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Appeared on: Thursday, December 05, 2002
CyberDrive CW099D CD-RW

1. Introduction

CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW - Page 1

- Introduction

enters the 52X recording market with the CW099D. The drive supports the CAV recording technology for the CD-R format and the P-CAV for the US-RW format, making the drive an attractive proposal for the end users who wish the top and faster available recorder. We have already tested three other 52X recorders from ASUS, AOpen and SONY and the comparison is expected to be at least interesting.

- Specifications

The CyberDrive CW099D supports the CAV recording technology for reading/re-writing and recording. The drive's features according to Nero Info Tool are the following:

The drive supports 52X maximum reading / writing and 24X re-writing speeds. The buffer is only 2MB and the reading of CD-Text and CD+G is supported. Nero Info Tool also reports that retrieving of C2 error information is supported but its accuracy would be examined later. The drive doesn't (currently?) support Mt. Rainier. SuperLink is the main buffer underrun protection technology. The following picture shows the supported writing speeds:

The official specifications taken from CyberDrive website are posted below:


CW099D CD-RW Drive

Read Speed

52x for closed sessions.
16x for open sessions.
Maximum 52x for audio extraction

Write Speed

4x, 8x,12x, 16x, 20x (CLV) and 20x, 24x, 28x, 32x, 36x, 40x, 48x, 52x (ZCLV) for CD-R media.
4x, 8x, 12x, 16x and 24x CLV for CD-RW media

Access Time

90 ms typical for random access, 100 ms typical for 1/3 stroke access

Buffer Memory

2 MB

Error Rate

10 -9 soft read error, 10 -12 hard read error

Audio Interface

2 Channels (stereo)
Sampling frequency 44.1 KHz
Analog audio line out: Output 0.7 Vrms typical
Frequency response 20 Hz ~ 20 KHz (+0.5 dB, -3.0 dB)
Signal to noise ratio > 65 dB (f = 1 KHz)
Distortion < 0.1% (LPF 20 KHz, f = 1 KHz)
Channel Separation > 65 dB (LPF 20 KHz, f = 1 KHz)
Digital audio out: Format EBU (conforms to IEC-958 EIAJ CP-1201)
Output 4.0 Vp-p


> 100,000 POH (25% duty, seek and read)

Front Panel

EJECT button
Green LED

Rear Panel

Power connector (+5V & +12V, 4P), IDE interface connector (40P), Device configuration jumper (Master, Slave, CSEL), Analog audio line out (4P), Digital audio out (2P)


Supports both horizontal and vertical tray loading

Power Supply

DC +5V ?5%, DC +12V ?10%

Bezel Color



148.5 x 42.5 x 206.5 mm(WHD) with bezel


1025 g


User Manual
CD-Audio Cable
(1) CD-R Disk
(1) CD-RW Disk
Nero 5.5 Burning Software
(4) Mounting Screws

- Recording/Re-writing speeds

The drive supports 52X with the use of CAV recording technology. As Nero CD Speed revealed, the drive starts writing at 23.56X and gradually ends at the 53.13X, giving an average speed of 40.54X! This result indicates that the CyberDrive CW099D could be the faster recorder but the actual recording tests were slightly different...

With Mitsubishi Chemicals the results were even higher to 40.79X average writing speed:

The CAV recording technology is also used for the 48X speed:

However, for the 40X recording speed the P-CAV is implemented.

With specific media (CibaPlasmon 48X), the drive showed a strange behaviour dropping the writing speed at specific points down to 2X!

With US-RW media, the CW099D starts burning at 16.58X and gradually reaches the 24X at 20mins. The burning speed is kept at 24X until the end of the disc. That gives an average of 22.94X, which is slower than other P-CAV US-RW writers (Plextor PX-W4824A, YAMAHA CRW-F1 and ASUS CRW5224).

- The package

We got the retail package that includes: the drive, a quick installation guide, an audio cable, mounting screws, one piece of CyberDrive 52X CD-R (real manufacturer RITEK) and one piece of CyberDrive 24X US-RW. The recording software comes from Ahead (Nero v5.5.x/InCD 3.3x).. The drive will hit the market really soon at the retail price of less than Euro 99.

On the front of the drive there are the "CD-RW" and the "52x24x52" logos. Despite the fact that the drive supports the 24X writing speed, the "US-RW" log is not present on the bezel. You can also find one led, the eject/play buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

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

Our drive is an engineering sample (final hardware) with a serial number 10!

