectors On
Amplify Weak Sectors Off
Max Payne v1.05
Creative 52X CD-ROM
v.2.50.020
OK
OK
TEAC 40X CD-ROM
LiteOn LTR-32123S
+ Hide CDR
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
Creative 52X CD-ROM
v.2.60.052
TEAC 40X CD-ROM
LiteOn LTR-32123S
+ Hide CDR

As you can see, the drive has no problems with the SafeDisc v2.60.x protections. The produced backups worked even with the "Amplify Weak Sectors" option disabled. It is very possible that the latest SecuROM versions cannot be backuped with the Sony drive, but currently no drive cannot do either, so this shouldn't considered as a drawback.


7. Writing Quality Tests

Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW - Page 7

Writing Quality Tests

We used various media and burn them at the maximum writing speed of 48X, with SmartBurn On/Off. The writing quality scores are in the following table:

Brand
SmartBurn Status
C1 Errors
Average Burning Time (mins)
Comments
Max
Average
SanyoDigital 80min 24x
Off
2247
113.8
2:49
C2 errors
SKC 80min 24X
Off
25
3.2
2:36
On
57
4.2
Mitsubishi Chemicals
80min 48X
On
383
2.7
2:47
C2 errors
Off
28
1.9
2:46
Ciba Plasmon 80min 48X
On
40
1.7
2:36
Off
24
1.3
2:48
Plextor 80min 48X
On
22
1.5
2:54
Maxell 80min 32X
Off
28
4.6
2:49
Imation 80min 32X
On
212
7.9
3:01
C2 errors
Off
65
5.5
2:54
Mitsui 80min 40X
On
68
3.7
2:48
Off
58
5.6
2:50
Octron 80min 24X
On
33
5.3
2:49
Off
42
5.3
2:55

Sony CRX-210E1 generally gives good results with the media we used for the test. The drive produced a low C1 error rate with the most of the discs, with few exceptions with Mitsubishi Chemicals and Imation media. The error rate increases by the end of the disc, where the writing speed increases. With many media, the drive drops the writing speed at 94-97%, where the writing speed reaches 46-48X, at 32X till the end of the burn. This will protect user from un-readable CDs since this is where most error occur.

We also burn the same amount of data at lower writing supported speeds:

Brand
SmartBurn Status
C1 Errors
Average Burning Time (mins)
Comments
Max
Average
SanyoDigital 80min 24x (40X)
On
550
50.1
3:06
C2 errors
SKC 80min 24X (40X)
Off
16
2.7
3:02
On
17
2.7
3:03
SKC 80min 24X (16X)
On
21
2.5
5:25
Off
22
1.3
2:46
Ciba Plasmon 80min 48X (32X)
On
19
1.4
3:12
Off
19
1.6
3:45
Taiyo Yuden 80min 32X (40X)
On
18
1.7
3:07

- C1/C2 Error rate from SanyoDigital 80min 24X @ 40X (SmartBurn On)

- C1/C2 Error rate from Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48X @ 48X (SmartBurn Off)

- C1/C2 Error rate from Mitsui SGUltra 80min 40X @ 48X (SmartBurn On)

- C1/C2 Error rate from Imation 80min 32X @ 48X (SmartBurn On)

