CD-RW Roundup Vol 2 - Page
Which one is
In our first "32x CD-RW Roundup" we examined how three 32x recorders
from LiteOn, Freecom and Mitsumi performed. After 40days new firmware revisions
for LiteOn, Mitsumi drives released and new drives arrived from Philips, AOpen
and CyberDrive. In this roundup we will examine if performance for LiteOn/Mitsumi
drives have been improved and how the new drives perform.
- AOpen CRW3248
drive supports 32x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, 8MB Buffer, "JustLink"
as the main anti-buffer under run technology and "JustSpeed" as the
media protection system. The maximum reading speed of the drive is 48x (CAV)
making it the faster ever recorder, at least at the reading part. The exact
writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 12x (CLV), 16x, 20x (16-20x), 24x (16-24x), 28x (16-28x)
and 32x (16-32x) (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x, 10x and 12x (CLV).
The drive's official specifications state that the drive will come with 2MB
buffer and Mt. Rainier format. The current 0.98e firmware revision doesn't support
"Mt. Rainier" format. We assume that newer firmware revisions may
support this feature. Ending, the drive supports all known writing modes (DAO,
SAO, TAO and RAW).
- AOpen's 32x writing speed
The AOpen CRW3248 supports 32x writing speed using the Z-CLV writing technology.
Below is the Nero CD Speed writing graph which illustrates the use of Zone-CLV
The 32x writing speed range is divided into 5 zones: The drive starts writing
at 16x from lead-in till the 6mins, shifts up to 20x at 10mins, shifts to 24x
at 22mins, 28x at 36mins and lastly shifts to 32x at 52mins and stays there
until the end of the burning process. The average recording speed is 25.49X
and it seems that it is the slower 32x recorder among the five drives tested.
- The package
package supplied contained: the drive itself, 1 piece of AOpen 80min 32x CD-R
blank (actual manufacturer Ritek), 1 piece of AOpen 80min 4-12x HS-RW blank
(actual manufacturer Plasmon), audio cable and mounting screws. The software
supplied with the drive was Nero Burning ROM v126.96.36.199 and Ahead InCD v3.17 (for
packet writing use).
We don't know yet if the AOpen CRW3248 comes with a 2-year warranty (only
in Europe) or not. Lastly as the package says the drive is "XP" compatible
which was confirmed from our test results, since the drive worked without any
problems at UDMA-33 mode.
The front of the drive is not different from what we have used to see by Aopen
. The drive doesn't have the AOpen logo printed on it. It includes the "High-Speed
RW" and the "JustLink" logos. User will understand directly the
drive's specs from the "32x12x48x" logo. You will also find only one
led, the eject and next buttons and the headphone input jack/volume selector:
At the backside of the drive we will find the usual connectors (IDE interface,
power), the jumpers for making the drive Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector,
the analog/digital output connectors and 3 jumpers which are used to setup the
drive's working mode, PIO-4Mode (default) or UDMA33. For setting up the UDMA33
mode you just have to remove the middle jumper:
AOpen CRW3248 was installed as a Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive
worked in UDMA33 mode and after booting, identified itself as "AOPEN CD-RW
CRW3248". We used WinXP for the recording, reading tests and the DMA was
The drive was a January 2002 model with firmware revision v0.98e installed.
We used the newer build of Nero (188.8.131.52), InCD (3.21), and CloneCD (184.108.40.206)
for our recording tests.
As the following Nero screenshot shows, the drive supports JustLink and JustSpeed
functions. For our tests, JustSpeed was disabled since with the most of our
24x/32x media, the drive automatically reduces speed down to 16x. This happens
due to the drive's early firmware revision. With newer firmware updates, more
media will be supported. From our tests, with Ricoh/Mitsui 24x media we were
able to record at 32x. Others (like TaiyoYuden/Mitsubishi Chemicals) were only
recognized as 16x (with JustSpeed enabled):