- Inside the drive

After removing the bottom screws we can see the internal of the drive. CyberDrive uses MediaTek chipsets for the CW099D series:

Click to enlarge!

- Installation

The CyberDrive CW099D was installed as a Master in the primary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-33 mode. After booting, it identified itself as a"CyberDrv CW099D CD-R/RW". We used Nero v5.5.9.17, CloneCD v4.1.0.1 and Ahead InCD v3.51.61 for the recording tests. The drive is a November 2002 model with firmware revision v1.00M installed. After all tests finished, CyberDrive sent us a newer firmware revision (v1.10M) that fixed some of the problems we had noticed. The new firmware (v1.10M) was used to re-test all the "negative" issues.

CyberDrive CW099D will automatically reduce the maximum writing speed (52x) when it detects lower quality media for burning. There is no software way to disable this function. Other manufacturers (Plextor, Yamaha, and Sony) offer the option to write all media at the maximum speed by disabling the media check quality system. CyberDrive doesn't support this, but offers a "safer" way to burn media. The pictures below come from Nero when non-52X certified blank media was inserted.

2. Data Reading Tests
CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW -Page 2

Data Tests

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

All the drives in the test have exactly the same reading/writing specs. The faster drive comes from ASUS with 39.54X, while the CyberDrive CW099D comes second with a 39.23X average score. The CW099D didn't reach 52X at the end of the disc with the pressed media.

The seek times of the CyberDrive are pleasantly surprising since it needs only 77ms for the random seek, 80ms for the 1/3 and 149ms for the full stroke.

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

With CD-R media, the CyberDrive CW099D increased its performance and shares the second position with the SONY 52X recorder. ASUS CRW5224 still holds the first position.

The seek times with CD-R media are even better than with pressed media. The full stroke time reached the 129ms!

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

The US-RW media, the CyberDrive got the third position with a 31.78X average reading speed. The AOpen takes the lead with a 48X full CAV reading performance.

3. CD Error Correction Tests
CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW - Page 3

Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examine the reading error correction capabilities of the drive.

- EAC CD-R Test Disc

- Test Results (Max Reading)

Errors total
Num: 33847
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 19711
Avg:-85.4 dB(A)
Max: -11.5 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 237
Avg:47.9 Samples
Max: 561 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 14
Avg: 9.4 Samples
Max:48 Samples
Total Test Result
66.6 points (of 100.0 maximum)

In the maximum ripping speed, the CW099D had problems reading the black triangle. The error spikes reached -11.6 dB (A) and there are many muting samples resulting a score of 68.2 out of 100.


- Test Results (Max speed)

Errors total
Num: 1760059
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 150982
Avg:-78.7 dB(A)
Max: -20.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 5930
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 5 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
75.0 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The ABEX 721R test disc is very hard for many drives. There were no skip samples but the amount of the muting samples (uncorrected) is high. The score for the drive is 75.0 points.

- ABEX TCD-726

- Test Results (Max Speed)

Errors total
Num: 227
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 256
Avg:-77.8 dB(A)
Max: -54.8 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
90.1 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The CW099D performed very well and got a score of 90.1!

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
CyberDrive CW099D
AOpen CRW5224
Average Score

The CW099D gets an average score of 77.23 out of 100, which is lower than competitor drives.

- C2 Information accuracy

- Test Results (MAX Speed)

The C2 accuracy of the drive reached the perfection with a 100% score. The drive didn't work with EAC's c2 extract software, so we couldn't have C2% accuracy results from the EAC analyser.

4. CloneCD Reading Tests

CyberDrive CW099D 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 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(s) 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 ASUS and CyberDrive recorders gave exactly the same time results (43 secs).

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

Although the CW099D gave an average performance, it is the faster drive in the test with SafeDisc 2 protected discs.

- LaserLock v.2 Results

With LaserLock 2 protected discs, the drive is very slow. It needs 1hour and 47mins to finish the task with the pressed media, and only (?) 29mins for the CD-R backup.

- SecuROM v.2 Results

All drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. The ASUS CRW5224 was the faster drive. The CW099D got the third place with the original disc and the first with the CD-R backup. With the pressed media, the drive reported reading errors, slowing down the reading process, and this is worrying since there aren't any actual bad sectors in SecuROM2 protected discs.