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

Name
Real Manufacturer
ID Code
Capacity
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48x
Mitsubishi Chemicals
97m34s23f
79:59.73
Prodisc 80min 32x
Prodisc
97m32s19f
79:59.74
Hitachi-Maxell 80min 40x
Hitachi Maxell
97m25s29f
79:59.74
Emtec 80min 24x
Unknown
97m25s07f
79:59.00
SanyoDigital 80min 24x
Plasmon
97m27s19f
79:59.74
Octron 80min 24x
Ritek
97m15s17f
79:59.73
Mitsui 80min 40X
Mitsui
97m27s58f
79:59.74
CyberDrive 80min 48X
Ritek
97m15s17f
79:59.70
Maxell 80min 32X
Taiyo Yuden
97m24s01f
79:59.73
FujiFilm 80min 40X
Fuji
97m26s45f
79:59.73
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 40x
Mitsubishi Chemicals
97m34s23f
79:59.74
Taiyo Yuden 80min 32X
Taiyo Yuden
97m24s01f
79:59.73
Ciba Plasmon 80min 48X
Plasmon
97m27s18f
79:59.74
CyberDrive 80min 48X
Prodisc
97m32s19f
79:59.72
Imation 80min 32X
CMC Mangetics
97m26s66f
79:59:74
Plextor 80min 48X
Taiyo Yuden
97m24s01f
79:59.72


8. RW Writing Tests

Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW - Page 8

RW Writing Tests

Sony CRX-210E1 supports 4X, 8X, 10X and 12X CLV rewriting speeds. We used 704MB of data to burn with all the drives in the following chart, in the maximum supported speeds.

PleXWriter PX-W4824A and Cyberdrive CW088D are faster than Sony CRX-210E1 due to their increased supported speeds, 24X and 16X respectively. Sony CRX-210E1 finished the task in 6:41 minutes. The quick erase test results are almost the same for all the drives.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.37.1 for the packet writing tests with the 12X media. 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 more than once, to eliminate any possible time measurement faults and user errors.

As in the normal HS-RW writing test, the Plextor and Cyberdrive are faster than Sony CRX-210E1. In the reading test, the Sony drive is faster with 20.45X, leaving Cyberdrive in the second position with 17X and PleXWriter follows with 16.84X. Notice that the "turbo boost" feature of Sony does not affect the read/write performance with CD-RW media.


9. Conclusion

Sony CRX 210E1 IDE CD-R/RW- Page 9

Conclusion

Positive

Negative

- Supports 48X CAV reading /writing speeds
- Good seek times
- "SmartBurn" feature can be disabled
- Very fast writer with specific media
- Good DAE ripping speed (at 48X speed)
- Fair CloneCD reading performance
- Can backup SD v2.51.021+ builds
- Supports 99min discs (reading/writing)
- Supports C2 error information (at max speed)
- Supports CD-Text (read/write)
- Supports Ultra-DMA 33 connection interface

- 48X reading/writing is not a default option, user has to activate it each time a disc inserted!
- Average reading error correction capabilities
- Slower re-writing speed than competition
- Failed in the "bad disc" DAE test
- Doesn't support Mt. Rainier
- Cannot "handle" any protected Audio discs
- DAE with CD-R media returns errors
- Writing at 48X can produce un-readable discs with specific media
- One year warranty, when competition offers two!

At a first sight the Sony CRX-210E1 is a very fast reader/writer for data and audio files, offers low seek times and fair CloneCD performance. The "turbo boost" feature may be enabled easily in 5 seconds (permits 48X writing/reading) but is anoying for everyday use. Sony should at least had set as a default option the 48X writing, as Plextor did with their PX-W4824A or offer a faster way to activate it (with a software solution). The drive has no problems to backup the latest SD2.6x builds, supports reading/writing of 99min media, CD-text for audio discs and retrieves C2 error info accurately, when the disc is read at maximum speed.

On the other hand, the reading error correction test results were average, this was also confirmed in the "bad media" dae test, where the drive failed to finish. In the writing quality part, the Sony CRX-210E1 gave good overall results, although with specific media will produce C2 errors. The drive also cannot "handle" any audio protected discs, does not support Mt Rainier and the 12X rewriting speed is slower than what the competition offers. The DAE function with CD-R media is not very accurate since the drive returned errors, even with perfectly copied CD-R media.

Lastly, the CRX210E1 drive comes with one year warranty and costs around Euro 129, close to the cost of a PX-W4824A. A possible buyer should read carefully the reviews of competitor drives and decide. As usual the choice is yours :-)



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