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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 20x CD-RW

Sunday, December 16, 2001
Acer CRW2010A CD-RW

1. Introduction

Acer CRW2010A IDE CDR-W - Page 1

- Introduction:

's previous CRW1208 model was the drive that boosted their worldwide sales. Even if the drive wasn't the fastest one you could buy, it had some unique features that eventually made it very popular among users. The drive supported the "SeamLess Link" anti-coaster technology and could produce perfect backups of SD2 protected CDs. On June, Acer announced a new model bearing the code "CRW2010A". Is this the drive that will make the difference amongst 20x writing speed recorders? Can Acer's new drive compete against Ricoh and Yamaha's 20x competitor drives?

- Features:

The new Acer drive supports 20x writing speed, 10x re-writing and 40x reading speeds, making it directly comparable to Ricoh MP7200 and Yamaha 2200E series. The drive uses Zone-CLV writing strategy in order to archieve both 16x and 20x writing speeds, supports "SeamLess-Link" anti-coaster technology and features a smart detection mechanism to determine the inserted media quality...It is equipped with a 2MB Buffer, Anti-vibration System, dust protection design and power saving features. Last but not least it supports:
Writing speeds: 4x, 8x, 12x (CLV), 16x and 20x (Z-CLV)
Re-Writing speeds: 4x, 8x and 10x (CLV)

- Supplied Package:

The package supplied was the retail European version. This included: The drive itself, the user's guide, MS-DOS drivers, 1 High Speed RW Blank (4x-10x), 1 Acer 16-20x 80min CDR media, Audio cables and mounting screws. The software supplied with the CRW2010A was: Nero Burning ROM v5.5.2.2, Ahead InCD v2.14 (for packet writing use) and Nero Media Player v1.1.0.3. Also included in the package was a diskette which contained an updated driver for the included OEM Nero version. We didn't use it, since we used the brand new version for our tests. Finally we found a nice quick Nero 5.0x setup guide for the daily tasks.

Acer 80min 16/20X CDR media:

ATIP: 97m 22s 66f
Disc Manufacturer: Acer Media Technology, Inc.
Assumed Dye type: Phthalocyanine (Type 6)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown - max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f / LBA: 359849)

Acer 74min 4-10X HS-RW media:

ATIP: 97m 26s 65f
Disc Manufacturer: CMC Magnetics Corp.
Assumed Dye type: Phthalocyanine (Type 5)
Media type: CD-ReWritable
Recording Speeds: min. 4X - max. 8X
nominal Capacity: 658.89MB (75m 00s 00f / LBA: 337350)

The front of the drive has the logo of Acer and "High-Speed Recording" embedded on it, along with the maximum supported speeds "20/10/40". Also there are 2 leds (red while writing, green while reading), the eject button, the play/stop button for audio cds and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

On the back of the drive there are the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive as Master/Slave/Cable Select, the SPDIF output connector and 2 jumpers which are not used (factory reserved). You will also notice a ventilation shaft:

- Installation:
The Acer CRW2010A was installed as Slave on the secondary IDE BUS. Note that the drive MUST be installed as SLAVE, and that in all other cases it will not work properly. The drive worked in PIO-Mode4 and after booting the system up, it identified itself as the "ATAPI CD-R/RW 20X10". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted.

The drive was a June 2001 model with an initial firmware revision of vH.HF. We used the latest version of Nero Burning ROM (, InCD (2.24), CloneCD ( and Padus DJ (3.00.780) for the recording tests.

- Test Machine:
WinMe OS
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
Ricoh MP7200A firmware v1.10
Ricoh MP9200 firmware v1.00
Yamaha 2200E firmware v1.0C
Acer CRW2010A firmware vH.HF

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