5. DAE Tests

CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW - Page 5

DAE Tests

- DAE features

- Pressed AudioCD

The CW099D gave the second best performance with pressed Audio discs. The ASUS CRW5224 has the higher average DAE speed. The CW099D and the AOpen CRW5224 drives gave a close to each other ripping speed.

- Audio CD-R media

With CD-R media, the CW099D gave a blazing performance and got the first place with 37.1X average DAE speed! No read errors were reported.

- 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)
Sony CRX220E1
AOpen CRW5224
CyberDrive CW099D

- Advanced DAE test

All the drives got a "100" score. The DAE speed for the CW099D drive is 37.36X, while the ASUS CRW5224 gets the first place with 37.66X. The drive can read from lead-in/out read, supports reading of CD-Text and Subchannel data.

- Bad CDR Media results

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

Average Speed (X)
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
Recognizes the disc contents, cannot rip!
Sony CRX220E1
Read error at 0.2% of total disc
AOpen CRW5224
CyberDrive CW099D
Stops reading at 88%

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 any read errors, but to estimate the capabilities of the drive. The CyberDrive CW099D recognized the disc contents but it could not completely rip it since it reported a read error at 88%.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

Tested drives
Ripping up to
Can read up to 99 minutes
Sony CRX220E1
Can read up to 98 minutes
AOpen CRW5224
Can read up to 99 minutes
CyberDrive CW099D
Can read up to 99 minutes

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 2 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with EAC BURST mode) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)
* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips entire disc but under burst mode several tracks reported with errors
Sony CRX220E1
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip
AOpen CRW5224

Rips entire disc but under burst mode several tracks reported with errors

CyberDrive CW099D
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip
Rips entire disc but under burst mode several tracks reported with errors

The CW099D was able to rip CDS200 protected Audio discs. With Key2Audio while it recognized the disc contents, ripping was not possible.

6. CDR Tests

CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW - Page 6

CDR Tests

The CyberDrive CW099D supports the 4X, 8X, 12X, 16X, 20X (CLV), 24X, 32X, 40X (P-CAV), 48X and the 52X (CAV) writing speeds.

- Recording Tests

The amount of the data we burned was 704MB (80:01:26), for all the drives. The CyberDrive CW099D was the slowest drive since it needed 2:42mins. The drive takes much time during the lead-out area, so the final recording time is high. Also the drive starts writing the track data after 20secs, a behaviour also known as from the ASUS CRW5224.

The above graph shows the differences of the recording performances for the three tested drives in all the supported writing speeds. The results are the best we had for each speed. As we can see the CyberDrive is not the faster recorder at any speed, since the ASUS CRW5224 takes the lead at 32X, 40X and 48X.

- CyberDrive CW099D recording results

- Overburning Tests

The drive can overburn up to 99mins with specific media.

With other media it can overburn up to 97:43mins.

- CD-Text Results

Both drives 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 at 52X (CAV). For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions with the latest software patches installed. We used the drive as reader/writer at maximum reading/recording speed. Two discs were burned for each game. One disc was burned with PadusDJ and the other with CloneCD (Amplify Weak Sectors On). The results are posted in the following table:

Game Title
Tested Drive
SD2 Build
CloneCD (Amplify Weak Sectors On)
Max Payne v1.05
Creative 52X
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
Creative 52X
The Sims - Unleashed
Creative 52X

The CyberDrive CW099D, as well as the rest 52X recorders, can backup SafeDisc v2.5x.xx ~ 2.80.xx builds without any problems.

7. Writing Quality Tests

CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW - Page 7

Writing Quality Tests

We used various media and burn them at the maximum allowed writing speed. The writing quality scores are in the following table:

Maximum Writing Allowed speed
C1 Errors
Average Burning Time (mins)
Mitsubishi Chemicals
80min 48X
C2 errors in a specific point
Imation 80min 48X
Prodisc 80min 40X
Disc un-readable
CyberDrive 80min 48X

The maximum allowed recording speeds for each media are the following:

- C1/C2 Error rate from Imation 80min 48 @ 32X

- C1/C2 Error rate from Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48 @ 52X

- C1/C2 Error rate from Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48 @ 52X

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

Real Manufacturer
ID Code
Mitsubishi Chemicals 80min 48x
Mitsubishi Chemicals
Intenso 80min 40x
Mitsui 80min 40X
Taiyo Yuden 80min 32X
Taiyo Yuden
Ciba Plasmon 80min 48X
Imation 80min 32X
CMC Mangetics
RITEK 80min 48X
ASUS 80min 52X
CMC Magnetics 80min 48X
CMC Mangetics
TDK D-VIEW 80min 24X
That's 80min 48X
Taiyo Yuden
Hitachi Maxell 80min 40X
Fuji 80min 40X
Fuji Photo Film
CyberDrive 80min 48X

- Compatibility with WSES software

The drive is recognized from the WSES software.

