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Appeared on: Friday, June 25, 2004
Asus CRW-5232AS


1. Retail Package - Installation

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 1

The ASUS CRW-5232AS is an internal atapi CD-RW drive. Shorter than your common internal CD-RW drive and equipped with the latest innovative technologies, the CRW-5232AS promises lots of performance and quality in CD recording.

- Features

The ASUS CRW-5232AS drive features 52x maximum write, 32x US-RW maximum rewrite and 52x read capabilities. It also offers innovative technology such as:

Optimal Writing Speed Adjustment Technology based on the recording media requirements.

Buffer Underrun Errors Prevention Technology

Noise reduction technology achievement with the combination of AFFM & DDSS II technologies:

1. Airflow Field Modification (AFFM): Eliminates the uneven airflow inside ASUS drive resulting in quieter and more stable operation.

2. Double Dynamic Suspension System (DDSS II): Anti-vibration system developed by ASUS.

- Specifications
 
 
Interface
IDE - ATAPI
Speeds

Writes: 52x, 48x, 40x, 32x, 24x, 16x, 8x, 4x

Rewrites: 32x, 24x, 16x, 12x, 10x, 8x, 4x

Reads: 52x maximum

Application Discs

12 cm or 8 cm diameter, 1.2 mm thick

CD-Audio, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, CD-I, Mixed Mode, CD-ROM, Photo CD, CD-Extra, Video CD, CD-Text, DVCD, CD-G, Karaoke CD, I-trax, Bootable CD

Recording Formats

Disc-At-Once, Track-At-Once, Session-At-Once, Packet Write

Data Buffer Size
2 MB
Dimension
149(w)x41.5(h)x171.2(d) mm
Weight
830g
 

The drive supports RAW DAO 96, CD-R/RW read/write with buffer underrun protection and C2 read error correction function. It also supports CD Text and CD+G read features.

- Retail package

The package, apart from the drive, includes one IDE cable, one audio cable, one ejector pin with instruction slip, one quick installation guide, screws and the user manual . There are also Nero Burning Software including the Live Firmware Update Tool and Cyberlink 3 in 1 with Cyberlink PowerDirector and ASUS DVD MediaShow.

 

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons we post the following pictures.

The main controller chip is from Mediatec.

 

- Installation

The test computer is clocked at 1.6 GHz P4, configured with 256Mb RAM and runs Windows XP Professional SP1 operating system. The drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "ASUS CRW-5232AS". All reading tests were done with firmware v1.01.

The following pages include test results for the ASUS drive in comparison with two other devices, the Aopen CRW5232 and Plextor Premium.

 

 

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2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 2

Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The ASUS CRW 5232AS supports up to 52X reading speed. Below are the transfer rate graphs, along with the comparison with the other two drives:

As we can see from our tests, the drive has good transfer rates and seek times. Only the full seeks are a little high and with US-RW media, the ASUS drive had the slowest speeds.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 3

CD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when it comes to reading scratched / defected discs. The test discs we use are the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 891119
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 48849
Avg: -71.5 dB(A)
Max: -10.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 2640
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 8 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 25
Avg: 136.2 Samples
Max:742 Samples
Total Test Result
60.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
98.0 % (out of 100.0% maximum)

The ASUS drive has poor performance with the ABEX TCD-721R. The total error count is quite low at 891119 as is the loudness error count, however the loudness level is very high. From the graph we can see that the error levels generated from the 24th minute to the end of the test disc are at a very high level, hovering somewhere around -40db. Consequently, we have high number of skipped samples but C2 accuracy received a good score of 98 %. The total test result score of 60.8 % is relatively low.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 52
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 19
Avg: -73.8dB(A)
Max: -20.0dB(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
92.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
64.9 % (out of 100.0% maximum)

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is usually a simpler case for error correction. The CRW-5232AS drive performed better here. The total error count is low while there aren` t any muted or skipped samples. The total score of 92.8 out of 100 is good and the C2 accuracy score is acceptable.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively difficult tests. These tracks are referred as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The files are reproduced (played) through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone coming out from the speakers is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested device.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
ASUS CRW 5232AS
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5

The drive passed four of the five Check Levels of the test. The performance reveals good sound reproduction and error correction. The fifth level includes an error size of 1.500mm, and here, the drive produced many audible clicks.

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
60.8
ABEX TCD-726
92.8
Average Score
76.8

The performance of the ASUS CRW 5232AS was average with a final average score of 76.8 out of 100.


