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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 16x CD-RW

Sunday, January 20, 2002

1. Introduction

ASUS CRW-1610A IDE CDR-W - Page 1

- Introduction

While optical market is about to experience the first 40X recorders, ASUS engineers atempted to develop a new recorder with 16X supported speed. This time ASUS developed a new upon their own strength and powered from MEDIATEK chipsets. The ASUS CRW-1610A is a 16x10x40 CD-RW IDE and was shipped at December 2001.You might think this recording proposal of ASUS will not have the expected response ,as it comes out late. The answer is that you should firstly test the drive and then come up with conclusions about performance and whether such a buy is worthless. ASUS seems to have an ace in the sleeve and this is what we are about to examine.

- Features

The drive supports 16x writing (CLV) speed -max- among with "FlextraLink" as the main anti-buffer underrun technology. The exact writing speeds are 2x, 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x (CLV), re-writing speeds 2x, 4x, 8x,10x (CLV)and reading speeds 40x Max (CAV). ASUS CRW-1610A has a 2MB buffer memory and supports TAO, DAO, SAO and Packet Write, as writing modes..

- The features

ASUS CRW-1610A employs FlextraLink technology, a flexible strategy preventing users from buffer underrun problems caused by an empty data buffer, thereby eliminating the creation of unusable discs. Throughout the recording process, FlextraLink technology consistently monitors the data buffer status to ensure best recording quality. Once the available data drops below 1% of the total buffer capacity, FlextraLink suspends the recording and sets a marker at the last written position to avoid recording blocks. As soon as enough cache data is refilled in, the pickup head repositions itself to the marker and restarts the recording. FlextraLink uses minimal system resources so the PC remains full operational and available for other applications even during recording process.

The drive also features patented ASUS DDSS II technology which is an enhanced follow-up to the first generation Double Dynamic Suspension System developed by ASUS. The DDSS technology is designed to minimize the vibration caused by the spindle motor and resonance between components as well as the drive and PC cases. The patented DDSS II stabilizes the pick-up head of the drive in both horizontal and vertical directions by a built-in damper between the core mechanism and traverse as the first suspension, and an isolator between the traverse and loader mechanism as the second suspension. Both damper and isolator have precisely been calculated and designed using special rubber materials with different levels of elasticity. DDSS II makes tracking and focusing even more precise, and successfully reduces the vibration and noise caused by high revolution of the spindle motor.

- The package

The package in which the drive arrived was the retail version and included the drive, a multi-language quick installation guide, an ASUS 16x CD-R disc, an ASUS 4-10x HS-RW disc, data/audio cables and mounting screws. The software supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v5.5.3.5 OEM and Ahead InCD v2.29 (for packet writing use).

The front panel of the drive is has the "ASUS" and "16x10x40" logos, a red (write indicator) and a green (read indicator) led, a play/skip button used for audio CD playback, the stop/eject button and the headphone input jack/volume selector:

In the rear panel you will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumper terminals, the SPDIF output connector and the analog/digital output connectors:

- Installation

ASUS CRW-1610A was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as the "ASUS CRW-1610A ". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted.

The drive was a December 2001 model with firmware revision v1.20 installed. We used the Nero (, InCD (2.26), CloneCD ( and Padus DJ (3.50.818) 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

ASUS CRW-1610A firmware v1.20
Mitsumi CR-4808TE firmware v1.1B
PleXWriter PX-W1610A firmware v1.03
LiteOn LTR-16101B firmware vTS0N

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