Unfortunately the drive dos not work with the C1/C2 measurement test

But it works with the Read C1/C2 error count only when the media doesn't contain many C2 errors. Below are two results, one with a good disc, and one with a highly damaged disc, where the software aborts the C1/C2 counting...

8. RW/Packet Writing Tests

CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW - Page 8

RW Writing Tests

The CW099D supports the new 24X US-RW (P-CAV) recording technology. With US-RW media, the drive supports a variety of recording speeds starting from 10X (CLV), 12X (CLV), 16X (CLV), 20X and 24X (P-CAV).

With HS-RW media, it supports the 4X, 8X, 12X and the 16X (CLV) writing speeds.

For the burning tests, we burned a full 74mins disc with all the drives. The results are showed in the following chart. We used the maximum supported speed for each drive.

The ASUS and CyberDrive recorders gave exactly the same time results and share the first position. Both drives need 3:39mins to finish the task. The AOpen CRW5224 and SONY CRX-220E1 are slower since they use the CAV technology.

With the rest recording speeds we have:

Below is the picture of Nero writing at 24X with US-RW media:

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.51.61 for the packet writing tests. 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.

The CyberDrive CW099D performed very well under the packet writing mode with the US-RW media. The drive finished first in the writing process with a 17.09X average speed, while the ASUS CRW5224 comes second with a 16.84X speed. On the reading part, the AOpen CRW5224 gets the first position, and the CW099D comes second. With HS-RW media, the CW099D has the highest performance since it supports the 16X CLV re-writing speed, while the other three drives only 12X.

Average Writing Speed (X)
Average Reading Speed (X)
AOpen CRW5224
CyberDrive CW099D

9. Conclusion

CyberDrive CW099D IDE CD-RW- Page 9


Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Supports 52X (CAV) CD-R and 24X (P-CAV) US-RW writing speeds
- Supports "SuperLink" buffer underrun technology
- Very good US-RW writing performance
- Can return C2 error information with very high accuracy!
- Fastest DAE ripping speeds ever measured with CD-R discs
- Can rip CDS200 protected Audio discs
- Very good CloneCD reading performance only with SD2 protected discs
- Can backup SafeDisc v2.80.010 builds without any special software
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel Data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Supports Overburning (up to 99mins)
- Supports UDMA33 connection interface
- Retail package contains Nero, 52X CD-R, 24X US-RW media at the price of <99 Euro

- Writing performance needs improvement
- Average CD error correction capabilities
- Doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format
- Cannot rip Key2Audio protected Audio discs
- Cannot finish ripping our BAD DAE test disc
- Very slow with LaserLock2 protected discs
- Reports errors when reading SecuROM2 protected discs

The CyberDrive CW099D is the second 52X retail drive that came in our labs. After having tested three 52X recorders with the exact same reading/writing speeds we could make some safe assumptions of the 52X writing platform.

The CW099D showed a good behaviour in many tests, while it didn't manage to get have the first position due to the presence of the ASUS CRW5224. The CW099D was the faster drive with Audio CD-R media and slightly slower with pressed Audio CDs. The drive can rip CDS200 protected audio discs, can retrieve C2 error information with very high accuracy, is able to rip SD2 protected discs (up to SD2 v2.80.010 builds) fast enough and of course to backup them accurately. The price is expected to be lower than Euro 99, making one of the cheapest 52X recorders. Lastly, the retail package contains all the necessary items for someone to start recording (CD-R, US-RW media, etc.).

On the negative side, the burning stability is low, it doesn't support the Mt. Rainier format (something that all competitor drives offer), cannot rip Key2Audio protected discs and although it can read Subchannel data from SecuROM 2 discs; it reported errors with the original disc. Last, its recording performance needs improvement to reach the top performers from ASUS and SONY. CyberDrive promised a new firmware that will fix most of the problems. Lets wait and see...

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