4. Protected Disc Tests

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 4

Protected Disc Tests
- Reading Tests

To create an image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used the latest version of Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case, which should prove interesting for all users.

Game Title
Protection Scheme
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
Serious Sam The Second Encounter
SafeDisc v.2.50.051
VRally II
SecuROM v.2

The ASUS drive is slower with protected disc reading as it passes slow over the read errors, except with PSX protection which reached high performance compared with the other drives.

- Writing Tests

The ASUS CRW 5232AS supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.1705. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Bypass EFM error" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they worked (game installed / played normally), or not.

Drive

Fifa 2004
SD v3.1

Sims Superstar SD v2.9
Sims Unleashed SD v2.8
Serious Sam-Second Encounter v1.07
SD v2.60.052
Max Payne
SD v2.51.020
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
Toshiba
SD-M1502
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Creative CD5233E
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

ASUS
CRW5232AS

No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

The drive's full Safedisc2 backup capabilities reached only up to v2.9 but without being compatible on all drive readers. The ASUS drive will produce partially working backups with the newest v2.9 builds but cannot support v3.1 builds.


5. DAE Tests

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 5

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD

The ASUS CRW 5232AS supports up to 52X CAV DAE speed. When using a pressed AudioCD and its CD-R copy, with EAC, we logged the following results:

As EAC reports, the drive caches DAE, supports accurate stream and can report C2 error information.

- Advanced DAE Quality

The ASUS CRW 5232AS received a score of 100 (perfect) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. CDSpeed showed that the average reading speed is 37.24X and that the drive supports reading of SubChannel data, Leadin data and CD Text. Leadout isn`t supported.

- Reading 90/ 99mins AudioCDs

Click for full info

Click for full info


6. Protected AudioCD Tests

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 6

Protected AudioCDs

For this test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process performed for all protected Audio discs was performed with Exact Audio Copy v0.9 beta 5.

The tested protected Audio discs were:

The Cactus Data Shield 200, contains artificial errors that are not easy to bypass with the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session, causing problems on readers when they try to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

The ASUS drive recognized up to the 12th Audio track of the CDS200 disc,

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the 13th Data track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Key2Audio
CDS200
ASUS CRW-5232AS
Ripping process completed, EAC reports timing problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
Ripping process completed, EAC reports timing problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all tracks

The ASUS CRW 5232AS will rip both Key2Audio and CDS200 protected audio discs. Both discs were recognized and their contents were ripped at the maximum speed. However, the drive may not rip 100% accurately, CD200 discs since EAC reported timing problems and at the same time, Read&Test CRC check comparison was not the same for all tracks. Timing problems were noticed with Key2Audio discs but with no CRC errors.

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors during the ripping process. Most problems occur then trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected with specific chipset weaknesses..

We ripped the disc contents with EAC and burned the produced wav with the latest Nero version as AudioCD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors with PlexTools/KProbe software using Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.01).

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
ASUS CRW-5232AS
Reading and writing performed without any errors

 

The C1/C2 error graphs indicate that the drive manage to produce a 100% error free disc.

Lets try to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-712A and PlexTool DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No errors were reported after extracting all files. The drive's error correction mechanism corrected the errors.


7. CD Recording Tests

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 7

CD Recording Tests

The ASUS CRW 5232AS supports 52X CD-R and 32X US-RW recording speeds.

The drive supports 4X, 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X, 40X, 48X and 52X writing speeds. Below are the recording speeds as detected by Nero Burning Rom.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive reached the maximum 52X speed. The test started at 23.67X and finished at 53.38X having an average speed of 40.42X. Click on the image below to see the whole graph.

Click for more info

For the burning tests we created an 80min data compilation through Nero Burning Rom, recording the data on a 700MB disc.

Below is a chart showing recording times with TraxData 52X media at various speeds compared with the other two drives.

The ASUS CRW 5232AS finished the task in 3:16 minutes, a little surprising for a drive with a maximum 52X writing speed.

The writing performance varies according to the inserted media, as our tests showed. Below is a chart demonstrating all recording times with various media.

The fastest recording time came with MMore 80min 52X media which took 161secs (2:41mins).

- Other features

Overburning writing
CD text reading/writing
Yes

The ASUS supports the 16X, 24X and 32X P-CAV rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW).

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 32X US-RW media from Verbatim.

Click for more info

The drive starts the writing task at 20.23X and reaches the maximum 32X at the 25:00 min address mark on the disc. According to CDSpeed, the average writing speed is 29.61X.

We also used Nero Burning Rom in order to burn a data disc with 32X US-RW media from Verbatim. The data compilation we burned had a size of 651 MB and the duration of the recording process was 2:57 minutes.

- CD-RW Mount Rainier Tests

The ASUS CRW 5232AS dosen`t support the CD-RW Mount Rainier write feature.


8. 3T Jitter Tests - Page 1

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 8

3T Jitter Tests - Page 1

In the following page you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs using TraxData 52X media burned at all supported speeds.

- 3T Pit results

Generally the drive did not perform satisfactorily, where at no point did any of the discs produce a reading below the 35ns Red Book limit.. The highest average 3T Pit jitter seen in the graph below, reached 44,56nsec, which is way above the Red Book limit (35nsec). The best results came at 24X writing speed.

- 3T Land results

The average 3T Land results were also high. The maximum average 3T Land Jitter reached 53,67nsec and the best result were again at 24X writing speed.


9. 3T Jitter Tests - Page 2

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Page 9

3T Jitter Tests - Page 2

In the following page you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs using various media burned at 52X CAV writing speed.

- 3T Pit results

Again the drive didn't perform satisfactorily and again no media went below the 35ns limit. The best results came with BenQ 48X CD-R media.

- 3T Land results

The average 3T Land results were also high. The best results came with MMore 52X (average 30,67nsec) and Traxdata 52X (average 34,78nsec).

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
MMore 52x
43,89
30,67
Yes
46 Pit, 41 Land
BenQ 48x
40,89
39,44
Yes
42 Pit, 42 Land
Traxdata 52x
41,56
34,78
Yes
44 Pit, 38 Land
Mam 52x
41,78
36,44
Yes
48 Pit, 42 Land
Fujifilm 48x
41,11
39,89
Yes
42 Pit, 42 Land

In the following page we check the C1 and C2 error rates of the same discs, to come up with more specific conclusions.


10. C1/C2 Error Measurements

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder- Page 10

C1 / C2 Error Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the various supported writing speeds and various media. The software we used is PleXTools Professional v2.14, and particularly the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.01)

BenQ 80min 48X CD-R recorded at 52X

Fujifilm 80min 48X recorded at 48X

Mam 80min 52X recorded at 52X

MMore 80min 52X recorded at 52X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 52X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 48X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 40X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 32X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 24X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 16X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 8X

TraxData 80min 52X recorded at 4X

- Summary

The ASUS CRW 5232AS needs to improve its writing quality with CD-R media as we noticed high C1, C2 and CU errors.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
MMore 80min 52X
97m17s 06f
Moser Baer India
79m59s74f
Mam 52X
97m27s58f
Mitsui Chemicals
79m59s74f
BenQ 80min 48X
97m22s67f
Daxon Technology
79m59s74f
Fujifilm 48X
97m24s 01f
Taiyo Yuden
79m59s72f
TraxData 80min 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f

11. Conclusion

ASUS CRW-5232AS Recorder - Conclusion

Conclusion

The ASUS CRW 5232AS is a CD rewritable drive aimed at users wanting a burner with full CD operations and high performance cou;led with the latest technological achievements on compuct discs.

The drive offers high speed transfer rates with CD-Rs but seems to be slow when reading rewritable media compared with drives in the same category. The drive offers good error correction with scratched / defective discs. With game backups, it produces working copies readable with all drives for safedisc protection scheme up to version 2.8 and only partial compatibility with version 2.9 build.

The ASUS CRW 5232AS uses 52X CAV DAE speed and offers features such as cached DAE, accurate stream and C2 error information. It received a score of 100 (perfect) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test with an average reading speed of 37.24X. The drive supports Key2Audio/CDS200 protected Audio discs but gave us timing problems and Read&Test CRC difference with CDS200 protection. It supports 99min reading Audio CDs but has reading problems with 90min Audio CDs.

The ASUS drive supports 4X, 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X, 40X, 48X and 52X speeds and has average writing performance, with high jitter at all speeds with TraxData 52X media as well as with various other media we tried. It also gave us high C1,C2 and CU errors, especially with BenQ and TraxData recorded at 52X & 8X.

The ASUS CRW 5232AS is priced at around $25.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed

 

 

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